GUSTER, WILL HOGE
Utah loves, loves, loves the Guster—admit it, you already know everything about ’em. It’ll be tough to steal this show, but opener Will Hoge should at least make an impression on the Gusterheads with his high-energy heartland rock & roll that makes neo-troubadours like John Mayer look (even more) like hair-gelled narcoleptics. Bird On a Lonely Wire (Atlantic), the singer-songwriter’s all-killer/no-filler sophomore album, kicks harder than typical acoustic-guitar-and-sweater fare. “This might sound dumb, because I am a singer-songwriter,” Hoge admits, “but singer-songwriters are sometimes just too wimpy for my tastes.” THURSDAY, April 10 @ Bricks, 579 W. 200 South, 6 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Sometimes referred to as a lo-fi indie composite of Bjork, Liz Phair and Cat Power, Philadelphia singer Mirah makes beautiful, multi-textured music that defies most conventional tags—but the Bjork/Liz/Cat analogy isn’t far off. Last year’s sweeping Advisory Committee (K Records) still has a mighty buzz about it, even if the disc’s considerable heartache isn’t necessarily hers. “I don’t think much about the honesty,” Mirah told the Portland Mercury. “It’s more about not trying than trying, and if there’s difficulty in it, then that’s probably what makes it good for me.” FRIDAY, April 11 @ Crimson Underground (Union Bldg.), University of Utah, 7 p.m. (with Chubby Bunny).
Add Ryan Raddon, a.k.a. Kaskade, to the list of locals who’ve gone onto the bigger and better: The one-time Mechanized owner and five-year Club Manhattan house DJ moved to San Francisco, hooked up with several deep house labels and has since released 10 mix albums. Just off a European tour, Raddon’s back in town to celebrate his solo debut, It’s You It’s Me, on Om Records, a label he snuck into as a production assistant, leaving Kaskade demos on the right desks. Sharp. FRIDAY, April 11 @ Naked, 326 S. West Temple, 521-9292, 9 p.m. In-store appearance @ Virgin Megastore, The Gateway, 7 p.m.
Throwing down a furious blend of electro-pop, breaks, Latin house, hip-hop and funk, DC10’s David Phillips is another one of those jet-setting Ibiza DJs who plays marathon sets in the most beautiful and trendy locales and clubs in the world—DJs may not be considered real “musicians” by purists, but they sure as hell are rock stars. Sayeth the promoters, “It’s going to be an absolutely blinding, foot-stomping, whirl of a party, and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t show up for this one!” SATURDAY, April 12 @ W Lounge, 358 S. West Temple, 359-0637, 9 p.m.
The tunes are shorter on Antennae (RCA), Cave In’s major-label debut destined for many an Album of the Year list, but the Boston prog-metal band isn’t reformed, just refocused. “It’s actually harder to write more concise songs than it is to slop together a nine-minute space-rock opera,” says singer-guitarist Stephen Brodsky. “We wanted to do this as a challenge to ourselves.” Not that Cave In have completely abandoned their cosmic Led Zep/Pink Floyd/Radiohead tendencies (dig Antennae’s nine-minute space-rock opera “Seafrost”), you’re just more likely find ’em on MTV than MTV2 now. MONDAY, April 14 @ Xscape Basement, 115 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
While some bands are retooling their sound for the mainstream, it’s nice to know there are still the few and the proud who won’t budge from left of center or, in the case of San Francisco’s Deerhoof, refuse to even acknowledge the existence of a center. Apple O (Kill Rock Stars), the loopy noise-pop outfit’s latest featuring the never-to-be hits “Dummy Discards a Heart” and “Panda Panda Panda,” is still an immaculate clatter of electronics and gnarled “rock” surrounding bassist Satomi Matsuzaki anime-girl vocals—no danger of crossover appeal here. MONDAY, April 14 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 320-9887, 8:30 p.m. (with Smashy Smashy and Redd Tape).
BLACK HEART PROCESSION
Wafting in from the David Lynch Lounge on the interstate to Purgatory, Black Heart Procession’s gorgeous new Amore del Tropico (Touch & Go) plays like the last music you’ll ever hear in this sweet life. As the stacks of reviews hammer home, the San Diego band’s stark noir echoes Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on the surface, but their attention to pop detail and instrumentation runs much deeper, if not necessarily darker. “There’s a certain amount of sarcasm in our music,” says singer-guitarist Pall Jenkins. “We let that come out in our show.” MONDAY, April 14 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 467-5637, 9:30 p.m.
Mixing the meta-pop melodies of XTC with the white-funk pocket of the Talking Heads (says here), Cincinnati’s Homunculus narrowly avoided career suicide by being rejected by VH1’s reality experiment gone dumb, Bands On the Run. “I think one reason we weren’t invited to join the show is that this band is not very controversial,” says singer-keyboardist Ben Doepke, “just honest and hard working.” All of which comes through loud and clear on Words (Howling Records), Homunculus’ third and most definitive album—way better than Josh Dodes (little Bands On the Run trivia for ya). TUESDAY, April 15 @ The Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, 355-2582, 9:30 p.m.
Last week’s Ministry show actually rallied a few protestors—maybe there’s life left in this classic industrial-rock dog, after all. The United Tour pits old-schoolers (Pigface, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult) against newbies (Zeromancer, Bile, DJ Scary Lady Sarah) for a pagan excess-is-best show made in black-leather heaven/hell. As the press release says, “the evening will be fast-paced with short sets and quick changeovers—not some hippie pop festival, but a sharp kick in the face!” And, between all the bands, there will be approximately 74 people onstage at any given time. WEDNESDAY, April 16 @ Xscape, 115 S. West Temple, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
The Epoxies (Kilby Court, April 17). Midnight Evils (Urban Lounge, April 18). Rocket From the Crypt (Xscape, April 19). Rich McCulley (Dead Goat Saloon, April 19). Linkin Park (E Center, April 21). Red Elvises (Zephyr Club, April 22). Mooney Suzuki (Xscape, April 23). Sum 41 (Xscape, April 24). Pete Yorn (Bricks, April 26). Marcus Eaton & The Lobby (Zephyr Club, April 26). Zwan (Saltair, April 28). Kottonmouth Kings (Bricks, April 28). OAR (Xscape, April 28). Bonnie Prince Billy (Zephyr Club, April 28). Dick Dale (Zephyr Club, April 30). The Iron Maidens (Zephyr Club, May 2-3). Dar Williams (Harry O’s, May 4).