Portia, Portia, Portia!: Seriously, Evan, Chris Merritt & Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees and Cory Layton 

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Portia Early, X96 weekend DJ and host of Live & Local (Sundays, 10 p.m.-Midnight), wants to tell you about three more of her favorite Utah bands and songs:

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Seriously, Evan “Hot and Handicapped”
nThis is the only song that mentions vocalist Joel Brown is paralyzed from the waist down—he also happens to be my new favorite person. He’s a high-spirited, down to earth guy. Oh, and can he sing and play guitar! Every song on the Magna trio’s debut Uno, is exceedingly light-hearted and sometimes downright funny. Seriously, Evan are reminiscent of a Weezer/Barenaked Ladies combo, though their main influences are listed as “Hot girls, cynicism, faith.” Did I mention they’re absolutely hysterical? MySpace.com/EvanSeriously

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Chris Merritt “Bleach”
nChris Merritt is a keyboard genius. I think he may be the male Tori Amos. He’s out-of-control good and deserves more than the requisite Coldplay comparisons that come up when I play him for my peeps. Even my arch-nemesis Circus Brown says Merritt sounds very much like Chris Martin, but “really brilliant.” I am particularly crazy about “Bleach” for the song’s video-game sound effects and catchy keyboard track. Merritt is more inspired by Rufus Wainwright, Frank Black and Billy Joel than a little UK band coming to town in November. Check out Merritt for a good keyboard thrashing on Nov. 15 at Velour, 135 N. University Ave., Provo. MySpace.com/ChrisMerritt

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Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees and Cory Layton “Ender”
nAbout 12 months ago, Provo electronic band Neon Trees moved to Los Angeles. Recently, their Orem friend/sound engineer/producer/studio musician Cory Layton recorded a lovely ballad with mohawked lead singer Tyler Glenn. This is a different turn for Glenn—a more bare-bones ballad featuring a simple piano, light percussion, guitar and vocals. I’m used to Glenn wailing and screaming to ’80s-type new-wave punk/pop, but this is really nice! Glenn has the vocals to do anything in my book. And, bands, Layton isn’t chopped liver, either! Contact him if you want to sound as good as this track does. MySpace.com/LaytonAudio

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Portia Early

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