Boulder’s Phix is a Phish tribute band only up to a point: They don’t try to look like Trey & Co., nor do they drag out Phish concert staples like trampolines—it really is all about the music, man. “We’re not necessarily trying to sound exactly like Phish; we’re trying to put our own spin on it,” says guitarist Paul Murin. “If we did literally try to recreate what Phish does, I don’t think people would be that interested in hearing us.” And no, one does not prepare for a Phish tribute show by smoking oregano. THURSDAY, March 13 @ Port O’ Call, 78 W. 400 South, 9:30 p.m. 521-0589.
Sans Roy Rogers this time around, harmonica master Norton Buffalo and his blues-powered Knockouts are still road-doggin’ it behind 2000’s King of the Highway (Blind Pig), Buffalo’s lone solo album since 1978. The guy’s been busy with a list of film, TV and studio sideman gigs that could stretch from here to New Orleans, not to mention the coolest footnote in his résumé, a guest-shot on ’70s cop show Starsky & Hutch. Man, if only they could tour in the Torino … THURSDAY, March 13 @ Plan B, 268 Main, Park City, 9:30 p.m. 435-615-7588. Also: FRIDAY, March 14 @ The Dead Goat Saloon, 119 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. 328-4628.
CURL UP & DIE, SINCE BY MAN
Las Vegas’ Curl Up & Die aren’t the deepest metal-core/math-punk band you’ll ever hear (their only lyric seems to be “Raaarrrggghhh!” screamed several hundred times), but with song titles like “On the Run From Johnny Law Ain’t No Trip to Cleveland,” “Ted Nugent Goes AOL” and “Dr. Doom, a Man of Science, Doesn’t Believe in Jesus, Why the Fuck Do You?” it matters not. In comparison, Milwaukee’s screamo-centric Since By Man are relatively accessible on the powerful We Sing the Body Electric (Revelation). It’s an all-ages show; best catch it while those still exist. SATURDAY, March 15 @ Uprok, 344 S. State, 7 p.m. 322-0769.
Another band from Boulder—care to hazard a guess as to what kind of music they play? Not so fast: The Motet are of the jam-band stripe, but more on the intense AfroCuban jazz-funk tip than hippie-noodling soundtracks for dogs catching Frisbees. “Our music comes from a lot of different directions,” percussionist Dave Watts told the Mountain Xpress. “We’re very open-minded to whatever comes our way. It’s like a lot of jazz musicians say: When a song is really done, you don’t want to play it anymore. It’s the building of the song that keeps you going.” SUNDAY, March 16 @ The Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. 355-2582.
LYRICIST LOUNGE TOUR
The Lyricist Lounge launched in Manhattan over 10 years ago as a showcase for emerging hip-hop talent; MTV’s Lyricist Lounge Tour features artists a few career steps ahead, record deals and claims to infamy already in place—and with a little St. Paddy’s Day luck, maybe the Salt Lake show won’t get canceled this time. Hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane headlines this LLT, along with Killah Priest (of Wu-Tang fame) and newcomer Bazaar Royale (just introduced through mentor DMX’s Cradle 2 the Grave soundtrack with the metal-stylee “What’s It All For?”). MONDAY, March 17 @ Axis, 108 S. 500 West, 9 p.m. 712-5050.
More instrumentally maximized than Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and less introverted than the Brain Jonestown Massacre, Los Angeles’ Warlocks bring down a psychedelic thunder that trance-ports even without drugs or a working knowledge of Their Satanic Majesties Request. Through a dense cloud of guitars, the band’s mind-blowing Phoenix Album (Birdman) injects dangerously sexy hooks drenched in fuzz and morphine, coming off ’68 retro and brand-new. “The mix of electricity and sound, it’s just magnetic,” leader Bobby Hecksher told City Weekly last year. “You can take only so much from your influences, but for me, this just feels right.” TUESDAY, March 18 @ Xscape Basement, 115 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. 800-888-8499.
Is Melissa Ferrick really an “energetic lesbian pop star,” as per a recent Women Who Rock magazine headline? The “pop star” part seems a little incongruous, especially since the singer-songwriter-guitarist has been an indie artist since her exceptional back-to-back releases for Atlantic (1993’s Massive Blur and 1995’s Willing to Wait) failed to produce Jewel-sized sales. Ferrick’s latest on her own Right On Records, Listen Hard, is a rough ‘n’ tumble affair loaded with haunting hooks, battered guitars, go-for-broke vocals and vivid storytelling—in other words, still not Jewel material. TUESDAY, March 18 @ The Dead Goat Saloon, 119 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. 328-4628.
IRON & WINE
The Creek Drank the Cradle (Sub Pop), Iron & Wine’s critically acclaimed 2002 debut, is actually the work of one man: Miami’s Samuel Beam. It’s also simply a compilation of rootsy songs he’d recorded at home for friends that somehow found their way to Sub Pop—the trick now is adapting Beam’s hushed neo-folk-country-blues laments to a full-band arrangement for rock clubs. “I’m still working on the atmosphere,” Beam told the Valley Advocate. “The songs had this atmosphere when I recorded them, and I’m still trying to figure out how to get that.” WEDNESDAY, March 19 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. 467-5637.
30 SECONDS TO MARS
Keanu Reeves, Russell Crowe, Kevin Bacon—all movie stars acting like rock stars. Now comes 30 Seconds to Mars, fronted by actor-singer-guitarist Jared Leto (My So-Called Life, Requiem For a Dream, Panic Room) and delivering a credible self-titled debut album of future-metal guaranteed to shut up anyone who dares invoke David Hasselhoff. Leto is adamant about not letting his name overpower the band, which would be nearly impossible—think an epic/cryptic prog-glam collision of Pink Floyd and Tool, circa 2112 (the actual year, not the Rush album). It’s almost as heavy as Requiem … almost. WEDNESDAY, March 19 @ The Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. 355-2582.
Garaj Mahal (Port O’ Call, March 20). Tha Liks (Suede, March 21). Bang Tango (Expose, March 21-22). American Hi-Fi (Xscape, March 22). Common (Suede, March 24). Sahara Hotnights, Ikara Colt (Liquid Joe’s, March 26). Keller Williams (Harry O’s, March 26). Fastball (Zephyr Club, March 26). Fishbone (Suede, March 28). Lynch Mob (Expose, March 28). Drums & Tuba (Dead Goat Saloon, March 29). Trust Company (Xscape, April 1). Ministry (Xscape, April 2). DJ Rap (Axis, April 3—the real date). Bright Eyes (Bricks, April 2). Cheap Trick (Harry O’s, April 4). Rocket From the Crypt (Xscape, April 19). The Mooney Suzuki (Xscape, April 23).