Out and about: Tough choice Friday: Punch Brothers or Hidalgo & Escovedo?

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Punch Brothers

Spotlight show • Progressive bluegrass band the Punch Brothers are on tour in support of "Who's Feeling Young Now?" and will perform along with The Milk Carton Kids. The band is led by Chris Thile, the mandolin player of Nickel Creek and a recent recipient of a prestigious $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship. "He was such an obvious choice," said Punch Brothers banjo player Noam Pikelny in a phone interview. "It was only a matter of time. I've never seen someone so hard-working and devoted to his craft. He's always focused on what's next." The band recently released a five-song EP called "Ahoy!" culled from "Who's Feeling Young Now?" One of the highlights of the EP is a cover of Josh Ritter's "Another New World," which had to make room on the album for a cover of Radiohead's "Kid A." "We try to get nontraditional sounds out of traditional instruments," Pikelny said.

When • Friday, Dec. 7, 9 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20 at SmithsTix

Hidalgo & Escovedo

Spotlight show • This special tour features the pairing of Los Lobos' David Hidalgo and Austin-based rock troubadour Alejandro Escovedo — both of whom have extolled the virtues of local Mexican restaurant Red Iguana for years. "I haven't found better Mexican food than Red Iguana," said Escovedo in a phone interview. He said he always surprises people when they ask him — a Latino Texan — where the best Mexican food can be found, and he answers Red Iguana. Food aside, Escovedo is on the resurgence in part because he recently agreed to be managed by Jon Landau, the former Rolling Stone rock critic who became Bruce Springsteen's manager and guided The Boss to stardom. "It's been a big thing having Jon Landau," Escovedo said. "He's a visionary. His guidance has been invaluable." What's interesting about the partnership, Escovedo said, was that he "had a reputation as being unmanageable."

When • Friday, Dec. 7, 9 p.m.

Where • The State Room, 638 S. State St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $35 at thestateroom.com


Spotlight show • Singer and bassist Michael John Burkett — better known to NOFX fans as Fat Mike — doesn't anticipate any special celebrations in 2013 to mark the influential punk band's 30-year anniversary. After all, as he said in a phone interview, "we celebrate every night." Gratified by the re-election of President Barack Obama — Burkett organized the "Rock Against Bush" tour that preceded George W. Bush's re-election bid — he's now focused on the second season of his band's reality show, "Backstage Passport," which will be released in the new year. What separates his behind-the-scenes series, Burkett said, is that his reality show "is actually true." With the series nearing completion, Burkett will celebrate Hanukkah with his family this season, having decided that "I'm not a believer that Jesus Christ ever existed." There's one problem, he added. "I don't know what Hanukkah is." Teenage Bottlerocket and Elway open.

When • Saturday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

Where • The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $22 at partytix.com

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Spotlight show • Rapper Macklemore and his producer, Ryan Lewis, have became the latest national hip-hop stars, with their recent album "The Heist" debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart. To celebrate that unexpected chart spot, Lewis said in a phone interview that he does what he always does to celebrate something: Drink some Jameson Irish whiskey and then do something that's unlike him — stop working, if even for a moment. Much of the attention the album is getting is for the anthem "Same Love," a song calling for marriage equality and gay rights. "It was a song [Macklemore] wanted to write for a long time," Lewis said. While writing the song, they asked themselves, "How do you write this when you're a straight white rapper?", said the 24-year-old singer. It worked. Ellen DeGeneres invited them to her show and called them "heroes." Xperience and DEE-1 open.

When • Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Sold out

Santa Jam with Brett Eldredge

101.5 The Eagle Live Concert Series presents Santa Jam with Brett Eldredge at Outlaw Saloon. Eldredge is an American country music singer signed to Atlantic Records Nashville. He's the cousin of Terry Eldredge of The Grascals.

When • Friday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m.

Where • Outlaw Saloon, 1254 W. 2100 South, Ogden

Tickets • $10 at SmithsTix

No Bragging Rights

Hardcore punk metalcore band No Bragging Rights will be joined by Alters, Forever Came Calling and Skiesdie in Wonderland.

When • Friday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m.

Where • In The Venue, 219 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10 at SmithsTix

Lark & Spur Christmas Concert

Lark & Spur began as street performers in Paris. Now they are a local quintet featuring acoustic guitars, double bass, mandolin, woodwinds and vocals, and are presented by the Excellence in the Community foundation.

When • Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Jamie O'Neal

The Australian-born singer, a country singer-songwriter, has had much success in the United States with songs such as "There Is No Arizona."

When • Friday, Dec. 7. 8:30 p.m.

Where • The Westerner, 3360 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City

Tickets • $7 at SmithsTix

Don Waldis

Dan Waldis' "A Little Jazz With Your Mistletoe" combines traditional Christmas music with unique jazz arrangements. Performing this year with Waldis will be Jerry Floor, Jim Stout and Dave Murphy.

When • Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Leona Wagner Black Box, 138 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $15 at ArtTix

Eddie Palmieri-Brian Lynch Quartet

GAM Foundation's JazzSLC presents Eddie Palmieri with the Brian Lynch Quartet. Seven-time Grammy Award-winner and pianist Eddie Palmieri has been a bandleader of salsa and Latin jazz orchestras for more than 50 years. See our preview story at http://bit.ly/VgStHo.

When • Saturday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $28 at artix.org

Fictionist with The Moth & The Flame

The Utah Music Association presents the Provo rock band Fictionist with The Moth & The Flame.

When • Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m.

Where • Infinity Event Center, 26 E. 600 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10 at 24Tix

Motionless in White

The metal band performs a tour stop with Chelsea Grin, Stick to Your Guns, Crown the Empire and Upon This Dawning.

When • Monday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m.

Where • In The Venue, 219 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $18 at SmithsTix