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...

Monday, May 31, 2004

Where in Las Vegas is Geoff Carter?

Vegas ex-patriate and current Seattle resident Geoff Carter will be returning to the city. His visit this time will be an exercise in both cultural anthropology and sleep-deprivation.

"Some years ago I spent 24 hours awake in a Las Vegas bar -- the Double Down Saloon, biz-naturally -- for a feature story, (see the 'Bourbon and Bleach - 24 Hours in Vegas' Hippest Bar' story about half way down the page). On June 2nd and 3rd I'll be taking that nonsense to a new level, as I do another sleepless 24 hours (Rrrrrrooxannnne!) on the Las Vegas Strip. I'll be out there from midnight on the 2nd to midnight the following evening, and I'll only be allowed short breaks to change clothes, do the necessary and gulp down handfuls of ibuprofen."

So loyal fans and curious onlookers take note, he likes Cuba Libres. So, go to the Peppermill's Fireside Lounge and buy the man some happiness in a glass. He'll need it for at least part of his day.

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Friday, May 28, 2004

Mr. Wynn Goes Shopping Again

Our nice Mr. Wynn is at it again. He emptied out his wallet at a NYC fine arts auction, and came away with another painting. The latest purchase, the 1885 "Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife", which the artist himself declared, "damn queer."

Image courtesy of the John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery.

Full Size Image

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Unboringist Poetry Event Ever

Dayvid Figler, of "Figler Omnimedia Inc," has promised an evening of non-boring poetry on Thursday, May 27th. From the keyboard of the county's hippest former judge...

"I'm writing you because the City of Las Vegas asked me to host a poetry reading in an outdoor beer garden type atmosphere downtown and I agreed. What that means is that I've assembled a great evening of spoken word that takes place this THURSDAY, MAY 27th from 6:00 until 8:00 PM (maybe as late as 8:30) on the Lewis Avenue Corridor which is on 4th Street between the BIG FEDERAL COURT HOUSE and the boondoggle that will be REGIONAL JUSTICE CENTER. If you've ever wanted to go to a poetry thing, but were afraid it might be boring...this is going to be one of the most, um, unboringist ever....I've not only secured some great locals, but two performers from the HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Bottom line (besides the beer, wine, poetry, food catered by Tinoco's Bistro and light jazz)...is that the city is doing this as an experiment. As much fun as First Friday is, one day a month doesn't make the Downtown area an Arts district...if we get enough attendance, they have guaranteed me more events in the fall, so I hope you can show up (even for a half hour) and if you can't you might pass this along to someone who might be interested.

The specific lineup is: Poet/cop Harry Fagel, Poet/Citylifer Jarret Keene, the fantastically powerful Nakatchi Clark, Keith Brantley plus musical backup, yours truly and from NYC/Def Poet Jam George and Rachel McKibbens."

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Monday, May 24, 2004

Saturday Night with Lon Bronson, "Electro-Clash" at Snapshot, and Casino-Art Ownership

After years of performing at the Riviera, Lon Bronson and his mighty large band have moved to the Golden Nugget. With the group Tower of Power in town, a few of that band's members made it to Saturday night's show. One song had a Tower of Power singer on stage, taking over on vocals, and another song had 3 saxes on stage performing a squeak-off. Nice idea, but one that drove a few out the door.

On the other side of the city, and in no way, shape or form competing for the Lon Bronson audience, was Snapshot Las Vegas. "SNAPSHOT is the lens on the camera, capturing the moment the way that it should be. Bringing the Glitz back to the Glamour in Las Vegas... With the main room spinning Electro, 80`s, Indie and whatever else we can throw in there."

What Snapshot wants to be and what it is are two different things. That night the music being spun had very little Electro, 80`s, or Indie, but whatever else was thrown in there sounded bad and didn't compel dancing. The feet only started moving a little when the Phoenix, Arizona band XOXOXO started playing, but by then it was too late to save the evening.

However, the little money that was spent at the Golden Nugget was well spent, for the owners, Tim Poster and Tom Breitling, support the arts. Jerry Misko, artist and co-owner of Dust Gallery, has some of his stuff hanging in their homes. Additionally, Dust artist Angela Kallus has a piece in the home of Venetian President Rob Goldstein. He has been seen in the past roaming the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, with wife and guests in tow, talking about the works on the walls and his appreciation for art in general.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Drunks Are Here and Organized

The Modern Drunkard Convention is here and there is nothing you can do about it but join them for a drink. Many of the weekend's events will be happening at the Double Down.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Gear Up. Drive In. Rock Out.

