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Making sense of Neon Reverb

Breaking down the festival schedule

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Brother men: Vegas band Twin Brother is set to close out Thursday night’s Beauty Bar showcase.
Photo: Corlene Byrd

THURSDAY

Don’t miss ... Beauty Bar. Five intriguing bands from all corners of the globe — New Zealand’s Ruby Suns (Click here for an interview.), Ireland’s Autumn Owls, Idaho’s Finn Riggins and Florida’s Strangers Family Band, along with perhaps the hottest local band at the moment, Twin Brother. It promises to be electronic, psychedelic, melodic and frantic, all under one roof, er, sky.

Catch if you can ... Aruba’s Thunderbird Lounge. An all-girl Japanese punk outfit (Bo-Peep). A Brooklyn buzz band (The So So Glos). Pogues-y Celtic rockers from LA (The Mighty Regis). And surfy garage rockers from Oklahoma (The Boom Bang). Man, whose idea was it to pit this awesomely eclectic lineup against the one over at Beauty Bar?!

Duck in for ... Portland-based electronic swashbuckler Boy Eats Drum Machine (Yayo Taco), if only to see if he really does. Also, Brooklyn’s blues-punky Wild Yaks (Bunkhouse).

FRIDAY

Don’t miss ... Aruba Hotel. 2 stages + 10 acts + seven hours = 1 big ol’ party. A slew of local favorites — A Crowd of Small Adventures, Hungry Cloud, The Mad Caps, Mother McKenzie, The Novelty Act, Dreaming of Lions — convene, and if you still haven’t had enough, Georgia’s shoegazey Twin Tigers and SoCal’s rootsy Henry Clay People will be on hand to keep your ears busy well into Saturday morning. Wear comfortable shoes.

Catch if you can ... Bunkhouse. The last time Anticon Records cofounder Sole played this stage, he held the room hostage with his intelligent hip-hop. Now he’s back with a full band, newfound label independence and a flock of hard-rapping support acts. The real hip-hop is over here.

Duck in for ... Local lynchpins Imagine Dragons, The Lazystars and The Big Friendly Corporation (Beauty Bar), along with LA indie-pop outfit Princeton; bonus points: the Dragons will release a new EP that night. Also, the surf punk of Tempe, Arizona’s The Rebel Set (Yayo Taco).

SATURDAY

Don’t miss ... Bunkhouse. LA outfits Spindrift, Mere Mortals and The Delta Mirror have all played Las Vegas in the not-too-distant past, so we know their live shows pack a punch. As for Portland’s Night Beats, we’ve now got their MySpace page permanently bookmarked. Psych-rock worshippers, unite!

Catch if you can ... Beauty Bar. An über-dancey bill, with stages inside and out. Who’ll get the crowd moving more, LA (Rainbow Arabia/Laco$te) or Vegas (Afghan Raiders/Pan de Sal/Kid Meets Cougar)? Our money’s on the locals.

Duck in for ... Vegas hip-hoppers HighDro & Shamroc’s CD-release party (Aruba). Also, Portland’s Asian electro rockers The Slants (Gypsy Den) — yes, they chose that name.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is Las Vegas Weekly's Managing Editor, having previously served as Arts & Entertainment Editor, Music Editor and a ...

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