Has it been two years since influential West Coast hip-hop crew The Pharcyde dropped by Utah? Hey, they’ve only released three albums in a decade. There’s no new disc to follow 2000’s Plain Rap, which took the free-flowing funhouse funk of Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde (’92) and LabCabinCalifornia (’95) to new levels of positivity, even without founding members Fat Lip and Tre. “Everyone thinks we hate Fat Lip, but we have more respect for him than we do for Tre,” says Imani Wilcox. “Fat Lip is just crazy. Tre acted like he had it all together, but he was the real crazy person. Fat Lip is cool—it’s not so easy for a crazy man.” Thursday, Feb. 20 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9 p.m. 435-658-2665.
“People come out to see if I can back up my name,” says Florida’s Queen of Bass, a.k.a. Baby Anne, holding court in the electronic boys’ club. “There’s always the question, ‘Can this girl DJ?’” Can the girl ever: Baby Anne’s been spinning since 1992, blending Miami bass and electro with breakbeat (“The beats are broken up and don’t land on every downbeat; breakbeat has more of a swing to it”) and releasing four albums, including the hot I’m About to Break (Moonshine). And, obvious looks aside, she’d rather you dance than stare, stud. Thursday, Feb. 20 @ Axis, 108 S. 500 West, 9 p.m. 519-2947.
U92 WINTER JAM
Hey, it’s infamous hip-hop shut-in Ja Rule making a rare public appearance! The most mysterious man in rap is headlining the U92 Winter Jam hot on the heels of his latest underground release, The Last Temptation (Def Jam), and his poignant thespian turn in the small independent film Half Past Dead. Better catch him while you can: “I think I’m gonna retire after two more albums,” says Mr. Rule. “I don’t want to stop making music because I love to make music. But I want to retire from the actual job of being an artist. I want to be able to star in movies and do soundtracks just because I love to do it!” Friday, Feb. 21 @ The Delta Center, 300 W. South Temple, 7:30 p.m. 325-SEAT.
What began as a badly named Deftones tribute band called Numb eventually morphed into a worse-named Finch—but they’re a much better band now, follow? Last year’s What It Is to Burn (Drive-Thru) was a fizzy-buzzy amalgam of pop-punk and emo that was nearly as good as all the reviews claimed it was, and drummer Alex Pappas insists that Finch didn’t get where they are simply for being cute (which they so very are). “I don’t want to sound like a dick, but there are a lot of bands out there that work really hard and stuff, and the reason they don’t get anywhere is because they suck.” And they’re not cute, either. Sunday, Feb. 23 @ Xscape, 115 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. 800-888-TIXX.
First, we had the Jerry Garcia Band sans Jerry; now, we’ve got The Wailers minus Bob Marley—burgeoning trend or cosmic coincidence? Either way, the tuffest riddum section in reggae is not to be taken lightly, even without the figurehead. “We always keep it going no matter what the crisis,” says bassist “Family Man” Barrett. “From Bob’s time and even before, I have been the band leader. Bob himself say that ‘When one door is closed, many more are opened.’ And we have been going through those doors ever since. You have to remember, all Bob Marley music is our music, and we are the only band that does the entire Bob Marley & The Wailers catalogue. Not even the Marleys do that.” Tuesday, Feb. 25 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 9:30 p.m. 800-888-TIXX.
Slightly less obscure than, say, Uriah Heep in the pantheon of overlooked ’70s hard-rock bands, Wishbone Ash’s harmony-laden dual-guitar attack predated Thin Lizzy, the group often credited with inventing it. Of course, Lizzy was more pop-friendly than Wishbone Ash, whose odd combo of folk, blues and riff-heavy progressive rock only resulted in one album (out of nearly 30 to date) considered a classic, 1972’s Argus. “We are what you might call eclectic,” understates lone original member Andy Powell. “I think it’s one of the reasons we’ve existed so long as a band.” Wednesday, Feb. 26 @ The Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. 355-CLUB.
Further Seems Forever (Xscape, Feb. 28). Big Head Todd & The Monsters (Harry O’s, Feb. 28). SLUG 14th Anniversary Party (Xscape, March 1). Pere Ubu (Zephyr Club, March 1). Sam Bush (Port O’ Call, March 1). Gene Loves Jezebel (Expose, Feb. 28-March 1). Snocore Rock Tour (Bricks, March 1). Ludacris (Harry O’s, March 5). DJ Rap (Axis, March 6). Ben Taylor (Zephyr Club, March 6). Folk Implosion (Liquid Joe’s, March 8). Atom & His Package (Kilby Court, March 19). Iron & Wine (Liquid Joe’s, March 19). American Hi-Fi (Xscape, March 22). Bang Tango (Expose, March 21-22). Keller Williams (Harry O’s, March 26). Fastball (Zephyr Club, March 26). Lynch Mob (Expose, March 28).