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AFI, Social Distortion, Tilly & the Wall, LL Cool J ...

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Thursday 7.13

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AFI

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Just for the record, AFI does not stand for A Fire Within. Now you might be thinking, “There’s no ‘W’ in that acronym'how could ‘I’ represent ‘Within’?” Unfortunately, many Davey Havoc followers fail to note this distinction, choosing to assume his band’s name is rooted in the sort of anguished symbolism best realized through phantom letters. They’re right about the anguish. Havoc & Co. have been kicking it dour since 1991, although the band’s en-fuego punk really caught on thanks to 1998’s cathartic EP A Fire Inside (see acronym). This year’s December Underground is just as fierce but more melodic than their previous works, a distinction that bodes well for AFI’s longevity. Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, 5:30 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with Dillinger Escape Plan and Nightmare of You).

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Also Thursday: Martin Sexton (Gallivan Center); Built to Spill (The Depot); Elvis Crespo (In the Venue)

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Friday 7.14

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SOCIAL DISTORTION

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Social Distortion could arguably continue their career without recording a single new album. They could tour on the strength of “Bad Luck,” “Story of My Life,” “Don’t Drag Me Down,” “Mommy’s Little Monster,” “Ball & Chain” and other tough, timeless tracks because, like much of their lyrical content suggests, they’re your friends till the end. They were there when the world got you down'when parents just didn’t understand. But life is a constant struggle and Mike Ness still knows how to turn highly personal events (the death of guitarist Dennis Danell) into universal experience on 2004’s Sex, Love & Rock & Roll: “Guys like us ain’t got no chance/ But I’m the thing that keeps you and me alive/But not forever.” In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with The Supersuckers and 9 Black Alps).

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TILLY & THE WALL

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BBC and NPR favorites Tilly & the Wall are much more than their tap-dancing shtick might suggest. Quirky and lovable, the eclectic Nebraskans use clickety-clackety shoes to enhance, not replace, keyboard-driven three-part harmonies. Their multimedia approach helped them a gig as band-in-residence at Omaha’s Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, where Tilly wrote, arranged and recorded this year’s Bottoms of Barrels. You know the drill: If you hate pop, this ain’t for you. Otherwise, throw on a shrunken sweater, tutu or pumps and cut a rug! Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with Now It’s Overhead and Seve vs. Evan).

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KOKO TAYLOR

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Those who’d kill to see Billie Holiday or Bessie Smith in their prime can catch an equally impressive performance in Koko Taylor, a seasoned artist known widely as the queen of Chicago blues. Like many legends, she started from scratch (raised in the cotton fields, vocal skills honed in church, worked as a maid) paid her dues and eventually met all the right folks, namely Willie Dixon, who couldn’t let her thundering, gravel-flecked vocals go unheard. Thirty years later, Taylor still keeps in check all those lowdown dirty men who come and go while she sits firmly on the throne. As her 2000 release indicates, this woman is Royal Blue. Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way (U of U Research Park), 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: Ticketmaster.com.

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Also Friday: Jim Brickman (Kenley Amphitheater, Logan): Dave Hole (The Depot); Legendary Pink Dots (Egos); SLUG Localized (Urban Lounge); Neutral Boy (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

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Saturday 7.15

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LL COOL J

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While some hesitate to profess love for cool James, deep down inside we’re all a little hot for the man who brought us “Mama Said Knock You Out,” “Going Back to Cali” and other hits available on, oddly enough, his Greatest Hits collection. But LL Cool J isn’t just a guilty-pleasure throwback to the ’80s. No sir. He’s been busy, acting in films (Deep Blue Sea, In Too Deep, other deep works of cinéma vérité) and recording his 12th album Todd Smith whose title is ostensibly a nod to the current batch of blandly named rappers (see Mike Brown). Here’s hoping he doesn’t cancel. Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 8 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.

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Also Saturday: This Song Is a Mess But So Am I (Kilby Court); Bill Medley (Sandy Amphitheatre); Dave Hole (The Depot); The Rodeo Boys (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Royal Bliss, Starmy (Port O’ Call)

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Monday 7.17

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The Sword (Club Vegas'see Music); So They Say, Cellador (Club BoomVa, Ogden)

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Wednesday 7.19

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4-Play Concert Series (Gallivan Center); Devola, Chubby Bunny (Kilby Court); Rusted Root (The Depot); Michelle Malone (Urban Lounge); Throwrag, Thunderfist (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

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COMING UP

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Meshell Ndegeocello (Gallivan Center, July 20). Lyle Lovett (Deer Valley Resort, July 20). Martina McBride (E Center, July 21). Vans Warped Tour (Utah State Fairpark, July 22). James McMurtry (Red Butte Garden, July 23). Panic at the Disco (In the Venue, July 24). Lamb of God (Avalon Theater, July 25). Pete Yorn (In the Venue, July 26). Ween (In the Venue, July 27). 311 (Usana Amphitheater, July 27). U92 Summer Jam (Utah State Fairpark, July 28). Hell’s Belles (Egos, July 28). Chris Isaak (The Depot, July 29). The Rentals (In the Venue, July 28). Suzanne Vega (Red Butte Garden, July 30). Say Hi to Your Mom (Kilby Court, July 31). The Randies (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Aug. 1). De La Soul (Harry O’s, Aug. 3). X, Rollins Band (The Depot, Aug. 4). Death Cab for Cutie (McKay Events Center, Aug. 8). Wu Tang Clan (The Depot, Aug. 8). Frank Black (Urban Lounge, Aug. 9). Drive-By Truckers (Suede, Aug. 11). Peaches (Urban Lounge, Aug. 14). Def Leppard, Journey (Usana Amphitheater, Aug. 16).

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