Theophilus London, Mountain Town Music Makers Community Bash, Mariachi El Bronx, White Rabbits & Nick Jaina | Music | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Theophilus London, Mountain Town Music Makers Community Bash, Mariachi El Bronx, White Rabbits & Nick Jaina

Live: Music Picks April 15-21


Theophilus London
  • Theophilus London
Friday March 16
Few writers can capture breathless exaltation with quite the same fervor as the members of the British music press. Case in point: Check out New Music Express’ description of hot Brooklyn-based producer/rapper Theophilus London: “His patter is sumptuous, his look untouchable, his soundscapes plucked from mythical ghetto neverlands … he’s the real deal.” I don’t know exactly what makes his look “untouchable,” but I can tell why London’s got a lot of buzz even before his first “real” album drops. His 2009 indie-release This Charming Mixtape (under the name The Lovers) offered a slew of club-ready, pop-oriented tracks blending influences ranging from retro-rave sonic bass booms to slick Afro-pop, Kraftwerk samples to old-school breakbeats. Put it together, and you have some serious ear candy. W Lounge, 358 S. West Temple, 9 p.m., $7

Saturday March 17

Mountain Town Music h
as been delivering more than 150 free concerts and events annually all over the Park City area that serve as must-go events for the locals, and welcome respites for us Salt Lakers looking for an excuse to get out of the valley. Whether giving Utah songwriters a showcase or drawing national touring acts like Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Jason Isbell for free summer shows, the Mountain Town folks provide an invaluable service to their community. But those shows don’t happen for free, and many of the costs are covered by the group’s annual community bash. This ain’t your typical big-donation, glass-of-wine, silent-auction fundraiser, though. Entry is free, and the not-so-silent auction is full of worthy items, ranging from music lessons to car maintenance to travel packages. So, you can show up just for the fun, even if you’re light on cash. This year’s party includes music by John Flanders Trio, and an after-party at Park City’s Sidecar bar with tunes from Salem. The Yard, 1351 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 7 p.m. Free

There’s no reason to question The Bronx’s punk-rock bona fides; the Cali-based band has spent nearly a decade delivering straightforward punk to the masses. Last year, though, The Bronx proved to be far more interesting than the typical Warped tour attraction with the release of Mariachi El Bronx, an all-mariachi album that was one of the most fun listens from a “punk” band in recent memory. Then there’s the cologne(!) they released, Barrio Sweat, with hints of “leather, thyme, sage and green fig.” That might be the least-punk thing I’ve ever heard of a punk band doing. At their Salt Lake City show, the Bronx will perform both a punk and mariachi set, and will be joined by Japanther and Sean Wheeler with Zander Schloss. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m. $15

Tuesday March 20
Sometimes spending two years on the road can grind a band into dust, or at least turn a crew of friends into a loosely affiliated group of musicians who don’t speak to each other. Not so for Brooklyn’s White Rabbits, who were all too happy to hunker down in their practice space and start working on a follow-up to their winning debut, Fort Nightly, after 24 wearying months that included gigs at the Lollapalooza, Glastonbury and Sasquatch music fests. Teaming with producer and one-time tourmate Britt Daniel of Spoon, they created It’s Frightening, a 10-song set of slick dance-rock with hooks for days. “Percussion Gun” couldn’t be more aptly named, while “Company I Keep” shows these guys are just as dexterous with an acoustic-based, touching ballad as with a groovefilled rock track. Here We Go Magic is also on the bill.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m. $10 advance/$12 day of show

Some might recognize Portland singer/songwriter Nick Jaina as a master of modern folk, often backed by a seven-piece band of acoustic aces. On his tours, he’s been known to set up shop playing on street corners by day to draw fans to his club shows at night. And Jaina is no stranger to the borderline-homeless life of a musical vagabond. In fact, his latest album—A Bird in the Opera House—is sonically informed by a studio-owning friend who gave Jaina a place to stay last time he came off the road; the electric guitars cluttering the place made their way up to Jaina’s attic bedroom, and eventually onto the album. The result is a collection of songs just as intimate as his earlier excursions, but boasting a more muscular sound. This week, Jaina’s Salt Lake City show is sandwiched by an April 19 gig at the Patio in Torrey, and an April 21 show at Provo’s Velour. David Williams opens the show Tuesday in Salt Lake City. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. $10 advance/$13 day of show

Coming Up
Public Image Ltd.
(The Depot, April 23), Rogue Wave (University of Utah, April 23), The Spill Canvas (Murray Theater, April 24), Ani DiFranco (Kingsbury Hall, April 25), Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders (The Urban Lounge, April 26)

Dan Nailen: