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...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amanda Harris Gallery welcomes Benjamin Alejandro

The Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art located on the first floor of Soho Lofts welcomes LA street artist, Benjamin Alejandro, for his first Las Vegas exhibition  The show follows the fame of talented musicians and other pop icons and movie stars of today who have set out to revolutionize Generation Z. Silk-screened canvases of celebrity mug shots offer commentary on the all-seeing eye of the public. The show features never-before-seen work by the artist, as well as a street art collaboration-installation, in Alejandro's first solo gallery exhibition.

Benjamin Alejandro, an emerging contemporary artist, proves through his work that the streets have not just been his choice of canvas, but his schooling and inspiration. He is known for wheat-pasting his own Los Angeles Police Department mug shot, an arrest ironically associated with current graffiti charges.

Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art
900 S. Las Vegas Blvd. #150
For more information - 
702.769.6036
Thursdays and Fridays 6-9pm, Saturdays 2-7pm
and by appointment



Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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New art exhibition opens at the 5th Street School

"Cyclical" opens at the Historic 5th Street School this Friday and with Kathleen Strukoff on the roster of artists this will be an exhibit not to be missed. Heck all the artists sound tantalizing besides its a great excuse to go and see one of Downtown's most historic buildings!

Cyclical artist reception
Friday November 29, 2012
Mayors Gallery at the 5th Street School
401 S. 4th Street
5:30 to 7pm


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Artistic Randomness #2

Here is a small snap shot of the beautiful, random and inspiring things that I personally experience in and around the Downtown neighborhoods of Las Vegas. My native home is full of amazing art and culture around every corner. Hang out with me one afternoon and I will show you a side of Vegas most people would never see. Stay tuned for you may get that opportunity sooner than you think... *wink*

Have a great and culturally filled week everyone! Happy Holidays!

@ City of the World Gallery in the 18b Arts District

The shoes of artist Jana Lynch @ The Arts Factory

Random art on Fremont East

Random bikes on Fremont East

Visitors Center by Mary Anne Kluth @ the
Contemporary Arts Center of Las Vegas

Todd Duane Miller @ the
Contemporary Arts Center of Las Vegas

The rings of pianist Dale "G!" Gonzales
@ the Nevada State Museum 

Acrylic Satanic @
Kleven Contemporary at Emergency Arts 

Art @ Emergency Arts

The Commonwealth on Fremont East
(Downtown's newest hot spot)

Emergency Arts on Fremont East

The Downtown Dill @
The Downtown Cocktail Room

The Art of Travis Louis featured prominently
@ The Commonwealth on Fremont East

The Commonwealth on Fremont East

Argentina - Chile - Dakar 2010 truck
parked outside Gold and Silver Pawn
 (I live 150 feet from their front door)

A MINI Meet on Fremont East!
(Can you guess which one is mine?)
The Art of Steven Horlock @ The Arts Factory

The Art of  Karen Jaikowski @ The Arts Factory

The Art of Joseph Watson @ The Arts Factory

The Art of Shark Toof @ Joseph Watson Gallery
Inside the Arts Factory 

The Art of James Henninger inside
The Arts Factory

The Art of Kathleen Strukoff @ La Chica Gallery
inside The Arts Factory 

The Art of Alexander Huerta @ Peace and Art Studio
inside The Arts Factory

Sean Thompson's fixie @ The Arts Factory

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Coffee with Kaizer... Musical happenings for the week of November 26...

Here is the weekly update of some the musical happenings about town especially at UNLV.

Have a great and culturally filled week everyone.

