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Music » Music Picks


The Flaming Lips, The Growlers, Divorce Court, Concise Kilgore, Bo York, Flash & Flare, and more


  • George Salisbury

The Flaming Lips, The Growlers, Divorce Court

The Flaming Lips are undoubtedly one of the most resolutely odd and inventive groups to rise to prominence in the '90s alt-rock bubble—though their notable discography stretches back to the '70s. Their 1997 album Zaireeka pushed the CD format to the absolute extreme, composed across four separate discs meant to be played simultaneously. They've released music in USB drives encased in (among other things) a gummy fetus and an actual human skull. Their longest recorded work is a single composition clocking in at a whopping 24 hours. Indeed, the antics of frontman Wayne Coyne and his cabal of fearless freaks are so consistently outlandish that at times, they threaten to eclipse the band's actual musical output. That's no easy feat, as their music is as mercurial and singular as the band itself, metamorphosing from noisy, country-fried rock to meticulous, lush psychedelic pop around the turn of the century, and again to spacey, jazzy krautrock a decade later. Over the course of their artistic evolution, they've racked up mountains of critical acclaim, as well as a massive, devoted fanbase. That fanbase will be out in full force when Flaming Lips take the Ogden Amphitheater stage the night before the worldwide release of their 15th studio effort, King's Mouth, a concept album about a gigantic king who dies saving his people from an avalanche and has his head encased in steel by his grateful subjects. In other words, the Lips are still as fearless and freaky as ever. California surf-rockers The Growlers along with local spotlight Divorce Court open. (Nic Renshaw) Ogden Amphitheatre, 343 E. 25th St., Ogden, 5 p.m., $12 presale; $15 day of show, all ages,

Concise Kilgore, Bo York, Flash & Flare

Concise Kilgore is one of those acts you'll be familiar with if you've ever had a phase of Soundcloud ecosystem fascination, especially as it manifests locally. Tracks appear in loose succession and without context, often with stellar production from names you've either never heard of or have caught in passing at Good Grammar's Critical Beatdown. Kilgore's most cohesive release then is arguably Kil Joy Division, which shows off his equal affinity for beats, lyrics and references. Kilgore has been around for a long time (you can find tracks back to 2002 on YouTube), but Kil Joy Division feels contemporary with its clever wordplay, unexpected samples and aggressive mix of confessionals and self promotion. Who knows whether Kilgore will draw from Kil Joy Division or any of his other dozen wells of work, but his older stuff still stands up enough as anything from that era can, so don't fret. (Check out Digitalis for some mid-aughts delight.) Bo York won City Weekly's 2018 Battle of the DJs to open for Diplo, and say what you will about Diplo (there's a lot to say), the name still carries a heft most DJs covet, so Bo York has certainly built more than a foundation at this point. DJ Flash & Flare has also been around for more than a minute—Kyle Erickson has been DJing in Salt Lake's dance scene for 11 years. It's a promising lineup between the three acts if you're looking for a curated night out. (Parker S. Mortensen) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 9 p.m., free before 10 p.m., $5 after 10 p.m., 21+,

  • Orest Dorosh

FRIDAY-Saturday, 7/19 & 7/20
Norah Jones, Phil Hanley

It's one thing to kick off a career by making a big splash; it's quite another to sustain that success 17 years later. Granted, Norah Jones scored her biggest pop hits early on, with the one-two punch of "Don't Know Why" and "Come Away With Me" establishing the fact she was destined to become an instant sensation, regardless of the genre label pundits chose to put on her. Her caressing vocals and jazz-lite approach kindled critical acclaim across the board, and while the fact that she was the late sitar master Ravi Shankar's daughter might have proved intriguing to some, that lineage was ultimately irrelevant. Her seventh album, the recently-released Begin Again, as its title implies ought to renew the stream of critical kudos accorded her since the beginning.The fact that she recently had the honor of opening the 40th anniversary of the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival testifies to her continuing credibility within the international music community. And with more than two dozen major honors to her credit—including several Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, People's Choice Awards and a Brit Award—there's further evidence of her sustained success. The fact that Billboard also pronounced her "Jazz Musician of the Decade" also speaks to her lingering impact. Likewise, consider her collaborations with ad hoc outfit The Little Willies, Billie Joe Armstrong, A Tribe Called Quest and Danger Mouse indication of her willingness to break boundaries, and the desire of other artists to come along with her as well. (Lee Zimmerman) Sandy Amphitheater, 1245 E. 9400 South, July 19-20, 8:15 p.m., sold out at press time,

