Robot Nixons, power violence and cave shows in the desert

Been an unusual week for the lowly Soundscraper. At the very last second, I caught wind of a downtown performance by Denmark’s Thisted Church Choir of Men and Boys on July 1. Apparently her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary sponsored this renowned singing group’s trip to the U.S. for a slate of concerts in California, with but one stop in Nevada—just a few blocks from my house at Christ Church Episcopal. It was awesome, as the set comprised everything from Benjamin Britten’s strange, angular Rejoice in the Lamb to Gabriel Fauré’s moody, ambient Cantique de Jean Racine. The angelic melodies of a top-notch men and boy’s choir from overseas isn’t something I ever expected to hear in Vegas, and the experience made me fall in love with this town’s varied live music offerings all over again.

Another reason I bring it up is because, coincidentally, there’s another louder, more sonically scathing group of young Danes playing Vegas this week. Instead of a church, these kids will be rockin’ out in a freakin’ cave in the desert.

First, a local punk act I just discovered called Robot Nixon assaults the Bunkhouse Saloon at 10 p.m. July 16 with Number 3 Pencils and Atlas Takes Aim. Nixon frontperson Kelley Karas should be familiar to my readers since she also leads shoegaze act Asterionella, which I’ve written about a time or three. Nixon enables Karas to explore her punkier side, and I’m really digging the band’s Facebook-posted demos “War Is What I Say It Is” and “Your Fist Tastes Like Kisses.” Atlas Takes Aim always kills live. This 21-and-up show is $5.

The underground buzz continues to build around Seeds of Rape, a new power violence band with an exclusive mail-order edition cassette demo with only 100 copies. E-mail or stream at Rape is easily the best new Vegas band of 2011, and once Relapse Records signs them I hope they remember the little people, like Soundscraper, who loved ’em first. Rape aurally rapes the Twelve21 Gallery (1221 S. Main St.), 7 p.m. July 16, with Cold Stare, Full of Hell, Fleas and Nests.

Finally, brace yourself for the angriest, gloomiest, most lacerating gang of Danish teens (these musicians are 18 and 19) you’ll ever encounter. Iceage sets upon Vegas 8 p.m. July 20 at The Cave (a literal cave at Fort Apache and Warm Springs), and you’d better not miss this. Iceage’s full-length debut, New Brigade, was released last month by the What’s Your Rupture? label and hailed by every cool indie-music blog as among the best punk albums of the last decade. Mixing goth-rock, post-punk and hardcore into a uniquely terrifying whole, Iceage projects a timeless, dangerous rock ’n’ roll angst and the band’s live shows are notorious. If you don’t know the cave, feel free to, e-mail me for directions.

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When German magician Jan Rouven was 19, he made a pilgrimage to Las Vegas to see its magic shows. “I realized all the illusion gurus are located here in Vegas, and it made it somehow the magic capital of the world,” he says. “I always dreamed about bringing over my show to Vegas.” Ten years later, Rouven’s dream is finally coming true. After two years of successful limited engagements at Fremont Street’s Oktober FrightFest, Rouven is bringing his act to Vegas full time with his new show, Illusions, at the Clarion Hotel.



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