tSome think the novelty of Matisyahu’s background is wearing thin and that the Orthodox Jew turned backpack hip-hop visionary doesn’t have the chops to make it on talent alone. Others, however, can’t get enough of the young emcee’s reggae-tinged hop-a-long delivery. They admire his chaste confidence, his devotion to religion and tradition. Whatever your position, you’ve got to hand it to the kid for juggling two worlds with such infectious enthusiasm'and sweet networking skills. His latest EP No Place to Be features production by legendary Jamaican duo Sly & Robbie who, depending on your taste, save a cover of “Message in a Bottle” from utter ruin. Sending out an S.O.S., indeed. Harry O’s, 427 S. Main, Park City, 9 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.
- Bowling for Soup (In the Venue); Slamdance Lucky 13 Party (Star Bar, Park City); Sabac Red (Monk’s); Bouncing Souls (Suede, Park City)
ttTHE ALBUM LEAF
ttIt makes perfect sense for The Album Leaf to tour Utah during Sundance. Multi-instrumentalist James DeValle produces atmospheric indie rock that screams silver screen. His lush drum programming, matched with live violin, glockenspiel, drums, guitar and vocals in concert courtesy of Matt Resovich, Timothy Reece and Drew Andrews, tickles then taps then engulfs listeners in a symphonic clutch. Disarming and imaginative, songs off Into the Blue Again falter only when DeValle’s vocals get too nasally and atonal. Good thing they snagged a spot on The O.C. soundtrack before the show went up in car-explosion flames. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
ttVega4 say it’s hard to describe their sound. Good thing You & Others eliminates all the guesswork with 11 tracks of pure alternative-pop built on catchy choruses and climax-starts-now guitars. Songs like “You & Me,” an airy ditty, and “Life is Beautiful” an earnest ballad, are well-produced FM anthems readymade for serial dramas (see Grey’s Anatomy). Openers Augustana are similarly suited for mainstream airwaves. Dan Layus’ breathy vocals describe mostly romantic scenarios against the backdrop of plaintive piano or'in a nod to Counting Crows perhaps'occasional accordion. Forecast calls for heavy tears and sprinkled make-out sessions at tonight’s show. In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
- Also Friday: Cryptobiotic CD Release (Club Vegas'see Music); Swollen Members (Suede, Park City)
ttt- Tangle Ridge CD Release (Newsong Presbyterian); The Almost (Kilby Court); Planes Mistaken for Stars (Country Club Theater, Ogden); Gods Amongst Mortals (Club Vegas); Jinga Boa (Urban Lounge)
tt- DJ Snience (Monk’s); Big Head Todd & The Monsters (Suede, Park City)
ttt- Chris Botti (Abravanel Hall); Steele Croswhite Benefit (Kearns High); Blitzkid (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); The Mad Dukes, AJ (Suede, Park City'see Music)
ttWhile many bands pass over Salt Lake City en route to high-profile venues in Boise and Las Vegas, certain groups maintain unwavering devotion to a town that supported them from the start. Count Devotchka among the few, the proud, the consistent performers who haven’t let glowing reviews and industry buzz go to their heads. Denver’s revolving collective brings their sonic gumbo to town at least twice each year, thrilling familiar crowds with kaleidoscope gypsy-folk that most recently spiced up an already vibrant Little Miss Sunshine. Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.
MIKE MILLER & ALBERT WING
nFilm buffs, technical jazz freaks and bizarro-rock fans find common ground in Mike Miller’s work. A skilled guitarist, he’s collaborated with everyone from Chick Correa to Bette Midler and performed material by Frank Zappa. Miller also teams up with his wife writer Sandra Tsing Loh to write/score Jessica Yu’s stunning documentaries. Today, Miller will share the secrets of his chameleon musical chops along with saxophonist Albert Wing (who toured with Zappa) through a series of workshops at the University of Utah (utah.edu), followed by a joint concert for 21 music lovers of all stripes. Zanzibar, 679 S. 200 West, 8 p.m. Info: 746-0590.
- Also Tuesday: Talib Kweli (Harry O’s, Park City); Glitz & Glamour Tour (Country Club Theater, Ogden)
ttSinger/songwriters succeed or fail on their power to convince listeners why they should care about another broken heart, another friend lost, another dream deferred. Melancholy reigns supreme on Piers Faccini’s Tearing Sky, an album full of lyrics that on paper are nothing spectacular. Only when Faccini opens his mouth do the tracks seduce. With a voice like Nick Drake’s, soft but haunting, he whispers, coos and chants until otherwise simple lines turn hypnotic. Thanks to the occasional marching drum, harmonium and bowed guitar, the spell lasts long after he stops reflecting. Find out whether the magic translates onstage tonight. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
- Also Wednesday: The Outline (Kilby Court); The Randies (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Hell’s Belles (Suede, Park City)
ttWarsaw Poland Brothers (Piper Down, Jan. 25). Vast (Suede, Jan. 25). Broken Teeth (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Jan. 27). Digable Planets (Suede, Jan. 27). Slayer (Great Saltair, Jan. 30). Heartless Bastards (Kilby Court, Jan. 30). The Fray (McKay Events Center, Jan. 31). Prism: Nick James & Jesse Walker (The Depot, Feb. 2). Dr. Octagon/Kool Keith (Urban Lounge, Feb. 3). Everclear (The Depot, Feb. 6). Jack’s Mannequin (In the Venue, Feb. 8). Count Bass D (Urban Lounge, Feb. 10). Machine Head (Club Vegas, Feb. 12). The Roots (Harry O’s, Feb. 16). Afroman (Suede, Feb. 17).