Live: Music Picks May 30-June 5 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks

Live: Music Picks May 30-June 5

Pentagraham Crackers, Foals & More




The Pentagraham Crackers CD/Tape Release
Local four-piece “everyman’s band” The Pentagraham Crackers recorded their first LP live at their friend David Payne’s (Red Bennies) home, hence the title Live From the Palace of Payne. The absence of many overdubs lends the album the same immediacy and energy of a live performance, and songs like “Noose for a Halo” and “Birds to Breath” are full of the band’s trademark snappy, punk-injected rhythms and driving guitar work. But the highlight of the album by far is the slowed-down, psychedelia-leaning “Danger Blues,” which features darkly poetic lyrics—“The sun’s sinking down to the jaws of the west”—and Nick Neihart’s haunting, droning vocals, which Nick Cave would be proud of. Live From the Palace of Payne will be released on cassette tape by Chthonic Records (with a digital download if you threw out that old tape player) as well as on CD, with the added bonus of a limited-edition poster. Night Sweats and The Circulars open the show. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State, 9:30 p.m., $5

The Tallest Man On Earth
In concert, Sweden’s The Tallest Man on Earth—Kristian Matsson—skillfully picks a fine mix of rhythm and lead guitar, generally at one volume, which is the same as his singing: loud. He seemingly screams his vocals in a haunting, off-kilter way that is at once warm and uniquely desirable, yet dissonant—like a raspy train-hopper’s decanted howl after years of chain-smoking Marlboro Reds, but still with hints of youth. Glints of hope can be heard in the music despite the tall man’s (he’s actually not tall in person) singular songwriting focus: loss. Lost love, lost friendship or just being lost fill his gorgeous previous two records—although, as the title of his 2012 album, There’s No Leaving Now, might allude, Matson is a little less restless now and has even planted some roots. This change is most apparent, musically at least, in his instrumentation choices—his first foray into multitracking, which includes additional guitars, woodwinds and drums—and a more relaxed lyrical style. Strand of Oaks opens the show. (Austen Diamond)
The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $17.50 in advance, $20 day of show

According to Houses’ Facebook band page, the band has interests such as sustainable living and being alone. And that’s not just a joke in passing. Houses is made up of Dexter Tortoriello and Megan Messina, a real-life couple who moved to a little cabin in Papaikou, Hawaii, where they cultivated indigenous microorganisms, cooked with rainwater, and painted and wrote music by candlelight for the band’s debut, All Night (2010). “The music comes from a place of love and ease,” wrote Tortoriello at In their following two albums, including the excellent 2013 release, A Quiet Darkness, the duo has held onto that ease of writing, creating simple, lush and vivid songs filled with acoustic guitar, lulling synths, minimal percussion, harmonies and little else. Giraffula and D33J are also on the bill. (Austen Diamond)
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $10


“Chiptune” sounds like it refers to something that small, furry animals would rave to, but it’s actually a genre of synthesized electronic music created with 8-bit sound bites. In the case of New York City-based four-piece Anamanaguchi, those brain-blistering (in a good way) sounds are lifted from hacked Nintendos and Game Boys and backed by a full punk band. The result is “hyperactive, hyperpositive” dance music and dreamy soundscapes. Check out Anamanaguchi’s epic soundtrack to the game version of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, or the May release Endless Fantasy (turned up loud), and escape to your own candy-colored adventure. Chrome Sparks open the show. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Shred Shed, 60 E. Exchange Place, 7 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show


Utah Pride Festival
On Sunday night, pride-ful festival-goers have a real musical treat to look forward to: a performance by the legendary Motown/R&B heartbreaker Thelma Houston. Her 44-year career blasted off after her disco-riffic cover of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ “Don’t Leave Me This Way” won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and although the song was featured on VH1’s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders, the funky magic this soulful lady weaves was no flash in the pan. Houston went on to create more than 23 albums, including her most recent, A Woman’s Touch (2007), filled with her unique takes on classic songs from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Glee star Alex Newell, who plays the transgender character Wade “Unique” Williams, kicks things off Saturday, bringing the same va-va-voom to the festival stage as he did to covers of Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and Britney’s Spears’ “Womanizer” on the musical TV show. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Salt Lake City & County Building, 450 S. 200 East, June 1 & 2, see for complete info, Saturday tickets $13 in advance, $15 day of show; Sunday tickets $8 in advance, $10 day of show


A large part of Foals’ boundary-pushing music-making is derived from the band’s hometown of Oxford, England, which Radiohead and Stornoway also both call home. “It’s full of people who live inside their heads,” frontman Yannis Philippakis told the New York Daily News. “That’s different from being a band from an industrial town like Sheffield or Manchester. Here, you can have ambition and not be derided for it.” Perhaps that support is how the five-piece has evolved from a math-rock band on their acclaimed debut, Antidotes, to avant-garde nouveau English rockers on Total Life Forever, to the new funky pop explosion of 2013’s Holy Fire. The album’s “Inhaler” and “My Number” might be two of the smartest, catchiest singles of the year. Surfer Blood and Blondefire are also on the bill. (Austen Diamond)
The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 7:30 p.m., $20


Alkaline Trio
When I saw Chicago-based Alkaline Trio perform in 2005 at what was then called the McKay Events Center at Utah Valley University, the three-piece rolled out onto the stage on bicycles, dressed as LDS missionaries—white shirts, slacks and name tags included. The stunt was a perfect example of the punk-rock outfit’s typical sardonic sense of humor, which is also present in the blacker-than-black lyrics on their latest album, My Shame Is True (Heart & Skull/Epitaph), released in April. Ever the bundle of sparkles and rainbows, frontman Matt Skiba sings, “The sun used to be one of my favorite drugs/ Looks like that one’s gonna kill us all,” on “I, Pessimist,” proving that although Alkaline Trio has indeed gotten more radio-friendly in recent years, the band has in no way lost its darker edge. Bayside opens the show. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 8 p.m., $18.50 in advance, $22 day of show