Gear Up. Drive In. Rock Out. It's Vegas Cruise 2004 at the Fremont Street Experience Friday, May 14th, Saturday, May 15th, and Sunday, May 16th, 2004. This is the car show to end all car shows. The hottest rods in the country will be displayed under the 2.1 million lights of the Fremont Street Experience canopy...

...blah, blah, blah. All press releases sound like this.

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Sunday, May 09, 2004

The Poet's Cafe

The Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services is pleased to announce a new series of spoken word performances called the Poet's Cafe. The inaugural event will feature engaging writers from Las Vegas, as well as a national headliner. In addition to the words, live music and a beer garden will be in place for all to enjoy. Taking place on the Lewis Avenue Corridor, also known as the Poet's Park and home to Oscar's River (which is on hiatus until the drought is over), this event promises to be a lively, entertaining occasion that will take the traditional "poetry reading" in a new direction.

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Shooting at the Icehouse, Will First Friday Dodge a Bullet?

Late First Friday night, there was a shooting at the Icehouse. While there hasn't been anything in the news, it's believed that two individuals were injured. More news to follow.

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Saturday, May 08, 2004

Kids Behaving Badly: Theater, Music and the Arts

Pastor Fred Phelps and the hate-spewing Westboro Baptist Church are making their rounds of the country and blessing Vegas with their presence this month. Fred and friends have made it their lives' passion to let everyone know that God Hates Fags. Their interest in Vegas comes from the Las Vegas Academy's continuing performance of "The Laramie Project", based on the death of Matthew Shepard and the effect of his death on his hometown. In performing "The Laramie Project," the fact that the play does not celebrate Matt's death is reason to hate it and anyone associated with it.

Locally, the Orange blossom smut girl talked about the arrival of the pastor and his folk. Additionally, Jyl Agustin posted her response on the Laramie Project's website to reading the flyers that have preceded the upcoming protest. Check out the flyer that has been making the round on the Academy's campus, WBC to picket sodomite whorehouse masquerading as Las Vegas Academy and the Pied Piper from Hell Principal Stephen Clark -- 6:30 - 7:00 a.m , Wed., May 12...

"As a member of HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), and other organizations, this flyer made me sick to my stomach. There was not one person in the entire school who had a copy of the flyer and supported the bigotry and hate written all over it. Many students want to protest against Phelps. Some in mature, intelligent ways, others in hostile, destructive ways. Our principal, Mr. Clark, made an announcement to the school to not let Phelps or his group affect you in any way. He asks if Phelps does show up to Las Vegas Academy, he wants all students and faculty to ignore him, and continue the schoolday as if he didn't exist."

In addition to a hate-filled screed, the authors have taken it upon themselves to offer a critique of the show. "A tacky bit of banal melodrama -- unaffecting and drearily predictable -- without artistic or literary merit or redeeming social value. Its only purpose is to promote the Satanic sodomite agenda." On the other hand, someone from the Las Vegas Mercury actually attended a performance and has this positive review, along with additional dates that the show will be performed in the coming week.

So, on to much lighter news of kids saying and singing bad things. In God Hates The Scene, a parody of Jack Chick Tracts, elementary school disciples of the late Tupac Shakur fight the evil influence of a substitute teacher who praises the Goth culture lifestyle.

"So, Suzy, what you are saying is that God hates Gothiques and put them here to test us?
"That's right, Timmy, and that's why I'm stockpiling ammunition for the day that I go buck wild and shoot every Goth in sight!"
"OH, SNAP! Suzy, you packing chrome?!"

And for those who have been looking for a children's choir version of the Divinyls' "I Touch Myself," look for the Scala Choir MP3 on Fluxblog.

The kids are alright with me!

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Friday, May 07, 2004

First Friday Site

While this site has been lax in its First Friday news, it's happy to report that the day now has its own website. Thanks to Flummox for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Leaving Las Vegas: Tales of Freighthopping

Despite what the Amtrak site says, there is no passenger-rail service to Vegas. Anyone who has booked a train trip here is greatly disappointed at the "Amtrak thruway motor coach" that is the last leg of the journey from Needles or Bakersfield. The truth is that for anyone wanting to take the train in or out of the city, freighthopping is the only option.

