Live: Music Picks May 21-27 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live: Music Picks May 21-27 

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The English Beat
  • The English Beat

The English Beat
The original lineup of The English Beat (known simply as The Beat outside the U.S. and Australia), a ska revivalist band from Birmingham, England, was only together for five years. After a few different manifestations, The English Beat turned into two bands: The reformed English Beat, known for their 2-tone sensibilities (think Brit-punk attitude mashed with ska revival), is fronted by original lead vocalist/guitarist Dave Wakeling. The band had a unique schism—the original co-frontman, Ranking Roger, also continued his own version of the band (not unusual), but he also kept the band name, The Beat (less usual). Wakeling, whose lineup is the one on tour, is an enthusiastic showman, engaging concert-goers with banter between songs. The upbeat tempo of the rock gets the crowd skanking, but even when the music mellows out to more saxophone-induced reggae tendencies, the lively funk beat is heavy and easy to groove to. Yet the band can also throw down a message, as in "Two Swords," a 1980s hit from I Just Can't Stop It, about "violence, and how stupid violence is," as Wakeling said at their performance at the 1983 U.S festival in San Bernadino, Calif. That philosophy is reflected by the band on and off stage; proceeds from several albums were donated to anti-nuke campaigns such as the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament ("Stand Down Margaret" is about English Prime Minister Thatcher, urging her to resign). They are currently working on a studio album called Here We Go Love, funded through the PledgeMusic website, so expect some new material. The project has already surpassed its funding goal, and is slated for release later this year. Australian indie-rock band The Insatiables opens. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 day of show,


Eric Church
  • Eric Church

Eric Church
North Carolinian Eric Church is back after only a few months; when he and his crew came in January, most of his band was wiped out with the flu. Rather than canceling the show, he played a stripped-down acoustic set and rescheduled the full show for Memorial Day. The newest release, The Outsiders, is an ominous and defiant country-soul record with a rock edge that slips into hip-hop and electro-funk. His live show is just as defiant and rebellious—from a giant, inflatable devil, to mashing up Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" with the end of "Smoke a Little Smoke" (a track off of his 2009 release, Carolina). EnergySolutions Arena, 301 W. South Temple, May 25, 8:30 p.m., $32.50-$59.50,


Chronixx & the Zincfence Redemption
  • Chronixx & the Zincfence Redemption

Chronixx & the Zincfence Redemption
Roots-reggae artist Chronixx—the artistic moniker of Jamar Rolando McNaughton—is touring the U.S. with his Jamaican band, Zincfence Redemption, performing his 2014 release Dread & Terrible. The album straddles both the mellow and upbeat sides of reggae, with some tracks sounding more traditional, and others verging on dubstep. In true Rastafarian spirit, Chronixx's lyrics are pro-peace, a message he carries in life; he spent time in Kenya as a peace ambassador during the tensions surrounding elections. Kingston reggae/funk band Federation Sound opens. (Tiffany Frandsen) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, May 25, 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $22 day of show,


click to enlarge Kate Tempest
  • Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest
If you didn't already know what she looks like, Kate Tempest might not be recognizable as a concert headliner, even as she takes the stage. Her humble appearance is the first obvious thing that distinguishes her from mainstream rappers; not only does she perform sans bling, she generally takes the stage in a T-shirt and jeans. And her nonflashy look is echoed in her performance. A poet, Tempest puts an emotional and exposed emphasis on her words and beats. Her narrative-laden, melodic raps are spat over industrial beats, produced by Dan Carey, of Big Dada Records. Her debut release, Everybody Down, is a ferocious concept album centering around recurring characters, Becky and Harry, and is critical of decadence and vanity. Her touring band drops out at some points in the show, leaving a raw and exposed Tempest to spin emotional and personal stories. Her voice is mellow and low-key, but onstage, she bounces like a hype artist and contorts her face to convey emotion. She is a performance artist, not limited to just rapping: she has published plays, written novels and poems. (Her novel, The Bricks That Built the Houses, correlates to the album; the tracks go hand-in-hand with the chapters of the book. Vinyl Tapestries opens. Kilby Court, 740 S. Kilby Court., 8 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show,


Walk Off the Earth
  • Walk Off the Earth

Walk Off the Earth
Ontario, Canada-based Walk Off the Earth boasts the ability to play—and share—not only standard rock instruments, but also mandolin, trumpet, melodica (a small keyboard with a mouthpiece that is blown into like an oboe) and even an electric toothbrush. They tour a cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" that features the five band members crowded around one guitar, plinking/tapping out the tune while they harmonize. It's not the only cover they feature; they also bring their creative energy to Rage Against the Machine's "People of the Sun," B.O.B's "Magic," Pharrell Williams' "Happy," Madonna's "Material Girl" and Malvina Reynolds' "Little Boxes" (the theme song for the Showtime series Weeds). Although they are known for their unique covers, the five-piece indie-rock band has released several original alt-rock, reggae-influenced albums; their upcoming release, Sing It All Away, will be released in June. Fellow Canadian singer/songwriter Scott Helman opens with a set of upbeat and uplifting indie rock. The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $25,


Mountain Goats
  • Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats
John Darnielle, lead singer and songwriter for Mountain Goats, has had a big year. He has written a book, Wolf in White Van, raised a son, "[assisted] in debut of second son" according to a blog post, and made a resolution to "release [an] album of songs about professional wrestling" (which he did). This year, the indie folk-rock band from Indiana released a new concept album, Beat the Champ—their 15th full-length release. The new album is indeed all about wrestling, complete with jargon like "heel turn" and, of course, stories about real-life wrestlers like his childhood hero Chavo Guerrero. Although the group is promoting Beat the Champ, they have been touring a balanced set, pulling favorites from older albums, like "Foreign Object," from Tallahassee, in which Darnielle threatens drummer Jon Wurster will "personally stab you in the eye with a foreign object" in continuation of the wrestling theme; "Up the Wolves," from The Sunset Tree; and "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton," from All Hail West Texas. The set list this year has also included covers of Grateful Dead's "Ripple," and Ozzy Osbourne's "Shot in the Dark." Multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas is joining them on tour, tackling not only backup vocals, but also keys, saxophone and clarinet. Darnielle has also been known to hang out and chat with fans after shows to listen to their stories. Nashville rock band Blank Range opens. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $20,

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