Like many Mac and iTunes users, I’ve been saddened by the death of Steve Jobs. But the loss of the music man responsible for technologizing my enjoyment of music in the last decade is something I’ll get over. While Jobs’ passing signals the end of an era in which I reconsidered my connection to digitized rock, this fact survives: Real music, live music, remains a sordid analog affair. As evidence, I cite this week’s offerings, which are dirtier and grittier and just plain stranger than usual.
First, there’s Polkadot Cadaver, a Baltimore “experi-metal” band that blends serial killer-fantasy lyrics with a proggy Mr. Bungle-esque attack—it’s got elements of hip-hop, grindcore and various pop genres (ska, ragtime, the kitchen sink)—to confusing effect. I say confusing because I honestly don’t know exactly how I feel about this band just yet. Cadaver’s recorded output is for super-eclectic tastes, especially recently released Sex Offender out on Rotten Records. These guys’ accomplished musicianship isn’t in question, but I can practically guarantee that you’ll be head-scratching as often as you’re headbanging. Anyhow, I’ll have a more solid opinion after absorbing Cadaver’s Bunkhouse Saloon show (10 p.m. Oct. 20, 124 S. 11th St.) with A Sinner’s Confession and Dinner Music for the Gods.
Early British punk-rock pioneers The Vibrators are set to pulse strongly and deeply into the fleshy erogenous zone of Double Down Saloon (10 p.m. Oct. 21, 4640 Paradise Road). The band’s best-known single is probably 1977’s “Automatic Lover,” often listed in slick music mags as being among the top punk songs of all time, and the Vibrators’ debut Pure Mania is still hailed as a classic. The band has recorded more than a dozen albums since, and if you enjoy straight-ahead, stripped-down, street-quality punk à la the Ramones, then they haven’t made a bad one yet. Local punk-rockers (and insult comic dogs) The Vermin open; get there early so Dirk Vermin and Rob Ruckus can slag on you before leveling you with one-minute songs such as “Chewin’ On Glass.”
West Virginia stoner-rock/desert-metal band Karma to Burn comes to epilate any excess body hair from Bikini Bar (10 p.m. Oct. 26, 3355 Spring Mountain Road). K2B is one of those classic loud-and-heavy psyche bands that emerged in the ’90s along with Kyuss, Fu Manchu and Masters of Reality. The Burn has only made five albums, but the most recent, the instrumental (as in no vocals) V, which came out earlier this year, was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 Studio. The result is a veritable Dagwood sandwich piled high and deep with mighty riffs and easily among 2011’s greatest metal discs. Openers Fat Dukes of Fuck (avant-punk-metal) and Sheep on a Cliff (blackened grindcore) are from Vegas and very good, too, so catch ’em.