Toni Basil, Slaughter, The Crystal Method—all fine musical exports from Las Vegas, also known as Sin City or CSI Town. Now add The Killers to the legacy, as the foursome’s heavily Brit-pop influenced debut Hot Fuss (Island) and single “Somebody Told Me” are being buzzed about loudly enough to make the new-new-wavers forget Franz Ferdinand momentarily. Plus, as Teen People says, they “ooze cute-boy angst.” Squeal! THURSDAY, July 15 @ Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Mellowdrone and Evening).
FOUNDERS TITLE FOLK & BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
The latest home for the annual Founders Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival (the 16th, for those keeping track) could be the most scenic: Snowbird Resort, a camper-friendly haven where the hills and pines are soon to be alive with the sound of mandolins—quite a pretty mental picture, no? This year’s headliners include Lucy Kaplansky, the Chapmans, Stormy Mountain Boys and the Green Cards, among more than a dozen other artists. FRIDAY, July 16-SUNDAY, July 18 @ Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon, gates open 2 p.m. Friday. Tickets: 800-524-7397.
HARRY CONNICK JR.
Where to go after a sitcom stint as the fifth hetero wheel on Will & Grace? Back to the classics, baby! Crooner Harry Connick Jr.’s latest, Only for You (Columbia), covers ballads from the ’50s and ’60s, an era he’s left alone until now. “Donnie [Ienner, Sony Music Prez] said, ‘Why don’t you do an album of songs from my generation?’” Connick explains, “I decided to give it a try.” Nothing like sucking up to the boss, Har. FRIDAY, July 16 @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: 355-2787.
VANS WARPED TOUR
City Weekly had the obligatory annual Warped Tour coverage all ready to roll, but then we received the news that Juliette Lewis’ band, Juliette & The Licks, wouldn’t be performing on the Salt Lake City date! Damn! Really, what’s more punk: A gaggle of interchangeable major-label Gen-Y hair-gel casualties, or a loony 31-year-old actress rockin’ like Iggy Pop when everyone tells her she shouldn’t? Exactly. But, we hear good things about those Bad Religion boys. SATURDAY, July 17 @ Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, noon. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
He describes himself as a “singer-songwriter with nothing left to lose” and “desperate, but optimistic,” and kicks off his latest record, Pawn Shop Special (JasonRiggs.com), with an unabashed tribute to Woody Guthrie, “This Machine”—as in “This Machine Kills Fascists.” New Mexico expat Jason Riggs is a real-deal folk singer with grimy fingers in Americana and rock, spinning haunting yarns like “Stronger than Death” as only a former semiconductor plant worker could. FRIDAY, July 16 @ Little Union Theater, University of Utah, 8 p.m.
Wisconsin roots-rockers The Bodeans were set to blow up in 1986 with Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams, their critical-smash debut that snared them a Best New Band trophy from Rolling Stone and a tour with U2. Then, not so much. Sammy Llanas and Kurt Neumann plugged away for 10 more years, dropped out of sight, and have now just returned with Resolution (Zoe). Yes, call it a comeback. SUNDAY, July 18 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665 (with Bob Schneider).
Canada’s Most High Goddess of Ethereal Pop took four years off after 1999’s Mirrorball and the final Lilith Fair tour, returning last year with Afterglow (Arista) and more new hair than new musical tricks—and what’s wrong with that? “The day Lilith ended it seems there was a whole new wave of angry white male bands and bubblegum pop,” McLachlan says. “I’m kind of glad I took some time off.” MONDAY, July 19 @ The E Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Dr., 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Butterfly Boucher).
“I’m just a big wad of everything that moves me,” says veteran New York City DJ/producer Tedd Patterson, who’s been a respected spinner since the late ’70s. “From tribal to house, tech house, soul, breakbeat, whatever. I try to ignore categories and serve up a good course of what’s new and hot. I don’t choose my music by categories. If it’s good to me, there’s no reason that it shouldn’t be played.” SATURDAY, July 17 @ The Vortex, 404 S. State, 9 p.m. Info: 355-5920.
Retro-soul outfit Sweetback are better know as Sade’s players, but that could very well change with the release of Stage 2 (Epic), the band’s second album of eclectic R& and electronic experimentalism—essentially, more music unlikely to crossover with their boss’ audience. Which vocal assists from Chocolate Genius and Aya, Stage 2’s ambient grooves are more of an artsy indie-flick answer to Sade’s glossy romantic blockbusters. MONDAY, July 19 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665.
Are The Gourds funnier than A Mighty Wind? Oh, they’re well beyond that. The Austin band is also well beyond bluegrass, encompassing rock, Cajun, country, blues and Tex-Mex with lyrics more absurd than anything from the Folksmen. Cow, Fish, Fowl or Pig (Sugar Hill), The Gourds’ 2002 gem, imagines a world with robot brides and James Brown’s band as magical trolls—right up there with “Blood on the Coal,” for sure. TUESDAY, July 20 @ Egos, 668 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
Welsh songstress Jem officially succeeded previous indie-geek sex symbols Beth Orton and Dido earlier this year with the release of Finally Woken (ATO) and an appearance on the season finale of The O.C. (Oh! My! Gawd!). Like her predecessors, Jem marries dusky vocals and folksy tunes to hip-hop beats and electronic sheen to create something new and comfy—not to mention a coveted spot in the Seth Cohen Music Club (it’s an O.C. thing). TUESDAY, July 20 @ Liquid Joe’s, 1249 E. 3300 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 467-5637.
Reverend Horton Heat (In the Venue, July 22). !!! (Sound, July 22). Arlo Guthrie (Gallivan Center, July 22). Sonic Youth (In the Venue, July 25). Lamb of God (Lo-Fi Café, July 25). Superjoint Ritual, Lacuna Coil (Ritz, July 25). Boss Martians (Urban Lounge, July 27). The Hives, Sahara Hotnights (In the Venue, July 29). U92 Summer Jam (Utah State Fairpark, July 29). Bad Boys of Metal (Expose, Aug. 2). Van Halen (Delta Center, Aug. 3). Ani DiFranco (Red Butte Garden, Aug. 5). Mary Lou Lord (Mo Diggity’s, Aug. 11).