THURSDAY DEC. 12
The Band of Heathens
The fourth studio album from Austin roots-rock quartet The Band of Heathens, Sunday Morning Record—released in September— was created during a tumultuous time for the band, one full of “life changes, lineup changes, geographic changes,” says singer/ guitarist Gordy Quist in the band’s online bio. “It was a roller coaster of a year, but that change served the album well and became our muse.” Taking the feelings of uncertainty and choosing to run with them instead of folding under the pressure, the band buckled down and created a rich stunner of an album, filled with beautiful acoustic-driven melodies and introspective lyrics. For example, “Miss My Life” features the universally applicable line “Don’t tell me to forget her/ Because, man, you never met her.” Local rock outfit The Weekenders will open.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $15, TheStateRoomSLC.com, City Weekly Tix (No Fees)
Anthropology Reunion Show
The members of local math-rock/jazz quartet Anthropology haven’t been apart long (their most recent show was in September), but with drummer Joren Carlson paying SLC a visit during his out-of-state college’s winter break, the band decided to celebrate with a “reunion” show. The night’s set will most likely include music from Anthropology’s debut album, Anthology—released in October—which features mind-bendingly intricate and seemingly discordant layers of percussion and guitar that somehow fit together like magic. If Anthropology’s music were a jigsaw puzzle, it would be one of those insanely difficult 1,000- piece deals. Anthology also contains hidden surprises embedded in the music, including a cover of “Saria’s Song” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Knowing Anthropology, attendees of this show are in for some surprises as well—I’ve been hearing rumors about costumes and crazy decorations. The Pelicants, Birthquake and The Wasatch Fault are also on the bill.
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 8 p.m., $6, KilbyCourt.com
FRIDAY DEC. 13
The White Buffalo
Jake Smith, aka The White Buffalo, bears an uncanny resemblance to Brigham Young’s famous bodyguard, Porter Rockwell, but his Americana roots music isn’t the re-creation of some dusty relic from the Wild West. Instead, he sings in his gravelly, formidable voice about universally human themes— love, sin, redemption, the perils of war— that apply to all people, whether they live in 2013 or lived in 1813. His latest album, Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways (Unison Music Group), released in September, is a loose concept album, based around the romantic relationship of protagonists Joe and Jolene. The haunting “30 Days Back”—with shivery violin—which describes Joe’s mindset after he returns from war, will stick with you for days after the first listen. Local husband & wife folk duo Hope & Tim Glenn is also on the bill.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $20, TheStateRoomSLC.com, City Weekly Tix (No Fees)
In My Jerusalem’s online bio, founder/singer Jeff Klein describes the Austin, Texas-based band’s sound as “postmodern Southern gothic-soul,” and a more apt description probably can’t be found. For their second studio album, 2012’s Preachers, My Jerusalem sunk into some deliciously dark territory, with Klein’s voice taking on a gritty baritone reminiscent of Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk. The new sound is a departure from My Jerusalem’s previous alt-country style, but it was the natural progression for the band. “We’d all kind of been through hell and back again in different ways, and this was the natural artistic result of all of that,” Klein says. Somehow, the darkness pervades even in the upbeat, hand-clappy “This Time,” and is especially prevalent in “Preachers,” with its touches of creepy piano and lonely cello. The Pillar and Wildcat Strike will start things off.
Lo-Fi Cafe, 445 S. 400 West, 8 p.m., $7 in advance, $10 day of show, Facebook.com/LoFiCafe
Ruidoso, N.M.-based folk duo Gleewood, made up of Jhett and Callie Sioux Schiavone, is celebrating the release of their new selftitled album with a free show at Atticus Coffee in Park City. The record showcases the band’s unique acoustic sound, created with strains of bluegrass and alt-country and touches of Celtic music. Jhett’s bass-y voice is an interesting foil to Callie’s sweet soprano harmonies, and both musicians seem like they’d be most at home weaving tales around a desert campfire under a full moon. “My Grandfather’s Grandfather” and “Great River” especially portray a fascinatingly dark and multifaceted storytelling element.
Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse, 738 Main, Park City, 6 p.m., free, AtticusTea.com
SATURDAY DEC. 14
Ann Arbor, Mich.-born singer/pianist Vienna Teng stepped away from her music career in 2010 to earn a graduate degree in business and environmental studies, and her latest album, Aims, is her first new work in four years. Inspired by Detroit, where Teng relocated in May, Aims’ album cover features a map of the bankrupt city—color-coded to signify areas of loss and growth—that’s simultaneously heart-rending and uplifting. “I live in a city that reminds me, daily and vividly, of what it means to live bravely in a daunting world,” Teng says. The songs themselves are hopeful and optimistic, filled to the brim with Teng’s beautifully pure voice, playful piano work and fascinating electronic effects. Alex Wong will also perform.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $23, TheStateRoomSLC.com, City Weekly Tix (No Fees)
How Hip-Hop Stole Christmas!
Remember the true meaning of hip-hop this holiday season by heading to a rap battle between some of Salt Lake City’s finest emcees. The event will welcome back the Monthly Mic Check battles hosted by Nicholas “Dr. Nick” Maez, who will also host and perform Saturday night. Other performers on the bill include Atheist, G. West, Black Lion, Russell Rock, Burnell Washburn and Dumb Luck. Street Jesus (who else?) will be on the turntables. The winner will walk away with $100—that’s a lot of eggnog.
Barbary Coast, 4242 S. State, 8 p.m., $5
TUESDAY DEC. 17
In 2008, Nashville singer-songwriter Will Hoge nearly saw the end of all ends when he was severely injured in a traffic accident. But he luckily made a complete recovery and has released a couple of new albums since then, including his latest, 2013’s Never Give In. In a classically country voice, he sings honest, emotional songs about a long-suffering wife (“Daddy Was a Gambling Man”), giving a failed romance another shot (“This Time Around”) and other topics that all living, breathing people will relate to. Red Wanting Blue is also on the bill.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $13, TheStateRoomSLC.com, City Weekly Tix (No Fees)