MUSIC PICKS: AUG 4 - 10 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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MUSIC PICKS: AUG 4 - 10 

The Psychedelic Furs and X @ Red Butte Gardens, The Chicks and Patty Griffin @ USANA Amphitheatre, The Shins: Oh, Inverted World 21st Birthday @ Ogden Amphitheater, and more.

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REED DAVIS
  • Reed Davis

The Psychedelic Furs and X @ Red Butte Gardens
No decade is immune to the lure of nostalgia, and certainly the '80s are no exception. Consequently, the Psychedelic Furs could be considered one of that era's foremost ambassadors, having made their mark by penning and performing the song "Pretty in Pink," which became the title track for John Hughes' iconic film of the same name, and future shorthand for '80s style. More signature songs followed—"The Ghost In You," "Heartbreak Beat," "Heaven," "Until She Comes" and "All That Money Wants" being among the most notable—all of them borne by albums that gave them a significant stature on album rock radio. Ultimately, it was singer Richard Butler's cool croon that gave them a haunting presence and pervasive appeal. They took a nearly ten-year hiatus throughout much of the '90s, undergoing various personnel shifts since then. But with the subsequent release of a live greatest hits LP and 2020's Made of Rain, the reformed Furs remain as formidable as ever. Special guests X carry more of a punk pedigree, and with the reunion of original members John Doe, Exene Cervenka, D.J. Bonebrake and Billy Zoom, the '80s authenticity is all but assured. Catch both bands and head back in time at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 at Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre. Members admission is $43 and $48 for everyone else. Tickets for the all-ages show can be found at redbuttegarden.org/concerts. (Lee Zimmerman)

The Chicks and Patty Griffin @ USANA Amphitheatre
Formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, the trio that calls themselves The Chicks boast an intriguing backstory, one that goes well beyond their 13 Grammy Awards, 10 CMA Awards, a succession of hit singles (like the classic "Cowboy Take Me Away"), sales of 33 million albums, and their status as the best-selling female band and best-selling country band of all time. Multi-talented musicians, the current trio—Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer—are each clearly accomplished. Yet even with a recording career that spans more than 30 years, they've faced an array of challenges—an on-again, off-again trajectory; a dispute with their record label; and the famed controversy generated by their denunciation of President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the U.S., invasion of Iraq. Faced with a bitter backlash, they released the single "Not Ready To Make Nice," tempering their easy, accessible sound with decisive determination. In 2020, they dropped the "Dixie" from their name after citing its negative implications, and subsequently released a protest song titled "March March" to reaffirm their ongoing stand for social justice, and the caring and concern that remains synonymous with their music. Following that, they released their first album since 2006's Taking the Long Way, in 2020's middle-life shake-up album Gaslighter. On tour now, they'll be joined on this leg by the acclaimed Patty Griffin. Catch them at USANA Amphitheatre on Friday, Aug. 5 at 7:30 pm. Tickets to the all-ages show are $40 - $105 at concerts.livenation.com. (LZ)

The Shins: Oh, Inverted World 21st Birthday @ Ogden Amphitheater
In a specific sense, a 21st birthday officially marks the passage from adolescence to adulthood. In the case of The Shins, this particular anniversary not only signifies the band's coming-of-age, but the respectability that comes from an album which was dubbed a genuine masterpiece and brought The Shins a reputation as influential indie artists. The fact that Oh, Inverted World was The Shins' debut effort ended up boding well for their ongoing endeavors. Critically acclaimed, it brought the band further mainstream success and representation on screen when its song "New Slang" was featured in the 2004 film Garden State and given further prominence when one of the film's characters, Sam (Natalie Portman), tells protagonist Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) that the song "will change your life." In actual fact, it—and the album from which it came—changed everything for the band, doubling sales for the album and its successor (the equally impressive Chutes Too Narrow) and boding well for all that would follow. Along with a remixed rerelease of Oh, Inverted World, this current tour celebrates its status. Consider this a wonderful "world" indeed. Catch it at Ogden Amphitheatre on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. Tickets to the all-ages show range from $25 - $179 and can be purchased at ogdentwilight.com. (LZ)

KRISTOPHER KIRK
  • Kristopher Kirk

Death Bells @ Kilby Court
On their latest 2020 album, New Signs of Life, Aussie goth rockers Death Bells turned their gaze towards the light—though not necessarily away from the stormy post-punk inclinations that made their 2017 debut, Standing at the Edge of the World, a success for them. While that first album swirled with shoegaze-driven tension, the band has tightened up their sound in many ways, trimming a six-piece down to a core pair, and channeling the punchy, more minimalist sounds of early 2000s post punk like Interpol. The album is the rare 2020 release that isn't inspired by pandemic strife, but rather the growing pains of a band getting to know itself, rather than the "love songs gone wrong" that vocalist Will Canning has described their last album as being made up of. After migrating, as many down under bands must, from their home in Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, they found themselves changed. Of the album and the shift to a brighter sound, the band told NME, "The darker elements of the music and lyrics are present, but that's just one facet of our lives. We're generally happy people." They'll find a heavy and experimental companion in tourmate Pendant, who blend house beats with almost industrial chaos to build their brand of pop—from their recently-released album Harp, the song "Thorn manages to make an 'NSYNC sample haunting. See both acts on Saturday, Aug. 6 at Kilby Court. Doors for the all-ages show are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $14 at kilbycourt.com. (Erin Moore)

BARRY BRECHEISEN
  • Barry Brecheisen

The National and Bartees Strange @ Ogden Amphitheatre
There must be something about Ogden, because longtime indie rockers The National are the latest band to be returning for their second dose of Ogden Twilight. The last time was in 2019, when the world was a different place and their breezy performance of hits from across their eight-album discography became a little stormy thanks to some gusts and very romantic drizzles. They've not yet released another full-length album, but those they have—from their early 2000s hit Boxer to later releases like Trouble Will Find Me—are more than enough to dive into for new fans, and always giving more to old. However, fans may be able to expect some crossover between The National and their supporting act, Bartees Strange. Strange found fame in 2020 with a cover EP of National songs called Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy. The fresh and carefully-crafted takes on the songs were a hit, and only the beginning of Strange's star ascending. His follow-up debut full-length album, Live Forever, made multiple best-of lists for 2020, thanks to a no-skips track list that blended the best of indie rock with trap, pop punk and soul to incredibly emotive and groovable effect. He'll be joining The National on the heels of his second release from this year, Farm to Table. His performance will undoubtedly match The National in terms of electricity and emotion, and here's to hoping they team up on some of those songs Strange covered. See them both on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Doors are at 5 p.m. for this all-ages show, and while tickets are sold out at press, reasonably-priced resale tickets through the official fan marketplace can be found at ogdentwilight.com. (EM)

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