Sometimes called “acid folk,” most times referred to as “that band with the weird-ass name,” New Mexico’s ThaMuseMeant are back from a three-year hiatus/vacation during which they didn’t rethink the moniker. Aimee Curl (vocals, bass), Nathan Moore (vocals, guitar), David Tiller (mandolin) and new addition Enion Pelta (violin) deal in music that’s equally perplexing, neither jam-band noodling nor traditional bluegrass gospel swing but still incorporating heaping helpings of both. Along with openers Libby Kirkpatrick and Mary & Mars, it’s a full night of primo pickin.’ THURSDAY, Feb. 5 @ Halo, 60 E. 800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 363-4522 (with Libby Kirkpatrick and Mary & Mars).
MEST, FALLOUT BOY
Still don’t have much to say about Mest, pop-punk drones straight out of the generic markdown bin who’ve still somehow managed to pump out three (!) middling albums for Madonna’s old Maverick label and maintain some kind of a following with the mall rats. Fellow Chicagoans Fallout Boy, however, have the goods to burn with their debut, Take This to Your Grave (Fueled By Ramen), a dozen near-perfect blasts of hardcore energy and punk hooks. There’s no arguing with a song title like “Reinventing the Wheel to Run Myself Over.” FRIDAY, Feb. 13 @ In the Venue/Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 6 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Matchbook Romance and Dynamite Boy).
Just because he’s always been bigger in his native Canada than the US of A doesn’t mean veteran singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn has nothing to say about Dubya’s America: “Greed used to be a deadly sin, but now it’s a cardinal virtue,” he told the Boston Globe. “That’s a sick way to run a country.” Cockburn’s latest and 27th album, You’ve Never Seen Everything (Rounder), also doesn’t shy away from such social commentary, a biting slice of literate rock that makes you wonder why a Canadian is nailing it better than the Americans. FRIDAY, Feb. 13 @ Jeanné Wagner Theatre, 138 W. 300 South, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499.
“As a storyteller, my main job is to expose characters I’ve created,” says singer-songwriter Holly Palmer. “The immediacy of the human voice and all that it can convey are what I’m most interested in.” Unless you’ve heard Palmer, one of those rare musical chameleons who hangs in at a major label despite not moving major units, she might seem pretentious. I Confess (Warner Bros.), her second album, proves she can back anything up, smarter (and obviously sexier) than all pop-tarts on the charts combined—happy Valentine’s Day. SATURDAY, Feb. 14 @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 9 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with RealEyes).
It’s not easy to track down juicy new tidbits of info on a 40-plus-year blues legend like B.B. King, but perhaps this is something you weren’t aware of: “I never practice like I should and never have, really,” King said on the eve of his 78th birthday last year. “I play a lot and make mistakes and then have to cover them up. I then go back and practice what I messed up or else I’ll be expected to know how to do it again when it was a mistake to begin with.” Hmmm, pretty much how every column in this paper began. SUNDAY, Feb. 15 @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 7 p.m. Tickets: 355-2787.
A STATIC LULLABY
“I know we’re defined as hardcore or apple-core, but we’ve come off with so many different names we don’t really think are us just yet,” says bassist Phil Pirrone of A Static Lullaby. “It’s just what we’re being labeled as. We’re still waiting for that right one; we’d classify ourselves as hard rock.” The Chino, Calif., band’s debut, And Don’t Forget to Breathe (Ferret), easily fits that bill, along with the various ’cores and a dollop of emo—whatever that is anymore. SUNDAY, Feb. 15 @ Albee Square, 165 S. West Temple, 8 p.m. All-ages (with Beloved and Christiansen).
He’s young, but New Orleans jazz trumpeter-singer Jeremy Davenport has paid his dues alongside the likes of Harry Connick Jr. and ... Emeril Lagasse? Davenport has been a regular guest on the celebrity chef’s Emeril Live, even his bomb sitcom Emeril if anyone had actually seen it—what’s the connection? “Music and art is a lot like food,” Davenport told Jazz Review. “You have different styles of cooking and flavors.” Onstage, the GQ and Cosmo pinup boy is strictly old-school, à la Connick and Frank Sinatra, but don’t expect a buffet. MONDAY, Feb. 16 @ Sheraton City Center, 150 W. 500 South, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 278-0411.
“Denali” is taken from the Athapascan Indian name for Alaska’s Mount McKinley, just so you know—there’s no Johnny Denali on drums or anything. Virginia singer-songwriter Maura Davis and guitarist brother Keeley Davis (of Engine Down) formed Denali less than four years ago, but already have two critical-fave Jade Tree albums: 2002’s excellent Denali and last October’s even better The Instinct, which replaced the atmospheric trip-hop under Maura’s sweet vocals with grittier guitar-rock and more artsy extrapolation. Still don’t know how they ended up on a Deftones tour last year, though ... WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887.
Speaking of Alaska, here’s ... Alaska! The exclamation point belongs to the Los Angeles duo of Imaad Wasif (Folk Implosion, Lowercase) and Russell Pollard (Sebadoh), two indie-rock vets who recorded 2003’s Emotions (B-Girl), a blissed-out album of folk-pop as spacious and intimate as the great outdoors. Upping the cool factor considerably, ex-Red Aunts drummer Lesley Ishino is along for the ride—but not too loudly. “I don’t want it to be rock,” Pollard told In Music We Trust. “There’s nothing wrong with rock, but I want to affect people with soul, not rock.” WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 @ Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 9 p.m. Info: 328-0255.
SLUG: Death By Salt (Urban Lounge/Kilby Court, Feb. 19-21). Medeski, Martin & Wood (Suede, Feb. 19). KRS-One (Harry O’s, Feb. 21). Tooth & Nail Tour (Sound, Feb. 23). Lucinda Williams (Kingsbury Hall, Feb. 24). Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash (Sound, Feb. 25). Blind Boys of Alabama (Port O’ Call, Feb. 25). Julian Marley (Suede, Feb. 28). Mary Lou Lord (Kilby Court, March 1). Lucero (Albee Square, March 1). Dillinger Escape Plan (Albee Square, March 2). Ima Robot (Sound, March 6). Joan Baez (Kingsbury Hall, March 10). Bob Weir & Ratdog (Harry O’s, March 13). Sam Bush (Port O’ Call, March 17).