Season’s greetings, from your favorite turkey.
On this day of giving thanks, here’s what I’m feeling thankful for:
■ Leonard Cohen’s return to Vegas, next month at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. I thought seeing Cohen perform at the venue around this time last year was a once in a lifetime event, and experiencing “Famous Blue Raincoat” and “Chelsea Hotel” live lived up to the highest expectations. Now Cohen is back, offering a must-see mulligan for any music fans who missed him the first time around.
■ Another installment of the “Doom in June” fest, which was one of the best shows of the summer, a daylong marathon of spine-tingling riffs and seismic jams from the likes of Black Cobra, Slough Feg and The Gates of Slumber. Recently, the event’s organizer announced it will be back next year on June 4, once again at the Cheyenne Saloon. You can practically feel the earth shaking already.
■ Nontraditional music venues such as Meatheads, the Lucky Lady and Aces and Ales for hosting quality national acts ranging from Eddie Spaghetti to Cough in cool, quirky rooms.
■ The Vegas debut of great bands big and small, some long overdue (The Pixies), some at unlikely locations (The Avett Brothers at the Silverton), some just plain unforgettable (Keelhaul, Radio Moscow).
■ Neon Reverb, for evolving from a twice a year music festival to more of a full-time entity that books a wide range of of-the-moment acts here year-round and has become a focal point of the Vegas music scene. Fellow indie promoters such as Salem Rose Productions, Lord Clovenhoof and Pulsar, among others, deserve credit for continually bringing worthwhile bands to town whether they make a dime on the shows or not.
■ Punk Rock Bowling weekend, for being the best party of the year at Sunset Station in May. Beefing up the lineup big time with killer sets by NOFX, Hot Water Music, D.R.I. and so many more, this was three days of Pabst and stepping over dudes passed out in the grass at the amphitheater outdoors.
■ The music of Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele, Ronnie James Dio, one of the top 10 greatest metal singers of all times, Slipknot bassist Paul Gray and Gang Starr MC Guru, all of whom passed away too soon this year.
■ Indie pop changelings A Crowd of Small Adventures for releasing the best record to come from Vegas this year, “A Decade in X-Rays,” an album of twists and turns, longing and triumph, beauty and bite.
■ You, for paying attention to any of this.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.