Music scene worthy of cornucopia of gratitude


Despite the occasion, there are no turkeys here.

On this day of expressing gratitude, here are some of the things that I’m most thankful for, musically speaking, from the past year:

Avenger of the Blood, for the memories. Long one of Vegas’ fiercest metal troupes, this bunch was relaunching itself as an even more ferocious blackened thrash band before deciding to pull the plug.

Campfire Music, for being one of the most consistent presences in Vegas hip-hop, continually putting out quality releases and providing the rare lasting outlet for some of the scene’s best talent.

The Bitters and The Fat Dukes, for teaming up for a great split disc, “High ’n’ Live,” albeit one with the most stomach-churning, bathroom-abetted album art in recent memory. More Vegas bands should do splits, great way to get music out there and build fan bases together.

Doom in June, for returning. After taking 2012 off, this all-day marathon of riffs came back strong this past summer.

SquidHat Records, for continuing to promote Vegas bands. The label isn’t making stars out of anyone or pretending to do so, just helping a bunch of worthy local bands market their music and get their records in stores across the country.

The Dive Bar, for emerging as a solid music venue outside of downtown with a steady lineup of shows.

Henderson’s Eagle Aerie Hall and the Ultra Violet Extreme Performance Art Center, for hosting all-ages concerts. Vegas needs a dedicated teen-friendly venue in the worst way, but in the meantime, these places are helping the cause.

Candlelight Records, for signing the equally haunting and heavy Demon Lung and getting the band some much-deserved national and international exposure.

The Las Vegas Death Fest, which has built itself into an international draw, selling out the Cheyenne Saloon once again on numerous days in June. Time for the festival to move to a bigger venue in 2014.

Moondog Records, for giving vinyl fetishists another place to blow all their disposable income.

Indie rockers Twin Brother, for getting things going again.

The Mapes, for doing the same.

Posthardcore head spinners Caravels, for getting around to releasing their full-length debut, “Lacuna,” one of the finest records of the year from these parts.

Speaking of the best local discs of the past year, shouts to Same Sex Mary’s “Sex Cells,” Coastwest Unrest’s “High Times on Lowly Streets,” The Clydesdale’s “Trail of the Painted Pony” EP and The Bitters, once again, for “Live in Vegas.”

Finally, thanks to you, for reading.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.