Not every weekend of the year leaves a musical omnivore this undecided as to what they need to be doing. And there's so much to do, it's actually intimidating - because you don't want to miss anything, do you?
Let's look at the highlights. And Thursday offers the first, but hardly the last, tough choice.
Hey, it's always one of the big nights of the year when the Twilight Concert Series officially kicks off. And the 2011 edition is no different Thursday as Austin, Texas's hyper-creative Explosions In The Sky get their instrumental groove on for a crowd that could number around 30,000. How they'll go over with that big of an audience is anyone's guess. Get a sample of their sound from their Bonnaroo appearance last month:
Over at Red Butte Garden, veteran reggae-soul jammers Michael Franti and Spearhead will play a sold-old concert, that will likely be quite the dance party. This will not be your all-too typical seated RBG show. If you still want to go, there are routinely a small number of tickets for sale outside the gates.
Here's Michael and Spearhead playing "East to the West" at an Ireland gig:
On Friday, a couple of really solid options await - noticing a theme? - when Black Francis AKA Frank Black of The Pixies plays a solo acoustic concert at The State Room. If you're a fan of the seminal punk songwriter, this isn't a tough call.
And in a relatively unique doublebill, The Rosebuds and Other Lives play down at The Urban Lounge on Friday. What makes it odd, is that both bands are opening for indie-rock's hottest act - Bon Iver. The two bands will be on different legs of Bon Iver's tour, but you can see them together in Salt Lake. Go figure. Tickets are on sale at 24tix.com.
Here's a clip from both bands: First up, it's Other Lives playing "Tamer Animals," the title track from their second album. The clip below features The Rosebuds playing "Box Car."
On Saturday, the choices get tougher still as there are three fine options for music lovers.
Chuck Mead, who usually fronts country rockers BR-549, will be in The State Room for a solo gig. Mead was in fine form last September when he opened for Willie Nelson. This will be a good night of real country music. You can still get tickets at thestateroomslc.com.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals bring their Vermont hippy-rock to the Gallivan Center for what should be a fun show - and hopefully a drier night than last Sunday's Gallivan gig. Tickets start at $20 and remain on sale at smithstix. Rayland Baxter, fresh off his gig last month opening for The Civil Wars, opens this show.
Another option - and a free one - is to see Colorado troubadours, Great American Taxi at The Canyons in Park City. The Taxi are one of the hardest working acts out there - about 160 shows a year - and are well worth the drive. And they're imminently danceable. The music starts at 6 p.m.
Here's a clip of the Taxi in action recently.
And speaking of dancing, Sunday night offers a full-fledged dance party when Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings roll into Red Butte Garden. An added bonus is that zydeco legend Buckwheat Zydeco is the opening act. No tough decision on Sunday because this will be a slam-dunk blast. If you're on the fence about this, I feel it's my job to pull you off that fence. By all accounts, Sharon Jones ripped apart Pioneer Park last summer and her rock-solid band and horn section rock. Also, I can personally vouch for Buckwheat's unbridled enthusiasm and high-energy vibes. OK. Rant over. Tickets remain on sale.
Here's Sharon and the boys playing "Let Them Knock" on French TV.
And if you're not following me on Twitter, you should be. I'm @murphyinfo.