The summer fireworks stands may be shuttered and gone, but the live-music options this week are pure dynamite.
Melbourne, Australia, old school-soul nonet (that means nine-piece band) Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes will create a joyous clatter in the Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier bar for a complimentary (that means free-to-attend) three-night residency, July 17-19. Browne and her musical mates release a brand-new EP this week called Love Cliques, and for the last few days I’ve been jive-strutting around my house while continually spinning the bottom-heavy, hard-grooving track “Jenny.” Fans of Adele and the late Amy Winehouse are going to love this show. This is feel-good music with a gritty edge performed in the swankiest casino bar on the Strip. The band plays three sets nightly, starting at 8 p.m.
Sheffield, England, indie rockers the Crookes creep into Container Park for a free concert at 7 p.m. July 19. The band is touring in support of its recently released third album, Soapbox, recorded in a church in the mountains of Italy. Some truly great tunes on this disc, especially the singles “Play Dumb” and “Don’t Put Your Faith in Me,” which somehow split the sonic difference between the Walkmen and Franz Ferdinand. In other words, the Crookes at once convey atmospheric balladry and straight-up dance-rock. An ideal band for the Downtown crowd. Also on the bill: San Francisco soul-rockers the Soft White Sixties and L.A. neo-soul outfit Caught a Ghost.
Not a fan of tribute acts, but I’ll make the rare exception for San Francisco-spawned Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond soundalike group that really nails, with surprising rock ’n’ roll ferocity and focus, nearly all of the Solitary Man’s deathless hits—“Sweet Caroline,” “America,” “Cherry Cherry.” Heck, it’s not every tribute group that gets to play Late Night With David Letterman! And everybody knows Diamond remains cooler than any indie band from Brooklyn. Rather bizarrely, to my mind anyway, Super Diamond plays jam-band haven Brooklyn Bowl at 9 p.m. July 19. But I bet “Cracklin’ Rosie” will sound amazing over the cracking of bowling pins.
Finally, Alabama-born, kabuki-masked Daikaiju returns to Las Vegas, bringing their giant monster-inspired surf-rock instrumentals to the Dive Bar at 10 p.m. July 22. Indeed, the hardest-working band in monster-themed music arrives midway through a two-month summer tour, which means they’ll be sharp and not totally exhausted. In case you haven’t heard them, you should know Daikaiju—whose members include Rock-man (guitar), Rumble-man (bass), Hands-man (drums) and Secret-man (guitar)—specializes in reverb-drenched, sci-fi, psychedelic-tinged, prog-rockin’ epics that are way wilder than any outdoor EDM carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. So if you enjoy watching kaiju (giant monster) movies like Pacific Rim and the recent Godzilla remake, here is the soundtrack of your cinematic dreams.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.