Live: Music Picks Feb. 25 - Mar. 5 

Freakwater, The Yawpers, Animal Collective and more

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Freakwater's Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean are perhaps alt-country's answer to the Carter Family, with their unusual vocal harmonies. And coming out of the legendary Chicago alternative band Eleventh Dream Day, Bean has indie cred for miles, having founded both bands in the late '80s. This puts Freakwater at the beginning of the alt-country/No Depression craze, except they eclipse that descriptor with their individualism. Their brand of country-folk is a study in American gothic—minimal and melancholy (and occasionally menacing)—with a murder ballad here and there, as befitting the genre. Freakwater's latest album, Scheherazade (Bloodshot, 2016) is their first since 2006, when they released Thinking of You... (Thrill Jockey), a collaboration with experimental indie rockers Califone. A hiatus ensued as Bean and Irwin explored other projects, but Freakwater reunited in 2013 on the occasion of the 20th-anniversary reissue of their 1993 album Feels Like the Third Time (Thrill Jockey). The larger ensemble on Scheherazade enables them to more loosely, yet also more fully, follow their musical fables to their seemingly inevitable conclusions. Jaye Jayle (the alter ego of Young Widows' Evan Patterson) opens. (BS) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $17,


UFO TV CD Release
UFO TV is the former Red Telephone, until the local psych band found out there was already a band in Boston named after the famous song by '60s psych-folk band Love. It's really too bad, because the "Psych Lake City" band is arguably more aligned with the original vision of Arthur Lee & Co. in Love than the Beantown pop outfit. Their new moniker, UFO TV, is likely to lead you down the internet path of bizarro movies, which itself isn't a bad thing, but when you think up a name to call your project, consider what similar search results might ensue. Electric Life Light Show is their debut album, self-released, and it's everything the title suggests, plus they add an extra oomph, recording the tunes live. Joining the band for the occasion are Hot Vodka, Red Dog Revival and The Nods—one of the hottest punk groups in town right now. (BS) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., free,


Hell's Belles

It seems like there's at least one tribute band playing Salt Lake City each month. Maybe even each week. But there are three playing this week at The State Room and O.P. Rockwell. On Saturday, O.P. hosts Poor Man's Whiskey, who play bluegrassy "Californicana" originals, but have an album of Pink Floyd covers and, on Saturday, plan a set of Eagles tunes. On Wednesday, the O.P. stage welcomes the Johnny Cash tribute, Cash'd Out. And this all-female AC/DC tribute, a longtime local (and now international) favorite, plays there on Friday and at The State Room on Saturday. They've all earned their reputation as top-notch translators of someone else's music and aesthetic, but if I had to pick one to endorse, I'd go with the Belles, who (somewhat ironically) throw some serious cock rock. Seriously, buck-wild Gibson SG-wielding Adrian "Angus" Conner and company have just as much stomp and swagger as the real deal. In fact, maybe a bit too much. Local rock 'n' roll animals Thunderfist open. (RH) Friday @ O.P. Rockwell, 628 Main, Park City, 9 p.m., $25-$35,; Saturday @ The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $25,

Heritage Blues Orchestra

It's hard to replace someone like New Orleans soul/R&B/jazz legend Allen Toussaint, who was originally scheduled to headline tonight—but the Heritage Blues Orchestra has a head start on their own stardom. Built around a core trio of guitarist/pianist/vocalist Bill Sims, Jr., vocalist (and Sims' daughter), Chaney Sims, and guitarist/vocalist Junior Mack, the HBO can range in size from four to nine members—but in any configuration, their sound is huge. Starting, of course, with a solid blues base, the group spices things up with elements of gospel, postmodern jazz, New Orleans brass and even European influences. In their stripped-down lineup—with just guitars, keys, moans, cries and hand-claps propelling their renditions of songs by Muddy Waters, Son House and Leadbelly—it's powerful music. But with the full nine-member band activated, the rhythm and brass sections adding backbeat and volume? It's white-hot. There's a reason the HBO was nominated for a Grammy and two Blue Music Awards, and received a Living Blues Critics Poll Award for Best Blues Album. (RH) George S. & Dolores Dore Eccles Center Theater, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 7:30 p.m., $25-$75 (discounts available for seniors, children under 16 and Summit County students),


The Yawpers

They were just here in November, but here's another chance to see The Yawpers, as the Denver-based trio continues to tour behind their sophomore release, American Man (Bloodshot). The album is a feast of gritty, sweaty alt-country, influenced as much by classic rock and Minneapolitan punk as country and blues. It's also informed by great poetry (one poet, in particular—look to the band's name, or Track 8, for a clue) and literature. And, when good words, dirty acoustic guitar and taut slide work combine, you've got a great reason to call in sick on Monday. Here are four more: local openers Red Bennies, Cactus Farm, Mañanero, and Utah County Swillers. I'll be damned: My throat's a little scratchy. (Randy Harward) Devil's Daughter, 533 S. 500 West, 7 p.m., $6,


Animal Collective, Rat King

In 2009, The Boston Phoenix called the Baltimore, Md., band Animal Collective "the next logical iteration of the jam-band scene." Well, their use of electronics and goofy sense of experimentation evokes the same kind of response as jam bands. Namely, that Animal Collective certainly must be possessed of or by some kind of childlike naïveté and, at least on some level, it's something not to take seriously. Not that that's a bad thing. But you have to wonder if not taking it serious is the serious, whole point, if you catch my drift, and (to borrow from George Dubya) ponder whether you haven't just completely "misunderestimated" them. Their latest, Painting With (Domino, 2016), seems like the musical version of Bob Ross in that any human frailty or failing can be converted, with the right twist of the paintbrush, into "happy little trees." If you stare long enough at those trees, they have gorillas (or guerillas) in them—but they aren't dangerous. Except, maybe, to your mental health. Which needs a little lightening up, anyway. New York hip-hop group Rat King opens. (BS) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $26,


Audio Social Dissent 2016, feat. Timmy's Organism, Wolf Eyes, Video

Critics and music fans slobber over everything that comes out on Jack White's Detroit-based indie label, Third Man Records, including the 2015 releases by wild garage rockers Timmy's Organism, far-out noise merchants Wolf Eyes and Austin "hate wave" punks VIDEO. Naturally, that led to the label trotting out their show-ponies on this package tour, which also features, at least on this date, Salt Lake City's own prize rock & roll equines The Nods. Quoth the press release, "It wouldn't be a true TMR affair if it were just greasy riffs, Dadaist rock wreckage, and furious punker spit." That means there's limited-edition merch! (Randy Harward) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $12 in advance, $14 day of show,

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