Covering shows and artists in New York City (and surrounding areas) is constant source of sonic and visual stimulation. It's why I live here. However, I sometimes wonder what it might be like to live in other regions of the USA. More specifically, what are the underground and alternative rock music scenes like there?
Sure, I know about Austin - having attended a number of SXSW festivals.
California has always been on my radar as a dominating force since the early 1960's. But - what about a place like Las Vegas?
Engaging in a bit of research, I discovered a thriving rock scene bubbling under the surface, similar to what goes on in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, DC, Chicago, Minneapolis and Austin.
Local hard rockers Microdot have a sound that leans towards the powerful armageddon-fueled force popularized by genre leaders like Tool. The guitar chords are flanged and crunchy, while lead vocals are delivered with a foreboding sentiment.
Listen to "Eternal Youth" for a prime example of this:
Down The Boulevard present a quicker urgency with their hard rock style. "Alibis" comes at the listener with an almost frantic approach. "How could you look in to my eyes - while smiling through your alibis," is the accusatory lyrical refrain.
Systemec delivers a heavy industrial sound that pays homage to purveyors of this genre like Rob Zombie and Prong. "Skywind" more than capably plunders this semi-mechanized sound, while showing a lyrical cleverness as well. Using the time-honored "sky" metaphor, the lyric "watch the sky slip away" can easily be morphed into "watch this guy slip away." Heady stuff.
As one can see, simply scratching the surface shows a thriving underground of rock bands in a city that is mostly known for gambling and more "traditional" forms of entertainment.
A road trip to check it all out live and in person is soon to be on the itinerary.