JOSH TODD, STEREO 360
Ex-Buckcherry singer Josh Todd, backed by a smokin’ band of former Salt Lake City musicians? Cool rock & roll show. Add Hollywood power-poppers Stereo 360? Redonkulous! Yes, it’s a real word ... maybe. Anyway, Todd is still on the road pimping his debut solo album, You Made Me; likewise, Stereo 360 their first, Enjoy Your Life Poolside. Live, it could very well become a steel-cage match to see who will blow whom off the stage—again, redonkulous! THURSDAY, Sept. 9 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 525-5255.
One great question from an emo Webzine interview with Engine Down: SincereBrutality.com queried singer Keely Davis about his ideal theme park. “Going Steady Land. Pay $43 to watch young couples deal with the stress of sexual confusion, communication voids and braces.” Emo humor! Actually, ED moved well beyond the big “E” long ago; take a spin on Engine Down (Lookout), their newest loaded with sophisticated melodies and surprising rock restraint—for under $43. FRIDAY, Sept. 10 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Info: LoFiCafe.com (with These Arms Are Snakes and InCamera).
As all-time-great rock guitarists go, few can touch Allman Brothers Band killer Dickey Betts. With a solo career that stretches back to the ’70s and a whole lotta ABB tunes he’ll undoubtedly touch on, Betts still strikes an old/new balance. “I try to keep new material in there to make sure we don’t turn into a nostalgia act,” he says. “After you play them for a little bit, the crowd forgets that they’re new.” FRIDAY, Sept. 10 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9:30 p.m.
If there’s a middle ground between Ani DiFranco and Dave Matthews, it’s Los Angeles’ Raining Jane, an eclectic all-female foursome who count no Janes among them (ain’t that always the way?). Between their soaring harmonies and tendency to veer into folk, rock, funk or even hip-hop as the mood strikes, the band fit into no easy categories and still remain as comfortable as an afghan—so really, more Ani than Dave. FRIDAY, Sept. 10 @ Muse Music, 145 N. University, Provo, 8 p.m. All-ages; SATURDAY, Sept. 11 @ The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m. (with Debi Graham Band both nights).
The original True Sounds of Liberty roared out of Orange County circa 1979, an influential punk band like no other—unfortunately, the fractured version that hit the mainstream in the mid-’80s with a different singer and sound tarnished the name a bit (try not wincing when that “Colors” video turns up on VH1 Classic). The true T.S.O.L. reunited 10 years ago and, minus late drummer Todd Barnes, haven’t stopped yet. Get yr O.C. Punk education. SATURDAY, Sept. 11 @ Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 328-0255.
BANG SUGAR BANG
In case you’re wondering, the upstairs live-music venue section of the Crazy Goat Saloon shares only the name with the downstairs strip club—totally separate. Just making the distinction so you don’t confuse L.A. punk trio Bang Sugar Bang with an exotic-dancer revue. Sure, sexpot singer-bassist Cooper and guitarist Matt Southwell claim to have met while working at an erotic Jell-O mold company, but the music is straight-up rock & roll, not bump ‘n’ grind (OK, maybe a little). SATURDAY, Sept. 11 @ The Crazy Goat Saloon, 119 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. Info: 328-4628.
In the mid-’90s, before “One of Us” became an inescapable hit single, Joan Osborne played one of the hottest, most memorable shows to ever go down in the hallowed Zephyr Club and hasn’t returned to Salt Lake City since. In the years since, the blues-based belter has toured as a Dead vocalist, appeared in the Funk Brothers docu Standing In the Shadows of Motown and released a string of solid records, including 2002’s How Sweet It Is covers project. Oh, and there’s that whole Joan of Arcadia thing ... SUNDAY, Sept. 12 @ Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, University of Utah, 7 p.m. Tickets: 325-7328.
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
This is why state-fair concerts aren’t taken seriously: Grand Funk Railroad ... without singer-guitarist Mark Farner! Sorry, even though founding members Don Brewer and Mel Schacher are onboard and Farner’s been replaced with three capable hired guns (including longtime Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick), this classic-rock trend of interchangeable key members is just blurring the line between the bona-fides and the tribute bands. But hey, you know they’ll play “We’re an American Band.” SUNDAY, Sept. 12 @ Utah State Fair Grandstand, 155 N. 1000 West, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
This is why state-fair concerts should be taken seriously: Saturday headliners Los Lonely Boys and today’s Joe Nichols are vital new artists who might not otherwise make it to our lil’ town on the way up—good on the Utah State Fair. Hot Nashville country singer Nichols flies the neo-traditional twang flag more in the mellower SoCal vein, as evidenced on Revelation (Universal South), his second and latest release. He’s also kinda purdy. MONDAY, Sept. 13 @ Utah State Fair Grandstand, 155 N. 1000 West, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
LEWIS NASH QUINTET
“Universally recognized as the great drummer of his generation—resourceful, inventive, subtle and infallibly tasteful,” says the Village Voice of Lewis Nash, while the New York Times calls him “a remarkably subtle, swinging drummer.” Nash’s skins resume of over 300 jazz recordings includes work with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Benny Carter and Diana Krall; his lone solo album, 1989’s Rhythm Is My Business, is a must-hear for aspiring jazz drummers. MONDAY, Sept. 13 @ Sheraton City Center, 150 W. 500 South, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 278-0411.
Circle Jerks (Velvet Room, Sept. 17). Death Cab for Cutie (University of Utah, Sept. 17). Gibby Haynes (Urban Lounge, Sept. 17). Ministry (Velvet Room, Sept. 19). Black Tape For a Blue Girl (Area 51, Sept. 20). Scissor Sisters (Liquid Joe’s, Sept. 21). Robert Earl Keen (Port O’ Call, Sept. 22). Patti Rothberg (Mo Diggity’s, Sept. 23). Mike Watt (Egos, Sept. 24). Norah Jones (Usana Amphitheater, Sept. 25). The Slackers (Velvet Room, Sept. 27). The Pixies (Kingsbury Hall, Sept. 28). Fu Manchu (Crazy Goat, Sept. 28). Division of Laura Lee (Lo-Fi Café, Oct. 4). Old 97’s (In the Venue, Oct. 9).