LIVE MUSIC PICKS: JUNE 27-JULY 3 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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    • Mark Horton

    THURSDAY 6/27
    Ghostface Killah, Earthworm, Zac Ivie, Vinnie Cassius
    "The world can't touch Ghost's purple tape." It's only seven words, but they weighed a ton on my brain. Anyone who heard Raekwon's album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx would have noticed the heavy dosage of Ghostface Killah vocals, and one couldn't help but notice him on the album cover. But to say that Raekwon was the cohost of his classic debut on a first official solo album? This is the kind of legendary bravado Ghostface Killah, aka Dennis Coles, of Staten Island, N.Y., has—along with his robes, custom-colored Wallabee Clarks, gaudy jewelry and, when he first set out, commitment to character. Why did he name himself Ghostface Killah? When the Wu-Tang Clan burst on the scene, Ghostface Killah was just that—a mysterious figure who killed mics behind a mask so you couldn't see him. Mind you, these were the days before private-party internet investigations were a thing. From his early days, to his unmasking, up to now, Ghost remains one of the most respected icons in hip-hop. You could fill a rhyme book with his quotable bars: "Graveyard spells fog ya goggles ...;" "The kid walk through, switch up his accent, now I'm from Paris ...;" "Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why did Judas rat to the Romans while Jesus slept?" Despite this propensity for descriptive rhetoric and urban folklore, one would be remiss not to mention the depth and courage it takes to speak on sensitive issues like poverty, disease and infidelity. Ghost manages to occupy a space in hip-hop that many people want to emulate, but which few ever actually do authentically. Catch him in Ogden courtesy of the Funk 'N Dive Bar. (Keith L. McDonald) Ogden Amphitheater, 343 E. 25th St., 6 p.m., $15 general admission, $50 VIP, all ages,

    • Enrique Limón

    FRIDAY 6/28
    "When life gives you lemons ..." goes the old adage I've heard ad nauseam my entire life given my last name. But, what about when life hands you cupcakes? If you're the self-professed "Queen of Salt Lake," Wiltavious, you seize the moment and take center stage. See, the West Valley-based rapper was set to open for CupcakKe during her appearance at Metro Music Hall. Then, on the day this paper is printed, the "Juicy Coochie" hitmaker's performance was canceled. It'd be expected that Wiltavious, along with fellow local performers' hearts would be broken. Instead, our Pride Issue cover model is using the opportunity to shoot the music video for "3, 2, 1, Vogue!," his latest party anthem. "Queens get your mug and Kings get your scruff, lol," he shared in an impromptu social media post. Making lemonade, the 27-year-old will fiercely go on with the show. The bold move is fitting, given the song was born at Metro. "I was performing there and being shaded by a few queens, because some of them were pressed about me showing up killing the scene," he tells City Weekly. "That's why I started the first verse with, 'Fuck the crown, this is my show!' Because I literally steal the show when I'm on the stage. Why? Because I always bring it, okurrrr?" Those who plan on attending the queen's ball, please heed the following warning: "I want everyone to be aware that although I'm a sweet Southern belle, I will show up and give you hell. Put ya money where your slay is, oop!" (Enrique Limón) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., free before 10 p.m, 21+,

    • Vanessa Heins

    PUP, Ratboys, Beach Bunny
    "My Life is Over and I Couldn't Be Happier." "See You At Your Funeral." How does a band with these song titles, and a name that's an acronym for Pathetic Use of Potential, maintain such positive indie cred? First of all, the modern emo revival has no shortage of critical darlings (Mannequin Pussy and Modern Baseball, for example). Secondly, nothing makes a universal musical statement like good arrangement. On their latest record, Morbid Stuff (Rise Records), the Canadian punks toy with complex song structures like drunk engineering students who got into the construction equipment. "I was bored as fuck, sitting around and thinking all this morbid stuff," whines lead singer Stefan Babcock on the title track after a tight guitar hook in 11/8 time signature. Later, on the lead single, "Kids," Babcock begins, "I've been navigating my way through the mind-numbing reality of a godless existence"—an edgy way to start what is supposed to be a love song. But that's what makes the modern emo revival so exciting—the shamelessness remains, but Babcock isn't pandering to a single soul, not even the person he wrote it about. Tight musicianship holds steady during their manic live sets. I caught PUP at a festival in 2017, and while thousands respectfully nodded along to Pixies a few hundred yards away, PUP endowed 40 lucky people with the greater gift after an exhausting day in the sun: pure caffeinated chaos. The quintet blasted through their meticulous anthems about living un-meticulously like they were the legends on the bigger stage. (Robby Poffenberger) In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 7 p.m., $18 presale, $20 day of show, all ages,

