LIVE MUSIC PICKS: JULY 25-31 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

LIVE MUSIC PICKS: JULY 25-31 

Devin the Dude, Zac Ivie, CSE, Snailmate, Kelly Nash,Gardens & Villa, Ugly Boys, Dad Bod

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click to enlarge ZACH GARNER
  • Zach Garner

FRIDAY 7/26
Devin the Dude, Zac Ivie, CSE, Dine Crew, Sayd, Poetik Cee

Some of the nation's finest musicians hail from Houston—ZZ Top, Kenny Rogers, Robert Glasper and Johnny Nash to name a few. But when it comes to hip-hop, H-Town boasts a veritable all-star team, as evidenced by the success of Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Scarface & Willie D and, of course, the late great DJ Screw. One of the more notable artists from H-Town just so happens to go by "The Dude," and has sensibilities similar to the protagonist from The Big Lebowski. Devin makes his way to town again coming off the steam of his latest album, Still Rollin' Up: Something to Ride With, a 12-track offering highlighted by standout songs like "You, Don't Be Afraid" and the title track. It's more of the same from Devin, who rolls up a pretty strict diet of debauchery, storytelling, life lessons and herbal appreciation over smooth R&B and gospel-inspired rap tracks. Whether it be crooning, rapping in different cadences or even rapping with different voices, you will always be entertained with a new Devin album. Opening for the Dude is the hardest working man in Utah hip-hop, Zac Ivie, whose versatile aural presence can be found setting the stage for artists (and his own fanbase) from Ogden to Orem, Park City to Green River. I was at a version of this show last year, and it was dope—this year, Ivie is joined on the card by the likes of Sayd and local legend Poetik Cee, who will be holding the set down on the ones and twos as he always does. (Keith L. McDonald) The Royal, 4760 S. 900 East, 9 p.m., $15 presale, $20 day of show, 21+, theroyalslc.com

click to enlarge DACOTAH ASHES
  • Dacotah Ashes

Snailmate, Kelly Nash, Arktype, Frayed
At first blush, the synth-punk hip-hop of Snailmate calls to mind Weird Al's forays into white-man rapping. The most recent track from June of this year, "The Laziest Man in the World," is one of the more pronounced examples of this phenomenon, combining a hyperbolic, ridiculous premise with a straight man's delivery—in the music video, vocalist/synth player Kalen Lander sits forever in a La-Z-Boy while talk rapping about being comfortably stuck in his laziness. "It's kind of like summer vacation/ It's kind of like mummification/ It's kind of like I'm Jason Statham, except instead of punching I'm stuck in the basement." The Weird Al comparison ends at the weirdness and Lander's particular style of lyrical delivery. Snailmate's synth work and overall focus on hip-hop and flow make Lander and Ariel Monet (drums, vocals) a standout act that embraces their own quirky discord as a brand. 2017's Love in the Microwave shows how much range the duo can effect from what might seem like a limited palette. They're weird, but they're also full of unexpected shifts and wordplay. "The Waiter" is a restrained track that shows this willingness to slow down and experiment with flow. Lander and Monet arrive from Phoenix, Ariz., and they bring a catalog of four EPs, a tape split and one full-length album. If you're looking for weird music with an Aesop Rock level of aggression, may Snailmate provide. (Parker S. Mortensen) The Rad Shack, 1644 S. State, Provo, free (donations accepted), 7 p.m., facebook.com/therad5hack

click to enlarge NEIL FAVILA
  • Neil Favila

SATURDAY 7/27
Gardens & Villa, Ugly Boys, Dad Bod

Surprise! Gardens & Villa have been together for more than 10 years now. Since coming together in 2008, the group has released three albums, and this July will be the eight-year anniversary of the eponymous debut album, Gardens & Villa, which still houses some of the band's best and most-often-played work. Tracks like "Orange Blossom" and "Star Fire Power" rattled the indie rock sound of this decade's first years, signaling the surf rock of Craft Spells and building off the new pop of Neon Indian's Psychic Chasms in 2010. Although Gardens & Villa is perhaps less of a household name in the indie rock scene, their work feels woven into the fabric of what would become a sound overly iterated and imitated. It's perfect, then, to see them play alongside local openers Ugly Boys, whose dedication to boy-band pop feels like a responsible passing of the torch. Ugly Boys have all the fixings of their inspirations—a talented four-piece bent on making pop music to make rent—with a sound simultaneously nostalgic and evolved. EP Do You Like Me? is a subdued set ripped straight out of 2013 and shocked to life with a funky vitality that builds on all the ways indie rock has changed in the last 10 years. Seeing these two acts together will paint this picture vividly, so whether Gardens & Villa give us another album (Music for Dogs was 2015), Ugly Boys are a promising evolution of the capacious "indie rock" genre label. (PSM) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $15, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

