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Melanie Martinez, Norm Macdonald and other stuff you’ll want to know about

Melanie Martinez performs at the Joint October 21.

      There’s long been a dancefloor sparkle in the eye of these Los Angelenos’ pummeling noise-rock slabs, but last year’s Death Magic flipped that script markedly, loading up the sorts of synthy hooks and ebullient choruses that might make both Depeche Mode and John Hughes fans smile. Expect the band’s first Vegas show since 2010 (remember Wasted Space?) to set lots of bodies in motion. With Echo Stains, DJ Fish. October 20, 9 p.m., $15. –Spencer Patterson


      There isn’t another singer in rock with a résumé quite like Greg Graffin’s. The “American Jesus” singer has authored two books, taught at UCLA and Cornell and, oh yeah, fronts one of the most popular bands in punk history. Bad Religion has a new album—its first in four years—slated for a 2017 release, so you might get to preview some new material. And make sure to get to the Foundry early to catch openers Against Me! (who just dropped a stellar seventh studio album in September) and singer/songwriter Dave Hause. $33. October 21, 6:30 pm. –Leslie Ventura


      Melanie Martinez is just 21, got her start as a contestant on The Voice and has a large tween and teen following, but that doesn’t mean she’s a superficial bubblegum pop star. Martinez’s debut album, Cry Baby, was one of the most acclaimed pop releases of 2015, and it takes on serious themes of sexual assault, substance abuse and family strife within the context of catchy, danceable electro-pop. Critics compared her style to everyone from Björk to Lorde to Beyoncé to Purity Ring, and the album landed on several best-of lists at the end of last year.

      In concert, Martinez performs the concept album in its entirety, playing the role of the title character herself in a stage set of oversized children’s toys and furniture, emphasizing the album’s tension between adult concerns and childlike imagery. If she’s the first introduction to pop music for a lot of her fans, she’s giving them a much more sophisticated and complex experience than most of her peers. In the past year, she’s gone from small clubs to larger theaters. Catch her now before she’s playing arenas. October 21, 7 p.m., $35-$125. –Josh Bell


      The enduring British synth-pop duo launches the U.S. leg of its Super tour—named after this year’s studio album—on the Strip, which will hopefully rival the previous tour in production pizzazz. If last week’s setlists are any indication, expect both hits and deeper cuts, like 1985 B-side “In the Night.” October 21, 7 p.m., $29-$109. –Mike Prevatt


      It’s no surprise that Norm Macdonald, who built a career on unconventional humor, would also write an unconventional autobiography. The recently released Based on a True Story: A Memoir all but borrows the narrative structure of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, with the comedian driving with his pal through the desert, telling wildly exaggerated stories about his life. Much like Bob Dylan’s memoir, the truth never gets in the way of storytelling—or, solely in Macdonald’s case, a punchline, just like his uproarious, stream-of-consciousness stand-up act. October 21-23, 7:30 p.m., $35-$45. –Mike Prevatt


      If you’re already in the Halloween spirit, start your Saturday by heading to Wayne Bunker Family Park (7351 W. Alexander Road) at 8 a.m. for a Zombie 5K and Fun Run raising funds for Easter Seals Nevada, an organization assisting those with special needs and disabilities ($25-$40). After a nap, drive to Henderson’s Cornerstone Park (1600 Wigwam Parkway) at 6 p.m. for a second family-friendly Zombie Run 5K ($35-$40). And then wrap up the day by drinking beer in tattered walker clothes—or maybe some Rick Grimes’ attire—at Millennium Fandom Bar at 9 p.m. (900 Las Vegas Blvd. S. #140, free) in anticipation of The Walking Dead’s Season 7 premiere. There’ll be a costume contest that night, and the Fandom bar will keep the undead party going 24 hours later, when it shows the AMC show’s new episode. October 22. –Rosalie Spear


      For nearly a decade, Socktoberfest has remained one this town’s best-kept secrets—a lively house party that combines all the trappings of Oktoberfest (cold beer, rich Bavarian food, accordion sing-alongs) with midcentury Vegas cool, with some hey-why-not elements (tiki culture, sock monkeys) thrown in for good measure. This year, Socktoberfest is going public: Hosts Mr. Smiley and Inky Louise are bringing it to ReBar, the Arts District bar that’s also a swell antique shop. Expect the works: sausages, suds, a Swiss sock monkey and the song stylings of the Squeezebox Hero. October 22, 5 p.m., free, 21+. –Geoff Carter


      Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his ballet The Sleeping Beauty in 1889—13 years after Swan Lake, three years before The Nutcracker. But Nevada Ballet Theatre regards it as anything but a middle child. This James Canfield staging at the Smith Center adapts the original Marius Petipa choreography, and its story remains timeless. October 22 and 23, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; $29-$139. –Geoff Carter

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