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SLCene Suggests: 5 Tips for Your Week

by on July 10, 2012

The week ahead is jam-packed with worthy entertainment options–so many, in fact, that it’s impossible to fit them in just five picks. So, you’ll notice there’s a bonus pick this week–you’re welcome–and you’ll also want to consider some fine options that didn’t fit here, including the Liars show Wednesday at The Urban Lounge, Dan Sartain headlining Friday at Kilby court, and Jay Leno yakking about cars on Saturday night at Kingsbury Hall,  in association with the very cool Speed show at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Here are six picks for your week:

First things first: Clearly Ringo Starr has a looser definition of a musical “All-Star” than the rest of us. This year’s version of Starr’s touring band includes ex-Santana and Journey member Gregg Rolie, former Toto guy Steve Lukather and Richard Page, singer for the oh-so-forgettable Mr. Mister. I can only assume the rest of the guys from Wang Chung were too busy to join the party. That said, we are still talking about the chance to see a Beatle do his thing live, drumming along to his fellow band members’ hits and singing a few of his own, like “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Little Help From My Friends.” And with $20 lawn tickets available, the price is certainly right.

Ringo Starr brings his All-Star Band to Usana Amphitheatre Wednesday, July 11.

Having established a vibrant community of musicians, writers, dancers and other artists, local band Juana Ghani now has a brand-spanking-new CD of its distinct, gypsy-influenced sound so fans can appreciate the musical chops and lyrical complexities of Juana Ghani’s members outside the sphere of their wild live shows. Shall We Live Forever manages to incorporate sounds from around the world in its nine songs, and you can hear them live when the band takes part in the Underground Gypsy Cabaret Friday, which is also serving as the CD release party. Also on the bill is South of Ramona, a preview performance of the Black Box Belly Dance Affair and a slew of special guests.

The Intermountain West’s only LGBT film festival, the Utah Film Center’s Damn These Heels fest is bringing no less than 11 films to town, all of them running through the weekend at the Rose Wagner. The one that caught my eye is Wish Me Away, a documentary about mainstream country singer Chely Wright’s brave decision to risk losing her audience, and the support of her family, when she came out in a well-received autobiography. The film earned the Best Documentary award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival, among a slew of other awards at festivals around the country. Wish Me Away plays Saturday at 12:30 p.m., and that’s just one of the strong choices available through Damn These Heels.

It’s easy to be skeptical of these performances that combine the talents of the Utah Symphony with a pop artist’s catalog, but I went to see the Queen show last summer, and I’m now sold that it can work. The singer for that show certainly had Freddie Mercury’s voice down, and the guitar player that joined the fray was a competent-enough Brian May impressionist. This summer’s Deer Valley Music Festival opens with a night of Michael Jackson’s music, and he’s always been a favorite of mine (never mind the tabloid silliness–the man had serious skills as a songwriter and performer). James Delisco is the man tasked with delivering MJ’s vocals; he won some singing reality show on the E! Channel. Here’s hoping he’s up to the task. Even if he’s not, I’m hopeful the symphony members will break out into the “Thriller” dance at some point. It could happen!

Long-time Utahns will recall that well before bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt and Reel Big Fish helped turn ska-tinged tunes into mainstream “alternative” hits, Utah (and particularly Provo) had a thriving ska scene. A couple of the leaders of the Utah ska movement–Swim Herschel Swim and Stretch Armstrong–are reuniting this summer for a show that also includes long-time local faves Insatiable and 2 1/2 White Guys. It’s a perfect night to break out the old dancing shoes and take a ride in the way-back machine.

When I look at a CD cover and seeing one of the band members credited with “keyboard wizardry,” that’s typically a sign for me to put the CD down and slowly back away from the prog and/or jam band. But I didn’t do it this time because of the man whose name gives the band its moniker–Chris Robinson. Better known as the lead singer for the Black Crowes, Robinson is now leading the Chris Robinson Brotherhood around the country while his original band is on hiatus. The CRB’s new album, Big Moon Ritual, is indeed a big proggy, jammy blast of the blues-rock Robinson is known for, and the band is known for throwing a few worthy covers in its sets.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood headlines The Depot on Sunday, July 15.

From → SLCene Suggests

One Comment
  1. Dang, wish I would have found this post sooner! The Chris Robinson concert looks like it would have been a blast.

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