Live Music Picks: June 14-20 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: June 14-20 

Nasty Nasty, Iceage, R.A. the Rugged Man, Black Milk and more.

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TACKLEBRUIN
  • TackleBruin

FRIDAY 6/15
Nasty Nasty, Shit Dogma, Scrunchies
Learning how to say "fuck you" without really saying it is pretty much all I learned in my four years in the Marine Corps, an environment where women (and/or those who identify as such) have to fight for respect in a sea of toxic masculinity. But one learns to adapt and overcome—and realize that really saying it is what music is for. And local punk band Nasty Nasty is good at it. Some Marines use negative terms toward women with phrases like "blue falcon" or (my least favorite) "WM." And although the military is a polar opposite of Nasty Nasty, they both own their derogatory phrases. The term "nasty woman," used by Donald Trump in 2016 in reference to Hillary Clinton, not only exploded all over T-shirts and bumper stickers but gave inspiration for this band's moniker. Historically, punk rock has carried a message, and Nasty Nasty's message is clear: You aren't alone. By turning the negative political climate into a positive bastion of riot grrrl empowerment for all, Nasty Nasty uses music as a conduit for how they (and a lot of us) feel. The band's "walk the walk" attitude isn't always in your face, though. Their politically charged tunes come with a sarcastic twist on songs like "Goldilocks" and "AmeriKKK" that deliver that eff-you in a playful tone. Nasty Nasty kicks off their tour at this show joined by Shit Dogma and Scrunchies to set the city ablaze and remind everyone that we are not alone. (Rachelle Fernandez) Diabolical Records, 238 S. Edison St., 8 p.m., $5 donation, all ages, facebook.com/diabolicalslc

STEVE GULLICK
  • Steve Gullick

SATURDAY 6/16
Iceage, Mary Lattimore
Are Iceage even punk? Actually, scratch that question. We're musically evolved enough that we don't need labels. (Also, I have no idea.) Instead of trying in vain to put this Danish quartet into a box, let's focus our attention on the wealth of genre-defying treasures in each song. Take, for instance, "Pain Killer," the second single off their LP Beyondless (Matador Records). The track opens with a "25 or 6 to 4"-esque horn piece, woos us with sensual poetry ("Like death, she takes everything/ And dazes me like patent medicine/ Into this strange divine"), then drops us headfirst into a massive guitar hook after each verse. These elements are unexpected, but predictability is not part of Iceage's brand. Since playing in North America for the first time in 2013, their critical acclaim has grown album by album, culminating in this declaration from Noisey: "Fuck the facts, Iceage are the greatest rock and roll band in the world." The author of that article is an unabashed fan, so whether his declaration rings true is a moot point. This much is proven: Iceage are meant to be an immersive experience. They end up cherished by those who allow themselves to get swept away. If you go to their show, you might initially be skeptical of their laid-back live approach. But by the end, the ominous, sweeping physicality of their songs might have you a few inches off the ground. (Robby Poffenberger) Kilby Court, 748 W. Kilby Court, 7 p.m., $14 presale; $16 day of show, kilbycourt.com

RA
  • RA

MONDAY 6/18
R.A. the Rugged Man, A-F-R-O
When you've been in the underground hip-hop business for more than 25 years, you're bound to formulate a routine when going on the road. I imagine R.A. the Rugged Man packs for a tour something like this: "Derby hats? Check. Big gold rope chain? Check. Custom blazers in various colors? Check. Beard care kit? Check." Then, the New York native who's worked with everyone from Mobb Deep to Wu-Tang Clan to Erick Sermon to Notorious B.I.G. closes up a suitcase with a bunch of random stickers pasted on it and hops into a rare chrome-plated late model sedan with a woman whose visage could be on the side of a World War II bomber. Off to the next adventure. R.A. the Rugged Man is no stranger to Salt Lake City, either. He's performed recently at The Urban Lounge, and seems to always manage to squeeze the Beehive State into his travel plans. R.A. visits this time around with his prodigious protégé A-F-R-O on The Lone Wolf & Cub Tour. Boom-bap beats with thematic undertones, raw and uncut lyrics, as well as some of the most artfully crafted rapid-fire verses in the genre are in store for those who attend this all-ages show. If he had the looks of a traditional model and refrained from censure of the government, R.A. the Rugged Man probably could add a lot more cash to his escrow fund. But then again, if he did that, he wouldn't be hailed as one of underground hip-hop's biggest treasures. His loss is your gain. (Keith L. McDonald) The Loading Dock, 445 S. 400 West, 7 p.m., all ages, $15 presale; $18 day of show, loadingdockslc.com

