LIVE MUSIC PICKS: AUG. 15-21 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

LIVE MUSIC PICKS: AUG. 15-21 

Flying Lotus, Brandon Coleman Spacetalker, Salami Rose Joe Louis, PBDY, Courtney Barnett, Snail Mail, Choir Boy, and more.

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click to enlarge RENATA RAKSHA
  • Renata Raksha

THURSDAY 8/15
Flying Lotus, Brandon Coleman Spacetalker, Salami Rose Joe Louis, PBDY

On July 23, 2012, Flying Lotus released "Between Friends" on Adult Swim's Singles block, a normal move for him as a regular producer for Adult Swim's iconic late-night bumps. The song featured Earl Sweatshirt and a previously-unheard-of rapper, Captain Murphy, who together created one of the best tracks of that year. A week later, a second Captain Murphy song appeared, and the internet sleuthing machine percolated. Is it Tyler? Earl slowed down? Rejjie Snow claimed the identity to snatch some celebrity. Of course we couldn't rule out FlyLo himself as a suspect, but Captain Murphy also seemed unlikely to be just one person. Then November 2012 came, and the Duality mixtape hit. It was good—like really good, featuring Jeremiah Jae, Teebs, Samiyam, Lotus and more. Eventually, Captain Murphy decided to come out, at a live set in LA's Low End Theory (RIP). At this show, FlyLo revealed "I am Captain Murphy," an identity he took to avoid identity altogether. "I want to see if it's any good first without any co-signs," he told XXL in 2013. "I want to see if motherfuckers are really gravitating towards it." Flying Lotus has rarely rapped since, mostly sticking to producing, but the Captain Murphy minisaga is evidence of his thoughtful place in this decade's evolution of rap production. Since then, Flying Lotus has remained one of the most interesting producers to work with, as evidenced by his 2019 release Flamgra, which features collaborations with Solange, Little Dragon, David Lynch and more. It's also a stage performance you don't want to miss. (Parker S. Mortensen) Union Event Center, 235 N. 500 West, 8 p.m. $27.50-$30, all ages, theunioneventcenter.com

click to enlarge ANDY WITCHGER
  • Andy Witchger

Courtney Barnett, Snail Mail, Choir Boy
This trifecta might just be the crown jewel of the 2019 Twilight Concert Series. Start with headliner Courtney Barnett, one of indie rock's sharpest purveyors of self-deprecation and, currently, heavy touring: In 2019 alone, she's visited South America, Mexico, Eastern Europe, the U.K. and Asia, making her one-off summer stop in Salt Lake City cause for celebration. Her ability to narrate daily minutiae with a deadpan lyrical delivery, while contrasting it with scorching guitar freak-outs, makes her something to witness. Her albums Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (2015) and Tell Me How You Really Feel (2018) are bona fide voices of the millennial generation. "I like exploring the little things and putting a magnifying glass over them," Barnett tells City Weekly. Opening is Snail Mail, hailing from the same spiritual and stylistic tree as Barnett. Frontwoman Lindsey Jordan might have just turned 20, and her debut full-length Lush might be less than a year old, but Jordan relates her ever-evolving tales of teenage indifference with a mournful worldliness that highlights the importance of mental health. Local openers Choir Boy double down on this focus, with frontman Adam Klopp flipping the insult he copped as a Cleveland teen playing punk with an angelic voice into a heartbreaking run of romantic releases like 2016's Passive with Desire and 2017's Sunday Light. After this hometown show, Choir Boy keeps up the star-studded itinerary, playing Denver, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles with Snail Mail, before joining hybrid hardcore hellraisers Ceremony for a run of cross-country shows. (Nick McGregor) Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 6 p.m., $10 presale; $15 day of show; $50 VIP, all ages, twilightconcerts.com

click to enlarge VICTOR BARAJAS
  • Victor Barajas

FRIDAY 8/16
Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Lean Canteen
They don't call Wayne Hancock "The Train" for nothing. His affinity for Texas traditions has been an essential part of his musical mantra ever since he won his first performance competition at the age of 18. Now known as a champion of authentic juke-joint honkytonk, he underscores his reputation through an insurgent stance and an uncompromising attitude. He is, in every sense, an authentic outlaw, evidenced by the fact that he once described himself on his website as "like a stab wound in the fabric of country music in Nashville. See that bloodstain slowly spreading? That's me." The man doesn't mince words. Then again, his influences say it all, given that he derives his sound from such iconic originals as Hank Williams, Hank Snow and Jimmie Rodgers. He's established a style that's best described as "countrypolitan"—a mix of roots, rockabilly and western swing. It's retro-sounding for sure, but out of this world as well. And for good reason: A Hancock CD was once brought along on the space shuttle. As for Hancock himself, he puts in plenty of long-distance travel here on Earth—he once claimed that his van had racked up nearly half a million miles. "My mission was to make good music," he told The Daily Times of Tennessee in 2018. "I never intended to make music for money. There's nothing wrong with making money, but when that's all you're looking for, there's something wrong with that. I believe in playing for the people, not for the money." That's a notion that we frugal folks can appreciate. (Lee Zimmerman) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 7 p.m., $18 presale; $20 day of show, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

click to enlarge JAMIE WDZIEKONSKI
  • Jamie Wdziekonski

TUESDAY 8/20
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Stonefield, ORB

