! ! !
Sacramento’s !!! (pronounced “chk chk chk” or any three repetitive sounds of your choice) are either a punk-funked KC & The Sunshine Band or the Happy Mondays on different drugs—whichever, the hipster rock press is beyond giddy. The eight-piece group’s dancetastic 2003 mega-single “Me & Giuliani Down By the School Yard” sustained the buzz until last month’s release of Louden Up Now (Touch & Go), which is, So!!! Good!!! THURSDAY, July 22 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Form of Rocket).
REVEREND HORTON HEAT
You know you’re getting old when you happen upon the Reverend Horton Heat’s “Psychobilly Freakout” on VH1 Classic (!), Gen-Xers. What’s changed since that blazing 1992 debut? Not a hell of a lot, thankfully: The Rev’s eighth and latest, Revival (Yep Roc), does show new subtle signs of, well, subtlety, but they’re sandwiched between future VH1 Classics like “Callin’ In Twisted.” Still the hottest guitar in the biz. THURSDAY, July 22 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Detroit Cobras and the Forty-Fives).
“Down South, musicians have to be able to play in many different circumstances and in many contexts,” says Cassandra Wilson of the Mississippi scene that shaped her multi-genre style. “And the lines are kinda blurry sometimes.” On the stellar Glamoured (Blue Note), Wilson applies her smoky pipes to the tunes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Muddy Waters and others so seductively, it’s almost easy to forget the originals. FRIDAY, July 23 @ Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 325-7328.
Why so many AC/DC tribute bands? As Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s Carl would likely say, “Because they are so freakin’ awesome!” Of all the short-panted impersonators ’round the world (male, female, midget, Republican, etc.), only Hollywood’s Thunderstruck feature an actual former member of the legendary Aussie heavy-metal band: Drummer Chris Slade, the big bald dude (just like Carl) who warmed the AC/DC drum throne for most of the ’90s. FRIDAY, July 23-SATURDAY, July 24 @ The Phat Tire Saloon, 7 E. 4800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 262-7428.
COMFORTABLE FOR YOU
Not a new line of casual wear from JC Penny, but a San Diego band who specialize in brutally intricate post-hardcore riffage and off-kilter lyrical subjects like “He Plays In the Key of Bitchin’” on their debut, Prizefight (Loud & Clear). The San Diego CityBeat—an alt-weekly such as this, only nowhere near as cool—has praised Comfortable for You’s “sheer animalistic violence and scarring grooves.” Sound comfortable? SATURDAY, July 24 @ The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m. Info: 746-0558.
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Pt. 1: It’s night of timing choices for the discerning modern metal fan—two different all-killer/no-filler bills, two different venues. Down State Street, loose-cannon ex-Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo’s Superjoint Ritual headline over co-ed Italian dark-metal wonders Lacuna Coil (who make Evanescence sound like Hillary Duff) and Los Angeles’ DevilDriver (former Coal Chamber singer Dez Fafara’s new, heavier deal). SUNDAY, July 25 @ The Ritz, 2265 S. State, 5 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
LAMB OF GOD
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Pt. 2: Downtown, it’s Lamb of God, Otep, Atreyu, Unearth and Every Time I Die, headliners all and each fully capable of sonically splattering your gray matter like a ripe watermelon. Of particular note are Virginia’s unreal Lamb of God, set to release their major-label debut, Ashes of the Wake (Epic), next month, and L.A.’s crushing Otep (see House of Secrets review, p.50). SUNDAY, July 25 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
THE COURT & SPARK
City Weekly never covers country music. That said, San Francisco’s Court & Spark are so country it hurts—one spin through the band’s haunting new Witch Season (Absolutely Kosher), one of the most perfect Americana albums of the half-done year, will make anyone a believer. The sprawling disc features a dozen slow-burn gems you’ll never hear on any of our local—what was the last count, 27?—”country” radio stations. MONDAY, July 26 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887 (with Willie Mason and The Happys).
Seattle’s Boss Martians used to be a long-haired, reverb-heavy surf band, but caught another (new) wave with 2002’s Making the Rounds, a garage-centric rock album more Elvis Costello than Dick Dale. Their new The Set-Up (BossMartians.com) continues the evolution with shout-along power-poppers of pure skinny-tie bliss like “I Am Your Radio” and “Oh, Angela” (dedicate it to your favorite Murder She Wrote star or local punk-zine publisher). TUESDAY, July 27 @ The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m. Info: 746-0558 (with Starmy).
Is there a cooler frontwoman in punk than Tsunami Bomb’s Agent M? Of course not—she calls herself Agent M, fergawdsakes! The Petaluma powerhouses’ second record, The Definitive Act (Kung Fu), arrives in September; another explosive combo of melodic smarts and aggro underpinnings to fuel a live show that already burns hot. And, with M’s future crossover into Gwen Stefanized punk-femme stardom inevitable, best catch Tsunami Bomb now, up-close and sweaty. TUESDAY, July 27 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Lawrence Arms and Pipedown).
“The songs are designed to motivate working people,” says Quetzal Flores of his self-named band’s new Worksongs (Vanguard), “and help working people remember their humanity. Working people make this world function, and we’re part of that working class.” None less than Los Lobos have called Quetzal the new musical voice of Chicano-American culture, mixing folk, rock, soul and jazz with every Latin influence imaginable into something wholly new. WEDNESDAY, July 28 @ Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 325-7328.
The Hives, Sahara Hotnights (In the Venue, July 29). U92 Summer Jam (Utah State Fairpark, July 29). Felix Da Housecat (Crazy Goat, July 31). Berlin (Springville Amphitheater, July 31). Soulfly (The Ritz, Aug. 1). Bad Boys of Metal (Expose, Aug. 2). The Bad Plus (Gallivan Center, Aug. 5). Ani DiFranco (Red Butte Garden, Aug. 5). Incubus, Sparta (E Center, Aug. 5). Cross Canadian Ragweed (Egos, Aug. 10). Marah (Halo, Aug. 11). Drowning Pool (DV8, Aug. 13). Seven Mary Three (Crazy Goat, Aug. 16). Real Life (Lo-Fi Café, Aug. 17). The Cure (Usana Amphitheater, Aug. 18).