Vegas Funk, Delta Blues, L.A. Twee

Las Vegas’ best funk-rock jamband Moksha (pictured) launches a West Coast tour this month, taking them from Salt Lake City to Portland. The group recently released a digital-download of a performance recorded in Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir’s TRI Studio in San Rafael, California (available at Live at TRI 11.21.11 is a hi-def, 10-song set drawn from Moksha’s full-length albums, Mammal or Machine and Here to Go. More significantly for this column, the quintet will be joined by horn players at Vinyl at the Hard Rock at 9 p.m. February 15.

If you prefer an aggressive jolt to the eardrums, Vegas’ Killtaker slays Bunkhouse Saloon at 10 p.m. February. 15. The trio cites Jawbreaker as an influence, but this homegrown hardcore act sounds like early Lemonheads or even Bleach-era Nirvana by always delivering a sweet hook wrapped in barbed-wire distortion. Killtaker’s best tune is an ode to classic country-rock called “Honky Tonk Hero.” Singer/guitarist Danny Vasquez, after confessing his dad raised him on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and the Rolling Stones, rhetorically asks, Where’s the girls with the starry eyes? What the hell’s so wrong with the singalong song? Nothing, obviously, and Killtaker writes ’em as good as anyone. Also on the bill: The Marquees and Bleu.

New York bluesman Guy Davis touches down at Charleston Heights Arts Center at 3 p.m. February. 16. His latest disc is The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues. In it, Davis explores his eponymous persona, a road-scarred Southern hobo en route to Nashville to secure a recording contract just prior to World War II. Part folklore project, part narrative-song cycle, Fishy is a celebration of Delta-blues acoustic fingerstyle-playing a la Robert Johnson. Davis is also an accomplished five-string banjo player and harmonica-blower, so if you’re a hardcore blues fan, this show should do the trick.

Foxygen is no stranger to Las Vegas, having played Neon Reverb. The L.A. indie-pop duo is now basking in a higher profile thanks to rave reviews of its just-released sophomore album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. On its new disc, Foxygen delivers a delicious sonic grab bag brimming with sizable treats—from the twee-’60s bubblegum of “San Francisco” to the groovy synth-nugget “Shuggie” to the country-candy of “No Destruction.” If you need a blast of pure musical air, I suggest hooking yourself up to this 10 p.m. February 16 show at Beauty Bar. 

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Rock of Earlier Ages


Rock of Earlier Ages

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Modest little mingle, wasn’t it? Just four demigods kickin’ it really old-school—as in December 4, 1956-old-school, the day Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins traded licks and sent rock on a rocket ride to history in an iconic recording session in Memphis.