My favorite local nonprofit Push Forward is throwing a cool benefit party with live music. All proceeds benefit Push Forward’s mission: giving at-risk Vegas youth a sense of direction, empowerment and mentorship via skateboarding. Three of my favorite ramp-worthy bands—The Swamp Gospel, Crazy Chief, American Buckshot—play at 9 p.m. April 18 at Beauty Bar. I look forward to seeing three other groups on the bill for the first time: Fuzz Solow, Unfair Fight and Mersa. Admission is $5, and it’s for a great cause—teaching kids to stay out of trouble by embracing skate culture. Get stoked!
The calendar date 4/20 ignites cannabis-inspired bands to hit the road and spread the message of head-expanding, mind-blowing guitarmanship. One of the best heavy psychedelic groups I’ve heard in many years is L.A.’s Blaak Heat Shujaa. The stoner-metal trio should have you tripping your balls off at 9 p.m. April 20 at Favorites. Signed to California stoner-rock label Tee Pee Records, Blaak Heat Shujaa are on a roll, having released an EP in December and then just last week unveiling a full-length titled The Edge of an Era. I’ve been especially enjoying the album’s senses-shattering 10-minute track “The Obscurantist Fiend (The Beast Pt. I)” for the way it builds and then collapses like a hungry, star-devouring black hole. If you dig the Palm Desert vibe à la Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, you’ll surely want to bask in Shujaa’s sonic sunshine. Also on the bill: The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, the Freeks, Demon Lung, Lotus and Seated Behind the Sun.
Brooklyn post-punk band The Men man up at The Bunkhouse Saloon at 10 p.m. April 24. Last month, the quintet released a fourth album, New Moon, incorporating serious country elements (saloon piano) into their blistering noise-rock attack, causing one music critic to describe them as, to paraphrase, Dinosaur Jr. meets Tom Petty. Awesome, right? Can’t wait to hear The Men’s new songs—like high-voltage “Electric” and Neil Young-shredding-his-amplifiers ballad “I Saw Her Face” in all their onstage glory. I’m not too tough to admit I’m bringing earplugs.
New bits: SquidHat Records continues to scoop up bands. The label’s latest signing: local punk stalwart Guilty By Association, which formed 12 years ago, released a couple of albums and shared a stage with everyone from Exploited to Circle Jerks. In July, SquidHat will release a remastered, 20-track double CD of Guilty By Association’s debut album, Detox, and the band’s follow-up, American Decay. Expect a summer CD-release party at Double Down Saloon and a tour. Guilty By Association hopes to unveil a new disc in early 2014. Info at SquidHatRecords.com … Vegas doom-metalheads Demon Lung join Castle for a summer mini-tour, with shows surrounding both bands’ Doom in June (June 1) appearance: Lake Tahoe, Scottsdale, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Info at DemonLungBand.com.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Tell us in the comments or email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.