nIn all the (justified) hullabaloo surrounding former Salt Lake Tribune reporter Shanika Sykes'fired after allegedly plagiarizing an article in The Daily Utah Chronicle'and subsequent revelation that certain Chronicle staffers committed their own ethical fouls, original content got lost in bigger buzz. It seems University of Utah student organizers overspent last spring’s Kerfuffle budget, making it necessary to charge 2006 festival attendees. The real story, however, is Flogging Molly, Bedouin Soundclash and Zox appearing today, plus The Ataris and homegrown heroes The Contingency Plan and The Brobecks (Friday)'providing plenty of celtic rock, pop-punk, rock and pop bang for your buck. Olpin Union Plaza, 200 S. Central Campus Dr., 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.
WE’RE FROM JAPAN
nWe’re From Japan are not from Japan, but they’ve traveled long distances and suffered arduous conditions to keep their tour on track. Portland’s ambient, experimental post-rock quartet lost their van in a highway wreck and while physically fine, walked away with deep emotional scars. Well, perhaps that’s an exaggeration. Maybe it’s the group’s massive, stargazing instrumental sound that inspires dramatic empathy. Their new full-length release 48 minutes, 07 seconds, Then the Open Air, is pretty much what the title infers'alternately heavy, light technical jams that somehow impart a sense of abandon. Broken Record Bar & Grill, 1051 S. 300 West, 9 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Also Thursday: Tommy Emmanuel (Westminster College); Soulfly (Club Vegas)nn
STARSAILOR, PETER WALKER
nEx-Grandaddy guitarist Jim Fairchild helped produce Peter Walker’s sophomore effort Young Gravity but the album might more readily bring to mind Fairchild’s former bandmate Jason Lytle. Walker and Lytle share a cracked falsetto, one that pinpoints pain in reflection without being too dour or dramatic. The former artist stands apart with road-weary, gravel-tinged vocals that cut through steel guitar and piano to describe things cowards leave unsaid. Walker considers music an easy outlet for otherwise uncomfortable or tragic moments, including life cut short by cancer. Despite somber subject matter, Young Gravity travels at a toe-tapping gait, stopping right inside your head where it stays for days and days and days. In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 8 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Also Friday: Redfest (University of Utah); Trace Wiren (Alchemy Coffee); Xiu Xiu (Kilby Court); Geisha Girls (Broken Record); Thunderfist (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Mr. Choc (Harry O’s, Park City), Buju Banton (Suede, Park City)nn
X96 BIG ASS SHOW
nI realized last week that I’ve finally lost touch with kids these days. Besides Soul Asylum (forever burned into memory thanks to their disturbing, after-school special video for “Runaway Train”), Alien Ant Farm (“Smooth Criminal”: kind of cool, kind of unnecessary) and Hoobastank (thought the lead singer was cute for a second when they played a San Diego club in ’99), bands appearing at this year’s X96 Big Ass Show'She Wants Revenge, Hawthorne Heights, Yellowcard, Lostprophets, Head Automatica and Utah’s own Broke'are only vaguely familiar thanks to hit singles on … X96. Other featured acts, including Rock Kills Kid, Blue October and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, don’t even register. Good incentive to check out today’s blowout. Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, gates open at 11 a.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.
Also Saturday: Vast (Avalon Theater); Keith Anderson (The Depot); Faun Fables (Urban Lounge); Flesh Peddler (Club Vegas)nn
Pigeon John (Egos'see Music, p. 54); Mark Mallman (Urban Lounge); Angel City Outcasts (Broken Record)nn
MC Chris (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Suplecs (Club Vegas); Nada Surf (Suede, Park City)nn
nDamien Jurado is a heartbreaker, not a heartthrob. His subdued melancholy sears beneath tangible aortas and veins to poke and prod hidden hope, fears, regret and retrospective doubt. “Were you faking death to only gain concern?” he asks on “Hoquiam,” the first track off And Now That I’m in Your Shadow. The Secretly Canadian release marks Jurado’s first formal collaboration with full-time bandmates Jenna Conrad and Eric Fisher, whose cello and drums infuse added meaning into an already spiritual sound. Many wonder why Jurado isn’t bigger than life. Indeed, fellow SC heartbreaker Jason Molina gets broader props for similar singer/songwriter work. Maybe this time around, Jurado will escape all manner of shadows. Velour, 135 N. University Ave., Provo, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.
Also Tuesday: Muse (Great Saltair); James McMurtry (Suede, Park City)nn
KMDFM (Avalon Theater); I Am Ghost (Club BoomVa, Ogden)nn
Kings of Leon, The Stills (In the Venue, Sept. 28). Band of Horses (In the Venue, Sept. 28). The Strokes (In the Venue, Sept. 29). Oscar G (Hotel/Elevate, Sept. 29). Gym Class Heroes (Avalon Theater, Sept. 30). Queensryche (The Depot, Sept. 30). North Mississippi All-Stars (Suede, Oct. 1). Jedi Mind Tricks (Avalon Theater, Oct. 3). Rock Steady Benefit (The Depot, Oct. 4). Rancid (In the Venue, Oct. 5-6). Mushroomhead (Avalon Theater, Oct. 6). We Are Scientists (In the Venue, Oct. 9). Ladytron (The Depot, Oct. 10). Donald Glaude (In the Venue, Oct. 14). The Killers (Great Saltair, Oct. 14). Glass Candy (Urban Lounge, Oct. 21). Evanescence (In the Venue, Oct. 25).