Monday November 26th, 6:00pm
Flute Master class open to the general public for observation and open to any and all students auditioning for High School Honor Band, UNLV Flute professor Dr. Jennfier Grim will help prepare Las Vegas Flute Club member students for this upcoming audition, by paying the participant entry fee will become an official member of the Las Vegas Flute Club allowing you to participate (see below)
UNLV Beam Music Center (the same building that houses Doc Rando Hall) room 159
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$5 to observe only (flute club member or not)
$10 to participate (this 10$ buys your membership into the Las Vegas Flute Club through August)more info: 702-895-3332http://www.lasvegasfluteclub.com/events/highschoolmasterclass.html

Tuesday November 27th, 5:30pm
Trumpet recital by UNLV Doctoral student Dumitru Cernei program includes
Francaix, Desenclos, Enescu, Haydn and Plog
UNLV Beam Music Center - Doc Rando Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Publicmore info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/17371

Wednesday November 28th, 7:30pm
Percussion Ensemble of UNLV Concert
UNLV Beam Music Center - Doc Rando Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Publicmore info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16412

Thursday November 29th, 10:30am-1:00pm
Piano Master Class with Peabody Conservatory Piano Professor Benjamin Pasternack 
UNLV Doc Rando Hall - Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.peabody.jhu.edu/conservatory/faculty/pasternack/

Thursday November 29th, 7:30pm
Piano Trio "Cavatina Trio" performs chamber music by Ravel, Faure, Takemitsu and
Virko Baley, Harumi Rhodes-Violin, Priscilla Lee-Cello, Ieva Jokubaviciute-Piano
UNLV Doc Rando Hall - Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$22.50-$25 discounts for seniors/military/disabled/One $10 ticket per UNLV student with valid ID
(box office is in the south face of the parking garage)more info: 702-895-2787
http://pac.unlv.edu/calendar.php?event_id=2090

Thursday November 29th, 7:30pm
Chamber music concert featuring clarinetist and UNLV Doctoral Student Jennifer Iles, program includes Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, Etezady's "Glint,"
Nielsen's Wind Quintet. Performers include
James Harvey, Christina Christina Riegert violins; Jerry Pence, viola; Jeremy Woolstenhulme, cello;
Megan Lanz, lfute; Citlin Kramer Pawl, oboe; Brian Marsh, bassoon; Michael Manley, horn
UNLV HFA (building housing the music office)
Paul Harris Theater
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/17781

Friday November 30th, 5:00pm
"Morelli" Wind Quintet consisting of Brandon Denman, flute; Ben Serna-Grey, oboe; Jonathan Cannon, clarinet; Bronson Foster, bassoon; Michael Villarreal horn
will perform works by composers including Ibert Danzi and Hindemith
UNLV Beam Music Center - Doc Rando Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://pac.unlv.edu/calendar.php?event_id=2090

Friday November 30th, 7:30pm
Piano Recital by Peabody Conservatory Piano Professor (flier attached)
Benjamin Pasternack, program includes Haydn, Beethoven ("Waldstein") Scriabin and Prokofiev
UNLV Beam Music Center - Doc Rando Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.peabody.jhu.edu/conservatory/faculty/pasternack/

Friday November 30th, 7:30pm
UNLV Symphony Orchestra along with UNLV Choral Ensembles and Las Vegas Master Singers and soprano Linda Lister perform
Debussy's Nocturnes, Poulenc's Gloria conducted by Taras Krysa, David Weiller and Jocelyn Jensen
UNLV Artemus Ham Concert Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$10-$8 discounts for seniors/military/disabled/
One Free ticket per UNLV student/faculty/staff with valid ID
more info: 702-895-2787
http://pac.unlv.edu/calendar.php?event_id=2090

Saturday December 1st, 5:30pm
Percussion Recital by UNLV Doctoral student Glenn Webb
UNLV Beam Music Center - Doc Rando Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16455

Sunday December 2nd, 4:00pm
Organ recital by Southern NV Chapter of the American Guild of Organists members featuring holiday favorites Christ Church Episcopal
2000 S. Maryland Parkway (at St. Louis)
Las Vegas, NV Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-898-5455
http://sncago.org/events.htm

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm
Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shop Local @ the Neon Holiday Bazaar in Downtown...

