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Project .44, First Night, Whole Lotta Rosies, Thunderfist, Form of Rocket ...

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Thursday 12/29

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Jackass (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); Dub Reed (Egos); Da Verse, The Body, Starmy (Urban Lounge)

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Friday 12/30

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PROJECT .44

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Nü, black, hardcore, whatever'there’s no faction of rock that gets anger across quite like the machine-drum slam and electrostatic snarl of good ol’ industrial metal. Sure, Chicago’s Project .44 are slaves to the Ministry/Skinny Puppy grind, but caustic epics like “Warpath” and “Return of the Soldier” from The System Doesn’t Work (Project44Music.com) are so viscerally catchy, who cares? With another six months of the Patriot Act on tap, we could all use it. Club Vegas, 445 S. 400 West, 9:30 p.m. Info: 364-8347, ClubVegas.org (with Voodou and Digital Mindy).

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DIE MONSTER DIE, LEFT FOR DEAD

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Like the Misfits, kids? Give local semi-legends Die Monster Die a pre-New Year’s spin'we hear the masked marvels’ latest, Only the Dead Will Survive (DieMonsterDie.net), rocks it spooky. Not that they ever dropped a copy by City Weekly, nor did similarly creepy rockers Left For Dead re: their tragically tuneful debut It Begins (LeftForDeadSLC.com). Yeah, we know'the afterlife is busy. Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572, MySpace.com/BurtsTikiLounge.

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Also Friday: Uzi & Ari, Tolchock Trio (Kilby Court); Saul Kaye Band (Monk’s); A-Frame (Egos); Spörk, Shred Bettie, Almost Undone (Brewskis, Ogden)

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Saturday 12/31

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FIRST NIGHT SLC

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Wander the downtown area tonight and you’ll happen across the sounds of Kate MacLeod, Georgia Barretto, Black Wagon, The Saltaires, Sam Payne, Zion Tribe, Soul Survivors, Way Way East Bay, Stacey Board, Anke Summerhill, Cheri Magill, Coastal and many more, as well as a four-hour (!) marathon featuring the Paul Green School of Rock cranking the best of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, reggae and funk. Best of all, no Ryan Seacrest. Downtown Salt Lake City, 6 p.m.-Midnight. All-ages. Info and schedule: FirstNightSLC.org.

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THUNDERFIST

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We’ve said it here before and we’ll say it a hundred times more if necessary: Thunderfist are Salt Lake City’s most underappreciated rock & roll commodity, simultaneously winning over and pissing off hipsters, punks and metalheads since the last century (you know, the ’90s). The band can twist three chords and an insult with the best of the riff-rawk elite (think The Supersuckers, Motorhead, Zeke and a surly stripper in a wood chipper); check Loud, Fast Rock & Roll and Live at Burt’s (MySpace.com/Thunderfist) for the 100-proof. Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255, ClubEgos.com (with Utah County Swillers and Rifle Street Music).

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FORM OF ROCKET

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How long has it been since SLC complexi-rockers Form of Rocket released their last album, the brain-melting favorite Lumber (FormofRocket.com)? You can’t remember (it was 2003), but new stuff is reportedly on the way in 2006. Until then, live and personal is your only FoR fix, and on a purely gear-geek note, how many other bands rock a full aluminum-neck guitar/bass lineup of ridiculously obscure Kramer and Travis Bean axes? That’s a hell of a lot of eBay trolling. Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-0572, MySpace.com/BurtsTikiLounge (with Cop & a Criminal).

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WHOLE LOTTA ROSIES

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Hell’s Belles and AC/DShe aren’t the only all-girl tributes to AC/DC: Meet Los Angeles’ Whole Lotta Rosies, feminizing Bon, Brian and Angus since 2000. Don’t expect schoolgirl uniforms and dirty-dude jeans, though'WLR simply look hot and play the hits, no costumes and no gimmicks … beyond the obvious one. “We’re a tribute band, but we’re living our dreams,” goes the bio. “We have a good time, the crowd has a good time. That’s everything that matters.” Club Vegas, 445 S. 400 West, 9:30 p.m. Info: 364-8347, ClubVegas.org (with Wicked Diamond and Shred Bettie).

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DJ IRENE

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“Global house diva” DJ Irene has now logged 20-plus years behind the decks'and you’d think she’d get softer as club time rolls on, right? Wrong. Her last studio disc, Rock Star, was a heavy affair loaded with metallic guitar samples, aggressive drum & bass forays and that trademark Irene hard house; her new DJ Irene Live is a sprawling 22-track collection that will dispel any purist “DJs don’t rock” notions. The Vortex, 404 S. West Temple, 9:30 p.m. Info: 355-7746, VortexSLC.com (with Scott Quick).

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Also Saturday: Disco Drippers (Port O’ Call); Diamond Experience (Suede, Park City); Kip Attaway (Club 90); In Ending (The Whiskey); The Wolfs (Urban Lounge'see Music)

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Wednesday 1/4

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WOLF COLONEL

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Until recently, Wolf Colonel was a full-fledged indie band shaking out power-pop rock nuggets like a lo-fi Cheap Trick or scruffier Guided by Voices (dig 2000’s The Castle). Now, it’s just singer-songwriter Jason Anderson and a guitar. Makes sense, because Wolf Colonel has really always been a one-man show. “I write all of the music and lyrics. It’s an expression of my thoughts, my experiences and, ultimately, my life,” Anderson told GeekAmerica.com. “And, of course, my deep love of Iron Maiden.” Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m. All-ages. Info: 320-9887, KilbyCourt.com (with Loveletter Band and Will Sartain).

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COMING UP

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Story of the Year (Ice, Jan. 5). Showdown to SXSW Prelims (Various, Jan. 6-7). Motion City Soundtrack (Harry O’s, Jan. 6). Reel Big Fish (Ice, Jan. 10). Robert Earl Keen (Harry O’s, Jan. 11). Sparrow’s Gate (Lo-Fi’s Cafe, Jan. 13). Showdown to SXSW Finals (Depot, Jan. 14). Michael Franti & Spearhead (Suede, Jan. 20). KBER Salt Lake Soundcheck (Club Vegas, Jan. 21). G. Love & Special Sauce (Suede, Jan. 21). Pennywise (Great Saltair, Jan. 23). Les Claypool’s Electric Apricot (Suede, Jan. 23). Toby Keith (Delta Center, Jan. 26).

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