News bits: The Downtown Project’s Bunkhouse Saloon renovation hit a snag. If you remember, the live-music venue closed on July 1 for remodeling. The idea was to reopen the bar 60 days later. Well, it’s been more than 120 days, and still no beautified Bunkhouse—and no kickass underground punk and metal shows for me to enjoy in the urban core. According to a Downtown Project rep, once renovations got underway, it became increasingly obvious that the old building needs a lot more work, mainly a new roof. The reopening date has been pushed to February.
Who knew the musical instrument-hawking folks in Las Vegas were so collective-minded? The sales staff at Guitar Center in Town Square voted to unionize last month, joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). This particular Vegas store follows the lead set by a Manhattan and a Chicago Guitar Center shop, which voted in favor of union representation by RWDSU earlier this year. Much to my amusement, Guitar Center is owned by Bain Capital, the venture capital firm founded by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the least rock ’n’ roll person on the planet. So I’m buying myself a guitar for Christmas at Town Square Guitar Center to show solidarity. Rock on, comrades!
Now for live music you need to experience this week: First, Long Beach, California-born headbanging-psychobilly trio the Black Rose Phantoms haunt Beauty Bar at 10 p.m. November 15. These dark-souled troubadours deal in grim, metal-edged rockabilly tunes such as “Evil Never Dies” and “The Witching Hour.” Hearing the insanely syncopated and rapid-fire clacking of singer-bassist St. Ozzy Sixx slapping his standup four-string is completely awesome. I can’t wait to see it happen live.
Wait, Qui is coming? Christmas is arriving early for me! The avant-punk duo from L.A. released its third album—Life, Water, Living—earlier this year on Warner Bros. punk imprint Org Music. Produced by the Melvins’ Dale Crover, the album features Jesus Lizard lead-shrieker David Yow. Sadly, Yow won’t be appearing, but drummer Paul Christensen and guitarist Matt Cronk will provide plenty of vocal terror at 10 p.m. November 16 at Double Down Saloon. Crushing as Qui are, they run the risk of being upstaged by two of Vegas’ most intensely experimental live acts—the Bitters and the Fat Dukes of Fuck. I fully expect my eardrums to be singed at this show.
Finally, California roots-reggae jam band Groundation digs into LVCS at 10 p.m. November 21. The nine-piece, classically trained ensemble continues to tour in support of 2012’s Building an Ark, which is heavy on jazz, funk and R&B influences. If you love doing the hippie-rasta dance in the presence of a killer band, here’s your chance.
Your Vegas band unionizing soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.