LIVE MUSIC PICKS: APR. 11-17 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

LIVE MUSIC PICKS: APR. 11-17 

Front Country, Blac Rabbit, Adult Prom, The LNRS, Shana Cleveland, and more

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click to enlarge SANDLIN GAITHER
  • Sandlin Gaither

THURSDAY 4/11
Front Country

Bluegrass ain't what it used to be, especially if your definition revolves around a group of hillbillies pluckin' and stompin' on the back porch, delivering their homespun harmonies with barely a care in the world. Nowadays, most bands with contemporary credence extend that high lonesome sound with a new form of drive and intensity, one that spills over with populist appeal and a vibe and veracity that can forge a distinct festival following. So while the West Coast combo Front Country reflect a decided reverence for their roots, their pluck and strum transform them into far more than your average string ensemble. Each of the musicians arrived at the core of the band's sound from different directions. Vocalist Melody Walker was weaned on world music and roots rock. Bassist Jeremy Darrow leaned toward jazz. Mandolin player Adam Roszkiewicz and violinist Leif Karlstrom were classically trained, while guitarist Jacob Groopman served his apprenticeship in an Afrobeat band. After banding together, they entered a local bluegrass competition, and in true storybook fashion, they won. Still, they've made it a point to avoid being typecast as a typical bluegrass band. They supplement their standards with original material, creating a hybrid of rugged Americana and purposeful pop. It might not appeal to purists, but it's clearly capable of garnering mainstream appeal. (Lee Zimmerman) The Depot, 13 N. 400 West, 7:30 p.m., $15 presale; $17 day of show, 21+, depotslc.com

click to enlarge ANGEL BOYD
  • Angel Boyd

FRIDAY 4/12
Blac Rabbit, Adult Prom, The LNRS

Twin brothers Amiri and Rahiem Taylor have a lot in common as co-frontmen of the Brooklyn-based psychedelic rock band Blac Rabbit. They often double each other's guitar riffs for a monophonic effect, and it's difficult for new listeners to tell their singing voices apart. They are musically intertwined—which makes sense, given their shared DNA—but they have their differences, too. Although both men sing and play guitar onstage—backed by Patrick Jones on drums and Josh Lugo on bass—the Taylor twins assume complementary roles in the studio. Rahiem plays drums, bass and guitar, while Amiri plays guitar and keyboards; Rahiem is more the big-picture thinker, whereas Amiri is detail-oriented. At this point, the Taylor twins aren't best known for their original music: YouTube videos of them performing spot-on renditions of mop-top era Beatles songs such as "We Can Work It Out" and "Eight Days a Week" on the New York City Subway have garnered millions of views. (As a result, the group is often mistaken for a cover band.) So far, Blac Rabbit has one album to its name, 2017's six-song, self-titled EP (released digitally by How Far Music) displaying the band's penchant for richly textured '60s psych-pop loaded with fuzzy guitar riffs, a la early Tame Impala. Look for the band's debut full-length album sometime this year. (Howard Hardee) Kilby Court, 748 S. Kilby Court, 7 p.m., $12 presale; $15 day of show, all ages, kilbycourt.com

click to enlarge ELEANOR PETRY
  • Eleanor Petry

Shana Cleveland
Best known as the frontwoman of West Coast surf-punk foursome La Luz, Shana Cleveland has quietly pursued a surreal side project that's as indebted to psychedelia and country as it is to straight-up rock 'n' roll. On new solo album Night of the Worm Moon, Cleveland ventures even farther afield, blending the influence of Afro-futurist jazz a la Sun Ra, the sci-fi novels of Octavia Butler, pastoral Southern California folk and celestial divinity. Night of the Worm Moon was even birthed in the midst of 2017's solar eclipse; during a break in recording, Cleveland viewed the eclipse's totality "through a piece of cardboard projecting onto a garbage can," as she related in a news release for the album, then returned to the studio to find it "covered in crescent suns refracted from a mirrored disco ball" that engineer and band member Johnny Goss had hanging in the window. Such supernatural themes abound on songs like "In Another Realm" and "The Fireball." Night of the Worm Moon expands increasingly outward into our strange 21st-century existence, adding the vibrant perspective of UFO sightings and futuristic plagues to Cleveland's solo output, which started in 2011 with the isolated Oh Man, Cover the Ground. We can't wait to see how Cleveland interprets her songs in the cozy environs of Rye Diner & Drinks. (Nick McGregor) Rye Diner & Drinks, 239 S. 500 East, 6 p.m., $12, all ages, ryeslc.com

