enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Friday, April 30, 2004

New Swerve Magazine Out in May, and a Small Editorial

From an X-Factor Magazine email, "(the magazine) will not be updated in April...we will be back with an all new issue in May featuring Swerve and Artistic Noise."

While cruising the VegasGoths.com website, which is home to X-Factor, I ran across the website of Slave Indvstries. It got me thinking about Sam and Jeremy, the proprietors of Slave Indvstries. I had met Sam when we were both working at the Las Vegas Art Museum and a better person you couldn't have known. Big in the Vegas Goth scene while they were here, they have long since left town. *Sigh* ... that's all.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Electronic Music: Heard and now Seen

It's impossible to imagine music made now without the inclusion of electricity. But it may surprise you to know how far back electricity and music have intermingled, and how far back in time some artists find their peers and influence.

Obsolete.com's 120 years of musical instruments site is a good start. It shows the lineage of electronic musical instruments, with names such as the Telharmonium/Dynamophone, Choralcello, Staccatone, and most well-known and long-lived of the early electric instruments, The Theremin.

The creation of Russian scientist Leon Sergeivitch Termen, the Theremin sounded much like the glass harmonica of Richard Puckeridge and the musical saw, a woodworking tool eventually made specifically as a musical instrument in the 1920s by Mussehl & Westphal. While his invention played a role in American music from science-fiction movies to the Beachboys, Termen moved to NYC, invented, was kidnapped and returned to Russia, invented, was interned in a notorious Siberian labour camp, awarded the Stalin Prize (First Class), and died in 1993. His life and times were chronicled in the documentary, Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey.

Jazz musician Raymond Scott evolved into a preeminent electronic musician, building his own electronic recording studio and becoming the man to go to for commercial audio jingles in the '50s and '60s. Scott's "Manhattan Research Inc." CD chronicles his musical creations of that time.

In the '60s and '70s Robert Moog's synthesizers fueled the music of well-known prog-rock bands such as Yes, Emerson Lake And Palmer, and Genesis. But musician Bruce Haack and the band Silver Apples are often cited as significant influences on current bands and artists. Silver Apples' self-titled album made Billboard Magazine's Top 100 list for 10 weeks. One music critic wrote, "What's so amazing is that they make absolutely mind shattering music with all this junky equipment," and Haack's influence can be seen in the title of his documentary, Bruce Haack: The King of Techno

Pitchforkmedia's Moog Renaissance Alert article states, "An upcoming documentary by Hans Fjellestad, monolithically titled Moog, plans to shed some light on its creator, the hilariously named Bob Moog, as well as the tube-powered keyboard's status as an essential component in aiding electronic music to move outside the exclusive realm of freeway-worshipping Germans and into the realm of pillow-worshipping agoraphobes."

The Robert Moog documentary looks to be released in the summer.

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Saturday, April 24, 2004

How the King of Denmark Helps Strangers Find Each Other for Sex on Public Transportation

Start with the off-the-cuff remark from Vegas ex-patriate Geoff Carter in his Live Journal,"...I've heard it said that when confronted with boring/tedious situations -- lectures, train/bus rides, etc. -- most people tend to imagine those around them dressed only in their undergarments, or completely nude. I tried that, but it doesn't really work for me, so now I imagine everyone in garish 1970s clothing and hair instead. Time flies when everyone's in afros and bellbottoms."

But through the miracle of modern technology, some are finding they can do more than just imagine their traveling companions naked. But first a history/science lesson, and then the sex part.

The history part: King Harald Blatand (Blue Tooth) ruled from 940 to 985. Unlike most Vikings, he was a uniter, not a plunderer. Harald completed the country's unification begun by his father, converted the Danes to Christianity, and conquered Norway. His name probably was taken from two old Danish words, 'blay' meaning dark skinned and 'tan' meaning great man.

The science part: Thinking of their technology as a uniting one, Ericsson initiated a study to investigate the feasibility of a low-power low-cost radio interface between mobile phones and their accessories. They were eventually joined by four companies: Nokia, IBM, Toshiba and Intel. Now a communications standard, Bluetooth-enabled electronics allow for people to create small local networks when their owners are in close proximity to each other.

