LIVE MUSIC PICKS: APR. 25- MAY 1 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks


Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, The Cactus Blossoms, Jack Klatt, Thank You Scientist, Kindo, In the Presence of Wolves, and more


  • Joanna Burns

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
There's nothing like a Broadway play, a hit movie or both when it comes to selling someone's story. Consequently, credit both the 2005 stage musical and subsequent 2014 film Jersey Boys with bringing Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons back to center stage and reminding everyone of that endless series of songs that dominated the hit parade during the better part of the 1960s and '70s. Not that any reminder was really needed; Valli himself was responsible for nearly 40 smash hits, first with the group and then later on his own. The list of his classics is an embarrassment of riches: "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Sherry," "Rag Doll," "Walk Like a Man," "December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)," "My Eyes Adored You" and "Grease" are but a few of Valli's many milestones. The common connection is Valli's piercing falsetto, a signature sound that offers the impression his undergarments are clinging perhaps a wee bit too tight. Whatever the reason, that voice still serves him well—even today, at the ripe old age of 84, he remains a regular on the concert circuit with the group's current incarnation. Whether you consider them a blast from the past or just better choices of Jersey boys than, say, Tony Soprano, Valli and company offer good reason for celebrating the seasons. (Lee Zimmerman) Maverik Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, 8 p.m., $29-$137,

  • Nate Ryan

The Cactus Blossoms, Jack Klatt

To borrow an old cliché, everything old is eventually new yet again. If so, the Cactus Blossoms' Jack Torrey and Page Burkum ought to adopt that as their mantra. You're Dreaming—their JD McPherson-produced, major label debut—introduced the duo's timeless harmonies and seasoned songcraft. The fact that they're siblings—albeit with distinctly different last names—didn't escape notice either; critics lauded them as the next Everly Brothers and noted a sound that suggested some sort of rockabilly revival. Indeed, the pair finds an ideal middle ground between a sway and a swagger, bringing them additional comparison to Dwight Yoakam and Roy Orbison. Even so, their music isn't strictly of a vintage variety; the delivery is crisp, clear and brimming with contemporary credence. Little wonder that their latest effort—the descriptively titled Easy Way—finds the Minneapolis-based duo expanding their amiable approach, garnering continued critical kudos. All those archival references aside, The Cactus Blossoms are decidedly distinct and too talented to simply rehash old references. That's one reason why the new album debuted at the top of the charts and why appearances at Nashville's revered Ryman Auditorium and the Newport Folk Festival proved so significant as well. Pardon the pun, but The Cactus Blossoms are clearly in full bloom. (Lee Zimmerman) The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $18, 21+,

  • Sarah Sturges

Thank You Scientist, Kindo, In the Presence of Wolves

Thank You Scientist have certainly named themselves accurately. The New Jersey septet mixes prog, ska, latin, jazz and arena rock like they're chemicals in a beaker, and the results are unpredictable and sometimes explosive. This stylistic alchemy quickly garnered TYS plenty of acclaim and caught the attention of prog-rock veteran Claudio Sanchez, who was so impressed by their 2012 debut Maps of Non-Existent Places that he signed the band to his fledgling Evil Ink label in 2014 and enlisted them as the opening act for Coheed and Cambria the next year. 2016's Stranger Heads Prevail further cemented the band as a force to be reckoned with, as songs like "Mr. Invisible" and "Psychopomp" drove the album to scrape the bottom of the Billboard 200—no easy feat for such a markedly strange act. Thank You Scientist is currently on the cusp of their third studio effort, a double album called Terraformer. With an absurdist Tim and Eric-style video announcing the album's June release and advance single "FXMLDR" featuring a nearly minute-long saxophone solo, fans can rest easy knowing these scientists don't plan to stop experimenting anytime soon. Thank You Scientist is currently embarking on their last U.S. tour in support of Stranger Heads Prevail. New York jazz-fusion outfit Kindo (formerly The Reign of Kindo) and Philadelphia proggers In The Presence of Wolves open. (Nic Renshaw) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $16.50 presale; $20 day of show,

