Live Music Picks: Nov. 15-21 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks

Live Music Picks: Nov. 15-21

Local H, Sure Sure, Municipal Waste, Erika Wennerstrom, and more

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  • John Oaks

Local H

An alt-rock power duo originally from Zion, Ill., Local H formed in 1987. The band's close adherence to a host of characteristics—the quiet-then-loud grunge formula; grimy, distorted guitars; and frontman Scott Lucas' affinity for expressing his angst by screaming his face off—led in the early '90s to obvious comparisons with Nirvana. But Local H stands apart from the army of imitation acts that poisoned alt-rock airwaves later that decade (here's looking at you, Bush, Collective Soul, Creed, Live and Silverchair). Most notably, Local H doesn't suck. And they've long since outlasted pretty much every single grunge band not named Pearl Jam—they're still touring and releasing new music, mostly recently a Live in Europe album. Lucas has also been around long enough to see his brainchildren grow up: Two years ago, Local H celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of their seminal album As Good As Dead, a gold-selling record that includes the band's best-known singles: "Bound for the Floor," "High-Fiving MF," "Eddie Vedder" and "Fritz's Corner." Much like Kurt Cobain, Lucas was disdainful of the stump-dumb rocker dudes who made up some portion of grunge fans, a sentiment he expressed in "High-Fiving MF." On it, he sings,"You've got no taste in music/ And you really love our band." Brilliant. The band has experienced a recent resurgence, thanks in part to touring with fellow alt-rockers The Toadies and opening for Metallica during its stadium tour last year. Local H rolls through Salt Lake City this week headlining its own Pack Up the Cats tour. (Howard Hardee) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $16 presale; $18 day of show;

  • Brittany O Brien

FRIDAY 11/16
Sure Sure

This year has been kind to Sure Sure. Following the January release of their self-titled debut album, the Los Angeles indie outfit has steadily popped up on more radars with their newfound momentum: hitting the road with Hippo Campus, followed by their very own headlining tour and a national television debut on the ESPY Awards red carpet. Made up of Kevin Farzad (percussion), Chris Beachy (keyboards/vocals), Charlie Glick (guitar/vocals) and Michael Coleman (bass/producer), Sure Sure breezily combines rock and pop elements, all propelled by leisurely bass lines and synths. At the core of the band's music lies a familiar comfort: fun, warm and relatable songs that make it feel like summer still lingers in the air. Maybe it's because they turned their home into a studio for the recording of Sure Sure, or maybe it's an extension of their personalities, but hearing Sure Sure play is like listening to your friends dive into an all-time jam session. This vibe is present on album opener "Giants," becoming even more palpable on their feel-good cover of Talking Heads' classic "This Must Be the Place." That friendliness doesn't stop with the music, either. The boys still leave their phone number up on their website so people can reach out and say hi. Delivering nothing short of a good time, Sure Sure is a band you won't want to miss as they continue to climb higher on indie rock's ladder. (Isaac Biehl) Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court, 6 p.m., $16 presale; $18 day of show, all ages,

  • Kip Dawkins

SUNDAY 11/18
Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust, Haunt

In a perfect world, there's no such thing as "last call." Not one bar patron is left with those three daunting words—"You're cut off"—and the beer flows like wine. This world would be made possible if it were up to Richmond, Va.-based crossover thrashers Municipal Waste. Known in the metal community for their hilarious Jackass-style music videos, Municipal Waste prepares to spread their beer-drinking gospel to the Beehive State. After releasing their fifth studio album, The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space), in 2012, this five-piece band worked on other side projects before releasing another album. However, the 2017 release of Slime and Punishment was worth the wait. Founding Municipal Waste-r Tony Foresta explains why that time was crucial for the band: "It finally just felt like the right time to do a new record," he told the Full Metal Jackie radio show. "And I think people wanted it. We were getting harassing emails, like, 'Why the hell isn't there a new record yet?' So here we are—we did it." More than 12 months later, 2018 is still the year of Slime and Punishment for thrash fans. And with more than 17 years of keg stands, guitar sweeps and appearances on the Speed of the Wizard tour with thrash BFFs Toxic Holocaust, this Salt Lake City show is sure to inspire circle pits as far as the eye can see. God bless these bands for keeping this genre fresh for younger crowds entering the underground. Thrashing is Municipal Waste's business—and business is good. (Rachelle Fernandez) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 7 p.m., $26 presale; $28 day of show, 21+,

  • Linda Beecroft

Erika Wennerstrom, The Penitent Man
It takes a certain amount of courage to leave an established band and set out on your own. Yet it's not uncommon—and in most cases, the impetus comes from a creative urge that needs to be expressed but can't within the group's confines. That was the case when Erika Wennerstrom felt the need to take a break from her band, Heartless Bastards, the Ohio-born/Austin-based outfit she's helmed for the past 15 years. The time to herself led to the aptly named 2018 album Sweet Unknown, which digs deeper into Wennerstrom's own emotions, highlighting her stirring vocals and exposing more of her own psyche. Striking out on her own also allowed Wennerstrom to confront her past and reflect on the struggles she encountered while building a music career. Such a move makes sense; Wennerstrom's evocative voice and gut-wrenching lyrics have always hinted at something more profound. "What the hell do I really want in my life?" she asks at one point on the new album. The answer is obvious: by asserting herself with eloquence, assurance and determination, she's made her own desires quite clear. (Lee Zimmerman) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $20, 21+,

  • Pooneh Ghana

The Garden, Le1f, Machine Girl

With modern music morphing and shifting at hyper speed, it makes perfect sense that The Garden—the California duo made up of twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears—came up with their own genre name. Figuring out exactly what "Vada Vada" means, of course, is the hard part. One part rowdy proto-rap, one part experimental dance-punk and one part Instagram-ready élan, The Garden toys with streetwise hyper-realism while throwing everything they do into a gaudy glam-rock blender. What else would you expect from Los Angeles-based male models? Still, there's a sense of slacker joie de vivre inherent in everything The Garden does. Make sure you turn up early for the manga-inspired madness of Machine Girl and the avant-garde trip-hop of Le1f, one of the most prominent openly gay rappers who brings a background in ballet and modern dance to his theatrical performances. (Nick McGregor) In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 7 p.m., $17 presale; $20 day of show, all ages,

  • Julia Lowe

Shallou, Japanese Wallpaper

Like many millennial performers, Joe Boston—who performs under the stage name Shallou—got his start in his bedroom in Chicago, where he began recording a signature mix of electronic beats and sleepy, soulful vocals. Releasing his debut EP, All Becomes Okay, under his own label in May 2017, Boston soon catapulted from bedroom beats to sold-out stages, making a name for himself on Spotify playlists (where he has more than 100 million plays) and landing on Billboard's dance/electronic charts. Now based in Los Angeles, Shallou's current tour finds him supporting April's Souls EP, which cemented his place in the ambient/indie atmosphere with Bon Iver-esque croons paired with gentle electronic rhythms. It's the kind of music tailor-made for Spotify success: unobtrusive enough for study sessions and background tunes but upbeat enough for impromptu dance parties. Shallou also channels millennial worries and resentments into his music and business ethos—Souls centers on love and longing, while 2017's All Becomes Okay was written with the earth's natural cycles in mind. To that end, Boston donated all proceeds from his first EP to the Environmental Defense Fund. "Climate change is real," he says on his website, but "some of our world leaders don't accept the reality of climate change and its dire consequences." Support for this show comes from Australian dream-pop outfit Japanese Wallpaper—perfect for a very chill night of dreamy dance music. (Naomi Clegg) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $13, all ages,