The Word: Chronicle’s guide to the SLC music scene

By By Makena Walsh

By Makena Walsh

Sat, Dec. 1Loom7 p.m.$10Avalon Theater (3605 S. State St.)

My first acquaintance with Loom was on a Halloween evening spent at a bar undeserving of mention in this column. Despite my regrettably inadequate surroundings, the post-punk/hardcore group’s engaging auditory assault proved an adequate escape from my dismal physical location. Grafted like an unholy super-group from the remnants of a plethora of various projects based in and around the Salt Lake City area (including Harmon’s Heart, Her Candane, Trojan, Michigan, I Am The Ocean and Farewell My Enemy, among others), Loom’s intricate, ferocious guitar and bass, tempered by diving electric viola, provide an interesting view of local music. That and the dismantling of the traditional off-stage light director paradigm (Loom’s is on stage and has a mic to scream in) are more than enough reason to get out to see some of Salt City’s finest.

Mon, Dec. 3Vast Aire (of Cannibal Ox)8 p.m.$10Uprok (342 S. State St.)

The name Vast Aire became common parlance in hip-hop history with his participation in what many regard as the most seminal release in the genre’s short history, Cannibal Ox’s 2001 debut The Cold Vein. Produced by former Company Flow DJ and Definitive Jux owner/co-founder extraordinaire, El-P, the record’s dystopian androids-dream-of-electric-sheep production provides a perfect background for emcees Vast and Vordul Mega’s dark poetic realism. In the aftermath of this critically acclaimed debut, the mighty Vast weathered rumors of a possible Cannibal Ox sequel, to a rupture with the Jux Label and still managed to release two solo records: 2004’s Look Mom…No Hands, and a collaboration with DJ Mighty Mi, 2005’s The Best Damn Rap Show — not to mention inclusion on Think Differently: Wu Tang Meets the Underground.

Tue, Dec. 4The Most Serene Republic7 p.m.$10Kilby Court (741 S. 330 West)

While The Most Serene Republic sounds like the mollifying moniker of a colonial power for another of its formerly sovereign subjugates (a usage not far from where the group got its name, referring to eighth century Venice under Doge authority), it actually refers to an orchestral indie pop group a la the Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, et al. In fact, The Most Serene Republic was the first group unaffiliated with the latter to join Canadian upstart Arts & Crafts — a fitting home for its current seven members, all of whom hail from the suburb of Milton, Ontario. After its opaque 2005 debut, Underwater Cinematographer, and the evolution of a tour-only Phages EP, 2007’s Population maintains the group’s distinctive wall of ambient pop noise, but the deceptively light musical tones belie a sinister lyrical philosophy. It’s this juxtaposition of form and content that keyboard player/producer Ryan Lenssen refers to when he says of the new effort, “This is murder in the first degree.”

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