Romeos, Sunbears and Tragedy

So much great stuff happening I can barely keep track. Look for two amazing new Las Vegas bands—China, who sound like an angular Nirvana and project an astonishing early-’90s vibe, and Coiled Snakes, a heavy post-rock trio featuring members of Poison the Well and legendary locals Curl Up and Die. On the live-music-venue front, the old Emergency Room Lounge is now The Underworld Grill & Bar (3550 S. Decatur Blvd.). Iron Maiden tribute act Aces High plays there 10 p.m. Jan. 28.

This week’s under-the-radar events: V.D. is weeks away, but Naked City Romeos will still get all up in your box of chocolates at 10 p.m. Jan. 28, at Double Down Saloon (4640 Paradise Road). The band is composed of punk vets Eric Hill (who founded Sin City’s first punk band Bad Habits in 1977), Cory Naff (guitarist for ’80s hardcore act F8), and Dirk Vermin and drummer Turbo Proctor, who together comprise half of The Vermin. The Romeos’ self-titled debut (out on local label Wood Shampoo) arrived in September and includes Vermin-esque, un-PC, fake-misogynist rants such as “Church Girls Are Easy” and “I Don’t Wanna Girl in the Band.” For example, “She’s a Guy” is about coping with the shame and pleasure that derive from dating a woman with a 5 o’clock shadow: “I got no excuse, got no alibis/But I don’t understand why she looks like a guy.” Cool pop hooks, too, like in “Let It Lay.” Buy this old-school throwback at the free show, which also features the Tramplers, Standard & Poor, Sleeping Sea King and Will of the Flesh. Check for info.

Sunbears! are a Jacksonville, Fla., indie-psychedelic-electronic duo that sounds like Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips) armed with an array of synthesizers and a Beatles songbook. In 2010, Sunbears! were named among the country’s best unsigned bands by Alternative Press magazine and have stayed busy ever since, writing and recording music for children’s television (the band’s song “Imagination Adventure” aired last spring on Yo Gabba Gabba!), releasing EPs and vinyl singles, and playing cool fests such as South by Southwest. Their disc, You Will Live Forever, released in November, is a strange pop confection, especially the lovely John Lennon-esque ballad “Together Forever” and Animal Collective-ist instrumental “Psychic Numbing Is Evil!” Sunbears! shine a light on the Bunkhouse (124 S. 11th St.) at 10 p.m. Jan. 31.

If that’s too trippy, on that same night you can subject yourself to The Extremely Brutal Sick McNasty Show at House of Blues. Starting at 5 p.m., a slew of local metalcore bands will be performing at The Horror Project (a clothing line)-sponsored event, including Blessed by a Burden, This Romantic Tragedy, Destruction of a Rose, Eyes Like Diamonds, Aurora, Scream the Lie, So Long Solitude and Ministry of Love. The latter just signed a one-off deal (a proper release of the band’s Party Animals EP) with Negative Procession, a New York punk label. If you want to take the temperature of the local teen-punk scene, do it here.

Suggested Next Read

Lethem’s book doesn’t induce ‘ecstasy,’ but it comes close

Book Jacket

Lethem’s book doesn’t induce ‘ecstasy,’ but it comes close

By M. Scott Krause

At what point did I fall out of love with Jonathan Lethem’s writing? I was an early, enthusiastic supporter of his debut novel, Gun, With Occasional Music (1994) and his follow-up, Amnesia Moon (1995). By the time Motherless Brooklyn (1999) appeared, to great acclaim, I couldn’t have been happier. Here was a former bookseller who’d made good, a writer who’d outgrown his science-fiction roots and matured into a serious novelist. Bully for Lethem.



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