Not all Rockys are punch-drunk stallions, tweaked flying squirrels or mayoral control freaks—some are folksy singer-songwriters. OK, maybe only one Rocky is semi-widely-known as a plaintive strummer, he being Seattle’s Rocky Votolato, formerly of more rock-minded Seattle-ites Waxwing. Votolato’s sophomore 2003 solo disc, Suicide Medicine (Second Nature), moves between heartbreaking balladry and visceral acoustic rock the way a critical-darling Album to Watch should—think of a less cynical Paul Westerberg and you’re halfway there. THURSDAY, April 29 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 6 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (with Roy and Hurtfords).
Yes, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy has a serious Thom Yorke/Jeff Buckley jones, and the rising-buzz British trio cops enough Radiohead affectations to make Coldplay and Starsailor seem like Motorhead devotees, but so what? Absolution (Warner Bros.) is a fine album, and they at least have a grasp on math. “Sometimes you go to these little venues and play to 20 people and think, ‘Well, what’s the point?’” Bellamy told Rolling Stone. “But then you realize that if you played to 20 people in every city, then you’ve got, like, 3,000 or 4,000 people watching you.” THURSDAY, April 29 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with The Exit).
The best kinky stuff since Club Blue: Shock-rock goddess/lead singer/dominatrix Gen and her Genitorturers have been spreading the, er, love for more than 10 years now, and yet they’ve still never been invited to play the Super Bowl halftime show—doesn’t seem fair. Equally unfair are critical brush-offs of the band’s surprisingly deep musical side, admittedly overshadowed by their raucous live shows that blur vintage Alice Cooper, wicked Madonna and Heavy Metal magazine into cartoon S& ecstasy. Experience the Genitorturers before they’re banned by The Man. FRIDAY, April 30 @ Halo, 60 E. 800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 363-4522 (with Pit Bull Daycare and Die Monster Die).
“We didn’t break up,” Dada singer-guitarist Michael Gurley told City Weekly last year, prior to canceling their SLC tour date. “We just needed a little time off. And it turned into a little longer than we thought.” The Los Angeles alt-pop trio best known for the 1992 hit “DizzKneeLand” took three years off at the end of the ’90s, worked on individual solo projects (drummer Phil Leavitt even did time in the Blue Man Group), then regrouped in 2002 and hit the ground touring. Dada’s new studio album, How to Be Found (Blue Cave), is satisfyingly long on hot guitars and cool harmonies—it’s like they never left. FRIDAY, April 30 @ DV8, 115 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Everyone thought the first Wu-Tang Clan member to get his own sitcom would be Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but apparently not: Method Man and occasional partner Redman are working on a TV pilot for Fox said to not fall far from their thespian duo work in How High. Why a sitcom? Why do you think? “There’s a lot of money in it,” MM told BET. “If we can do it the way I want to do it, I think it’ll pay off.” His latest solo disc, Tical 0: The Prequel (Def Jam) drops May 18; the sitcom, not so soon. FRIDAY, April 30 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Montreal. French-Canadian. The only thing that comes to mind with the term “French-Canadian” is “perfume on a moose.” Of Montreal, a fabulously fabulous psychedelic indie-pop band from Athens, Ga., is better than a perfumed moose—let’s see ’em use that in the press kit. The wonderfully-named new Satanic Panic in the Attic (Polyvinyl), singer-songwriter Kevin Barnes’ sixth and most immediate record with Of Montreal, hints at what the Stones’ Rock & Roll Circus might have been like if the Kinks and the Beach Boys had dropped in. SATURDAY, May 1 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887.
W.C. HANDY ALL-STARS
W.C. Handy, oft referred to as “the father of the blues,” is the man who brought the music into the mainstream in the early 1900s; today, the W.C. Handy Awards are the ultimate in blues recognition. Knowing that, the W.C. Handy All-Stars tour—this year featuring vets John Hammond, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Duke Robillard and newcomer Otis Taylor—should be a barnburner. Even better, a portion of the proceeds from the tour will go to the Handy Artists Relief Trust (HART), a fund established to aid blues artists in need. SATURDAY, May 1 @ The Eccles Center, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 435-655-3114.
While some indie-bands retool their sound for the mainstream (you know who they are), it’s nice to know there are still the few and the proud who won’t budge from left of center or, in the case of San Francisco’s Deerhoof, refuse to even acknowledge the existence of a center. Milk Man (Kill Rock Stars), the loopy noise-pop outfit’s latest, featuring never-to-be hits like “Rainbow Silhouette of the Milky Rain,” is still an immaculate clatter of organics, electronics and gnarled “rock” surrounding bassist Satomi Matsuzaki’s anime-girl vocals. SUNDAY, May 2 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (with Tolchock Trio).
MISTRESS OF REALITY
The all-female tribute bandwagon is rolling once more—but sorry, Cheap Chick canceled again. However, Los Angeles Black Sabbath worshippers Mistress of Reality are back, riffing the best of the Ozzy era (no Ronnie James Dio—and don’t even mention Ian Gillan) with only guitars swingin’ between their legs. As vocalist Izzy Osbourne (Paulette Kasal)—who, oddly enough, has a slightly lower voice than the metal god/sitcom star—told men’s mag FHM, “Ozzy is always clapping onstage; breasts would just be something else for him to clap together.” SUNDAY, May 2 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255 (with Nova).
Again we ask: What is it with Dick Dale and Wednesday-night Salt Lake City gigs? Seems like every time the southpaw King of Surf Guitar hits our landlocked li’l hamlet, it’s on a damned Hump Day. On the upside, the legendary Stratocaster Master (and way cooler Tarantino “discovery” than Travolta) is splitting the night once more with I Can Lick Any Son of a Bitch In the House, the Portland redneck rock & roll outfit who kill on their every visit with catchy hard-luck tunes delivered in maximum rotgut velocity. WEDNESDAY, May 5 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 467-5637.
Melissa Ferrick (Halo, May 10). Graham Parker, Anne McCue (Harry O’s, May 10). Midtown (Lo-Fi Café, May 11). Watishi Wa (Kilby Court, May 12). SnoCore Tour (In the Venue, May 12). Leo Kottke (Jeanne Wagner Theater, May 12). Fat Possum Juke Joint Caravan (Brewskies, May 13; Halo, May 14). Jucifer (Egos, May 14). Kid Rock (E Center, May 14). Gwar (In the Venue, May 14). My Morning Jacket (Sound, May 15). AC/D-She (Egos, May 15). Damageplan (In the Venue, May 16). Lost Prophets (Lo-Fi Café, May 18). Clinic, Low Flying Owls (Liquid Joe’s, May 19). Brides of Destruction (In the Venue, May 21). Bob Schneider (Halo, May 28).