With a name like Mr. Gnome, one expects speed-guitar scales, D&D references'maybe even a Spinal Tap-worthy stage show. Instead, perhaps the only thing guitarist/vocalist Nicole Barille and drummer Sam Meister share with that assumption is pure sound cranked to 11. The Cleveland duo filters trip-hop rhythms through fuzzed-out speakers resulting in a Sabbath-meets-Tricky mash-up. Then there’s Barille’s wail, which at times she releases as if her soul is imploding. Starry Night, 200 W. Center, Provo, 8 p.m. All-ages. Info: MySpace.com/StarryNight.ntnttn
Also Thursday: Napalm Death (Club BoomVa, Ogden)
tIt’s like Coachella, with fewer bands, more water and about 40 degrees cooler. That’s a good thing. No crowds. No overpriced burritos. No dehydration-induced hallucinations. Sure, The Pixies and Bauhaus probably won’t show, but check out the lineup: Tonight features Uzi & Ari, TaughtMe, Drew Danburry, Weak Men, Return to Sender, followed by Saturday’s Seve vs. Evan, Kid Theodore, Eden Express, Joel Taylor and Sea.Mine, Seattle rockers whose frontman’s prog-worthy vocals contradict rampant comparisons to R.E.M. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24tix.com.
ttFor 10 years, the Clumsy Lovers fought technology, recording material that damned near replicated their live shows'none of that digital studio magic for their bluegrass-influenced work! But while success on the road came easy, the Vancouver, British Columbia, natives had trouble expanding their audience beyond standard pub and club crowds. It seemed incorporating some slick touches might not be such a bad idea. The result, Smart Kid, is actually not at all glossy. Producer John Webster simply fine-tuned the Lovers’ lively sound'humorous, wholesome lyrics, fierce fiddle, hurricane finger-pickin’'making it appropriate for both headphones and barroom jigs. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Also Friday: The Aquabats (In the Venue); Brad Paisley (ES Arena); Skullfuzz (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Glacial CD Release (Broken Record); The Lemonheads (The Depot'see Music, p. 51)
tOn Nov. 21, Jay-Z emerged from his Celine Dion/Elton John-style retirement to release the highly, albeit briefly, anticipated follow-up to 2005’s Black Album. Meanwhile, Talib Kweli, co-founding member of conscious-hip-hop trio Black Star, continued touring in support of his latest LP, Ear Drum. Despite mad talent (Hova himself once noted, “If skills sold, truth be told I’d probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli”), sales of his new work might pale next to Jay-Z’s comeback dividends. No matter. It’s never been about the money. Ear Drum’s “Country Cousins” says it all: “We stay connected by the slang we bustin’.” Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 8 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com.
COSM CD RELEASE
nWhen local drum-and-bass group Cosm splintered in 2004, remaining members Daniel Day and Amuse (aka Collin McIntire) weathered the loss of two key collaborators by heading back to the drawing board to repurpose their electronic/organic break-beats formula. The result is Microphone Boutique, an EP featuring Ms. Karter’s updated-soul sirens and Nevada emcee Ramases politically charged flow in what can only be called Cosm’s most successful'and approachable'efforts to date. Can’t wait for the LP. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Info: 746-0557
Also Saturday: Cold-Chella (Kilby Court)
tThe Dears are heavy, no doubt; 2003’s No Cities Left packed a depressive punch with songs like “Death to All the Romance,” the video of which depicted two animated toy bears torn apart when one is trampled underfoot, then hit by a car. But there’s an underlying humor to everything the Canadian quintet produces. Their tirades against social injustice are full of witty asides. This is most evident on the new Gang of Losers, a gorgeous, livelier work driven less by tears than rage. On “Whites Only Party,” singer/guitarist Murray Lightburn lets the bigots know, in a velvet baritone, “We didn’t come to steal your women/ At least that wasn’t the plan.” You can almost hear his eyes rolling. The Dears don’t take themselves too seriously'but seriously, don’t miss tonight’s show. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
tLike acid, peyote or a bottle of Nyquil, Evangelicals will get you high. The Ohio rockers aptly titled debut, So Gone, is chock full of disorienting sounds that whirl and twirl in a pattern that'if visible'might resemble the sign for infinity. This is no run-of-the-mill psych-pop. Josh Jones’ voice has an eerie retro tone suitable for Phil Spector-produced girl groups. Hollow and haunting, it echoes long after the drugs wear off. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com.
Also Tuesday: Kottonmouth Kings (In the Venue); Kurt Bestor Christmas (Abravanel Hall); Black Watch (Monk’s); Saliva (The Depot); Artemis Piledriver (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)
tt• Kurt Bestor Christmas (Abravanel Hall); Devotchka (Suede, Park City)
ttPlus 44 (In the Venue, Dec. 7). Tracy Lawrence (Port O’ Call, Dec. 7). Imogen Heap (In the Venue, Dec. 8). Rock Da Bells Tour (Harry O’s, Dec. 8). All-American Rejects (Great Saltair, Dec. 9). Trans-Siberian Orchestra (E Center, Dec. 9). Big John Bates (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Dec. 9). Swollen Members (Suede, Dec. 9). Dressy Bessy (Urban Lounge, Dec. 10). And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead (Avalon Theater, Dec. 14). Hinder (Great Saltair, Dec. 14). Amos Lee (The Depot, Dec. 14). Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons (Suede, Dec. 16). Bullet for My Valentine (Avalon Theater, Dec. 16). Naked & Shameless (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Dec. 18). Marie Osmond Christmas (ES Arena, Dec. 22). The Supersuckers (Suede, Dec. 31).