On Saturday, November 24, just two days after we all get stuffed with turkey, Downtown Las Vegas welcomes it's first annual Pop-Up Neon Holiday Bazaar. Sponsored by the historic El Cortez Hotel and Casino, DTLV and The Jewelers Daughter herself Ms. Polly Weinstein, this shopping extravaganza is one not to be missed. Besides there is no better excuse to come down to the hippest part of the city to get your holiday shopping done! The best part of all, the small businesses are locally owned and operated. So forget the big national retailers which are making their employees work on Thanksgiving (bah humbug) and come and support your local businesses this holiday season.

Neon Holiday Bazaar
Saturday, November 24, 12 noon till 8pm
http://www.neonholidaybazaar.com/

Vendors

doTerra Essential Oils, Art Box Design, Medusa Antiques, Joy's Teaspoon, Susan's World, Ninjabot, Desert Art Supply, Box Human Landscaping Retail, MJP Designs, Shelby Girl Designs, Southern Nevada, Wine Walk, Jessica Galindo Leather Couture, Jerry Misko's ATM POP UP GALLERY, Gypsy Den , Artifact, Civilian/Black Cloud, DTLV, The Bungalow, Better than New Boutique, Unicahome, Coterie Boutique, Tower of Jewels , Naked City Sweets, Molto Meatballs, The Cupcakery, Raffle Tent, Patina Décor, The, Jeweler's Daughter, Corner Store Furniture, Slidin Thru, Grouchy John's Truck, Miguel Rodriguez, Rumgr

Sponsors

V & M (Vintage and Modern), Tigerlily, Lotus of Siam, 4' wide logo, Mina Olive Bridal, Haley Hunter, Creative Space, AMS Marketing Sollutions, VA Services, Tuxedo Junction, Globe Salon, Radio City Pizza,  Stitch Factory, Carmine's Pizza, The Vegas Foodie, Ermelinda Manos, Ticket Cake, Southern Wine and Spirits


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Coffee with Kaiser... Musical happenings for the week of November 22...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Everyday 5:00pm-6:00pm
until November 24th

Enjoy live classical music by harpist
Kim DeLibero Monday-Thursday and
this Friday through Sunday
violinist James Harvey performs with
cellist Mert Sertmet
in the beautiful Fall Harvest Garden at the
Bellagio Conservatory (large garden near the front desk, and self parking)Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas NV 89109Free and Open to the Public
http://www.bellagio.com/attractions/botanical-garden.aspx

Wednesday November 21st, 6:00pm
Wind Chamber Music Concert "Inner Realm Winds" perform Milhaud, Mozart, Ibert and
Tansman. Players include Brock Norred-Bassoon, Christopher Fujiwara-Oboe
Isaiah Pickney-Clarinet
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public

Thursday November 29th, 7:30pm
Piano Trio "Cavatina Trio" performs chamber music by Ravel, Faure, Takemitsu and
Virko Baley, Harumi Rhodes-Violin, Priscilla Lee-Cello, Ieva Jokubaviciute-Piano
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$22.50-$25 discounts for seniors/military/disabled/One $10 ticket per UNLV student with valid IDmore info: 702-895-2787
http://pac.unlv.edu/calendar.php?event_id=2090

Friday November 30th, 7:30pm
UNLV Symphony Orchestra along with UNLV Choral Ensembles and Las Vegas Master Singers perform
Debussy's Nocturnes, Poulenc's Gloria conducted by Taras Krysa, David Weiller and Jocelyn Jensen
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$10-$8 discounts for seniors/military/disabled/One Free ticket per UNLV student/faculty/staff with valid IDmore info: 702-895-2787
http://pac.unlv.edu/calendar.php?event_id=2090

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm
Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vegas Style: A celebration of Las Vegas Entertainment Fashion

Redemption is the word I would like to use when it comes to seeing UNLV finally re-embracing Museum Studies as a viable profession. Last year the History Department gladly picked up the mantel and ran with it by hiring the fashion wonder woman Dr. Deirdre Clemente. Not since my mentor Dr. Vicky Cassman, who I trained with in the department of Anthropology, have I been so excited about a professor. Though Vicky sadly left UNLV (ahem) effectively ending museum studies in that department, the History program came in to save the day!

