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SLCene Suggests: Demetri Martin at Wiseguys West Valley City


DEMETRI MARTIN, WISEGUYS WEST VALLEY CITY, Friday, Jan. 16, 7:30 & 10 p.m., $35

For at least a decade now, comedian Demetri Martin has seemed like a man on the verge of a serious mainstream breakthrough, yet if you ask the average Joe or Jane, they probably don’t know him by name. Perhaps if you showed them a picture of the age-defying Martin, they might recognize the shock of brown hair from one of his acting gigs in movies like Taking Woodstock or In A World. Maybe they recall his hour-long standup special from clicking through Comedy Central. If you’re unfamiliar with his comedy stylings, there’s good reason to fix that. If you can find videos of his short-lived TV series Important Things with Demetri Martin, they’ll well worth a watch. And his best-selling book, This Is a Book by Demetri Martin, is a gem as well. The easiest way to get to know him? Go see Martin at one of his two shows in SLC Friday. You won’t be sorry.

SLCene Suggests: Zola Jesus at the Urban Lounge


ZOLA JESUS, THE URBAN LOUNGE, Monday, Jan. 12, 9 p.m., $15

A woman named Nika is the creative force behind Zola Jesus, and she is one bold, imaginative musician. While earlier records relied heavily on big beats and synthesizers, she started work on her latest release, TAIGA, but stripping her sound down to its core before building it up in new ways. She moved from LA to an island in the Puget Sound with an aim toward immersing herself in the natural world. Then she wrote songs completely acapella instead of building up the instrumental tracks first. Then she went to visit her old opera instructor and regained some of the power in her voice, and the renewed confidence allowed her to put her vocals front and center on her new music, rather than buried in layers of noise and reverb. All the effort proved worth her time when TAIGA landed on a number of year-end “best of 2014” lists. Deradoorian opens her show in Salt Lake City.


SLCene Suggests: Max Pain and the Groovies CD release party at Kilby Court



Salt Lake City quintet Max Pain and the Groovies burst onto the scene about five years ago, playing a New Year’s Eve show in 2009 that introduced the local scene to five guys who can absolutely deliver a worthy brand of psych-rock for a whole new generation. Their stage shows are something to behold–don’t get too close, there is occasional fire up front–and they quickly built a following both in town and on the road, picking up accolades along the way like City Weekly’s best band recognition in 2012. They released a four-song EP in 2013, and now they have a full-length set ready for public consumption.

SLCene Suggests: The Mother Hips at The State Room


THE MOTHER HIPS, THE STATE ROOM, Saturday, Jan. 10, 9 p.m., $21

Long-time faves in Salt Lake City for about two decades now, Northern Cal boys The Mother Hips probably know the long-lost venues of Utah like the Zephyr Club and Dead Goat Saloon as well as any older local. And after taking a pause for a few years, they’re back to being regular visitors to Zion, and getting to know our newer venues. On their coming trip to town, they’ll hit The State Room (Saturday) and the brand new O.P. Rockwell in Park City (Friday) on their tour supporting Chronicle Man, a collection of older songs originally recorded by the band in the mid-’90s before being rediscovered in a Los Angeles basement five years and cleaned up as part of a massive archiving effort. Expect to hear some of that “new” old material along with old classics during the band’s two shows in Utah.

SLCene Suggests: Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Park City’s Main Street


CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD, LOWER MAIN STREET, Park City, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 7 p.m., free

Even if you’re not the type to go watch the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup races at Deer Valley this week, you can still take advantage of their annual trip to Utah via the free concert on Lower Main Street Wednesday night by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. The Black Crowes leader has fronted this side project for several years as a means to stretch his songwriting chops and scratch his jam-band itch during periods when his main band is between tours or he and his brother Rich aren’t getting along. The Brotherhood’s latest album, Phosphorescent Harvest, is a strong collection of classic-sounding rock, and Robinson is definitely one of the best frontmen of the past quarter-century or so among American rock bands. And did I mention it’s free? You have no good excuse to miss this one.

SLCene Suggests: Reckless Kelly at The Depot


RECKLESS KELLY, THE DEPOT, Saturday, Jan. 3, 8 p.m., $25

Talk about a family affair–this show has two bands led by by a duo of brothers, and ALL the brother involved happen to be from the same family. Reckless Kelly is an Austin-based alt-country outfit led by Willy and Cody Braun that’s been knocking out rock-solid albums since their 1997 debut, Millican, a collection that started a streak of excellent work that landed them on noteworthy roots label Sugar Hill Records and made a fan of  Texas legend Joe Ely.  Younger Braun brothers Mickey and Gary are leaders of the opening band Mickey and the Motorcars, who have become hard-touring favorities, and have six albums to their credit, in addition to a live release. Both bands have roots in Idaho and have long histories in Salt Lake City.

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