Three Mile Pilot? Yes, we all miss ’em, but former leader Zach Smith’s Pinback is right here and right now (actually, 2001) with Blue Screen Life (Ace Fu), his first release since that infamous brush with fame as a Featured Artist on the late Napster. Mood-rock epics don’t come much more moody and rocky than Pinback’s, soaked with dreamy guitar washes that never come off as needy or pushy, they just want their space and an ergonomic pillow to rest on, thank you. The music’s pretty, but be warned: There are no exclamation points, so you may not know when it’s over. THURSDAY, April 3 @ Xscape, 115 S. Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-TIXX (with Hello Amsterdam).
Let’s try this again: “I don’t and have never used my sexuality to sell anything,” DJ Rap (a.k.a. Charissa Saverio) told Drum & Bass Arena. “I am where I am because I spin, produce, compose and engineer all my own tracks. I’ve worked very hard to get where I am—if I’m an attractive bird, so be it.” The acclaimed drum & bass spinner/producer is indeed the attractive bird you may remember from 1999’s dance-pop crossover Learning Curve, if not 2000’s hard-slamming Brave New World. Yes, she’s in that Twix commercial, too. THURSDAY, April 3 @ Axis, 108 S. 500 West, 9 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-TIXX.
“When I smoke herb I see the Earth as it is,” Jamaican reggae supastar Buju Banton told—who else?—High Times. “Without the herb there is a veil on front of man eyes. Herb deserves to be treated and be dealt with in that manner. Some man sell the herb to achieve money, them sell them soul really. The herb is a celestial t’ing.” Banton’s latest, Friends For Life (Atlantic), his follow-up to 2000’s Unchained Spirit, is an equally celestial blend of reggae, dancehall, R&B and hip-hop that works with or without your veil. THURSDAY, April 3 @ Port O’ Call, 78 W. 400 South, 521-0589, 9:30 p.m.
Aerosmith? Ballad-crapping Dodge salesmen. Kiss? Sleazy old mimes. Everyone knows that Cheap Trick are America’s true rock & roll champions, the ultimate power-pop band who’ve rarely strayed from course over a 25-year career (sorry, “The Flame” will never be forgiven). Sure, Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Petersson have relied heavily on hits packages and live albums of late (their last studio release was 1997’s slammin’ Cheap Trick), but with this many great tunes and cred to burn, who cares? Still miss hearing “This next song is from our new album,” though … FRIDAY, April 4 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES
Another Swedish band here to save rock? Believe it. The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ American debut, Behind the Music (Universal), boasts more flavors than most other garage-rock revivalists who’ve already hit and run, an eclectic pop-psychedelia swirl that’s far more than just ripping guitars and snotty vocals (also included). “There are not that many good records or bands around, so you have to create your own,” singer Ebbot Lundberg told MTV. “We want to save the world from shit music, bring back the old spirit and renew rock & roll.” SUNDAY, April 6 @ The Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, 355-2582, 9:30 p.m. (with PaloAlto).
AFI, BLOOD BROTHERS
Berkley’s A Fire Inside are likely on the brink of bigness with the release of Sing the Sorrow (DreamWorks), an unlikely major-label debut nothing like fashion-happy mall-punk—less Sum 41, more Misfits and even a little (!) Iron Maiden. “We’re surrounded by frat guys and sorority girls,” singer Davey Havok told City Weekly two years ago of the band’s hometown. “Once in a while, we can hear us being played out of their houses … it’s bizarre to have frat boys listening to our stuff.” Yes, but not as bizarre as them listening to up-and-comers the Blood Brothers—maybe next year. TUESDAY, April 8 @ Bricks, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
BILLY JOE SHAVER
Texas’ Billy Joe Shaver is one of those veteran singer-songwriters who should be famous, a real country artist who’s made real country music for over 30 years (he wrote nearly all of Waylon Jennings’ 1973 “outlaw” breakthrough, Honky-Tonk Heroes) with little fanfare. Freedom’s Child (Compadre), Shaver’s 13th album and first since the death of son and collaborator Eddy, is a stripped-down acoustic Americana masterpiece hailed by every publication from Rolling Stone and The New York Times on down as the best country album you never heard in 2002. TUESDAY, April 8 @ The Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, 355-2582, 9:30 p.m.
MIKE WATT, APPLES IN STEREO
The almighty punk-rockin’ geezer-god of the Thudstaff and a precocious lil’ indie-pop band, together? Cool. Not much new to report on the Watt front, as he still hasn’t recorded a sequel to the greatest-ever rock opera about three guys on a boat, 1997’s Contemplating the Engine Room, but Hootpage.com (Watt’s always-entertaining Website) reports he’ll be hitting the studio soon to have The Secondman’s Middle Stand ready to ship by October. The Apples In Stereo released their career-best last October, Velocity of Sound (SpinArt), a hyper-sweet collection guaranteed to cause instantaneous cavities. TUESDAY, April 8 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 467-5637, 9:30 p.m.
Garage-pop wonders Starmy continue their reign as The Coolest Local Band Right Now, introducing new drummer Garry Ventura (“He’s all about sparkly shirts,” observes frontman Mike Sartain) and playing a pair of unusual shows where visiting Record Label People may or may not be taking notes. If opening for drum & bass techno-sensualists Cosm at Liquid Joe’s weren’t strange enough, Starmy are also crashing the Urban Lounge’s Ready Steady Go! British Mod Night for a very special appearance they promise will be special, very. WEDNESDAY, April 9 @ The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 746-0558, 10 p.m. Also: SATURDAY, April 5 @ Liquid Joe’s, 9:30 p.m. (with Cosm).
Guster (Bricks, April 10). Black Heart Procession (Liquid Joe’s, April 14). Soulfly (Bricks, April 15). Cursive (Bricks, April 16). Pigface, Thrill Kill Kult (Xscape, April 16). DJ Logic (Harry O’s, April 16). The Epoxies (Kilby Court, April 17). Midnight Evils (Urban Lounge, April 18). Rocket From the Crypt (Xscape, April 19). Rich McCulley (Dead Goat Saloon, April 19). Linkin Park (E Center, April 21). Red Elvises (Zephyr Club, April 22). Mooney Suzuki (Xscape, April 23). Sum 41 (Xscape, April 24). Pete Yorn (Bricks, April 26). Zwan (Saltair, April 28)