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A Handy Guide to Local Music at Phoenix Comicon

Who would have thought Spock could croon seductively about making love to you? Oh yes he did -- and this week's music feature, Finding Nimoy, is all about his crossover foray from sci-fi television to '60s folk and '70s space rock singer.

Speaking of crossover, Leonard Nimoy's a featured guest at Phoenix Comicon, taking place downtown this weekend at Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel. And though Spock doesn't sing anymore, there's a plethora of diverse music acts getting their geek rock on, including two national acts (folk singer Abri Van Straten and Cali trip-hop group Giant Girlfriend), and six notable local bands, including Minibosses and Toybox.

The local music lineup at Phoenix Comicon this year is the best they've ever had, and what makes the programming particularly great is that none of the performances overlap and most take place in the same area. So unlike say, the much larger and crowded SxSW, you're not going to have to run three blocks from one show to get in line for another.

Check out a full list of the local bands rocking Comicon this year after the jump.

Friday, May 27:

Halocene: Fans of female-fronted melodic punk bands like Tilt, The Sounds, and Paramore will definitely dig Halocene's hard rock with a pop edge. Driven by the vocals of 18 year-old Addie Nicole and guitarist Cash Hart's big, crunchy riffs, Halocene also employs danceable drum beats to make heads bop. Their slick debut EP, The Secret, was entirely self-produced and self-recorded. (Performing at 6 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom on the first floor of the Hyatt.)

Deadman's Curse: If you dig a psychobilly hoedown, Deadman's Curse has some throbbing upright bass for you. This Phoenix quartet just formed in January, but has already generated some bar buzz with songs like "Look What the Bat Dragged In" and "Scream Baby Scream" (which sounds similar to the frantic goth-punk tunes of another local band, Calabrese, but with some creepy organ). (Performing at 7 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom on the first floor of the Hyatt.)

Toybox: These transplants from Japan met at Arizona State University, where they formed Toybox, a band that we've already pointed out makes "infectiously stripped-down punk" with the energy of a small bomb. You can bet there will be many screaming anime fans and cosplayers in attendance. (Performing at 8:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Ballroom on the second floor of the Hyatt.)

Saturday, May 28:

Kitcho Daiko: These four female taiko players bang their drums with artistic passion, creating upbeat numbers for audiences to groove on. They'll be bringing a taste of Japanese music tradition back to Comicon fans, many of whom will remember their performance at last year's Saboten-Con anime convention. (Performing at 2:30 p.m. in the anime hall on the second floor of Phoenix Convention Center.)

Mega Ran: Also known as Random, Philadelphia-born Mega Ran has been thriving in the Phoenix desert for years. His brand of backpacker rap, video game covers, and 8-bit beats appeals to a large geek chic audience. His latest album, Forever Famicom, is a concept album about NES video game consoles. (Performing at 4 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom on the first floor of the Hyatt.)

Minibosses: For more than a decade, the Minibosses have been playing fun, souped-up, quirky covers of their favorite Nintendo video game themes. Their rockin' renditions of Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, and Ninja Gaiden, among others, may just make you nostalgic for childhood gaming thumb blisters. (Performing at 6 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom on the first floor of the Hyatt.)

For more information on Phoenix Comicon and this year's music acts, visit

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea