Flower power, Riverdale punk, Detroit metal

BARELY APPROPRIATE for my column, I know, but let me say that artist Mary Warner’s current show, Heavy Petals, at Trifecta Gallery upended my bias against flower paintings, which usually make me yawn. The title is perfect, as these mixed-media works give depth, texture and, yes, volume to the blossom genre. If I happened to be in a heavy-metal band, I’d consider asking Warner to do an album cover. Just saying.

Jughead’s Revenge is ready to ravage Bunkhouse Saloon (124 S. 11th St.) 9 p.m. March 17 with Guilty by Association, It’s Casual, Unfair Fight and Life’s Torment. Jughead’s Revenge is a ’90s San Diego punk act that found modest success on Nitro Records, the label founded by The Offspring frontman Dexter Holland. Clearly the band takes its name from the Archie Comics character; a lawsuit brought on by the company resulted in the punk quartet briefly changing their name to Jugg’s Revenge before disbanding in 2000. They reunited in ’10, played shows with Bad Religion and are touring to precede a 7-inch release. The scrappy “Victims and Volunteers” is top-notch punk-pop, as is their cover of Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks.”

Technical death metal, which unites extremely loud and elaborate guitar riffs with harsh screaming and rapid-fire drums, isn’t easy to digest. But the savage yet sophisticated musicianship of Detroit’s As They Sleep and France’s Nightshade makes this abrasive sonic concoction go down easier. The two bands converge on Cheyenne Saloon (3103 N. Rancho Drive) 10 p.m. March 21 for a show that’ll induce headbanging or jawdropping once these heshers start shredding fretboards. I expect As They Sleep to jolt everyone awake with their stunning song “Bedlam of the Nile.”

Over on the Strip, Chicago-stewed JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound infuse Book & Stage in the Cosmopolitan March 21-22 (10:30 p.m. shows) with their patented punk-rock ’n’ soul. What can I tell you about this hard-edged R&B band? Well, they do a rousing, horn section-soaked cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” they played for Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral inauguration, and they’re known for their strong, sweaty, streetwise theatricality. Brooks boasts killer pipes, so this show should be all kinds of crazy fun.

My new favorite piano-driven soft-indie-rock band Avalon Landing has landed a two-night engagement, March 20-21 (both free shows begin at 9 p.m.), at the Lounge in Palms. A few months back, the band released the teasing-but-not-quite-pleasing Demos, Dead Ends and Do Overs via iTunes to tide me and others over as they work toward completing a proper full-length later this year. Avalon Landing boasts—count ’em—four singers, and lush harmonizing, as on the lush ballad “Old Phone Book,” is otherworldly. Live, they’re sharp, too. If you enjoy Augustana or Coldplay, you’ll dig this shit immensely.



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