Shearwater, Adrian & The Sickness, Murs, Mark Growden & Willy Vlautin 

Live: Music Picks April 29-May 5

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Sunday May 2

Not only is Shearwater leader Jonathan Meiburg incredibly ambitious when it comes to the sonic approach of the band, but he’s got to have the kinds of stories that are impossible to compete with at parties. Consider this: As part of his “research” of the band’s stellar new set of orchestral pop, The Golden Archipelago, Meiburg drew on his experiences camping on islands ranging from the Falklands to Tierra del Fuego, the Galapagos to Madagascar. Using his own experiences, and those of his grandfather’s WWII stint as a radio operator in the South Pacific, Meiburg spends The Golden Archipelago exploring island life from every conceivable angle: Its lushness and its isolation, its natural noises and disconcerting silences, and, perhaps most significantly, the islands’ uneasy relationship with humans when they stumble across a new one to conquer. Don’t let Meiburg’s unusual subject matter put you off, though: Shearwater’s music is some stunningly beautiful stuff that fans of Brian Eno will eat up. Wye Oak and Hospital Ships open the show. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $10

Monday May 3

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You might know Adrian Conner by her alternate persona, holding down the “Angus Young” spot in raucous AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles. And if you do know Connor from that band’s numerous trips to Salt Lake City, you know Connor is one shredding guitar player who’s a ton of fun to watch go crazy on stage. What you might not know is that Connor has a mean way with writing her own pop-rock tunes, and those tunes come to life via Austin-based Adrian & The Sickness. The trio’s music is more in the tasty power-pop vein of early Bangles or The Go-Gos; fitting, considering The Go-Gos own Kathy Valentine produced Adrian & the Sickness’s latest 12-song salvo, BFD. Even the cover of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” works in the hands of Connor, bassist Heather Webb and drummer Melodie Zapata. Lost By Reason and The Pistol Project open the show. Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 8 p.m., $7

Tuesday May 4
Los Angeles-born rapper MURS has been releasing music since 1993, and his catalog is dominated by collaborations with an intriguing array of artists. He’s part of a punk band called The Invincibles, he’s one-ninth of hip-hop collective Living Legends and he’s put out three albums as half of Felt, sharing vocal duties with Atmosphere rapper Slug. His latest album, Fornever, is arguably the result of his most memorable musical relationship—his partnership with producer/DJ 9th Wonder. 9th Wonder creates epic and entertaining soundscapes for MURS to lyrically roam with witty rhymes and furious style, and this third joint effort is full of songs sure to hit hard in concert, from “Cigarettes and Liquor” to “Asian Girl.” Sick Jacken and Burnell Washburn open the show. In the Venue, 200 S. 600 West, 7 p.m. $15.50


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Mark Growden is a bit of a renaissance man. Not only does he write and record his own blend of Gothic roots music a la Tom Waits or Nick Cave, but he composes for soundtracks, writes plays and performs on a multitude of instruments, including accordion, banjo, guitar and saxophone. It’s fitting, then, that rather than playing in one of Salt Lake City’s “normal” music venues, Growden is doing a show at the Captain Captain art studios, home to some of Utah’s finest contemporary artists, among them Sri Whipple, Trent Call, Patrick Munger and Trent Alvey. Perhaps between songs from Growden’s intriguing new album, Saint Judas, you’ll get a peek at some brilliant artwork as well. Captain Captain Studios, 825 S. 500 West, 8 p.m. $5

Wednesday May 5

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Longtime fans of Portland twang-rockers Richmond Fontaine were probably the least surprised to learn singer/songwriter Willy Vlautin was putting his way with words into novel form. His songs’ lyrics have always been incredibly evocative of the crusty characters and blue highways of the West that Vlautin’s experienced as a native Nevadan and now Oregon resident. Lean on Pete is his third book, and it’s the story of a 15-year-old boy named Charley left to fend for himself by his single dad. Charley lands work at the Portland Meadows racetrack and befriends an aging quarter horse named Lean on Pete, along with a cast of characters who will be recognizable to Richmond Fontaine zealots. Vlautin is doing a reading at Sam Weller’s Bookstore early Wednesday evening, then performing as the Richmond Fontaine Acoustic Duo later on, Salt Lake City’s first chance to hear songs from the band’s new album, We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River. Sam Weller’s Bookstore, 254 S. Main, 6 p.m., Free. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. $12 adv./$15 day of show

Coming Up
Flogging Molly (In the Venue, May 7), Loudon Wainwright III (The State Room, May 7), Nashville Pussy (May 8, Club Vegas), Coheed & Cambria (May 10, Murray Theater), Paramore (E Center, May 10), Heartless Bastards (May 11, The State Room), Toots and the Maytals (The Depot, May 11), Drive-By Truckers (May 12, In the Venue)

Dan Nailen:

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