LIVE MUSIC PICKS: SEPT. 19-25 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

LIVE MUSIC PICKS: SEPT. 19-25 

Brian Wilson, The Zombies, Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin, Explosions in the Sky, Sessa, Glen Hansard, Diana DeMuth, and more

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click to enlarge PAYLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Payley Photography

THURSDAY 9/19
Brian Wilson, The Zombies, Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin

There's an old saying that suggests if you remember the '60s, you really weren't there. That lapse in memory generally wasn't due to absent-mindedness, but that's another tale entirely. Fortunately, for those that were there and can't recall, as well as those that weren't there at all, the music that was such an essential part of that decade lives on in performers like this show's co-headliners, both of whom are members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Brian Wilson needs no introduction, but we'll offer one anyway: As the chief architect of the Beach Boys, his legacy lingers nearly six decades later. Joined by Al Jardine, who helped shape the band's seminal sound, and Blondie Chaplin, a later recruit for the revival that resulted in another prosperous and prolific period, Wilson performs music from the classic albums Friends and Surf's Up, along with the usual plethora of hits. British Rockers The Zombies had early chart toppers of their own—"Tell Her No," "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season" among them—but it was their classic album Odessey and Oracle which guaranteed their immortality. Sadly, the album—which many liken to Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds—never got the kudos it deserved at the time, but with both the original band and its current incarnation holding up its triumphant sound, belated recognition is theirs at last. (Lee Zimmerman) Sandy Amphitheater, 1245 E. 9400 South, Sandy, 7 p.m., $60–$95, all ages, sandyamp.com

click to enlarge NICK S
  • Nick S

Explosions in the Sky, Sessa
How do diehard fans of instrumental rock bands express their love? When you can't shout in unison to a rowdy chorus or wait with bated breath for that favorite one-liner, your affection for an artist has to run deeper. Texas quartet Explosions in the Sky grabs most listeners in the emotional jugular at the first peal of their textured electric guitars. With soaring melodies and slowly building climaxes that mix redemption, melancholia, tragedy and celebration, all of the band's songs feel singularly triumphant. Perhaps that's why the creators of NBC's 2000s drama Friday Night Lights tapped Explosions in the Sky to supply the iconic soundtrack. It's hard not to feel overcome with catharsis listening to debut full-length How Strange, Innocence (2000) and All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (2007), which both pack a particularly therapeutic punch. As powerful film scores (Lone Survivor, Manglehorn) took up more of the band's time, Chris Hrasky, Michael James, Munaf Rayani and Mark Smith responded by embracing their experimental side on 2011's Take Care, Take Care, Take Care and 2016's The Wilderness. But unsophisticated critical classifications like "post-rock" or "ambient music" don't apply to Explosions in the Sky. This is a band whose heart-wrenching tunes represent their internal pulse writ large—an entire emotional spectrum encapsulated in the chiming bursts of sound of a song like "First Breath After Coma," from 2003's The Earth Is Not a Cold, Dead Place. If ever we needed a reminder of that adage, it's in today's frazzled, bifurcated, thoroughly fucked-up world, one that Explosions in the Sky have explored in sonic form for 20 years. (Nick McGregor) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 7 p.m., $30 presale; $35 day of show, all ages, depotslc.com

click to enlarge STEPHAN VANFLETERN
  • Stephan Vanfletern

FRIDAY 9/20
Glen Hansard, Diana DeMuth

Although it took some time to bring him the success he deserved, Glen Hansard has always excelled. An Academy Award winner for the song "Falling Slowly"—one of his contributions as star/songwriter of the acclaimed feature film Once—and a Grammy winner for Best Musical Theater Album for the original cast album of the stage musical version of Once, Hansard garnered his first claim to fame with the Irish band The Frames, an utterly inventive outfit that never gained the attention it was due. He ventured out on his own with half of the duo dubbed The Swell Season, which found him paired with Czech singer and multi-talented musician Markéta Irglová. The partnership had a limited run, but they did achieve some significant standing with the release of Once, in which they both starred. Hansard had been in front of the cameras before—he played a part in another celebrated film, The Commitments—but it was the accolades accorded Once that seemed to secure his stardom. Even so, Hansard's solo career has elevated his stature as a singer, songwriter and musician. To date he's released four albums on his own, including his latest, This Wild Willing, from April of this year. All of his efforts have made their mark on the international charts, but it's his live performances—a blend of his dry-eyed delivery and mesmerizing melodies—where he often excels. Indeed, Once isn't nearly enough. (Lee Zimmerman) Delta Performance Hall, Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, 8 p.m., $36–$46, all ages, arttix.artsaltlake.org

