STRANGER THAN FICTION: I can’t be alone in thinking that the life and times of Toto—scheduled to play the Sandbar at Red Rock Resort on September 13 ($47-$69)—would make a great biographical film. Perhaps David Lynch, with whom the band collaborated on the sci-fi epic Dune in 1984, could develop such a film. Yeah, that’ll work! Lynch could totally explain how a group formed in 1977 by session players for Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs could have a 35-year career distinguished by six Grammy wins, enormous worldwide commercial success, and, oh yeah, a soundtrack for a David Lynch film. Maybe Lynch could even explain to me why I’ve a passing interest in seeing this band, even though I haven’t liked one of their songs in nearly 20 years and probably couldn’t pick one of their members out of a police lineup. I guess I’d lay the blame on “Rosanna” and “Africa”—still catchy, two decades on—and the end credits track of their Dune score, the gorgeous instrumental “Take My Hand.” Maybe Lynch can recycle it for the opening of his Toto biopic, which must feature Harry Dean Stanton in every role.
THE OLD MAINSTREAM: Bad news, my dears: Pop-punk is dead. No longer will it populate our shopping malls, our Mountain Dew commercials, our “Omigod, I’m back in high school” nightmares. And if you want to know the cause of death, go look in a mirror. Yes, it was you who killed the pop-punk subgenre, and you did it in the same way that the members of One Direction are doomed to go: You grew up. If you choose to see Blink-182 playing poolside at the Cosmopolitan on September 19 ($60), you will go knowing that the next time you see these guys, they’ll probably be on Celebrity Apprentice or something like that. It’s over. Go home.
NOW ON SALE: Vinyl receives a visit from the indie rock equivalent of that bald alien dude from Prometheus when Built to Spill plays the club on November 26 ($22). Under the guidance of singer and guitarist Doug Martsch, the Boise, Idaho, band has proven so influential that an entire generation of indie bands—from Band of Horses to Death Cab for Cutie—sometimes comes off as little more than a collection of Built to Spill tribute acts. It’s, like, Martsch’s very essence got into the drinking water used to make the Pabst that these bands drank on tour.