Music Picks Sept. 18-24 | Redfest, George Winston, Hemi Cuda, People Under the Stairs & Living Legends 

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Thursday 9.18
Designed primarily as a homecoming celebration, the University of Utah’s Redfest 2008 is jumping on the worthwhile Go Green bandwagon with festivities geared toward saving what’s left of our environment. Scheduled events include a Dumpster dive and recycling-themed fashion show which, if handled correctly, won’t resemble anything like similar antics featured on the Tyra Banks Show/America’s Next Top Model (“Look hungry! You’re starving!”). But most people look forward to Redfest’s typically solid live-music lineup—and this year is no exception. Hasidic reggae artist/emcee Matisyahu will headline, but be sure to get there early for blues/jazz guitarist Kalai (a soulful, lightning-bolt of a performer) and Rhymesayers hip-hop artist Brother Ali, a socially and politically conscious emcee sweating the system, the warmongers and even his own weaknesses, in a bouncy, buttery tone. University of Utah, Union Free Speech Plaza, 6 p.m. All-age. Tickets:

Also Thursday: Alicia Keys (Abravanel Hall); Neon Trees, The Hotness (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Boots to the Moon CD Release (Velour, Provo)

Friday 9.19
You might not recognize George Winston by name, but the renowned pianist might hold a special place in your heart regardless. Winston, a seasoned recording artist, provided the melancholy soundtrack to the 1985 film adaptation of Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit, a heartbreaking children’s story that demonstrated to many thumb-sucking tots the tragic side of scarlet fever. Tonight’s Winston performance will feature neither contagious illness nor stuffed-animal-eating bonfires—just the smooth sounds of New Orleans R&B, folk and stride piano. Winston will perform selections from his latest release, Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions—A Hurricane Relief Benefit, an album dedicated to the musicians who inspire his work. Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center St., Provo, 7:30 p.m. All-age. Tickets: 852.7007

Now that both Fergie and the Republican Party have bogarted Heart’s “Barracuda” (the Republicans without consent, by the way—Ann and Nancy Wilson do not support Palin, ya’ll), I’m thinking Hemi Cuda will be my new go-to band for fierce feminist rock. I just can’t erase those images of RNC audience members waving tiny American flags to “You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick/Ooooooohhh!” Hemi Cuda is a fine example of the type of powerful band that scoffs at gender stereotypes basically by just unleashing face-melting solos and wicked, sultry vocals. The Denver trio’s last release, Thick Riffs n’ Tasty Licks, is a smart, brassy and fun collection of punk-fueled anthems. They even play a sweet cover of .38 Special’s “Hold on Loosely.” Don’t even think about stealing that one, RNC! Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State, 9 p.m. Info: 521-5255 (with Thunderfist and Top Dead Celebrity)

Also Friday: The Rocket Summer (In the Venue); Say Hi, Jukebox the Ghost, The Lionelle, Lord Mandrake (Kilby Court); Boomsnake (Solid Ground Café); Tanner Hall Movie Premiere After-Party (Harry O’s, Park City); Joshua James, RuRu (Velour, Provo)

Saturday 9.20
The Dead Science (Kilby Court); Toby Keith (Usana Amphitheatre); Mike Sartain CD Release (Urban Lounge—Read Article); Drown Out the Stars (Club Vegas)

Sunday 9.21
People Under the Stairs are surfacing again with a new full-length album produced with complete creative control thanks to their crazy cool label, Gold Dust Media. That more and more record companies are embracing the idea of “power to the artist” bodes well for the future, no? The Los Angeles-based duo of Thes One and Double K have released some of the most consistently tiiiight jams for a decade straight and show no signs of drying up. In fact, Fun DMC—slated for a late September release—should fit in nicely with their five other classic LPs. In a recent interview on Australian television, Double K said “Once you see everybody put their hands up in the air when you tell them to and they’re singing along to your songs and you’re getting a response from them, that’s why we do it.” Show them some love, tonight. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m.

 Monday 9.22
“Grouch, my girlfriend got a girlfriend/ I ain’t leaving this chick,” Murs tells his Living Legends brother from another mother on “She Wants Me,” a tongue-in-cheek (and spot-on) ditty about the riches and spoils of groupie love. The jam is insanely catchy and highlights the very different strains of lyrical prowess embodied by the eight-man hip-hop collective. It’s hard to believe Living Legends have been throwing down since the early ’90s, building a strong following from the underground up. And they continue to keep it real, with tight rhymes and beats you can’t help but bob your head to—even when Murs thinks too hard with his other head. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets:

Also Monday: Eliane Elias (Salt Lake Sheraton); Lindsey Buckingham (The Depot—Read Article)

Tuesday 9.23
Throw Rag (Avalon); Bullet For My Valentine (Great Saltair); Paxtin (Solid Ground Café); Foreigner (The Depot)

Wednesday 9.24
Ill Bill (Murray Theater); Pattern Is Movement (Kilby Court); Steve Aoki (W Lounge); Mr. Gnome (Urban Lounge)

Coming Up
Paul Jacobsen & The Madison Arm CD Release (Kilby Court, Sept. 25); TSOL (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Sept. 25); Sego Festival (Downtown Provo, Sept. 25-26); Lagwagon, MXPX (In the Venue, Sept. 26); Dr. Dog (Urban Lounge, Sept. 26); Deadbolt (Bar Deluxe, Sept. 26); X96 Big Ass Show (Usana Amphitheatre, Sept. 27); Sigur Ros (Great Saltair, Sept. 28); Silver Jews (Urban Lounge, Oct. 4); Nikka Costa (In the Venue, Oct. 6)

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