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Sure, your Hives, Sounds, Divisions of Laura Lees and the rest of the Swedish Invasion are hot bands, but none match the slammin’ Marxist soul of the International Noise Conspiracy, sharp-dressed Lefties who strip rock & roll down to its primal sex beat and finish it off with a post-coital activist smoke. Last year’s Bigger Cages, Longer Chains (Epitaph), featuring the psychedelic deconstruction of N.E.R.D.’s “Baby Doll,” further blurred the lines between garage-punk, R& , socialism and whatever else they could wrap their nicotine-stained fingers around. THURSDAY, April 22 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Moving Units and New Transit Direction).


The inch-thick press kit for Dublin’s Thrills is critical mass gone berserk, and might explain why no copy of So Much for the City (Virgin) was included with the clip barrage—who needs another glowing review now? Besides, the Thrills’ re-filtered SoCal mellow-gold ’70s vibes owe as much to poverty as to Brian Wilson. “We were pretty broke, so we drank on the beach,” guitarist Daniel Ryan told Spin, adding that without the surf, “We would have been an Irish version of Interpol.” FRIDAY, April 23 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9:30 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665 (with Sleepy Jackson and On the Speakers).


Yes, the B-52s—you thought they’d retired? The kitschy Athens new-wave band were so far ahead of their time when they debuted over 25 years ago, only now is the culture getting hip. “Maybe people are at last beginning to pick up on what we’ve been doing all along,” guitarist Keith Strickland said upon the 2002 release of the B-52s anthology Nude On the Moon. “The underlying message of the B-52s is, it’s OK to be different.” But how long must we wait for a Fred Schneider & the Shake Society reunion? SATURDAY, April 24 @ The Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.


Post-punk dance geniuses or simply a Cure/Public Image Ltd. tribute band? The Rapture’s Echoes (Universal) suggests a little of both, a scrappy album of hypnotic disco-zombie bass grooves and clattering guitar punctuation crashing down around singer Luke Jenner’s howling Robert Smith-via-John Lydon pronouncements of love and life gone cosmically bad. As for why this relatively stateside-unproven U.K. band is headlining over better-known wannabe-Brits Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, don’t really have an answer—maybe somebody lost a coin-toss, or would that be shilling-toss? SATURDAY, April 24 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Starlight Desperation).


Yes, Blondie—you thought they’d retired? Debbie Harry and her non-blondes have been working steadily since 1999’s cross-eyed comeback album, No Exit, their first attempt after over 16 tumultuous years apart. The new follow-up, The Curse of Blondie (Sanctuary), fares far better musically, arriving just in time for the new wave of New Wave—fortunate, despite the title. “It’s been a standing joke for years,” Harry says. “Every time something weird would happen we would say, ‘It’s the Curse of Blondie.’ A lot of people take it seriously, but it’s silly. I think it’s lucky.” MONDAY, April 26 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.


Three years ago, the all-killer-no-filler Art Official Intelligence: Bionix was hailed as the best De La Soul record since 1989’s hip-hop landmark 3 Feet High and Rising, and yet no follow-up: Bionix was No. 2 in a still-incomplete AOI trilogy. Recent rumors hint that De La Soul will deliver AOI’s third installment this year—can’t come too soon. “We’re not concerned about what’s hot and what’s not,” Trugoy the Dove told the Boston Globe. “Just as much as there are gangstas, pimps and so many of those characters, there are everyday people, and I think there are more everyday people than those clowns.” TUESDAY, April 27 @ Union Plaza, University of Utah, 5 p.m. Free. Info: 585-9010 (with Motivational Speakers).


“We just can’t write a quick little pop song,” Moneen singer-guitarist Kenny Bridges says. “If we wrote two-minute songs, I don’t think we’d be able to get enough good stuff into the songs.” True enough, as most of the Toronto emo-punk band’s hover around five minutes (one nearly 10) on We Are Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now (Vagrant), and they don’t skimp on album or tune titles, either—dig “I Have Never Done Anything for Anyone That Was Not for Me as Well.” Whew. WEDNESDAY, April 28 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (with North Star and The Fight).


Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan have always had a distinctly rock & roll edge to their bombastic electro-dance thumpage, but they went whole-hog with the new and otherwise stripped-down Legion of Boom (V2), inviting guests like Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), John Garcia (Kyuss), Rahzel (The Roots) and Lisa Kekaula (The Bellrays) into the Crystal Method fold. How to work a stoner-metal dude like Garcia into “Born to Slow,” the first single? “It took him a few hours to loosen up,” Kirkland told VH1. “Having a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and two cases of beer in the studio definitely helped ignite that performance.” WEDNESDAY, April 28 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.


“The Big Show consists of all our many talents and personalities all rolled into one excellent event,” says Supersuckers singer-bassist Eddie Spaghetti. “We’ll rock, we’ll play country, and you’ll leave feeling like all other bands are obsolete.” Yes, Seattle’s schizophrenic Supersuckers have taken a cue from Hank III and bundled their crunch and twang into one, as the man said, Big Show. And check out Eddie’s new solo CD, The Sauce (Mid-Fi)—essential and hysterical! WEDNESDAY, April 28 @ Suede, 1612 Ute Blvd. (Kimball Junction), Park City, 9:30 p.m. Info: 435-658-2665. Eddie Spaghetti solo: TUESDAY, April 27 @ J.B. Mulligan’s, 804 Main, Park City.


Blink-182, Cypress Hill (E Center, April 30). Genitorturers (Halo, April 30). Dada (DV8, April 30). Method Man (Harry O’s, April 30). Deerhoof (Kilby Court, May 2). Mistress of Reality (Egos, May 2). Dick Dale (Liquid Joe’s, May 5). Slipknot (In the Venue, May 5). Melissa Ferrick (Halo, May 10). Graham Parker, Anne McCue (Harry O’s, May 10). Jucifer (Egos, May 14). Kid Rock (E Center, May 14). Fat Possum Juke Joint Caravan (Brewskies, May 13; Halo, May 14). AC/D-She (Egos, May 15). Gwar (In the Venue, May 14). Damageplan (In the Venue, May 16). Clinic, Low Flying Owls (Liquid Joe’s, May 19). Brides of Destruction (In the Venue, May 21).

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