Louisiana Rock, Psyche-Horror, ’50s Pop

Excuse me while I indulge in a college flashback with New Orleans Southern punk trio Dash Rip Rock. The band has gone through numerous lineup changes over the years, but founding frontman Bill Davis remains steadfast. Dash Rip Rock used to play riotous shows in the French Quarter—a place my wife and I haunted when we were “studying” at Tulane. The band is resurging thanks to a few albums (most recently, last year’s Black Liquor) out on ex-Dead Kennedy frontman Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label. Interestingly, Davis teamed with Biafra to form Jello Biafra and the New Orleans Raunch & Soul All-Stars for some shows in New Orleans. But Dash Rip Rock is where it’s at for musical wildness, so don’t miss ’em. Inducted into the 2012 Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, they tear up LVCS at 10 p.m. March 28 with Slim Jim Phantom, Jamie James, The Limit Club, Psyatics, Ditch Diggers and the Fink Bombs.

New York psyche-horror band Occultation casts its doom-bringing shadow over Favorites bar at 9 p.m. March 30. The band released a crepuscular debut disc, Three & Seven, a year ago to positive reviews. Blending crawling King Crimson riffs with Joy Division’s industrial bleakness, Occultation also draws strength from its two female vocalists, who often intone like the apparition-conjuring witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Check out the band’s track “Shroud of Sorrows,” which grafts dreamy Nico-esque vocals onto cough-syruped Hawkwind riffs. Also on the bill: Borrowed Time, Demon Lung, Insecticide, Newtdick and Excretory Engorgement.

So you’re wondering if anyone legendary is playing Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. Well, what about instrumental surf-rock wave-rider Dick Dale? Mr. “Misirlou,” who gave Pulp Fiction so much sonic punch, plays the automotive component of the fest at 4 p.m. March 30. At age 75, Dale still knows how to dig deep into the strings of his Fender Stratocaster and produce earth-shattering tones, proving you don’t need to quiet down the older you get. Also at 4 p.m. March 30 in the Orleans’ main ballroom will be U.S. doo-wop legends the Cleftones. Their big 1961 singles were “Heart and Soul” and “For Sentimental Reasons,” and the group stands today as one of the few still-left-standing vocal-based rhythm-and-blues acts whose New York origin goes back to the ’50s. If that doesn’t convince you to invest in a four-day pass, nothing will. Well, except for maybe the big-souled voice of Little Richard, the pioneering Prince of Early Rock ’n’ Roll himself. The piano-pounding screecher is slated to play the Saturday car show fest (after Dale) at 7 p.m. March 30. You can still buy passes to the whole event or just the car show at the Orleans box office. See the full schedule at VivaLasVegas.net.

Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com or tell us in the comments.

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Guitarist Jesse Cook Finds Balance Between Discovery and Familiarity


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By Jarret Keene

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