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Local music notes: Jerk! makes moves, a Mike Briggs memorial show and more

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Jerk!
Photo: Tiffany Salerno / Courtesy

PANIC ON THE STREETS

Jerk! has been making fast and snotty pop-punk since 2015, when singer and guitarist Joshua Tussinger made the trek from the cornfields of Indianapolis to the neon jungle of Las Vegas. Elements of late-’70s punk a la Ramones are peppered among the three-chord skate punk sounds you spun while drinking malt liquor with your friends in high school (think The Queers and other Lookout! Records acts).

Since Jerk!’s formation four years ago, the band has opened for some of its influences, like The Lillingtons and fellow Hoosiers Sloppy Seconds. In between booking shows at Evel Pie—Tussinger is the pizza joint-slash-DIY venue’s talent booker—the group booked time at Digital Insight Recording Studios and is gearing up to release its second full-length album, Panic Attack, June 13, with a show to mark the occasion scheduled that night at Backstage Bar & Billiards. The Teenage Radio Records LP is the follow-up to 2017’s Get Rad!, available at jerkpunkrock.bandcamp.com.

The group embarks on a 15-date Midwest tour on May 28, starting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and twisting through Oklahoma, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska before heading home in mid-June.

TWANG TIME

Las Vegas’ honky-tonk foursome The Rhyolite Sound is about to have a very busy summer. The group has begun playing Hogs & Heifers’ monthly Honky Tonk Hangover party, and, starting June 7, the band will also hold down a monthly residency at the Golden Nugget’s shark-filled pool.

The band also recently finished recording its sophomore 11-song album at Downtown’s National Southwestern Recording. At press time, The Rhyolite Sound had raised $3,440 of a $6,000 GoFundMe goal to supplement recording costs.

IN MEMORIAM

On July 7, the Double Down Saloon will host a memorial show in honor of Vegas punk-scene mainstay Mike Briggs—frontman for longtime outfit Agent 86—who died in April after a lengthy battle with cancer. On the bill: Briggs’ Agent 86 bandmates, 3D6, Stagnetti’s Cock and Sickness in Motion.

Agent 86 formed in 1982 and has remained a fixture ever since, bringing a spirit of political resistance to its “rastacore”—the term Briggs used to describe the band’s reggae/hardcore blend. Briggs went on to found his own label, Rastacore Records.

His artist bio reads: “While so many of punk’s pioneers lost faith in the movement or moved on to supposedly bigger and better things, Mike has stood firm, and his socially and politically charged lyrics are today still as pertinent as the lyrics he wrote 20 years ago.”

HOTS TOPIC

On June 6, Punks in Vegas will release The Complete Oral History of Holding Onto Sound, an eBook chronicling the revered Vegas punk band’s legacy through interviews with members and friends. The book will be available through Amazon, with GC Records providing an accompanying a digital compilation of HOTS music.

HAVE YOU HEARD?

In February, experimental musician and producer Cecil Purihin has released his first full-length album, Temporarily Unavailable, at cecilpurihin.bandcamp.com. Originally created for an art exhibit about grief and depression, the collection of eerie noise-scapes also works as an emotional stand-alone soundtrack.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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