BEST OF UTAH PARTY
Winners and losers alike are welcome to mix it up at City Weekly’s Best of Utah party. This festive tribute to local standouts is open to the public this year, giving everyone a chance to booze it up with alternative gliteratti for a mere five bones. O-town’s Legendary Porch Pounders—fresh off their South By Southwest debut—will perform while guests shake it on the dance floor and thank their stars for exceptional people, places and things. Velvet Room, 149 W. 200 South, 9 p.m. Info: 575-7003.
THE DOLLYROTS, MANDARIN
Raised on the North Texas range, Mandarin is a little less country, a little more equal parts rock and pop. The group’s debut flaunts layered (read: anti-radio-friendly) material that hotly contests genre-specific labels. At times, vocalist/guitarist Jason Wortham emits Maynard Keenan-gutturals, then slips into Pinback-worthy harmonies before the rest of the group springs a Death Cab for Cutie. Precise, dramatic, warm and jagged, Mandarin’s Fast Future Present reminds listeners how to sit back and enjoy an unpredictable ride. Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572.
Also Thursday: Take the Fall (Kilby Court); Magstatic (Urban Lounge)
Dizzie Rascal (Lo-Fi Café); SLUG Localized (Urban Lounge); Metalhead (Velvet Room); The Samples (Suede, Park City)
Love = Death (Lo-Fi Café); InCamera EP Release (Kilby Court); Thee Elephante Men (Todd’s Bar & Grill); Unsound Mind (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)
Swedish death-metal alert: Soilwork, in all their glorious, leather-clad beauty, are coming to town—demanding your fiercest primal scream. Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, this is catharsis at its best. Try prepping cries of joyful anguish by listening to Natural Born Chaos, Figure Number Five or the group’s newest release (and my personal favorite), Stabbing the Drama. And like David Hasselhoff, remember that Germans love S to the O to the I to the L to the WORK. Rooarhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Cryptobiotic, Dark Tranquility, Hypocrisy and Mnemic).
MASTODON, BURNING BRIDES
Attention: Slayer is not coming to town this week. All metal cravings will be deferred to Mastodon and Burning Brides, both of which promise to save you from mainstream nu-schlock. Atlanta-bred Mastodon evaded the dreaded sophomore slump with 2004’s killer release, Leviathan, a Moby Dick-themed record boasting improved vocals. On a less epic-centric note, Philly’s Burning Brides continue wowing fans like the White Stripes with their straightforward, balls-out rock. Start warming up your devil’s horns. Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
STING, PHANTOM PLANET
And now, one of the stranger touring lineups to hit town: Sting and Phantom Planet, two dramatically different acts boasting unique pedigrees. One promotes downward dog, the other Seth Cohen. One used to rock like a ghost in the machine, the other seems to rock harder without former drummer/Rushmore star Jason Schwartzman. It’s all par for the course on Sting’s Broken Music tour, his continued promotion of 2003’s Sacred Love. PP hopes the star-studded performances will help overshadow any and all references to The O.C. So you see, this package promises a little something for everyone. Delta Center, 301 W. South Temple, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 325-7328.
Also Monday: VHS or Beta (Urban Lounge); Crooked Fingers, Dolorean (Velvet Room); Toots & the Maytals (Suede, Park City)
THE ALBUM LEAF
It took a trip to Iceland to get Jimmy LaValle on the mic. Overseas serenity inspired the accomplished pianist to express himself in new, typically terrifying ways. You see, his new friends—artists he had heard of, not actually heard prior to the trip—Sigor Ros encouraged him to be vocal. Then they invited him on tour, and even contributed their haunting talents to his unique sound. In addition to his highly acclaimed album (at least in taste-accustomed indie circles), In a Safe Place, LaValle has recorded a new EP available exclusively at live shows. Better have some dough on hand. Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 467-5637.
Also Tuesday: Eileen Ivers (Kingsbury Hall); Straylight Run, Minus the Bear (In the Venue)
You’ve seen them live, so why not invite Drive-By Truckers into your humble abode? The Southern misfits’ recently released concert DVD captures an intense Athens, Ga., performance featuring hits off 2004’s The Dirty South. Reviews in rags of all stripes (Spin, NPR, The New Yorker, Creem, etc.), indicate strait-laced critics can’t get enough of the album’s lip-smackin, diesel-powered sound. Hailed as skilled guitarists and prolific storytellers with plenty of soul to squeeze, the tried-and-true truckers might just blow out your wide-screen. You’ve been warned. Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
If Jon Spencer (of Blues Explosion fame) was really going Japanese, really going Japanese and really thought so, he might start making music à la DMBQ—Tokyo-based psychedelic-garage rockers preaching their own version of the blues explosion man’s spastic gospel. The Asian underground legends earned U.S. street cred on previous tours with Fugazi, Mudhoney, 20 Miles and JSBX, pleasing crowds hip to chaos. Their latest release, The Essential Sounds From the Far East, shakes and shatters its way through the sort of trademark noise and free improvisation that goes Technicolor in concert. “Our live show is effective against constipation or stomach reclining,” vocalist-guitarist Shinji Masuko told SFburning. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m. Info: 746-0558 (with Red Bennies).
Also Wednesday: Copeland (Lo-Fi Café); Clem Snide (Velvet Room)
NoMeansNo (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, April 14). Snoop Dogg (E Center, April 15). Phoenix, Dogs Die In Hot Cars (In the Venue, April 15). Maktub (Velvet Room, April 15). Slipknot (E Center, April 19). Steve Vai (In the Venue, April 20). Long-View (Urban Lounge, April 20). Kings of Leon (In the Venue, April 22). Velvet Revolver (E Center, April 25). Moby (In the Venue, April 27). DJ Rap (Velvet Room, April 27). The Used (In the Venue, April 29-30). The Killers, Tegan & Sara (Kingsbury Hall, May 2). Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday (E Center, May 2).