  • Jordan Hughes

The 1975, Pale Waves, No Rome

The four members of The 1975 have almost two decades' distance from their high-school days, yet these 30-somethings might be best described as a "boy band," if a boy band can play heavily textured, angsty, soul- and synth-infused glam-pop. Actually, that does sound pretty accurate for a boy band, yeah? The Manchester foursome started playing in high school circa 2002 but didn't get their big break until 2013, when they released their self-titled debut album, which hit No. 1 on the U.K. charts. They roused a furor, and gained international recognition, with their 2016 record I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It. Shortly after that release, Noisey called The 1975 "the most hated and loved band in the world," describing them, amidst a collective buzz about their work, as both "underrated and overhyped." Their fans certainly seem to have been at work—a Wikipedia page describes I Like It When You Sleep as "a masterpiece, a great gift from four British guys." This blurb can't adequately describe the absurdity and excess that is The 1975—complete with multi-page manifestos, Coachella performances and sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, a heroin addiction and subsequent rehab stint on the part of lead singer Matty Healy—and on the one hand, they're just a bunch of boys who think too much of themselves. On the other hand, they're doing something no one else is—and doing it near-flawlessly. Fellow Manchester-born emo-pop faves Pale Waves and London-based Filipino alt-pop artist No Rome open. (Naomi Clegg) UCCU Center, UVU, 800 W. University Pkwy., Orem, 7 p.m., $45-$60, all ages,

  • Jabari Jacobs

Lizzo, Tayla Parx

I don't know if I'm up to the task of writing about Lizzo—but then again, I don't know if anyone is. The rapper and singer, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has been killing it since she was 14, when she started a three-person group called the "Cornrow Clique" with best friends in her native Texas. After playing in several self-started indie hip-hop and soul-pop groups, she split out on her own with debut 2013 album Lizzobangers. In 2015, she released her first major-label EP, Coconut Oil (Nice Life), a set of six songs that writer Vanessa Okoth-Obbo described for Pitchfork as an "ode to body positivity, self-love and the trials of getting to the point where you believe you deserve it." Unapologetic self-love is a Lizzo hallmark: "Ima do my thing/ no apologies," she sings, joyfully, on "Scuse Me," so "scuse me while I feel myself." That philosophy, rooted in Lizzo's confrontation with and rejection of the negative body image she had as a young girl, extends to her stage, where her group of back-up dancers (and of course, there must be backup dancers, because this is a celebration), the Big Grrrls, are all plus-sized. Lizzo's brand of gleeful, brazen hip-hop and soaring soul is only getting better with time, like in "Juice," a single-from her third studio album: "I was born like this, don't even gotta try/ I like chardonnay, get better over time/ Heard you say I'm not the baddest, bitch, you lie," she proclaims. Look forward to more excellence from the album, Cuz I Love You, released April 19, at her performance this Tuesday. (NC) The Union Event Center, 235 N. 500 West, 8 p.m., $29, all ages,

  • Kevin Baldes

Ben Kweller, MainMan, Modern Love Child
With his shock of red hair and youthful zeal, Ben Kweller sometimes comes across as the unassuming lovechild of Carrot Top and Lucille Ball. OK, that's a weird reference, but it doesn't diminish the fact that Kweller's career has been remarkably exuberant over the last 25 years. After nine albums, both for major labels and under his own aegis, and nearly as many EPs, he's established himself as a prime indie auteur, whether working on his own or in collaboration with others. His efforts began with a cool pop band dubiously dubbed Radish in the mid to late '90s, and over the years he's interspersed his own efforts with the sometime trio called The Bens (featuring fellow Bens, Folds and Lee) and a songwriting collaboration with the group Guster. Mostly, though, he's managed to grab ongoing attention on his own, thanks to his highly melodic trappings as a singer-songwriter and steady road presence. Still, it's been awhile since his last release. Go Fly a Kite came out in 2012, but we're told a new disc—one supposedly bearing the worrisome title Circuit Boredom—is due soon. Kweller's upcoming concert also features ethereal funk outfit MainMan and alt-rock wunderkind Modern Love Child, a fine mix for connoisseurs of cool. (LZ) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 7 p.m., $18 presale; $20 day of show, 21+,