Live: Music Picks Oct. 29-Nov. 4 

The Sword, King Diamond, Heartless Bastards and more

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Heber Valley Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Oct. 28-Nov. 1)
The Heber Valley Western Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering commemorates 21 years in November—and, come to think of it, it seems it's been about that long since any of us city slickers have heard of the phenomena. The event covers the better part of a week, and you could do a lot worse than spend a few crisp autumn days in the picturesque Heber/Midway area. This year's performers are nothing to sneeze at, either, with the ever-popular Ghost Riders in the Sky, Jim Curry's tribute to John Denver and Michael Martin Murphy, known for country-pop hits, "Wildfire," "Carolina in the Pines," and "Geronimo's Cadillac." Check the website for complete schedule, accommodations and ticket prices for each event. (BS) Wasatch High School, and other area venues, 930 S. 500 East, Heber City, $10-$65,


click to enlarge Con Bro Chill
  • Con Bro Chill

Con Bro Chill
It's going to be a neon dance party of disco-funk, rave-rap and jovial life-lovin' pop and it's going to be a bit like watching a bizarre rendition of a live early-'90s music video, had the '90s been held together mostly by brightly colored duct tape. The Portland, Ore., group is known for their party anthem attitudes, reflected in their music videos and clothing brand, and in their newest single release, "What I Like" (with the rest of the record expected soon). There's not a negative song in the bunch, with titles such as "We Should Hang Out," "Power Happy" and "Come to My Party." Be prepared to question what the hell is going on; this show will be full of unexpected malarkey and multiple costume changes. Reggae group Este Noche opens. (TF) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, $15 in advance, $20 day of show,


Albert Hammond Jr.
  • Albert Hammond Jr.

Albert Hammond Jr.
How musical fashions change. Hammond's band, The Strokes, was at the top of the of indie-rock cool-cred charts several years ago. And, although they never matched the success of their breakthrough, Is This It, there hasn't been anything in indie music quite like them since: a combination of musical-trust DNA (the guitarist's father is Albert Hammond Sr. of "It Never Rains in Southern California" fame), nattily dressed garage-rock aesthetics, and sheer rock chutzpah tempered with great hooks. The junior Hammond's third solo release, Momentary Masters (Vagrant) finds his songwriting and playing more focused and lyrically terse, yet still evocative. "Born Slippy" isn't the Underworld number—but in an alternate universe, it might be just as big a hit. (Brian Staker) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $13 in advance, $18.50 day of show,


Small Black
  • Small Black

Small Black, Painted Palms
If you want to dress up for Halloween a day early, no one will look twice if you dress as an '80s synth-popper—and Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Small Black will certainly welcome it. The quartet just released their third record, Best Blues (Jagjaguwar), and its warm synth-pop sounds are perfect for an evening of being elbow-to-elbow with folks you don't know. Be sure to catch openers Painted Palms, who just released their second record, Horizons, for the Polyvinyl label. These guys are likewise synth-minded, but blend it with Beatles-style psychedelia, which will provide a nice complement to Small Black. (Tim Hinely) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show,


The Sword
  • The Sword

The Sword, All Them Witches
Austin, Texas, is such a music town that even heavy metal—a genre seemingly unlikely for the region—flourishes there. The Sword has plied its brand of stoner doom metal (a la Sleep and Witch Mountain) to some acclaim since 2003, but began moving toward a more hard-rock sound with 2010's Warp Riders. Their latest release, High Country (Razor & Tie) finds them settling into a Thin Lizzy-style sound. Some fans complain the new sound isn't metal enough, but even without the epic instrumentals and George R.R. Martin/Robert E. Howard sci-fi/fantasy lyrics, The Sword still sounds larger than life. Nashville psych-rock band All Them Witches open on the heels of their new album Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (New West), and what could be more appropriate for Halloween? (BS) In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 8:30 p.m., $20 in advance, $22 day of show,


