Metal month, goat sandwiches, Czech grind

Santa Fe Station declares June as Metal Month, which is cool. OK, the hotel-casino’s idea of metal is a bunch of tribute acts. Still, the shows are free, and I’m looking forward to this lineup: Arena (’80s glam-rock, June 2); Snakesbite (Whitesnake tribute, June 8); Jizzy Pearl’s All Star Band (classic rock featuring Ratt singer, June 9); Iron Maidens (all-female Maiden tribute, June 15-16); and Vinyl Tatto (vintage metal, June 30). Bands play Chrome Showroom, and all shows begin at 9 p.m. Must be 21. For more info, visit

Coming on like Frank Zappa humping Rush in Black Flag’s basement, The Bitters possess a high prog-aholic content for those seeking music with a kick. This trio—Jeff Murphy (guitar), Vinny Moncada (bass) and Frank Klepacki (drums)—wipes the floor with any and all elite musicians in town. The band has been writing new material in the aftermath of its last disc, 2008’s self-released Grudgement Day; The Bitters are only now beginning to play the songs live. One cut, “Goat Sandwich,” is among the most super-technical rock songs I’ve ever heard. “The Bitter Blues,” meanwhile, is a blues jam in an odd time signature; it’s against this progressive backdrop that the band renders an accessible, yet weird, tune. As their live set expands, you literally feel The Bitters pushing their capabilities to the breaking point. (Klepacki says a new full-length disc will be released later in the year.) The Bitters play Double Down Saloon at 10 p.m. June 4 for DJ Rex Dart’s birthday party.

In other Klepacki-related news, the audio director for local videogame company Petroglyph has a new score out for Rise of the Immortals, described as a “multi-player online battle arena” game. And look for the score he wrote for forthcoming End of Nations, a massive multiplayer online real-time strategy games. Indeed, not only is Vegas native Klepacki a drum wizard, he’s a prolific game composer.

Yayo Taco hosts a killer extravaganza at 7 p.m. June 7 starring Vancouver crust-punkers Massgrave. The band’s songs (if you can call them that) have titles such as “Human Plague” and “Mountains of Waste,” indicating they don’t specialize in feel-good music. The bill also includes Needful Things, an explosive grindcore act all the way from Czechoslovakia of which I’m honestly scared. Maybe I should, in addition to earplugs, don a motorcycle helmet to protect myself. Texas metalcore marauders Turbo Krieg and local decimators Vihan Rytmi also perform. They might want to rebrand Yayo as an International House of Pancaked Eardrums for this show.

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Tour Buzz


Tour Buzz

By Geoff Carter

NO LOVE YOU’D CALL REAL: The reviews for Van Halen’s current tour, which erupts into the MGM Grand on May 27 ($36-$163) are, ah, mixed. And it shouldn’t be too surprising that 57-year-old frontman David Lee Roth, the man who puts the “HUH!” in “hubris,” is taking most of the punches. “No one should have expected the once-flamboyant showman to move stiffly like a wax figure on a Lazy Susan,” wrote the Miami Herald’s Howard Cohen of the band’s April 11 show.