Atlanta’s Sevendust are the Rodney Dangerfields of nü metal: Their mothers used to feed ’em with slingshots, too—ba-dum-bump! Of course, we’re referring to the “no respect” angle, cranking out solid albums and touring like dogs but never quite breaking through as lesser bands go on to sell bigger. Sevendust’s new Seasons (TVT) stays the melodic-metallic course, injected with enough edge and soul to distance them from the pack and make you wonder why they’re not playin’ the great outdoors instead of the mooks below. FRIDAY, Dec. 19 @ Bricks, 579 W. 200 South, 6 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Ill Niño).
It’s the Chevy Truck U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix, kids, and nothing says truckin’ and Xtreme-sportin’ fun like ... Staind? Well, they did drop the “e,” which is kinda radical. Whether it makes sense or not, the tattooed titans of mope metal are bringing their sensitive stylings to the snow, and that’s about all the alliteration we can allow. Aaron Lewis & Co. are still riding high on 14 Shades of Grey (Elektra), the angsty album featuring such hebetic headbangin’ hits as “Price to Play” ... damn, did it again, dude. FRIDAY, Dec. 19 @ Park City Mountain Resort, 6 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Ex-Local Returns For the Holidays, Pt. 1: Singer-songwriter Jay Johnson packed the guitars and moved to Nashville last year, moving his Jeff Buckley-inspired pipes and impeccable pop compositions closer to the biz and, if there’s any eventual justice, a higher national profile than the (zzz) John Mayers. The excellent Yellow from 2000 is still Johnson’s product du jour, but check out gorgeous new tunes like “Kings of New England” and “Broken” at JayJohnsonBand.com as we say it again: Why this guy isn’t huge is anyone’s guess. FRIDAY, Dec. 19 @ The Hard Rock Café, 505 Trolley Square, 9 p.m. Info: 532-7625.
In 1999, Urb Magazine readers named her Female Artist of the Year alongside Lauryn Hill. No news on the current whereabouts of Ms. Hill, but international trance DJ (or, as she’s also known, “Trance Goddess”) Sandra Collins is alive, well and spinning in Park City tonight to help you get over that Staind set as only she can. “A DJ set is like a story,” Collins says. “There’s a beginning, there’s a middle, there’s a peak and in my songs, each song is like a mini set. It’s exactly the same way I spin ’em.” FRIDAY, Dec. 19 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 9 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Rancid singer-guitarist Tim Armstrong proved good tunes rule over genre and all else not only on his own band’s recent Indestructible (Epitaph), but also as a producer/collaborator on pop-chick Pink’s new Try This—two killer albums miles apart from one another. In fact, in 10 years of Rancid recording, Armstrong and fellow Operation Ivy expatriate Matt Freeman haven’t made a bad move yet over six damn-near-flawless ska-punk discs. And we got through this without a gossipy mention of Armstrong’s ugly divorce from Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle ... oops. SATURDAY, Dec. 20 @ Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, 6 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Tiger Army and F-Minus).
Cleveland outfit Integrity have been kicking and screaming since 1989—a long time to stay pissed, but the band’s new Bringing It Back (Deathwish Inc.) fits in easily with 2003’s hardcore resurgence and introduces subtle new twists at the same time. Just watch what you associate their tutelage with: “People can attribute our influence to a lot of things, but we had nothing to do with rap-nü-metal,” singer Dwid told Digital Noise. “First off, way too many hyphens. Second, I only rap in private.” SATURDAY, Dec. 20 @ Albee Square, 165 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. (with On Broken Wings, A-18 and Bring It Down).
Or DJ Fluid, or Fluid Motion of Afro Mystik, or the founder of San Francisco’s Om Records, whatever you’d like to call him. Chris Smith goes by many names, but even more sound, fusing African, Brazilian and other musics with electronic beats—in the Bay Area, anything goes. “It’s a cultural mecca,” Smith told the SF Examiner. “That’s definitely been a huge influence. I mean, as an artist, you can get away with anything in this city because people are so open-minded.” Naturally, his next stop was Salt Lake City. SATURDAY, Dec. 20 @ W Lounge, 358 S. West Temple, 10 p.m. Info: 359-0637.
Could be a first: A baby band has actually named Utah’s own The Used (who broke large waaay back in 2002) as an “influence.” Orange County’s April Sixth also cite Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine (cool) in their bio, as well as Fuel (crap), and some show through on Mariposa Avenue, the self-made EP that led to a major-label deal with Elektra a scant year after their formation. The debut longplayer drops next spring, which gives April Sixth plenty of time to confirm or deny their Christian Rock status, Evanescence-style. MONDAY, Dec. 22 @ Bricks, 579 W. 200 South, 6 p.m. Info: 328-0255.
Ex-Local Returns for the Holidays, Pt. 2: Long tall bluesman Zach Parrish relocated last year from Salt Lake to Austin, where music lives and breathes 24-7 and the bounty of gigs is matched only by the staggering competition—anyone who’s seen the man burn up a fretboard knows he can hold his own. Stoking the fire will be harmonica master and “Ogden blues magnate” Brad Wheeler, joining his old Zach Parrish Blues Band-mates onstage. See? You can still get Monday blues in The SLC. MONDAY, Dec. 22 @ Halo, 60 E. 800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 363-4522 (also appearing Monday, Dec. 29).
Strung Out (Bricks, Dec. 28). DJ Irene (Axis, Dec. 31). Bo Diddley (Harry O’s, Jan. 3). Global Funk Council (Harry O’s, Jan. 8). SXSW Preliminaries (Various, Jan. 10). Bacon Brothers (Eccles Center, Jan. 10). The Toasters, Guttermouth (Albee Square, Jan. 14). Slamdance: NYC Rock & Roll Kick-Off (Brewvies, Jan. 16). Blackalicious (Suede, Jan. 16). Cypress Hill (Suede, Jan. 17). G. Love & Special Sauce (Suede, Jan. 18). Maceo Parker (Port O’ Call, Jan. 20). The Chieftains (Kingsbury Hall, Jan. 23). Hamell on Trial (Halo, Jan. 24).