Killswitches and Battlecrosses

I’m writing this in a poolside cabana at night, and it’s still 100 degrees. Pity the poor EDC-ers who can’t always enjoy air-conditioned venues to keep their angel wings from melting. Meantime, you and I, fellow Soundscrapers, have cool shows to hit.

First, blues singer-guitarist Guitar Shorty is back at the Railhead in Boulder Station (10 p.m. June 20). Often said to have influenced everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Buddy Guy, Shorty has performed with all the greats, including Little Richard. This dude simply cooks on the six-string. Like last time, I imagine he’ll likely perform his own originals plus some covers. Shorty’s version of “Hey Joe” is hellacious.

There’s a Clash of the Titans taking place at 10 p.m. June 21 at Artifice, and no, I’m not talking about the Greek myth of Perseus. I mean a night of Vegas bands performing covers by two titanic figures in rock ’n’ roll—Iggy Pop and David Bowie. The local groups chosen to play this event are on the ramshackle side, what with punk-rockin’ D&D-addicted stonerds 3d6 and garage-blues animals Tiger Sex. Other acts on the bill—Sex in Latex, A Grand Distraction, Brad Bailey—I’ve never heard of, so I’m eager to hear what they deliver. At the least the music is guaranteed to be awesome.

Portland, Maine, alternative hip-hop artist and Anticon label co-founder Sole sneaks into the Bunkhouse Saloon at 10 p.m. June 22. Sole is riding high after having just released socialist-MC concept album No Wising Up No Settling Down. According to the artist himself, the disc explores “personal and social/philosophical aspects of the class struggle.” Songs such as “Insurgent Rap” and “My Veganism” are unlike anything you’ve ever heard on the mic, making this the must-see underground hip-hop show of the year. Also on the bill: Moodie Black, Late for Dinner and Jay R Beatbox.

Two underground Wisconsin-weaned bands that frighten me more—Dresden, The Parish—descend on The Dive at 9 p.m. June 24. Dresden is a crust-punk group that sounds like a giant dentist drill held aloft by a tribe of serial killers and poised to grind off your entire face. The Parish, meanwhile, is a crushing stoner-doom trio that doesn’t sound at all like the religious unit of a church. Unless we’re talking the Church of Satan. Gooseflesh is already erupting on my eardrums.

Michigan modern heavy-metal juggernaut Battlecross wages total war in Cheyenne Saloon at 10 p.m. June 27. If you haven’t heard Battlecross yet, let me just sum it up for you: Pantera meets Lamb of God with a modern emphasis on technical guitar-riffing and double-kickdrum blasting. Because the band hasn’t yet released a follow-up to its proper 2011 debut album Pursuit of Honor, I’m hoping Battlecross performs some new songs. Also, last time I was at Cheyenne, the sound was superb, as good or better than any venue in town.

Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Tell us in the comments or email

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