Finnish death, Cali thrash, Brokeback country

Ever have a week when you look at the music offerings and think to yourself, “I need to buy stock in Red Bull?” Studying my upcoming dance card, I plan on chasing my energy-drink addiction with espresso shots. Demi Moore, watch your ass!

First, if you’re in a (bad) mood for death metal straight out of Espoo, Finland, then head for House of Blues 6 p.m. Feb. 9, when Children of Bodom unleash sonic hell. There’s absolutely nothing childlike about this band, which is still riding high on the release of last year’s gold-selling, critically praised full-length Relentless Reckless Forever. Songs such as “Shovel Knockout” and “Northpole Throwdown” are as fierce and Santa Claus-loathing as their titles suggest. But the boys of Bodom aren’t afraid to explore their more sensitive goth side with the title track, and to have fun with a cover of Eddie Murphy’s ridiculous ’80s dance-party anthem “Party All the Time.” (It appears on the iTunes version of Relentless Reckless Forever, if you’re interested.)

If that’s not enough high-octane shredding, check out the impending thrash-fest at Yayo Taco (4632 S. Maryland Parkway) 7 p.m. Feb. 11, which features two California bands: blackened-thrash act Witchaven and classically influenced prog-metallers Exmortus. The latter has put out two remarkable records for the Heavy Artillery label and is so technically adept, it gives Yngwie Malmsteen a serious run for his guitar-god lucre. Tracks such as “Kneel Before the Steel” and “Entombed with the Pharaohs” offer pure, throw-those-devil-horns-in-the-air, head-banging ecstasy. Local metal and punk acts Tyrants of Torment, Toxic Artillery and Die Laughing open. Definitely bring earplugs and a hunger for killer tacos to this one.

The Clark County Library District and UNLV’s Nevada Conservatory Theatre are doing something unique with Beyond Brokeback: A Staged Reading With Music. Hosted by Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road) 2 p.m. Feb. 11, this touring event is inspired by the film Brokeback Mountain and the outpouring of Internet writings (blog posts, poems, message-board memoirs) that followed its release. The writings were assembled into a 2007 book and then adapted into a stage production by Gregory Hinton. Six NCT reader/musicians armed with acoustic guitars will read these writings aloud onstage and perform original country-edged musical numbers composed by Shawn Kirchner with piano accompaniment.

But let me be honest with you, dear reader: The real reason I want to experience this is because, according to a press release, “members of the Ultimate Brokeback Forum are expected to descend on Vegas for the Nevada premiere of Beyond Brokeback.” Did you know Brokeback Mountain superfans call themselves “Brokies”—in the same way that “Trekkies” are fans of Star Trek—and travel the world whenever and wherever a Brokeback-related event happens? Must see this, for sure.

Suggested Next Read

Social Distortion


Social Distortion

By Sean DeFrank

Las Vegas is like a second home to Social Distortion. Since the late 1980s, rarely a year has gone by without a visit from the Orange County, Calif., punk stalwarts, who kicked off their 2012 tour on this occasion. Founding frontman Mike Ness, just two months shy of his 50th birthday, hit the stage looking like a tattooed, guitar-wielding Tony Soprano in all black but for white suspenders, and the band came out guns blazing with alt-rock classics “Bad Luck,” “So Far Away” and “Story of My Life.”