LIVE: Music Picks Oct. 27-Nov. 2 

The Faint,Big Sam's Funky Nation, Zed's Dead and more

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THURSDAY 10.27
Nobunny

Nobunny performed at The Urban Lounge a little over a year ago; a reprise so soon is a treat for Salt Lakers with an affinity for goofy garage-rockers in bunny masks. What's that, you say? Another genre hair-split because every band has to be a special snowflake? Nah. It's more like San Francisco-by-way-of-Tucson headcase Justin Champlin is just doin' his thing, kneeling at the altar of the Ramones, Bon Scott-era AC/DC, The Cramps and Hasil Adkins on his most recent album, Secret Songs (Goner, 2013). Not that music that unites three-chord punk, bluesy cock rock, psychobilly, outsider twang and hyper-reproductive lagomorphic fuzz-balls can't be its own genre. But if it is, let's call it Eggcore. Or Paas-step (paws-step?). (Randy Harward) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $12 in advance, $14 day of, 21+, Facebook.com/MetroMusicHall

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FRIDAY 10.28
The Faint, Gang of Four, Pictureplane

This Friday brings us a show not for the faint of heart. The Faint was one of the original post-punk emo-disco bands, emerging from Omaha, Neb., slightly more than 20 years ago. Doom Abuse (SQE, 2014) is their most recent release, but of greater note this Halloween season is their classic 2001 release Danse Macabre (Saddle Creek), re-released in 2012. Of more historical interest is seminal, highly influential British post-punk-funk unit Gang of Four, who date back to the late '70s, and are still keeping up the pace with their 2015 release What Happens Next (Metropolis). Their politically charged dance music is as biting and bracing as ever. Travis Egedy, aka Pictureplane, was joking when he coined the term "witch house" to describe spooky electronic music, but a slew of artists, including Crystal Castles and Purity Ring, picked it up and ran with it. (Brian Staker) In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6 p.m., $29.50 in advance, $32.50 day of, InTheVenueSLC.com

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FRIDAY-SATURDAY 10.28-29
Get Freaky: Zed's Dead, Flux Pavilion, Choice, Brisk and more

If you've spent much time as a fan of live concerts in Salt Lake City, you probably have some history at Saltair, constructed in 1893 as the Coney Island of the West. For me, it was the Butthole Surfers opening for Stone Temple Pilots at the height of the grunge years. Surviving fire and flood, the venue is as tenacious as the pesky brine flies that inhabit its shores. This Halloween weekend, the two-day event Get Freaky serves as the EDM soundtrack to a ghoulishly festive phenomenon. The 25-act bill is split about 50/50 between touring and local acts. The touring half is comprised of musicians from the current Safe in Sound tour, with headliners Zed's Dead (Friday, pictured) and Flux Pavilion (Saturday) joined by Alison Wonderland, Bear Grillz, Black Sun Empire, Machete, Atrophia, Mija and more. The local part includes Choice, Brisk, Eye AM, Stuzz and eight others. Arrive early, as venue parking ($5, cash only) tends to fill up. (BS) The Great Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Drive, 7 p.m., $50 (single-day), $90 (both days), TheSaltair.com

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MONDAY 10.31
Elytra, DJ/DC, Gonzo

Elytra—a band founded by local music mainstay Lindsay Heath—bends genres and genders in their live show, but that's secondary to their songs, which identify as neutral and universal. The five tracks on their debut EP, Embers and Stardust (Elytra.Bandcamp.com), have something for everybody. Put simply, it's pop music in the mold of Neon Trees if, say, Rufus Wainwright joined the band—pop through a singer-songwriter's lens. The songs strike a deft balance between lowest-common-denominator appeal and an artsy edge that'll please hipster music snobs. And if you dig deep, you can find some LGBTQ significance in Scotty Ray's lyrics, but they're ambiguous enough to apply to anybody. Not bad for a band that's "ostensibly 6 months old," guitarist Secily Saunders says. If this is what they're putting out now, wow. Imagine what's to come. (RH) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., free, 21+, Facebook.com/MetroMusicHall

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Big Sam's Funky Nation
Here's another one from the Self-Applied Genre Label files: Noladelic power funk. It's a good one, huh? The portmanteau of the abbreviation for New Orleans, La., and "psychedelic" tells us to expect jubilant jazz and plenty of horns—but the band's particular audio gumbo is gonna induce hallucinations. "Power" lets us know they're coming on strong and are perhaps influenced by esteemed Bay Area brass juggernauts, Tower of Power. And "funk" means groovy and stanky. The seemingly bad connotation of the last adjective ain't so bad, actually, if it means that Big Sam and the other four members of the Funky Nation put a little more stank on their stuff—which they do. "We play music for everybody," Sam says in the Nation's official propaganda. "It's not just funk; that's the foundation, but the music goes from funk to rock to wild jazz. It's music about love and partying. Everyone can get down with that." True dat! When Sam pumps up the crowd with chants of, "Gimme dat funky horn, y'all!" he's like a tent preacher inciting his congregation to quake their booties for the Lawd. So expect The State Room's pews to seem well placed tonight. (RH) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $20, 21+, TheStateRoomSLC.com

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TUESDAY 11.1
Tatsuya Nakatani

Who doesn't love an extended drum solo? Well, Osaka-born experimental solo percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani is more Danny Frankel, John Zorn and Philip Glass than, say, John Bonham or Tommy Lee or Mike Mangini. He has an epic kit—including many gongs, but it's not a percussive edifice on a roller coaster. No, he lets the music be his special effects, using bows to coax moans, drones and wails from those XXL cymbals, and a pile of mallets, brushes and bowls to beat, scratch and rub tones, knocks and taps from the skins, rims and bolts of his sparse configuration of drums. And if that's not crazy enough, wait'll he goes cymbal-on-membrane—or even more insane, gives his drum heads head! (That's not gross. But it would've been if I'd said he gave 'em the ol' Bill Cosby zerbert. Sigh.) Anyway, this is gonna be a zerbert for your mind. (RH) Diabolical Records, 238 S. Edison St., 8 p.m., $5 (suggested donation), Facebook.com/DiabolicalRecords

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WEDNESDAY 11.2
Nik Turner's Hawkwind

More than four dozen musicians have passed through the storied space-rock outfit Hawkwind, including the late, great Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister of Motorhead, Ginger Baker of Cream and shock-prog pioneer Arthur Brown, aka "The God of Hellfire!" Nik Turner was there from the beginning, or at least close to it, aiming to be their roadie, but joining the band at its outset. From 1969 through 1976 (and again for a couple of years in the '80s), Turner was the free-jazz influence in the band, performing wind instruments (flute, sax) and vocals in the band's far-out prog-psych jams while swathed in Ancient Egypt-inspired garb. As you might surmise from the nominal distinction in Turner's iteration of the band, it's not actually Hawkwind. Founder/nucleus Dave Brock still leads the official version, which we'll probably never get to see here in SLC. But it's just as exciting to get a chance to witness Turner perform Hawkwind's epic, towering music on Urban's stage. (RH) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 6 p.m., $15, 21+, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com

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