Guitarist Junior Brown understands why people are turned off to modern country: “It’s been used, parodied and reduced to a joke,” he told Thirst Ear, explaining his appeal among those who would rather scrape gum off the sidewalk than listen to Garth Brooks. The multi-Grammy nominee wows crowds with quirky wit and his Guit-Steel—an instrument of his own invention that he wields with Hendrix-like prowess. Egos, 668 S. State, 7:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
Also Thursday: Murdock (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Blackhawk (Velvet Room); Don Williams (Dee Event Center, Ogden).
Is there a reason Scotland’s premier singer-songwriter has never performed in Salt Lake City? It’s not as though Dougie MacLean’s fiddle-heavy sound wouldn’t resonate with local bluegrass and/or world music aficionados. Maybe the fiddle maestro was too busy running Dunkel Records, or penning material for one of his numerous folkloric albums. Then again, it’s possible MacLean made a conscious decision to bypass our country as a whole: “I find America both a fascinating and disturbing place,” he told Dirty Linen. “Sometimes it strikes me as a vision of materialism 10 years from where we are in Scotland right now.” Jeanne Wagner Theater, 138 W. Broadway, 8 p.m. Tickets: 355-2787.
Seattle’s Dusty 45s take a blowtorch to rockabilly, melding straight-shooting swagger with hellfire, heartache and a little south-of-the-border swing. Now, you might be thinking, “I’m tired of self-proclaimed bachelors wearing vintage bowling shirts and enough hair-product to stock a New Jersey beauty school circa 1980.” Fear not! Devil Takes His Turn is no ’90s-spawned cliché. Songs like “Saved,” “Lonely Fool,” and “All Tied Up” reflect a genuine respect for the classics. Orbison and Cash would be proud. Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
Also Friday: Totimoshi (Crazy Goat); Young Dubliners (DV8); Solid State Records: Young Bloods Tour (Lo-Fi Café).
Back in the day, music from The O.C wasn’t used as a soundtrack for self-absorbed characters on a Very Special Episode. In fact, when they weren’t gigging around, rowdy Southern California punks like Social Distortion rebelled against Technicolor reality by upholding the virtues of sex, drugs and violence. Lead singer Mike Ness eventually got over deviant behavior, penned “Prison Bound” and learned to fight authority with intellectual brawn. Now, 25 years later, the group is touring in support of Sex, Love & Rock & Roll, a name that aptly reflects two decades’ worth of growth. In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Tiger Army and The Explosion).
Also Saturday: Toby Keith (Delta Center); Kittie (The Ritz); Bo Diddley (Velvet Room); Cart! (Todd’s Bar & Grill); Eddie from Ohio (Halo).
“India blasted me into billions of spinning particles and then slowly reshaped me,” L.A.-based musician David Stringer wrote in the liner notes for Mala, a collection of mantra-pop from the Billy Graham of yoga. As leader of the new American kirtan movement, Stringer guides followers through call-and-response chanting designed to foster spiritual regeneration. This winning combination of ancient transcendentalism and contemporary rock has swept the nation like Tae-Bo and raw-food diets, attracting such high-profile devotees as producer Rick Rubin and the Beastie Boys’ Mike D. Everybody say, “Ommm.” Soma Yoga, 380 E. 1700 South, 7:30 p.m. Info: 363-7500.
DIXIE WITCH, AMPLIFIED HEAT
Black Sabbath fans mourning the decline of Ozzy Osbourne would be wise to check out Amplified Heat, a Texas-based band of brothers expounding the virtues of heavy blues. Inspired by early metal gods like Sabbath, Blue Cheer and Grand Funk Railroad, Heat is a coked-out version of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion—less revivalism, more speed guitars and machine-gun drums. We can only assume Dixie Witch offers more of the same, only with the drummer as lead vocalist singing about big-legged women driving fast cars. Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
With the release of Pawn Shoppe Heart, Jason Stollsteimer proved he’s more than Jack White’s punching bag, reclaiming dignity lost to his former mentor/sparring partner in 12 tracks of the Detroit quartet’s blues-infused, garage-rock bravado. Now Stollsteimer is nursing wounds left by bassist Carrie Smith, who once told the BBC “you don’t start a band to make new friends.” Her replacement, Yasmine Smith, might have a different take. Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Starlight Desperation).
Also Tuesday: Dresden Dolls (In the Venue).
DE LA SOUL
The Grind Date could revitalize De La Soul, a group whose popularity dwindled in the wake of several mediocre albums. On this pit-stop from the AOI series, Long Island’s kings of hip-hop make a wise return to their roots, pumping out songs worthy of guest stars MF Doom, Common and Ghostface Killah. Both diehard fans and occasional listeners will appreciate a continued allegiance to inventive beats and socially conscious lyrics, all capped with an amplified sense of urgency—even if it sounds like they’re going to live forever. Velvet Room, 145 W. 200 South, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
Also Wednesday: Action Action (Lo-Fi Café); The Waifs (DV8); Le Tigre (In the Venue).
Mellowdrone (Lo-Fi Café, Nov. 11). Minus the Bear (Kilby Court, Nov. 11). Concrete Blonde (Velvet Room, Nov. 12). Bond (Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, Nov. 12). Green Day (E Center, Nov. 13). Presidents of the USA (Velvet Room, Nov. 13). Ropeadope: New Music Seminar (Suede, Nov. 15). Everclear (Velvet Room, Nov. 20). These Arms Are Snakes (Lo-Fi Café, Nov. 21). Wilco (Kingsbury Hall, Nov. 22). Metallica (E Center, Nov. 22). The Fixx (Velvet Room, Nov. 23). R.E.M. (E Center, Nov. 26). Clay Aiken (Abravanel Hall, Nov. 29).