ttAll of the awards and critical acclaim won’t numb the pain Kristy Kruger’s experienced since her brother Eric, a dedicated soldier, was killed by a roadside bomb just months before she launched a tour in support of Songs From a Dead Man’s Couch. But music helped form a bond between the two siblings and Kruger achieves a slight sense of peace when performing her bittersweet collection of alternative-jazz and folk songs. And while her debut’s title indicates material sourced on a piece of living room furniture, certain tracks place the artist somewhere between an uptown piano bar and middle America on a porch swing during a rainstorm. Water all around and she keeps afloat. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with Leslie & The Badgers).
RICHARD BUCKNER, SIX PARTS SEVEN
ttRichard Buckner sounds straight out of Archer City, Texas, the bleak, tumbleweed town featured in the cinematic adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s devastating novel The Last Picture Show. The solo artist’s weathered vocals lift and lilt like a rickety parabola, shuffling along rhythms somewhere between traditional country, alt-country and the indie-rock of fellow Merge recording artists Spoon and M. Ward. While considered a lonesome dove (or a drifter born to walk alone), Buckner recruited instrumental artists Six Parts Seven to join him on the highway, byways and underpasses that dot his current tour. The group, a revolving cast of self-taught musicians whose compositions are a refreshing departure from typically flawless vocal-less works, will open for and support Buckner'a must-see rarity in a town that’s seen its share of gray skies. Velour, 135 N. University Ave., Provo, All-ages. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com (with Brinton Jones).
Also Thursday: Limbeck (In the Venue); Virgin College Mega Tour: Talib Kweli (McKay Events Center, Orem); Blue October (Great Saltair); Between the Trees (Solid Ground Cafe); Jedi Mind Tricks (Suede, Park City)
ttSure, he’s made some misguided acting decisions (Are We There Yet?, Are We Done Yet?, Are You Embarrassed Yet?), but Ice Cube still commands enough respect in the hip-hop world to say “Bow Down” with the same intensity he delivered as one-third of Westside Connection or even earlier with gangsta-rap pioneers N.W.A. When he’s not hamming it up with Nia Long or rumbling in the jungle with giant snakes onscreen, Cube’s in the studio backing that bad-ass up with heavy hit after heavy hit of gruff lyricism and monster beats. 2006’s Laugh Now, Cry Later is no Straight Out of Compton, or even AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, but it still features a raging Cube who’s not about to roll over and play suburban dad full-time. Not yet. There’s still room in his life for some backyard, boogie-oogie-oogie. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: DepotSLC.com.
Also Friday: God or Julie (Kilby Court); Purr Bats (Broken Record); SLUG Localized (Urban Lounge); KBER Salt Lake Soundcheck (Club Vegas); Monsoon Season (Zanzibar); Die Monster Die (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); The Earps, Slippery Kittens Burlesque (Bar Deluxe'see Music, p. 56)
nnSTEP IT UP
nFight for your right to party in a greener world with Step It Up, a nationwide event organized in conjunction with National Day of Climate Action. Volunteers and community activists will make it easy for participants to tell Congress where to shove pollution, encouraging legislation that will reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. And when musical guests Los Lobos, SLAJO, Brenn Hill, Motherlode Canyon Band, Salty Rootz and Blue Haiku perform, savor the opportunity to dance, eat, drink and be merry'without a gas mask. City & County Building, 451 S. State, 3-10 p.m.
Also Saturday: Sodacon (Alchemy Coffee); Men, Women & Children (Kilby Court); Andy Monaco (Pat’s BBQ); Blackhole, Accidente (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Automatic Body CD Release (Urban Lounge); Bitch (MoDiggity’s); Vast CD Release (Suede, Park City)nn
ttTYPE O NEGATIVE
ttHats off to goth-metal band Type O Negative for taking a soft-rock hit'Seals & Croft’s airy “Summer Breeze”'and turning it into a disturbing ballad for the ages (or at least the 1990s). Vocalist Peter Steele puts a sinister twist on lines about curtains hanging in windows, paper on the sidewalk and arms reaching out to hold (and perhaps suffocate?) him. The band is arguably more successful, however, with original material based on deeply personal experiences including Steele’s ongoing struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. Their latest release Dead Again is stronger than the somewhat gimmicky hits that caught our attention in the ’90s. That’s not to say the album is dull. As Steele observed, “This is what happens when you stop taking your psychiatric medication.” Great Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Dr., Magna, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.
Also Monday: MC Frontalot, MC Lars (Kilby Court); Prezident Brown (Monk’s)
ttPeople love or dismiss Wolfmother based largely on the Australian trio’s eerie similarity to metal pioneers Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Naysayers lament the obvious while fans rejoice in popular music’s return to heavy, fast, loud sound'even when it’s channeled through somewhat ridiculous songs like “Woman,” an organ-heavy tribute for the ladies. Dig ’em or hate ’em, Wolfmother is doing something right. They recently took home a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, the first Aussie win since Men at Work’s victory 25 years ago. The group also scored a tune for the much-anticipated summer blockbuster Spider-Man III, a movie featuring Spidey’s evil alter-ego. Sounds like a match made in stoner/geek heaven. In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Also Tuesday: Lola Ray (Kilby Court); Mute Math (In the Venue); Xiu Xiu, Sunset Rubdown (Urban Lounge); The Independents (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)
ttMos Def (University of Utah); Kottonmouth Kings (In the Venue); Lindsay Buckingham (The Depot); Grand Champeen (Urban Lounge)
ttPlacebo (Great Saltair, April 19). Peeping Tom (The Depot, April 19). Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (In the Venue, April 21). G. Love & Special Sauce (The Depot, April 21). Five for Fighting (The Depot, April 23). Brazilian Girls (The Depot, April 24). Aqueduct (Urban Lounge, April 25). Gwen Stefani (E Center, April 30). The Rapture, Shiny Toy Guns (In the Venue, May 2). Scott H. Biram (Urban Lounge, May 3). Insane Clown Posse (Great Saltair, May 5). Mastadon (In the Venue, May 7). HR of Bad Brains (Urban Lounge, May 14). Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (In the Venue, May 16). The Hold Steady (Urban Lounge, May 23). Cracker (Suede, May 18).