North Bank Fred claims his site to be, "The Web's most extensive resource for photographs, stories, and articles about freighthopping, hoboes, and boxcar art." The site has tales of many cities, including two about this town, Las Vegas to San Bernardino and Las Vegas to Chicago-Jan. 2004.

Hobo culture has a long and chronicled history, and for some time The Hobo Times covered the culture and traditions of freighthopping. But the newspaper never made the money needed to sustain it, and it went under in 1998. The last article printed, Hobo Times goes under, detailed the changes that led to the demise of the paper and the cultural change that the publishers witnessed.

"In travelling the country's rail system, I see more and more of a younger crowd of 'trainhoppers' whose experiences on the high iron are quite different from what I remember. They seldom work or wash and they have little interest in our history or traditions. They seem to be into drugs, 'voluntary poverty' and some even espouse activist anarchism. They don't seem to identify with the society in general. Their bizarre appearance and vulgar behavior on and around trains has sent a very negative signal to the typical railroad employee who once tolerated the Knight of the Road but now reacts with fear and animosity toward all rail travelers. Certain senior railroad police, who were usually pretty lenient with the traveler, have hardened their hearts considerably and no longer see the hobo as a kindred spirit."

The potential for danger and death led to creation of one site simply dedicated to "fatalities that resulted from freight train hopping." Deadtrainbums.com, which hosts the Hobo Times article, also posts the graphic and gory photos and stories that show the tragic end to failed freighthopping.

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Sunday, May 02, 2004

Muy Thigh: ChickFights and Co-ed Steam Rooms

To say that the One Beautiful Beatdown flyer at a neighborhood Thai food place was attention-getting was an understatement. But the co-ed steamroom (bottom of the page) was... just... um... it left one speech-less.

...just not sure what The Bride would think of that.

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Spring Benefit for Strangely Punctuated Journal

From Chad Lietz, Managing Editor of UNLV's literary journal, _Interim_

"_Interim_, will be sponsoring a Spring Benefit Reading on May 6, from 4-5:30, in BEH 241 on the UNLV campus.  The reading will feature several authors appearing in Vol. 22, as well as recent contributors.  The speakers/readers will be recent contributors to the journal, including Joshua Kryah, Forrest Cole, Lara Ramsey, and several others.  Donations of $5 accepted at the door, for which attendees will receive a complimentary copy of _Interim_'s newest issue,snacks, and a chance to win raffle prizes.

The venue is the Frank and Estella Beam Hall, BEH 241 (Hotel College), located directly behind the Moyer Student Union, just off Maryland Pkwy.  Parking should be available inside the main entrance at Harmon; the lot north of the entrance is visitor parking."

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Saturday, May 01, 2004

The Killers: Coffee Connections and iTunes

An article about The Killers has been long overdue. The Vegas band has been making big waves in Europe. A March 2004 BBC concert review has this to say about the boys...

"On stage The Killers are magnetic. Flowers is an enthralling watch, singing and constantly straining the very sinew to push his hands in the air in an act of fey Morrissey-like stagecraft. He is flanked by the ice cool charm of the rest of the group, the shaggy haired David Keuning on guitars and Mike Stoermer on electric bass... ...The highlight comes with Mr Brightside - the EP of the same name is now sold out and it's not hard to see why. A constantly whirring melody is pushed to the limit by emotive lyricism: "Coming out of my cage/ and I've been doing just fine/ gotta be down/ because I want it all" and strident building guitars.

Then onto new single "Somebody Told Me" (RealAudio File/RealVideo) - with its sublime Duran Duran-esque sound it can't help but get the crowd moving."

While stateside, the band has been putting Vegas local Ryan Pardey in their employ as their American tour manager. Former co-owner of the now-defunct Cafe Roma, Mr. Pardey had been DJing at the Icehouse, amongst other things. When the Killers performed in Seattle, Geoff Carter managed some pictures and posted them on Wednesday the 28th. The Killers will be performing at the Coachella Valley Music Festival on Sunday, May 2nd. Which is fortunate for Killers fans, as Saturday's lineup is sold out. One would think that Vegas might be seeing both the band and Ryan with Coachella being relatively close and all.

Also, Apple just offered a Mac and Windows release of iTunes 4.5. One of the many new and interesting features is the ability to look at a select group of radio stations' playlists by city. While KOMP 92.3 and KXTE 107.5 have very similar playlists according to iTunes, only KXTE has The Killers as part of their programmed artists.

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