    • Sarah McColgan

    SATURDAY 6/29
    Mystery Skulls, Phangs, Snowblood
    Musically speaking, Texan electronica act Mystery Skulls might be fully masterminded by singer-songwriter-producer Luis Dubuc, but it would be hard to talk about the act's success without mentioning an artist and animator by the name of Ben Mangum, aka MysteryBen27. Mangum's slick, colorful music videos for Mystery Skulls (which follow a cast loosely based on a certain animated gang of mystery-solvers) has given Dubuc's music a friendly face for fans to latch onto, and the three released videos (of a planned five-part series) have racked up millions of views on YouTube. Also, in a stroke of sheer brilliance by Mangum, every character in all the videos is constantly bobbing their head along with Mystery Skulls' utterly infectious electro-soul, even when they're being pursued by technicolor phantoms. Don't let the videos distract you too much, though—Dubuc is possessed of killer instincts, both as a producer and as a songwriter, and he's managed to put together some of the catchiest and sharpest modern takes on disco this side of Daft Punk. On June 29, Mystery Skulls take The Grand stage at The Complex along with synth-pop up-and-comers Phangs and Snowblood. The show also features drag performances by Kay Bye, Aphrodeity and Eva Chanel Stephens. (Nic Renshaw) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 7:30 p.m., $15, all ages,

    • Natalie O. Moore

    MONDAY 7/1
    Carly Rae Jepsen, Mansionair
    Origin stories come in a zillion different flavors, but Canadian pop songstress Carly Rae Jepsen's demarcates the line between the internet of old and the internet of today. In 2012, the Canadian Idol runner-up and one-time folkie's danceable anthem "Call Me Maybe" was covered by global superstar Justin Bieber, whose viral home video also featured teen idol Selena Gomez. By the end of the year, Jepsen went from Canadian College of Performing Arts alumni to chart-topping phenom, with "Call Me Maybe" hitting No. 1 in 18 countries. Unlike most one-hit wonders, however, "Call Me Maybe" represented just the tip of Jepsen's evolving star power. Follow-up full-lengths Kiss (2012) and E•mo•tion (2015) delved deeper into demonstrative vulnerability, attracting a more mature audience and resulting in an unusually rapturous cult status among the queer community. Jepsen has starred on Broadway, playing Cinderella in a 2014 revival of the fairy tale's Rodgers & Hammerstein rendition; starred along Tom Hanks in music videos (for 2015's "I Really Like You"); scored everything from animated films (Ballerina) to TV reboots (Fuller House); and worked with just as many über-hip indie producers (Dev Hynes) as she has mainstream ones (Sia). Jepsen's latest album, 2019's Dedicated, maintains that balance, delivering the reliably lovesick ballads that diehard fans have come to expect ("He Needs Me" and "Party of One") while celebrating her self-confidence more palpably than ever before ("No Drug Like Me" and "Feels Right"). At 33, is Jepsen all grown up, or just operating at the apex of her youth? "In a personal way, I feel less confined to just call pop one thing anymore, and myself one thing anymore," Jepsen told NPR in May. "I've enjoyed coloring outside the lines a little bit—it's just made me so much happier, and I feel like my music is so much more purposeful and authentic." (Nick McGregor) The Depot, 13 N. 400 West, 7 p.m., $39.50 presale; $45 day of show, all ages,

    • Fabio Diena

    TUESDAY 7/2
    Santana, The Doobie Brothers, John Cowan
    His pioneering work with eponymous band Santana in the late '60s and early '70s have become sacred texts on which much of today's Latin-inflected pop and rock is predicated. His star-studded 1999 effort Supernatural went multi-platinum off the strength of the Rob Thomas-assisted lead single "Smooth." His reformation of the classic Santana lineup for Santana IV in 2015 was lauded as one of his best efforts since his '70s peak. All told, Carlos Santana has had an incalculable influence on the world of rock, concocting a vibrant mix of jazz, salsa, blues and psychedelia that has truly stood the test of time. His keening, zestful guitar work led Rolling Stone to name him the 20th greatest guitarist of all time in 2015, calling him "the rare instrumentalist who can be identified in just one note." Over the course of his 50-year career, Santana has racked up a smattering of Grammy nods, a CHCI medallion of excellence, and a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame induction, to name just a few of his many awards. Santana is currently on a nationwide tour, fresh off the release of their 24th studio album Africa Speaks, stopping by Usana Amphitheatre joined by fellow '70s rockers The Doobie Brothers, as well as former New Grass Revival member John Cowan. (Nic Renshaw) Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 Upper Ridge Road, 7 p.m., $58+, all ages,

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