click to enlarge MAKENZIE BUSH
  • Makenzie Bush

FRIDAY 9/20
Branson Anderson, Timmy the Teeth, Lovely Noughts

Comparing Branson Anderson to Bob Dylan almost seems too easy. From his curly brown mop of hair and piercing blue eyes to his drawling, nasal singing voice and sardonic lyrical sensibility, Anderson is clearly cut from the same cloth as Dylan and, more broadly, other '60s folk pioneers like Dave Van Ronk and Tom Paxton. But to write Anderson off as a copycat or just another Dylan soundalike would be to ignore his distinctly modern take on American folk—an adventurous yet unassuming sound that distinctly captures the space between his hometown of Logandale, Nev., and his current residence in Ogden. Anderson is also a magnetic presence onstage, bantering with audience members and blowing through solo acoustic arrangements of his songs with a breezy charisma that should make any coffee-shop troubadour envious. Anderson is currently gearing up for the release of his second studio album, Applecore, Baltimore, and is celebrating the album's release with a show at Kilby Court, joined by fellow Utah folk singer Timmy the Teeth and local blues-rock outfit Lovely Noughts. (Nic Renshaw) Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court, 7 p.m., $7 presale; $9 day of show, all ages, kilbycourt.com

click to enlarge TIM MOSENFELDER
  • Tim Mosenfelder

FRIDAY 9/20
Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse is a group that, to anyone familiar with indie music, needs no introduction. Since their breakthrough in the mid-'90s, frontman Isaac Brock has been one of the most talented and unique voices in rock, whether he's painting unflinching, poetic portraits of post-industrial America on The Lonesome Crowded West, delving deeper into philosophy and psychedelia on The Moon & Antarctica or turning his focus inward to tales of addiction, death and crumbling relationships on the platinum-selling Good News for People Who Love Bad News. Bassist Eric Judy, drummer Jeremiah Green and a rotating cast of guest collaborators have brought Brock's artistic vision to vibrant life at every juncture, incorporating post-punk aggression, pop bombast and warm Americana overtones into an eclectic yet cohesive whole. Earlier this year, Modest Mouse finally broke a four-year studio silence with the single "Poison the Well," which shows Brock's caustic wit fully intact and the rest of the band scuzzier and looser than they've been in years. (NR) Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, 2280 E. Red Butte Canyon Road, 7 p.m., sold out at press time, all ages, redbuttegarden.org

click to enlarge LINDSEY BYRNES
  • Lindsey Byrnes

SATURDAY 9/21
Jay Som, Boy Scouts, Affectionately

Although Jay Som can easily slot into the DIY indie-pop sound, when you take her work in pieces, it's harder to say where anything truly belongs. The 2017 album Everybody Works had some instant classics like "The Bus Song," a nostalgic ballad for time in transit spent figuring life out. The album's title track shares the posi-pop sound, but swells and builds toward a tender ending. On her newest album, Anak Ho, it's striking how much more varied Melina Mae Duterte (aka Jay Som herself) sounds. Some songs, like "Nighttime Drive," have a very sentimentally mundane tone to them, like you're grocery shopping in a rom-com. Meanwhile, tracks like "Crown" wind into a '90s guitar solo out of nowhere, and "Get Well" is a slow, twangy country tune. Duterte has a talent for finding opportunity for surprise in her work this way, probably afforded by her DIY approach. Since her first full album in 2016, Turn Into, it's been clear that Jay Som had standout talent, but Anak Ho maintains the deftness you really love to hear out of a third album. You want that sense of magic you had from hearing your favorite song the first time, the track that will fit perfectly on a new playlist, a part of a song you know you'll rewind just to hear dozens of times. Folky Oakland-based outfit Boy Scouts open, alongside the similarly-minded-to-Jay Som's-surfy-ness and fellow Californian, Affectionately. (Parker S. Mortensen) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $15 presale; $17 day of show, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

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