Live Music Picks: January 11-17 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: January 11-17 

Anders Osborne, Lark & Spur, Krizz Kaliko, FireHouse and more.

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  • Dwight Marshall

Anders Osborne, Smooth Hound Smith
Singer-songwriter Anders Osborne makes regular rounds through Salt Lake City, cruising through as recently as last summer with N.M.O., a side project with some of the dudes from the southern rock/blues group North Mississippi Allstars. What's so special about the New Orleans blues hound's upcoming two-night stand at The State Room, then? Well, he's playing completely solo this time, which might seem like a departure for the fiery guitar player, but stands to highlight the vivid imagery, storytelling and dark humor often coloring his songs. Take, for instance, "Blame It On a Few," a standout track off Osborne's Which Way To Here (Okeh, 1995), on which he sings: "Sweet Annie put on too much makeup/ She put lipstick all over her face/ She yells, 'Frankie play me a happy song'/ and starts dancin' all over the place." It's pure roots-rock made distinct through Osborne's signature sound and songwriting. His guitar, tuned to open D, sounds unusually rich and powerful, and his lyrics explore themes of addiction, loss, redemption and facing hard truths. All in all, Osborne is a soulful, passionate performer who has a way of moving listeners. Rounding out the bill is Smooth Hound Smith, a boot-stompin' roots-rock duo out of Nashville. (Howard Hardee) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $30-$50, 21+,

  • Lex B. Anderson

Lark & Spur: An Evening in Paris
Last July saw a rare occurrence: two shows by the SLC acoustic sextet Lark & Spur. The scarcity of their performances, L&S cofounder Jeff Whiteley said, is due to his busy schedule booking and promoting his Excellence in the Community concert series, which shines a spotlight on local musicians working in jazz, blues and world music. Interestingly, L&S formed when Whiteley and singer Lori Decker were street musicians in Paris, an experience that Whiteley says directly inspired the free weekly series. Nearly 500 shows later, Excellence is a local music institution, and Whiteley is still working hard for his fellow artists—but finding more time to showcase Lark & Spur's music. On Friday and Saturday, the group—accompanied by dancers Casey and Kayci Treu—reprises their July performances, which recreated those magical nights performing in Paris with a set of French folk and gypsy swing songs, Musette dance tunes, Edith Piaf songs, cabaret tunes and stories. "A big part of the show [is] stories about our adventures in France woven into the intros for each tune," Whiteley says. "We also translate the lyrics, and we have fabulous dancers interpreting the songs." These are the first indoor performances of An Evening in Paris, and the Grand Theatre at Salt Lake Community College's South City Campus is a fittingly elegant setting. Whiteley is excited about performing in the Grand, but says his experiences in France taught him that the music is what matters most. "In France, the people paid attention when the quality of the music was high," Whiteley says. "The setting did not matter." (Randy Harward) SLCC Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State, 7:30 p.m., $10-$20 (free with valid junior high or high school ID), 5+,

  • Kate Patten VIA Wikimedia

FireHouse, Penrose
North Carolina hair farmers FireHouse are technically ineligible for the tag, "'80s hard rock/glam band" because their self-titled debut didn't come out until 1990. Also, the fact that the album went double platinum and included one of the biggest power ballads of all time ("Love of a Lifetime") means we also can't really call them a casualty of the grunge era. It's as though they happened too late but just in time, in some loophole universe between dying and nascent musical movements that was just large enough to accommodate a sophomore album (Reach for the Sky, 1992) that included another hit prom song ("When I Look Into Your Eyes") and went gold. They had a minor hit with another schmaltz fest ("I Live My Life for You") in 1995 and while it wasn't, as the band sings on FireHouse, "All She Wrote," it was all we read about them for a while. They've continued to tour and release new music, and even new recordings of old songs, but they don't quite measure up to the band's early work. And FireHouse is tough to beat, packed with fist-pumping anthems where chunky riffs play against candy-coated sing-along choruses and lyrics about forever-love and/or fucking. Alongside albums like Warrant's Cherry Pie, it helped temporarily stave off the genre's Ice Age, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the band's set list includes almost the entire thing. But expect a few tracks from Hold Your Fire, one from 2003's Prime Time and a Kiss cover so obvious that it need not be named. (Randy Harward) Leatherheads Sports Bar 12101 S. Factory Outlet Drive, Draper, 8 p.m., $25 presale; $29 day of show, 21+,

  • Liquid 9

Krizz Kaliko, Slo Pain, Izzy Dunfore, Chez, Fatt G, Dr. Grimm & Mista Ice Pick, Sin Hiddensound
Rappers like to pump themselves up, to mythologize their backstories, call themselves geniuses or warriors or whatever. It's trite, it's pointless and, worst of all, it breeds and empowers too many barrel-chested, dead-eyed idiots who think a meritless proclamation of greatness equals legit cred and demand for their Soundcloud mixtapes. Although Krizz Kaliko called his second album Genius (Strange Music, 2009), he didn't belabor the point on the title track. When he rhymed about getting rich on "Getcha Life Right," he prioritized the titular advice. And then there's "Bipolar," where Kaliko discusses his mental illness—which nearly caused him to murder his girlfriend and kill himself at 25. How many rappers do you know who eschew self-aggrandizement for intimacy and substance? They're out there, of course, but they're harder to hear in a genre where boisterous, unwarranted chest-beating is expected and applauded. Yet Kaliko has kept it real on each of his albums, from his 2008 debut Vitiligo (named after the skin condition that caused him so much emotional pain as a child) through 2016's G.O., with songs that let his listeners know they're not alone and encourage them to be better people. This, while not getting too preachy or forgetting to have fun (see "Ti**ies" from 2013's Son of Sam and "Butt Naked Fun" from Genius). Great artists bleed for their art and Kaliko paints in detail with the emotional equivalent of arterial spurt. (RH) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $18 presale; $20 day of show, 21+,

  • Mark Leibowitz

Brett Dennen
Pretty much everything about Brett Dennen is youthful. He's bespectacled, baby-faced and appears to be about 13 years old (somehow, he's 39). One of his most successful singles, "Wild Child," is an ode to running free, good vibes and sunshine. And, heck, his music is perhaps most recognizable from being featuring on soundtracks from shows such as NBC's Parenthood and About a Boy. But make no mistake: The slightly twangy pop-folk artist out of California's Sierra Nevada mountains displays deep maturity and sharp self-awareness in his songwriting. On the country-tinged "When We Were Young" off Smoke and Mirrors (Elektra, 2013), Dennen shows listeners his fear of being stifled by adulthood's responsibilities: "Whenever I reminisce/ I know that the greatest risk/ Is giving up the fun for pay/ I don't want to live that way." His songs tend to celebrate the outdoors, the open road and the general sense of freedom, and as a result they make great road music. By no coincidence, Dennen has acknowledged that Paul Simon's Graceland (Warner Bros., 1986) was his favorite album growing up. He's coming through Park City as part of the second annual Lift Series, a tour promoting music, skiing, community and environmental activism. (HH) O.P. Rockwell, 628 Main, Park City, 8 p.m., $35-$50, 21+,

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