- Silken Weinberg
Thumpasaurus at The State Room
A more outrageous act than Thumpasaurus may not roll through The State Room this year. They're not just one of a kind, but perhaps a superlative when it comes to funk, dance and innovation. Thumpasaurus is clearly one of those bands made up of musical geniuses, the serious type who probably know, like, a lot of music theory—they all came together at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, after all—and use it to blow up any preconceived notions of musical standards. Their extremely modern, often racing brand of funk-pop convulses with different influences, from house to rock opera to psychedelia and to a helluva lot of electronic dance music. In 2016, Thumpasaurus member Lucas Tamaren told Live For Live Music, "When I wrote 'I'm Too Funky,' I was thinking about how funk and groove is a vehicle that allows me to live presently, out of time, out of my head." And when listening to the Thump—whether it's their self-mythologizing 2018 album The Book of Thump or their 2021 release Thumpaverse—there's no way not to be swept away into the funk, to suddenly feel your own body's need to be present, by way of foot-tapping, hip shaking or shoulder-shimmying. The band's new album somehow feels like a level up on the powerhouse scale, and is full of wild, groovy tracks like "Struttin'" that just can't be missed live. See them at The State Room on Thursday, Oct. 14. The show is 21+, doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $17 at thestateroompresents.com.
Hot Club of San Francisco at The Monarch
Many wonderful cities boast their own lovely hot club jazz bands—the Hot Clubs of Many Cities abound. And while Utah has a "hot house" band, hot club is different, and we'll get a taste of just how so when Hot Club of San Francisco comes out to Ogden to play at The Monarch, presented by Onstage Ogden. Hot Club of San Francisco—like all other hot club bands—celebrates the distinctive sound of the jazz artist Django Reinhardt, who applied his expert guitar playing to the jazz genre to unique success, finding fame in the 1930s and '40s jazz scene in France. Reinhardt pioneered his acoustic jazz style with the jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, in the Quintette du Hot Club de France—the band that is the basis for the kind of music Hot Club of San Francisco plays and helps keep alive. Playing as Le Jazz Hot around the Bay Area, the band employs all the acoustically upbeat trappings of the Reinhardt jazz style, adding their California flare to the distinctly Parisian mood. They've been releasing albums of music since their 1997 debut, Swing This, following it with the delightfully gentle and sweet Claire De Lune in 2000 and several more in the years since. Don't miss them when they stop in at The Monarch on Friday, Oct. 15. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children or students. Visit onstageogden.org for tickets and more info.
- Mikey Joyce
100 Gecs at The Depot
Hyper-pop is the sound of the inside of the brain of any young person who is "terminally online," ranging from the clubbish-ness of Charli XCX to the harsh precision of SOPHIE's electronics, and in its outermost levels, to the style of folks like 100 Gecs. They broke the internet a bit in 2019 when they released their self-titled album, where hits like "stupid horse" and "ringtone" live. Lo-fi is not the word for the amount of fuzz, static and industrial crunching that dominates the album, qualities that persist even on cutesy songs like "ringtone," where Dylan Brady and Laura Les (the gecs) deliver an autotune-slicked crush confessional. Les and Brady are just two of the most famous musicians in a movement of musicians obsessed with deconstructing genres and pulling them from their contexts. The revival of—and consequential screwing-up-of—ska, mid-aughts emo, honky tonk and more is the thing du jour for DIY producers these days, and together Les and Brady have brought it mainstream, somehow. But then, with the ludicrous catchiness of the ska-on-crack "stupid horse," and the frenzy of millennial anxiety featuring twanging guitar that is "money machine," it's not surprising that people relate to the wild mess. See the pair perform all the hits live—if you dare—when they stop at The Depot on Friday, Oct. 15 with opener Aaron Cartier. The show is all-ages, starts at 7 p.m. and is $22 at depotslc.com.
Blackshape and I Hear Sirens at Metro Music Hall
Three locals take over the Metro Music Hall stage on Friday, Oct. 15, and it will be a night of both brutality and studies in softness. The instrumental post-math rock group Blackshape will bring most of the former, with their atmospheric aura the perfect battleground for their mess of music, which can go from silvery delicacy to soaring, thundering drum-and guitar-moments in an instant. Those who've gotten a listen to their self-titled album released earlier this year will undoubtedly appreciate enjoying the heavy album performed live. They'll be joined by another local post-rock band in I Hear Sirens, who keep things pretty soft most of the time, especially on singles like 2020's "Sleepwalk Mosaic" and much of their 2020 album Stella Mori, their first full-length release since 2009's Beyond the Sea, Beneath the Sky. When their instrumentals do begin to grow heavier and more complex on that new album, though, they're always still enmeshed in a gauzy, transcendent light. The two will be joined by the spare, spoken-word act Portal to the God Damn Blood Dimension, who explore the horror of the mundane in poetry that's accompanied by dread-inducing instrumentals, drawn out sometimes for up to 20-minute spans—cinematic stuff. Doors are at 7 p.m., the show is 21+ and tickets are $5 at metromusichall.com.
- Taylor Strong
801 Salon Hosts Angel Magic
Funky specs shop by day, pop-up venue and gallery space by night, Vis. is home to the new arts spot 801 Salon. The space launched in late September with a showing of the paintings of local artist Andrew Alba, and now they're opening up to music, as well. On Saturday, Oct. 16, locals Angel Magic and Bobo will take over the space, transforming it from humble glasses store to an intimate gathering of the coolest of cool arts. Angel Magic have been around for years, unspooling their ethereal synth pop out into the world with albums like 2015's Fall Through and 2012-2015. On these, one half of Angel Magic, Lauren Smith, lends soft and smooth vocals that act as a soothing balm, contrasted but also perfectly matched to the background of undulating synths that twinkle like pixelated stars on a video game screen. The other half of the duo is Andrew Aguilera, and together the two have a distinct style that sets them apart from other local acts, if not other synth pop acts in general. Another local synth lover of the dance-ier variety and fellow Hel Audio affiliate, Bobo, will join them at this special 801 Salon set. The show is free, starts at 8 p.m., and features shrub drinks by local vinegar artisans Drupe Fruit. Follow on Instagram at @801.salon for details and updates on this cool new spot.