LIVE MUSIC PICKS: NOV. 14-20 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks


Tom Brosseau, Chon, Between the Buried and Me, Intervals, and more.


  • Lizzi Brosseau

Tom Brosseau
Some call Tom Brosseau a high plains troubadour, a thoughtful folk singer birthed from the frozen farmlands of Grand Forks, N.D., or a golden-voiced tenor capable of breathing tender life into ruminations on domestic life. But a single word that's universally applicable to the 43-year-old North Dakota native and current Salt Lake City denizen is "reverent." On his latest album, In the Shadow of the Hill: Songs from the Carter Family Catalogue Vol. 1, Brosseau mines the lesser-known depths of the Carter Family's overflowing country-folk canon, selecting nine gems plaintively plucked and gently sung by Brosseau and his longtime collaborator, Sean Watkins. Love, in all its lost, found and desperately-desired forms, dominates on songs like "Jealous Hearted Me" and "Give Me Your Love and I'll Give You Mine," but it's the more melancholy corners of human emotion that feel fresh on gems like "Chewing Gum" and "Where the Silver Colorado Wends Its Way." On the latter song, Brosseau invigorates the repeated line "O the flowers creep no more/ 'Round my cheerless cabin door," positioning our man's reedy pipes as the perfect vehicle for historical interpretation. "It's a healthy thing to go back, because you're paying attention to history," Brosseau told City Weekly in December 2018. "There's a lot you can learn from that ... But music is such a small part of it. Really, I love people so much. What compels me to keep going is the place I've never been or the people I don't know." (Nick McGregor) Rye Diner & Drinks, 239 S. 500 East, 7 p.m., all ages, free,

  • Travis Shinn

Friday 11/15
Chon, Between the Buried and Me, Intervals
When talking about which bands have done the most to set the stage for the current state of progressive music, Between the Buried and Me and Chon are two names bound to come up at some point. The former first won over fans and critics with their 2003 sophomore release The Silent Circus, fusing the sweeping, technically-demanding melodicism of Dream Theater with the unpredictable ferocity of Converge and the Dillinger Escape Plan, and continued to wow the metal world throughout the next 16 years with ambitious projects like 2007's Colors and the recently-released two-part album Automata. The latter started building buzz in the early days of the modern "bedroom metal" community alongside acts like Cloudkicker and Scale the Summit, releasing a demo in 2008 when all four band members were still in their early teens, and continuing from there to hone and develop their sound into a playful, breezy take on instrumental prog that borrows liberally from math-rock and even jazz fusion. Today, both bands seem as creatively fertile and energetic as ever, bringing their live show to SLC for a night of guitar-shredding, proggy goodness. Canadian djent outfit Intervals opens. (Nic Renshaw) The Depot, 13 N. 400 West, 6:30 p.m. $27.50, all ages,

  • Shervin Lainez

Saturday 11/16
Son Little, Christopher Paul Stelling
There is a junior-varsity crew of soul revival acts bubbling up that produce picture-perfect copies of the greats, but with none of the originals' sense for sex or tragedy. These types of perfectly inoffensive artists are sometimes used as musical wallpaper at Starbucks, but maybe little else. Thankfully, there is also a vanguard of modern, soul-adjacent artists who have transcended that type of musical fetishism, chasing the spirit of great soul music rather than its form. One such artist is Son Little, who—to his credit—is the real-life son of a preacher man. Over the course of three studio albums, two EPs and guest credits including Mavis Staples, RJD2 and his Philly neighbors The Roots, Son Little has created an emotionally and musically complex style that reflects the revivalist acoustic soul of Michael Kiwanuka, the high-drama-low-clutter arrangements of Grizzly Bear and the swaggerful jazz rap of Flying Lotus. His newest EP, invisible, features his most minimalistic and modern work yet, showing a real aptitude for intentional, meaningful art. Whether Son Little will create anything as singular as his inspirations have is yet to be seen, but it's clear that his music exists in discourse with his inspirations rather than as pale impression. Opening the show is an artist operating at the intersection of soul and folk. Asheville-based singer-songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling has developed, after a few years of non-stop touring, a clever fingerpicking style and charged-up vocal delivery that, at its best, fights for—and wins—unaffected intimacy with its listeners. (Alex Murphy) The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $20, 21+,

  • Emily Butler

Kolars, Branson Anderson, oh!no?ok.
Los Angeles rock duo Kolars—made up of Rob Kolar on guitar and vocals and Lauren Brown on percussion—tend to turn heads with their unusual onstage setup. In addition to more traditional drumming techniques, Brown provides the band's rhythmic backbone by tap dancing on an overturned bass drum in a manner that recalls somebody playing Dance Dance Revolution in an arcade. Kolar, the band's flashy frontman, is all about sparkly guitars and jackets, pompadours and old-school showmanship. Together, they make for a visually striking live act. Kolar and Brown joined forces after playing together in the now-defunct folk group He's My Brother She's My Sister, finding common ground as theatrical performers. The husband-and-wife duo is not strictly about the drumshtick, however. They make compelling enough "glam-a-billy" music to have recorded single "Turn It Up" with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, and have a couple notable bangers to their name (see: "One More Thrill" and "Dizzy"). But they are best consumed live. The first half of their set is raw and stripped down—just Brown and Kolar banging (and jumping) on their instruments. About midway through, additional production elements creep into the mix—bass accompaniment, subtle piano parts or reverb-soaked background vocals—that Kolar pre-records. It's a trick to beef up the sound that also adds an element of mystery to their stage show, a Wizard of Oz-type effect that suggests there's more going on behind the curtain. (Howard Hardee) Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court, 8 p.m. $12-$14, all ages,

  • Ray Smith

SUNDAY 11/17
J.P. Harris
With his folky, grass-roots approach, J.P. Harris brings listeners to the fringe of country music, reintroducing soundscapes reminiscent of those in the '60s and '70s, especially on his EP, Why Don't We Duet in The Road. It comes out sounding like a new take on what Porter Wagner and Dolly Parton had perfected back in their heyday, with the featured talents of multiple women: Malin Peterson, Erin Rae, Miss Tess and Elizabeth Cook. With his most recent release, Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing, and his first album, I'll Keep Calling, there's a rustic, honky-tonk charm laced within every track. His songbook is full of tender, sincere songs that transport the listener to a different time—offering lighthearted, feel-good tracks and the heavy-hearted hitters that country music is known for. Identifying less as a musician and more as a "carpenter that writes music," he skips the glitz and glamour that usually comes with the gig in exchange for bringing the most authentic version of himself to his audience. Honky-tonk doesn't have to be perfect, and Harris' ethos behind writing and performing permeates into his craft, exposing the passion that drives it. His persona, songbook and stage presence are unique, making him a perfect fit for Dirtyratmotocyco, a mysterious and enticing motorcycle shop and venue popping up here in Salt Lake City. Frankly, it sounds like the best way to spend a November evening. (Zaina Abujebarah) Dirtyratmotocyco, 1515 S. Major Street, 7 p.m., $10, all ages,