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Thursday 5.24
Distance to Empty (Kilby Court); Amber Pacific (In the Venue); MC Enee1 CD release with Prince Po (Monk’s); The Old Haunts (Urban Lounge'see Music, p. 50); Bo Bice, Gary Nichol (Outlaw Saloon, Ogden)

Friday 5.25
Some people believe the world is controlled by secret societies like the Illuminati or, in Tracy Morgan’s 30 Rock world, the Black Crusaders. Me, I believe in Living Legends, the hip-hop collective whose members and affiliates operate here, there and everywhere from California to Europe. Some work behind the scenes, others stay close to the mother unit. Scarub branched out with a solo project whose strength rests in imaginative production and witty rhymes layered over lengthy tracks like the trip-hoppy “Wishful Thinking.” Learn more about the well-connected artist with One for the Road Vol. 1, a collection of unreleased songs whose liner notes break down the recording process from conceptualizing tracks to gathering beats and laying them down. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets: (with The Numbs)

Slint bassist Ethan Buckler raises an interesting existential question when he asks the listener, “What difference does a bug make?” on Buncha Beans, the latest release by his conceptual project King Kong. Delivered with deadpan indifference, he makes a good point about dirty little cockroaches as well as hungry tigers, monkeys and bald-headed eagles soaring high above bulldozed tundra. It’s all a little silly in a Weird Al meets Animal House sort of way, but Buckler & Co. pair oddball lyrics with original compositions so groovy you’ll be doing the wild thing five songs into the 11-track album'or roughly halfway through tonight’s show. Starry Night, 200 W. Freedom Blvd., Provo, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Info: 687-3705

Too Short sums up not just one track off his latest album, but perhaps his entire career when he explains, “It’s a song that is tasteless and tasteful at the same time.” While contradictory and more than a little absurd, the statement supporting 2007’s Blow the Whistle sheds some light on the infamous Bay Area rapper’s mysterious appeal. After all, this is a man who owes nearly 20 years of success to a few key words'bitch, pimp, slap, wet, ride, booty'delivered with “I don’t give a f'k” flair. And yet, when Short tells his ‘ho to bounce, the command seems almost comical. Misogyny is wicked, no doubt, but there’s something admirable about someone who sticks to their artistic guns'even when the product is vulgar. Maybe it’s time to level the playing field and have him face off against Peaches. Harry O’s, 427 S. Main, Park City, 9 p.m. Tickets:

Also Friday: Minus the Bear (In the Venue); Prism: JoJo Flores (The Depot); Eric Martin Band (Club Vegas); Brokeneck Heidi Benefit: Thunderfist (Burt’s Tiki Lounge); The Rubes, High Beams (Brewskis, Ogden); Desert Rocks Festival (Moab)

Saturday 5.26
Girl in a Coma might have been raised on The Smiths, and lead singer/guitarist Nina Diaz certainly gains her share of comparisons to Morrissey, but the San Antonio trio owes more to America’s wild Western badlands than Britain’s tear-stained streets. The tough, young group even named their debut Both Before I’m Gone after a James Dean quip. But these Girls are rebels with a cause, having formed when Nina was just 13, her sister Phanie and friend Jenn Alva 8 years older. They lived the punk-rock lifestyle, dropping out of school and crashing at a friend’s pad to focus on music. The result is a sound fueled by desperado spirit'a brash, yet gorgeous explosion that nods to their Blackheart Records label founder Joan Jett’s “reputation.” The New Up are equally brazen, but the San Francisco quintet keep their cool by matching aggressive songwriting with rocksteady new-wave style on Palace of Industrial Hope, a sleek, sultry work worthy of its mystical name. Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 10 p.m. Info: 521-0572 (with Monorchist)

Also Saturday: House of Cards (Pat’s BBQ); Girl Talk (Urban Lounge'see Music, p. 49); Better Left Unsaid (Club Vegas); Afro Omega (Brewskis, Ogden); Desert Rocks Festival (Moab)

Tuesday 5.29
Skinny Puppy have always been masters of provocation, from the intricate layers of their industrial sound experiments to the political/social commentary that underscores each thought-provoking album. Mythmaker scrutinizes the Canadian duo’s personal struggles, exploring failed relationships and issues of control. Dark as ever, their 13th album continues to push electronic noise to the edge, folding and turning it inside out, then splicing it together again with deliciously unsettling results. Mythmaker is the aural equivalent to a television on the fritz with messages from Our Sponsors tucked under static noise. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 9 p.m. Tickets:

Also Tuesday: MeWithoutYou, Piebald (In the Venue); Goldenboy, Starmy (Urban Lounge), Kenotia (Country Club Theater, Ogden)

Wednesday 5.30
Tooth & Nail recording artists Showbread describe their sound as “raw rock,” but the new Age of Reptiles is more an exercise in “rah rock” with seven young men storming the gates like a deranged marching band in hoodies and, occasionally, Kiss-lite stage makeup. Unlike most contemporary bands with keytars, Showbread are blessedly whine-free. Not so much introspective as extroverted, the energetic septet seems solely focused on shaking the audience all night long. Show us what you’ve got, Showbread! Country Club Theater, 3930 S. Washington Blvd., Ogden, 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets:

Also Wednesday: Keith Varon (Kilby Court); Otep, Separation of Self (In the Venue)

400 Blows (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, May 31). The Killers, Louis XIV (Great Saltair, May 31). Simple Shelter (Urban Lounge, June 1). Sheena Easton, En Vogue (Utah Pride Festival, June 1-3). Mason Jennings (In the Venue, June 2). Brother Ali (Urban Lounge, June 4). The Queers (Burt’s Tiki Lounge). Harry Connick Jr. (Abravanel Hall). The Faint, Services (In the Venue, June 6). Jedi Mind Tricks (Suede, June 6). Janeane Garafolo, Patton Oswalt (In the Venue, June 7). Sparta (Country Club Theater, June 8). True Colors: Cindy Lauper (Usana Amphitheatre). Tooth & Nail Tour (In the Venue, June 11). Gang Gang Dance (Urban Lounge, June 12). Utah Arts Festival (Library Square, June 21-24).

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