With all due apologies to trance DJ duo Deepsky and ’80s hair-metal skanks Femme Fatale, The Shins are easily the best band to ever emerge from Albuquerque, N.M. The poptastic foursome have enjoyed a minor explosion of indie-rock success with last year’s utterly perfect Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop), racking up rave press, endless Beach Boys comparisons and being invited to play on all the cool late-night TV shows—even a Gilmore Girls episode, though The O.C. somehow eluded them. Still, nothing’s cooler than an ice-skating video ... THURSDAY, May 27 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 8 p.m. Info: 328-0255 (with Fiery Furnaces).
Known mostly for the 1995 lesbian-chic hit “I Kissed a Girl” and “Supermodel” from the same year’s Clueless (“I didn’t eat yesterday, and I’m not going to eat today, and I’m not going to eat tomorrow, ’cause I’m gonna be a supermodel”), neo-folkie Jill Sobule never quite made it to the Serious Artist level. Despite excellent post-“Girl” label albums like Happy Town (’97) and Pink Pearl (’00), she’s back in the indie ranks with the new Folk Years (JillSobule.com), featuring a cover of Warren Zevon’s “Don’t Let Us Get Sick.” How’s that for serious? FRIDAY, May 28 @ Mo Diggity’s, 3424 S. State, 9 p.m. Info: 832-9000.
PLAYBOY CLUB TOUR
What’s the Playboy 50th Anniversary Club Tour got to do with music? Providing the hip-hop/house background beats for a bevy of Bunnies, Playboy memorabilia and the closest replication of a night in Hugh Hefner’s swanky club legal in Utah (or even Park City) is none other than DJ Shortee, renown female champ of scratching and beat juggling, as seen in Doug Pray’s film-fest documentary Scratch. A “sexy” (natch) burlesque show is also on tap, and that involves music ... No, we’re not reaching to justify our VIP media invite ... too much. FRIDAY, May 28 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 7 p.m. Info: 435-647-9494.
One of the most respected and overlooked bands in rock, Texas trio King’s X are nearing their 20-year anniversary and the mainstream still hasn’t caught up. This might explain why the band stepped back two decades to record their latest, Black Like Sunday (Metal Blade), a collection of undocumented early-’80s songs that preceded their debut masterworks Out of the Silent Planet and Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, but still exhibit the wholly unique King’s X combo of power-gospel vocals, lush harmonies, intricate arrangements and heavy-metal crunch. Or they just do whatever the hell they want. FRIDAY, May 28 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 467-5637.
When City Weekly first interviewed Dashboard Confessional figurehead Chris Carrabba an eternity ago in 2001, who’da thunk we’d be here three years later announcing the indie band’s headlining stint on Honda’s annual Civic Tour? Or reprinting press release quotes like this? “We’re excited to be involved with this tour because it allows us to branch out to a larger audience,” says Carrabba. “Plus, our fans will be able to win our one-of-a-kind customized Civic.” Fun factoid: The paint job is finished with the same polymer Carrabba uses on his hair. SATURDAY, May 29 @ The E Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Dr., West Valley City, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Thrice and Get Up Kids).
Whatever became of Korn protégés Orgy, they who had a hit in 1998 with a shiny industro-metal cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday” and the album Candyass? They followed up with Vapor Transmission in 2000, nobody noticed, the inevitable label tensions arrived right on cue and Orgy became free agents. Instead of taking a day job at Hot Topic, frontman Jay Gordon formed his own company, D1 Music, and set out to sign some bands of his own—and his own band, who released Punk Statik Paranoia through the label earlier this year. Now ya know. SATURDAY, May 29 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9:30 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665.
New York City’s Prong never got their full due as an inventive thrash-industrial metal band, though their influence is evident everywhere in today’s hard scene, and albums like Beg to Differ (’90) and Cleansing (’94) are considered aggro-classics. After five years off, singer-guitarist Tommy Victor is back with a new Prong lineup and CD, Scorpio Rising (Locomotive). Where’s he been? “I spent a few years in a dark hole, unwilling to have much to do with the politics and lip service of the biz,” Victor told RoughEdge. SUNDAY, May 30 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. Info: LoFiCafe.com (with Dog Fashion Disco).
Their current status as Headbanger’s Ball darlings makes Indiana’s Iced Earth seem like newbies, but the old-school metal devotees have been around in various forms since the ’80s. Founding guitarist Jon Shaffer’s persistence finally paid off big with this year’s The Glorious Burden (SPV), an epic, ultra-heavy concept album about the American Revolution (he’s a history buff) featuring new vocalist Tim Owens (or “Ripper,” he who once replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest). Should Iced Earth be on the reunited Priest tour? No, those geezers couldn’t keep up. WEDNESDAY, June 2 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. Info: LoFiCafe.com (with Beyond the Embrace and Trivium).
While they did score a hit single with “Bound for the Floor” (that “keep it copasetic” song) from the excellent As Good as Dead in 1996, Local H’s masterstroke Pack Up the Cats, one of the best rock albums of the ’90s, arrived two years later—just in time for a band-dumping label merger. The sarcastic Chicago guitar-drums duo (yes, those existed pre-White Stripes) hit back hard this April with Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles? (Studio E), but Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair are always at their most ferocious live. WEDNESDAY, June 2 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255 (with Nebula).
Iron Maidens (Liquid Joe’s, June 5-6). George Lynch (Expose, June 5). Devendra Banhart (Kilby Court, June 6). Legendary Shack Shakers (Halo, June 9). Sparta (Lo-Fi Café, June 10). Mary Chapin Carpenter (Red Butte Garden, June 10). Kenny Chesney (Usana Amphitheater, June 11). Rick Springfield (Scera Shell, June 11). Jackass (Egos, June 12). The Damnwells (Lo-Fi Café, June 16). Rocket Summer (In the Venue, June 16). The Streets (Harry O’s, June 18). Richmond Fontaine (Egos, June 20). Utah Arts Festival (Library Square, June 24-27). 311, The Roots (Usana Amphitheater, June 25).