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Tom Freund, Chevron, Wet Confetti, Lucero, Lateef, Aquabats ...

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THURSDAY 7/7

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BEN HARPER, TOM FREUND

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Some artists prefer to hang behind the scenes, pulling strings to orchestrate performances for more high-profile musicians. Such is the life of Tom Freund, a multi-dexterous singer/songwriter best known for his work with Ben Harper. The two friends/collaborators bonded over Pleasure & Pain, an out-of-print album cherished in underground channels for its beautiful composition and heartbreaking genius. Freund’s third solo album, Copper Moon, presents clever lyrics riding his signature stand-up bass lines that, once visible, are impossible to forget. Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 581-7100.

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POINTER SISTERS

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I’m so excited! I just can’t hide it! The Pointer Sisters are back and I think I like it. They reigned supreme in the 80s, churning out hits and making us jump for their love. Then, like Wham!, Kajagoogoo and XTC, the daughters of a preacher man seemed to vanish faster than aerosol hairspray. In fact, they found an alternate venue to showcase powerful vocal chords, touring with numerous symphony orchestras including the Boston Pops. Then they recruited one of their offspring to beef up an already brick-house sound. Deer Valley Resort, Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, Park City, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 435-655-3114.

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Also Thursday: Cracker, The Iguanas (Gallivan Center); Lyle Lovett (Red Butte Garden); Matson Jones (Mo’s Grill); Jerry Joseph (Egos)

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FRIDAY 7/8

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CHEVRON

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Jevon Cutler doesn’t sweat the small stuff. In fact, he finds rejection humorous, particularly one record label’s biting response to Chevron: “Too story-problem for my aging tastes.” The mature executive didn’t “get” Cutler’s jittery, instrumental math-rock trio, with their experimental chord progressions and alternate time signatures. Good thing Cutler, along with two likeminded friends, started Schapendoes Records. Now he can produce even more complicated story problems to astound listeners of all ages. Only questionable marketing techniques'limited 50-piece editions, slow-moving 7-inch releases'can prevent Chevron from taking over the world. Help them out, would you? Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887 (with Wet Confetti and Smashy Smashy)

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Also Friday: Salt Lake Int’l Jazz Festival (Washington Square); Steve Miller Band (Usana Amphitheatre); They Might Be Giants (Arts Park, Springville); Motion City Soundtrack (In the Venue); Starmy (Monk’s); Echoset (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Horns (Urban Lounge'see Music, p.55)

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SATURDAY 7/9

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WET CONFETTI

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Portland trio Wet Confetti brings to mind early material by The Tremula (still formerly Redd Tape), with their jilted vocals and scattered, albeit completely scrumptious, compositions. Alberta Poon (bass), Daniel Grazzini (guitar/keys) and Mike McKinnon (drums) epitomize fun in stereo. Vocals dance between high-pitched yelping and soothing whispers, espousing pop sensibility along parallel experiments in noise. This Is So Illegal (Do It Fast) is neither distorted nor clean'just something to think about while dancing up a storm. Ironic Ashes, 184 W. 200 St., Provo, 6 p.m. All-ages. Info: 812-0393 (with Cart! and Chevron)

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Also Saturday: Salt Lake Int’l Jazz Festival (Washington Square); Melvin Seals & JGB (Forum at The Canyons, Park City); Kansas (Sandy Amphitheater); Q Stands for Q (Sugarbeats); Willowz (Mo’s Grill); Los Rojos, Thunderfist (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

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SUNDAY 7/10

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Salt Lake Int’l Jazz Festival (Washington Square); Patti Rothberg (Mo Diggity’s); Killith Fair (Country Club Theater, Ogden)

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MONDAY 7/11

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Evan Dando (Velvet Room); UTS National Freestyle DJ Championships (Players)

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TUESDAY 7/12

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LUCERO

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Nobody’s Darlings is more Lynryrd Skynyrd, less Jim Croce. While Lucero is often compared to Uncle Tupelo, the Memphis-based quartet wanted their latest album to tack extra oomph onto alt-country rock. Producer Jim Dickinson shuttled Ben, Brian, Roy and John into his Zebra Ranch, a cavernous barn in Mississippi, to record the band’s break from tradition. He related tales of his work with Black Oak Arkansas and Alex Chilton, among others, inspiring Lucero to kick out the jams. The result, That Much Further West, is like the second phase of a bad breakup'when you finally leave a couch littered in beer cans to rabble rouse in the streets. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887 (with The Honorary Title and The Glass)

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LATEEF, DJ REALM

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Quannum Records need barely lift a finger to promote its all-star lineup. The Bay Area label is responsible for producing Lyrics Born, Blackalicious, Maroons and Lateef the Truth Speaker, a lyricist who helped build Quannum from the ground up. Lateef’s positive, socially conscious words and cucumber-chill delivery are tied up in several ongoing collaborations and sideline gigs. He even recorded “Wonderful Night,” with Fat Boy Slim for the animated film, Robots, proving it’s possible to keep it real in a mainstream arena. Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.

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Also Tuesday: Gaelic Storm (Velvet Room); James Solberg (Brewskis, Ogden); Cinema Eye (Urban Lounge); Ray Lamontagne (In the Venue'see Music, p. 54)

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WEDNESDAY 7/13

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AQUABATS, EPOXIES, PHENOMENAUTS

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Tonight, grab your elbow pads and kneepads, pomp your pompadour and head out for a triple-threat ska bill guaranteed to elicit fond memories of English Beat and/or Gwen Stefani (before she pimped herself out to Tokyo). Watch as The Aquabats perform hits off their “epic new album” in various spandex costumes. Marvel at The Epoxies busting out new-wave synth-pop. Applaud The Phenomenauts for blending together punk, rockabilly and pop into one sci-fi extravaganza. Be sure to save enough energy to pogo, pogo, pogo. In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 800-888-8499.

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Also Wednesday: Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band (Gallivan Center); Devotchka (Egos); Dulcie Younger & The Silencers (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Abyssinians (Velvet Room); Colin Hay of Men at Work (Star Bar, Park City)

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COMING UP

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Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion (Gallivan Center, July 14). Betty (Paper Moon, July 15). 50 Cent (Usana Amphitheater, July 15). Corrosion of Conformity (Club Vegas, July 15). Young Dubliners (Velvet Room, July 15). Vans Warped Tour (Utah State Fairpark, July 16). Founders Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival (Snowbird, July 16). Throw Rag (Lo-Fi Café, July 16). Brian Jonestown Massacre (Velvet Room, July 18). Mark Knopfler (Abravanel Hall, July 20). Caesars (Lo-Fi Café, July 21). Cowboy Junkies (Red Butte Garden, July 24). Scout Niblett (Kilby Court, July 25). Alkaline Trio (In the Venue, July 27). U92 Summer Jam (Utah State Fairpark, July 30). John Prine, Kathleeen Edwards (Red Butte Garden, July 31). Motley Crue (Usana Amphitheater, Aug. 5).

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