...and now, the SEX PART!: Leave it to the British with their well-developed mass transit system and a penchant for public sex to cruise for willing partners via Blue Tooth. Called "Toothing", the men and women looking for action set their phones to ask other phones the simple question, "Toothing?" and the hunt for anonymous sex partners starts. The sites relating to Toothing include a Toothing FAQ, who's taking what routes, and a Toothing Blog.

In addition to mass-transit, Toothing is also finding its way into bars and supermarkets.

(Please note new Toothing Forum, amended June 20th 2004)

You would think that a city with "Sin" in its nickname would grab hold of this idea and run with it. Maybe the monorail will be Toothing ground-zero in Vegas when it opens.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

US Publishers Now May Spellcheck Foreign Material Without Fear, Lynne Cheney's Contribution to Writing

"The U.S. Treasury Department has ended months of confusion among scholarly publishers by ruling that an engineering society may edit, without restriction, articles written by authors in countries under trade embargoes."

So states the Chronicle of Higher Education's article, U.S. Lifts Policy That Restricted Publishing in Journals by Scholars in Embargoed Countries.

But unfortunately, despite intensive lobbying, the federal government has not been able to convince Lynne Cheney to republish her sexy novel she wrote in 1981. The novel is full of wholesome Christian fare: adventures in brothels, rape, and a lesbian affair. Fortunately, The Whitehouse.org has excerpts of Lynne Cheney's "Sisters" available for reading.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Salt Lake City Dark Arts Band Lineup Announcement

"With nearly 100 submissions, it was no easy task to select the lineup for the 2004 Dark Arts Festival, but the Dark Arts band committee is now pleased to announce our out-of-state-bands:

Human Drama
These Triple X Records artist from Los Angeles have been making heartfelt dark rock for 25 years, and have become a Salt Lake favorite. They'll be appearing at the 2004 Dark Arts festival with their full band lineup on their last tour ever.

The Last Dance
This Orange County, CA band has been playing impassioned gothic rock since 1990. Their headlining performance at the 2003 Convergence festival and their new album on Dancing Ferret Discs have made them a rising star in the dark music underground.

The Azoic
The flagship band on Nilaihah Records, The Azoic hails from both Ohio and Arizona. Their electronic industrial dance beats and fiery, emotional female vocals will touch down in Utah for the first time at the 2004 Dark Arts Festival.

A recent signing to Metropolis Records, Cesium_137 will be flying direct from Philadelphia, PA to wreak their aggressive EBM havoc on Salt Lake City for the very first time.

The Strand
This industrial dance band from Tempe, AZ caught national attention with their single "Chicks Suck (Guys Suck)," and they're now eager to unleash their brand new material on their neighbors to the north.

The aptly named Emergence have risen from Denver with a dark electro sound that straddles the line between gothic and industrial. They've been taking much of the country by storm in recent years; now it's Salt Lake turn.

Machinegun Symphony
These up-and-comers from Colorado Springs fuse synthpop/industrial with guitar-driven dark rock to create adrenaline-fueled mayhem with a shot of melancholy that's sure to move you.

The Dark Arts Band Committee would like to thank all the candidates for their submissions and their patience. The Utah band lineup will be announced on April 20. For more information, please visit Dark Arts Festival.


The Dark arts 2004 Band Committee

Jeremiah Stratton Co-chair
Alanja DeKay Co-chair
Kelly Ashkettle
Kevin Reese
Katte Cottam"

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Monday, April 19, 2004

Groom Lake, Not Just About Aliens Anymore!

"Dr. Dan Burisch has first-hand knowledge of the U.S. government's involvement in funding the creation of designer viruses for use in biowarfare and other applications.  He is also intimately privy to other covert operations that violate normal standards of human ethics."

In the article, Area 51 Microbiologist Ready to Talk, Dr. (and when they say "Doctor" they mean crazied scary guy with a microscope) Dan Burisch is on the record (and when they say "record" they mean... I really don't know) that he can't be on the record. You see, he doesn't have an immunity agreement with... ah, it's all just crap.

So read it! You'll laugh. Really.

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Sunday, April 18, 2004

God Has Brought Me Laughter, and Everyone Who Hears About This Will Laugh with Me.

The idea that devout religious believers can make with the funny and actually get laughs has its doubters. Those that believe that God has a sense of humor are sarcastic heathens who were already hellbound to begin with. And yet a collection of devout Christian humorists have not only managed to pull off a reverent version of The Onion, they packed it full of honest-to-god snappy headlines and wit-filled articles.

