Fremont Street is about to get all shook up by Las Vegas Shakedown, a supercharged, three-day (Aug. 13-15, $75, lasvegasshakedown.com) “rock ’n’ roll weekend” involving more than 50 punk, rockabilly and roots music acts performing at Beauty Bar and Las Vegas Country Saloon, plus burlesque performances and an art show.
I urge you to go for four reasons: The Warlocks (dark psyche rock), Spindrift (cinematic spaghetti western), Electric Frankenstein (monster-themed punk) and, my personal favorite, Andre Williams, the 74-year-old R&B/blues-punk singer known for his raunchy ’50s songs—“Bacon Fat,” “Jail Bait” and “Shake a Tail Feather” (made famous by The Blues Brothers movie).
Williams (a.k.a. The Black Godfather) has enjoyed a long, legendary career—from his hit LPs for Fortune Records, to discovering and co-writing songs for Stevie Wonder at Motown, to signing with Chess Records in the ’60s. After success writing songs for funk groups such as Parliament, Williams descended into poverty and addiction.
Norton Records tracked down Williams and got him to re-release and re-record his classic works, and to produce new material with Jon Spencer. Williams’ psychedelic soul album, That’s All I Need, is out on Bloodshot Records. Catch him at Las Vegas Country Saloon (Aug. 15, $25).
If a weekend on Fremont sounds too “street” for you, there’s a variety of other cool shows to consider, especially for Aug. 13. Acclaimed British prog-rockers Porcupine Tree play The Joint at the Hard Rock with Coheed and Cambria, veteran death-metal act Malevolent Creation crush Cheyenne Saloon (3103 N. Rancho Dr.), and the world’s most annoying vampire-emocore group Vampires Everywhere! sink Auto-Tuned fangs into Area 702 (3040 Simmons St. in North Las Vegas) with Black Veil Brides. How’s that for variety?
Buy tickets for this show now! Texas electro-dance soul rock duo Ghostland Observatory brings the intergalactic funk to House of Blues Aug. 19 (9 p.m., $21-26). This show’s going to kick so much ass I’m going to wear my jockstrap backward!