Rockabilly barbers, SquidHat signees

Because I live downtown, I got my hair snipped at the Huntridge Barber Shop. The joint took a retro-cool turn a few months back when Martin Corona took over, renaming it Hi-Rollers (1120 S. Maryland Parkway, 382-6790). I didn’t know how neat the place is until my last visit.

The shop specializes in pompadours and is jammed with dudes who look perpetually poised to attend a rockabilly show. Lowrider and other magazines featuring tattooed babes make it easy to wait one’s turn. Last week, another barber (Corona’s line was too long for me to wait) was trimming my sideburns when I heard music playing. I asked, “What am I hearing?”

“Never heard Will & the Hi-Rollers?” said the barber, applying warm foam around my ears. “The owner, Martin, plays guitar in the band.”

Wow. I must admit the Hi-Rollers—L.A. label Wild Records released the band’s sole album, 2008’s Do the Town—do trad ’50s rock ’n’ roll in a way that recalls Sun Sessions-era Elvis Presley. Songs such as “I Want Some More” and “Baby C’mon” possess pure, simple energy and hooks, and the guitar licks are ferociously good. Check out the band’s website at

What can I say? My barber rocks. Even if you don’t sport an awesome pomp, Hi-Rollers Barber Shop gives great hair. (Or at least my wife said so when I got home.)

Newbie Vegas indie label SquidHat Records has signed its first two local punk bands, the Dirty Panties and the Gashers, with album-release dates of July 14 and 20, respectively. SquidHat is the brainchild of Allan Carter, drummer for Portland, Ore.-based Attack Ships on Fire. He signed his loan papers for his new Vegas digs even as I interviewed him on the phone. Carter says the SquidHat plan is to release two albums a year, and that his business model is “real,” with no up-front costs to the bands. In other words, the label pays for things like studio time, promotion and tour support—you know, all those things major labels don’t bother with anymore unless your name’s Katy Perry. Once the label recovers its initial investment, the bands start making money. Carter says SquidHat even put up the Gashers in a Portland studio to birth its forthcoming full-length, Law Is Not Order.

“We sign bands we love to see live and want to help grow as artists,” Carter says.

SquidHat throws a label showcase 10 p.m. May 19 at Double Down Saloon (4640 Paradise Road) featuring the Dirty Panties and the Gashers, plus the Quitters, the Flesh Hammers and Gasoline Addicts. A gratis label sampler CD will be distributed at this free show. For more info on the label, visit

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