  • Erica Elan Ciganek

Pete Sands & The Drifters

With roughly five years of recording experience under his belt, Pete Sands has been making steady strides in music. Born and raised on the Navajo reservation in Southern Utah, Sands attended College of Eastern Utah and Weber State University, earning a degree in criminal justice. But, like many college students enamored with art and music, the thought of entering the "corporate world" wasn't appealing, so he decided to pursue his love for singing and songwriting. Unlike many college students, however, he was really good at it. Sands released his debut EP Dirt Dance Floor under the moniker Blackkiss in 2014, subsequently landing gigs at the Sundance Film Festival and Thunder Country Fest, as well as spots opening for Whitey Morgan & the 78's, Matt Woods, Two Car Garage, John Moreland and others. This isn't the same Drifters that crooned into Eisenhower-era American consciousness with catchy harmonies, matching suits and love songs in malt shops; Sands' version includes Chris Aguilar on lead guitar, Steven Tabarez on drums, Nate Meredith on bass and on/off again steel pedal guitarist Ryan Hawthorne rounding out the group. The sound is more rock and blues than rhythm and blues, but it's aurally appealing nonetheless. Expect their first studio album, Thunder Roads, soon; prepare for it by patronizing The State Room when they drift into town. (Keith L. McDonald) The State Room 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $12,

  • Anna Catherine Young

Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Drowse, Sympathy Pain, Silver Slippers

If you've ever been medicated, you're familiar with the placebo effect—the chance that the mere act of taking a pill you believe is real will afford the same benefits as if you'd taken the real thing. It follows then that Nocebo would be the title of Elizabeth Colour Wheel's first full album release. With a dark and thrumming shoegaze sound, it easily recalls days of poor mental health, the interminable "off" days when the expectation that everything sucks and will continue to suck wrings ever more shit. This is the nocebo effect, and with track titles like "Bedrest," "Head Home" and "Life of a Flower," Elizabeth Colour Wheel swing you between a manic, percussive energy and a wholly sinking feeling. The quintet drags you through their wailing, usually building to a breakthrough. "Head Home" is a powerful capper to Nocebo, and seems like it could be a hell of a way to end a show. At the third minute, the sound bursts through a chrysanthemum-like mandala and trips on its own supply, pounding nervously and relentlessly for four minutes. As "Head Home" ends on the album version, you can just make out the sound of birds chirping, present but quickly fading. Openers Drowse, Sympathy Pain and Silver Slippers are perfect complements to Colour Wheel with their own droning melancholy. Drowse's June release Light Mirror in particular has a hopeful lilt plumbing just beyond despair. (PSM) Diabolical Records, 238 Edison St., 7 p.m., $10, all ages,

  • Brantley Gutierrez

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Lucius

Looking for a legit rags-to-riches story? Dig this: Raised dirt poor in a rural Missouri household, Nathaniel Rateliff relied on religion as his exit strategy. But after a mission trip to Denver went awry, Rateliff and best friend Joseph Pope III stayed on in Colorado. While fixing houses, loading trucks and tending gardens, they alsostarted working the thriving local folk 'n' roll circuit under the moniker Born in the Flood and, later, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel. After Pope was diagnosed with cancer and Rateliff found himself endlessly chasing demons in and out of a whiskey bottle, the duo were struck by creative lightning: What if they trashed their folk retread and instead paired the fire-and-brimstone of their gospel upbringing with the slinky soul of the '60s? Now electrified and horn-driven, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats finally struck the kind of gold that Rateliff and Pope had been chasing for more than a decade. The band's self-titled 2015 debut was released by legendary Memphis label Stax Records, and lead single "S.O.B." became a viral sensation, topping theBillboardcharts after the band performed it on The Tonight Show. But the rip-roaring ode to alcohol was more than just a party song, delving deep into the psychological terrors that Rateliff experienced when he tried to sober up. That hard-hitting honesty laid over rowdy Southern soul-rock came into sharper focus on 2018 follow-upTearing at the Seams; its lead single, "You Worry Me," topped the Billboard charts again, even as it (and others like "Baby I Know") documented the torturous real-time dissolution of Rateliff's marriage. "I knew what I was writing about—what I was going through in my relationship," Rateliff toldRolling Stonelast year."I was like, 'How am I going to disguise this so it's not full-on goodbye?' ... I just had to be honest with myself ...That's what music is supposed to do." Arrive early for the heavenly harmonies of Lucius, led by look-alike singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who astonished a Salt Lake City audience at last year's International Women's Day with a powerful a cappella performance in the Utah Capitol rotunda. (Nick McGregor)Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, 2155 Red Butte Canyon Road, 7:30 p.m., sold out at press time, 21+,