The Beautiful Mistake (Lo-Fi Café); Los Prisoneros (Palms); Fulanito (Vortex).
Represent for the Northwest, Pt. 1: Portland indie-poppers the Joggers may recall the Shins with their high-tension guitars and deceptively complex hooks, but tunes like “Hot Autism” and “Neon Undercarriage” from their Solid Guild (Startime International) debut are loonier and nervier than anything the Shins have shown thus far—and dancier. “[Indie] dance bands are bringing the bass and drums back,” singer Ben Whitesides told Stop Smiling. “It’s like we were living in the decade that forgot rhythm.” Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. Info: 320-9887.
MINDY SMITH, TIFT MERRITT
Stop the presses: For the first time, like, ever, elite alt-country label Lost Highway Records has actually sent City Weekly a copy of one of their releases! Without us begging! Fittingly for this joyous occasion, Tift Merritt’s new Tambourine is a gorgeous country-soul collection of heartbreak tales and straight-outta-1972 twang-rock that’s earned every column inch of its glowing national press. Merritt’s not the headliner, but she will be soon if there’s any justice. Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665 (with Garrison Starr).
Represent for the Northwest, Pt. 2: They never enjoyed the hype of neighbors Queensryche, but Metal Church were easily Seattle’s coolest heavy-metal band of the ’80s. Albums like Metal Church (’85), Blessing In Disguise (’89) and Human Factor (’91) are hard-rock classics, tight fusions of Euro-metal and American thrash for headbangers and guitar-geeks alike. Now they’re back with The Weight of the World (MetalChurch.com), dude. Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572 (with 3 Inches of Blood and Unsound Mind).
Also Friday: Moving Units (Lo-Fi Café); Larger Than Life (Velvet Room); Hillstomp (Halo); The Body (Monk’s); Ying Yang Twins (Teazers, Ogden); Firehousse 4 (Sugarbeats).
You say you want some spooky? The Voodoo Organist, the Los Angeles artist sometimes known as Scott Wexton, channels Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Devo, the Doors and an evil roller-rink to conjure a circus of lounge sounds darkly peppy. Likewise, his new Return of the Voodoo Organist (VoodooOrganist.com) is serious weirdness, once described as “a necromantic Beck.” Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572 (with Die Monster Die, 7 Shot Screamers and Frightmares).
Also Saturday: Bullets & Octane (Lo-Fi Café); Form of Rocket, Smashy Smashy (Kilby Court); Red Bennies CD Release (Urban Lounge); The Delgados (Velvet Room); Le Force (Todd’s Bar & Grill); Desire (The Standard); House-o-Ween (W Lounge); Freak Night (Vortex).
U92 Halloween Ball: Tech N9ne (Vortex); Purdymouth (Egos); Disco Drippers (Port O’ Call); Carphax Files (Monk’s); Garaj Mahal (Suede).
So NYC econo-metal pioneers Helmet’s hit-and-miss reunion disc, Size Matters (Interscope), is no match for 1992’s influential In the Meantime—what could be? The new Cali version of Helmet (featuring returnees Paige Hamilton and Chris Traynor with Rob Zombie’s Joey Tempesta and Anthrax’s Frank Bello) cranks a different take on pre-nu heavy, which is cool with Hamilton. “I still like rock music,” he says. “[But] whatever’s trendy or whatever the kids are buying, I won’t be doing.” In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Instruction).
SLY & ROBBIE
There are few more underrated teams on the musical landscape than drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, the Jamaican “Riddim Twins” who, it’s been estimated, have played on more than 200,000 recordings since the ’70s. As a production team, Sly & Robbie revolutionized reggae, dancehall and dub and brought the rhythm section to the front. S& ’s current American trek (featuring Half Pint, Tony Rebel, BluFox and others) is billed as the 25th Anniversary Tour, but doesn’t the math add up to at least 30? Crazy Goat, 119 S. West Temple, 9 p.m. Info: 328-4628.
AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD
Yes, Austin’s epic-monikered And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead are still signed to Interscope, despite the extended silence between their blistering 2002 label debut, Source Tags & Codes, and last year’s diversified Secrets of Elena’s Tomb EP. A new album is set for a January 2005 release, but in the meantime (no Helmet pun intended) they’re taking their sophisticated guitar mayhem on the road—marquee operators beware. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m. Info: 746-0558 (with Forget Cassettes).
Also Tuesday: Devotchka (Egos); Scum of the Earth (The Ritz); Magic Slim & the Teardrops (Brewskis, Ogden).
Hot Snakes (Sound); Straylight Run (Lo-Fi Cafe); Good Charlotte, Sum 41 (McKay Event Center, Orem); RPG (Burt’s Tiki Lounge).
Junior Brown (Egos, Nov. 4). Murdock (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Nov. 4). Dusty 45s (Egos, Nov. 5-6). Toby Keith (Delta Center, Nov. 6). Social Distortion (In the Venue, Nov. 6). Kittie (Lo-Fi Cafe, Nov. 6). Von Bondies (Sound, Nov. 9). Dixie Witch (Egos, Nov. 9). Le Tigre (In the Venue, Nov. 10). De La Soul (Velvet Room, Nov. 10). Concrete Blonde (Velvet Room, Nov. 11). Bond (Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Nov. 12). Green Day (E Center, Nov. 13). Everclear (Velvet Room, Nov. 20). Wilco (Kingsbury Hall, Nov. 22). Metallica (E Center, Nov. 22). The Fixx (Velvet Room, Nov. 23). R.E.M. (E Center, Nov. 26).