Music Picks Jan. 31-Feb. 6 | French Quarter, Talib Kweli, Blood on the Wall, Ego Likeness, Bubba Sparxxx 

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Thursday 1.31
FRENCH QUARTER
I went to Phoenix once and was not impressed. It seemed to be a hotter, starlet-free version of Los Angeles, with miles of strip mall after strip mall void of individuality. Stupidly, I assumed Tempe to be pretty much the same. My bad. Come to find out Tempe is home to the non-nondescript entity Gilgongo Records, whose founder is hellbent on capturing not only local bands on vinyl but also conveying bits of their personalities through detailed album art. Yes, folks, the sky might be falling on physical CDs and records, but there are still enough people who care about owning a keepsake treasure from their favorite group’s heyday. Gilgongo’s French Quarter, for example, takes great pains to craft soft, understated (maybe a wee bit precious) pop masterpieces—do you really think he’s just going to toss his material in a blank jewel case and call it a day? Hardly. So come find out what French Quarter has to offer. He just might surprise you. Slowtrain, 221 E. Broadway, 8 p.m. Info: 364-2611

TALIB KWELI
The times, they’re changing. Brooklyn, even, it’s changing. These are the issues Talib Kweli has come to terms with since rising up from the streets to getting ink in The New York Times and maintaining hip-hop’s good name. He learned how to navigate the Internet and communicated with online users to improve his approach to making and producing music. He even teamed up with Corey Smyth of Blacksmith management, took the company to Warner Bros. and turned it into a full-fledged music label. Kweli is using his newfound knowledge and networking skills not only to promote his own material (including the incredibly tight Eardrum) but also shed light on the community that continues to nourish him. On BlacksmithTV.com, you can watch Kweli stroll through Brooklyn, catching up with friends M-1 of Dead Prez, Supernatural and Meshell Ndegeocello, and lamenting mainstream media’s tunnel-vision focus on hip-hop’s earning potential: “They never talk about the culture they never talk about the art of it” Informative and entertaining! Don’t miss his incredibly awkward run-in with a new Wall-Street-type neighbor. Oh, and don’t miss him live, tonight. Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 8 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com

Also Thursday: No Age, Liars (Urban Lounge—Read Article); SLAMMys Acoustic: Wendy Ohlwiler, Stacey Board, Eliza Wren & The Jewell Thieves, Dead Horse Point (Hog Wallow); Haste the Day, Scary Kids Scaring Kids (Avalon Theater); SLAMMys Acoustic: James Miska, Chaz Prymek, Chanticleer, Grizzly Prospector (Mo’s Neigborhood Grill); Sweatshop Union (Celsius Lounge, Park City); Vanna (Club NVO, Logan);

Friday 2.1
Poison the Well, The Chariot (Avalon Theater); SLAMMys Mellow Rock/Jazz: Aye Aye, Ether Orchestra, Coyote Hoods, Calico (Woodshed); SLAMMys Hip-Hop: Deadbeats, Knoitalls, Adverse (Monk’s)

Saturday 2.2
BLOOD ON THE WALL
There will be blood ... on the wall! Calm down. The Brooklyn rockers are not so morbid as their name suggests, though the brother/sister/drummer certainly have made an impact with more than a few unsettling songs—unsettling in that they don’t follow a linear rock or punk or post-punk map. Many of their efforts come across as half-finished or pasted together with not enough roll-on glue. Blood on the Wall’s latest release Liferz continues on a deliciously wayward path, one paved by each member’s marked mastery of his or her craft. Exciting. Raw. This is a sound that demands to be experienced live. Bonus: Salt Lake City’s own indie artist (and Kilby Court co-owner) Will Sartain will be releasing his new solo album, opening for the killer touring band. Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m.

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EGO LIKENESS
Steven Archer and Donna Lynch are two of those rare, blessed souls who manage to be good at pretty much everything they try. The husband/wife team produce highly appealing electronic/darkwave music as Ego Likeness, brushing strokes of brilliance with guitar that unfurls industrial heat and velvety vocals somewhere between Siouxie Sioux and Kate Bush. They also make videos with footage that juxtapose blood and alabaster skin; they appear at sci-fi and horror film conventions; they write novels and children’s books, paint and perform spoken word. Right now, they’re focused on the music, which is good news for everyone who attends tonight’s show. Audience members can purchase the limited edition EP South, the first in a series of four releases basedon the directional points of a compass. Here’s hoping North has little to do with the 1994 Elijah Wood film of the same name. Area 51, 451 S. 400 West, 6 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com (with QstandsforQ, Redemption)

BUBBA SPARXXX
That’s right—triple X, ’cause he’s sexxxy. You remember Bubba, don’t you? The man, myth, legend behind the 2001 hit “Ugly” with that sick Timbaland production (“Say what?”)? Rhymin’ chose him, and while he temporarily bounced off the radar, the tight white rapper is back and more committed than ever to keeping his precious South drrrty. In addition to releasing his latest album Survive ‘Til You Thrive, Sparxxx recently opened the Twice on Sunday recording studio in Tampa, Fla., to help all his local peeps get their careers started right. Come shake your Ms. (and Mr.) New Booty. Teazers, 366 36th St., Ogden, 8:30 p.m. Tickets: SmithsTix.com

Also Saturday: Editors, Hot Hot Heat, Louis XIV (Avalon Theater); Jason Isbell, Will Hoge (Paladium—see Music, p. 50); SLAMMys Electronic/Experimental: A. Vanranken, The VCR Quintet, Stephen Chai, Lapsed & Nonnon (Orange); SLAMMys Indie: Glinting Gems, Red Bennies, Purr Bats (Urban Lounge); Balance of Power (Club Vegas); Blue Man Group (ES Arena); Red Rock Hot Club (Utah Museum of Fine Arts); Duncan Shiek (Eccles Center, Park City)

Sunday 2.3
Yeasayer, MGMT (Kilby Court—
Read Article)

Monday 2.4
Dynamite Walls, E for Explosion (Kilby Court); Melvin Seals & JGB (Paladium)

Tuesday 2.5
The Toasters (Burt’s Tiki Lounge)

Wednesday 2.6
Cobra Starship (In the Venue); Black Dahlia Murder, 3 Inches of Blood (Avalon Theater)

Coming Up
Blacklist Union (Club Vegas, Feb. 7); Mika (In the Venue, Feb. 8); Big Noize Tour (Teazers, Feb. 8); School of Rock: Rolling Stones (Ecker Middle School, Feb. 8-9); Allred CD Release (Solid Ground Café, Feb. 9); Todd Snider (Paladium, Feb. 11); Saosin, Armor for Sleep (In the Venue, Feb. 12); Galactic (The Depot, Feb. 13); Limbeck, John Ralston (Kilby Court, Feb. 13-14); SLAMMys Final Show (The Depot, Feb. 15); Marilyn Manson (Great Saltair, Feb. 14)

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