LIVE: Music Picks Nov. 3-9 

Blind Pilot, William Fitzsimmons, Rae Sremmurd, and more

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THURSDAY 11.3
Blind Pilot, The River Whyless

Blind Pilot is a band that's really easy to embrace. Like The Head and the Heart, Lord Huron, Band of Horses and The Lumineers, they possess a keen sense of tone and tempo, as manifested in their ability to make melodies that ebb and flow with an emotional sweep. The results coalesce through songs that are simultaneously introspective and intense. Their latest effort, And Then Like Lions, is a perfect case in point: Like its two fine predecessors, it's affecting at times, harrowing at others, and wrought with uncertainty throughout the times inbetween. Being a band that's never lacking for those indelible interludes, they warrant more than only a cursory encounter. There's a certain brilliance in all Blind Pilot has to offer—one that suggests there's more to their music than sometimes meets the ear. That's one reason Blind Pilot always soars. (Lee Zimmerman) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $18 in advance, $20 day of show, DepotSLC.com

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FRIDAY 11.4
Roger Clyne and P.H. Naffah perform The Refreshments' Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy

Consider how many concerts you've been to where you were completely satisfied with the setlist, where the artist played every song you wanted to hear. Now how many albums do you own that are all-killer, no-filler, whose every song you know and feel? (Greatest hits don't count.) Even if you're a musical glutton with an extensive library/hoard of wax, tapes, discs and drives, it's a small percentage. These rarities, although inanimate, are living entities—best friends, fated loves that we can trust to endure. They soundtrack our lives, attaching themselves to events and memories, and periodically remind us why we get out of bed every morning. Now imagine that for two decades, you have nobody to share the music with; the friends you play it for don't connect to it on the same level. Sure, there are tons of fans online, but you don't connect to people that way. You'd rather sit across from them in a corner booth, swilling beer and discussing how you found and relate to the music. Two years ago on a long road trip, a friend's shuffling iPod landed on a song from The Refreshments' Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy (Mercury, 1996). Six months ago, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers—The Refreshments, evolved—played Liquid Joe's on a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary and vinyl debut of the album. Walter and I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with 200 kindred spirits, and we all sang our voices hoarse as the band performed the album in its entirety (plus a smattering of other Refresh-makers songs). On Friday, singer and songwriter Clyne, with his friend and drummer P.H. Naffah, reprise the performance unplugged. It kills me that I'll miss another shot at this experience. But I'll be in Mexico—a favorite setting for Clyne's twangy pub-rock songs—and I'll have ear buds. Have fun, friends. Here's to life. (Randy Harward) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 6 p.m., $20, 21+, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com

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SATURDAY 11.5
William Fitzsimmons, Laura Burhenn

Two periods in his life have had a profound effect on the music of singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons: being raised by blind parents, and working as a psychotherapist for a few years. In an environment where sound was predominant, and took the place of visual stimuli for the Fitzsimmons family, he learned a sensitivity to its subtleties and nuances. As a therapist, he gained a great deal of empathy. Nearing 40, his musical career already ranges over a decade, and his latest release, Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Vol. 2 (Nettwerk, 2016) recalls the grandmother he never knew. For some songwriters, this kind of material would seem too personal, in the sense of his own insular history. But Fitzsimmons' warmth makes these sketches immediately relatable, somehow familiar. With special guest Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds. (Brian Staker) The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $17, 21+, TheStateRoomSLC.com

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SATURDAY 11.5
Rae Sremmurd, Earz, Bob Swae, Impxt

After a memorable debut working with producer Mike WiLL Made-It on 2015's SremmLife, Rae Sremmurd—brothers Khalif "Swae Lee" Brown and Aaquil "Slim Jxmmi" Brown—have spun their thumping rhythms and inclusive party vibe into a sound that has drawn attention from the likes of Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. After earning a nomination for Top Rap Artist at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, Rae Sremmurd has seen their trajectory skyrocket, earning them a spot on The Tonight Show earlier this year promoting the release of SremmLife 2 (EarDrummers/Interscope). Fellow Atlanta rapper (and impromptu model for the release of Kanye West's Yeezy fashion collection) Lil Yachty opens. Based on both artists' youthful propensity for semi-crazed stage antics, this show promises to deliver for anyone looking for a party. (Alex Springer) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 7 p.m., $35 in advance, $40 day of show, TheComplexSLC.com

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SUNDAY 11.6
Locksmith, J. Lately, Audible Intellect, DJ Nocturnal

Ever since Locksmith (born Davood Asgari) made waves on an MTV freestyle rap battle in 2003, the Bay Area wordsmith has established himself as not only an accomplished battle rapper, but a serious hip-hop force. Since 2013, he's released four albums, with 2015's Lofty Goals gaining traction among freestyle aficionados. A trip through The Lock Sessions, Locksmith's most recent mixtape, leaves the listener's head spinning with socially conscious lyrics that land with the speed and intensity of an automatic weapon. As an artist of Persian and African descent, Locksmith's commentary on the racism, divisive politics and fear-mongering that has ravaged social media during this election season strikes a particularly resonant tone. (Alex Springer) Liquid Joe's, 1249 E. 3300 South, 7 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show, 21+, LiquidJoes.net

MONDAY 11.7
Peter Hook & The Light perform Joy Division's and New Order's Substance

Speaking of full-album performances, and music that scores our lives, for some folks it's Joy Division's Substance or New Order's Substance. Or both, since they're almost the same band. Peter Hook played bass (and occasionally sang) in both, so he has intimate knowledge of each band's respective hits anthologies. In spite of this, Hook's somewhat stentorian, Patrick Stewart-esque vocals are far from the gentle croon of NO singer Bernard Sumner's gentle croon, so his performances of songs like "Blue Monday" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" are a bit jarring. Hook bears enough of a resemblance to late JD singer-guitarist Ian Curtis' baritone vox, though, that "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and "Warsaw" are close enough for rock 'n' roll. And since Curtis killed himself before Joy Division could tour Stateside, and the still-active New Order (sans Hook) hasn't performed here since 1989, it's unlikely that many Salt Lake City fans will complain. Especially since Hook's signature high basslines are almost as iconic as the vocals in these tunes. (RH) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 7 p.m., $25, 21+, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com

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Amos Lee
Amos Lee has had a fortuitous career. His big break came when his demo led to a major record company contract, followed by a tour opening for Norah Jones. The critical kudos kept coming, and five albums on—his latest, Spirit, was released in August—Lee not only finds himself headlining, but touching audiences the way he always wanted. "It was pure love that drew me to music," he tells City Weekly in a telephone interview. "Music reached a place in me that nothing else had ever reached before. It allows me to connect with people and to give it my all." Lee's rugged, rootsy strain of Americana has made him an authentic auteur, bringing a well-worn, homegrown sensibility to every song he sings. It's a gift he's grateful to share. "It never escapes me how lucky I've been. If I can inspire people in these troubled times, then I've done my job." (Lee Zimmerman) Delta Performance Hall @ Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, 7:30 p.m., $27.50-$77.50, Live-At-The-Eccles.com

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