DELANEY TEICHLER
  • Delaney Teichler

Black Milk, Nat Turner
This spring, Detroit-based rapper and producer Black Milk dropped stellar new album Fever. Always an artist who seems most comfortable directing session musicians from behind his beat machine—his last album, The Rebellion Sessions, was entirely instrumental—Black Milk is not a lyrical gymnast by today's sky-high standards of rap technicality. But he's settled into a nice groove as a mic controller on Fever, a collection of jazz-influenced hip-hop tracks that flow together seamlessly. Remarkably, not a single track sounds out of place despite the album's experimental spirit and tendency to shift quickly in terms of tempo and tone. Wisely, rather than trying to develop a lickety-split delivery, Black Milk has acted like a skilled jazz musician and mastered the nuances of when to leave and fill space in his bars. For example, on the neo-soul single "Could It Be," his easygoing flows lock in perfectly with a hypnotic vocal sample and a funky-fresh bass line, producing an undeniably dope overall effect. Even though he's stepped up as a rapper, and guest soul singers swing in and out of the album throughout its duration, Black Milk's beat-making skills steal the show on Fever. He gets the best out of session players Chris Dave and Daru Jones (especially on tracks "True Lies" and "Will Remain") and treats the project like a loose musical collage with free-association instrumentals. It might sound messy, but it's captivating—particularly so when Black Milk comes to town with live backing band Nat Turner. (Howard Hardee) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., 21+, $15, theurbanloungeslc.com

BEN MORSE
  • Ben Morse

TUESDAY 6/19
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Lucero, The Menzingers, The Homeless Gospel Choir
It's a rare opportunity when so many headlining bands share the stage on a single night. Indeed, any one of them would be a healthy draw on their own. Each boasts an ample pedigree, and you have to wonder what sort of negotiation was involved when it came to choosing which band would be elevated to the very top of the marquee. Frank Turner claims the benefit of seven solo albums and a sound that draws from the same alt-folk approach Billy Bragg took early on, complete with the same self-righteous indignation. On the other hand, Lucero has a 20-year career, a blue-collar connection and a rowdy reputation that takes its cue from the defiant sound of 1970s Southern rock and the rebellious outlaw ethic it spawned. For their part, The Menzingers are well-versed in the art of combining edginess, angst and anarchy in equal measure, an ability that's placed them at the top of today's punk-rock pantheon. Tough choice, then, on who deserves the prime mention, but Turner apparently won the toss. Consequently, it will be interesting to see who generates the rowdiest response. (Lee Zimmerman) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 6 p.m., all ages, $35 presale; $38 day of show, thecomplexslc.com

WEDNESDAY 6/20
Ninja Sex Party, Tupper Ware Remix Party
Although they're not much of a household name, Ninja Sex Party (or NSP for short) might just be the biggest thing in musical comedy since The Lonely Island. While the band first garnered attention in 2010 for their low-budget, absurdist music videos, frontman Dan "Danny Sexbang" Avidan's role since 2013 as co-host of the popular let's play YouTube series Game Grumps has delivered an even wider audience to NSP. Avidan's confident, soaring vocals and multi-instrumentalist Brian "Ninja Brian" Wecht's '80s pastiche instrumentation back their gleefully silly deconstructions of male sexual identity with real musical muscle. Plus, any band with song titles like "Samurai Abstinence Patrol" and "No Reason Boner" has got something going for them. Avidan and Wecht have self-released three albums of original music, all of which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy Albums chart, rubbing elbows with comedy greats like Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari and Weird Al Yankovic. Currently gearing up for the release of their fourth album, Cool Patrol, Ninja Sex Party returns to their comedy-oriented roots after two albums of '70s and '80s pop covers. Cool Patrol also marks NSP's first recorded collaboration with live compatriots Tupper Ware Remix Party, an anonymous band of Canucks and fellow outlandish comic-rockers who join NSP on their Tour de Force 2018. As Danny Sexbang has described it, "This is clearly going to be the best rock tour of all time. And if all these shows don't sell out within the first 30 seconds, Ninja Brian will eat his own face on live TV." (Nic Renshaw) Union Event Center, 235 N. 500 West, 8 p.m., $25-$69.69, all ages, theunioneventcenter.com

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Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman

Bio:
An accomplished writer, blogger and reviewer, Zimmerman contributes to several local and national publications, including No Depression, Paste, Relix and Goldmine. The music obsessive says he owns too many albums to count and numerous instruments he’s yet to learn.

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