Live Music Picks: July 13-19 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks

Live Music Picks: July 13-19

Suzanne Vega, North Mississippi Osborne, Beach Fossils, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and more.

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  • Olaf Tausch via Wikimedia

Suzanne Vega, special guest TBD
Suzanne Vega is the author and velvety voice behind "Tom's Diner," originally an a cappella track until British duo DNA remixed it into the most popular version—with a skipping beat set to Vega's "di-di-diii-di" vocal line—that most of us associate with the tune. She's also behind the moody rocker "Left of Center," co-written with Joe Jackson and featured in the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink. But the singer-songwriter's biggest hit will always be "Luka," about the kid that lives on the second floor—you know, upstairs from you? Yes, I think you've heard it before, with its heavy lyrics misleadingly floating over the song's breezy, Fleetwood Mac-ish folk-rock melody. Chances are you've thought about that titular tot and how you'd like to kick his abusive parents' asses up and down the block. That's Vega's trick: dropping you into these moments and making you really feel something. In "Luka," it's the helplessness and frustration of hearing a boy say he's abused, but ask you not to try to help. In "Left of Center," it's the sense that, in the absence of a loved one, everything is askew. In "Tom's Diner," it's feeling detached and invisible while pondering the last time you experienced a real connection to someone. This effect is pervasive in Vega's acclaimed catalog, which spans 35 years but only nine studio albums. But while her canon is shallow in raw numbers, you can bet that it's deep in quality. Lover, Beloved: Songs From an Evening With Carson McCullers (Amanuensis, 2016) is based on the 2011 play written by and starring Vega, a lifelong fan of the Southern writer—which explains a lot. (Randy Harward) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., sold out, 21+,

  • Snakesphoto

Zombiecock's Video Wrap Party
It was only last Halloween when local horrorpunk quartet Zombiecock dropped their first music video, "Rest in Pieces," from their 2014 debut Zombies Love Punk Rock! ( Since then, they released an eponymous full-length in summer 2016 and a new single, "Alucard," this past June. On July 13, they're filming a video for that one. "It's inspired by the [video] game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night," singer-guitarist Willie Wolfbite says. The clip, directed by Adam Judd of Horrorshow Pictures (who also helmed "Rest in Pieces"), will keep with the game's gothic, Dark Ages vibe and include "some live performance shots and some super rad Dracula concepts." Tonight's show is a production-wrap party, but Wolfbite says Zombiecock tends to celebrate around every project. "We always make sure to put together an event whenever we release something big," he says. "It's fun for the fans and a blast for us, too!" The band expects to finish post-production on the clip in time for a fall release. In the meantime, they're writing and recording even more new music—both albums and singles—and planning small West Coast tours. "Nothing too crazy," Wolfbite says. Of course not. They have too much work to do, and parties to plan. (Randy Harward) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., free, 21+,

  • Michael Bloom

North Mississippi Osborne, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
North Mississippi Osborne, or NMO, is an ad hoc super-trio comprised of Swedish-born, New Orleans-based guitarist/songwriter/producer Anders Osborne and North Mississippi Allstars brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson. Their debut album, Freedom & Dreams (, 2015), offers a sprawling, loose-limbed blend of country, rural rock, blues and ballads that brings to mind the music made by the brothers' dad—legendary performer, producer, bandleader, session player and early Americana forerunner Jim Dickinson. Since they're headlining on the strength of just their first album, the NMO pumps up their sets with songs culled from their respective catalogs, as well as covers of tunes by Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, Bukka White, Muddy Waters and more. The upshot is a hearty helping of musical comfort food, served up in true Southern style—grits and gravy not included. Opening act Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real ensures you're full-to-bursting by night's end. (Lee Zimmerman) Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, 2280 E. Red Butte Canyon Road, 7 p.m., $34-$41, all ages,

  • Kohei Kawashima

Beach Fossils, She-Devils, Ablebody
Brooklyn-based indie band Beach Fossils has spent the better part of the past decade exploring the sand between their toes, and their recent release, Somersault (Bayonet) finds them extending their aural sauntering, albeit in a leisurely manner. Meanwhile, Montreal's She-Devils make pop that's influenced as much by Phil Spector as by Andy Warhol—enthralling visually as well as sonically. If you're a fan of Best Coast, then She-Devils vocalist Audrey Ann Boucher should be able to push your buttons, too, in a good way. The third act on this bill, Ablebody, hails from Los Angeles and plays smart synth-pop that's cool like a palm tree in the breeze. (Brian Staker) In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 7 p.m., $16, all ages,

  • TheodorusRex Via Wikimedia

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Elektric Voodoo
A dude like Karl Denson doesn't live in a microcosm; he rules in the macro, a musical giant who simply makes the world around him appear small. That's because, like a sax-playin' Kevin Bacon, you can connect him to so many other acts through associations, collaborations, studio sessions or jams. With his own bands, like KDTU and The Greyboy Allstars, or as a full-fledged member of Slightly Stoopid and touring member of the Rolling Stones, Denson plays his horn like lead guitar, blowing notes that rasp, skronk, squeal and scream while singing his muthafunky ass off. On every project, including his most recent album New Ammo (Stoopid Records, 2014), he surrounds himself with ace players capable of keeping up with—and challenging—him. This leads to some astonishing musical moments, which is why, when you have the chance to see Denson do it live, you take it. Every time. (RH) O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main, Park City, 9 p.m., $30-$50 presale, 21+,

  • Lex B. Anderson

The Phoenix Jazz & Swing Band
It's Big Band Tuesday at the Gallivan Center's Excellence in the Community concert series. The Phoenix Jazz & Swing Band appears hot on the heels of their Utah Arts Festival performance with guest vocalist Jack Wood from Southern California. Now in their 28th year, the band received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status a decade ago for their educational and community outreach program, where they teach and perform at local schools and senior centers, helping to keep alive a uniquely American genre of music born in the 1930s. Swing dancing is a great way to spend a warm summer evening, and PJ&SB shows always include free lessons at 7 p.m. (BS) The Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7:30 p.m., free, all ages,