Live Music Picks: March 22-28 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: March 22-28 

U.S. Girls, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Hell’s Belles, Columbia Jones and more.

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COLIN MEDLEY
  • Colin Medley

THURSDAY 3/22
U.S. Girls, Frigs, Bobo
Canadian-American musician Meghan Remy seems like the noise-pop world's answer to Cat Power: Working in a confessional songwriting mode, she's managed to make eccentricities sound personable. In a decade, she's released nine albums, gone from 4-track recordings on minor indie label Siltbreeze to the venerated 4AD, and been nominated for a Juno Award (the Canucks' version of the Grammys). On her latest, In a Poem Unlimited (2018), her ponderings range from politics ("Rage of Plastics" and "Velvet 4 Sale") to the telling found-sound excerpt "Why Do I Lose My Voice When I Have Something to Say?" Assistance from Toronto musical collective The Cosmic Range adds to her sound considerable, uh, range. Also from Toronto, quartet Frigs—Remy's sometime collaborators—take swipes at '80s-influenced pop punk that sounds surprisingly up to date. Salt Lake electronic/experimental label Hel Audio has released artist Bobo's debut album Smoke In the Elevator on Bandcamp. It's one of the most interesting local releases so far this year. (Brian Staker) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $12, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

LISSY ELLE
  • Lissy Elle

FRIDAY 3/23
Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Naked Giants, Moaning
Sometimes less is more, especially in punk rock, and Ed Schrader's Music Beat was originally just that—singer/guitarist Schrader and a floor tom. Not long after the project's inception in 2010, he added bassist Devlin Rice. What's next, a full prog-rock orchestration? Their minimal sound palette has allowed the emotional content of their songs to stay in the forefront, as Schrader seems like a perpetual college kid in his performing persona. The unique group hails from Baltimore, which has produced other such eccentrics as filmmaker John Waters and artist/producer Dan Deacon. Fittingly, Deacon helmed the band's new album, Riddles (Carpark), which finds ESMB poised to take their music to a more profound level. Support acts include Seattle garage rock trio Naked Giants, whose New West Records debut Sluff comes out a week after this show, and LA post-punk trio Moaning, who camouflages seemingly distracted vocals with rhythmic agitations on their self-titled Sub Pop Records debut. (BS) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $10, all ages, kilbycourt.com

KURT CLARK
  • Kurt Clark

FRIDAY & SATURDAY 3/23-24
Hell's Belles, Thunderfist
It's hard to believe it's been 18 years since Hell's Belles appeared at the vanguard of estrogen-driven tributes to testosterone-fueled bands, including The Iron Maidens, Cheap Chick and the original all-woman AC/DC tribute, AC/DShe. Guitarist Adrian Conner and friends have since duck-walked past those acts, and many of their male contemporaries, to become one of the most faithful and exciting tributes in the world. Their existence is a welcome distraction from the thought that AC/DC's denim-clad everyman foundation is shaken and crumbling. They're just not the same band with drummer Phil Rudd gone due to legal woes, vocalist Brian Johnson let go due to hearing troubles, and the retirement and death of rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young. Even the surprisingly decent addition of vocalist Axl Rose can't rescue them from being a patchwork facsimile of their former selves. But when fleet-fingered, buck-wild Conner and crew fire up those bluesy, stomping tunes, they rekindle the magic in a way that holographic technology and superstar recruits just can't. Hell's Belles ring true. (Randy Harward) Friday: The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., sold out, 21+, thestateroomslc.com; Saturday: O.P. Rockwell, 628 Main, Park City, 9 p.m., $25-$40, 21+, oprockwell.com

BRADFORD JONES
  • Bradford Jones

Columbia Jones
Columbia Jones is local by way of rural southern Maine, and has a great backstory for a blues-influenced singer-songwriter. It involves big-city dreams, train-hopping, struggling to pay the bills as a musician and studio owner, and busking on street corners for singles and change. His second studio EP, Blue Collar Blues (columbiajones.bandcamp.com, 2017), features two full-band and three solo tunes—but that's somewhat misleading, since Jones plays almost all the instruments himself. (Ivy Augusta Smith and Todd Christensen contribute double bass and pedal steel guitar, respectively, on a few tracks.) But it demonstrates the self-reliance a guy acquires when he's got no choice but to hit the road. Something else it shows is how Jones' songs can fit anywhere. With a band, his heartworn, hard-luck stories can satisfy a packed room of folks looking to forget the pains of the day through backbeat and booze. He can even muster that on his own, with just a resonator guitar, kick drum and foot tambourine. But the one-man show also works with a more sedate crowd of troubled types looking for a commiserative soundtrack to their own escapist drinking. So come tap a toe—or an empty PBR can—with him tonight. (RH) Piper Down Pub, 1492 S. State, 9 p.m., $5, 21+, piperdownpub.com

CLUB MAÑANA VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Club maÑana via wikimedia commons

SATURDAY 3/24
Gloria Trevi, Alejandra Guzmán
You think American pop stars are surrounded by melodrama and intrigue? Gloria Trevi and Alejandra Guzmán are two of Mexico's most beloved stars. The singer/actresses are also among the most controversial, with Trevi having spent four years in prison on charges of rape, kidnapping and corruption of minors before being cleared in 2004. Guzmán, daughter of actor-rocker Enrique Guzmán and legendary actress/producer/politician Silvia Pinal, saw her husband arrested on drug charges in Germany in 1989—just a month after her personal driver was found dead in her home of an apparent suicide. Naturally, that and the fact that they're born six days apart gives the women plenty of common ground. That's why they've teamed up on the joint album Versus (Universal, 2017) and the tour of the same name. It's a friendly match-up, with the women performing separately and jointly, proudly flaunting their individual attributes as well as their friendship and shared triumph over adversity. (RH) Vivint Smart Home Arena, 301 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $96.95-$497, all ages, vivintarena.com

BRITTANY LYN KRAUS
  • Brittany Lyn Kraus

Sadgirl, Bruiser Queen, Yak & the Sherpas
In a sea of musical genres, a new one surfaces: surf-wop. Los Angeles trio Sadgirl plays this hybrid genre, which isn't quite a musical portmanteau of surf-rock and doo-wop, sonically. It's more reverb and guitars, with a slight sock-hoppy vibe that pays homage to musical history without appearing dated, and they have decent enough songwriting chops to ride the cresting wave that's just starting to build. In three years, they've released the same number of EPs, and the latest two are called Vol. 3 – Head to the Mountains and Vol. 3 – The Hand That Did the Deed (wearesadgirl.bandcamp.com). The group has a theatrical element common to the L.A. scene; they almost seem like their best medium is music videos rather than songs, but both are really good. The song, of course, comes first, but there is a narrative component to something like "Feel Like Shit" that gives the musical history lesson a cinematic feel. Bruiser Queen is a garage pop duo from St. Louis, comprised of singer/guitarist Morgan Nusbaum and drummer Jason Potter. On their second album, Sweet Static (Boxing Clever Records), Nusbaum's vocals smack of Best Coast crossed with a smidgen of Sleater Kinney. In just a couple years, they have become a ready addition to the festival circuit. Yak & the Sherpas, a mystery band with no web presence, opens. (Brian Staker) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $11 presale; $13 day of show, all ages, kilbycourt.com

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