CITY WEEKLY MUSIC AWARDS PARTY W/ BEN KWELLER
Even folks long familiar with Ben Kweller consider his new LP Changing Horses to be a 180 from his previous albums. But the seasoned artist’s “switch” to an Americana/country sound in truth reflects more of a complete 360—a return to the tunes of his youth. Yes, his youth. That would be prior to his teenage breakthrough in the defunct-duo Radish: years before he went solo at 19. Now 26 and a father, Kweller continues to take chances and to evolve his versatile craft, keeping us guessing and entertained. The gentleman was kind enough to headline tonight’s City Weekly Music Awards finale featuring top vote-getters Neon Trees and the Furs. Band of Annuals and Form of Rocket, who tied for third, will be out of town and unable to perform. However, audience members can still vote for any of the four nominees for first place. Come down, enjoy the show and help determine the winner of the 2009 CWMAs. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 9 p.m. Tickets: DepotSLC.com
Is the title of P.O.S.’s latest release Never Better a self-fulfilling prophecy? You might say the Minneapolis artist is at the top of his game, but then again each of his albums maintains a creative versatility that in 10 years will sound fresh as the day it first blew out your stereo. But don’t take my word for it. Start with a copy of Ipecac Neat (2004) which introduced Pissed Off Stef’s articulate rants and production values still unique to Doomtree, the all-star hip-hop crew whose members Mictlan, Lazerbeak and Sims join P.O.S. on his current tour. Audition (2006) upped the creep factor with industrial beats and songs like “Kill in Me,” which still makes me shudder (in a good way). On Never Better, the emcee increases his involvement on the production front, making more beats and playing much of the record’s live instrumentation. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com
THE WAILING O’SHEAS
You don’t need to be drunk to think The Wailing O’Sheas are the real deal—they are the spitting (sonic) image of the bands to which they pay tribute: Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues and other Irish punks whose music relies on furious fiddle playing (courtesy of Boston-bred Andy Reiner), gritty vocals and—OK—a bit of the sauce for good measure. Don’t buy that they live in Salt Lake City? Believe it. Come tie one on and make new friends, tonight. Monk’s, 19 E. 200 South, 10 p.m.
Sunday is so gay! Well, at least it is at Orange, whose new weekly G-Spot is kicking off with a serious bang, er, celebratory inauguration. Contemporary gay-porn sensation/2008 GLBT Performer of the Year Johnny Hazzard is scheduled to appear live to sign autographs, dance and discuss his highlight reel which includes not only several award-winning films but also steady modeling gigs. Hazzard is also a recording artist so, who knows? Maybe he’ll take a turn behind the ones and twos. There’s only one way to find out! Orange, 533 S. 500 West, 9 p.m.
Psyopus typically elicit descriptions of “mind-blowing” and “face-melting” for their hyper-technical, rapid-fire grindcore/hardcore. How fast is their guitar player? Apparently potential sponsors have requested that he prove his wicked chops aren’t just smoke and mirrors. The NFL’s HD-quality instant replay technology might come in handy because even front-row audiences have a hard time believing their own eyes and ears, such is the magnitude of Arpmandude’s abilities. Touring on the heels of their third LP, Odd Senses, Psyopus are more than a year deep into their new lineup with vocalist Brian Woodruff whose terrifying growls round out the group’s sleep-with-one-eye-open sound. Check them out before they get bigger than former road mates Cannibal Corpse and Melt Banana. Studio 600, 26 E. 600 South, 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com
Big Head Todd (The Depot, Feb. 19); Donald Glaude (Harry O’s, Feb. 20); Goblin Cock, These Arms Are Snakes (In the Venue, Feb. 21); Skid Row, L.A. Guns (Great Saltair, Feb. 21); Restiform Bodies, Thank You, Mi Ami (Urban Lounge, Feb. 22); Michael Dean Damron & Thee Loyal Bastards (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Feb. 23); Andrew Bird (Murray Theater, Feb. 25); Todd Snider (Murray Theater, Feb. 26); MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice (McKay Events Center, Feb. 27); The Front (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Feb. 27)