Just check out such examples as Christian couple maintains abstinence through first two years of marriage, Pastor's wife sends body double to sit pleasantly on front pew and Students start ministry to men with ponytails.

But the article In face of declining U.S. morality, Christians emigrate to Muslim countries really takes some shots at sacred cows. It states, "...their goal: To enjoy the comparatively clean moral environment those countries offer." With their willingness to take on politics, the war on terror, and sex, the LarkNews sounds like the Daily Show staff made it to church, returning with their tongues in cheek and souls firmly intact.

But for those who like their irreverent humor kosher, there's the International Jewish Conspiracy website, which promises, "All the Schemes That Are Fit To Print." Taking their cue from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Russian-fabricated fictional guide to Jewish global domination, these guys run with the premise. Promising to be the best source of information, "...from the People Who Brought You Banking," the site keeps the concerned conspiracist up to date on all the intrigue and news.

The following articles should give a taste of what you will find:

"Are You a Giant Lizard?, Conspiracy theorists have claimed that most members of the Illuminati are, in fact, giant shape-shifting lizards. The International Jewish Conspiracy's Medical Corps investigates..."

"So Ask Uncle Zog Already...

Q. Besides monitoring my mail, e-mail and phone calls, and planting thoughts in my head, what other activities do you guys engage in?
-- Derek W., Aryan Nations, Idaho.

A. Oh Derek, you know that I know that you know the answer to that question as well as I do. Silly skinhead."

and... "Star Chamber Uproar Over Gay Marriage Mix-up, ...An effort by goy Puppet George W. Bush to comply with IJC directives to distract from the emptying of the US treasury has brought him into conflict with long-standing programs run by the Council of Commie Pinko Liberal Homo Intellectual Big-City Jews, known throughout the Conspiracy as the Full Monty Group..."

A full understanding of contemporary conspiracies and their histories (see the David Icke Site, The 80 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, Disinformation.com, and the American Jewish Historical Society) helps with understanding some of the humor and references. But even if you aren't fully versed in who's-who in global domination, this site will keep you laughing. The best part will be knowing what George W. and friends will be up to even before they do.

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Saturday, April 17, 2004

Paintings Safe

No Ocean's Eleven shenanigans this time, Monets stayed safe, secure at Bellagio.

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Friday, April 16, 2004

There's a Lot of Holes in the Desert

People have been digging holes in the desert as long as they've been coming here. Nevada's nickname "The Silver State" comes from the state's mining industry. And as the mob's casinos became more successful, they would make deposits back into the desert, planting competitors and cheaters alike.

Artists have also seen the desert as a canvas, and Nevada and other desert states have been used for many earthworks. Michael Heizer used the desert of his home state and in 1969 cut two huge swaths in a mesa near Overton, Nevada, calling the piece "Double Negative." For over three decades, he has been working on a colossal city of earthworks, not yet in a complete form. A copy of the New York Times article, Michael Heizer: A Sculptor's Colossus of the Desert, details the scope of his ambitious project, with photos of the city's impressive scale.

But, as first noted in the Las Vegas Mercury and covered in Tyler Green's Modern Art Notes, the future of the project is in jeopardy. Yucca Mountain's railway system looks to skirt the huge city, and is seen by the artist as an unworkable intrusion on the project. The Mercury reports his response, "Needless to say, the not-so-friendly artist wasn't pleased to hear that a nuke waste railroad line was planned for the outskirts of his land. He told his neighbors that if the Caliente Corridor becomes reality, he will use his bulldozers to completely bury the City project and that he will walk away from it, in the belief that noisy trains will destroy the whole vibe."

This project is 33 years in the making, and to see what the world would be missing, you just need to view the photographs.

While Heizer may end up destroying the city he built, down in Arizona James Turrell is transforming his privately-owned meteor crater into a massive sculptural landscape. Unperturbed by development out of his control, Turrell is taking his crater as a means of realizing the transformational power of awe.

"People talk about spiritual in art, and I think that's been the territory of artists all along. You know, if you into the great cathedrals made by architects and through the light of artisans, you have created a sense of awe that often is greater than what people feel when they read, or any sort of rhetoric by the priesthood. This is something that can be very powerful in a visual sense."

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Drunks, Grab a Video Camera and Keep Doing What You Do Best!

Modern Drunkard Magazine and Backseat Film Festival are looking for drunk film makers, and Francis Ford Coppola and his stupid vineyard don't count!

