Vegas’ punk-rock archivist

PunksInVegas.com honcho Steven Matview has outdone himself with the new Vegas Archive series. Vegas Archive digitally re-releases rare, hard-to-find recordings by yesterday’s prominent local punk acts.

The first installment is an untitled 1994 demo cassette by Tomorrows Gone, a hard-core band featuring future members of Dead Ending, Faded Grey and Curl Up and Die. The release includes commentary and way-back-when photos by Tomorrows Gone vocalist/bassist Lance Wells. It’s a must-have for veterans of that scene or anyone seeking to know the history of underground Vegas music.

“Because they existed prior to the digital age,” Matview says, “bands like Tomorrows Gone have very little, if any, Internet presence.”

Matview felt he had to wait until PunksInVegas was established enough to approach the bands. He says he wants to present the music with the respect it deserves.

“I was trying to talk to younger guys who contribute to the site about Faded Grey and other local bands,” he says. “Now seemed a good time to get working on this.”

Matview contacted Wells (Tomorrows Gone/Faded Grey), who was receptive.

“Originally, it was to be a straight download of Tomorrows Gone’s collected recordings, but Lance suggested breaking them up into the original releases. He graciously offered to write an entry for each and provide photos from his personal collection.”

Within hours of putting up Tomorrows Gone’s demo, Matview received a deluge of (all right, a few dozen) warm responses.

“I hope a new generation of bands takes an opportunity to explore the roots of the Vegas scene.”

Cowtown Guitars recently moved from its longtime Maryland Parkway location to the Downtown Arts District (1009 Main St.). Owners Roxie and Jesse Amoroso, veteran rock ’n’ rollers who took over the cool vintage-instrument establishment last summer, are joining the growing momentum of the downtown area (the soon-to open Art Square at 1025 S. 1st St. and Colab Gallery at 817 S. Main St. also add energy to the neighborhood).

“We’re excited to bring our family store to where culture is taking place,” Roxie says.

Local singer/songwriter Shawn Eiferman (Epstein’s Mother) sent me a disc of his band Loophole’s debut album, 432. (The number refers to 432 hertz, “the natural sound frequency” and ideal tuning for musical pitch.) It’s a superb collection of 13 folk-pop tunes.

My current favorite is album opener “Vegas,” a jaunty yet melancholy-themed, Neil Diamond-grade strummer with poetic lyrics: These lights, they keep on shining/Voices on the Boulevard sing their songs/Believe me, he don’t like this town/Still he’s wearing a crown/Guess he’s bound to burn alone.

Nice. Loophole features Danny Garay (drums), Tim Catching (vocals/bass), and a guy named Arrow with always-on-target pipes who sings the material. They play Green Valley Ranch’s Ovation Showroom on April 5. Download the group’s app at LoopholeTheBand.com.

Suggested Next Read

Umphrey’s McGee

Concerts

Umphrey’s McGee

By Jordan Bruy

Opening the show with a rare five-minute jazz odyssey known by fans as “Tango Mike,” the Chicago-based progressive rockers got the crowd jamming. They kicked off the first grooving set with a 15-minute instrumental rendition of “Wife Soup.” The two-and-a-half hour show consisted of 15 songs that ranged from their early jazzier style to the newer Dave Matthews-esque vibe. In true jam-band style, most of their songs were quite lengthy, and they often played several tunes back to back.

DTLV

RunRebs