King Diamond
  • King Diamond

King Diamond, Exodus
Back in the '80s, satanic heavy-metal singer King Diamond took kabuki makeup used to great advantage by Kiss to a sinister level, adding inverted crosses and a baleful grimace. He scared the bejesus out of me. It didn't help that my Born Again father kept talking about how I was destined for hell just for listening to hair bands, or the Fat Boys, or anything that didn't exalt the Lord. So just looking at this Danish dude's picture felt like mortal sin, and listening to his operatic wailing, buttressed by a twin-guitar assault and evil metal tritone, was inviting Lucifer to take the wheel. Then someone compared KD to the Hamburglar, and I lightened up, realizing that the makeup and the stinkeye (dibs on that band name!) are nothing to worry about—ditto Jesus or Satan. And finally, finally, I was able to enjoy some of the finest heavy-metal music ever made, including Abigail, King Diamond's magnum opus, which he's performing in its entirely on this tour, along with selections from his new release, Dreams of Horror (Metal Blade). Too bad he's not eviscerating the new, studlier Hamburglar, who should definitely be ahead of KD in line for Hell's 10th circle. Speakin' of good metal: California thrash gods Exodus join King, touring behind Blood In, Blood Out (Nuclear Blast), for a bitchin' double bill. Guys, if you're reading this: Pleasepleaseplease play your cover of War's "Low Rider." Please. I'll bring the cowbell. (RH) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 7 p.m., $30 in advance, $35 day of show,


Heartless Bastards
  • Heartless Bastards

Heartless Bastards, Slothrust
It's hard to believe Heartless Bastards have been at it for more than a decade. This Texas-via-Ohio bunch, led by Erika Wennerstrom, are still cranking out a heady brew of hard rock, garage, blues and country. In live performances, the band lays down a scrappy, precise groove—and they never, ever forget their amps (honest—it might get loud). Openers Slothrust, from New York City, are a little bluesier (or is that bloozier?) than the Bastards, but sonically, a good match. I'm not telling you people what to do, but earplugs might be a good idea (and remember to wash behind your ears). (TH) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $20,


MC Lars
  • MC Lars

MC Lars
In this crazy decade, one of the things you can do if you're a 30-something is to become a rapper, as did Andrew Robert Nielsen, aka Lars Horris, MC Lars, to be exact. For a decade, he's been one of the chief practitioners of nerdcore hip-hop, with shout-outs to emo, indie and post-punk bands, as well as Shakespeare and Poe. He will likely premiere songs from his The Zombie Dinosaur LP, due out Nov. 6 on Horris Records. It's also probable old faves like, "Hot Topic is not Punk Rock," "This Gigantic Robot Kills" and "Flow Like Poe" will be heard. That's correct: Edgar Allan. (BS) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $12.50 in advance, $14.50 day of show,


Rusted Root
  • Rusted Root

Rusted Root
Rusted Root's breakout hit "Send Me on My Way" conjures an image of a human baby, riding on the back of a woolly mammoth, accompanied by the ragtag group of misfits from Ice Age having a sweet and lighthearted journey. Rusted Root is well-known for jaunty polyrhythmic tunes, but they can get serious, like the song "Smarty Pants," featured on Buy This Fracking Album (Movement, 2015), a two-disc anti-fracking compilation album also featuring Michael Franti, Moon Hooch and others. When Rusted Root jams, they sound like a mellow Led Zeppelin—in fact, they've been known to play "Heartbreaker." Even if they don't whip out that particular cover, their repertoire is deep; they're as likely to cover The Rolling Stones or Neil Young, as play one of their own numerous unreleased tunes. (TF) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $28


Here We Go Magic
  • Here We Go Magic

Here We Go Magic
I just don't get how bands decide what to call themselves these days. But Brooklyn, New York indie band Here We Go Magic seems to, in accordance with their name, rush headlong into whatever stylistic whim takes their fancy from moment to moment. Their latest, Be Small (Secretly Canadian) tells a story, maybe not on an epic scale, but it holds you spellbound. From lo-fi pop and rock to synthesizer psychedelia, freak folk and noise, they don't seem to take any of it too seriously, but the effortlessness with which they flit from one thing to the next evokes a bit of awe. But then, dork that you are, you find yourself dancing to it even though you can't dance. (Brian Staker) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $15 in advance, $17.50 day of show,

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