In preparation for the First Annual Modern Drunkard Convention, held in May, the 2004 Backseat Film Festival Las Vegas will be showcasing the best in inebriated cinema.

So, it's simple... Grab a Camera! Drink! Film! Sober up and submit Your Film!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Bellagio Power Failure Has Some Critics Pleased

From Modern Art Notes...

"Among the reasons that accredited museums should not be sending their art to non-accredited spaces is the lack of climate control systems in those non-accredited spaces. Why, something like this might happen: The power in the entire Bellagio complex might go out, leaving the MFA Boston's Monets to cook in the Vegas heat. That would never happen, would it? Oh, but it has. The hotel says the art is fine, but what else would they say? To say otherwise would open them up to a massive lawsuit."

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The Kittens Get You Kornered for Another Weekend Show!

From SCGKitten Rue La Femme, what's up for the weekend!

"The Sin City Grind Kittens gear up for another show this Saturday, April 17, 2004, at their home venue The Cooler Lounge on Lake Mead and Decatur. Last weekend's show at the New York Cafe with the Pervz was successful, and The Kittens hope to be doing more shows outside of their home venue.

This weekend, The Kittens will be performing with The Holy Smokes and Big Rig. The show starts at 10:00pm. And be sure to be on time because this will be The Kittens' last show for the month of April. So come and support your favorite Kitty. MEOW!

For more information on Sin City Grind Kittens Shows and The Kittens themselves, please go to their website.

Or for directions to the Cooler Lounge please go here.

Also, please check out a recent review written about us on OneThirtyEight.org...

3-27-04 The Sin City Ghouls - The Dirty Babies - Big Rig - The Sin City Grind Kittens - D.O.R.K. @ The Cooler Lounge

And oh, the kitten that pulled a Janet Jackson, yup, that was me, Rue La Femme. My pastie fell off during the middle of my first set. LOL. Hey, it happens. "

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Monday, April 12, 2004

Competing Theories on Vegas Convention Management

Plastic.com is a great site, kind of like a blog and discussion board all in one. Its catch phrase is "Recycling the Web in Realtime," but "Composting the Web..." would be more accurate. With its users able to post articles, issues and sites and others able to respond, discussions grow quickly. The caveat that the discussion boards are only as good as those talking applies as usual, but Plastic does well at attracting the literate and rational, and filtering out the others.

Now, the "Plastitutes," or "Polymers," are looking to plan a Vegas get-together, PlastiCon 2005. Plastic members Lothar and Tdahnsn offer two interesting and wildly different approaches, and offer their wisdom when it comes to Vegas, conventions, and compelling bellboys to carry large amounts of ground hamburg.

Lothar is numbers
Tdahnsn is letters

"1) Panels. Let polymers do panels on topics ranging from "Art and Politics" to "Trollsmashing 101." Either way, the panels should be focused on two general areas: usual Plastic content and usual Plastic activity. Go from there, let congoers submit topics for 1 or 2 hour panels, and if you have more topics than shifts, pick the ones that will get the most audience-driven discussion without guaranteeing that flame wars become real ones.

A) Panels. Set up a panel discussion about the dangers of the internet by poorly informed critics with bad AV setups and horrible cliches. Make sure they are going to show up dressed in the manner they think is most convincing. DO NOT LET THEM IN ON THE JOKE.

2) Guests. Obviously carl is one, but other panels should feature people (e.g. underground heroes, respected intellectuals, indie artists, etc.) that generate the most Plastic buzz, but who will agree to do the gig for free (for, say, room, board, access to a VIP room of sorts, and an expanded fan base). Maybe they're Plastic fans and we don't know it!

B) Guests. Invite unpopular folks, preferably with obvious personal flaws for easy ad hominem attacks. Treat them like complete shit. Make them pay a registration fee and for all sorts of other crap in exchange for a cheap — possibly paper certificate — award. Book them the shittiest rooms you can find at a hotel away from the conference.

3) Films. Have video rooms that run well into the night with media chosen in advance by Plasticians ranging from film noir to Japanese animation. We keep hearing about all of the stuff we should be seeing from each other; now's the time to actually get around to see it.

C) Films. 1970's film strips about technology delivered in a monotone by disreputable "experts".