Dr. "D" as I affectionately call her is one of the most amazing people I ever met. The minute my good friend and colleague Dustin Wax introduced me to her I was hooked. She is electrifying, a leader, inspiring and has more energy than a hurricane! The woman knows her stuff and her students are the embodiment of her energy. Dr. D. has taken Las Vegas by storm and she is a power to be reckoned with. This past summer I was very fortunate to have one of her star students, Alex Hutchings, become my intern at the Las Vegas News Bureau. The kid is passionate, has a ton of energy and is a sponge when it comes to the field. Its funny because I see a lot of myself in him when I started my career 12 years ago.

So with all this said Dr. Clemente and her Public History wunderkinds continue on their trek to greatness by taking on a bold and exciting project. Over the last several months they have been diligently curating what is expected to be one of the hottest exhibitions to hit Las Vegas in years. The exhibition which is slated to open on Friday at the Nevada State Museum is a celebration of Las Vegas entertainment style. From Liberace's costume and rhinestone encrusted piano, Frank Sinatra's golf putter, Penn and Teller's suits, to the gowns of the rich and famous this show is a must see. With Las Vegas embracing the fashion industry over the last couple of years and even Zappos taking the lead, the timing of this exhibition could not be more perfect!

Vegas Style; the exhibition opens this Friday at the new Nevada State Museum located inside the Springs Preserve.

The Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas
309 S. Valley View Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89107
702-486-5205
Friday - Monday
10 am to 6 pm

Vegas Style opening reception Friday, November 16th, 6pm

For more information about Vegas Style - http://www.unlvvegasstyle.com/
For more information about the UNLV History Department - http://history.unlv.edu/
Form more information about the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas - http://museums.nevadaculture.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=427&Itemid=438
For more information about the Springs Preserve - http://www.springspreserve.org/


Special Guest Pianist Dale "G" Gonzales
playing Liberace's Rhinestone Baldwin 
Grand Piano this evening

About "G" - http://www.bibb.k12.ga.us//Domain/3514

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Coffee with Kaiser... Musical happenings for the week of November 12...

Here we go again with a week full of musical happenings to entice the masses right before we swing into the craziness of the holiday season. Obviously there is a lot of music and concerts to enjoy so there is no excuse not to get enculturated.

Have a great week everyone!

Everyday 5:00pm-6:00pm
until November 24th
Enjoy live classical music by harpist
Kim DeLibero Monday-Thursday and
this Friday through Sunday
violinist James Harvey performs with
cellist Mert Sertmet in the beautiful Fall Harvest Garden at the
Bellagio Conservatory (large garden near the front desk, and self parking)Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas NV 89109
Free and Open to the Public
http://www.bellagio.com/attractions/botanical-garden.aspx

Tuesday November 13th, 7:30pm
Contemporary Classical music featuring composer Stephen Hartke's music, performers include
Weiwei Le, violin and soprano Linda Lister, other composers include Carrasco and
John Cage, this concert series is called "Nextet"
UNLV Doc Rando Hall - Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
For more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16405

Thursday November 15th 7:00pm
Voice recital by UNLV Master's student Victor Romero
UNLV Ham Fine Arts Building (music office building)
Doc Rando Hall - Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the public
For more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16415

Thursday November 15th,7:30pm
UNLV Wind Orchestra Concert program includes Broughton's "Celebration" a world premiere-commissioned by the UNLV Wind Orchestra
Mussorgsky's "Introduction and Polonaise" from Boris Gudonov arr. Bourgeois
UNLV Artemus Ham Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Tickets $10/$8 adult/discounts seniors, military, UNLV faculty staff
Students get 1 free ticket with ID
more info: 702-895-2787
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16606

