ttWelcome to the next generation of hyperliterate indie-folk rock. Maryland’s Page France will be your guide with Michael Nau at the helm delivering slightly nasal renditions of songs full of fantastic, surreal narratives, references to God and personified animals. Nau, a quick study in the eccentric talents of Colin Meloy and Jeff Magnum, even drops lines about the Beehive State on “Kansas & Utah.” It’s all very earnest and beautiful but, for the love of all that’s holy, could we please put a moratorium on the increasingly ubiquitous glockenspiel? Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with Headlights).
ttAlexisonfire are well aware of their effect on new audiences. Those accustomed to crystal-clear, classically trained musicians balk at the Canadian group’s sporadic screams and brutal guitar, while hardcore fans scratch their heads when Dallas Green coos softly like an American Idol. It’s all good, though. Polarization is good. For every 10 people they turn off, one crowd member nods his head and declares Alexisonfire the best band he’s heard in some time'besides maybe Anti-Flag. Pittsburgh’s punks are a bit easier to follow. Since their 1993 debut, the passionate quartet has been raging against society, conformity and that damned government. Thanks to our current administration, Anti-Flag has enough material for at least four more albums. In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
ttListening to Small Sails’ debut album, Similar Anniversaries, through headphones with eyes wide shut is pleasant enough. Word on the street says the Portland ambient-pop quartet really comes to life in concert, with dreamy instrumentals accompanied by Ryan Jeffrey’s visual projections. Watching images of landscapes unfold across a giant backdrop, it’s easy to get lost in electronic samples and softly crashing symbols. And sometimes letting go is why we listen to music in the first place. Starry Night, 200 W. Freedom Blvd., Provo, 7 p.m. All-ages. Info: MySpace.com/StarryNight.
Also Thursday: Entradasphere (Urban Lounge); Buddha Pie (5 Monkeys)
ttIsis (In the Venue); Killswitch Engage (Great Saltair); Static Age (Kilby Court); The Early November (In the Venue); The Start, The Randies (Country Club Theater, Ogden); Woven Hand (Urban Lounge); De La Soul (Harry O’s)
ttJOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS
ttYou don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to witness Joan Jett in action. In fact, you don’t have to pay anything at all. Unlike many legendary rockers on the road again'cough, Rolling Stones, cough, Paul McCartney'the godmother of punk remembers what’s it’s like to play gigs for beer with The Runaways. And while she’s grown and improved her guitar licks and style, Jett still records like it’s 1979. Her latest album, Sinner, bears all the grit and heart of previous works. While not quite as bitter as “Cherry Bomb” or “Bad Reputation,” songs like “ACDC” and “Change the World,” are aggressive enough to put another dime in the jukebox, baby. The Canyons Resort Village, 4000 The Canyons Resort Dr., Park City, 3:15 p.m. All-ages. Free. Info: MountainTownStages.com.
APPLES IN STEREO
ttApples in Stereo make pop, but not for the masses. The Denver Colo., band take their cues from sun-kissed Beach Boys tunes, with albums full of catchy, airy ditties. But the six-piece makes no mention of deuce coupes or girls that really knock them out. Their latest release, New Magnetic Wonder, explores such far-out themes as energy and constellations over groovy keyboards and swift guitar licks. Songs like “Same Old Drag” hardly compare to “Stephen Stephen,” Apples’ singer Robert Schneider’s ode to Stephen Colbert. But really, what does? ’Cause, you know, “He’s calling out the bands and their evil lairs/ He’s calling out the press in a fancy dress.” The Depot, 400 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: DepotSLC.com (with Casper & The Cookies)
Also Saturday: Cute Is What We Aim For (In the Venue); Hard Lessons (Kilby Court); Vicious Rumors (Club Vegas); High on Fire (Kamikazes, Ogden)
ttHigh on Fire (Urban Lounge); Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (Suede, Park City)
ttLike Nathaniel West’s characters in Day of the Locust, experimental hardcore noise outfit The Locust reside in sunny California just hours from the distant and alienating city of angels. Unlike the novel’s often vapid subjects, however, The Locust are, no doubt, certain of their role in society. Loud and abrasive, they seize sound and strangle it within an inch of comprehension, using scratchy guitars, incoherent vocals and manic electronic instruments. The typically masked musicians (with the exception of singer/bassist Justin Pearson showing his mug on a bizarre, likely staged, episode of Jerry Springer) just released their new album, Erections, which marks a departure from the traditional 60-second song structure with some tracks exceeding three minutes!! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
ttBlackalicious (Suede, April 4). Maria Taylor (Kilby Court, April 5). Stephen Pearcy of Ratt (Club Vegas, April 6). Appleseed Cast (In the Venue, April 7). Maximum Distortion Benefit (Club Vegas, April 7). B-Side Players (Suede, April 7). Stephen Marley & Jr. Gong (Suede, April 9). Blue October (Great Saltair, April 12). Jedi Mind Tricks (Suede, April 12). Ice Cube (The Depot, April 13). Type O Negative (Great Saltair, April 16). Wolfmother (In the Venue, April 17). Lindsay Buckingham (The Depot, April 18). Placebo (Great Saltair, April 19). Peeping Tom (The Depot, April 19). Brazilian Girls (The Depot, April 24). Aqeduct (Urban Lounge, April 25). Gwen Stefani (E Center, April 30).