Punk mammaries, gross-out metal, power violence

It’s going to be an extra-loud week. Punk acts, death-metal marauders and power-violence avengers are descending on Las Vegas in unprecedented numbers. Please invest in hearing-protection plugs or you might as well just hand over your eardrums to a cannibal bath salt-head.

First up, venerable Fat Wreck Chords band Swingin’ Utters are set to slap you silly at the Bunkhouse at 9 p.m. June 15. The Utters are California punkers who have matured into a first-rate rock ’n’ roll combo. My favorite song off last year’s superb Here, Under Protest album is “Time On My Own,” in which singer Darius Koski admits: There’s all this time to own/but I waste it like it’s shit/take it for granted and forget. I look forward to hearing these guys share stories of growing up tough and eventually realizing that life is still altogether tougher. Guilty By Association, Roll the Tanks and Spotted Dick also perform.

Starting at 5 p.m. on June 16 North Las Vegas venue the Sanctuary (2575 E. Craig Road) hosts Knoxville, Tenn., metalcore act Straight Line Stitch. At the risk of sounding sexist, I’ll go ahead and point out that the band is fronted by Alexis Brown, who, in addition to being particularly easy on the eyes, is a gifted singer. Her performance on last year’s studio effort, The Fight of Our Lives, is stunningly varied, from chugging yet melodic kiss-off track “One Reason” to throat-shredding and moshpit-inciting “Conversion.” Local bands This Is My Curse and The Darkest open, along with Long Island, N.Y., melodic-rock outfit Blameshift.

Goodness gracious, merely reading aloud the revolting names of just a handful of goregrind bands slated to play this year’s two-day (June 15-16) Las Vegas Death Fest at Cheyenne Saloon makes me want to shower: Coprophiliac. Begging for Incest. Coathanger Abortion. Dragging Entrails. And let’s not forget my favorite: Sexcrement. This 21-and-up event begins at 1 p.m. both days with tickets—$25 per day, $50 combo—at Facebook.com/LasVegasDeathFest, or call 645-4139. (The fest also offers an nine-band “pre-fest” teaser on June 14, in case 42 groups just isn’t enough death-metal for you.)

But the show I’m most anticipating: Retox at the Bunkhouse at 9 p.m. June 21. This is a groundbreaking aggressive music act, and last year’s Ugly Animals album (released by the prestigious Ipecac/Three One G labels) rips through 11 songs in 13 minutes, leaving nothing but broken bones and shattered senses in its vicious wake. Retox, which features members of The Locust, grows more feral with each successive song, starting with the explosive “The World Is Ending, and It’s About Time” to the Ventures-riding-a-speedball buzz of “Thirty Cents Shy of a Quarter” to the medulla oblongata-wrenching whiplash of “A Bastard on Father’s Day.” Retox will leave you clawing at the velvet bars of your cubicle like a shit-throwing monkey on a roid rage. Or maybe like a bath-salt binger? Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire, God’s America: The Seeds of Rape and Nests open.

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More Than Portrait-Deep

By Cynthia Behr Warso

In her new show at Kleven Contemporary, Life Room-Blue Screen, Emily Scott paints nudes in a traditional, yet unidealized manner reminiscent of Lucian Freud, or perhaps Alice Neel. However, Scott’s colorful and irreverent backgrounds collide with the stodginess of the discipline, creating a sense of dynamism. It’s a great homecoming for the ex-pat’s first return visit to Las Vegas in nearly two years.