SOCIAL DISTORTION, BACKYARD BABIES
They pumped up the jam as early as 1987, but Scandinavian high-school chums Backyard Babies didn’t hit U.S. soil until 1997 when Mike Ness invited them to cruise around with Social Distortion. But it didn’t take long before they’d won over metal America. The formidable sleaze rockers once occupied a regular rotation slot on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, thereby increasing their chances of eventually appearing on VHI Classic’s Metal Mania. It’s unlikely the surly Swedes will cringe at syndicated footage of their humble beginnings. “Every band sounds like f—king shit in the beginning. But the big rock stars, they don’t want to admit that they had pink hair and a pink guitar. I am proud of everything we’ve done,” Dregen told Coolgrrls. In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Unlike rub-a-dub gurus Sean Paul and Shaggy, Jamaican singer Everton Blender creates dancehall music pulsing spiritual—rather than overtly sexual—content. Rather than rely on lyrics like, “Picture this, we were both butt naked/ Bangin’ on the bathroom floor,” Blender pens socially conscious lines advising listeners to, “Stand firm with your pride/ With nothing to hide/ Our aim, our destiny/ Is to be free.” The astute performer broke out during the early ’90s, bringing accessible roots music to mainstream audiences. The former construction worker/painter left his day job to pursue spiritual fulfillment. Now he’s reaching masses through Blend Dem, a record label devoted to nourishing the soul. Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Also Thursday: Salty Rootz (Monk’s).
It can be challenging summoning demons in sunny Southern California. That’s why the easygoing members of Something Corporate bunkered down in Seattle to record their sophomore effort, North. Don’t think the cherubic Orange County youth have enough life experience to pen a dark album? Listen closely then to “Me and the Moon,” a morbid tale about a woman who kills her apathetic husband. It’s a far cry from the cheerful odes to summer lovin’ and wicked cool parties that colored their debut. They’ve also managed to turn the youth on to piano-driven sounds while attracting somewhat older (read: 25 and up) audiences sweet on classic-rock undertones. Chalk success up to mom and pop: “I listened to the stuff my parents listened to, like James Taylor and Pink Floyd,” singer/pianist Andrew McMahon told Rolling Stone. In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Straylight Run, The Academy Is).
Here are a few little known facts about Metalhead, courtesy of the group’s Website: Lucky sips Starbucks; Steel loves to cook; G-String is not a ladies man; and Tommi is an open book. But the Arizona-based rockers’ main focus is bringing the noise as only a hair-tribute band can. Apparently these guys are masters of puppets, manipulating their own strings to express accurate renditions of Bon Jovi, Quiet Riot and AC/DC, among many others. Now they’re ready to take Utah by storm—can you handle it? Velvet Room, 149 W. 200 South, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Also Friday: Red Bennies, Starmy (Monk’s); Todd’s 5th Anniversary Party: The Rodeo Boys (Todd’s Bar & Grill).
Results from an informal City Weekly focus group indicate that the term “singer/songwriter” is an insufficient way to describe Marc Broussard. The Louisiana-reared performer is more than just a boy with his guitar. Broussard, son of famed musician Ted Broussard, refuses to serve as the poster child for a generic genre. Instead, his repertoire spans variations of soul, country, pop and rock, making him the perfect touring mate for everyone from The Dave Mathews Band to Willie Nelson and Tori Amos. He is perhaps best noted for his gravely, preternatural voice—a cross between John Hiatt and Otis Redding. Broussard’s latest release, Carencro, highlights the origins of his unusual soul. Kilby Court, 330 W. 741 South, 7:30 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (w/ David Ryan Harris).
Also Saturday: Secret Machines, Moving Units (Lo-Fi Café); Christine Kane (Social Work Auditorium); Hello Amsterdam (Egos); Masturbating Hearts (Todd’s Bar & Grill); Tea Leaf Green (Urban Lounge).
Next Big Thing Alert! Eisley, a Houston-based quintet casting spells with powdered-sugar lullabies, has been pinned as the latest savior of contemporary pop. So can you believe the hype? Well, let’s see. The four-siblings-plus-one-neighborhood-pal have already shared the stage with British darlings Coldplay (handpicked by Mr. Paltrow) and are slated to appear at this year’s Coachella music festival, along with Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus, Secret Machines, Rilo Kiley and others. Eisley also stretched some philanthropic muscle on an upcoming double-disc compilation benefiting UNICEF’s tsunami relief fund. Their contribution, “Lost at Sea,” is saddled up to tracks by such indie giants as Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie and Grandaddy. Looks like Eisley is doing a fine job of filling some very big shoes. Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Also Sunday: Louis Logic (Kilby Court).
Joyce Cooling (Kingsbury Hall); Return to Sender, Tolchock Trio (Kilby Court).
Hank Williams III (Velvet Room); Jessica Something Jewish (Kilby Court); The Legendary Shack Shakers (Urban Lounge).
One can only hope to achieve a life as rich and significant as that of Utah Phillips. The California-based singer/songwriter has amassed myriad accolades for his roles as activist, historian, archivist, philosopher and member of Industrial Workers of the World. The Wobblies are a longstanding chiefly U.S. labor organization vehemently opposed to capitalism. Phillips strives to unleash traditional sounds from conventional strongholds. “Folk music isn’t owned by anybody. It’s owned by everybody, like the national parks, the postal system and the school system. It’s our common property. There is nobody’s name on it. Nobody can make money on it. It’s not copywritten. But you have to have the courage to take your name off it, to give it up, to give it a life of its own,” he told The Progressive. Phillips has done just that—and then some. Fittingly, this concert is a benefit for Utah Jobs With Justice. Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 355-2787.
Also Wednesday: Rise Against, Tsunami Bomb (Lo-Fi Café); Hairy Apes BMX (Egos).
Beep Beep, Polysics (Kilby Court, Feb. 17). Bettie Serveert (Velvet Room, Feb. 19). The Comas (Kilby Court, Feb. 22). Sam Bush (Port O’ Call, Feb. 22). Sage Francis (Lo-Fi Café, Feb. 23). High on Fire (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Feb. 24). Alpha Blondy (Suede, Feb. 24). Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven (Plan B, Feb. 26). Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons (Egos, Feb. 26-27). Sugarcult (Lo-Fi Café, Feb. 26). Hot Hot Heat (In the Venue, Feb. 27). Modest Mouse (In the Venue, March 4-5). OK Go (Sound, March 8). Pat Metheny (Kingsbury Hall, March 8). Lyrics Born (Egos, March 10).