Metal fest, Warpop, Avalon

Cool stuff is percolating in underground Vegas music. First, the lineup for Doom in June III on June 1 at Cheyenne Saloon has been slipped into my pocket. The all-day-and-night Vegas doom-metal fest returns after a year in hiatus with a strong collection of bands, including The Skull (featuring ex-members of Trouble), classic (having formed back in ’77) metal act Manilla Road, stoner-rock trio Karma to Burn, heavy-psyche group Ancestors, San Antonio sludge-slingers Las Cruces, Seattle doom-shroomers Snail and ex-Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell’s Ultra Electric Mega Galactic. Lots of locals will be performing this time, unlike previous installments: Demon Lung, Dali’s Llama, Albatross Overdrive, Megaton and Spiritual Shepherd. Look for more info and updates at

Self-described “industrial art-punk” quartet Candy Warpop launched a Kickstarter campaign this month to fund the recording of their first full-length album. The as-yet-untitled album will offer 12 songs and will be produced in April by Most Thieves keyboardist Eric Rickey. You can hear his handiwork on Warpop’s first single, the rollicking “Trigger,” streaming on the group’s Bandcamp page. Incentives for helping these guys get going? Live house parties, gourmet vegan cuisine and guitar lessons from the band. Warpop aspires to raise $3,600 before March 11. Check out the Kickstarter video at

Vegas piano-centered indie-pop band Avalon Landing launched a website and studio blog to document the making of their first proper album. The group has converted its practice pad into a studio and seems pretty dedicated thus far to posting images from and notes on the recording process. Avalon Landing has been blipping on the national radar, being briefly featured in Alternative Press magazine this month. Go see the cool pics and words at

Enough news bits. You can experience the actual bite of live music with Rival Sons, who rev up Vinyl at the Hard Rock at 9 p.m. February 23. If you crave a dose of Southern heavy-rock with a unique gospel-blues attack, the Sons suffice. The quartet is now touring in support of its third studio album, Head Down. Released last fall, the disc cranks up the Led Zeppelin influences, especially on riff-heavy cuts such as “Keep on Swinging.” The L.A. band somehow manages to sound more Louisiana-basted, singer Jay Buchanan moving from R&B finesse to retro-mod moods with ease. Rival Sons have that rare ability to impress jaded musicians and still incite a room full of people to dance. Vinyl’s a nice-sounding room with a great floor, so this show should cook.

Flotsam and Jetsam are playing the Hard Rock Café on the Strip at 7 p.m. February 28. The ’80s metal band never really washed up, continuing to release albums every few years. Their most recent disc is 2012’s Ugly Noise, which is anything but what its title suggests. Nostalgia is fun, but it’s even better when a band you recall liking still makes decent music

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