BAND OF ANNUALS, THE DEVIL WHALE, GRAND HALLWAY
Since opening in Spring ’09, The State Room has made all the right moves, namely offering a livemusic venue for adults—that is, starting shows at a decent hour, offering the choice of comfortable seating and emphasizing the performance with a solid sound system. Its owners recently started experimenting with local openers (Paul Jacobsen and The Madison Arm, Drew Capener) and if tonight’s show is a success perhaps Utah bands will become more frequent names on the marquee. Both Salt Lake City’s Band of Annuals and The Devil Whale have added to, if not fully replaced, their set lists with brand new material. The Devil Whale recently returned from Seattle, recording with Like Paraders’ producer Shawn Simmons, and singer/guitarist Brinton Jones hopes to release an album in early-to-mid 2010. Hopes to. BOA [disclosure: This writer lives with the drummer] have prioritized studio time over long road trips, the likes of which kept them busy in 2008. If “David’s Country” is the last “new” song you’ve heard, don’t miss this show. Also on the bill, Seattle’s lush folk/ pop octet Grand Hallway, on the heels of their critically acclaimed 2009 release, Promenade. All-killer, no-filler, indeed. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. Tickets: TheStateRoomSLC.com
CLASSICAL ON A BUDGET: PLANNING AHEAD
If sticker shock is the one thing preventing you from adding classical music to your typical nightlife schedule, take advantage of Utah Opera and Utah Symphony’s holiday specials. Dec. 4 through Dec. 23, receive up to a 50 percent discount on premium floor seats to select events. $20 tickets will be available to performances running Jan. 8 through May 29, 2010. Tickets are available at Abravanel Hall’s box office or by phoning 801-533-NOTE (6683).
Davey Havok is lookin’ good these days. The lead singer of AFI has some color in his face, a smart new haircut and an album that continues the group’s journey into polished rock territory. Crash Love is a fairly significant departure from the Bay Area quartet’s late ’90s beginnings—a series of fiery, ragged goth-punk albums including the short-and-sour All Hallow’s Eve EP whose “Totalimmortal” is a good place to discover Havok’s tremendous, demonic howl. He can still wail—it’s just a controlled bellow. And it works, most of the time, as a pristine counterpart to the album’s production. Ultimately, even listeners who yearn for the old AFI know that onstage, this band delivers. In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com
Strength in numbers is such an obvious business model, yet most artists tend to approach the promotional aspect of music with an every-man-for-himself perspective. The Ten Out Of Tenn tour embraces the communal aspect of DIY marketing by bringing together a group of solo artists, throwing them on one bill and promoting individual talents while redefining what it means to produce music down South. This year’s lineup features a diverse bunch experimenting with elements of pop, rock, folk and electronic sounds. Erin McCarley, Trent Dabbs, K.S. Rhoads, Butterfly Boucher, Matthew Perryman Jones, Katie Herzig, Jeremy Lister, Tyler James, Andrew Belle and Andy Davis are sharing the load this year, getting a taste of the full-band experience while also maintaining nightly moments in the spotlight. See what effect the best of both worlds has on an audience, tonight. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m. All-Ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com
Swedish Black Metal bands are efficient—terrifying, yes, but efficient. We could all learn a little something from their tunnel-vision focus. Marduk, for example, are extremely upfront about the scant time they put into practicing or worrying about the stage show, which somehow manages to achieve its desired fear/war-mongering effect. Marduk might not be your cup of tea, but they’re skilled musicians—and if you need a good pounding courtesy of shredding guitars/double-bass drums and blasphemous squalling, well, something wicked this way comes. Club Vegas, 445 S. 400 West, 7 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with Nachtmystium and Mantic Ritual)
Themselves (Kilby Court, Dec. 11 and Urban Lounge, Dec. 12); Royal Bliss (In the Venue, Dec. 12); Jerry Joseph (Urban Lounge, Dec. 13); Gregory Alan Isakov (The State Room, Dec. 13); Barenaked Ladies (Depot, Dec. 14); Lee Scratch Perry (Star Bar, Dec. 16); The Black Hens (Woodshed, Dec. 17); Ugly Duckling (Star Bar, Dec. 17); Starkillers (Downstairs, Dec. 18)