Live Music Picks: April 19-25 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: April 19-25 

MC Chris, Talia Keys & the Love, Nick Passey, Brian Wilson and more.

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  • Mara Robinson

MC Chris, Bitforce
Mainstream nerdery has already conquered vast swathes of popular culture, and the world of hip-hop and heavy metal are no exceptions. In fact, with the rise of the nerdcore movement, these two seemingly unrelated musical genres have been some of geek culture's most eager adopters. One of nerdcore's pioneering members is Los Angelino mc chris, who earned his nerdy chops as the lead animator on some of Adult Swim's foundational programming, including Sealab 2021, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He's released a total of 17 albums—the most recent being The April Fools Collection released via Bandcamp on April 1. It's a mashup of hip-hop odes to characters like Ash Williams from Evil Dead ("detriment to the Deadites/ they might end up even deader/ I trap them then I blast them/ assassin wearing leather") and Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter, plus meditations on David Lynch's surreal Twin Peaks. Texas-based Bitforce joins mc chris for this leg of the tour, complementing the pop culture-obsessed hip-hop with some metal remixes of classic music from old-school and contemporary video games, along with a few riffs on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for good measure. For better or worse, nerdcore is here to stay, and this particular lineup promises to officiate an unholy, polyamorous union among hip-hop, heavy metal and goofy-ass media references. (Alex Springer) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 6 p.m., 21+, $17 presale; $20 day of show,

  • Sam Crump

Talia Keys & the Love album release, Dale James
"I am here to fuck shit up," Talia Keys says in her bio touting the release of We're Here (, her second full-length album (not counting Soak Your Meat in This, her 2012 debut as a member of Marinade). She follows this proclamation with a shit-specific checklist: "Music. Politics. Stereotypes. Patriarchy. Hatred. Judgement. Gender Roles." With a to-do list like that, it's good that she's got backup. Once again produced by local studio wiz Mike Sasich, We're Here is the first album credited to Talia Keys & the Love, the band she's been performing with for the past few years. Keys is already known for incendiary live performances with and without a band, but this group consists of four aces—drummer Dave Brogan (ALO, Incidental Animals, Mokie), keyboardist Ryan Conger (Joe McQueen Quartet, Earthestra), bassist Josh Olsen and backing vocalist Lisa Giacoletto. The musicians pour extra fuel on the album's dozen fiery tracks including the reggae-inflected "Burn" (where Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" meets Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up"), the fuzzy funk-rock jam "Rise Up" and the nimble hip-hop number "Closed Mouth"—making We're Here a stunning personal and collective manifesto. (Randy Harward) The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $15, 21+,

  • Eric Bates

Nick Passey vinyl release
Why pay a therapist when you can work out your worries through songwriting? Just Working Through Some Shit (, 2017) came about when Folk Hogan frontguy Nick Passey's therapist told him that, if nothing else, his problems were great song fodder. Without context, telling him to do something he already does seems like an obvious insight for $75 an hour. But reading between the lines, Passey's therapist meant he should examine what was coming through his pen, but also to write with the intent of purging said metaphorical poop. "It's cheaper than therapy/ to keep writin' four-chord songs/ I always seem to find the friends that don't mind singin' along," Passey sings on the title track. When his chorus of familiars answers, "Frankly, you've been worryin' us with all your sad, sad songs," Passey replies, "Everything's just fine/ I'm just workin' through some shit." In that song, and the four that follow, he strays from Folk Hogan's folk-punk tunes into territory more familiar to fans of musician-satirist Tom Lehrer, mope maven Mark Eitzel and wiseass stoner bard Todd Snider. This reveals Passey to be an artist with infinitely more to say—which makes his therapist's advice psychologically, musically and financially sound. (RH) The Patio, 328 S. State, 10 p.m., free, 21+,

  • J-Hamm 2000 via Wikimedia Commons

Brian Wilson with Al Jardine
One of the most iconic artists of our time—the man responsible for helping to expand the boundaries of pop music—Brian Wilson is also a tortured genius, a man whose battles with psychosis, dependency, insecurity and various shamans have taken their toll on his sanity and stability. It's surprising—make that shocking—that Wilson found the stamina to return to the road, intent on reviving his aborted masterpiece Smile, to tout the 50th anniversary of his classic album Pet Sounds and celebrate a half century of the Beach Boys via 2012's much-ballyhooed reunion tour. Sadly, the harmony and happiness evoked by the latter didn't last very long once his cousin and former collaborator Mike Love opted to fire the last surviving Wilson brother and abscond with the brand at the same time. Happily, Brian rebounded, enlisting original Beach Boy Al Jardine and transitional member Blondie Chaplin to carry on. With an ace backing band in tow, their performance not only revisits the group's seminal classics, but provides an added authenticity by having the Beach Boys' original instigator involved. Indeed, the opportunity to witness a living legend guarantees a memorable experience. Naturally, one can expect to hear the hits, but it's the gentle journey back to a time when innocence and exuberance weren't in such short supply that makes it sublime as well. (Lee Zimmerman) Tuacahn Center for the Arts, 1100 Tuacahn Drive, Ivins, 8 p.m., $55-$80,

  • Andrew Paynter

Rogue Wave: Asleep at Heaven's Gate
Rogue Wave's early opus Asleep At Heaven's Gate—originally released in 2007, and recently reissued to mark its 10-year anniversary—is, by the band members' own admission, still a highpoint of their fabled career. An album of shifting sentiments, expansive melodies and obvious ambition, it remains a source of pride and prominence, reflecting what their namesake Zach Rogue later described in a news release as "the most magical and productive time we ever had as a band." Indeed, it's evident now that it laid a foundation for a sound that's not easily defined, but consistently peers upward regardless. As the band takes a victory lap to commemorate their milestone, they've opted to perform the album in full, giving its eloquence, intrigue and experimentation another opportunity to come to the fore. Rogue also noted, that at the time, the group was immersing themselves in some essential soundtracks—Tron, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining in particular—and it was the influence of the music's composer, synthesizer pioneer Wendy Carlos, that informed their efforts. Those lessons were also tucked away for the future, and as their last effort—2016's tellingly titled Delusions of Grand Fur—attests, ambiance and atmosphere remain as integral to their MO as the hook-laden songs they shadow. (LZ) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., 21+, $16 presale; $18 day of show,

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Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman

An accomplished writer, blogger and reviewer, Zimmerman contributes to several local and national publications, including No Depression, Paste, Relix and Goldmine. The music obsessive says he owns too many albums to count and numerous instruments he’s yet to learn.

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