click to enlarge WENDY REDFERN
  • Wendy Redfern

SATURDAY 7/27
Built to Spill, Oruã, Dirt Russell

In a genre as defined by pretense as indie rock, maybe bands like Built to Spill can't help but feel like a breath of fresh air. Frontman Doug Martsch once described his band's seminal 1997 album Perfect From Now On as "kind of big and epic, but also kind of crappy and personal," and that dichotomy more or less sums up the essence of what makes Built to Spill so special. The Idaho group never shied away from grand statements or starry-eyed romanticism, but their almost-egoless attitude toward their music clearly telegraphed that while they did care deeply about their craft, they never took the whole thing too seriously, nor did they attempt to undercut themselves with smirking irony. This singular ethos is perhaps most apparent on 1999's Keep It Like a Secret, which packed a metric ton of passion and indie quirk into 10 bite-sized pop earworms for a winning formula that became Built to Spill's default style in the ensuing two decades. Built to Spill is currently in the midst of a massive coast-to-coast tour in celebration of Keep It Like a Secret's 20th anniversary, and will be stopping in SLC at the Depot on Saturday, July 27. Brazilian experimental rock act Oruã opens along with Dirt Russell. (Nic Renshaw) The Depot, 13 N. 400 West, 8 p.m., $22, 21+, depotslc.com

click to enlarge RICH GASTWIRT
  • Rich Gastwirt

TUESDAY 7/30
John Prine, I'm With Her

The words "icon" and "legend" are tossed about pretty generously, often without regard to what it truly takes to create an indelible impression. John Prine is one artist who has secured true status as one of the single most important Americana artists of the past 40 years. His influence on that genre is evident in the way legions of ardent admirers refer to him, speaking in reverent tones whenever his name is mentioned. However, his influence is more than transient; last year's album The Tree of Forgiveness proved that Prine's prowess still remains fully ignited. Initially proclaimed another of the so-called "New Dylans" who populated the budding singer-songwriter scene circa the early '70s, Prine made his mark with songs that combined cutting-edge commentary with sobering sentiment: "Sam Stone," "Hello In There," "Donald & Lydia" and the oft-covered classic "Angel from Montgomery" among them. These days, his posture is stooped and his voice reduced to a low rumble, but the esteem in which he's held finds him as formidable as ever. That opinion is certainly shared by the trio that shares the bill, a super-group of sorts that call themselves I'm With Her. Borrowing its handle from the slogan that was a pro-Hillary Clinton mantra during the 2016 presidential election, the group is comprised of three talented artists who shine individually as well—Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan. Along with Prine, they find a common cause shared by their respective generations. (Lee Zimmerman) Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, 2155 Red Butte Canyon Road, 7 p.m., sold out at press time, redbuttegarden.org/concerts

click to enlarge ANDY MCFARLANE
  • Andy McFarlane

WEDNESDAY 7/31
Roselit Bone

Call them an anarchist collective trapped in a country act's boots—or a political band telling hard sociological truths with a swirl of smoky Americana. Just don't get too lazy with the liberal clichés about Roselit Bone, a Portland, Ore.-based band with a striking new album called Crisis Actor. Stylistically, lead single "I Pissed the Bed" scans like Hank Williams Sr. filtered through the gnarly garage-rock edge lens of The Gun Club, providing an easy entry point to intrigued listeners. But frontwoman Charlotte McCaslin and her formidable six-piece backing band leap from canchion ranchera (on "Anza Borrego") to psych rock (on "Proving Grounds") to flame-throwing rockabilly (on "Laughlin, NV"), leaving genre distinctions in the dust of a dystopian West. Lyrically, there's even more to chew on, with surreal tales of rampant violence, gender dysphoria and class warfare informing even traditional-sounding songs like "We'll Make a Living (For the Bourgeois)" and "A Word for Blue." Across Crisis Actor's eight songs, McCaslin's voice bellows, sneers and croons, the perfect complement to Roselit Bone's cinematic arrangements. It's the often-overlooked seedy underbelly of America brought to brutal life—a whirlwind of satirical self-loathing and scathing observation akin to antecedents as far-flung as Jonathan Swift and Charles Bukowski. "My freshest feelings of disgust were toward anyone who could point their finger in one direction and walk away with a smirk on their face," McCaslin says in a news release accompanying Crisis Actor. Just don't try to slot it in any particular box, even if McCaslin did grow up immersed in Southern California's hardcore punk scene. "I don't align with any genre," she says. "For me, the essence of punk is in dealing unflinchingly with the misery and violence of lower-class city life, coming out alive and wearing your scars proudly." (Nick McGregor)
Rye Diner & Drinks, 239 S. 500 East, 6 p.m., free, all ages, ryeslc.com

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