The Word (2/7): Chronicle’s guide to the SLC music scene

By By Makena Walsh

By Makena Walsh

Feb. 8Plastic Fantastic Lover$58 p.m.Broken Record Bar and Grill (1051 S. 300 West)

Evocative of fellow musicians Anton Newcomb and Daniel Johnston, Chris Jeffries shares the ’60s revivalist sentiment of the former, the organcentric song-crafting of the latter and the self-taught musicianship of both. Most likely named in reference to Jefferson Airplane’s song about a romantic liaison with a television, Jeffries lives up to this late 20th century influence by playing everything from dulcimer, accordion, organ, mandolin and cowbell, crafting laconic soundscapes that sound complete without lyrical accompaniment.

Feb. 8Alan Jackson$35 to $558:30 p.m.EnergySolutions Arena

Alan Jackson is one of the most recognizable names in the country music genre’s history — first making his mark in the ’90s with his fusion of mainstream country and honky tonk sounds. He is the quintessential American, marrying his high school sweetheart Denise Jackson in 1979 after achieving mainstream success. Running the gambit of the awards this artist has received is too large a project for the scope of this column, so a brief mention of the CMA’s 1995 “Video of the Year” will have to suffice. The video for the single “Chattahoochee” features the country music giant water skiing behind a Mastercraft in trademark holey blue jeans and a cowboy hat. One of the song’s many catchy refrains captures the essence of the video and Jackson’s career up to the present when describing a sultry Georgian summer on the river: “It’s hotter than a hoochie coochie.”

Feb. 8Mika$256 p.m.In The Venue(579 W. 200 South)

If Alan Jackson is the king of the New World, then Mika is king of the old. This enormously popular artist has written in-flight music for British Airways, an Orbit chewing gum jingle, as well as performed at the Royal Opera House. A Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, Mika was born in Lebanon but immigrated to England at the age of nine. After a tumultuous childhood filled with “bullies” and “dyslexia,” he trained with Alla Ardakov-a professional Russian opera instructor-and landed a deal with major label, Casablanca Records. His triple platinum debut, Life in Cartoon Motion, rests mostly on the contagiousness of its single “Relax, Take It Easy” and its Air Supply-influenced keyboard melody.

Feb. 13RX Bandits$18 9 p.m.The Paladium (615 N. 400 West)

Formed in 1996 in Orange County, Calif., RX Bandits blends punk and reggae guitar with “a lot of trumpets” and complex time signatures. In addition to paying its dues on The Vans Warped Tour, the group has hit the road alongside The Format, DESA and Gym Class Heroes — examples of a dedicated work ethic that helped land the band a spot at the 2007 Bonnaroo music festival. The Bandits’ latest effort, their fifth full-length album, is titled in reference to Romantic poet laureate Lord Byron, and continues the group’s characteristic evolution of sound. Look for them to be playing much from …And the Battle Begun at the spacious club, the Paladium.

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