Canadian rock invasion

Three cool Canadian bands coming to Vegas this week? Must be something in the maple syrup.

All-girl Ontario alt-rockers Hunter Valentine stalks the Bunkhouse at 9:30 p.m. Nov. 1 with female-fronted L.A. anthemic-pop outfit Queen Caveat. Hunter Valentine is the darker, gothier, sexier side of the bill. Gorgeous, charismatic singer/guitarist Kiyomi McCloskey delivers songs with charged, lustful titles such as “Closet Case” and “She Only Loves Me When She’s Wasted.” The band is touring in support of its sophomore full-length Collide and Conquer. Meanwhile, Queen Caveat comes to chop off people’s heads with the Slap on the Wrist EP, featuring massive-sounding single “Resilient Me.” Caveat chieftess Lauren Little is a blond bombshell with a big voice that suits the grandiose yet thrilling material. It’ll be an interesting contrast in stage presences.

You’ll want to be back at the Bunkhouse at 9 p.m. Nov. 3 for something greasy. Prep your palate for some slices and punk ’n’ roll at the Punk Rock Pizza Party. The lineup includes Vegas bands Deadhand, Battle Born and Not Much Cooler, plus L.A.’s Identity Theft and yet another all-female thrash-core outfit from Canada, Vancouver’s Joyce Collingwood. The latter is said to have played a few prisons across the Great White North, so performing at a downtown Vegas dive bar should be no problem for these sisters of no-mercy. My favorite Collingwood cut is the postcard-from-hell metal number, “Victoria.” The pit and the pepperoni should be furious with these ladies.

After the cheese, gorge on the crust-doom offering of Squamish, British Columbia-crawlers Hoopsnake, who play Yayo Taco at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 with Demon Lung and Spiritual Shepherd. Hoopsnake is a tightly coiled sludge-slinging trio possessing Sabbath-riffing powers. Songs such as “Weedfiender General” conjure ’70s-era psychedelic weirdness. Whatever you do, don’t come to this show minus a neck brace. Gonna be serious headbanging brewing. This will also be Vegas doom band Demon Lung’s first show since signing with European metal label Candlelight Records.

Here’s a post-Halloween treat I can’t resist. Southern boogie-metal band Jackyl revs its engines at 10 p.m. Nov. 6 at Las Vegas Country Saloon. If the name doesn’t ring bells, what about 1992 MTV-video sensation “The Lumberjack” song, during which singer/guitarist Jesse James Dupree breaks real musical ground by unleashing a frickin’ chain-saw solo? C’mon, you know you love it when that STIHL starts to tear. Jackyl had other semi-hits (“I Stand Alone” and “Dirty Little Mind”), but the band is on tour to promote its seventh studio album, called Best in Show. Best way to describe Jackyl is AC/DC meets Skynyrd, so if you crave crashing guitar riffs and stomping drum beats, this dog will hunt.

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Political Candidates, Busted


Political Candidates, Busted

By Danny Axelrod

Washington D.C.-based artist Melissa Ichiuji’s latest works are a brutal commentary on politics. The former Alvin Ailey dancer has seen success for her work with erotic soft sculptures, but for her latest exhibit, Fair Game, the imagery is stark and brutal. “I wanted to play with traditional portraiture and settled on doing busts,” Ichiuji says. “It’s a play on words in how the media is out there looking for the next sound bite or gaffe, ready to ‘bust’ political leaders from both parties.” Ichiuji brings two pieces and a slide show from her D.C.