BOOKER T. & THE DBTS, CRACKER
Booker T. Jones was looking to rock when he stumbled on the Drive-By Truckers at South by Southwest two years ago. The legendary Hammond B-3 organ master went to Austin to play the much-anticipated Stax Records showcase with his original backing band, The MGs and, like always, they immediately locked into a solid groove. But Jones wanted to dabble in a different bold flavor and the DBTs added just the right nitty-gritty Southern spice he had in mind. The result of their somewhat surprising collaboration, Potato Hole, is funky and raw, with Jones’ silky keys gaining added oomph courtesy of some blazing guitar licks. Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, 6:30 p.m. Tickets: RedButteGarden.org
ALEXIS GIDEON, SHELLEY SHORT
Alexis Gideon has given Salt Lake City residents two opportunities to preview his forthcoming CD/DVD Video Musics, a ridiculously awesome hip-hop opera loosely based on Hungarian mythology set to the Portland artist’s unique claymation/animation-powered narrative. Live, he projects the images on a white sheet while rapping and running his guitar through a series of effects pedals. The result is cool, magical and well worth checking out. Don’t make the same mistake three times by missing Gideon performing with Shelley Short, making the rounds in support of her latest LP, A Cave, a Canoe, in stores Oct. 13. Like many of her label mates, the Hush Records artist crafts elegant folk music with perfectly placed instrumental accents. Short’s sound, though, is uniquely magical, mischievous and slightly un-nerving, as if each song is flirting with disaster. Slowtrain, 221 E. Broadway, 7 p.m. All-ages. Free (also Friday 9.4 at Urban Lounge)
SLC Vegan Drinks—the local arm of nationwide group founded in New York City—is adding live music to its list of offerings with this month’s meeting doubling as a benefit concert for the Ching Farm Animal Sanctuary. The evening will kick off with a vegan bake sale (the public is encouraged to bring meat- and dairy-free treats to add to the cause) followed by a shared dialogue typical of the collective’s meetings at Vertical Diner. Featured local artists DJ Alain, The Plant Shop, Silently Thundering and Wasatch will wrap up the event with an eclectic range of tunes. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 7 p.m.
AMANDA BLANK, MATT & KIM
Philly emcee/vocalist Amanda Blank is not another dime-a-dozen pop tartlet headed for a tabloid train wreck. Her real-deal star potential is evident the moment she steps onstage to deliver rapid-fire come-ons and shove-offs over clever beats. She’s the cool, raunchy girl from around the way/the block/next door raised on a steady diet of Rhythm Nation and Depeche Mode, taking on the music-industry double-standard that pigeonholes female artists who talk about (gasp) sex. Blank’s solo debut I Love You (Downtown) is an indie electro-dance/hip-hop album written dedicated to all the ladies but appealing to anyone down with fresh, confident and fun old-school style meets new-school forward-thinking. Brooklyn’s energetic indie darlings Matt & Kim will headline tonight’s gig. Widely celebrated for their live shows/dance parties, the charismatic duo are currently touring in support of the new Grand. In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages Tickets: 24Tix.com
When Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural sings, his voice sounds like it’s smiling. Given the sheer joy he obviously reaps from performing, it’s a shame his father once discouraged the Louisiana native from pursuing music outside the home. Chalk it up to an all-too familiar generational gap, but dad didn’t approve of his son’s newfangled rhythm and blues. Eventually, Buckwheat heeded pop’s call to embrace Zydeco—only with a twist. While old-time Zydeco is sung in Creole French, accompanied by accordion, washboard and occasional percussion, Buckwheat Zydeco infused elements of reggae, jazz, rock, country, Cajun and R&B into the mix. Thirty years later, the group continues to expand its giant sound with Lay Your Burden Down, an uplifting work featuring renditions of songs by Jimmy Cliff and Minnie Davis, among others. The album offers a hint of things to come at tonight’s live show, which kicks off The State Room’s fall concert season in earnest. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. Tickets: TheStateRoomSLC.com
SUBARACHNOID SPACE, OVO
With Eight Bells, Portland’s Subarachnoid Space strikes the perfect balance between epic experimental noise and more traditional “songs” with fairly well-defined beginnings and endings—like Sonic Youth’s most daring recent works, they still pack the midsections with murky, sprawling explorations of psychedelic drone. Melynda Jackson, last-artiststanding from the original 1996 lineup, picked up her three current band mates upon relocating from San Francisco to Portland, Ore. and their contributions helped shape a new era for Subarachnoid’s creepy instrumental slow-rock/metal. The group coheadlines an evening of innovative, booming sound along with Italian doom band Ovo, local heavy-folk rockers Subrosa and Salt Lake City’s Bird Eater. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m.
Brandi Carlile (The Depot, Sept. 10); Starfucker (Urban Lounge, Kilby Court, Sept. 10); David Allen Coe (Harry O’s, Sept. 11); Mike Miller (Downtown Hookah Lounge, Sept. 11, 12); Happy Mondays, Psychedelic Furs (In the Venue, Sept. 12); Every Time I Die, Bring Me the Horizon (Murray Theater, Sept. 12); Yeah Yeah Yeahs (In the Venue, Sept. 13); The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Kilby Court, Sept. 13); Wavves (Slowtrain, Urban Lounge, Sept. 13); Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad (Urban Lounge, Sept. 14); The Belleville Outfit (The State Room, Sept. 15)