Tagged in the revered Flagstaff Live! as a “modern-day Jack London” (think they meant Kerouac, not the White Fang author), hard-touring SoCal singer-songwriter Christopher Hawley gets around the country as much as his nimble fingers get around a fretboard. Hawley’s ace guitar skills are balanced by a warm, casual voice spinning tales of everyday life ... maybe they did mean Jack London. THURSDAY, Aug. 12 @ The Hog Wallow Pub, 3200 Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd., 9 p.m. Info: 733-5567. Also: SATURDAY, Aug. 14 @ Green Street, 602 Trolley Square, 9 p.m.; SUNDAY, Aug. 15 @ Monk’s, 19 E. 200 South, 9 p.m.
TILLY & THE WALL
There’s no one actually named Tilly in Omaha’s Tilly & the Wall—crazy kids. But, in the press quote of the week, they do “create jagged, elegant songs about kissing and secrets.” The criminally cute three-girl/two-guy band are also drummer-free, which hinders their debut, Wild Like Children (Team Love), not in the least—think wistful ’60s folk-pop with an indie-rock smile or, as one reviewer put it, “10,000 Maniacs for babies.” FRIDAY, Aug. 13 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887.
Having a lead singer die never stopped past rock greats like the Doors, AC/DC or Aerosmith (c’mon, we all know Steven Tyler’s a vampire, right?), and Dallas nü-metal crew Drowning Pool have soldiered on despite losing frontman Dave Williams in 2002. After hiring Los Angeles tattoo artist Jason “Gong” Jones, DP recorded the new heavier-ass Desensitized (Wind-Up), the follow-up to the heavy-ass Sinner. Back in black? That’ll work. FRIDAY, Aug. 13 @ The Ritz, 2265 S. State, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Flaw, Atomship and Adjacent to Nothing).
Singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Jon Bernson fronts San Francisco critical/cult fave Ray’s Vast Basement—more accurately, he is Ray’s Vast Basement. Bernson’s wry take on folksy, atmospheric alt-country lives up to each of his innumerable professed influences—which include Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, James Joyce and Alfred Hitchcock—with literate ease. Says here, this show also marks local songstress/opener Melissa Warner’s “farewell to performing in Salt Lake City.” SATURDAY, Aug. 14 @ Sugarbeats, 2106 S. 1100 East, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Info: 483-4083 (with Melissa Warner).
Or, the Turbo Acoustic Tour with Lou Barlow and Jason Lowenstein, the songwriting two-thirds of the band that defined the terms indie-rock and lo-fi. No new material, just the “hits” spanning Sebadoh’s decade-plus career in very nontraditional “unplugged” form. “[It’s just] Jake and me, with some simple non-electronic percussion we recorded,” Barlow told Paste. “We strip the songs down, but I’d like to think it still ‘rocks.’” MONDAY, Aug. 16 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Tom Heinl).
SEVEN MARY THREE
Yes, that Seven Mary Three, the Virginia post-grunge band who hit big in 1995 with “Cumbersome” from their debut, American Standard (a title lifted from an album by Mary’s Danish, alt-rock-trivia buffs). After further paving the way for future Nickelbacks with subsequent releases, 7M3’s label tanked and forced them back to the indies—which is where the new raw ‘n’ pissed Dis/Location (DRT) comes in. MONDAY, Aug. 16 @ The Crazy Goat, 119 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. Info: 328-4628 (with AM Feed).
If Colorado Springs ever becomes known for anything, it’ll be for Carrier, a deliriously dreamy mood-pop band conjured from alt-country underdogs 34 Satellite. The sky-high vocals of frontman Marc Benning launch Carrier’s first full-length, Finally Over Water (CarrierCarrier.com), above the Radiohead-clone crowd, 12 perfect tunes shimmering in Technicolor and occasionally reaching back into the old twang. “I could pinpoint every song to a feeling.” Benning says. “That’s all any song has to be.” TUESDAY, Aug. 17 @ Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 9 p.m. Info: 328-0255 (with Mona).
“Some grown-ass men playing some hard-ass rock,” Brooklyn’s Players Club don’t believe any of the bands of the hyped New York Rock Revival actually rock “worth a pinch of blow.” Ex-members of such fabled noisemakers as Unsane and Shiner oughta know, and the P-Club’s new Regenesis (Dead Teenager) erases any doubt with a greasy brute power that suggests the Jesus Lizard re-torqued for arenas, or your skull under a Trans Am’s wheel. TUESDAY, Aug. 17 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255 (with Iota and Spork).
They’ve got laws and ordinances for every-damn-thing-else down there—but what does Murray City have on the books for onstage chainsaw abuse? Jesse James Dupree and Jackyl will always be known for 1992’s “The Lumberjack,” that Southern-fried rock classic featuring Dupree playing a chainsaw solo, but the band actually had more musical merit than that—not much more, but it was there. And seriously, do you need a permit for that thing in Murray? TUESDAY, Aug. 17 @ The Phat Tire Saloon, 7 E. 4800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 262-7428 (with 413).
AVOID ONE THING
Avoid what? Dunno, but two-thirds of Boston’s Avoid One Thing have quite the Beantown pedigree: Bassist-singer Joe Gittleman did time in Gang Green and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, while guitarist-singer Amy Griffin played with rockabilly faves the Raging Teens. A1T’s second album, Chopstick Bridge (Side One Dummy), comes across like the bastard offspring of the Replacements and hometown heroes the Pixies, so what’s to avoid? WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255 (with Gigi Love and AM Feed).
DARK STAR ORCHESTRA
In a world of Grateful Dead tribute bands, how to set yourself apart? Illinois’ Dark Star Orchestra do it by re-creating specific concerts from the Dead’s history—could be an ’81 Providence Civic Center show, could be that ’73 Denver Coliseum gig, it’s always a surprise. Maybe you were at the original show being cloned by the DSO, but if you remember it, were you really there? Whoa ... WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9:30 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665.
School of Rock (Sugarbeats, Aug. 19). Rosanne Cash (Gallivan Center, Aug. 19). Kittie (The Ritz, Aug. 19). Cowboy Junkies (Suede, Aug. 24). BR5-49 (Port O’ Call, Aug. 26). Michelle Malone (Mo Diggity’s, Aug. 27). AC/D-She (Egos, Aug. 27-28). City Weekly SLAMMys Party (Urban Lounge, Aug. 28). Ben Kweller (In the Venue, Sept. 1). Jill Cohn (Mo Diggity;s, Sept. 2). Synthpop Festival (Red Lion Hotel, Sept. 3-4). Blackalicious (Suede, Sept. 4). Guster (In the Venue, Sept. 6). Dave Matthews Band (Usana Amphitheater, Sept. 8). Stereo 360 (Egos, Sept. 9). Joan Osborne (Red Butte Garden, Sept. 12).