click to enlarge DANIEL RAMOS
  • Daniel Ramos

Saturday 4/13
Gunna, Shy Glizzy, Lil Keed

Gunna is having himself a nice little run. From his and Lil Baby's collab project "Drip Harder," appearances on Travis Scott's "Yosemite," Rich The Kid's "Fall Threw" and his own Drip or Drown 2 album dropping in February, the 25-year-old rapper has officially wiggled his way into the mainframe of hip-hop listeners everywhere. He isn't new to the scene by any means, but if you want to find another torch carrier coming out of Atlanta, Gunna's flame is currently one of the brightest. Just as he floats submerged in designer clothing on the Drip or Drown 2 cover, Gunna's drowsy tone is much like that—wet, and dripping with character. Gunna's made strides to enhance his artistry, and he can no longer be categorized as just another one of Young Thug's disciples. Joining him are Shy Glizzy, out of Washington, D.C., and fellow YSL signee Lil Keed. (Isaac Biehl) The Depot, 13 N. 400 West, 7 p.m., $27.50, depotslc.com

click to enlarge MARCUS MADDOX
  • Marcus Maddox

MONDAY 4/15
Low Cut Connie, Balto

If you like piano-pounding rock 'n' roll, blue-eyed soul filtered through a manic rockabilly lens and the sweaty R&B gumbo of mid-century New Orleans, Low Cut Connie is a must-see. This Philly five-piece lights every stage on fire, frontman Adam Weiner mounting his piano like Little Richard's long-lost grandson while he screams and shouts and a rotating cast of backing band members match that ferocity, often writhing and stomping on the floor. Last year's full-length Dirty Pictures (Part 2) attracted rave reviews from Rolling Stone, NPR and superstars like Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, but Low Cut Connie can bring the house down with any of their older material, too, expressing a zeal for transformation that Weiner lives and breathes every day: "We change the molecules in the room," he says with confidence in Low Cut Connie's biography. This show promises to be even more exciting because it serves as a homecoming of sorts for supporting band Balto, who've racked up more than three million Spotify streams plying a road-tested brand of Motown-influenced roots rock. Dan Sheron, Seth and Ben Mower and Carl Osterlof might call Los Angeles home, but the Mower brothers have deep ties in Utah, so expect them to breathe fire into 2018 tracks "Songs for Viktor," "Still Don't Know" and "Black Snake, Mojave Blues" here at The State Room. (NM) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $18, 21+, thestateroompresents.com

click to enlarge PRICILLA C SCOTT
  • Pricilla C Scott

Failure, Swervedriver, No Win
Failure might have initially found themselves a bit lost in the shuffle of the 1990s alt-rock boom, but the richly detailed soundscapes and strong melodic instincts of albums such as Fantastic Planet and Magnified garnered the group a devoted following long after their breakup in 1997—a following that includes members of Tool, Depeche Mode and Queens of the Stone Age, to name just a few. In recent years, Failure has proven to be one of the more successful '90s reunion acts, releasing two more well-received albums since getting back together in 2014. Their most recent effort, last year's In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind, shows their heady blend of grunge, art rock and psychedelia is just as potent as ever, addressing themes of technological paranoia and isolation that will likely only become more relevant with time. Failure is currently on tour in support of In the Future alongside fellow '90s soundsmiths Swervedriver, themselves fresh off a run of two comeback albums over the past half decade. The bands co-headline at the Urban Lounge; Los Angeles indie-rock group No Win opens. (Nic Renshaw) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 7 p.m., $30 presale; $35 day of show, theurbanloungeslc.com

click to enlarge LIBOR GALIA
  • Libor Galia

TUESDAY 4/16
Health, Youth Code

Listening to Health is a bit like listening to the sonic equivalent of an apocalyptic hellscape. "Here alone/ We didn't choose to be born/ Under the dying sun," Jake Duzsik sings, disaffected, on "Feel Nothing," a track from Health's fourth album, Vol. 4 :: Slaves of Fear, released in February of this year. The underlying sentiment of the L.A.-based noise rock group's music has always been the bewildering, brutal nature of being alive and human: "Life is but a burning rotten stinking ground/ Here we're young and ugly, only if we're lucky/ We get to watch the ones we love get sick and break down," Duzsik chants on "Loss Deluxe." Duzsik, the band's guitarist and lead vocalist, described their latest album as "darker, heavier, dirtier" than their previous work in Flood Magazine—a kind of pure nihilism. But that doesn't mean the band can't see the beauty, too (drugs help): In a 2015 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Duzsik said, "I find it bewildering that we're all alive, but existence is kind of magical. You can minutely change your brain's chemistry and have a whole new perspective." Duzsik is accompanied by BJ Miller (drums) and John Famiglietti (bass); together, the three have carved a path from relentless, obliterating noise rock to a finely tuned, melodic noise-scape that incorporates elements of electronica, dance music, industrial—screeching, scraping, abrasive intrusions of sound—and, in a strangely perfect pairing, pop, courtesy of Duzsik. Bring earplugs. (Naomi Clegg) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $20 presale; $25 day of show, theurbanloungeslc.com

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