Mark your holiday calendar, because it’s official. The musical extravaganza known as Black Camaro Variety Show III is on like Reindeer Kong. The guys in psyche-rock band Black Camaro like to describe their seasonal effort as a “Bob Hope Christmas Special on mushrooms.” But it’s more like a good time shot through with quirky cheer. Hosted by Vegas singer-songwriter Ryan Pardey, the hourlong, skit-heavy and scripted variety segment kicks off at Triple B at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. I’m told Black Camaro will “seamlessly transition” into a live set. The band was kind enough to let me sneak a peek at their show synopsis, and I must say I’m looking forward to the strip-Uno skit as well as the Navajo New Year public service announcement. Ekoh and the Beau Hodges Band perform at this free show, too.
Another nugget: In 2012, I wrote an article about the guy who mixed the music for the Michael Jackson King of Pop slot-machine game chair. Well, Bally is at it again with a slot-seater called ZZ Top: Live from Texas. This one’s designed in Arizona, but expect to see it in Vegas casinos next year. The game includes all the “safe” hits—“Sharp Dressed Man,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “Just Got Paid,” “Legs” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’.” Sadly, no “Pearl Necklace,” “Tube Snake Boogie,” “Tush” or “Velcro Fly.”
OK, now for two live shows you should definitely check out this week. Classic-punk disciples U.S. Bombs (fronted by pro skater Duane Peters) detonate LVCS at 9 p.m. December 19. If you haven’t experienced the Bombs yet (well, shame on you, because the band’s been around since the ’90s), imagine a Southern California take on The Clash and you get the basic idea. It ain’t pretty, but compared to the mascara and gloss of what passes for punk music these days, this show should do the trick. (The Bombs’ “We Are the Problem” remains one of my all-time favorite rock songs.) Also on the bill: Battle Born, Lambs to Lions, Brutal Resistance, IDFI and SFT.
Ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee (who played on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin) lives in Vegas and has a new band called Red Dragon Cartel. Haven’t seen ’em yet, so I’m hotly anticipating Lee’s performance at Count’s Vamp’d at 7 p.m. December 20. This show is one of a few West Coast gigs preceding the release of a self-titled debut disc in January on the Frontier label. Recorded at the Hideout studio here in town and executively produced by Ozzy engineer Kevin Churko, the album boasts guest spots by Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown and Todd Kearns from Sin City Sinners. Still, I want to witness Lee burn up his fretboard. Shred the halls, I say.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.