Live Music Picks: May 25-31 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: May 25-31 

Ballyhoo!, Dave Bowen Quartet, Cool Ghouls and more.

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THURSDAY 5/25
Ballyhoo!, The Holdup, Darenots
Utah winters are known for their annoying tendency to overstay their welcome, but I think it's safe to say that we're in the clear—that icy jerk seems to have picked someone else to bother. That means summer is on its way, and we're in need of some live tunes to properly usher in beach season. To this end, Maryland-based reggae-punk rockers Ballyhoo! are coming to town to help shake the dust off of our cargo shorts and halter tops. Born from the shared genetic code that brought 311 and Sublime into existence, Ballyhoo! has been a genre mainstay since the mid-'90s, before Rebelution, Passafire and The Expendables became the ostensible heirs to the college-boy reggae-rock roost. Rounding out this sun-drenched roster is The Holdup and Darenots—two bands that are equally summer-friendly. Nothing manages to chase the winter blues away like a few Coronas and some live music—particularly when it's irie, upbeat reggae riddims. (Alex Springer) Club Elevate, 155 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. (doors), $13-$16, 21+, facebook.com/thehotelelevate

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Dave Bowen Quartet
If you've enjoyed brunch at the Grand America Hotel, you've likely partaken in the sounds of jazz bassist Dave Bowen and his quartet—the perfect accompaniment to omelettes and prime rib, it turns out. He also performs with Tad Calcara and combo The Red Rock Hot Club and, as with the most skilled jazz musicians, Bowen is conversant in various jazz styles—more of a swing sound with Calcara and old-school French Gypsy jazz with RRHC. With his quartet, Bowen explores the intricacies of the four-musician format, with subtle interplay and depth of repertoire. In a venue where you might pay a little more attention to the music than when it's the tasteful background to dining conversation, the DBQ has the capacity to dazzle with their dynamics and virtuoso musicianship. This latest great show is a reminder that you can't beat Excellence in the Community's free weekly concert series as a way to enjoy quality jazz locally, especially in an all-ages setting where you can even bring the kids. (Brian Staker) Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7:30 p.m., free, all ages, excellenceconcerts.orgMichael Dallin

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Michael Dallin
Similar to Jeff Crosby, another artist with local connex, singer-songwriter Michael Dallin has a wanderlust that has him spending time—and even living—in exotic locales other than Salt Lake City. As the frontdude in the local band Bad Apples (not the solo act from the late '90s and early aughts, Bad Apple) from 2008-2012, Dallin played his folk-rock/soul tunes across Asia. This led to him making a second home in Beijing, China, where he formed the rock band Vital Time and played soul in the Michael Dallin Project and continued to tour to places like Cape Town, South Africa. But he never forgets SLC, and frequently turns up for gigs (and regional U.S. tours) alone and with his other band, Coolabibus, which features Inner Mongolian Chinese guitarist Jonny Barah. His looks might cause you to expect the 11 cuts on the dreadlocked wanderer's Reverbnation page (reverbnation.com/michaeldallinmusic) to be barefoot jam-band fare—they're not. At least, not entirely. Dallin's sound has some passport stamps, but he doesn't try to use his experiences to create a multiculti-humblebrag gumbo. He sticks to familiar turf: straightforward, honest songs delivered without too much flash—and those work with any crowd, anywhere. (Randy Harward) The Hog Wallow, 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, 9 p.m., $4, 21+, thehogwallow.com

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FRIDAY 5/26
Cool Ghouls, Soft Limbs
San Francisco's Cool Ghouls comes clean with the refreshing admission that rock 'n' roll is an art form they haven't mastered, according to a recent press release. What's to master? Rock is about raw ecstasy and fervor, not hitting every note exactly right. But they're are ever mindful of rock history, and their sound pays homage to greats from that city—Flamin' Groovies, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and many others. Being the work-in-progress that they are, this quad proves that psych/garage-rock counterculture is alive and well in the Bay Area, gentrified or not. After three full-length releases, this show is a chance to nab their self-released, tour-only cassette Gord's Horse—an eight-song journey that'll take your Walkman to far-out places it hasn't been in decades. Local kraut-rock/post-punk Soft Limbs opens, replacing previous support act Season of the Witch. (BS) Vague Space, 819 E. 2100 South, 8:30 p.m., $5, all ages, facebook.com/vaguespace

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Matthew Logan Vasquez, Quiet Oaks, The Hound Mystic
While Delta Spirit is alive and well, there's something ominous about frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez' decision to call his new solo album Does What He Wants (Dine Alone). According to an interview with online music publication Consequence of Sound, this album was intended to be a new Delta Spirit album, but Vasquez eventually pursued a different creative direction. Fans of Vasquez' beloved band will recognize their characteristically rustic alt-pop in the chords of Vasquez' lonesome guitar, and can look forward to some introspective new material if Does What He Wants is any indication of his current creative headspace. (AS) Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $15, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

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WEDNESDAY 5/31
Crooked Bangs, American Snot, 20XX, Fossil Arms
When an album opens with a few seconds of amplifier hum, you expect the ensuing songs to be a pell-mell, loud-fast-rules aural onslaught. When "We Are Gold," the leadoff track from Crooked Bangs' aptly dubbed second album, II (Nervous Intent), kicks in, it starts slowly then builds steadily toward the expected din of buzzsaw guitars, rumbling bass and manic, crashing drums. Henceforth, the Austin trio maintains that level of intensity throughout II's nine songs. But the songs, with lyrics in English and French, aren't simply exercises in speed and ferocity. They're whip-smart, and just catchy enough to engage audiences interested more in substance than style. So they earn the comparisons the label tosses out in the band bio and one-sheet: Hüsker Dü, the Wipers, Warsaw-era Joy Division. Those are all bands that boasted great songs and attractive badassery; Crooked Bangs—if they keep this up—might one day be mentioned in the same breath as their forebears. Local "dad-rock" punks American Snot, post-punks Fossil Arms and Ohio-based darkwave/synthpop act 20XX open. (Randy Harward) Diabolical Records, 238 S. Edison St., 8 p.m., $5, all ages, facebook.com/diabolicalslc

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