Every time Jonny Bell sings it sounds like he’s just passed a kidney stone, or smashed his fist through a plate-glass window. The driving howl behind Crystal Antlers' raucous psychedelic noise complements the swirl of marching-band drum rolls and Moog organ purging some kind of monster. It’s that wounded-animal vibe that raises the Long Beach band above its overhyped hipster brethren. Their new full-length Tentacles is a welcome follow-up to the Crystal Antlers EP—a glorious mess that, if overly fine-tuned, might just dilute the groveling intensity that makes them so much more than just another indie band with a retro groove. Stay the course, boys. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with The Cave Singers)
For Michael Patrick, Designer Drugs isn’t just a clever name—it’s a mantra and muse. Growing up in Philadelphia, the now-prolific DJ honed his craft on a pair of 1200s while cultivating a serious interest in psychotropic drugs. Patrick combined street smarts with book learning to get where he is today, researching acid in the library before dropping it, becoming a classically trained musician before wreaking havoc on the club scene. Now based in New York and working with JHN RDN, Patrick’s Designer Drugs is known for debauched parties gassed on crazy-catchy electro-house that’s buoyed more than 23 remixes for artists and labels including Dim Suk, The Veronicas, Little Boots—even Mariah Carey. Expect to hear these guys all over the place, from the club to your friend’s living room. The first taste is free, but Designer Drugs are addictive. Trapp Door, 615 W. 100 South, 9 p.m.
U92 CINCO DE MAYO
Yes, U92 can count—Saturday is el Segundo de Mayo, but the local radio station wisely scheduled its annual Cinco de Mayo party on a weekend for maximum revelry and post-revelry recovery. Besides, if you really want to commemorate Mexico’s Independence Day, you best be celebrating on Sept. 16, because May 5 marks the Mexican army’s defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla—not the Spanish-speaking country’s “Fourth of July.” Today’s custom car-show and concert shows might not offer attendees a playby-play history lesson, but with a lineup of hiphop artists boating Cuban, Chicano, American, Jamaican and Nigerian roots, it’s safe to say this generation is taking not just cultural but crosscultural pride to a whole new level. Arrive early and plan on staying through the end for Pitbull, Lil’ Rob, Mims, Chamillionaire, Gorilla Zoe, Chino 4 Real, David Rush and Jay Rock. Usana Amphitheater, 5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley City, 11 a.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com
Moreland & Arbuckle are definitely the type of act you want to experience live. The Kansas (not Kansas City) based trio helmed by Dustin Arbuckle and Aaron Moreland (with “silent” electric trio partner Brad Horner on drums) bring both an intensity and easygoing appeal to the stage, transforming clubs into front porches which, for some reason, always seem more suitable for singing the blues. The group invites plenty of raised eyebrows for their corn-fed roots, but the Midwestern boys know their way around a Delta blues song. Their LP 1861 combines the best of both worlds with echoes of traditional standards captured alongside roots and rock/punk influences that soar on Arbuckle’s screaming harp and Moreland’s various guitars (parlor, cigar box, electric, resonator, acoustic). Wine Cellar, 2550 Washington Blvd, Ogden, 9 p.m. Info: 801-399-3600 (also Monday at The State Room)
Samantha Crain’s previous stop through town arrived on the heels of her debut EP The Confiscation, a haunting work of classic Americana/folk music that established the Shawnee, Okla., native as an artist to watch. Crain’s new album with The Midnight Shivers makes good on the first five songs’ promise of even better things to come. Blessed with a powerful set of pipes, the singer/guitarist’s voice continues to evolve, becoming increasingly difficult to describe and all the more enchanting for its unusual beauty. Indie-folk artist Thao Nguyen and The Get Down Stay Down will share the bill with Crain. Thao fans might be interested in her recent collaboration with the Portland Cello Project, a group of classically trained cellists redefining what it means to be a string session. PCP’s Thao & Justin Power Sessions comes out June 9. The album will also include a Pantera cover! Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with Sister Suvi)
Bob Log III (Urban Lounge, May 7); Company of Thieves (Murray Theater, May 7); Poolside Party w/ RydahJ.Klyde (Club Bliss, May 8); M.D.C. (Bar Deluxe, May 9); Youth Group (Kilby Court, May 10); Saliva (Murray Theater, May 11); Margot & The Nuclear So & Sos (Kilby Court, May 11): Louis Logic (Urban Lounge, May 11); Wolves In the Throne Room (Bar Deluxe, May 12); Manchester Orchestra (Avalon, May 13); Mogwai, Women (In the Venue, May 13); Twiztid (Great Saltair, May 13); The Detroit Cobras (Urban Lounge, May 14)