It's undeniable that rock music in the 2010s has stagnated somewhat in comparison to previous decades, but any music fan worth their salt can still name a handful of younger acts pumping fresh life into the genre. With each passing year, it's increasingly evident that King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is one of those acts. The Melbourne-based septet is one of the most prolific and ambitious creative forces in rock today, with each album veering off into wildly different styles and sounds while still retaining the band's distinct brand of psychedelic quirkiness. From the fuzzed-out garage punk of 12 Bar Bruise to the jazz fusion noodling of Quarters! to Flying Microtonal Banana's dive into Middle-Eastern tuning systems, there doesn't seem to be a single shade of rock music Stu Mackenzie and co. won't enthusiastically absorb and bend to their will. In addition to averaging two full-length releases a year since 2012, the band has plenty else going on—their record label, Flightless Records, is quickly becoming one of Australia's foremost indie labels, and they've been organizing their own Gizzfest music festival since 2015. King Giz is currently gearing up for their second release of 2019, an excursion into thrash metal and stoner rock called Infest the Rat's Nest, as well as touring, which includes a stop here in Salt Lake City. Fellow Australians, the psych-rockers Stonefield, and ORB open. (Nic Renshaw) The Depot, 13 N. 400 West, 7 p.m., $25, 21+, depotslc.com

click to enlarge JULIAN COUSINS
  • Julian Cousins

WEDNESDAY 8/21
Denzel Curry, $uicideboy$, Shoreline Mafia, City Morgue, Germ, Night Lovell, Trash

Denzel Curry, one of the best artists in hip-hop under 25 in the country right now, returns to Salt Lake City after playing just last year at The Complex—this time in support of hip-hop duo $uicideboy$, who are also accompanied by a stacked lineup of artists. Curry just released a new album Zuu back in May, a title which references his hometown of Carol City, Fla., a place where Curry experienced violence and tragedy, both of which he rises above. His work, including this album, is colored with lyrics and melodies that play to his deeper ambitions. So far, each project in his discography has been well-rounded, soulful and introspective, though Zuu is a bit more upbeat than his debut, Ta13oo. His new single, "Ricky," might sound aggressive, but if you take away the booming production, he is really talking about people deftly—a concept that hip-hop could always use. In fact, Curry represents a movement of young rappers who respect the conventions that hip-hop purists hold so dear while still pushing the genre forward with fresh perspectives, new ears and a clearer vision of a future that they are charged to shape. Young-blooded artists like Curry are what keep hip-hop culture surviving and thriving, and fans and artists alike are better for it. Make sure to take the time to witness the future of hip-hop out in the desert air of Saltair. (Keith L. McDonald) Great Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Drive, 6:30p.m., $39.95–$59.95, all ages, thesaltair.com

click to enlarge PIPER FERGUSON
  • Piper Ferguson
Iron & Wine, Calexico, Orville Peck, Sammy Brue
The paths of Iron & Wine and Calexico have crossed once before. In 2005, Sam Beam took the first tentative step toward expanding the hushed bedroom-folk palette of his Iron & Wine project with In the Reins, a seven-song album recorded with jazz-influenced Arizona desert-rock outfit Calexico. A decade-and-a-half later, their collaboration leaves behind the dustbin of record-geek nostalgia for the here-and-now of big summer festivals, thanks to new album Years to Burn. Written collectively, Beam trades choruses with Calexico's frontmen John Convertino and Joey Burns as the project builds to a cathartic climax. Take the harmonious verses on lead single "Father Mountain," which deserves to be canonized as an American classic, or the soulful "What Heaven's Left," which indulges Beam's evolving love of soul music. It's as if these longtime musical friends are no longer just working together, but working as one. Opener Orville Peck, a Sub Pop Records labelmate, is equally intriguing, but a far more mysterious figure. Recently described by Billboard as "the masked gay crooner revitalizing classic country's spirit," Peck performs in leather face fringe and has assiduously kept his true identity under wraps. But as he relayed in that Billboard interview, "I don't feel like I'm hiding behind a mask at all. It's actually quite the opposite—the mask and all of that has allowed me to be a lot more exposed." Peck's debut full-length Pony mixes the nostalgic traditionalism of Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak with a kaleidoscopic view of American subculture a la Lavender Country and Roselit Bone, cult outsider acts from either end of alt-country's generational spectrum. (NM) Ogden Amphitheater, 343 E. 25th St., 5 p.m., $10 presale; $15 day of show, all ages, ogdentwilight.com

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