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Music Picks

Brendan Benson, Trail of Dead, No-Fi Soul Rebellion ...





Don’t call Brendan Benson a singer-songwriter—he’d rather be recognized as a one-man band, writing, playing and producing songs fit for a publishing company dubbed Glad Sad Music. The Detroit artist has a soft spot for bittersweet tunes bearing strong pop backbones. A genuine interest in sound’s myriad permutations, however, helps him transcend status as another predictable, sensitive crooner. Benson broke the mold with 2002’s Lapalco, benching insecurities on tracks like “Folk Singer,” admitting, “I’m not the kind of man who acts very strong when the girls are looking on,” before his girl tells him “stop pretending. You’re not John Lennon.” His latest release, Alternative to Love, carries similar content realized in fresh light. Keep your eyes peeled for even fresher material featuring the mark of Benson bud Jack White (sorry, had to name-drop). Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.


Predators, mercenaries, vampires—these are the terms David Lindley employs to describe bootleggers. A recent post on the multi-instrumentalist’s Website railed against “tapers-gone-bad,” calling them out with a fury typical of anti-downloading Metallica members. Subsequent responses from the online community were overwhelmingly negative. One particularly irate reader wrote, “Maybe if your career had actually been successful, you wouldn’t care if people taped you.” Ouch. Seems pro-bootlegger hasn’t kept up on Lindley’s achievements, starting with his work with Jackson Browne to recent albums displaying quick hands, massive talent and enough humor to make even the toughest cynic smile. That’s the magic of a lap guitar, five-string banjo, oud, saz and bouzouki! Egyptian Theater, 328 Main, Park City, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (also Friday).

Also Thursday: He Is Legend, Receiving End of Sirens (Lo-Fi Café); Orbit Service (Urban Lounge); HolloH (Velvet Room—see Music, p.57)


Trace Wiren CD Release (Mo Diggity’s—see Music, p.56); SLUG Localized (Urban Lounge); Metalhead (Velvet Room); Passages (Egos); Better Than Ezra, Ingram Hill (Suede, Park City); Dr. John (Harry O’s, Park City)



Try not to fault Weather for skipping SLC in favor of wetter pastures. Sure, they decided our city wasn’t offering up the kind of inspiration they needed to get their quintet off the ground. Yes, they figured Seattle was a better land for tuning songs in the key of angst. But you know what? That sort of mindset ultimately worked for them. It worked wonders, in fact. I’d never heard Sean Campbell’s vocals prior to his Northwest move, however when he sings, it sounds like post-Soundgarden/pre-Audioslave Chris Cornell—lost at sea. Perhaps if Campbell had stayed in Utah, his sound wouldn’t have trailed grunge’s ghost. Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.

Also Saturday: New Transit Direction (Kilby Court); Willie Graff (W Lounge); Nova CD Release (Todd’s Bar & Grill); Rory Block (Egyptian Theater, Park City); Dr. John (Harry O’s, Park City)



City Weekly music aficionados/critics/geeks like to joke around about a hypothetical all-star lineup consisting solely of bands with ridiculously long names—and it goes something like this: I Can Lick Any Son-of-a-Bitch In the House, The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, I Am the World Trade Center, The International Noise Conspiracy and And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. Now, lo and behold, the latter two are coming to knock us down with ferocious guitars, textured melodies and well-coiffed stage presence rooted in OVG (Original Victorian Gangsta) style. Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (With The International Noise Conspiracy).

Also Sunday: Kane Hodder (Mo’s Grill); Rory Block (Egyptian Theater, Park City)



Far be it from me to compare Jared Gummere to Richard Hell, but The Ponys’ lead vocalist can sure do a mean impression of the Television legend. His startled cry, straddling peppy chords, is certainly less anguished—maybe even a bit critical. Such is the nature of post-punk bands, abandoning pure rebellion for casual confrontation. Like many of their Generation X-era predecessors, the Chicago quartet is big on damning the man from the comfort of its cooler-than-thou passenger seat. This attitude plays out well on Celebration Castle, a sophomore effort that bleeds primitive chic. As for Gummere’s jarring vocals, “It kind of just started happening. I never sang before this band. It’s the only thing that really works for me. The only way I can stay on-key,” he told Res Gestae. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887.


Andrea Heimer gives air-guitar a whole new meaning. Standing onstage with her insanely quirky husband, Mark, she wields a string-free instrument hollowed out to support a no-skip CD blaring prerecorded sounds. The result is No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Mark’s self-produced vision of original karaoke bathed in some subtle Christian flava. The Varitable Rainbow of Song (note intentional spelling error), is a messy, funky, Casio-key-laden pot of buried treasure. But the real musical gold lies onstage, where Mark delivers consistently spastic live performances based on audience interaction. Expect au gratis spitting and heavy petting. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Info: 746-0558.

Also Monday: Open Hand (Lo-Fi Café)


Mae, The Academy Is (Lo-Fi Café); Caribou (Egos); Denots, Solace for Now (Liquid Joe’s)


Roger Sanchez (Vortex, May 21). Otep (Lo-Fi Café, May 21). Queens of the Stone Age (In the Venue, May 23). Michael Camilo Trio (Sheraton City Center, May 23). Of Montreal (Lo-Fi Café, May 23). Bloc Party (In the Venue, May 25). Jackpot (Egos, May 25). Erasure (Kingsbury Hall, May 28). Built to Spill (Velvet Room, May 29). Kasabian (In the Venue, May 31). Tilly & the Wall (Kilby Court, May 31). Stereophonics (In the Venue, June 1). Richmond Fontaine (Egos, June 4). Reba McEntire (Usana Amphitheater, June 4). Drowning Pool (Lo-Fi Café, June 8). The Beach Boys (Sandy Amphitheater, June 9). Brant Bjork (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, June 11). Chris Isaak (Red Butte Garden, June 12).