BEEP BEEP, POLYSICS
Polysics is a train wreck on the dance floor--crashing into innocent bystanders who refuse to shake that thang. Once in contact with the Japanese pop punks, however, it’s impossible to stand still. Imagine Dick Dale downing numerous drug cocktails while carrying the love child of Devo and Ima Robot. By the time that baby takes its first herky jerky steps as Tofu Records’ latest pride and joy, even the staunchest stalwart hipsters will embrace neo-new wave as their own. You’ve got to dig a band donning uniform jumpsuits and bug-eyed goggles, a far better fashion statement than the trivial blazer-plus-tee-and-tie dominating dive bars near you. U.S. audiences are likely to go ga-ga over the dual emphasis on punk fashion and sound. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887.
? Also Thursday: A.S.A. Reunion Show (Egos); Lilly Fairy Benefit Concert (Urban Lounge)
Say instrumental music and your average Joe or Jane will think of Yanni. Or John Tesh. Or any other bland melody filtered through an elevator shaft. But those over-the-top conductors with good hair give non-vocal groups a bad name. Local quartet On Vibrato know all too well the negative stereotypes associated with their style of music, but that doesn’t stop them from hitting the bar circuit with optimistic fervor. Since the group is taking a hiatus to record new material, this show could be your last chance to check out the difference between innovative soundscapes and yawn-inducing lullabies. The gig will also demo two new songs: The Downwinder Gene Goodsprings/The Shine on Circus Circus and Safe and Happy; Happy to be Safe; So Happy Happy. Look for the tracks mid-February at OnVibrato.com. You can always make up lyrics and sing them under your breath. Monk’s, 19 E. 200 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 350-0950 (with The Wolfs).
? Also Friday: Mindstate, Facts (Urban Lounge); Big D & the Kids Table, Phenomenauts (Lo-Fi Café)
How many band names reference a failed female tennis star whose glory peaked in 1977? As far as I can tell, the answer is one: Bettie Serveert, or Bettie to serve. This Dutch indie-rock group--fronted by Carol Van Dijk, who’s likely still answering to Bettie--enjoyed premature U.S. glory during the ’90s grunge era with Palomine and Lamprey, and toured with the likes of Belly, Dinosaur Jr., Jeff Buckley and Buffalo Tom. They later hooked up with Wilco, put out a Velvet Underground covers album and slowly faded to a whisper. Now they’re back with Attagirl, a slight step away from former comfort zones. The Velvet Room, 149 W. 200 South, 8:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
? Also Saturday: Marc Cohn (Eccles Center); Dame Darcy (Black Chandelier); Entombed (Lo-Fi Café)
? The Wierdos (Lo-Fi Café); Marauder (The Circuit); Global Funk (Urban Lounge); Marc Cohn (Eccles Center, Park City)
Somewhere between apologizing to Ms. Jackson and shaking it like a Polaroid picture, Outkast lost track of outer space. Thankfully, Lex Records’ latest find, Subtle, picks up where Big Boi and Andre 3000 left off--projecting their version of funkified supernatural realms through three keyboards and a microphone (not to mention woodwinds, samplers, electric cello, drums, guitar and throat). The Oakland-spawned sextet joins label mates Danger Mouse and Fog in the next wave of multi-genre experimentation. Their debut, A New White, is full of tripped-out electronics, live instrumentation and robotic vocals, all to illuminate lyrics like No one spits up mothers milk at 21 wearing their umbilical cord outside their clothing at a high school dance or sits brushing the blue birth blood from their hat at 30-something. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887 (with Department of Eagles).
Both Spin and Rolling Stone heralded The Comas’ Conductor as the best album you didn’t hear in 2004 (why they didn’t tell us about them in the first place is a mystery). So, without further ado, welcome all tardy newcomers to the anguished world of Andy Herod. The North Carolinian specializes in sleepy melodies about breaking up with Dawson’s Creek alum Michelle Williams. Herod’s lyrics are also largely modeled after multiple viewings of Dark City, a 1998 flick focused on one man’s journey through a fiendish underworld. Could it be the former hopeless romantic is navigating unchartered territory? All signs point to yes. This agonizing taste of defeat is perhaps best explored on Tonight on The WB, a touching ode to you-know-who. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887 (with The Vietnam).
? Also Tuesday: Habib Koite (Kingsbury Hall); Derek Trucks Band (Suede); Sam Bush (Port O’ Call)
Widespread acceptance has more or less evaded Sage Francis, a politically charged emcee lauded for his lightning-tipped tongue. Most people tend to focus on the color of his skin, drawing parallels to Eminem for no other reason than a shared lily-white pallor. Even then, British exports like The Streets and Buck 65 get top billing as lyrically rich media darlings. Those who listen closely to Francis’ latest effort, A Healthy Distrust, will find themselves baffled this guy isn’t ruling mainstream club circuits. Maybe it’s those subversive lyrics. You support the troops by wearing yellow ribbons? Just bring home my motherf--king brothers and sisters, he says on Slow Down Gandhi. Now that’s some sage advice. Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 6:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
? Also Wednesday: Ex-Models, Smashy Smashy (Kilby Court); Bullets & Octane (Burt’s); Eighteen Visions (Wagstaff Theater)
High on Fire (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Feb. 24). Alpha Blondy (Suede, Feb. 24). Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven (Plan B, Feb. 26). Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons (Egos, Feb. 26-27). Sugarcult (Lo-Fi Café, Feb. 26). Hot Hot Heat (In the Venue, Feb. 27). Bear vs. Shark (Lo-Fi Café, Feb. 28). Devotchka (Egos, March 1). Modest Mouse (In the Venue, March 4-5). OK Go (Sound, March 8). Pat Metheny (Kingsbury Hall, March 8). Jucifer (Egos, March 10). Young Dubliners (Velvet Room, March 11). Tegan & Sarah (Lo-Fi Café, March 12). North Mississippi Allstars (Suede, March 15). Lyrics Born (Egos, March 16).