Live Music Picks: July 5-11 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: July 5-11 

Thievery Corporation, The Paul Thorn Band, La Santa Cecilia, Jeremy Enigk and more.

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JEN MALER
  • Jen Maler

FRIDAY 7/6
Thievery Corporation, Kishi Bashi, Audiotreats
Thievery Corporation is the shared brainchild of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, two world music aficionados who joined forces in a Washington, D.C., nightclub in 1995. Across 10 studio albums, they've dabbled in downtempo electronic music, lounge, reggae and bossa nova, but the style doesn't really matter so long as it induces nodding heads and tapping feet. Basically, they're all about smooth grooves—the less offensive, the better. Indeed, critics often decry Thievery Corporation's tranquil productions as sterile and characterless. Yeah, there's a bit of truth in that. But not everything has to rock or bump. The group's latest, Treasures from the Temple, would make a good soundtrack for a dinner party or bar where the music's quiet enough to carry on a conversation. But don't let that discourage you from attending their Ogden Twilight show. In a live setting, Thievery Corporation is fully capable of infusing songs with more energy than the chilled-out recorded versions. Opening is Kishi Bashi, an experimental solo artist who founded Brooklyn rock band Jupiter One and served as a recording and touring member of indie darlings Of Montreal. Bashi creates complex and jubilant fusions of electronic and classical elements that drive ahead with straightforward rock rhythms. (Howard Hardee) Ogden Amphitheater, 343 E. 25th St., 5 p.m., $10 presale; $15 day of show; $50 VIP, all ages, ogdenamphitheater.com

LEE HARRELSON
  • Lee Harrelson

SATURDAY 7/7
The Paul Thorn Band
Paul Thorn is a true Southern gentleman—a singer, songwriter and former boxer whose level-headed attitude hides a hint of humor along with a solid sense of reverence. With respect to his blues roots, Thorn provides a mix of honesty, humility and happenstance, making him one of today's more distinctive traveling troubadours. It's also instilled in him an everyman attitude that his devotees have quickly come to admire. His self-effacing approach is flush with both charm and amusement, ensuring that Thorn's performances put a full emphasis on entertainment. His music is imbued with a decidedly spiritual perspective—scope that photo in front of a church, no less—and his latest album, Don't Let the Devil Ride, simulatesa kind of merry revival show that finds him shunning Satan with energy and enthusiasm. Thorn touts that spirit on tour with a full live ensemble in tow; in Salt Lake City, the show is presented by Pat's BBQ, and even comes with a buffet option for those really looking to relish the Southern vibes. Thorn himself plays the role of a perky preacher—never stern, always engaging and full of the sass and spunk that has characterized his playful approach from early on. He sings of lessons learned as a child, often surrounded by wild relatives, an assortment of characters he later dubbed his "pimps and preachers."Credit their influence and experiences with making him one sharp Thorn indeed. (Lee Zimmerman) The Commonwealth Room, 195 W. Commonwealth Ave., 8 p.m., $25; $45 with dinner, 21+, thecommonwealthroom.com

Visitors, Middle Class Rut, Black Map
There really isn't a word to describe the genre of music that Salt Lake City band Visitors creates. If I had to come up with a convoluted phrase, I would say it sounds like Glassjaw and Letlive had a love-triangle baby with Chino Moreno, then that baby grew up on prog rock and had an obsession with reverse evolution. However, there is no designer baby, and (apparently) no knowledge of how biology works on my part. But there's more to these five guys than meets the eye. Musicians are created not by following the rules, but by breaking them. As "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott once said, "The worst advice I ever received from my dad was to play by the book." Visitors strays away from any comfort zone or rulebook on their debut album, Crest, which serves as a sequel to 2017 EP Vortices, A Foreword. As the self-taught quintet states, Crest is "a work of fiction" centered around a person on the brink of a psychotic break. With singles like "Pollyanna," which is equal parts melodic and chaotic, the band captures listeners' attention, reminding us that we are all going through this together. For seven years, Visitors has cultivated an energetic stage presence and continues to evolve their musicianship while growing their fanbase on the West Coast and beyond. For anyone who isn't hung up on labels and craves music that is honest and different, this show is for you. Visitors enlists Sacramento veterans Middle Class Rut and San Francisco's Black Maps to celebrate the Crest album release. (Rachelle Fernandez) Club X, 445 S. 400 West, 8 p.m., $14 presale; $16 day of show, 21+, clubxslc.com

