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Thursday 8.31
PORTUGAL. THE MAN

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Maybe it’s the name that pisses off critics. Not sure what else might incite such rage against an up-and-coming indie band. Bred in Alaska, the energetic foursome is slammed for rocking like an abbreviated Mars Volta. Some reviews critique their attempt to orchestrate a multigenre sound. Others rip on John Baldwin Gorley’s rather womanlike voice. Truth is, P.TM pen catchy songs. “Chicago,” off their debut Waiter: You Vultures!, is a electro-slamdance rollercoaster riding scratchy keys and funky hooks. When Gorley orders, “Burn this motherf'ker down,” it’s almost as inviting as Bloodhound Gang’s fiery chant of old. Perhaps P.TM should just rethink aggressive punctuation. Then! Haters … might? Like: Them. Avalon Theater, 3605 S. State, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: KTix.net (with MeWithoutYou).

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Also Thursday: Toto (Sandy Amphitheater); David Olney (Spur Bar & Grill, Park City)

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Friday 9.1
A DIFFERENT DRUM: SYNTHPOP FESTIVAL

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Someone out there has been waiting for this'a legal synthpop bender. Perhaps this person is a member of A Different Drum’s Synthpop Addict Club, an organization designed to foster, not extinguish, obsessive passions. Like any decent record label, ADD has a vested interest in cultivating devoted listeners. The Utah-based business, which also functions as a music store and distributor, goes out of its way to provide synthophiles with all-they-can-handle popular, imported and/or independent electronic tunes not available at Big Box No. 68909049. For the next two days, longtime listeners and newbies alike can revel in the sounds of Monica Schroeder, The Dignity of Labor, Joy Electric, Moulin Noir, 20Goto10, Faith Assembly and other tech-oriented artists. Red Lion Hotel, 161 W. 600 South. All-ages. Info: ADifferentDrum.com.

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Also Friday: Vince Neil (Ogden Amphitheater); I Can Lick Any Son of a Bitch in the House (Egos); The Miranda Project (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); The Adonis (Urban Lounge'see Music, p. 49)

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Saturday 9.2
TED DANCIN’

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Niki Wylie’s departure for Seattle last spring created a void in Salt Lake City’s music scene as Ted Dancin’ went the way of the dodo. Or so it seemed. Now it looks like the eclectic DJ team is more closely related to the broad-winged hawk, an occasional transient resident of Utah whose presence alleviates fierce cravings for Michael Jackson (pre-scandal), Otis Redding, David Bowie, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, 50 Cent, Rick James, James Brown and other legends guaranteed to put ants in your pants. Wylie’s in town. Let’s get busy. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Info: 746-0557.

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Also Saturday: Los Tigres del Norte (Usana Amphitheatre); The Curtains (Kilby Court); More Than Never (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

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Monday 9.4
THE GOSSIP, MIKA MIKO, ERASE ERRATA

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Things are looking up. Britney’s lost it, L-Lo’s exhausted, Hilary made the mistake of hooking up with her sister, Jessica’s tainted goods, Ashlee’s nose job is worse than Jennifer Grey’s, and everyone forgot about Kelly. Which leaves room for real-deal female musicians to step in and show those dippy divas who’s boss. Case in point, The Gossip, Mika Miko and Erase Errata. The former, fronted by vocal powerhouse Beth Ditto, throw down Southern dance-punk with a dose of soul. The second, featuring five fierce ladies, whip out frantic, defiant punk shouts reminiscent of Kathleen Hanna’s most raw work. And finally, the latter trio spit spastic, rhythmic post-punk with a trumpet to boot. Yep, things are looking mighty fine. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com.

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REGGAE SUNSPLASH

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In eighth grade, I helped choreograph a hip-hop dance set to UB40’s cover of Elvis’ “I Can’t Help Falling In Love.” What the hell were we thinking? Well, strangers in a strange land do strange things. Jocks forced to pass Dance 101 don’t immediately realize that when it comes to bustin’ moves, MC Hammer is far superior to a redhead-fronted reggae-pop group. Lesson learned. Reggae Sunsplash is a much more appropriate atmosphere in which to enjoy UB40, “reggae ambassadors” Third World (perhaps the most prolific crossover artists in reggae history), Maxi Priest (who wants to get close to you) and Rik Rok (best known for backing Shaggy on the sexed-up “It Wasn’t Me”). Dance accordingly. Usana Amphitheatre, 5400 S. 6200 West, 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.

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Also Monday: The Thieves (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

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Tuesday 9.5

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Alejandro Escovedo (Pat’s BBQ'see Music, p. 50); The Like Young (Kilby Court); Sweatshop Union (Urban Lounge)

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Wednesday 9.6

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Mae (Avalon Theater); Tracy Lawrence (Teazers, Ogden)

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COMING UP

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Utah State Fair (Utah State Fairpark, Sept. 7-17). Legendary Shack Shakers (The Depot, Sept. 7). Vast (Avalon Theater, Sept. 8). Alan Jackson (Usana Amphitheater, Sept. 9). Shooter Jennings (The Depot, Sept. 9). Nouvelle Vague (Urban Lounge, Sept. 10). Jurassic 5 (The Depot, Sept. 11). Yard Dogs Road Show (Suede, Sept. 14). Gigantour: Megadeth, Lamb of God (Usana Amphitheater, Sept. 15). Sugarcult (Avalon Theater, Sept. 15). Brian Jonestown Massacre (Urban Lounge, Sept. 15). Reggae In the Mountains (Gallivan Center, Sept. 16) Elton John (E Center, Sept. 19). Mofro (Suede, Sept. 20). Redfest (University of Utah, Sept. 21-22). Soulfly (Club Vegas, Sept. 21). Band of Horses (In the Venue, Sept. 28). The Strokes (In the Venue, Sept. 29). North Mississippi All-Stars (Suede, Oct. 1).

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