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Music

Our Neon Reverb cheat sheet

Nine bands to see, from Most Thieves to Milk Music

The Downtown music fest returns for its 10th edition this week, and you won’t have to race all over town to take in the action. This time, it’s happening on four stages at two familiar venues: Beauty Bar and the Bunkhouse. Here are nine of our picks to help you get started, then visit neonreverb.com for a complete schedule.

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      Most Thieves

      Most Thieves

      From: Las Vegas

      Put them on a playlist with: Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Snow Patrol

      Go because: The Killers have handpicked them to open shows in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and polished songwriter Eric Koch writes the sorts of songs you could hear on the radio sometime soon.

      When: Thursday, March 21, 11 p.m., Beauty Bar

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      Acid Baby Jesus

      Acid Baby Jesus

      From: Athens, Greece

      Put them on a playlist with: Black Lips, The Sonics, Brian Jonestown Massacre

      Go because: Their twisted garage-pop caps off a globe-spanning Slovenly Recordings showcase that also features Amsterdam’s The Anomalys, Puerto Rico’s Los Vigilantes and Montreal’s Hellshovel.

      When: Thursday, March 21, 1 a.m., Bunkhouse

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      Brainstorm

      Brainstorm

      From: Portland, Oregon

      Put them on a playlist with: Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend, Talking Heads

      Go because: The tunes on their latest album, 2012’s Heat Waves, are arty but accessible, embracing African rhythms, post-punk textures and sing-along melodies.

      When: Friday, March 22, 9:45 p.m., Beauty Bar

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      Coastwest Unrest

      Coastwest Unrest

      From: Las Vegas

      Put them on a playlist with: The National, The Pogues, Blitzen Trapper

      Go because: It’s the release show for the sound-expanding third album High Times on Lowly Streets. Also unveiling new discs at the fest: veteran cow-punkers The Clydesdale (on the same bill) and Brendan Scholz’s Mercy Music (Saturday at Beauty Bar).

      When: Friday, March 22, 11 p.m., Bunkhouse

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      Caveman

      Caveman

      From: New York City

      Put them on a playlist with: Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, The Shins

      Go because: They’ve toured with Here We Go Magic and The War on Drugs, and their upcoming second album has breakout potential. See them before it gets expensive to.

      When: Friday, March 22, 11:45 p.m., Beauty Bar

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      A Crowd of Small Adventures

      A Crowd of Small Adventures

      From: Las Vegas

      Put them on a playlist with: Wolf Parade, Billy Bragg, Arcade Fire

      Go because: Jackson Wilcox has a batch of interesting new tunes, and this show’s a great way to dip a toe into the local scene (the folky Dusty Sunshine, bluesy Same Sex Mary and hook-y Big Friendly Corporation are also on the bill).

      When: The Weekly showcase, Saturday, March 23, bands begin at 8 p.m. (Crowd plays at 10:30 p.m.), Bunkhouse

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      Old Man Markley

      Old Man Markley

      From: LA

      Put them on a playlist with: Flogging Molly, Old Crow Medicine Show, Steve Earle

      Go because: You didn’t get enough of the punky bluegrass crew at Punk Rock Bowling, or never made it Downtown to see a band our reviewer said “burned up the stage like speed-punkers who’d pawned their electric instruments for rent money.”

      When: Saturday, March 23, midnight, Beauty Bar

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      Rusty Maples

      Rusty Maples

      From: Las Vegas

      Put them on a playlist with: The Shins, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Decemberists

      Go because: They’re the Vegas band of the moment, touring their way back from South by Southwest and gearing up for an even bigger summer tour. This is your chance to catch ’em between road trips.

      When: Sunday, March 24, 7:30 p.m., Bunkhouse

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      Milk Music

      Milk Music

      From: Olympia, Washington

      Put them on a playlist with: Dinosaur Jr., Metz, The Stooges

      Go because: The fuzzy guitar-rockers have played Pitchfork Festival, toured with much-buzzed Iceage and have a new album out next month titled Cruise Your Illusion. Really.

      When: Sunday, March 24, 11:30 p.m., Beauty Bar

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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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