Mad Max, Snake Plissken and scary playlists

Scary things afoot this week for your weak-kneed Soundscraper, starting with a Mad Max-themed party Oct. 28 at Las Vegas Country Saloon. Billed as “Roxie’s First Annual Bitchin’ Halloween,” this post-apocalyptic (in other words, bring your battle helmet) event features Batusis, a glam-punk supergroup consisting of Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys, Rocket From the Tombs) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls). These two legends are supported by equally talented bassist Enzo Penizzotto and drummer Thommy Price, who comprise the rhythm section in Joan Jett’s band the Blackhearts. Batusis is a ton of power-chord fun with greasy, glittery tracks such as “What You Lack in Brains” and “Bury You Alive” sure to get you grooving in your ghastly getup. In addition to booking the best rock shows, LVCS promoter Roxie Amoroso throws awesome hullabaloos, so don’t be lame and “forget” your costume. Everyone will be there, including local bad boys The Vermin.

After you’ve gotten your Road Warrior on, you can relax a bit (not really) with Japanese all-female punk-pop trio Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re. The girls will have traveled thousands of miles to bring their quirky yet hard-edged attack to Double Down Saloon on Oct. 31. Expect absurd songs about food (“American Hamburger,” “No-Miso Shortcake”), adorable outfits and cranked-up guitars. Can’t wait to guzzle Ass Juice in the Double Down Halloween night! I’d better secure a designated driver pronto.

Thrash-punk trio Life’s Torment has just released its self-titled debut CD on the local Panic Inc. label, and it’s a bruising monster. Thirteen original tracks, plus a Stormtroopers of Death cover (“United Forces”), all produced by Brian Garth (Black Camaro), who gives the already-deadly proceedings an enhanced, eviscerating quality. Galloping Torment tune “Grey Spots” is among my favorite songs of 2010 and kicks the crap out of other songs in its vicinity. The band plays Cheyenne Saloon on Nov. 4 with death-metal dealers Enthraller.

Then, on Nov. 5, my favorite Vegas hard-core group, Caravels, crushes Meatheads. The band has a song called “Snake Plissken” that’s ideal for the dark holiday week. In fact, I may go out and buy an eye-patch and a leather jacket so I can resemble my favorite action-movie star. Too bad I don’t have any muscles, which is what Caravels boasts in musical terms. Seriously, give them a listen.

Word on the street: A certain vintage guitar store in town is quietly making plans to close its storefront and rely on eBay to generate sales. This is bad news for many drooling musicians—me included. The economy has hit everything, even the classic guitar market.

Now, my haunted iPod playlist: The Misfits’ “Halloween,” Helloween’s “Halloween,” The Cramps’ “I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” The Sonics’ “Witch,” Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” Roky Erickson and the Aliens’ “I Walked With a Zombie,” Fields of the Nephilim’s “Celebrate,” David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps),” Sisters of Mercy’s “Lucretia My Reflection” and, of course, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Theater Review

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

By Rosalie Miletich

Tom Stoppard’s plays are notoriously verbose, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is no exception. “The play is definitely about words, words, words,” director Michael Kimm says. “But under the words are three really interesting and complex characters. I just wish I’d had more time to shape that part of the actors’ work.”