Soul-Ska, Country-Rap, Steamrollers

In search of the next band to add to its roster, SquidHat Records is holding an open call for submissions on its Facebook page. The Las Vegas music label invites local bands to post their music, along with a note explaining why they should be signed. Deadline is Jan. 1, and the six bands selected will play a two-night showcase (Jan. 25-26) at Double Down Saloon. The show will be headlined by one of SquidHat’s two flagship acts, the Gashers or the Dirty Panties. Another sign SquidHat’s on the rise: The Panties are slated to play MMA Xtreme at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel at 7 p.m. Dec. 1. The all-girl punk act will be playing walkout music and micro-sets between rounds of the main bout. Check out for more info.

L.A. soul-mod-ska revival ensemble the Untouchables touch down at Las Vegas Country Saloon at 10 p.m. Nov. 30. Before Sublime and No Doubt, there was this (now-six-piece) band, which formed in 1981 and recorded a handful of classic albums for Stiff Records in the U.K. Their best is probably Wild Child (’85), featuring the catchy, horn-punching R&B stomper “I Spy (For the FBI).” These guys play pure party music with passionate, retro-raucous zeal.

California outlaw-country hip-hoppers Moonshine Bandits bring their white-lightning raps and white-trash chicken-picking to Cheyenne Saloon at 9 p.m. Dec. 1. I don’t want to like the Bandits, but the way they blend Vanilla Ice, Larry the Cable Guy and Merle Haggard is—like a NASCAR machine slamming into N.W.A.—difficult to avoid looking at or hearing. Songs such as “Whiskey River” promote inebriation while also paying homage to classic country stars such as Johnny Cash. Fans of artists as varied as Beck, Kid Rock and Beastie Boys will down this, no prob.

Time to bust out your holiday sweater in honor of your mom’s favorite New Age-influenced Christmas-classical ensemble Mannheim Steamroller. The long-running group continues to smooth-over eardrums with its residency at the Palazzo. The 12-piece ensemble’s show involves acrobats, trapeze artists and 3-D projections, which I’m curious to see. The ’Roller just released a new disc, Winter in Venice, which you can only get at Palazzo. Shows are 7 p.m. daily through Dec. 30, with 9:30 p.m. shows Dec. 25, 27 and 29 ($64-$124, 414-9000).

Two ass-chapping shows slated for Dec. 6: Synth-rocker Michael Angelakos, who makes music under the name Passion Pit, dives into The Joint at 7 p.m. with the Shins. I called the Pit’s disc Gossamer 2012’s best electropop album (in Vegas Seven’s Aug. 9 issue) and I stand by that statement. Heavy-rock trio Kyng, meanwhile, opens for Megadeth at House of Blues at 7:30 p.m. Kyng’s song “Falling Down,” off last year’s Trampled Sun album, is fueled by a ferocious riff.

Suggested Next Read


Concert Review


There’s been a growing trend in recent years of bands eschewing the traditional hit-packed concert format in favor of playing an album in its entirety. It’s a marketing strategy that’s as brilliant (“Hey fans, come hear songs you haven’t heard live in decades—if ever!”) as it is dangerous (“Oh, shit, do we know what we’re doing here?”) That danger quotient is multiplied when the set list features not one, but two albums.