ROBERT CRAY BAND
Just so you know: “We’re called the Robert Cray Band; I’m out front singing and playing guitar, but the guys in the band contribute a lot more to the music than most people know,” celebrated soul-bluesman Cray told Dallas Music Guide. “It’s not like Robert Cray & the Sympathetic Dummies Back There just putting on the groove!” Hear for yourself on Cray’s 13th and latest, Time Will Tell (Silverline), or live tonight. THURSDAY, June 24 @ Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, 7 p.m. Tickets: 325-7328.
Self-described as “sci-fi horror disco,” San Francisco’s The Vanishing have also been tagged by others as “comparable to a synth-happy Christian Death by way of Suicide.” Those unafraid of the sun and simplicity might say, “Hey, it’s an old Siouxie & the Banshees bootleg” upon hearing Songs for Psychotic Children (GSL), and for good black-lipstick fun, you can’t beat frontwoman Jesse Eva’s tortured wail and unpredictable stage dramatics. Boo! THURSDAY, June 24 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (with The Prids and Buttery Muffins).
HAIRY APES BMX
Who remembers Billy Goat, an eclectic jam-band from years ago who were as well-known for playing naked as they were for playing trippy-ass music? That was percussionist Mike Dillon’s old gig; these days, he keeps his pants on and grooves tight with Hairy Apes BMX, an Austin rock/jazz/Afro-funk experiment that makes more sense when you learn that BMX means “Butt-Moving Xperience,” and they’ve been likened to “Beck meets Tito Puente.” THURSDAY, June 24 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
311, THE ROOTS
Gotta hand it to 311: They were Omaha before Omaha was cool, stuck with rap-rock long after it was cool, and who’da thunk they’d still be throwing down the frat-funk 10 years after their expiration date, much less headlining over superior bands like The Roots? It’s also stupefying to realize that 311 filled Greatest Hits ’93-’03 (Volcano), and didn’t destroy The Cure’s “Love Song.” FRIDAY, June 25 @ Usana Amphitheater, 5400 S. 6200 West, West Valley City, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
ABSOLUTE PUNK TOUR
AbsolutePunk.net, the Website where “Music Mends Broken Hearts,” has slapped together a tight tour package at least as interesting as the average Warped monstrosity—with a lower risk of sunburn. Rosemead’s Audio Karate put a jaggedly melodic spin on power-punk; Los Angeles’ Say Anything have been anointed by Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba as the Next Big Thing; Stanford University’s (!) MC Lars is probably too far ahead of his time to chart. Hot stuff all. SATURDAY, June 26 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Info: LoFiCafe.com.
What’s freestyle motocross have to do with music? The old entertainment lines are being erased, pops—this is the new paradigm shift, learn to deal. Actually, just seemed like something fun to write about. The Crusty Demons Global Assault Tour features sick choreographed FMX stunts and ’splosions galore, as well as DJs (there’s the music) and the “Crusty Babes,” all against “the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.” Ogden? MONDAY, June 28 @ The E Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Dr., West Valley City, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Nashville singer-guitarist Anthony Gomes may look like just another skinny white dude, but the gutbucket soul and funkified R& he throws down is fat (and phat) beyond all appearances—factor in some scorching Stratocaster skills and you’ve got a serious mofo. His Unity (33rd Street Records) is the toast of the blues mags, as well as one Dan “Elwood Blues” Aykroyd: “Looks like this may be the one to break [Gomes’] career.” MONDAY, June 28 @ Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 328-0255.
This just in: Jerry Garcia is still dead, small “d.” The big “D” touring now is Grateful drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh, along with keyboardist Jeff Chimenti (RatDog) and guitarists Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule) and Jimmy Herring (Jazz is Dead). They’re now just The Dead, man. “I think there may be more of us dead than alive,” Weir says. “So let’s have a little truth in advertising.” TUESDAY, June 29 @ Usana Amphitheater, 5400 S. 6200 West, West Valley City, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
SOUTH AUSTIN JUG BAND
Now that you’ve weathered the breakup of Leftover Salmon (Oh, you hadn’t heard? Sorry, Moonbeam), say whassup! to the South Austin Jug Band, like-minded jammers of a different stripe. Sure, they mine similar hyper-shreddin’ bluegrass/Texas swing/blues/rock territory to Leftover, but SAJB boast a stronger tune sense and not one, but two odes to the almighty mullet in their repertoire. Hell, yeah! WEDNESDAY, June 30 @ The Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7 p.m. Free. (with Gigi Love).
The coronation Stone of Destiny of Scottish lore, a malty brown ale from Perth—neither of these is the Lia Fail in question here, and luckily they weren’t booked to play Piper Down. Lia Fail, the Los Angeles hardcore band, is four young women who, while appearing more precious than Lillix, generate a scathing wall of metal crunch—think Lillix Goes to Hell. WEDNESDAY, June 30 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Info: LoFiCafe.com (with 14 Days From Forever).
“And the meek shall inherit the Earth ... /We’ve taken care of everything/The words you hear, the songs you sing/The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes/It’s one for all, all for one/We work together, common sons/Never need to wonder how or why/We are the priests/Of the Temples of Syrinx/Our great computers/Fill the hollowed halls/We are the priests/Of the Temples of Syrinx/All the gifts of life/Are held within our walls!” Right on, Neil. WEDNESDAY, June 30 @ Usana Amphitheater, 5400 S. 6200 West, West Valley City, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Legendary Pink Dots (In the Venue, July 1). Josh Todd (Egos, July 3). Clutch (Lo-Fi Café, July 7). MC 5, Supagroup (Egos, July 7). John Mayer, Maroon 5 (Usana Amphitheater, July 8). Mofro (Egos, July 12). Diana Krall (Abravanel Hall, July 14). Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash (Egos, July 15). Vans Warped Tour (Utah State Fairpark, July 17). Sarah McLachlan (E Center, July 19). Blood Brothers (Kilby Court, July 19). Reverend Horton Heat (In the Venue, July 22). Sonic Youth, Le Tigre (In the Venue, July 25). The Hives, Sahara Hotnights (In the Venue, July 29).