CHICAGO: THE MUSICAL
You’ve seen the movie, but do you really need to experience a touring musical production of Chicago? The deal-clincher could be the presence of the one and only Luke Duke—known to some as country/theater crossover singer Tom Wopat—in the role of Billy Flynn. Even if you didn’t know he had years of classical vocal training before landing in the ’70s classic The Dukes of Hazard, the mental image of Wopat belting “All I Care About Is Love” from the hood of the General Lee is too sweet. FRIDAY, Feb. 6-SUNDAY, Feb. 8 @ Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah, 8 p.m. (2 p.m. matinees Saturday-Sunday). Tickets: 355-2787.
AS I LAY DYING
Watch MTV2’s Headbanger’s Ball or Fuse’s Uranium for five minutes and you’re bound to see As I Lay Dying ripping through “94 Hours,” the San Diego metalcore band’s epileptic-unfriendly video from Frail Words Collapse (Metal Blade). Like the rest of the disc, it’s brutally fast and technical in the tradition of prepositional Euro-bangers like At the Gates and In Flames—but it ain’t death metal, people. “I think we carry a little bit more emotion,” singer Tim Lambesis told Suite101.com. “We’re a little bit more raw than most death-metal bands.” FRIDAY, Feb. 6 @ Albee Square, 165 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. (with Sworn Enemy).
It’s been a while since Seattle soul-funksters Phat Sidy Smokehouse have bumped through town, but now guitarist Brian “StingShark” Ray is on the road pimping his solo debut, Aka Sting-Fu (Dig Records), with his own band comprised of various Phat Sidy and Northwest players. StingShark lean more toward hard rock and heavy reggae than his previous outfit, salted with a dash of hip-hop and a hearty party vibe. “I didn’t want to hold myself to any one genre,” Ray says. “Just chill and let the music go where it wanted to.” SATURDAY, Feb. 7 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 467-5637 (with Dirty D).
If it weren’t for Leap Year, that every-four-years calendar glitch that adds a 29th day to February to synchronize the seasons, you might not have gotten four Folk Vespers concerts in the ’04—everything happens for a reason. Kicking off this year’s series is longtime local singer-songwriter Kate MacLeod, a tough act to follow in the coming Sundays by these fine folkies: Dylan Schorer and Blue Haiku (Feb. 15), Ken Shaw and Salt Licks (Feb. 22), Steve Keen and Kate MacLeod, again (Feb. 29). SUNDAY, Feb. 8 @ First Unitarian Church, 569 S. 1300 East, 7:30 p.m. Free; donations accepted. Info: 582-8687 (with Mark Hazel).
COPELAND, WORKING TITLE
Love Coldplay and Dashboard Confessional but hate being into bands your mom recognizes from VH1’s Cardio Video? Try Atlanta’s Copeland, an earnestly emo entity rising up from under the radar with Beneath Medicine Tree (Militia Group), their full-length debut loaded with quiet-to-loud anthems about stuff that hurts. Ditto Charleston’s Working Title, a band of young’uns who’ve been tagged by Alternative Press as “A Band to Watch In 2004,” thanks to their headstrong Everyone Here Is Wrong EP (Redemption). Well, it’s 2004—go watch ’em. SUNDAY, Feb. 8 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (with Mae).
“I’m not 20 years old; my navel is not pierced,” Kathy Mattea told Billboard of her reasoning behind vacating the Nashville country-pop scene after two decades of gathering hits and awards within it. “If I don’t make these records that have been rolling around in my head for years now, when am I going to do it?” The first of “these records” was 2002’s Roses, her acclaimed Celt-folk debut for boutique label Narada Records that proved country music has moved further from her than she from it. Still, it’s never too late for a navel ring. SUNDAY, Feb. 8 @ Eccles Center, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 8 p.m. Tickets: 435-655-3114.
Tossing down a smooth blend of Texas blues and Memphis soul, undisputed Godfather of Austin Blues W.C. Clark plays guitar tough and sings sweet through a funky R& shuffle. Wesley Curley Clark began his blues tenure in the ’60s, but family duties took him off the road in the ’70s—until some kid named Stevie Ray Vaughan lured him out of retirement. From Austin With Soul (Alligator), Clark’s latest, is a rollicking instant classic, and he’s not concerned how you label it. “My shows go so fast usually that audiences don’t have time to worry about categories.” TUESDAY, Feb. 10 @ Brewskies, 244 25th St., Ogden, 9:30 p.m. Info: 801-394-1713.
What does alt-rock foursome Echoset have that a gazillion (actual census count) other bands from the Live Music Capitol of the World don’t? They were featured and praised by swarthy Dave Attell on the Austin episode of his TV series Insomniac—out of a gazillion, not bad. Getting props from a Jager-swilling comic on basic cable is one thing, but Echoset have also twice placed in the Austin Chronicle’s prestigious annual music poll, and the two-girls/two-dudes band’s Mile Marker Four (Echoset.com) is a buzz-rockin’ good time straight outta the Alternative Nation ’90s. Anybody got an OK Cola? MONDAY, Feb. 9 @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 10 p.m. Info: 521-0572.
Banjo and slide-guitar master Tony Furtado (no, he doesn’t know Nelly) has played Utah enough times for the faithful to realize that, while the studio albums are damn fine, onstage is where he blazes up most furiously. Last year’s Live Gypsy (Dualtone) addresses this in spades, an in-concert document encompassing his all-genres-all-the-time approach, mad chops and a potpourri of musical guests—and yet it’s still not enough for Furtado. “This album is close to what I do onstage,” he says. “But I think the live show’s a little more intense.” TUESDAY, Feb. 10 @ Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 9 p.m. Info: 328-0255 (with Spooky Daly Pride).
Libby Kirkpatrick (Halo, Feb. 12). Bruce Cockburn (Rose Wagner Theater, Feb. 13). Mest, Fallout Boy (Sound, Feb. 13). Hell’s Belles (Liquid Joe’s, Feb. 13-14). B.B. King (Abravanel Hall, Feb. 15). A Static Lullabye (Albee Square, Feb. 15). Drive-By Truckers (Suede, Feb. 17). Alaska (Sound, Feb. 18). Medeski, Martin & Wood (Suede, Feb. 19). Olivia Newton-John (Delta Center, Feb. 20). California Guitar Trio (Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Feb. 20). Tooth & Nail Tour (Sound, Feb. 23). Lucinda Williams (Kingsbury Hall, Feb. 24). Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash (Sound, Feb. 25). Blind Boys of Alabama (Port O’ Call, Feb. 25). Dillinger Escape Plan (Albee Square, March 2).