The Beat

By By Makena Walsh

By Makena Walsh

Saturday, July 14Gary Jules $109 p.m. Burt’s Tiki Lounge (726 S. State Street)

It seemed incongruous at first when independent hip-hop label Definitive Jux Records’ founder-owner-artist El-P opened his set at Salt Lake City’s The Depot with a cover of folk singer-songwriter Gary Jules’ ethereal cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.”But then, the humble beauty of the song — released on Jules’ album Snakeoil for Wolftickets and made famous by cult classic film “Donnie Darko” — fully evinces why some consider Jules worthy of mention among such prestigious company as Cat Stevens and James Taylor. Find out why even the hip-hop world is paying homage to Gary Jules, Saturday at Burt’s.

Tuesday, July 17Lee “Scratch” Perry $227 p.m. The Depot (400 W. South Temple)

King Arthur, Pipecock Jackson, Jah Rastafari, Jack Lightning, Jesse The Hammer and Daniel Dandelion the Lion are just a few of the many aliases emblematic of Jamaican music legend Lee “Scratch” Perry’s prolific career. Whether it was on the Kanye West-produced Jay Z banger “Lucifer” or any number of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ jams, chances are you’ve heard the work of this pioneer of dub and reggae. Perry’s constant innovation places him at a level of influence in the island music world equal to that of The Velvet Underground in rock ‘n’ roll or Grandmaster Flash in hip-hop. It’s hard to convey the influence this Jamaican shaman has had on music at large, and the genres he’s shaped. Perhaps he puts it best himself in his characteristically cryptic manner: “My music is not ska, it’s not rocksteady. My music is a spiritual force from the Holy Trinity.”

Tuesday, July 17 Emme Packer $57 p.m. Kilby Court (741 S. 330 West)

Born and raised in Farmington, Utah, Emme Packer is best described as the female contemporary of enigmatic folk icon Sufjan Stevens. Packer’s songs are simple and catchy, her lyrics light yet contemplative and her acoustic guitar playing as delightful as her voice. One listen and you’ll be in a folkish rock fervor to get your hands on one of her albums. How this excellent young artist came to mature, bereft of any professional tutelage or instruction, is a wonder. But it’s certain that Packer’s star is in radical ascension. Show your support for a fellow Utahn before her popularity makes the sentiment moot.

Wednesday, July 18Alela Diane $69 p.m. Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East)

Alela Diane’s music will transport the psyche to a fireside setting where stories are made vivid — not with hi-tech graphics and overpaid actors, but with an acoustic guitar, a wistful, unsettling voice and lyrics that float into one’s consciousness like a hitchhiker hopping onto the bed of a pickup. Diane’s fusion of campfire aesthetics, gospel soul and rich, folk acoustics evokes the towering pines surrounding her abode in Portland, Ore., as haunting melodies twist tales of nostalgic family history.Sadly, this show is not at Kilby Court, so no actual campfires will be ignited, but what better place to appreciate the beauties of nature-minded folk than the Urban Lounge’s urban dive digs.

Wednesday, July 18Ghost Buffalo $69 p.m. Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East)

The term “alternative country rock” may evoke terrifying images of a hybridized Kenny Chesney-meets-Mick Jagger mutant for many. But one listen to Ghost Buffalo’s progressive and authentic mix of alt-country and rock ‘n’ roll will disabuse you of any newfangled connotations you may have about the label. Marie Litton’s voice is penetratingly phantasmagoric, as the band’s name suggests, providing a contemporary alternative for fans of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

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