4) Dealer's room. Cons are one of the best places to hawk wares for both sellers and fans concerned. Invite dealers who sell stuff Plasticians would be interested in: books, knick-knacks, t-shirts, prepackaged food from non-USA countries, you name it. This can provide a valuable revenue stream apart from membership badges.

D) Dealer's Rooms. Tack a 10% surcharge on all goods sold that are not the most absolutely tacky parody of Plastic. People should come home with crap they have no recollection of having bought...

5) Staff. You're going to need an all-volunteer work force (comped with free memberships) taking care of everything from registration to security. Sort out the details as needed.

E) Staff. Abuse the hotel staff to no end. Refuse to tip. Force the bellboys to drag suitcases leaking 6 day old ground beef from conference room to conference room with a stop by the tables where at least one Plastard should be seen drunk, out of his mind with sleep deprivation and gambling away someone else's money.

6) A non-gambling hotel. This is Vegas, and there are plenty of polymers who can't legally drink yet or have had gambling problems in the past. Don't just go for any hotel where Plasticians can be segregated; might I recommend the Alexis Park Resort located in the heart of Lost Wages. It has a nice village atmosphere, has hosted cons like Defcon, and has no gambling on premises, so no segregation. If polymers want to gamble, they can go to the hotel up the street. If it's too pricey, then have a forum where Plasticians can make arrangement to share rooms, even floor space. Trust me, it works.

F) A non-gambling hotel. How about we aim for the shittiest hell hole of a gambling pit instead and then bitch about it for weeks afterwards?

7) There's likely a lot that I've leaving out, but that's off the top of my head. Keep in mind that organizing cons are an ABSOLUTE BITCH that will suck away your life for a year in advance. But when you look at the results of your labor, it will be all worthwhile depending on the strength of your organizing and vision.

Good luck!

G) Fuck organization. Pick a fucking date, a fucking hotel, don't plan a goddamned thing, and insist that this is completely normal. Instead of "conference rooms" pick a spot in the lobby and hold loud, out of control, drunken arguments about the merits of post-modern critical analysis. Use a fucking slot machine as a "registration booth." Operate on a system of kick-backs and patronage. Embrace the chaos. Shit, maybe we should do Reno instead!

Sure, there are better run conventions, but are they as much fun?"

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Saturday, April 10, 2004

High-Tech Casino Rip-Offs

Two out of the three scenarios are true. The other is the plot for a movie.

Navy officers utilize a shipboard computer to predict roulette turns while on leave at a Venice, Italy casino.

A gang uses a scanner hidden in a mobile phone and linked to a computer to help beat the roulette wheel in Britain.

U.S. whiz-kid college students use computer savvy to count cards in Vegas.

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Thursday, April 08, 2004

Oh, Rocky! How Could You?

The Las Vegas Rockycon 2004 that was supposed to happen on April 2nd was cancelled. But fortunately, New Zealand is attempting to ease the pain by erecting a Rocky Horror statue.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Mel Gibson's "The Passion" Leads to Unexpected Resurrection

"Coming back soon to a theater near you -- a controversial film about a Jewish guy from Nazareth who is worshiped as the Messiah and crucified by the Romans.

No, it's not Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. It's Monty Python's Life of Brian."

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Friday, April 02, 2004

Brother Luke CD Release Party Shows Frippertronics Has Taken Root in Vegas

It's not often that a musician gets a technique named after him, but with Robert Fripp that's just the case. Musically Frippertronics, or "looping," is the capturing of brief samples of sound and repeating. Like spinning hay into gold, it allows for a single artist to quickly craft a full sound quickly. Back in the 70's, it allowed for Robert Fripp, guitartist for King Crimson, and Brian Eno to record some amazing albums, and now their influence can often be heard at the Palms Casino.

Vegas-based Brother Luke had his CD release party on Tuesday the 30th at the weekly Acoustic Asylum. And while fronting a band, Brother Luke would often turn human beat-box and make the beginnings of a song with sounds of his own making. But it was St. Louis-based Philip Reilly Stendek that really showcased the spell that looping can cast. Stendek took up residence in Vegas for seven months and before departing taught interested local musicians, like Brother Luke, looping techniques. He returned to Vegas, taking the 36-hour Greyhound trip to make his way back to play Tuesday night, at the request of Brother Luke.

Until he returns for a promised future date, you can hear and download the music of Philip Reilly Stendek here, and you can learn more about looping and the artists that embraced it at Looper's Delight.

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