Ani DiFranco at Red Butte Garden? Then again, if anyone can make herself heard over a yakkity-yak Utah crowd in an intimate setting, it’s Ani. DiFranco’s 16th and latest indie release, Educated Guess (Righteous Babe, natch), is a true solo record: She wrote, played, sang and produced every note; another collection of compellingly original alt-folk like no other woman/man/person can deliver. THURSDAY, Aug. 5 @ Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, U of U, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 325-7328 (with Soulive).
The band members are Egg Nebula, Gouffahtts, Jerome57, Kaboom, P.Green36 and ShoNuff; their album is called We Are Part of the Problem (SpoonfedTribe.com). Texas’ Spoonfed Tribe aren’t your average hippie space-jammers, blending funk, folk, jazz, psychedelia, rock, hip-hop, reggae and tribal grooves into a multimedia show that comes in focus after your dose of glaucoma medicine. Seal of freak-flag approval: Perry Farrell liked the Tribe enough to personally invite them to play Lollapalooza last year. FRIDAY, Aug. 6 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
One of Salt Lake City’s loudest bands ever (legend has it they once cracked a wall at ye olde Bar & Grill), Novagenus were not so much metal as just plain heavy. The band split in the ’90s, but are regrouping tonight in memory of late guitarist Mike Mulholland, who died earlier this year. There’s no cover, and bassist Mike Mayo says they’ll be giving away copies of Novagenus’ lone CD, because “we still have shitloads of ’em.” FRIDAY, Aug. 6 @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572 (with Bohemia and Unsound Mind).
No relation to Deepsky, Deep Dish or Deep Woods Off, DJ/production team Deepswing (Eric Wilkman and James Donaldson) specialize in “the disco of today,” says here, “Expect an evening of loose, jackin,’ grinding house and garage music.” Diverse as it is, house music isn’t something everyone agrees on. “After forming our partnership, we went through some styles of house,” Donaldson says. “Then we pushed more towards a soulful house feeling.” SATURDAY, Aug. 7 @ W Lounge, 358 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Info: 359-0637.
Portland isn’t known for its hip-hop flava, but gritty-funky City of Roses crew Lifesavas are out to change that: They were named one of Urb Magazine’s top new acts in 2002, and last year’s Spirit in Stone (Quannum) slayed the critics. “We had grunge in Seattle, we had hip-hop on the East Coast, and we need something else, right here now,” Lifesava Versatyl told the Mercury. “Portland’s gonna be there next.” TUESDAY, Aug. 10 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887 (with Da Verse).
CROSS CANADIAN RAGWEED
Don’t be misled by the name: Cross Canadian Ragweed are a loud ‘n’ proud country-roots-rock outfit from Oklahoma, not a Saskatchewan bluegrass combo. Grady Cross, Cody Canada and Randy Ragsdale (get it now?) have been tearing up roadhouses for a decade, but their hot new Soul Gravy (Universal South) should be the one to get their Southern rock noticed by the North—if not their hell-for-leather live shows. TUESDAY, Aug. 10 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255 (with Mick & the Motorcars).
THE ALBUM LEAF
Jimmy LaValle has been involved in ambitious bands such as Tristeza, The Locust and Black Heart Procession, but it’s his Album Leaf project that’s receiving the buzz now—simply through association to Sigur Ros. Fans of LaValle, the Icelandic media darlings invited him to record his atmospheric new In a Safe Place (Sub Pop) in their home-turf studio, resulting in his most gorgeous work to date. Live, expect a string section and projection art. TUESDAY, Aug. 10 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 467-5637.
Described by The New York Press as “too campy to be goth, not trite enough to be fashionable, not deadpan enough for some, too tongue-in-cheek for others,” The Brides play a spooky-ooky combo of garage punk and dark pop that’s more catchy than scary. Ponder this: Corey Gorey, Gregjaw, Julia Ghoulia and D.W. Friend were left behind in the major-label sweep of the NYC underground, even though they’re less frightening than the Strokes. Hmmm. TUESDAY, Aug. 10 @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572.
Press quote of the week: “More hooks than a pirate convention.” That’s the Philadelphia Weekly on The Minders, a Portland pop band who’ve been flitting on the fringe of infamy for nearly 10 years. Their latest, The Future is Always Perfect (Future Farmer), is another in a long line of psychedelic garage-pop releases that never repeat themselves, but still remain recognizable—and, of course, don’t forget the hooks. Aaarrr! WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m.
They’re straight outta Philadelphia, but Marah’s new 20,000 Streets Under the Sky (Yep Roc) blatantly channels New Jersey—Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny, and even non-N.J. Elvis Costello. Singer David Bielanko spins tales of inner-city losers and urban desperation, but musically, it’s a joyous neo-classic rock-soul album. “We’ve always tried to write songs that you can stand behind,” Bielanko says. “I believe people are smart enough to appreciate it if you make an effort.” WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 @ Halo, 60 E. 800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 363-4522.
David Lindley (Port O’ Call, Aug. 12). Drowning Pool (The Ritz, Aug. 13). Shawn Colvin (Suede, Aug. 15). Sebadoh (In the Venue, Aug. 16). Seven Mary Three (Crazy Goat, Aug. 16). Real Life (Lo-Fi Cafe, Aug. 17). Carrier (Sound, Aug. 17). The Cure (Usana Amphitheater, Aug. 18). Dark Star Orchestra (Suede, Aug. 18). Rosanne Cash (Gallivan Center, Aug. 19). Kittie (The Ritz, Aug. 19). Cowboy Junkies (Suede, Aug. 24). BR5-49 (Port O’ Call, Aug. 26). Kinky (Liquid Joe’s, Aug. 30). Ben Kweller (In the Venue, Sept. 1). Synthpop Festival (Red Lion Hotel, Sept. 3-4).