Mainstream America tends to view female hip-hop artists through TRL-colored lenses, interpreting visions of glossed-out, sexed-up caricatures as women empowered. Such depthless images inspire Siren’s Echo, a group determined to raze stereotypes through conscious lyrics and deep sounds. The Portland-based duo (Toni Hill of Hungry Mob and Syndel of Oldominion) recently headlined POH-hop’s “The Women in Hip-Hop Showcase,” joining others determined to make strides in a male-dominated genre. Apparently the Northwest doesn’t give much love to the ladies, so Siren’s Echo shows women performers how it’s done. “When you step to the mike, you have to step to the mike and really bring it,” Hill told the Portland Tribune. So bring it. Crazy Goat, 119 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. Info: 328-4628.
Ply & Reaper (DV8); Woolf-Bell Band CD Release (Docky’s); Sterling Poulson/Michael Ballam Holiday Concert (Cottonwood High); Peter Breinholt (McKay Event Center, Orem).
When he’s not advocating stem-cell research or fighting for increased homeland security, Sen. Orrin Hatch makes like Andy Williams in an undisclosed recording studio turning hymns into somewhat bipartisan hits. The part-time songster, who first wowed crowds with My God Is Love, took on Christmas for his sophomore effort. The result is an album brimming with melt-in-your-mouth standards like “Skatin’ With My Baby,” and “Fall In Love With Christmas.” According to a press release, Hatch is “very much looking forward to greeting his guests at the in-store” performance, however at press time he had made no mention of plans to tour with Mike “Electric Boogaloo” Leavitt. Media Play, Family Center at Ft. Union (7170 S. 1000 East), CD signing 3-5 p.m. Info: 568-0220.
Also Saturday: Two Gallants (Kilby Court); Global Funk (Urban Lounge); Leahy (Eccles Center, Park City).
If you dig on Silver Bells and non-CGI holiday cartoons featuring prematurely bald children and/or talking reindeer, you’ll enjoy a night with Andy Williams. The timeless crooner has released a gajillion records—that’s right, a gajillion! His impressive résumé is based on years of experience performing on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show, recording “Moon River” for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and starring in The Andy Williams Show. Now 77, Williams spends his free time operating Moon River Theater in Branson, Mo., where he performs six days a week as the Jack LaLane of continuous soft classics. Abravanel Hall, 123 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 355-2787.
THE ’89 CUBS
Oh Omaha, why have you forsaken the backing band? You showered us with Conor Oberst and wrapped us in fine Tim Kasher, then forgot to mention the little drummer boys and bassists. So we were a bit surprised when The ’89 Cubs showed up on our doorstep with There Are Giants In the Earth, a debut fringed with Spanish surrealism and a hint of Weezer’s feel-good depression. The Saddlecreek Records trio specializes in lengthy intros, building crescendos and—judging by the online recording (the only audio available to City Weekly since TAGITE was “lost in the mail”)—rather soft vocal effects. The Cubs, who met in little league before launching into stints with Cursive, Desaparecidos, The Good Life and Bright Eyes, enjoyed their supporting roles. But the shadows are restrictive—and they’re ready for a blinding close-up. Lo-Fi Café, 127 W. South Temple, 6:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8849.
IPR—inspirational primal rock—could be a red flag for those opposed to Liberty Park drum circles and vegan potluck. However, Boulder-based Kan-Nal transcends cliché generalizations about modern day tribal music. The group first hooked up in Guatemala where they achieved two Top 10 radio hits and played to massive audiences hungry for theatrical performances featuring shamanistic visuals. They’ve since returned to the states with a full-length album boasting intense, hypnotic sounds—perfect for tapping hazy memories of Burning Man. However, it’s the live experience that keeps people coming back for more. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Info: 355-4949.
Like Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg (before he started coaching his son’s baseball team), Orange County’s Kottonmouth Kings relish their marijuana muse. Songs like “The Joint,” “Bong Tokin’ Alcoholics,” and “All About the Weed,” are resin, er, reason enough to believe the multi-genre artists know a thing or two about raucous debauchery. In addition to verdant fascination, the Kings spend time honing a decidedly different version of Americanized reggae than that of pioneer dub-cover pop tarts UB40. Their latest effort, Kottonmouth Experience, furthers the group’s interest in challenging repressive regimes. Frontman Brad Daddy X told Murder Dog he can’t understand why pot is illegal when “they make these bombs and missiles that could f—kin’ blow up our whole planet 20 times over and that’s somehow acceptable and legal?” In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Info: 359-3219.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (E Center, Dec. 30). Mickey & the Motorcars (Egos, Jan. 3). Jim Brickman (Capitol Theater, Jan. 6-8). Ty Herndon (Velvet Room, Jan. 8). Showdown to SXSW Prelims (Various, Jan. 8). Minnie Driver (Eccles Center, Jan. 15). Michael Franti & Spearhead (Suede, Jan. 21).