India Jazz Suites, Phantogram, Groundation, Orgone, Heartless Bastards, Toots & The Maytals 

Live: Music Picks May 6-12

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  • India Jazz Suites

Saturday May 8
India Jazz Suites

A concert blending an American jazz trio with a group of Indian classical musicians doesn’t seem like the most natural pairing. But if you put those musicians to work creating the soundtrack to a couple of dance masters, one from each country, magic can happen. Those dancers are American tap-dancing wiz Jason Samuels Smith, an Emmy-winner for his role in Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, and Pandit Chitresh Das, a master of Kathak—one of the six classical dance styles of India, designed to tell stories through entertaining. Put them together with a crew of stellar musicians and you have India Jazz Suites, and what promises to be an intriguing night of music and motion unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 7:30 p.m., $15

Monday May 10

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Phantogram
One doesn’t listen to Phantogram’s tasty stew of electronic loops, squealing synthesizers, hip-hoppy beats and boy/girl pop wordplay and naturally think, “You know, I bet these guys are country folk.” But it’s true; not only do the duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel call the smallish upstate New York town of Saratoga Springs home, they also commute 45 minutes out of town to a barn they call Harmony Lodge to write and record. The rural life serves them well, judging by the mesmerizingly catchy-yet-slippery synth-pop that fills Phantogram’s debut, Eyelid Movies. It’s an apt title, given the cinematic scope of the tougher-than-expected tunes created by Carter and Barthel. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m. $10

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Groundation, Orgone
The FUZION 2010 tour pairs two of the West Coast’s live favorites, one from Northern California and one from SoCal. In Groundation, you have a band that infuses its roots reggae with the improv of jazz fusion, along with having a prog-rock tendency to create concept albums when the band hits the studio. That’s a scary combination in less capable hands, but Groundation manages to hold its disparate musical tastes together. Groundation’s growing popularity led them to tour across 40 countries and 30 states in the past year, including trips to South America and Africa. Los Angeles-based Orgone opens the show with a sound that should serve as a perfect appetizer, thanks to its horn-heavy funk and occasional dives into worldbeat waters. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m. $17 advance/$20 at the door

Tuesday May 11
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Heartless Bastards
How many times can you honestly say you’ve come across a musical artist and been utterly blown away? It’s a rarity, even for those lucky enough to see live music on a regular basis. Such is the case with Heartless Bastards, who first grabbed my attention with a tiny patio show at South by Southwest five years ago, when tiny Erika Wennerstrom led her then-three-piece through a stomping set of potent blues-rock with a voice that is a freaky force of nature. Wennerstrom is an enthralling presence who’s only grown more confident over the course of the band’s three albums and countless tours. You might not hear the Guided By Voices and Breeders she grew up worshipping in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio, but you can sure hear the influence of her adopted Texas on the band’s latest blast, The Mountain. Hacienda and Amy Wood open the show. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. $14 in advance, $17 at the door

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Toots & The Maytals
There is so much reggae heading our way that you’d think some of these Rastas were confusing their African “Zion” with the good ol’ Utah version. Just this week, we have reggae shows from Groundation, Vibe Rising, Rebel Zion, Tribal Seeds, Sober Down and Know Ur Roots. None of them, though, can boast that they beat Bob Marley to the reggae punch, except for one Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, leader of Toots & The Maytals. The original Maytals formed in 1962 and recorded a string of hits with producer Coxsone Dodd, backed by Dodd’s house band The Skatalites and overshadowing Dodd’s other vocal group, The Wailers. Hibbert was arrested on a drug charge in 1966, but upon his release he created a string of hits in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s that still sound fresh when he delivers them live: “Pressure Drop,” “54-46 That’s My Number,” “Monkey Man,” “Reggae Got Soul.” Now 61, Toots and the Maytals recently released a new album, Flip and Twist. Rey Fresco opens the show. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m. $22 advance/$25 day of show

Coming Soon
Frightened Rabbit (The Urban Lounge, May 13), Flyleaf (In The Venue, May 14), Mono (The Urban Lounge, May 14), Horse Feathers (Kilby Court, May 15), The Tallest Man on Earth (Kilby Court, May 17), Bullet for My Valentine (Great Saltair, May 18), Martin Sexton (The Depot, May 19) Plants & Animals (Kilby Court, May 19)

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