Deerhunters, Baronesses, Surf-Monsters



Summer’s wrapping up. Kids are quietly weeping in anticipation for the oncoming agony of institutionalized learning. Parents are crying out of relief. The only way to deal with the collective incarceration/liberation is to go see a show.

Indie-rock darlings Deerhunter delve into Hard Rock Cafe (3771 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) 10 p.m. Aug. 22. The Atlanta, Georgia quintet is a riotous bunch, but they inflict noise in highly artful and compelling ways. Their sixth disc, Monomania, despite being very avant-garde and fractures to most listeners, was released in May to critical raves. The title cut is searing, psychedelic and worth absorbing a time or two, Singer Bradford Cox really tapping into his inner Bo Diddley—or maybe his hidden Troggs, “Wild Thing” made even wilder from 21st-century ennui. In any case, here’s your chance to catch a band at the vanguard of the neo-garage movement. Skinny jeans, please, you adorable Vegas fashionistas.

Been a while since I’ve seen a good local punk-rock lineup, and this one seems like it should hit the spot. The Mapes will make things messy in The Dive 10 p.m. Aug. 24. The Mapes are arguably the most loathed band among Las Vegas music critics. Which automatically puts them in my “gotta respect that” category. Songs like “Tits” and “C*U*N*T” deliver what they promise—obnoxious lyrics and three of the stupidest chords imaginable. Live and onstage, though, the Mapes are a flamboyant bunch—odd clothing, weird hats, absurd banter. I only wish I could use an eardrum condom before letting them assault my canals!

Here’s a show that might bring a tear to my eye. Underground metal band Baroness comes to town for the first time since last summer’s double album and bid for mainstream acceptance Yellow & Green, universally hailed upon its arrival. And then the unthinkable happened. A horrific bus accident nearly killed them mere days after the album’s release. Singer/guitarist John Baizley’s injuries—broken arms and legs—were so severe the Lexington, Virginia band couldn’t tour. Baizley never said die, though. After swapping out a bassist and drummer, Baroness recovered enough to perform a few dozens shows this year, including this one, which takes place 10 p.m. Aug. 28 at Triple B. Three-piece prog-metal band Royal Thunder from Atlanta opens.

Kabuki-faced surf-punk instrumentals devoted to monsters don’t come any deadlier than Daikaiju’s. The Alabama band barges into The Dive 10 p.m. Aug. 22, and if you’re a fan of the movie Pacific Rim, then you’re going to love the sonic tsunami generated by these mysterious, unnamed entities who insist on enough reverb to choke all of Monster Island—including Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. (Think I’m watching too many Godzilla movies on Netflix? Be honest.) My favorite Daikaiju single right now is the most recently released, “Double Fist Attack,” which isn’t as X-rated as it sounds. The song’s title is taken from Shogun Warriors—you know, the toy robots from the ’70s whose hands shot out like missiles? Um, never mind.

Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email