THURSDAY JULY 18
You Are Plural
Indie-rock trio You Are Plural hail from the enchanted forests of the Pacific Northwest (Olympia, Wash., specifically), so it’s no surprise that they’d pen lyrics like, “Raised in the shadows of forest at night/ It’s calming to see your eyes in mine,” from “Rabbit Rabbit.” The tune is the first single from and the title of the band’s upcoming album, due to be released later this summer. You Are Plural’s dreamy sound is created with only a Wurlitzer electric piano, cello and percussion, as well as the goosebumps-raising harmonies of Jen Grady’s nymph-like voice and Ephriam Nagler’s rich and resonant one, but the beautiful soundscapes they create are lush and expansive. If elves danced to anything other than harps and flutes at their woodland parties, they’d dig You Are Plural.
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 7 p.m., $5
Listening to Nashville, Tenn.-based troubadour Dan Tedesco might remind you of the peaceful stillness found in driving alone down a dark highway. After all, in an interview with the Kansas City Live Music Blog, he said that his latest album, Tracks on Fire, released in 2011, is “about isolation,” and also, “the things that can keep you from slipping into those dark sides of life that make you isolated.” With meat & potatoes lyrics—Tedesco lists Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Tom Waits as songwriting influences—melodic piano, twangy guitar, warm harmonica and that soulful voice, songs like “Whiskey Roads” and “Rollin’ on Down the Line” will appeal to the boots-wearing wanderer in everyone. Keep an eye out for his upcoming LP, Death in the Valley, which will be released later this year. Fauna and Powerhouse start off Tedesco’s first-ever show in Utah.
Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State, 8 p.m., $6 in advance, $8 day of show
When I was a teenager, it never felt like it was officially summer until I blasted Rancid’s 1995 album … And Out Come the Wolves through my beat-up car’s crappy speakers and cruised down the freeway with the wind messing up my mohawk. Now-retro songs like “Roots Radicals,” “Ruby Soho,” the ska-influenced “Time Bomb” and the anthemic “Avenues & Alleyways” are timeless punk classics, evocative of the band’s home turf of sunny California; listening to that album still makes me smile. The band recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and is hitting the road in celebration with supergroup The Transplants—Rancid co-singer/guitarist Tim Armstrong will take on double duty and perform with both bands—which just released new album In a Warzone (Epitaph) in June. Rancid also has a new album in the works, tentatively titled Honor Is All We Know. Both shows are all ages, and The Interrupters will get things started. Oi oi oi!
The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, also July 20, 7:30 p.m., $27-$31
Rhythm & Blues Rendezvous
If you’re a fan of blues programming on 90.9 FM KRCL—like DJ Brian Kelm’s show Red, White & Blues—head to Rockport State Park (45 miles east of Salt Lake City) for the fifth-annual Rhythm & Blues Rendezvous. The proceeds from the all-day outdoor event will go to the radio station to help keep blues on the local airwaves. The funk/blues/soul-centric lineup includes Rendezvous newcomers The Neighbors, River House Band, Tony Holiday Band and The Soulistics, as well as veterans Harry Lee & the Back Alley Blues Band, George T. Gregory Band, Blues on First and Ides of Soul. The music kicks off at 1 p.m. and doesn’t let up until 10, so get a drink in your hand and make with the dancing, all for a worthy cause. One important reminder: While the event has typically been B.Y.O.B., this year, food, drinks and beer will all be available on-site, and coolers won’t be allowed.
Rockport State Park, below the Rockport Reservoir Dam, 9040 N. State Highway 302, Peoa, 1 p.m., $10 admission/donation
In 2009, the Bad Rabbits released Stick Up Kids—a bold attempt to popularize what is referred to as full-band R&B. However, tacking their sound to just one sweeping genre gives a band of this depth zero justice. In a way, the Boston-based group picks up where ’90s New Jack Swing left off, blending smooth vocals, slapping bass lines and funky keyboards that somehow make lyrics like “Your eyes, your thighs, your booty and your smile” feel miles away from corny. Just imagine, if you will, a sexy riff from Raphael Saadiq playing in the background of an intimate dinner for Bobby Brown and his boo—that’s Bad Rabbits. But nostalgia aside, their new take on a unique sound has paid off, propelling them to accompany rapper Slick Rick as his touring band, and even rubbing elbows with metalheads and punks at the Vans Warped Tour. Air Dubai, The Orbit Group and Sahtyre are also on the bill. (Colin Wolf)
Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State, 8 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show
If you look in the dictionary under “wordsmith,” you’ll find a picture of Dessa. She’s a badass hip-hopping bombshell who was basically born writing song lyrics. Originally part of the hip-hop collective Doomtree, Dessa is now bringing her solo act to Salt Lake City, playing a selection of songs from her new album, Parts of Speech, including “Warsaw” and “Call Off Your Ghost.” But it’s her linguistic fervor that sets her apart from other acts, with lyrics that readily communicate love, anger and loss. You definitely won’t want to miss her performance because—pardon the cliché—Dessa truly has a way with words. Sims and Pat Maine are also on the bill. (Courtney Tanner)
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $12 in advance, $14 day of show
WEDNESDAY JULY 24
This alt-country seven-piece is named for a string of tiny islands in the Indian Ocean, but The Maldives actually call Seattle their home. Along with fellow Northwesterners like The Fleet Foxes and The Head & the Heart, The Maldives are masters of creating rootsy folk that hops between wistful and top-tapping. Their latest, Muscle for the Wing (2012, Spark & Shine Records), combines gorgeously layered instrumentation—banjo, fiddle, accordion, piano and more—and nuanced, thoughtful lyrics that are inspired by frontman Jason Dodson’s geek-level love of film. Star Anna and The Bully get the night started.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $5
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