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This Week’s Music Picks

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Thursday 7.19
Depending on your preference, the best/worst part about seeing The Fiery Furnaces perform is that Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger’s works-in-progress are never the same as they sound on their albums—or even from show to show. Judging by the brother/sister duo’s massive following (devoted fans even created their own Blueberry Boat Wikipedia page to accurately document the ever-evolving band), technical convolutions are as welcome as the concept album the Furnaces recorded with their beloved grandmother. It’s no wonder. With such lovely voices and poetic, coffee-talk lyrics (“I say God bless my dear departed Peter/that he never had to meet her/ his beautiful granddaughter who dyed—it would have killed him again—her gorgeous red-brown hair black/when she turned 15/ behind my back.” Think that’s cool? Their upcoming release The Widow was written using a Ouija board à la Season 4 of The Sopranos! Then there’s Yo La Tengo, who are always wonderful even though (or perhaps because) they sound pretty similar each time around. The Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7 p.m. All-ages. Free.


At the risk or being crucified by earnest Joanna Newsom fans, I’d venture to say Alela Diane one-ups the leprechaun-fairy harpist with a voice that’s both intriguing and accessible. Spare and unsettling, the Portland singer/songwriter’s brand of folk straddles the line between traditional and so-called freak subgenres brought to us Diane’s friend Newsom and wild-child Devendra Banhart. Her debut album The Pirate’s Gospel incorporates yo-ho-ho chanting, old-time handclaps, a creepy children’s chorus, whistling and humming over acoustic guitar and piano for a sound firmly rooted in American gothic—dark chords threading together allusions to home, family and sister self: “These are the teeth that I clench/ and the hazel of my sight/ ’cause the color she wears is mine.” The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Info: 746-0557

Also Thursday: Gladys Knight (Sandy City Amphitheatre); Mary Tebbs (Alchemy Coffee); Louis Logic, J.J Brown (Monk’s); Cary Brothers (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

Friday 7.20
George & Caplin (Kilby Court); Maximo Park (In the Venue); Swamp Donkeys, Anything That Moves (Bar Deluxe); Rasco, Concise (Urban Lounge); Deconstruct (Club Vegas)

Saturday 7.21
Last year, on one particularly oppressive summer day, I walked down 300 South en route to air-conditioned salvation at the Broadway Centre Theatre when, lo and behold, an explosion of activity appeared outside the storefront formerly known as—well, I don’t actually remember because it wasn’t nearly as cool as Slowtrain. The then-brand-new independent record store represented a new spring in downtown Salt Lake City’s step, with owners Chris and Anna Brozek offering much-needed support for local bands (as well as buying, selling, and trading CDs, DVDs and vinyl.) Today, they celebrate their first year in town by once again giving back to the community. Enjoy performances by Laserfang, The Lionelle, Palomino, Band of Annuals (fresh off a summer tour supporting their excellent new album Let Me Live), Cub Country, Wuhu Seai, Glinting Gems (with Terrence Warburton on bass) and Vile Blue Shades (fresh off an off-the-hizzy Utah Arts Festival appearance), plus raffle giveaways, free tacos and a chance to purchase Slowtrain’s Around the Bend local music compilation. Slowtrain, 221 E. 300 South, 12 p.m.-10 p.m. All-ages. Free. Info:

Boise’s Built to Spill just keep getting better and bigger: Doug Martsch’s beard is huge! And their most recent album You in Reverse is an impressive collaborative effort, with songs featuring parts written by each member of the once transitional crew. It’s not clear whether the songs are any longer, as BTS has always been keen on epic, sentimental jams. Martsch’s Neil Young-meets-Wayne Coyne vocals are distinct as ever, reverberating off of bluesy, ’60s wall-of-sound guitars while he sings about changing and remembering from whence you came. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 9 p.m. Tickets:

Also Saturday: U92 Summer Jam 2007: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (Great Saltair); Polynesian Festival Jam (Sandy City Amphitheatre); Ms. Led (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Marty Kasteler Benefit: Accidente (Bar Deluxe—see Music, p. 56)
Sunday 7.22
Mavis Staples, Bettye Lavette (Red Butte Garden—see Music, p. 55); Cowboy Junkies (Suede)

Tuesday 7.24
So Fugazi, Miles Davis and the Mars Volta walk into a bar and … well, Ian Mackaye walked right out because he doesn’t drink, and the others shrugged their shoulders and followed him for an impromptu jazz session because freestyle fusion is better than scotch. What might have resulted sounds not unlike Ahleuchatistas, North Carolina guitar/bass/drums trio whose third release What You Will packages 14 tracks of controlled chaos in one hell of a tight, devil-may-care instrumental experience. Those new to experimental music will delight in the group’s Jackson Pollack approach to sound: the refreshing spontaneity, short bursts, sharp shifts and meticulous chord progressions that seem directionless if you don’t know better. Monk’s, 19 E. 200 South, 9 p.m. Info: 350-9050

Wednesday 7.25
4-Play Concert Series (Gallivan Center); Things Falling Apart (Kilby Court); Woodbox Gang (Urban Lounge); Curtis Peoples (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

Hezikiah, Paulie Rhyme (Monk’s, July 26); The Start, Chow Nasty (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, July 26); Dr. Dog, Moe (Gallivan Center, July 26); Theo & The Skyscrapers (Bar Deluxe, July 27); Unwritten Law (The Depot, July 28); St. Vincent, Scout Niblett (In the Venue, July 28); Silversun Pickups (In the Venue, July 29); The Lovemakers (Liquid Joe’s, July 30); Aqueduct, Smoosh (Kilby Court, July 30); John Hiatt, Shawn Colvin (Deer Valley, July 31); Big Business (Liquid Joe’s, Aug. 1); Peter, Bjorn & John, Apostle of Hustle (Gallivan Center, Aug. 2); Copywrite (Monk’s, Aug. 2)
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