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Nas, Bright Eyes, Fratellis, The Rapture ...

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Thursday 4.26
Hip-Hop is Dead, but Nas keeps going'and not because his ominously titled album recently charted No. 1 in the country. The seasoned rapper is neither encouraged by his recent truce with longtime nemesis Jay-Z (who signed his former rival to Def Jam when the feud dissolved). No, Nas relies on his fans for inspiration. They are the source of his professional success, a fact he often drives home on his highly personal MySpace blog: “I cant thank yawl enough!” The relationship, of course, works both ways. Without Nas’ mad skills and seamless production'check the “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” loop on Hip-Hop’s titular track and his “collaboration” with Nat King Cole on “Unforgettable”'all those fans would bob their heads to someone else'maybe someone less likely to give thanks. Show some love. Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City, 8 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499

Also Thursday: The Films (Kilby Court); Gary Lewis & The Playboys (E Center); Blueprint (Monk’s)

Friday 4.27
You’re probably familiar with Chicago blues and Chicago rock, but what about the Chicago house movement? For those who follow electronic music, few cities carry such a distinct sound as the Midwestern hub, and few artists represent the town’s unique creative energy quite like Mark Grant. The DJ, songwriter, producer and record label owner mixes deep cuts of moody blues, jazz, Latin, fusion and funk into each of his ultra-cool jams. Pick up Sound Design Vol. 2 for a sneak preview of tonight’s sweet, soulful show brought to you by Prism. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 9 p.m. Tickets:

Also Friday: School of Rock: The Doors (The Circuit); Monorchist CD Release (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, see Music p. 56); Electric Six (Urban Lounge); The Mother Hips (Liquid Joe’s); BT (Harry O’s, Park City); Banyan (Suede, Park City)

Saturday 4.28
Richard Swift (Kilby Court'see Music, p. 54); School of Rock: The Doors (The Circuit); Seve vs. Evan, Another Statistic (Velour, Provo); Yonder Mountain String Band (Port O’ Call); Victor Wooten (The Depot); The Mother Hips (Urban Lounge); Total Chaos (Country Club Theater, Ogden); High Beams (Suede, Park City)

Sunday 4.29
Conor Oberst is many things, but the Omaha-based singer/songwriter can be summed up in one word: divisive. For some, he is and will no doubt remain untouchable'a boy genius tracking the magnificent troubadour footsteps of Dylan. For others, Oberst’s work as Bright Eyes is nothing more than a companion piece to Dashboard Confessional’s overwrought musings. Still others have no idea who this Oberst kid is. Of course, Oberst isn’t a kid anymore and the 27-year-old artist is proving naysayers wrong with his continued growth and the exploratory nature of his albums. The recent Cassadaga demonstrates an insatiable thirst for diverse instrumentation, with banjo and fiddles on “Four Winds,” female harmonies and the rich orchestration that supports each standout track. Bright Eyes might not be your cup of tea, but his latest efforts deserve to be sampled. Musicians who take great risks will not be ignored. Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. University Circle, University of Utah, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 581-7100 (with McCarthy Trenching and Oakley Hall)

Monday 4.30
tGwen Stefani, Lady Sovereign (E Center); The Alternate Routes (Urban Lounge)

Tuesday 5.1
The Fratellis are some lucky sonsofbitches. Discovered in a Glasgow bar, the retro rockers popped on their country’s radar then shot up to bigger things after NME pronounced them the “Best Band in Britain,” which doesn’t mean all that much if you’ve tracked the careers of UK hype generators Arctic Monkeys, Doves ... Dodgy (!). The Fratelli’s debut Costello Music is anything but original but it does have a backbeat you can move to. For a good time, however, Fratellis definitely deliver. Like Jonathan Franzen’s protagonist observed in his most recent novel, “You can’t be deep without a surface.” The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 10 p.m. Tickets:

Also Tuesday: Anathallo (Kilby Court); DJ Shadow (The Depot); Bill Kirchen (Wine Cellar, Ogden)

Wednesday 5.2
When DFA Records released The Rapture’s club classic “House of Jealous Lovers” in 2003, the little-known crate-digging dance rockers were quickly posited as the future of electronic music. Five years later, DFA is more inextricably linked to label founder James Murphy’s project, LCD Soundsystem, and an album that by all accounts can do no wrong. But whatever happened to baby Rapture? “People don’t dance no more, they just stand there like this, they cross their arms and stare you down and drink and moan and diss,” guitarist/vocalist Luke Jenner laments on “Whoo! Alright'Yeah ... Uh Huh,” off Pieces of the People We Love. Not sure if apathy is to blame, but whatever caused The Rapture to drop out is less important than the awesome power of their third full-length release. Fueled by the cowbell that first set the band in motion, the album shimmies and boogies and strikes 10 different poses draped in post-punk, disco, funk and a bit of old-school blues that are impossible to listen to without dancing. Get on up! In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 6:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: (with Shiny Toy Guns)

Also Wednesday: Bill Kirchen (Pat’s BBQ)

Scott H. Biram (Urban Lounge, May 3). Band of Annuals CD Release (Kilby Court, May 4). Damien Rice (McKay Events Center, May 4). Mastodon, Against Me! (In the Venue, May 7). Morrissey (E Center, May 8). Drive-By Truckers (Suede, May 10); The Phenomenauts (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, May 11). John Prine (Weber State University, May 11). El-P (The Depot, May 12). Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (In the Venue, May 16). I Am The Ocean CD Release (Avalon, May 19). The Black Angels, Vietnam (Kilby Court, May 22). The Hold Steady (Urban Lounge, May 23). The Old Haunts (Urban Lounge, May 24).

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