Cool Live Music News Bits? Got ’em Right Here

Commonwealth, the new bar on Fremont Street, recently opened its speakeasy-style doors to live music. On March 24, female-fronted indie-pop band Love Hate Away performs, and on March 31 bluesy rock singer Donacat takes the rooftop stage. Shows are free and begin at 9 p.m. Weather’s finally perfect for outdoor shows.

Goodness, actual musicians are sneaking into Hyde nightclub at Bellagio thanks to the (fairly) recent “Live Music Thursdays” series, which launched in November. The new resident artist is Hawaiian crooner (and American Idol also-ran) Mahi Crabbe, who takes the stage at 9 p.m. March 28 and through April. The 23-year-old singer-guitarist plays with a full band, delivering island-flavored, reggae-kissed and hip-hop-hinted covers (John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson) and his own scattered originals, which are strong.

No, you won’t find shoegaze-rockers Candy Warpop playing live anytime soon. But that’s only because the band easily reached its $3,600 Kickstarter goal—and then some, to the tune of $1,200. Which means both the recording and mastering of Warpop’s first full-length album will be covered thanks to the contributions made by nearly 100 fans. The group goes into the studio April 4.

Demon Lung finally has a release date for its first full-length, which will be out on metal label Candlelight Records on June 4. The Vegas stoner-doom band emailed me a sneak peek of the disc, titled The Hundredth Name and consisting of eight epic tracks. The album was done at Sharkbite Studios, in Oakland, California, by stoner-rock producer Billy Anderson (Sleep, High on Fire) late last year and then mixed at his studio in Portland, Oregon in January. The summer’s gonna burn my ears to ash, I just know it.

There’s another qualifying band battle on the horizon—9 p.m. March 22—as part of the Hard Rock Rising “global battle of the bands” being held at Hard Rock Café on the Strip. The Vegas organizers knew they needed the razor-sharp acumen and indisputable taste of a seriously credentialed music critic to serve as a judge, so they called me. Well, I was the fifth person they rang—after Carrot Top. Still, I can’t wait to help select a Vegas representative who’ll go on to have a shot at, according to a press release someone handed me, touring the world and making an album and video with Hard Rock Records.

Cool live shows to hit this week (aside from Neon Reverb)? Groovy blues-doom band Clutch from Maryland kills Hard Rock Café on the Strip at 7:30 p.m. March 23 with British heavy metal act Orange Goblin. Always-amazing-live alt-country outfit Deer Tick nestles into Artifice at 9 p.m. March 26 with Same Sex Mary and Crazy Chief.

Your Vegas band releasing a new CD soon? Email or tell us in the comments.

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Rosie Flores Bucks Expectations with Her Gritty Guitar Playing


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Austin, Texas, singer and guitar-slinger Rosie Flores has a few things in her favor. First, there’s the wisdom and experience that come with age (she’s 62). Then there are her musical chops, honed from having started singing when she was 6 and playing the guitar at 14. Finally, Flores doesn’t care about sounding like a dainty young naïf when it’s time to plug into an onstage amplifier. She shreds—loudly—instead.