Live Music Picks: January 4-10 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Music » Music Picks

Live Music Picks: January 4-10

Richard Thompson, Jail City Rockers, Arturo Sandoval, Booker T. Jones and more.

by and

comment
VINCENT DIXON
  • Vincent Dixon

THURSDAY-SATURDAY 1/4-1/6
Richard Thompson
English singer/songwriter Richard Thompson has had a five-decade career, beginning in the classic folk group Fairport Convention, but he's never quite garnered much adulation Stateside. That said, there isn't even a real American equivalent of the Order of the British Empire, with its connotations of royalty that Thompson shares with a few other august musical members, like Sir Paul McCartney. Just the same, Thompson has been an ambassador for the Fender Stratocaster, as well as folk music (with its ups and downs in popularity), and he's known for his singular thumb- and finger-style guitar technique and erudite, heart-rending songs. If you need an intro to the man's work, Acoustic Classics (Beeswing)—the second volume of which was issued in 2017—distills essential songs from his oeuvre in the solo acoustic setting in which he's performing on tour. But his 2015 release Still (Fantasy) is also a good starting point with the song "Guitar Heroes," which breathlessly blends mini-homages to Django Reinhardt, Chuck Berry, Dale Hawkins' classic song "Susie Q" (made famous by Creedence Clearwater Revival), The Shadows' "F.B.I." and even a song that doesn't feature guitar: Duke Ellington's "Caravan." It goes to show that Thompson is a scholar of a variety of musical idioms, which has served to make his own work all the richer. (Brian Staker) The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main, Park City, 8 p.m., $39-$75, all ages, egyptiantheatrecompany.org

MEAGAN MEAD
  • Meagan Mead

FRIDAY 1/5
Jail City Rockers, Jeff Dillon and the Revival, The Four07's, Travis LaBrel
It's easy for bands to rattle off a list of influences in place of a bio that says anything specifically about them. Not that Ogden's Jail City Rockers do that—there's a 123-word bio on jailcityrockers.com that says just enough to interest you. But the site doesn't come up on a Google search and isn't even mentioned on their Facebook page. So the first thing you read on their "about" page is a salad of references: "The Clash, Desmond Dekker, Eddie Cochran, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, The Jam, The Blue Hearts, The Upsetters, The Specials, Slim Smith, Jim Jarmusch and many, many others." Loosely translated, these ref-checks say the JCRs are into punk, ska, rocksteady, reggae, two-tone, rockabilly, blues, pub rock, mod power-pop and artsy-fartsy—but truly great indie films. And below, under "band interests," they say they're all about "Fun, friends, looking sharp, good tunes and good times!" That's easy to say, too, but the band backs it all up with the eight songs they've uploaded to Spotify. With their quick tempos, Garland Jeffreys lookalike Andrew Bonilla's throaty vox, big gang-vocal choruses and scratchy power-chord riffs, they all skew closer to the pub/punk references, but without belying the other inspirations. And that's kinda totally perfect if you're looking for a cathartic night of singing along until you're hoarse. (Randy Harward) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $6, all ages, kilbycourt.com

TODD VAN HOOSEAR VIA FLICKR
  • Todd Van Hoosear via Flickr

SATURDAY 1/6
Arturo Sandoval Sextet
Cuban-American trumpeter/pianist/composer Arturo Sandoval was born in 1949, right after the first wave of bebop, and his style has been influenced by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and other giants of the frenetic jazz subgenre. Sandoval looked to Gillespie as a mentor, and began working with the Diz in the late '70s, before defecting to the U.S. in 1990. Just as Gillespie did much to popularize bebop by adding elements of Latin music, Sandoval has made inroads to getting people hip to the hotter Afro-Cuban style of jazz originating from his native country. He combined the harmonic complexities of bop with the sophisticated orchestrations and dance rhythms of Cuban jazz, adding his own nuances, and a precision owed to his classical training. Arturo's artistry has earned him four Grammy Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Obama in 2013. You could do a lot worse than start off the musical year by seeing one of the giants of jazz. (BS) Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 7:30 p.m., $32.50, all ages, artssaltlake.org

PIPER FERGUSON
  • Piper Ferguson

An Evening with Booker T. Jones
Many of you know Booker T. Jones, along with his band the MG's, for their 1962 instrumental "Green Onions." If, by chance, you don't know Jones, or think you don't know the song—well, you do. It's that slick, jaunty three-minute number that pops up in so many films (X-Men: First Class, The Sandlot) and TV shows (this year's Twin Peaks revival, The Sopranos). It starts with Jones' cool, casual Hammond B-3, underscored by subtle taps (like fingersnaps) on Al Jackson's snare drum. Soon guitarist Steve Cropper adds sick stabs of dirty twang, bassist Lewie Steinberg throws in confident muscle and the song is ripe for whatever you're doing at the time. Whether you're headed to a rumble or sitting in the drive-thru, "Green Onions" makes anything cool—even writing about "Green Onions," even though that verges on a meta overdose. But "An Evening with" shows are reserved for artists who can fill at least two hours without relying on an opening act, so you're gonna hear a whole lot more than Jones' signature instrumental—and his other spotlight piece, the happier "Time Is Tight," once covered by the muthahumpin' Clash. Jones, with and without the MG's, has 56 years of music including albums with the Drive-By Truckers (2009's Potato Hole) and The Roots (2011's The Road from Memphis, also featuring Lou Reed, Sharon Jones, Yim Yames and more). His most recent album is Sound the Alarm (Stax, 2013), with guests like Gary Clark Jr., Mayer Hawthorne, Sheila E. and Vintage Trouble. Like everything else he's done, it's slippery with critical drool—much like the State Room floor will be. (RH) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $42-$100, 21+, thestateroomslc.com

HENRY LAURISCH VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Henry Laurisch via Wikimedia Commons

WEDNESDAY 1/10
Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Crown the Empire
Several years ago, I interviewed Black Veil Brides singer Andy Biersack. At the time, the band was transitioning from emo to a more hard rock sound, shedding their wuss skin for the tougher, more leathery image of sleazy bands like Motley Crüe. Sometimes you see what you wanna see. At the time, I wanted to see the odious, simpering emo-scene bands my kid listened to cut the shit—like labeling themselves outcasts, shriek-whining about haters and doing their level best to drain the power out of flashing middle fingers and saying "fuck." I drank the Kool-Aid and believed Biersack was the real thing. Then he cut his hair and, as Andy Black, dropped a mega-turd of a solo album that sounded like Nickelback dance pop, thereby draining his credibility in a vortex of feces and Charmin. BVB remained a viable fallback, but at some cost. Around the same time, co-headliners Asking Alexandria—another detestable Hot Topic band—smelling irrelevance, attempted to rebrand by ripping off '80s rockers Skid Row with note-for-note versions of "Youth Gone Wild" and "18 and Life," along with "Youth Gone Wild" t-shirts. An EP of Def Leppard, Journey, Whitesnake and other hard rock covers followed, but they kept squeezing out more screamo crapola that tried to be simultaneously badass and sensitive. Now their fifth album is self-titled to give the appearance of renewal, and they're saying it's like starting the band over again. Guess how it sounds? Yup. They're pulling an Andy Black. Facepalm. (Randy Harward) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 5:30 p.m. (doors), $33, all ages, thecomplexslc.com

Add a comment