HUMBERTO HOWARD
  • Humberto Howard

La Santa Cecilia
Music created en plein air is a joy—a celebration of the senses that heightens music's social nature and inevitably captures the spirit of the people creating it. So it goes with Mexican-American band La Santa Cecilia, which recorded its most recent album Amar y Vivir across five days spent performing in the streets, bars and parks of Mexico City. With songs touching on cumbia, bossa nova, boleros and countless other Mexican folk traditions, it's impossible to resist the soul pouring forth from lead singer Marisoul Hernandez, accordionist and requintero Jose Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña and percussionist Miguel Ramirez. While their 2013 album Treinta Dias won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album, Amar y Vivir can't be beat. The performances are near flawless, reflecting the musicians' innate expertise. Music videos for songs like "Leña de Pirul" capture curious onlookers letting La Santa Cecilia's mixture of heartbreak and triumph wash over them. And, with July 4 in the rearview and the United States' southern border still convulsing over migrant detentions, family separations and sped-up prosecutions, the rockabilly-conjunto mash-up "México Americano" comes as a revelation. Marisoul sings, "Por mi madre soy Mexicano/ Por destino soy Americano." If you need a translation, it's "From my mother I am Mexican/ By destiny I am American." In other words, patriotism means different things to different people. But with music as our common language, we can all come together. (Nick McGregor) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $25, 21+, thestateroom.com

CHARLES PTERSON
  • Charles Pterson

Jeremy Enigk, Chris Staples
Jeremy Enigk was way ahead of his time. Back in 1996, his album Return of the Frog Queen didn't make much sense. How could you marry British folk and American punk? Symphonic chamber pop and squiggly prog rock had yet to meet. Surrealist lyricism wasn't really a thing. Two years before Neutral Milk Hotel's 1998 album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea became a North Star for the freaks and geeks who grew up into the indie rock cognoscenti, there was Enigk's conceptual Return of the Frog Queen. The fact that Enigk also served as the lead singer and guitarist of Seattle's post-hardcore heroes Sunny Day Real Estate shouldn't come as a surprise; the punks were always way ahead of their time. They just didn't go off the rails quite like Enigk did when Sunny Day Real Estate burned up in their own successful stratosphere and saw their 21-year-old frontman go deep down a Fairport Convention-inspired rabbit hole with a 21-piece orchestra. Flagrant theatricality and orchestral experimentation, ringing falsettos and finger-picked acoustic ditties—Return of the Frog Queen had it all and then some. The esoteric lyrics seem fabulist, even nonsensical, but they brilliantly outlined the way young people thrust into a pre-internet spotlight found solace in retreat. Chalk it up to a fling with Incredible String Band, early Pink Floyd and mid-career David Bowie, or ascribe it to Jeremy Enigk's weird personality. But 22 years after its release, Frog Queen is definitely worth a celebration. (NM) Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court, 7 p.m., $20, all ages, kilbycourt.com

JASON GOODRICH
  • Jason Goodrich

WEDNESDAY 7/11
A$AP Ferg, IDK, Buddy, DJ Juggy
For more than a century, Harlem has been a hotbed of creativity. Since he first exploded on the hip-hop scene, rapper A$AP Ferg has represented his roots, tracing his streetwise artistry back to the Harlem Renaissance and its long list of heroes: Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, Zora Neale Hurston and Harry Belafonte, just to name a few. Ferg also traces hip-hop's style and slang to Harlem dignitary Dapper Dan, whose 125th Street shop defined the high-flying era of custom apparel. Dan's tailor-made Gucci-print outfits became gangster chic, and he even hosted a Mike Tyson fight in his store, paving the way for young Harlemites like Ferg to see their homes as launching pads. Ferg represents Harlem in his own way, mixing trap chants with introspection while holding true to the core lyrical values of a storied neighborhood steeped in hip-hop heavyweights like Big L, Puff Daddy, DJ Red Alert, Doug E. Fresh and Cam'ron. Oh, and there's Ferg's own crewmate, A$AP Rocky, around which the whole A$AP crew revolves. But Ferg has started standing on his own. The 29-year-old is in his prime as an MC, and there's no doubt he'll deliver a high level of energy to make this make-up date (originally scheduled for last fall) a memorable show. Add booming 808 drums and catchy hooks from supporting acts IDK, Buddy and DJ Juggy, and that Ferg charm should light up the room. (Keith L. McDonald) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 7 p.m., $30, $85-$125 VIP, all ages, thecomplexslc.com

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