Words may never hurt Jay Nash, but they certainly inspire him to kick things up a notch. Following a somewhat lackluster review in Harp Magazine, the California-based singer-songwriter pledged to impress the reviewer (City Weekly contributor Randy Harward) with new, improved material'not that everyone shares Harward’s opinion. Brady Lahr digs Nash enough to release a live recording of one Room 5 performance on Kufala Recordings. There, everyone knows your name, and no one cares if you bowl over the critics. It’s everywhere else that Nash is trying to reach. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Info: 746-0557, MySpace.com/TheUrbanLounge.
Also Thursday: Plastic Crimewave Sound (Kilby Court); Less Than Jake, Rock & Roll Soldiers (In the Venue); Year Long Disaster (Suede, Park City)
It’s hard to keep track of Guru. The hip-hop-aholic is all over the place, developing JazzMatazz albums between Gang Starr gigs while keeping his latest project under wraps. Every move he makes is documented through dogged vocals that flow in place, avoiding drastic highs and lows. His recent release, Guru 7.0: The Street Scriptures matches his trademark tone with guest performers including Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, The Roots, Les Nubians, Angie Stone and Erykah Badu. Each helping hand is designed to further Guru’s goal for 7.0: “I want people to make love to this. I want some kids to be born offa this.” The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m.
Also Friday: Circle Takes the Square (Kilby Court); Relient K (In the Venue); Phunk Junkeez (Suede, Park City)
BIG BUSINESS, BLACKHOLE
“Take my advice, don’t come any closer,” Big Business howls on “Pocus Focus.” At first, it seems wise to comply. The Seattle-based rockers give drum & bass a whole new meaning with dueling guitar-free solos, operatic vocals and amps turned to 11. Yes, it’s pretty intimidating. Then you visit their Website and realize the snarling men are just a bunch of teddy bears in tough-guy drag. BB’s blend of humor and strength is likely even more appealing in person. Just like Blackhole'local double-bass fanatics whose fierce bark masks their undeniable soft side. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. Info: 320-9887, KilbyCourt.com. (with Form of Rocket and In Camera)
THE SKIRT CHASERS
Elvis didn’t just leave the building'he moved to Portland to front a rockabilly band. The Skirtchasers’ Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is a dead ringer for the King, although his vocal range favors more yelps, hoots and hollering. Such distinctions are key for a trio that might otherwise get lost among similarly structured bands. Get down'and possibly inked'when the Skirtchasers perform at the Salt Lake City International Tattoo Convention and/or Burt’s. Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S. West Temple, 5 p.m.; Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 746 S. State, 10 p.m.
Also Saturday: Rattle & Hum: U2 Tribute (Club Vegas); Vile Blue Shades, The Wolfs (Starry Night, Provo); Phono CD Release (Urban Lounge'see Music, p. 56)
Mitch Hedberg once asked, “What’s it like for a giraffe to get a sore throat? Damn!” The Giraffes’ vaguely surf-and-garage-tinged rock & roll could be footnoted as being as deceptively simple as a Mitch riff, with layers of intelligence and cultural punch lurking beneath the surface, but maybe it’s best just to leave it at guitarist Damien Paris’ description of the band: “sexy metal.” The Brooklyn band’s 2005 self-titled Razor & Tie debut lays it all out with a deadly McDLT combo of hot musicianship and cool tunesmithing'sore throats optional. Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255, ClubEgos.com.
Also Sunday: Starmy, Heaters, Trash Models (Monk’s); Joseph Israel (Urban Lounge)
SKA BRAWL 2006
Let’s get ready to rumble … er, skank? That’s right, just when you thought ska was dead, Megalith Records organizes an event guaranteed to generate a renewed interest among young rude boys and gals. Considering the lineup, such revivalism might not be such a bad thing. The Toasters, for example, raised their horns in 1982'long before Gwen cut a hit. Satori and Westbound Train came around a bit later, but their sound indicates allegiance to the second wave. So bring your dancing shoes, but don’t expect any pop punk to get the party started. Avalon Theatre, 3605 S. State, 6:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Why no one’s produced a buddy-cop film starring Aceyalone and RJD2 is not just a mystery'it’s a damned shame. If the emcee/producer duo is brilliant in the recording studio, surely mad chemistry might translate on the big screen. Imagine the cinematic thrills and chills set to Magnificent City, their first full-length collaboration. “Fire” could play in the opening scene where a woman is kidnapped, remnants from her red dress scattered on a dance floor. Our hip-hop leads crack the case as “Supahero” blazes behind them. As the credits roll, you realize they did it “All for U.” The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m.
Also Tuesday: Little Feat (The Depot)
Motion City Soundtrack (Avalon); Haste the Day (Club BoomVa); Jim Bone & the Dig (Egos'see Music, p. 55)
Victor Wooten (The Depot, Feb. 25). Big Head Todd & the Monsters (Suede, Feb. 25). Swearing at Motorists (Kilby Court, Feb. 26). Low (In the Venue, Feb. 27). Matt Pond PA (In the Venue, Feb. 27). Armor for Sleep (Avalon, Feb. 27). Reverend Horton Heat (The Depot, March 3). Neutral Boy (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, March 9). Exene Cervenka & the Original Sinners (In the Venue, March 10). Unwritten Law (The Depot, March 10). P.O.S. (March 13, In the Venue). Electric Six (Urban Lounge, March 17). Beth Orton (In the Venue, March 20).