Royal vermin, silent comedians, metal puppetry

The Royal House entertainment director Ryan Pardey (who also fronts my favorite indie-rock band, Halloween Town) apologized to me for asking punk bands to turn down their amps last month. See, because of noise levels, which can affect the nearby front desk, punk and metal are mostly verboten at The Royal. But The Vermin (of all groups!) ended up headlining a show for the first and likely only time. Can’t say I blame the Royal House for wishing to maintain its standing as Vegas’ top indie-rock nook. If you require hearing loss, there’s always Yayo Taco and Double Down Saloon.

Speaking of the Royal, they’re doing an especially interesting show next Thursday. San Diego’s The Silent Comedy brings its bluegrass-gospel-gypsy-folk-rockabilly sound to town, but I’m detecting a lot more cool artiness—think Decemberists and Mumford & Sons—with the flair of a call-and-response tent revival into which a wayward soul has snuck whiskey. In any case, the members of The Silent Comedy even dress the part of traveling Pentecostal preachers gone a bit to seed. Their cultivated facial hair and smart vests are impressive, to say the least. Their song “Gasoline,” about letting a romance go down in flames, catches fire thanks to some nifty banjo-picking and spirited singing. I for one can’t wait to take in what looks to be a highlight of the year. The Silent Comedy screens at the Royal House (99 Convention Center Drive, 735-6117, at 10 p.m. June 14. Local Americana ensemble Dusty Sunshine opens.

Stoner-doom outfit Demon Lung is building up to release a debut video for their Hellraiser flick/Clive Barker-referencing song “Lament Code” on July 2. The song is from the Vegas band’s self-released Pareidolia EP, which I reviewed in Vegas Seven’s March 22 issue. The video is being directed as we speak by Dustin Mills, the twisted mind responsible for indie horror/comedy underground cult film The Puppet Monster Massacre. The video features a puppet version of comely frontwoman Shanda Frederick. (Hey, anyone recall the Mastodon-and-Adult Swim team-up for “Deathbound,” which looked like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on acid? Puppets and metal are the new peanut butter and chocolate.) Oh, and if you happen to be in England this month, pick up Metal Hammer magazine (the top-selling hesher mag in the world). Our boys and girl in Demon Lung are profiled in its pages.

Finally, I snagged a copy of Battle Born’s lighthearted Gadget Rangers of Deth EP at their Bunkhouse release show last month. Since the disc is loaded with nerdy pop-culture references, it’s up my alley. Opening track “Pull the Plug” is tons of pop-punk fun. It’s followed by a cover of Dethklok’s “Thunderhorse,” which had me shaking my head in awe of Battle Born’s versatility. There’s also a dueling-twin-guitars rendition of the theme from the Inspector Gadget TV cartoon show, as well as a Megadeth-like take on “Go Go Power Rangers,” the intro to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Anyhow, I paid five bucks for this frivolous treat, and it’s so worth it. The EP’s four new originals are on iTunes, but the covers are only available on the physical copy, which you should pick up at a Battle Born show later this month.

Suggested Next Read

The Beach Boys


The Beach Boys

By Sean DeFrank

The Beach Boys have been a perennial act on the summer concert tour schedule for decades. But the band’s 50th Anniversary tour has received greater attention and attendance this year not because of the milestone number, but because of the inclusion of all of the band’s surviving original members—most notably Brian Wilson.