Weinland, Desert Noises, Smoking Popes, Wye Oak, Ha Ha Tonka, Sharon Van Etten, Skrillex, The Seedy Seeds, The Strange Boys | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Weinland, Desert Noises, Smoking Popes, Wye Oak, Ha Ha Tonka, Sharon Van Etten, Skrillex, The Seedy Seeds, The Strange Boys 

Live: Music Picks March 31-April 6

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  • Weinland

Thursday March 31
Weinland, Desert Noises

Singer/guitarist Adam Shearer of Portland’s Weinland has a knack for penning beautiful melodies that stick in a listener’s head well after first burrowing their way in. The band’s last release, Breaks in the Sun, landed Weinland on numerous best-of lists in 2009, and they are currently road-testing new music for a trip to the studio this spring to make album No. 3. Joining Weinland on their Salt Lake City stop is Provo’s Desert Noises. Slowtrain Subterranean Lounge, 221 E. Broadway, 7:30 p.m., $6

Smoking Popes
Twenty years into their career, Chicago rockers Smoking Popes have come up with their first concept album, This Is Only a Test, which is delivered from the perspective of a teenage rock wannabe as he navigates heartbreak, loss and other high school travails. While it’s a new way of writing for the band that first burst on the scene via tours with like-minded acts like Jawbreaker and Jimmy Eat World, the sound is sure to remind longtime fans of why they got into Smoking Popes in the first place: ragged-yet-perfect riffs, heartfelt lyrics and a potent live show. The Hang Ups open the show. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $12

Friday April 1
Wye Oak

Jenn Wasner, the mesmerizing singer/guitarist of Baltimore duo Wye Oak, describes the songs populating the band’s excellent new album, Civilian, as “about aloneness (the positive kind), loneliness (the horrible kind), moving on and letting go (of people, places and things).” That’s a lot of emotional fodder to play with, and Wasner and her multi-instrumentalist Wye Oak partner Andy Stack make the most of it on Civilian, an album that veers from stark, electrified folk to gothic-tinged gospel among its songs. The fact that the duo is able to recreate the sonic palette of Civilian live is an impressive feat, and one worth seeing in person. Callers open the show. Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 7 p.m., $8 advance/$10 day of show

Ha Ha Tonka
Missouri roots-rockers Ha Ha Tonka decided to explore a few more sonic possibilities in creating their new album, Death of a Decade, which arrives in stores four days after this show. While the lyrics still explore the culture and characters of the band’s Ozarks home turf, the sound has expanded to include some electronic flourishes in addition to the traditional acoustic and electric guitars they use to ply their trade. The fact they pushed their sound forward while recording in a 200-year-old barn in upstate New York is just another indication Ha Ha Tonka is a band built for the future that remains rooted in the past. Hoots and Hellmouth open the show. The Woodshed, 60 E. 800 South, 9 p.m., $8

Saturday April 2
Sharon Van Etten

New Jersey native Sharon Van Etten has created a serious buzz since taking her raw, occasionally wrenching songs to Brooklyn and gigging relentlessly on the New York City scene. Van Etten’s 2010 release, Epic, is a concise statement of her skills as a songwriter, wrapping her evocative lyrics in layers of piano, lap steel, drums and guitar without ever taking the focus off her winning voice. Despite the serious subject matter of many of her songs, the warmth of her performances make her one of the more inviting new artists to come along in a while. Little Scream and Parlor Hawk open the show. The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $12 advance/$15 day of show.

This 23-year-old DJ is leading dubstep’s charge into the mainstream consciousness, via selling out 4,000-seat venues and his last album, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s dance chart. It was also one of the first dubstep sets to be released by a major label (Atlantic). Most interesting is that Skrillex, born Sonny Moore, comes to the electro/house culture from the rock world; he’s the former lead singer of hardcore crew From First to Last, who he led from 2003 until he quit in 2007 to pursue the dance-music muse. Porter Robinson opens. Great Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Dr., Magna, 7 p.m., $25 advance/$40 day of show

The Seedy Seeds
Formed in Cincinnati in 2005, The Seedy Seeds create dance music out of altogether non-traditional elements, ranging from banjo and accordion to kazoos and toy pianos. At times veering into alt-country and straight-up pop territory, the band’s sound has managed to attract indie hipsters and punk kids in their hometown. Now The Seedy Seeds are on their first national tour, including a stop in Salt Lake City. The Suicycles are also on the bill. Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State, 8 p.m., $5

Sunday April 3

The Strange Boys
In Austin, Texas, bands rooted in R&B, garage rock and soul seem to replicate like rabbits, and The Strange Boys are part of the latest jumpy batch of bands who rock out while making sure their songs have plenty of boogie-worthy grooves, too. Being from Texas, there’s also a dash of twang to The Strange Boys’ songs, and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. They’ll be joined by the banjo-driven roots-punks O’Death and Natural Child. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 9 p.m., $10

Coming Up
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (The Urban Lounge, April 7), Bullet Boys (Club Vegas, April 7), Gift of Gab (The Complex, April 7), Lenka, Greg Laswell (Club Sound, April 8), My Chemical Romance, Neon Trees (In The Venue, April 8), The Joy Formidable (Kilby Court, April 9), A Rocket to the Moon, Valencia (The Complex, April 11), Arcade Fire, Local Natives (UCCU Center, Orem, April 11), Matt Wertz
(Kilby Court, April 12), Hinder (Great Saltair, April 13), Jeff Beck (The Depot, April 13) 

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