What a sonically diverse week—a veritable buffet of incredible live-music options. It’s enough to make me think Las Vegas might be on the cultural upswing. If I sound too giddy about my city’s underground offerings, just remind me of Britney Spears’ lip-synch residency and that Imagine Dragons won a Grammy.
Honey Cocaine (real name: Sochitta Sal) is a 21-year-old Cambodian-born thugette from Toronto, who weighs probably 80 pounds with her braces. She’s only released a few mix tapes but has already made a big Internet splash (her YouTube videos garner a million-plus views). Khmer is her first language, but she’s a deft, dirty-mouthed street poet, as evidenced by electro-pulsing “Chichi Get the Yayo.” If you enjoy raw, visceral rapping from an unexpectedly cross-cultural MC, Honey Cocaine will administer a strong fix. She injects sweetly addictive rhymes into LVCS at 9 p.m. March 7 with Jazz Lazer, Kevy Los, BRI Fame and Nate Quest.
Is gutter-born punk what you prefer? Then you dare not miss Stillwater, Oklahoma power-violence duo Black Cop, who make a helluva racket with dark and very dismal expressions of alienation. The band’s songs rarely extend beyond the minute mark, often pummeling the listener with sudden jabs of spiritual agony. There aren’t many bands today that terrify me enough to loosen my bowels, but Black Cop almost makes me want to stop at Walgreens en route to the show—8 p.m. March 7, Artistic Armory (5087 S. Arville St., Suite E 89118)—for a package of Depend adult diapers. Also on the bill: Loose Change, Stale Phish, Pieces of Polices, Rumble with the Socs and Rotten Scaliwag & the Lowlifes.
This week, jazz-funk-soul trio Soulive smashes the proverbial Champagne bottle against brand-new Strip-centered live music venue Brooklyn Bowl with two shows, 9 p.m. March 8-9. These guys sound, to my ears, like a jamband update on Booker T. and the MGs. You can always depend on Soulive to deliver an upbeat vibe of sheer musicality—and to cover (and totally reinvigorate) a Beatles song or three. (They completely and beautifully upend “Eleanor Rigby,” for instance.) If there’s a dark thought in your troubled head, this group will neutralize it in seconds with struttin’, horn-punching songs such as “Up Right.” Wear your dancing shoes to this one.
Here’s a cool classical concert I’ve been hotly anticipating: 29-year-old Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich. He’ll perform Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 backed by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. March 13 at UNLV’s Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. The show is part of the orchestra’s first U.S. jaunt, comprising 26 cities. Rabinovich’s debut album, Ballets Russes (for which he also provided liner-note drawings) arrived last year, earning raves and awards, but it’s his Rachmaninov forays that continue to dazzle global audiences. Known for his prodigious technique and mature lyricism, this young musician will impress even the most jaded concertgoer.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.