Live: Music Picks Feb. 6-12 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live: Music Picks Feb. 6-12 

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Mountain Standard Time
In these days of genre-blending, bands are often unconcerned with labels, instead branching out creatively and going boldly into the unknown. For Nederland, Colo.-based five-piece Mountain Standard Time, throwing out the book meant creating an entirely new genre, which the band termed "Rocky Mountain freegrass." It acknowledges that Mountain Standard Time's sound is based largely in bluegrass, but also includes off-thewall flavors like prog-rock, Americana and even Latin. For example, on "Forgotten for Rotten," from the band's latest release, EP Sunny-released about a year ago-it somehow totally works for a jangly, lightning-fast mandolin part to give way to a spaced-out dub-influenced interlude, which warps into a Primus-worthy bass line and then jumps back to mandolin. Combine that instrumental freedom with smooth vocal harmonies and high energy, and you have a fresh take on bluegrass that's both slightly familiar and stimulatingly new. George Kilby Jr. will start things off. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $12, TheStateRoom. com; limited no-fee tickets available at


The Menzingers
Soaring guitar chords, check. Vocals/yells from a guy who sounds like he smokes a pack a day, check. Driving one-two-three-four drumming, check. Yes, Scranton, Pa., foursome The Menzingers have all the crucial ingredients for a punk sound that would appeal to fans of the Bouncing Souls and Against Me! But their emotional lyrics and thoughtful songwriting reveal a poetically human perspective on some of the crappiest parts of life: These are songs you could listen to after any bad day, and know there's someone else out there who gets it. The Menzingers' latest release, fulllength album On the Impossible Past (Epitaph)-released in 2012-deals with loneliness ("Gates"), complicated relationships with old friends ("Mexican Guitars"), self-doubt ("Good Things") and lots of other tough subjects every person out there has dealt with at some point. OWTH, Broadway Calls and Problem Daughter are also on the bill. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 7 p.m., $12 in advance, $14 day of show,; limited no-fee tickets available at

Jon Batiste & Stay Human
Watching New Orleans-born jazzman Jon Batiste tickle the ivories or play the melodica (a harmonica/keyboard hybrid) is to see a true virtuoso at work. With fingers flying so fast they almost blur together, his creativity and musicianship is largely unmatched. Educated at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Juilliard, Batiste comes from a well-known musical family, whose ties to NOLA's musical identity are so prominent that they were the inspiration for HBO's Treme. The 27-year-old is now based in New York City, where he works as the artistic director at large for Harlem's National Jazz Museum. Batiste performs solo worldwide but can usually be found alongside his band, Stay Human, which is made up of Juilliard contemporaries with masterful skills on trumpet, saxophone and percussion. The band's latest album, Social Music-released in fall 2013-oozes soul, and features original material as well as a couple covers, including the well-known folk song "St. James Infirmary Blues." (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 7:30 p.m., $20-$69,


Dresses' music is peppy enough to accompany a montage in a rom-com. Maybe this is because the Portland, Ore., pair, consisting of Timothy Heller (the girl, FYI) and Jared Ryan Maldonado, have a romance in real life. Their debut album, Sun Shy, came out in September 2013 and is replete with bright-eyed indie-style tracks. Dresses' songs are full of lyrics that are often as fresh-faced as they are raw, such as on "Painting Roses," when Maldonado sings about love troubles: "I told myself I'm not a person who would need someone, then why do I feel alone?" Dresses' lyrics are like a stream-of-consciousness narrative from the head of a teenager in emotional crisis-in a good way. Her Luminaria and Cade Walker will open. (Hilary Packham)
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 8 p.m., $8 in advance, $10 day of show,; limited no-fee tickets available at


The new album from Bowling Green, Ky., pop-rock band Sleeper/Agent doesn't yet have a title or a definite release date (sometime this year), but an incredible lyric video recently released for the single "Waves" will certainly keep the anticipation high. Directed and edited by, as well as starring, lead vocalist Alex Kandel and vocalist/guitarist Tony Smith, the highly creative video features lyrics scrawled onto skin with markers, written on fences with chalk, tattooed into skin, smeared across mirrors, written on newspapers, unrolled on toilet paper and even formed with chunks of hair on a floor. Smith told Rolling Stone that the impossibly catchy song is "ultimately about a private apocalypse. It's about closing chapters of the past and watching all you knew crumble before you." While that may initially sound depressing, "Waves" is focused on the hope and grit it takes to move forward. New Politics will also perform. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6 p.m., $15 in advance, $17 day of show,


Ark Life
That this young band has shared stages with big names such as Ringo Starr, The Head & the Heart, The Moondoggies and more seems to contradict the fact that Denver indie-rock/garage-soul band Ark Life isn't even a year old. In fact, they're so new that they haven't released an actual album yet- but one is in the works. In the meantime, the best way to get acquainted with Ark Life's music (other than tracking down the couple of live videos floating around online) is to get a free three-day trial on Daytrotter and check out the band's amazing live-recorded session, which showcases incredible musicianship and effortless chemistry between the six members. Ark Life's sound features Jesse Elliott's twangy voice at the fore, backed by gorgeous three-part harmonies between keyboardist Lindsay Giles, bassist Anna Morsett and guitarist Natalie Tate. You'll be humming the sweet "Hello L-O-V-E" for the rest of the day. The Bully and The Deseret Drifters are also on the bill. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $5,

With a knack for creating inventive reggae-tinged alt-rock, Passafire defies you not to shake your head-covered with dreads or free-flowing locks. Passafire's latest album, Vine-released in fall 2013-debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae chart, and since then, the band has shown no sign of slowing down, continuing their Winter Brewhaha Tour to Utah. The album outshines their 2011 album, Start From Scratch, with a mixture of various rock and reggae flavors starting with the bass-heavy "Earthquake" and switching to more rock-filled tempos. Ballyhoo! joins Passafire on stage. (Ana Bentz)
In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 9 p.m., $13 in advance, $15 day of show,

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