“Through the years we’ve gotten real close to capturing what we do,” says BR5-49 singer-guitarist Chuck Mead, “but for one reason or another, we were never able to carry it right off the edge until now.” He’s talkin’ true about the indefatigable Nashville hillbillies’ seventh and latest album, Tangled In the Pines (Dualtone), a BR5-49 release free of cover tunes (!) but still loaded with retro-country twang for modern hicks. THURSDAY, Aug. 26 @ Port O’ Call, 78 W. 400 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0589.
No, he’s not the keyboardist for local cover band Voodoo Box—and what is a Voodoo Box, anyway? The Voodoo Organist, a Los Angeles artist sometimes known as Scott Wexton, channels Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Devo, the Doors and an evil roller-rink to conjure a circus of lounge sounds peppy and dark. Likewise, his new Return of the Voodoo Organist (VoodooOrganist.com) is serious weirdness, once described as “a necromantic Beck.” THURSDAY, Aug. 26 @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572.
She’s back: With the bluesy guitar bluster of Keith Richards and the tough-mama swagger of Lucinda Williams, Atlanta’s Michelle Malone has always been more of a rocker than a folkie. Last year’s Stompin’ Ground (Daemon) has been the singer’s most talked-about disc to date, but she’s never really changed. “It’s cranked up and stripped down,” Malone told Access Atlanta. “Acoustic, old-school electric, a little Southern blues and gospel, and a whole lot of rock & roll.” FRIDAY, Aug. 27 @ Mo Diggity’s, 3424 S. State, 9 p.m. Info: 832-9000.
“I’d go out to the shows and see guys standing behind laptops, and the music sounded so good, so pure, but there was no show,” electronic music fan and Talk Demonic mastermind Kevin O’Connor told Portland’s Willamette Week. “What if I made all that music that can sound good on a laptop myself, but then also rock out on the drums?” Thus was born Talk Demonic, the band/drum-machine inverse, and it was/is good. FRIDAY, Aug. 27 @ Todd’s Bar & Grill, 1051 S. 300 West, 9:30 p.m. Info: 328-8650 (with Le Force and I Am Electric).
The all-female AC/DC tribute market isn’t just Hell’s Belles: Meet San Francisco’s AC/D-She, five women immortalizing the very mortal (read: drank to death) Bon Scott era of Australia’s manliest rock & roll export. “Bon was the epitome of cool,” singer Amy “Bonny Scott” Ward told the San Francisco Chronicle. “There was just something in my blood that said I need to go act like Bon.” Insert blood-alcohol joke here. FRIDAY, Aug. 27-SATURDAY, Aug. 28 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
Unless you skipped directly to this section of City Weekly, you now know the winners of this year’s SLAMMy-readers’ ballot. On the music side, tonight’s featured bands—Tolchock Trio (Best Local CD), Debi Graham (Band of the Year and Best Female Vocalist) and Numbs (Best Hip-Hop)—are tough acts to beat individually; you can see ’em all together at our SLAMMys Winners’ Party for a mere $5. And maybe, just maybe, Urban Mike will buy you a beer for voting for him (or another beer, anyway). SATURDAY, Aug. 28 @ The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m. Info: 575-7003.
FACE TO FACE
“This is a mutual split; we like to think that we have the good sense to know when a band has run its course,” says Face to Face bassist Scott Shiflett. “Besides, you never want to be the last one to leave the party.” Tell it to Bad Religion—oh, was that out loud? After 13 years and six albums, the SoCal punk heroes are throwing their farewell party on the road, where they’ll probably leave at least before the crew. MONDAY, Aug. 30 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 8 p.m., all-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with My Chemical Romance).
As the band says, “Too many know-nothing know-it-all music critics, humorless tire-iron-wielding troglodytes and Internet weed-heads spoil the broth.” If you’re not with the legendarily indescribable Melvins you’re agin ’em, and King Buzzo & Co. are now celebrating 20 years against the grain with Pigs of the Roman Empire (Ipecac), an industrial-metal-ambience collaboration with the equally sick/visionary Lustmord (Throbbing Gristle, SPK). You don’t even know heavy. MONDAY, Aug. 30 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Trio Convulsant).
The propulsive “The Rules” is Ben Kweller’s MTV2 rock & roll rave-up, but the rest of his second album and major-label debut, On My Way (ATO), is more of a subdued, singer-songwriter affair that takes more left turns than a racetrack. “I don’t like doing just one thing,” Kweller told City Weekly last year. “It would get tedious just doing a guitar album or a folk album.” WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 8 p.m., all-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with The Unicorns).
Remember that episode of Futurama, where Beck’s head congratulated Bender on an inspired 40-minute washboard solo? Good times. No such indulgences from Throw Rag, who reign-in their lead washboardist in favor of dirty-fun rock & roll stripped down to the Stones-y bone on Desert Shores (BYO), the cult-phenom band’s second record. Live, this might be the one to outdo that Hives show last month. WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 @ The Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. All-ages. Info: LoFiCafe.com. In-store appearance @ The Heavy Metal Shop, 63 Exchange Place, 5 p.m.
STARMY, THE RUBES
So City Weekly and the ASUU are presenting these free local-band concerts at the University of Utah on the first Wednesday of every month, cleverly titled 6-2-8—as in, the shows run from 6 to 8 p.m. Thank you, but hold your applause until you hear the bill for the inaugural event: Starmy and The Rubes, two of Salt Lake’s most entertaining live acts, one of whom are usually just waking up at this hour. WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 @ Student Ballroom Union Patio, University of Utah, 6-8 p.m. All-ages. Free. Info: 585-9010.
With the release of 2003’s Seven Year Surrender (JillCohn.com), Seattle songstress Jill Cohn has put out a total of six full-length albums on her own, and she’s toured nonstop since 1996—looks like girlfriend bought a flatiron, too. Surrender balances out heart-rending laments of domestic life passed by with funny tales of blind dates and good citizenry, like Sarah McLachlan with a sense of humor and (here we go again) better hair. WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 @ Mo Diggity’s, 3424 S. State, 9 p.m. Info: 832-9000 (with Stacey Board).
Jack Johnson (Usana Amphitheater, Sept. 2). Synthpop Festival (Red Lion Hotel, Sept. 3-4). The Paybacks (Halo, Sept. 4). Blackalicious (Suede, Sept. 4). Guster (In the Venue, Sept. 6). Lyle Lovett (Red Butte Garden, Sept. 7). Dave Matthews Band (Usana Amphitheater, Sept. 8). Stereo 360 (Egos, Sept. 9). Los Lonely Boys (Utah State Fair, Sept. 10). Joan Osborne (Red Butte Garden, Sept. 12). Death Cab for Cutie (University of Utah, Sept. 17). Ministry (Velvet Room, Sept. 19). Scissor Sisters (Liquid Joe’s, Sept. 21). Patti Rothberg (Mo Diggity’s, Sept. 23). Mike Watt (Egos, Sept. 24). The Pixies (Kingsbury Hall, Sept. 28).