Soundscraper: Aural pleasure (in time for V.D.)

Smell it, Dear Reader? No, not the clouds of smoke produced by howitzers to clear the ski slopes of Mount Charleston. I’m talkin’ ’bout love in the air, because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend.

Expect plenty of rocking shows by romance-challenged bands. Here are my personal highlights for Feb. 13:

The Sin City Sinners seek to melt hearts at Ovation (inside Green Valley Ranch) with an 11 p.m. CD-release party for Exile on Fremont Street. If you haven’t seen these guys yet, you’re in for a treat. They pack a ferocious wallop, more than any other “mainstream rock” act in town, and provide a welcome return to old-school, full-throttle, guitar-based music (when everyone else is still imitating the artsy-fartsy New York scene).

Over at Boomers (3200 W. Sirius Ave.), The Mapes, Pigasus and Bright Lights Big City will be chloroforming your girlfriend with what’s being informally called “A Show for Lovers.” Pigasus bassist Roxie tells me she plans to chain herself to a helium tank inside the club’s backroom, inflating hundreds of pink and red balloons. “[The space] is going to look like a womb,” she promises. Female anatomy aside, Pigasus’ recent shows have been awesomely unhinged.

Another option is the inimitable Exene Cervenka at Beauty Bar (517 Fremont St.). Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last summer, L.A.’s ex-X frontwoman released her first solo album in almost 20 years in October, and reviews are excellent. Somewhere Gone is a gritty country-folk album shot through with the poetry of heartbreak. I’m torn as to which show to attend. You should hit them all. Do it for love!

After V.D., Feb.17 is Ash Wednesday. I’m definitely going to repent, spread ash on my head and help benefit the Children’s Heart Foundation by taking in an Evil Dead-inspired burlesque performance at the Aruba Hotel (1215 Las Vegas Blvd. South). The music comes courtesy of my new favorite industrial-goth-metal-punk band, 2012. This Vegas quartet looks to be quite theatrical, and I’m hoping their darkly pounding music will bring me to my sorrowful knees.

Finally, if you’re not prepared to spin at least one of these V.D.-appropriate tracks this weekend, don’t even bother texting me with a booty call: Matthew Sweet’s “Girlfriend,” Whitesnake’s “Is This Love,” Queen’s “One Year of Love,” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Special Occasion,” Sade’s “Soldier of Love,” The Killers’ “On Top,” Roxy Music’s “Avalon,” Leonard Cohen’s “Ain’t No Cure for Love.” Haven’t heard any or all of these? Get thee to an iTunes store immediately.

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Fountain's Run Dry

Fountain's Run Dry

Kristen Bell rings flat as Beth, a girl-next-door-Guggenheim-museum-art-curator who fulfills a curse when she takes five coins from Rome’s fountain of love. During a 48-hour Italian visit for her sister’s sudden wedding, Beth meets the accident prone Nick (Josh Duhamel), who happens to also live in New York. Beth’s coins attract the ongoing romantic interest of the men whose coins she filched. Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, and Danny DeVito work to varying levels of success as the less-than-winning hopefuls at Beth’s threshold.



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