Live: Music Picks Jan. 7-13 

Blackalicious, Advent Horizon, Big Head Todd and more

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THURSDAY 1.7
The Nods

You want to be scared? I mean really frightened? Then go to The Nods' Facebook page. It looks like outtakes from some George A. Romero flick. OK, so the tongue is firmly planted in cheek, but their hilarious, gory photo gallery is quite a sight. In true garage rock form, their songs are tight, compact and muscular, and they'll knock the wind out of you just like that bully did back in middle school. One of the best songs on their Bandcamp page is called "Ignore the Scene," (something I've been trying to do for years, with no luck), but "Dull Swords" and "KULT 2" are just as righteous. If you show up with lots o' money tonight, here's good news: You can spend it at the bar, as there's no cover charge for tonight's show. That's one hell of a deal, since Bitchin', Donner Partyhouse and Red Bennies are also on the bill. (TH) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., free, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com

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SATURDAY 1.9
G-Eazy, A$ap Ferg, Marc E. Bassy, Nef the Pharaoh

From the streets of California's East Bay comes rapper G-Eazy. He found his beginnings in releasing early tracks on MySpace, rose during the countless tours he undertook opening for bigger acts like Snoop Dogg and Lil' Wayne, and his debut album, These Things Happen (RCA) peaked at the No. 3 spot on the Billboard 200. Since then, he's seen a meteoric rise. The lyrical themes of struggling to make it against the odds and a turbulent childhood have definitely struck a chord with a number of people. His headlining "From the Bay to the Universe" tour sold out completely as his album sells more and more copies every day. His second album, When It's Dark Out (RCA), was released in early December, and features multiple guests like Bebe Rexha, Big Sean and E-40. It's getting even more acclaim than his previous release, and now G-Eazy is embarking on another tour across America, Australia and Europe. His albums have now collectively sold over 600,000 copies and counting. (DB) The Great Saltair, 12408 West Saltair Drive, 7 p.m., $40, TheSaltair.com

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Paul Thorn
Blues singer/raconteur Paul Thorn is best known for wry, frequently self-deprecating story songs like "I Guess I'll Just Stay Married" and "It's a Great Day (for Me to Whoop Somebody's Ass)." His latest album, Too Blessed To Be Stressed (Perpetual Obscurity), is a bit different. "In the past," he writes on PaulThorn.com, "I've told stories that were mostly inspired by my own life. This time, I've written 10 songs that express more universal truths, and I've done it with a purpose: to make people feel good." He was already doing that before, but that's cool. A little positivity never hurts. (Randy Harward) Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd. (Ogden), 7 p.m., $27.24, EgyptianTheaterOgden.com

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Advent Horizon
Advent Horizon are a quartet who consider what they do "progressive rock." They call our fair city home, and are playing a holy handful of gigs all around Utah in places both far and wide. Now, back to the genre thing: Think prog rock circa 2015 and not, like, Emerson, Lake and Palmer or Yes. They're not your dad's prog rock. Their stuff gets angular and freaky, and they wouldn't sound out of place on the Warped Tour. See their new-school take on old-school sounds for yourself, and pick up a copy of their new LP, Stagehound. Orem's 20 Stories Falling and Draper's The Thrill Collective open. (Tim Hinely) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $6, KilbyCourt.com

As We Speak
A lot of musical acts have come out of Salt Lake City over the years: Chelsea Grin, The Used, Royal Bliss, Panic! At the Disco guitarist Dallon Weeks. Now adding to that list is the alt-rock group As We Speak. Their self-professed goal is to "write music they love that will leave all who listen a foot off the ground." They keep finding new ways to express the central ideas of their foundation of youth, love and living in the modern world in their songs, and they're currently at work their first full-length album. Although it's a sound some alt-rock fans might say they've heard before, As We Speak has developed a variation on that sound that is completely their own, and are attempting to reach out to a wider audience with it. Bands in this genre are hard-pressed to create something original and still thrive in the industry today, and As We Speak may be another success story in the competitive jungle of the genre. Time—and their debut full-length album—will tell. The Cardboard Club, Woffinden and Passport open the show (DB) The Loading Dock, 445 S. 400 West, 6:30 p.m., $10, LoadingDockSLC.com

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TUESDAY 1.12
Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Mike Doughty

Rocky Mountain blues-rockers Big Head Todd & the Monsters are a rare band. They're ace musicians who can jam like nobody's business, and singer-guitarist-songwriter Todd Park Mohr has songwriting chops to match. They play blues-rock, but they're poppy enough to be accessible (like their watershed single from 1993, "Bittersweet"), often bombastic enough to be arena rock (1997's "Resignation Superman"). They know their blues, as evidenced by their 1997 cover of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom," which featured Hooker himself, and their 2011 tribute album 100 Years of Robert Johnson recorded under the name Big Head Blues Club. But while they show reverence to the blues, they also add nice modern touches, like the drum machine on the cover of Memphis Minnie's "When the Levee Breaks" (see YouTube). And, again, they can play all night—but they keep the improv reasonable, and only do what serves the song. Lesser bands would fall apart trying to do just two of these things well, but BHTM has kept it together, with all original members, for 30 years. Joining them is another guy with multiple aces up his sleeve: Mike Doughty, once-upon-a-time frontguy for alt-jazz-hip-hop-rockers Soul Coughing, who brings relentless creativity, deft wordplay and his own mile-long discography. (RH) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 7:30 p.m., $26 in advance, $29 day of show, DepotSLC.com

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Blackalicious
Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel haven been at it for two decades and, judging by their fourth record, Imani Vol. 1 (OGM) they're still going strong. They're among the elder statesmen of the hip-hop scene and, as such, they focus more on the uplifting rather than the knuckleheaded and violent. The flows come smooth and seductive and, musically, it's all over the map—in the best way possible. Live, their numbers tend to increase; who knows how many folks will be on stage (maybe two, maybe 200), but this tour promises to bring many surprises. Local acts Dusk, House of Lewis and Swell Merchants round out the lineup. (TH) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $18 in advance, $20 day of show, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com

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