Since their 2003 U.S. tour doesn’t launch until March, every major American media outlet is clamoring for dish about a certain Icelandic band’s Sundance appearance—somehow, Sigur Ros have become The Next Big Thing. Yes, a strange little entity known only to the casual through the Vanilla Sky soundtrack, whose latest MCA album has no title (ditto the songs) and no discernable lyrics over lush-long operatic dirges described as “the bastard offspring of Enya and Radiohead,” is now the subject of “heavy lifestyle marketing” and enough critical mass to crush a third-world country. If you’re not with The Media or The Industry, good luck. Thursday, Jan. 23 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 435-658-2665, 9 p.m.
Here come the Ds: Washington D.C. deep-house DJ duo Deep Dish (Ali “Dubfire” Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi) have remixed tracks for artists including Madonna, Michael Jackson, Beth Orton, ‘N Sync, Depeche Mode and the Rolling Stones, even scoring a Grammy for Dido’s (remember her?) “Thank You.” Still, they prefer to work in front of a crowd, and they’re not about mindlessly happy cheese. “We like depressing music,” Tayebi says. “It appeals to us more than the hands-in-the-air stuff. We like some of that, too, but it has to be something that touches your soul.” Thursday, Jan. 23 @ Axis, 108 S. 500 West, 712-5050, 9:30 p.m. (with Dieselboy).
THE R.M. PARTIES
Hot on the heels of last year’s The Singles Ward (groan if you must) comes The R.M., another homespun LDS comedy about the comedy of being LDS, opening Jan. 31. As with The Singles Ward, there’s a soundtrack album of tongue-in-cheek Mo’tunes to accompany it, this time around featuring Utah talents Ryan Shupe, Maren Ord, Ponchillo, Clay and Sweet Haven (performing Thursday), as well as Sugarland Run, Jamen Brooks, Jerrytown and Debra Fotheringham (Friday). Notably absent from both The R.M.’s soundtrack and these acoustic CD-release bashes are Jericho Road—what kind of party is complete without those studs? Thursday, Jan. 23-Friday, Jan. 24 @ Muse Music, 145 N. University Ave., Provo, 8 p.m.
A Kilby Court show? Must be a special occasion, like a show by Omaha power-noise architects Cursive, they who inspire much use of adjectives like “angular,” “jagged” and “that dude’s got issues” when breaking down singer Tim Kasher’s sharp emo/screamo compositions on his band’s brutal tell-all masterpiece, 2001’s Domestica (Saddle Creek). Then, it was a document loosely based on his divorce; now, Kasher may have lost that cathartic feeling. “Not anymore,” Kasher told The Stranger. “I’ve learned to separate life and music. I’m generally a pretty happy person, actually.” Not good for marketing, Tim. Sunday, Jan. 26 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 320-9887, 8 p.m. (with Race For Titles).
THE JULIANA THEORY
When Pennsylvania emo graduates The Juliana Theory make their major-label debut for Epic next month, music-trivia buffs might notice that the melodious hard-rock gem has the same title as The Cult’s cross-eyed 1985 tour de farce, Love—ironic tribute or painfully earnest coincidence? “The drive for love and the desire for love are the inspiration for everything in the world, both positive and negative,” says singer Brett Detar. “Love or the search for love seems like the simple, underlying reason for everything.” So, coincidence then. Monday, Jan. 27 @ Xscape, 115 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-TIXX (with Something Corporate and Vendetta Red).
The sharp-dressed Nashville twang-rock band’s last major-label album, This is BR5-49, received a 50/50 variation on the term “mixed reviews.” Half the critical intelligentsia believed it to be a slick “young country” sellout, while the other half love BR5-49 so much that they played up the songs that stayed true to the band’s trademark rockabilly/honky-tonk roots and ignored the rest of the disc. Their new back-to-the-indies EP Temporarily Disconnected (available only through BR549.com and at shows) aims to re-satisfy 100 percent with three new tunes and a pair of cover favorites. Tuesday, Jan. 28 @ The Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, 355-CLUB, 9:30 p.m. (with True Grit).
DIVISION OF LAURA LEE
When last we heard from Sweden’s Division of Laura Lee, they were calling themselves “one of the most important bands in the history of all rock.” Even more important than Night Ranger? Apparently. Since then, we’ve learned that the mucho-hyped garage-rock explosion of 2002 was more about media overexcitement than album sales—a shame, since DOLL’s American debut, Black City (Burning Heart), was/is some seriously hot ‘n’ noisy rock & roll action. “We really try to be honest with everything we do,” says bassist Jonas Gustavsson. “That’s what makes us so great.” Tuesday, Jan. 28 @ Xscape Basement, 115 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-TIXX (with Burning Brides).
The dubious honor of topping Pearl Jam (!) in a recent Seattle Weekly poll for Best Local Band aside, eclectic R&B outfit Maktub (“mock-tube”) really are all that and a bag of French Roast. The quintet’s hot-selling new self-release, Khronos (Maktub.com), is a soul-soaked affair that moves from thumping ’70s funk to hard rock (even a cover of Led Zep’s “No Quarter”) to smooth sex-you-up Al Green-isms, all handled with care by handsomely afro’d frontman Reggie Watts and a stone-solid musical groove. “You create your own audience,” Watts says of Maktub unclassifiable sound. “If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be fine.” Wednesday, Jan. 29 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 435-647-9494, 9:30 p.m.
Richard “Humpty” Vission (Axis, Jan. 30). Riddlin’ Kids (The Junction, Jan. 30). Insane Clown Posse (Saltair, Jan. 30). Blood Brothers (Xscape, Jan. 31). Victor Wooten (Kingsbury Hall, Feb. 1). Coldplay (Saltair, Feb. 7). D-12 (Saltair, Feb. 8). Ben Kweller (Xscape, Feb. 8). Coheed & Cambria (Xscape, Feb. 8). Moe (Harry O’s, Feb. 9). Toad the Wet Sprocket (Bricks, Feb. 10). David Gray (Kingsbury Hall, Feb. 11). Reverend Horton Heat (Xscape, Feb. 13). Louis Osbourne (Axis, Feb. 13). Rainier Maria (Xscape, Feb. 16). The Roots (Harry O’s, Feb. 17). Baby Anne (Axis, Feb. 20). PH Balance (Lazy Moon, Feb. 20). Finch (Xscape, Feb. 23).