QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE LISTENING PARTY
Josh Homme walks softly, carries a big stick and never looks back. The cool-as-ice Queens of the Stone Age frontman spent 2004 breaking up with former bassist Nick Oliveri, making out with girlfriend Brody Dalle, and working on material for main gig QotSA, side-project Eagles of Death Metal and Joshua Tree-experimental series The Desert Sessions. Given his full plate, it’s understandable why Homme and crew won’t be appearing in SLC to unveil their latest album, Lullabies to Paralyze. Instead of crying about it, why not celebrate the release with likeminded listeners eager to experience mind-blowing sounds in a somewhat live setting? Like Vanilla Coke, it’s just a slight variation of the real thing. Egos, 668 S. State, 8 p.m. Info: 521-5256 (followed by Punk Rock Karaoke).
Also Thursday: Catch 22, Lost City Angels (Lo-Fi Café); Bad Luck Blues (Monk’s)
You can’t ask for much more in a man than big hair and hopeless-romantic tendencies. Just look at Firehouse, a metal quartet whose late-’80s/early-’90s heyday produced many, many songs about lovers and love, including the smash hit, “I Finally Found the Love of a Lifetime.” Unfortunately, radio is bursting with fickle cynics who long since dismissed the earnest group as—at best—a cheese-laden novelty act. They’re not interested in entertaining a has-been’s incendiary comeback. But since when has radio been a reliable harbinger of cool? Firehouse should give thanks for the snub and spread the love to people secure enough to embrace their guilty pleasures. The Whiskey, 7 E. 4800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 262-7428.
Also Friday: The Stove (Unknown Gallery); The Breaks (Monk’s); The Brobecks (Kilby Court).
You know you’re doing something right when Eric Clapton’s clamoring to hear your work. Not that Sonny Landreth needs another guitarist’s approval to validate his professional skills. After all, he’s a Creole-steel-pedal protege, a man for whom crawfish festivals or grand concert halls are equally suitable venues. It’s taken 30 years or so, however, for him to release a live rendering of any performance, great, small, eclectic or standard. The wait is justified. Grant Street is a snapshot collection capturing some of Landreth’s best material in raw form. The Forum at the Canyons, Park City, 3 p.m. Info: 435-901-7664.
Also Saturday: Purr Bats, Tolchock Trio (Urban Lounge); The Rodeo Boys (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Joseph Arthur (Spice Café)
The Delivery Man, the latest chapter in Elvis Costello’s fearless legacy, is a study in keeping things interesting. The album’s narrative arc pivots on a convict’s tell-tale heart, sideswiping the lives of three women whose stories reflect contemporary social trends. This musical web was spun by the same guy who tinkled ivories with Burt Bacharach, collaborated with gospel chorus groups, jazz legends and ska-popsters, in addition to writing some of the most infectious songs about women named Veronica and Alison. Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Tift Merritt).
Also Sunday: Atreyu, Unearth (Lo-Fi Café); Spleen (Urban Lounge)
Some bands are made for tuning out, and by tuning out I mean, dropping acid. Or popping downers. Or simply closing your eyes. Seattle’s Dead Science draped the Northwest with its blanket of jazz-heavy sleepers, winning converts who might otherwise eschew shoe-gazing sounds. The secret to the trio’s crossover appeal is their courage to blend rock, ragtime, fusion and blues, into a recipe for sporadic outbursts of insane energy. One listen to Submariner and your perceptions of mood music will shift under the weight of Sam Mickens’ angelic vocals, then rise to meet the rush of full-bodied melancholy seeped in prose. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All ages. Info: 320-9887.
Also Monday: Jeff Hamilton Trio (Sheraton City Center); Elevation: U2 Tribute (Egos); Low (Velvet Room, see Music, p. 54)
It seems little Ben Lee is all grown up. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter launched his career at the tender age of 14, and has since coasted along on pleasing, sophomoric songs without much to cry about. Then his steady girl took off and his experimental album, Hey You, Yes You fell flatter than a thousand Vegemite sandwiches. Can you say “wake-up call?” Lee hunkered down, sweated a bit and unleashed the sort of material that lands you the No. 7 spot on Australia’s music charts (ahead of J-Lo!). Awake Is the New Sleep isn’t so much a radical departure as it is a fitting step toward bigger and deeper things. Lo-Fi Café, 127 S. West Temple, 7 p.m. All-ages. Info: 480-5634 (with Har Mar Superstar).
You might have caught wind of Menomena—inspired by a 1976 episode of Sesame Street responsible for unveiling the Mahna Mahna song (de-do-bee-doo)—a few years back, then wondered what the hell happened to the Portland-based trio. The truth is, these Muppet-loving musicians switched labels and filtered beautiful harmonies, cascading pianos, and haunting-underwater-sounds-laced-with-morphinelike-jazz into the cleverly packaged I Am the Fun Blame Monster. The Muuuhahaha! Records release is nine tracks of insanely layered fun. Check it out. Just don’t act like you heard of them first. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All ages. Info: 320-9887 (with Vile Blue Shades).
Also Wednesday: Porn (The Men of) (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Cabaret Voltage (Urban Lounge)
Gift of Gab (Egos, March 26). Big Head Todd & the Monsters (Suede, March 26). The Decemberists (Lo-Fi Café, March 28). Parker & Lily (Kilby Court, March 30). Moot Davis, Pete Anderson (Piper Down, April 1). The Bellrays (Egos, April 2). Breaking Benjamin (Velvet Room, April 2). Kaskade (W Lounge, April 2). Ambulance LTD (Velvet Room, April 5). Reverend Horton Heat, Supersuckers (Velvet Room, April 6). The Dollyrots (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, April 7). Sting, Phantom Planet (Delta Center, April 11). Drive-By Truckers (Suede, April 13). Phoenix, Dogs Die In Hot Cars (In the Venue, April 15). Maktub (Velvet Room, April 15). Slipknot (E Center, April 19). Steve Vai (In the Venue, April 20).