Even devoted fans of singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens question the feasibility of his plan to record an album for every state in the union. But while doubt lingers in listeners, Stevens has a constant ally in Daniel Smith, longtime pal and former collaborator in Danielson Famile. You might not know Smith, but you’ll recognize his use of fanciful instrumentation, costumes and overall postmodern approach to music. And while Ships is no Illinois, the album speaks volumes of a shared aesthetic and penchant for dreaming the impossible dream. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Blame Sally are a bunch of winners. You can tell this, not just by the critical acclaim and consistent play on Bay Area radio airwaves, but by their confident, powerful demeanor. Call it success by self-fulfilling prophecy: The four female singer/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists are talented'and they know it. Pam Delgado, Renee Harcourt, Jeri Jones and Monica Pasqual (a former Salt Lake City native and daughter of local visual artist Pilar Pobil) weave gorgeous harmonies and poetic lyrics through eclectic pop-folk orchestration. Patrick Moore Gallery, 511 W. 200 South, 8 p.m. Info: 521-5999.nn
Also Thursday: The Forecast (Club BoomVa, Ogden)nn
The Business (Avalon Theater); Katagory V CD Release (Club Vegas); Acoustic Alchemy (The Depot); Aceyalone (Urban Lounge); Talib Kweli (Harry O’s, Park City)nn
The Beach Boys (Gallivan Center); School of Rock: Best of Season Show (Avalon Theater); U.S. Bombs (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Frontline Assembly (Club Vegas)nn
Kick off Red Butte Garden’s outdoor concert series with the Del McCoury Band. Long recognized as masters of their domain (think Susan Lucci with less collagen and more banjo), the legendary bluegrass group only recently took home a coveted Grammy for The Company We Keep, an impressive feat considering McCoury released the album through his own label, McCoury Music. That’s just the sort of accomplishment that keeps this band on top, not to mention their talent for picking, strumming and jamming out sounds ideal for a bucolic mountain setting. Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 325-7328, Ticketmaster.com (with The Old Crow Medicine Show).nn
Like freak-folk heroes Devendra Bernhart and Joanna Newsom, Man Man live largely in a world without Bush, Iraq or any other marker of contemporary culture. Their days unfold as several acts in a musical circus'not so much a sideshow as the main event. Reality is President Zappa and Prime Minister Faun Fables encouraging citizens to march to their own tambourine, cymbals or any other instrument ringleader Honus Honus tosses out. His newly assembled crew recently completed Six Demon Bag, a release featuring polka-rock waltzes, big-band swing and barroom swagger. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.nn
THE LIARS, THE APESnn
It makes sense to pair The Liars with The Apes. Both acts are known to swing from rafters, howl bloody murder and turn typical live shows into memorable, albeit slightly deafening, bacchanalias. The former group boasts a more experimental edge as epitomized on their third album Drum’s Not Dead, which is a more twisted, less pop version of We Were Wrong, So We Drowned. It also comes with a nifty DVD. The Apes are a pretty linear, guitar-less psych-rock group, but when they get onstage and Amanda Kleinman gets all crazy with her organ, any sense of convention falls down the rabbit hole. In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 8 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.nn
Some kids think “Rivers of Babylon” is a sweet Sublime song. Others believe Bob Marley penned the classic spiritual tune. In fact, legendary rocksteady trio, The Melodians, and producer Leslie Kong are responsible for its chart-smashing appeal. Tony Brevett, Brent Dow and Trevor McNaughton released a number of catchy hits that helped propel a shift in popular music, from jarring ska beats to a smoother, shuffle-paced sound. To have the real deal in town is an honor. Get cultured, tonight. Monk’s, 19 E. 200 South, 9 p.m. Info: 350-9050.nn
Also Monday: Nekromantix (Avalon Theater)nn
Twilight Singers (In the Venue'see Music); Brookside (Kilby Court)nn
Slightly Stoopid (The Depot); Guru (Urban Lounge); Yard Dogs Road Show (Club Vegas)nn
Kool Keith (Urban Lounge, June 15). Tesla (Ogden Amphitheater, June 16). The Epoxies (Avalon Theater, June 17). Neko Case (Suede, June 17). Hank Williams III (The Depot, June 19). Kenny Chesney (Usana Amphitheater, June 21). Jolie Holland (Urban Lounge, June 21). Utah Arts Festival (Library Square, June 22-25). The Supersuckers (The Depot, June 22). Jett Black (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, June 22). Sound Team (Kayo Gallery, June 23). Obie Trice (Harry O’s, June 23). Joe Jackson (Red Butte Garden, June 25). Poison (Usana Amphitheater, June 27). Twizted (In the Venue, June 27). Yellowman (The Depot, June 28). Rogue Wave (Kilby Court, June 30). The Bronx (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, June 30). Ray Davies (The Depot, July 7). Built to Spill (The Depot, July 13).