DONNA THE BUFFALO
Not Dawn of the Buffalo, which sounds like a sci-fi flick about zombie bison. New York’s Donna the Buffalo blend reggae, rock, folk, country, Zydeco, Cajun and whatever else you’ve got into something at least as cool as undead livestock, and they’re totally plugged-in. “[Appalachian music] has been a very important part of our sound,” says singer-fiddler Tara Nevins. “We picked up electric instruments, but with this old-time sensibility.” THURSDAY, July 1 @ The Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7 p.m. Free (with Sonny Landreth).
LEGENDARY PINK DOTS
Not so much “legendary” as “persistent,” London’s Legendary Pink Dots have been generating a gloriously weird wall of goth-pop psychedelia for almost 25 years now—and Edward Ka-Spel and Silver Man still aren’t household names ... well, depends on your household. LPD’s new Whispering Wall (RIOR) certainly won’t be the one to get ’em on TRL, but it is their most accessible album to date ... well, depends on your access points. THURSDAY, July 1 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
They never enjoyed the hype of neighbors Queensryche, but Metal Church were easily Seattle’s coolest heavy-metal band of the ’80s (and if you can remember Rail, well, sorry). Albums like Metal Church (’85), Blessing In Disguise (’89) and Human Factor (’91) are hard-rock classics, tight fusions of Euro-metal and American thrash for headbangers and guitar-geeks alike. Now they’re back with The Weight of the World (MetalChurch.com); no word on Rail. FRIDAY, July 2 @ DV8, 115 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
She got her solo start with Stax/Volt in the late ’60s, and former Staples Singer Mavis has made a career of overlooked recorded soul gems like 1977’s A Piece of the Action (with Curtis Mayfield) and 1989’s Time Waits for No One (with Prince); her ninth and latest, Have a Little Faith (Alligator), due this August. This show, however, is all about the hits of the Staples Sisters. SATURDAY, July 3 @ Deer Valley Resort, Park City, 7 p.m. Tickets: 435-645-3114.
At 21, blues-harp ace Jason Ricci debuted on the main stage of the King Biscuit Blues Festival and recorded his first album. That was just 1995; Ricci since has taken more titles, racked up more critical raves and released more records, his latest being Feel Good Funk (JasonRicci.com), which led Blues Revue to declare him one of the “potential leading lights in 21st Century blues.” MONDAY, July 5 @ Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 328-0255. Also: TUESDAY, July 6 @ Party on the Plaza, 890 Main, Park City, 6 p.m.
And you thought the only Grateful Dead tribute band coming to Utah was The Dead last week at Usana. Georgia’s Cosmic Charlie claims, “If you’re looking for a band to play Grateful Dead material and breathe some life into it, Cosmic Charlie will rise to the task with breath of fire.” The band also promises “the room will gleefully be elevated to the next dimension.” But, hopefully, not like Jerry was. MONDAY, July 5 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9:30 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665.
When they describe themselves as “Livetronica ... drum & bass, house, downtempo and rare groove while keeping traditional roots in jazz, funk and natural rhythm,” you’d think Signal Path’s sound would be as messy as a bong tipped over in a hamster cage. Nope: The Missoula five-piece (electronic drums, acoustic drums, stand-up bass, guitars and keyboards, all run through various software) produce a stone-groovy techno-jazz bed and avoid that noodle-jam malaise. TUESDAY, July 6 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
PEDRO THE LION
“I wanted to un-concept things a bit,” frontman David Bazan says of Pedro the Lion’s new Achilles Heel (Jade Tree), hailed by the critical intelligentsia as the masterwork of an already impressive catalogue. “I just wrote some songs and set out to present them in the clearest, most straightforward way possible.” Bazan’s hypnotic combo of indie-pop, country lilt and sharply literate lyrics work in any setting ... “un-concept”? WEDNESDAY, July 7 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (with John Vanderslice).
The Dirty Rotten Imbeciles were the link between hardcore punk and thrash metal circa the ’80s, when the albums Crossover (’87) and Thrash Zone (’89) ripped open a new genre—but D.R.I. don’t really mind 21 props-light years. “If we had started getting airplay and exposure, we would have become what we never wanted to be,” says guitarist Spike Cassidy. The headliners of the Slim-Jim Stage on the Warped Tour? WEDNESDAY, July 7 @ DV8, 115 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Billed as “An Evening With Clutch,” you gets what it says: Two-plus hours of pure rock fury from Transnational Speedway League (’93) through, well, Pure Rock Fury (’01) and the new Blast Tyrant (DRT), as well as the usual surprises from the cosmic kings of heavy-mental jam-band alchemy. “No one in our band just wants to do a set list,” singer Neil Fallon told SuicideGirls.com. “We want to do something that’s individual to each night.” WEDNESDAY, July 7 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Info: LoFiCafe.com.
So what if legendary ’60s Detroit revolution-rockers the MC5 would rather make time to chat with the big corporate dailies than your friendly neighborhood alt-weekly? The fact that bassist Michael Davis, guitarist Wayne Kramer and drummer Dennis Thompson—plus guest singers Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Evan Dando (!) and Marshall Crenshaw (!!)—are kicking out the reunion jams in politically-charged 2004 is worth pimping. With two absolutely killer opening acts (Supagroup and Suffrajett), this is the show to beat on a busy Hump Day. WEDNESDAY, July 7 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
John Mayer, Maroon 5 (Usana Amphitheater, July 8). Jess Dayton (Egos, July 11). Mofro (Egos, July 12). Diana Krall (Abravanel Hall, July 14). Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash (Egos, July 15). Michelle Shocked (Mo Diggity’s, July 15). Vans Warped Tour (Utah State Fairpark, July 17). Sarah McLachlan (E Center, July 19). Blood Brothers (Kilby Court, July 19). Sweetback (Suede, July 19). The Gourds (Egos, July 20). Reverend Horton Heat (In the Venue, July 22). The Used (McKay Event Center, July 22). Sonic Youth, Le Tigre (In the Venue, July 25). The Hives, Sahara Hotnights (In the Venue, July 29)