Brendan Benson, Ivan Neville Dumpstaphunk, Taqwacores & White Denim 

Live: Music Picks Jan. 21-26

click to enlarge Brendan Benson
  • Brendan Benson

Friday 1.22

BRENDAN BENSON

Brendan Benson’s My Old Familiar Friend landed on many year-end lists in 2009, often right alongside The Dead Weather’s Horehound. That Jack White’s project snagged more mainstream attention is hardly surprising for Benson, who with White makes up half of the Raconteurs. Despite informing much of that group’s sound, Benson generally gets the shaft from audiences who are enamored by his bandmate. If White were headlining a Salt Lake City club, the show would already be sold out. What gives? Maybe Benson seems like too much of a shiny penny. His flawless pop gems are buffed to a golden, ’70s-era sheen, with occasional orchestral strings fanning out like feathered hair. But Bay City Rollers he’s not. His ear-candy gems boast substance, too. Benson works hard to make it look easy. All you have to do is show up. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix (with Birthquake and The Future of The Ghost)

Monday 1.25

IVAN NEVILLE DUMPSTAPHUNK

 Dumpstaphunk might reference the dirtiest funk Ivan Neville can drum up, but it also describes a project that upholds some serious family values. Well, at least his family’s musical values. Son of Aaron “Everybody Plays the Fool” Neville, the seasoned keyboardist easily found his place in an ancestral line blessed with natural abilities. His education included backing duties for Keith Richards and Bonnie Raitt, plus gigs with the family band. Dumpstaphunk is his own creation—double-bass-powered blues/funk/ R&B with its heart fully planted in New Orleans. Put your back into it when you’re getting down to it tonight. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. Tickets: TheStateRoomSLC.com

TAQWACORES SHOWCASE

“They aren’t so far removed as you might think—both began in tremendous bursts of truth and vitality, but seemed to have lost something along the way,” writes author Michael Knight of Islam and punk traditions in his book, The Taqwacores, a work that inspired a real-life movement of Muslim punk bands. The novel’s cinematic adaptation will screen at this week’s Sundance Film Festival and tonight a group of musicians featured in the movie including The Kominas, Al-Thawra and Filmstrip will perform live in one of Park City’s most intimate clubs. It’s just one of several cool musical events unfolding in conjunction with the festival. More Sundance concert guides. Star Bar, 268 S. Main, Park City, 9 p.m. (also at Saints & Sinners Saturday, Jan. 26)

Tuesday 1.26

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WHITE DENIM

My first time seeing White Denim, they knocked the wind out of me. The Texas trio served up a furious serving of live-wire indie-rock with intricate jazz-style undertones. In person, they appear as though someone’s holding a gun off to the side commanding them to play, play, play motherfuckers! Their recorded output is scattered haphazardly across a couple of EPs (including the stunning Let’s Talk About It), a digital-only collection and their Downtown Records debut, Fits (2009), which runs hot and cold with chill slow jams and sweaty freak-outs. White Denim never remain in one place for very long, whether traveling across the stage or cruising musical spectrums. It’s a blast to be a pitstop on their erratic voyage. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m. (with NOMO and Brazos)

COMING UP

Rebulution, Soja, Zion I
(Depot, Jan. 28); Fictionist CD Release (Kilby Court, Jan. 28); Brand New, Manchester Orchestra (Salt Palace Convention Center, Jan. 29); Jackie Greene (The State Room, Jan. 29); Sweatshop Union (Urban Lounge/Kilby Court, Jan. 29); Eric Sardinas (The State Room, Feb. 1); Nouvelle Vague (Urban Lounge, Feb. 2); Anthony B. (Star Bar, Feb. 3); Joe Firstman (Kilby Court, Feb. 3)

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