Santa-centric jingles continue to assault my brain, but I’ll be OK. I’ve found a few Vegas events and tunes involving cool bands that should restore my sanity.
As performances go, it’s going to be punk-centered holiday season for me. First, on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, you’ll find me getting in touch with my heritage. That’s right, I’m talking about the annual White Trash Xmas at Double Down Saloon, where punk legends The Vermin and grindcore upstarts Sheep on a Cliff will perform naughty songs for what’s always a nice-size audience. Best part: It’s always a free show at the Double Down. Over at House of Blues, at 8 p.m. Dec. 31, it’s “New Year’s Heave “(a drinking-to-excess pun—get it?) featuring some of the top punk acts of today—political L.A. skate-punkers NOFX; Santa Barbara, Calif.’s Lagwagon; Southern California’s Old Man Markley; and local stalwarts Holding Onto Sound. This 21-plus show is $40 per ticket, and what better way to ring in a New Year than with ringing eardrums?
In other less “live” news, Vegas band Deadhand now provides a musical incentive to look sharp. When you buy a piece of Hurley clothing you get a free download card for 12 exclusive songs by artists who’ve recorded at Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa, Calif., including Alkaline Trio, Thrice, and local rock trio Deadhand. The Deadhand tune you get is “Prehistoric,” and if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s a monster. (There’s a Hurley store in Las Vegas Premium Outlet Mall, just so you know.) The band’s also shooting a music video this winter with director Ryan McPherson of Shoot to Kill Media for the song “Places (Love Can Go).” Last week, I checked in on Deadhand and McPherson as they began building a high-contrast set, which already looks impressive so I’m expecting great results. Oh, and finally the band returns to the studio in January to record a new EP with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Escape the Fate, Chevelle). For more info on upcoming shows, check DeadHand.webs.com.
Don’t forget to check out Deadhand frontman Brendan Scholz’s acoustic cover of Weezer’s “The Christmas Song” over at online zine PunksInVegas.com. The site just released a series of Holiday Session audio tracks as a free downloadable EP. “What we ask, though, is that people who download and enjoy the tracks donate whatever amount they can to the Manilow Music Project, a nonprofit organization that provides instruments and materials to school music programs,” says PunksInVegas founder Steven Matview. “As a seven-year veteran employee of the Clark County School District, I’m a firsthand witness to the importance of music education in schools.” A donation link can be found on each session.
On the cinematic side, local alt-rock quartet the Roxy Gunn Project, led by beautiful singer/songwriter Roxy Gunn, is featured prominently in genre filmmaker Albert Pylun’s forthcoming Road to Hell, starring Michael Paré (Eddie and the Cruisers).Visit RoadToHellmovie.com to watch the trailer. Looks strange, violent and, um, direct-to-Netflix. Apparently, the film is inspired by and a kind of sequel to Streets of Fire. Hmm. No release date for this film just yet. Visit RoxyGunnMusic.com for updates.