Live: Music Picks Dec. 31 -Jan. 6 

Emacipator. Chris Robinson, People Under the Stairs and more...

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THURSDAY 12.31
Emancipator, Cloudchord (D.V.S.*), Lapa, cameragrammar

Classically trained violinist Douglas Appling has become known to the electronic music world as Emancipator. In just under a decade, he's made a definitive mark on downtempo music with his singular mix of cultural touchstones. With his Emancipator Ensemble, he has added a drummer and bassist, for a more organic approach although his solo releases made a big splash, he has almost become better known for his remixes—and the subject of one, guitarist Derek Van Scoten (who changed his producer name from D.V.S.* to Cloudchord), joins him in performance. Emancipator's newest full-length, Seven Seas, has been eagerly awaited by those who look forward to seeing what new rabbits he can pull out of his hat.

Ilya Goldberg, aka Lapa, is a long-time collaborator of Emancipator's, and like him, the Russian-born producer is "first and foremost" a violinist. In addition to performing in the symphonic arena, his release Meeting of the Waters (Loci Records) has been highly lauded. Los Angeles chillwave producer cameragrammar rounds out the bill.

This genre of music sometimes seems incestuous, with participants remixing one another's tracks almost endlessly, creating innumerable versions of the same song. But even with its navel-gazing, it's an examination that often yields fascinating sonic insights into untrod directions. For a New Year's Eve activity, it's an opportunity to immerse one's self in that reflective world. (BS) O.P. Rockwell, 628 Main, Park City, 9 p.m., $55, OPRockwell.com

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SATURDAY 1.2
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood

You know those nights where you have nothing better to do than watch YouTube? Not that this is a bad thing. I'm talking about when you find a lull in your day, where what you thought was a stolen moment morphs into surprise incidental free time. Where you click on a song, connect with it and then realize you have the freedom to step into the wardrobe and see where it leads? Or let's say you didn't have free time. You are, in fact, effin' off—but you ride the tangent anyway and forget to feel guilty about shirking your responsibilities. Even when your subconscious returns you to awareness of your obligations, and you know you've squandered a valuable hour, you still feel as though it was time well-wasted. In the midst of it, you didn't have a care in the world. That makes it much easier to resume your grind, because you didn't just find a new favorite band: You made a friend, and the two of you will be hanging out a lot, later on.

You see where this is going? Give it a shot. You'll discover the juncture where great songwriting—as much from erstwhile Black Crowes frontguy Robinson as from guitarist Neal Casal (best known from Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, but boasting a solo discography that's 12 discs deep)—meets tasteful jamming, and how the two combined make for a great and welcome escape. (RH) Park City Live, 427 Main, 9 p.m., $30, ParkCityLive.net

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People Under the Stairs
"The Steely Dan of rap music." That line (not mine) just sold some tickets, 'cause when you invoke The Dan, their fans (what's up, Deane?) react like cats to 'nip. For them/us, the name carries weight. It doesn't matter that it's hip-hop and not jazz rock, because the comparison says the music has certain qualities: a laid-back vibe that belies the music's degree of difficulty and genius, while cheekily showing it off. It's like how b-boys pose after spinning out: They rest motionless, heads propped on their fists—grinning. They don't need to be told that what they did was dope, but that wry smile says go ahead and put your hands together if you want. That, plus an encyclopedic knowledge of all music, a gourmet musical gluttony that shows in their samples, which span jazz, soul and even soft rock. And don't forget the lyrics: Steely Dan mixes a wicked intellect and sense of humor, balancing serious points with flat-out fun.

Hip-hop fans have known since the late '90s that People Under the Stairs does all of this—adding their own touches, like samples from the '80s arcade shooter, Galaga—with aplomb. See for yourself tonight, and don't miss crafty local hip-hop artists DJ Juggy, Burnell Washburn and Better Taste Bureau. They'll have plenty of tricks up their respective sleeves. (RH) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $20, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com

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Grizzly Goat
The name of Provo folk outfit Grizzly Goat evokes images of some hybrid mountainous creature, Mumford & Sons comparisons and a somewhat unsavory definition on UrbanDictionary.com. Also, by no means last of all, a healthy amount of hipsterish facial hair. You know a few bits of musical munchies end up in those bearish beards, and maybe that's why they seems as good as granola. Formerly the Wandering Woods, they actually formed in Las Vegas before pivoting to Provo, and a much more eager audience. The more wayward whimsies of the earlier outfit found themselves displaced in favor of a more rock-friendly—if not outright rock—approach, and their latest EP, Boring Conversation Anyway, is anything but. One more thing, and this is far from the most interesting tidbit about this quartet: None of them is from Utah originally, yet they still somehow gravitated towards Utah County. It's been a far more conducive atmosphere to folk music than the City of Sin... let that sink in. With Timmy the Teeth and Scott Rogers. (BS) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $6, KilbyCourt.com

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THURSDAY 12.31
Resolution, with Felix Cartal

At the ripe old age of 28, the Canadian EDM/house producer and DJ, Felix Cartal (born Taelor Deitcher), has two full-length releases, an EP and several world tours under his belt. His collaborations with unlikely bedfellows—including Death from Above 1979's vocalist Sebastien Grainger and Johnny Whitney of The Blood Brothers—show him possessed of a remarkable instinct for innovation and uncanny combinations. In this three-room, nine-DJ event, Felix Cartal will be joined in the Depot's Main Room by Ross K, Tee Jay and Z & Z. The 400 Room will feature DJ Delmaggio. In the Recess Club Room you will find NVIA, Bello Bastian and Jesse Walker. (Brian Staker) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 9:30 p.m., $25 in advance, $35 day of show (plus fees), DepotSLC.com

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SUNDAY 1.3
Acoustic Showcase: Songwriters in the Round, featuring Kate MacLeod

Salt Lake City has no shortage of great singer-songwriters. Acclaimed—not just locally—folkie Kate MacLeod is one of the best, and her newly released Kate MacLeod Songbook (Dream Garden Press), which contains transcriptions of 52 songs from her expansive canon, proves as much. So trust that the lineup tonight—MacLeod, Duncan Phillips (son of Utah Phillips), Scott Willis and Jeremy Harmon—will be immensely satisfying for fans of great songwriting, in what MacLeod calls a "rare chance to hear them together in an intimate setting." (Randy Harward) The Garage on Beck, 1199 Beck St., 6 p.m., free, GarageOnBeck.com

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