MUSIC PICKS MAY 9 - 15 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly


Crankdat @ Venue 6SIX9 5/10, Choir Boy @ Metro Music Hall 5/10, Bruce Cockburn @ The State Room 5/12, and more.

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  • China Rose Clemmons
  • Crankdat

Crankdat @ Venue 6SIX9 5/10
Crankdat, aka Christian Smith, hails from Ohio, the home of American bass music. Known for its Lost Lands festival, which includes the heaviest bass EDM artists, Smith is one of the kingpins. A live set from Crankdat at Venue 6SIX9 (669 S. West Temple) will be high-octane energy where fans can absolutely lose themselves in the heavy music with the collective of the dance floor. The groundbreaking "re-cranks" of Smith's early career set him apart and fused energy into already established songs within electronic dance music. In 2018 and 2019, Smith's own productions such as "Reasons to Run" and "Welcome to the Jungle" are distinctive in building soundscapes with crazy-heavy drops. In 2024, he is still going strong evidenced by his release "Big Bang" with international EDM star, DJ Snake. And now he is on his explosive Total Termination Tour where fans can get the full Crankdat experience, which includes hard-hitting tracks and seamless execution. The shows by Mutiny Music Collective at Boxpac Project sell out very quickly, so do not hesitate to secure tickets. Tickets cost $30. Go to (Arica Roberts)

  • Becky DiGiglio
  • Choir Boy

Choir Boy @ Metro Music Hall 5/10
Is Dracula the prime influence of the goth movement? Maybe Vlad is just goth-adjacent. Salt Lake City's own Choir Boy—consisting of Adam Klopp, Michael Paulsen, Chaz Costello and Jeff Kleinman—is at the very least a sub-genre.. With their 2020 release Gathering Swans, Choir Boy managed to marry the extreme, the poppy, the ridiculous and the sublime into some great tunes—and, crucially and unlike many "dark: bands, you can dance to it. "Oftentimes I'll write down phrases. I'll have a concept or an idea or a phrase that's the jumping off point," Klopp told Adhoc. "Sometimes I'll just have a massive [list of] phrases or ideas that pertain to this one concept and then I'll try to funnel that into a refined rhythm. Songs are weird." Bizarre compositions or not, I know that I'll never quite recover the simple excitement of being hipped to this group: the resonant melodies, adaptable bass lines, eclectic instrumentation and that voice. Klopp is a genuine talent. Transylvanian tropes aside, I cannot wait to see what comes next for this Utah-based quartet, and seeing them throw down live is always an event. If you're going to go for it, go the whole way. I feel like Choir Boy does that. Sculpture Club and Levelor open. Catch these artists at Metro Music Hall on Friday, May 10. Doors at 9 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ show are $15 and can be found at (Mark Dago)

Bruce Cockburn - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Cockburn @ The State Room 5/12
Bruce Cockburn is a folk-music laureate for modern times. At age 77, he can look back on a body of work shaped by politics, activism, spirituality and a stylistic diversity, one that's found him embracing folk, jazz, rock and world-beat rhythms without regard to any single style or genre. On the track titled "From Push Comes to Shove"—from his latest album, O Sun O Moon—he sums up his stance succinctly: "What will go wrong will go wrong/What will go right will go right/Push come to shove/It's all about love." Indeed, with 13 Juno Awards, an induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, a Governor General's Performing Arts Award, and honors conferred on him as an Officer of the Order of Canada—not to mention 22 gold and platinum records—he shows that his prowess remains undiminished. "I feel great gratitude for having been able to do it this long and being able to leave a few bread crumbs along the way," Cockburn said in an interview with Rock and Roll Globe. "Once I started understanding what I was really doing, writing about my very personal view of things, I realized it really wasn't about being that personal. I think I'm reflecting some aspect of the human experience. This is one guy's experience of a life in song, expressed in song, and hopefully other people will find things to relate to in them." An Evening with Bruce Cockburn takes place Sunday May 12, at 8 p.m. at The State Room, Tickets cost $50 - $70. Go to (Lee Zimmerman)

Dustin Kensrue - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Dustin Kensrue

Dustin Kensrue @ The Commonwealth Room 5/12
Guitarist/singer/songwriter Dustin Kensrue founded Thrice in the late '90s, when he was still attending high school in SoCal. Thrice—which has remained active save for a brief hiatus more than a decade ago—is an exemplar of the nexus in which post-hardcore and emo coexist. And then there's Kensrue's concurrent solo career: Across six albums, he has embarked upon a musical journey that would be inconceivable within the framework of his band. Please Come Home (2007) was built on a foundation of country, folk and blues. 2008's This Good Night is Still Everywhere is a covers- and Christmas-themed release that added back some hardcore attitude, but kept the rootsy textures. Kensrue returned after a break in 2013 with The Water & the Blood, a contemporary Christian set of songs written to be sung in church. His 2015 release Carry the Fire wove together love songs and emo themes, earning rave reviews for his efforts. Less than a year later, he released Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood, a live album that distilled all of his musical virtues into 40 minutes, captured live on stage. And the album's mostly-covers character provided more clues as to the wide and welcoming point of view that Dustin Kensrue brings to his own music. Now his latest, Desert Dreaming (released April 4) finds him heading back to country/Americana in an ode to the American southwest. The Brevet and Brother Bird are also on the bill. See and hear them all at The Commonwealth Room on Sunday, May 12, doors at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for this 21+ show are $28 at (Bill Kopp)

Kid Presentable - VIA INSTAGRAM
  • Via Instagram
  • Kid Presentable

Spring Battle of the Bands @ Boardwalk Sound 5/13-18
A "battle of the bands" competition is an age-old tradition in the music scene, and a rite of passage for many bands. It works as a diving board into the local scene, bringing tons of eyes and ears that may have not heard the bands otherwise. Boardwalk Sound's spring Battle of the Bands series is packed with incredible youngsters coming up in the area. The list includes Solarpunk, Kid Presentable, Lipsill, Awakening Autumn, No 1's Home, Dead Metro, The Friendly Monties, Samuel Charles Band, Church Ball, Twin Systems, Internet Lover Boys, Fairweather Friends, Leetham, The New Sequel, Eyes Buggy and Viridian. If you don't know these groups, that's okay—because this event provides a perfect opportunity for you to head out and get to know them. You'll get to see these bands going head-to-head starting on Monday, May 13, with the other shows peppered throughout the week, so keep an eye on the calendar to see what shows you can make it to. The finale of the series will be on Saturday, May 18 complete with food trucks. If you're ready to witness the music competition of all music competitions, you won't want to miss Boardwalk Sounds Battle of the Bands. Check dates and grab tickets ($8-10) for the all-ages show at (Emilee Atkinson)

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