Live Music Picks: April 27-May 3 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: April 27-May 3 

Jon Gudmunson, The Bad Signs, Chance the Rapper and more.

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THURSDAY 4/27
Jon Gudmunson and USU Quartet: Gerry Mulligan Tribute
Baritone saxophonist Jon Gudmunson, director of jazz studies at Utah State University, leads a quartet of his fellow faculty members (Max Matzen on trumpet, Josh Skinner on bass and Jason Nicholson on drums) to pay homage to fellow "bari" maestro Gerry Mulligan. Mulligan was one of the architects of cool jazz, a cerebral musical style that achieved its pinnacle in the 1950s. With his meandering blonde locks and penetrating blue eyes, Gudmunson bears a resemblance to Mulligan in his later years, and knows this particular stream of jazz inside and out. "Jeru," as Mulligan was known, died a little over 20 years ago, in 1996, and this month marks what would have been his 90th birthday. So it's entirely appropriate to examine the impact Mulligan and the other cool cats had on music—and popular culture, as well. After all, what would the '50s (and the ensuing 67 years) have been without the cool daddy-O? (Brian Staker) The Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7:30 p.m., free, all ages, excellenceconcerts.org

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THURSDAY 4/27
California Guitar Trio
Dueling guitars became a basic part of the musical makeup for bands like The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Thin Lizzy, but finding three exceptional players sharing the frontline is something of an anomaly as far as basic band-configuration precepts. So credit three extraordinary players of decidedly different origins—Bert Lams of Belgium, Hideyo Moriya of Japan and Paul Richards, who happens to hail from Bountiful—for a musical collaboration like no other. After becoming acquainted at an advanced music study program overseen by King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, they made their professional bow as part of his innovative ensemble The League of Crafty Guitarists, and subsequently rebranded themselves as California Guitar Trio in 1991. Since then, they've varied their template between originals and covers spanning practically every genre imaginable. Their virtuosity makes them a triple threat and a sure bet. (Lee Zimmerman) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $23, 21+, thestateroomslc.com

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SATURDAY 4/29
The Bad Signs
This Nashville group was spawned when former punk band Blacklist Royals' guitarist Nat Rufus, inspired by a black-and-white biker photo, started a new unit emulating and echoing everything about the darker side of the '60s—namely, rebels with or without a cause, who only cared that the music was loud and the scene was wild. Perhaps it would be the soundtrack to a never-produced Hells Angels movie, or a Tarantino set piece. Along with his brother Rob from the Royals, they nabbed alt-country warbler Samantha Harlow for her Nancy Sinatra-like pipes. Their new EP, Black Magic Moments (Number Nine Creative Cult), is an official Record Store Day release, and if you have the wherewithal to spin it backward, you'll hear back-masked subliminal messages supposedly conjure up demons. All hail Azathoth Pazuzu Presley! (BS) Diabolical Records, 238 S. Edison St., 8 p.m., free, all ages, facebook.com/diabolicalslc

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Chance the Rapper
This year, Chance the Rapper was listed on Fortune magazine's "50 of the World's Greatest Leaders." That's right: The Chicago-born artist we have all grown to know and love is now a world leader. Chance (born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett) started his career with his first self-released mixtape, 10 Day (chanceraps.com) in 2012 and, despite rabid interest from major record labels, fiercely insisted on remaining a DIY artist. He really started blowing up a year later when he dropped Acid Rap, the award-winning album that showcased his singular sound and style. In recent years, Chance has turned his attention to philanthropy, taking a specific interest in public education in his hometown—many have even called for him to be Chi-Town's next mayor. He's touring behind his third self-released mixtape, the gospel-inflected Coloring Book, which dropped last year. (David Miller) Maverik Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, 8 p.m., $39.50-$79.50, all ages, maverikcenter.com

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TUESDAY 5/2
Animals as Leaders, Veil of Maya, Alluvial
Do you recall the first time you heard musicianship that blew your layperson's ears? You know, before you actually picked up a pick or sticks yourself; when you realized a piece of music didn't just sound cool—it was complex and almost alien to you. Although I'd heard plenty of shred-guitar albums as a teen, great playing didn't occur to me until I heard Les Claypool whomping and throttling the bass on the Primus album Sailing the Seas of Cheese (Interscope, 1991). So many years later, hearing Tosin Abasi coax far-out noise from his eight-string guitar on the first Animals as Leaders album (Prosthetic, 2009) brought back that feeling. On their second album, Weightless (Prosthetic, 2011), the group evolved from a solo project into a full trio with Javier Reyes joining as a second eight-stringer and bassist. For 2014's The Joy of Motion, the group—with Matt Garstka replacing Navene Koperweis on drums—signed to Sumerian Records, where they released their current album The Madness of Many (2016). Across all four albums, they've demonstrated that they've got chops for millennia, and each album is a gobsmackin', space-truckin' adventure. Metalcore act Veil of Maya and progressive death metal band Alluvial open. (Randy Harward) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 6 p.m., $26, all ages, thecomplexslc.com

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WEDNESDAY 5/3
All Them Witches, Idle Bloom
In a matter of only five years, All Them Witches have taken the indie world by storm, thanks to a sometimes bizarre blend of psychedelia, blues and hard rock. Their new album—their fourth to date—Sleeping Through the War (New West, 2017) is no exception. But the fact that they recruited veteran producer Dave Cobb (the man behind the boards for such names as Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson), and actually wrote the material before entering the studio, suggests some sort of premeditated madness. In truth, these Witches opt instead for controlled chaos. Given their anything-goes attitude, they're actually a complete left turn from anything else emerging from Nashville—where real premeditation occurs these days. Still, there's something to be said for a band that strikes a balance between impulse and intention: When All Them Witches play live, they're practiced enough to be tight, but also ready to let loose. To be sure, there's no telling what these guitar-toting necromancers will conjure. The co-ed foursome that calls themselves Idle Bloom open the show with a frenetic blend of pop, psychedelia and earnest intent. Also hailing from Nashville, they, too, have nothing in common with the pre-fab, vaguely country pop music that town's known for—and a likewise off-kilter approach. (Lee Zimmerman) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $15, 21+, thestateroomslc.com

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Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman

Bio:
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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