Ren fairs, art rock and Florida grunge

Another incredible week of wildly varied music for your friendly neighborhood Soundscraper, who’s still riding high from last month’s mind-bending, booty-shaking Ratatat show at House of Blues, where I drank a too much and ended up making out with a random stranger. Man, that bouncer could kiss!


I’ll definitely need a designated driver and a full suit of armor for this weekend’s Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival (Sunset Park, Oct. 8-10).  Or as I prefer to call it, a Vegas Burning Man for fantasy geeks. In addition to getting all medieval with my bad self by munching fish and chips by the ton and downing mead by the barrel with a bunch of costumed wenches, knights and knaves (guess which category I fall under), I plan on absorbing much of the musical entertainment being offered. No less than four Celtic punk-rock headliners are slated to perform: The Mahones (Quebec, Canada), The Tossers (Chicago), Seven Nations (New York) and Lexington Field (San Diego). I look forward to seeing these bands live, especially since their recorded output is so strong. More musicians, magicians, jugglers, bellydancers and other performers will be playing all over the park. Visit and download a PDF of the complete schedule.


If you’re in the mood for a serious, un-ironic, New Wave of British Heavy Metal revival, you might want to keep your suit of armor on for the Oct. 12 Vegas stop of the “Speedkiller” tour at Divebar (3035 E. Tropicana Ave.), featuring Portland’s Spellcaster and England’s Evil Survives


This is pure, all-out, denim-jacketed, white-jogging-shoed, dueling-lead-guitars thrash metal with melodic, balls-in-a-vise singing (or screeching, really) powerful enough to shatter glass. Both bands are signed to Heavy Artillery Records, one of the best metal indie labels around right now, and you won’t encounter a better attempt to resurrect the spirit of ’80s-era Iron Maiden-style metal. Heck, Spellcaster even has their own aerial dogfight anthem (“Locked On”) just like their heroes. Evil Survives, meanwhile, is more fantastical, unleashing songs such as “Masonic Enforcers” and “Die Like a Samurai,” which tell weird, supernatural stories of outlandish combat. I haven’t been to a Divebar show in years, so I’m very much looking forward to enjoying a kickass metal lineup at a non-casino establishment where beers don’t cost $10 each.


Finally, I’d better not notice your absence at Warpaint’s Oct. 13 show at The Bunkhouse Saloon (124 S. 11th St.), people. This all-female experimental L.A. art-rock quartet is set to release its full-length debut, The Fool, on Rough Trade later this month, an album that looks to garner acclaim for what I can only characterize as a dreamy, hazy style with layers of spooky, sensual vocals and eerily chiming and atmospheric guitars. Drummer Stella Mozgawa is particularly effective, as she avoids many of the clichés of the rock genre, working in a more thoughtful direction. Frosting on the cake is the addition of local epic indie-rockers Minor Suns to the bill. Should be a fun week!

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By Jarret Keene