Music | Portia, Portia, Portia: Fews & Two, The Mollies, Erin Haley 

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Portia Early, X96 weekend DJ and host of Live & Local (Sundays, 8-10 p.m.), wants to tell you about three more of her favorite Utah bands and songs:

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Fews & Two “10 Man Raft”
Ska will probably never reclaim the glory now enjoyed by screamo bands, but it’s a timeless format that I hope will never die. I’ve been a ska fan for about two decades now. Utah has always been peppered with horn bands and guitar upbeats since the ’80s (as far as I can remember). Just in the past year a few new ones have popped up across the valley, including the female-fronted Fews & Two. Besides the old No Doubt circa ’92 and ’80s-era The Selector, I can’t recall a ska band with a chick singer, but I am sure they are out there. It’s refreshing, and man can Fews & Two’s Flim sing. The local septet also features David Matney, former member of The Management and brother to City Weekly’s Steve Matney. They will be stepping it up at Burt’s Tiki Lounge March 15 with Lockstep and Dubbed.

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The Mollies “O Dinosaur”
It’s official. I am dubbing this band as Utah’s “Most Adorable” quartet. The Mollies (and, yes, they are of LDS faith) are sugary-sweet vocalists Becky Jean Williams and Vivian Smith, paired with instrumentalists Johnathan Redd and Miles Biddulph (The Happies). Of course, don’t assume they are a total sugar-pop overload. In fact, The Mollies have a coolness factor and a slight edge thanks to diverse instrumentation. When is the last time you saw a saw played live? There’s also an occasional cello, ukulele, mandolin and vibraphone. “O Dinosaur” is one of the slower tunes out of the many that they have already written in the last few months, but it is just as catchy as their poppier tunes. I have not experienced any band like The Mollies and, my gosh, they are as freaking talented as they are adorable.

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Erin Haley “The Dirty Socks Song”
I describe the 22-year-old downtown Salt Lake City native as a folksier Fiona Apple. Her unique voice is one of few I’ve come across around these parts. Apparently, good female singers are hard to come by. Haley is bluesy and ballsy, and plays mean guitar! I played “Dirty Socks,” on Live & Local in 2006. It’s still one of my favorites, but I am anxious as heck to hear the brand, spanking new LP set to drop this summer. Previously solo, Haley recently teamed up with guitarist Ryan Cron (plus an occasional bassist and drummer). Check out the duo at Kilby Court on March 11, then at Nobrow Coffee & Tea April 4.

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Portia Early

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