Vampire Weekend, Beach House, Dead Confederate, Coliseum, Moab Music Fest, Mumly Troll, Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses & Suckers 

Live: Music Picks September 2-8

click to enlarge Vampire Weekend
  • Vampire Weekend

Thursday 9.2
Vampire Weekend, Beach House

Based on the evidence included on both their self-titled debut album and its hugely successful follow-up, Contra, Vampire Weekend just might be the funkiest collection of white college kids to come out of New York City since the Talking Heads. And this despite a moniker that suggests pasty-faced goth kids. Songs like “A-Punk” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” were ideal early showcases of the band’s blend of Western pop with African music, and successful tours and festival appearances set Vampire Weekend up for the explosive success of their sophomore album; Contra debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s album-sales chart when it was released in January. Contra is not a sonic leap forward; it’s more of a continuation of what the band started on their 2008 debut. But that’s not a bad thing. Opening the show is Baltimore dreamy pop duo Beach House, touring in support of their critically hailed Teen Dream album. In The Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7:30 p.m., $32.50

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Dead Confederate
Youthful Athens, Ga., quintet Dead Confederate garnered serious buzz with their moody, mournful debut album, Wrecking Ball. Somehow, they landed on tours supporting that album with a couple of acts far older than their crew of 20somethings—notably Dinosaur Jr. and the Meat Puppets—and the effect of hearing those old road dogs every night is evident all over Dead Confederate’s new set, Sugar. Gone are the languid jams stretching past the five-minute mark, replaced by catchier, shorter songs played with just as much intensity and emotion. Sugar was produced by John Agnello, a vet of projects with Sonic Youth and The Hold Steady, and he captured the sound of a young band just starting to blossom as songwriters and performers. And they even got Dino Jr.’s J Mascis to lend a hand. That buzz left over from Dead Confederate’s debut is about to get a lot louder. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $12

Friday 9.3
Coliseum
Kentucky-bred power-trio Coliseum could be just another group of Southern-tinged lunkhead rockers if it weren’t for a distinct sense of melody and knack for hooks that is easily apparent on the band’s new House With A Curse album. Yes, the band is fast and heavy, but that’s not the sole point of Coliseum’s existence, and the band’s slew of fist-pumping anthems is sure to please fans of like-minded (at least sonically) crews like Queens of the Stone Age. Still, the band is thoughtful enough to elicit contributions from unexpected sources like Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Jawbox’s J. Robbins—not exactly names commonly thrown around when discussing Southern metal. Burning Love and Accidente open the show. Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 8 p.m., $10

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Moab Music Festival
Sometimes the environment can make a concert, and while the music performed at the Moab Music Festival is nothing to sniff at, it’s the incredible settings that really make this an experience all Utahns should consider at some point. The three-day festival, now in its 18th year, is dominated by classical music, and this year’s program includes the Sept. 4 Western U.S. premiere of Paquito D’Rivera’s Conversations with Cachao, an homage to the inventor of the mambo, Israel Cachao Lopez. Put that program together with Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue & Riffs and Stravinsky’s Suite from the Firebird, all performed on the banks of the Colorado River among towering red rock cliffs, and you have an experience unmatched in the West. And that’s just one evening’s program; visit MoabMusicFestival.org for a complete lineup and more details about the festival. Various locations, Moab. MoabMusicFestival.org.

Saturday 9.4

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Mumly Troll
Okay, Utah Jazz fans, if you ever wanted to see Andrei Kirilenko party down with his bad, nearly 7-foot self, this show would be the place. Mumly Troll is mega-huge in its native Russia, boasting an expansive sonic approach that’s garnered comparisons to Devo, PiL, Devotchka and Afghan Whigs from Americans exposed to the quartet’s sound. It’s post-punk you can dance to, with a large dash of humor, as evidenced by Mumly Troll’s video for “Polar Bear” on FunnyorDie.com, full of copulating plushies and pickles. Run Run Run open the show. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $15

Monday 9.6

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Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses
One would think winning an Oscar and Golden Globe for “Best Original Song” would shoot an artist straight into the heat of the mainstream spotlight. But Ryan Bingham has an extra hurdle to clear before making the leap from critical darling to pop star—that award-winning song he co-wrote with producer T-Bone Burnett, “The Weary Kind,” was sung by someone else; namely, Jeff Bridges in his own Oscar-winning role in Crazy Heart. Bingham’s new album, Junky Star, might do the trick, though. It’s a collection of gritty country-rock and folk that deftly showcases his talents as a songwriter. His smokey voice is well suited to the new songs, and Burnett’s production showcases Bingham’s long-time band in the best possible light. Live, the songs old and new should make for a fine Labor Day excursion to Park City. Crooked Still and Sara Watkins open the show. Deer Valley, 2250 Deer Valley Drive South, 6 p.m., $35 lawn/$65 reserved

Tuesday 9.7

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Suckers
Typically, when I see a band referred to as “art-pop,” I run the other way. But I’m glad I didn’t when it comes to Suckers, the Brooklyn quartet led by guitar-playing, singing cousins Austin Fisher and Quinn Walker. The band’s album, Wild Smile, is a joyful mix of Beach Boys harmonies and the African rhythms that seem to infiltrate any band from Brooklyn these days. There’s no reason these guys won’t blow up to Vampire Weekend-sized proportions in no time, especially if their live show can capture the energy the band managed in the recording studio. Colors opens the show. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $8

Coming Up
The Higher (Avalon Theater, Sept. 9), Arrington de Dionyso (Captain Captain Studios, Sept. 10), Willie Nelson (Red Butte Garden, Sept. 10), !!! (Club Sound, Sept. 11), David Bazan, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band (The Urban Lounge, Sept. 11), DevilDriver (In The Venue, Sept. 11), Casiotone For The Painfully Alone (Slowtrain, Sept. 12), Autolux (The Urban Lounge, Sept. 13), Brandi Carlile, Katie Herzig (The State Room, Sept. 14), Efterklang, Buke and Gass (The Urban Lounge, Sept. 14), Free Energy, Titus Andronicus (Kilby Court, Sept. 14)

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