With a gloomy weekend approaching, this seems like a good time to make the best of the available indoor options. Starting tonight, there's plenty to do.
Although no one can accuse them of being the world's most original bands, Salt Lake City receives a healthy dose of roots rock courtesy of two of its more fun practitioners on Thursday night.
Down at the Urban Lounge - which doesn't get nearly enough props for booking hip young bands on a continual, almost daily basis - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are the headliners while Kentucky's Those Darlins open up.
The Honeybears, from Austin, Texas, came onto my radar via a practically breathless phone call from an old friend of mine who had heard them on Pandora and then dropped everything to purchase their first album, "Tell 'em What Your Name Is." He insisted I do the same, which I did. The 2009 release certainly wears its Motown/James Brown influences on its record sleeve, but what it lacks in stylistic creativity, it makes up for in raunchy fun and enthusiasm.
Much the same can be said for Those Darlins. Their self-titled debut is also fairly derivative - it's loaded with Bo Diddley beats, Chuck Berry-style riffs and recognizable rockabilly melodies â€“ but again, who cares? It's a fun record that even after two years of hearing its light-hearted odes to drunken refrigerator raiding and evil-hearted men, I still enjoy. -Both groups are on the road behind new records, BJL is touring behind "Shameless" and Those Darlings are supporting "Screws Get Loose." Somewhat surprisingly, tickets remain on sale at this writing and are available at 24tix.com, starting at $13. This looks to be a hoot.
Fans of twangy, rootsy country should check out Raul Malo on Friday night at The State Room. Music starts at 9 p.m. and tickets remain on sale.
My Chemical Romance, emo-rockers from New Jersey, arrive Friday on their latest tour at In The Venue. These guys have made their name for theatrical live shows and have two platinum records to their credit, including 2006's widely praised "The Black Parade." If nothing else, this show provides Salt Lake Valley's 20-something males a chance to wear their skinniest jeans and not feel the least bit self-conscious.
In a triple-bill down at The State Room, California's Cameron Rafati seems to be the headliner and plays at 10 p.m. Synth-rockers Imagine Dragons follow at 11:30 p.m. Also, Vibrant Sound opens the proceedings at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance. That's a lot of Saturday night sounds for $10.
Also, '80s rapper Kool Keith hits the Urban Lounge on Saturday. Tickets are available at 24tix.com.
Also, a play I reviewed earlier this month, "Borderlands" continues this weekend. The bad news is these showings are sold out. However, it's worth noting there are three more shows now added for next weekend starting April 15. If you like good, hyper-local theater that tackles weighty social issues, like homosexuality, the LDS church and wrangling with destiny, check it out. Visit http://www.planbtheatrecompany.org/planbtheatre/Borderlands.html for ticket info.
Follow Salt Lake Arts/Entertainment writer Scott Murphy on Twitter for the latest in concert announcements and links to other blogposts. Scott's at murphyinfo.