THIS WEEK’S LIVE-MUSIC offerings somehow combine three of my favorite things in life—comic books, psyche-metal and Ol’ Blue Eyes. Now if only there were a Werner Herzog film festival playing somewhere in town…
Few things make me happier than nerd-rap, especially the kind performed by Adam WarRock, the hip-hop geek who’s taking comics conventions, comics shops and concert venues by storm. If you haven’t read about WarRock in Wired, The Onion or Time, read about him here. He bills himself as “the Internet’s foremost comic-book rapper,” and his mad beats and even madder rhymes about obscure superheroes and Star Wars characters will have you grinning like a geek. Yeah, it’s niche music, but this guy delivers it with superpowered heart and soul. WarRock shares a bill with Seattle pop-culture power-poppers Kirby Krackle at 9 p.m. Feb. 23 at Choices Pub (6720 W. Cheyenne Ave.). Never been to Choices, but turns out it has a packed entertainment schedule, ranging from magic shows to beer pong tournaments.
Later that night, Austin, Texas, stoner-rockin’ The Saint James Society play Double Down Saloon. The band just released an excellent self-titled EP on Tee Pee Records. (See my review in Vegas Seven’s Feb. 9 issue.) I chatted with the band’s frontman/bassist Brandon Burkart about how a road trip to Vegas inspired him and his wife Elza (who performs with the band as a backup singer/percussionist) to form a band. After buying a topless white limo on Craigslist, the Burkarts decided to drive through Death Valley and into Sin City, where he happens to have family.
“We wandered all over and hung out in the Artisan and Double Down,” Brukart says. “Then we explored the grittier, glitzier places downtown.”
Indeed, the dirty glamour of places like Vegas and Hollywood helped shape the sound of The Saint James Society, for which Burkart has his own tag: “Pentecostal desert glam.” Best way for me to describe it: melodic stoner-rock with a reverb-drenched, ’60s sensibility—like if Black Sabbath and T. Rex mated in the bathroom of Andy Warhol’s Factory. In other words, don’t miss this one.
Another show to take in is singer/actor Robert Davi’s weekend engagement, Feb. 23-25, at the Venetian Showroom. If you know Vegas history, you know it’s the site of the historic Sands hotel, where Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack routinely performed in the ’60s. With a 30-piece orchestra, Davi (you may recall his unforgettable mug from bad-guy roles in films such as Licence to Kill and The Goonies) will deliver songs Sinatra defined: “All the Way,” “Summer Wind,” etc. I have a copy of last year’s album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance, a tribute to what’s called The Great American Songbook and to The Voice. Davi has the panache and power to pull this off, for sure.