Friday November 16th 12:00pm noon
Native American Flute concert by Tim Blueflint and Dennis Petersen
Jury Assembly Room
Lloyd D. George US Courthouse
333 Las Vegas Blvd. south
Free and Open to the Public, free lunch, or bring your meal
don't forget to bring your photo id! You may not enter without it.
more info: 702-229-3515
http://www.artslasvegas.org/performances/music.htm

Saturday November 17th, 2:00pm
UNLV Graduate Woodwind Recital
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/17216

Saturday November 17th, 8:00pm
Las Vegas Philharmonic conducted by guest conductor Case Scaglione, assistant conductor with the New York Philharmonic, program includes
Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Copland's Lincoln Portrait narrated by Zappos CEO
Tony Hsieh, and Barber's Adagio for Strings
Smith Center Reynolds Hall
361 Symphony Park
Las Vegas NV 89106
Tickets $46-$94
more info: 702-258-5438
box office: 702-749-2000
http://lvphil.org/concert_schedule/masterworksII.php

Saturday November 17th, 8:00pm
Croatian classical guitarist Ana Vidovic performs an intimate solo concert
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Tickets $40 adult/some available discounts seniors, military, UNLV faculty staff.
Students rush tickets available 1 hour before concert at $14.25 per student with ID
more info: 702-895-2787
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16159

Sunday November 18th, 1:00pm
UNLV Tuba/Euphonium Studio Recital
UNLV Doc Rando Hall - Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/17399

Sunday November 18th, 3:00pm
Phillip Fortenberry and Spencer Baker will perform works for two pianos
by Debussy and GershwinMountain View Presbyterian Church
8601 Del Webb Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV
Free and open to the public (a volunteer donation for the musicians will be received)
more info: 702-341-7800
http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/detailNEW.cfm?EventID=15960

Sunday November 18th, 3:30pm
Voice recital featuring soprano Charlie Rolison
UNLV Doc Rando Hall - Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16994

Sunday November 18th, 7:00pm
Ukelele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro performs
UNLV Artemus Ham Hall
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$45/$35/$25
more info: 702-895-2787
http://pac.unlv.edu/calendar.php?event_id=2090

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

8-Bit Paco takes Downtown by storm & Insert Coin(s) too!

8-Bit Paco
As Charles Caleb Colton once said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..." And goodness knows that is so true.

For several weeks my good friends Stephen Liguori and Richard Brian had been working diligently on a costume inspired by "yours truly." Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that I would inspire an 8-Bit version of myself. Though my own artwork is inspired by 8-Bit video games of the 1980's, just the mere thought of me being turned into a video game character like those that I played is definitely humbling! Not just was I completely flattered by the gesture but the fact that Steven Liguori, one of Southern Nevada's most accomplished sculptors created it, made it all the more special. Steven and Richard affectionately called it "8-Bit Paco."

Paco & 8-Bit Paco @ The 2012
Las Vegas Halloween Parade 
The great unveiling took place at Las Vegas' Halloween Parade last week, which I just happened to be one of the judges for. Though I was in on the surprise I kept myself hidden behind a cloak and mask up until "8-Bit Paco" walked in front of the judges table. As 8-Bit presented himself I threw off the cloak and ran down to the street to stand next to my video-game inspired doppelganger  The crowd and my fellow judges went wild.

After the parade was over a crew of friends and I went down to 3rd Street where the Halloween Parade after-party was happening. The zany crew known for their out-of-this-world roaming disco, the Dancetronauts were spinning some hot beats and getting the crowd all excited for what was going to be a crazy Halloween in Downtown. After a while of ecstatic dancing and cavorting with the costumed masses we decided to head over to Insert Coin(s) Videolounge and Gamebar on Fremont East. Basically Insert Coin(s) is an arcade on steroids. It has a massive bar right in the middle of the place that is a cross between a giant glow stick and the Mos Eisely Cantina on Tatooine. This arcade makes Flynn's look like a carny game.

8-Bit Paco w/
Insert Coin(s) Proprietor
Christopher LaPorte
My buddy Richard, who was donning 8-Bit Paco was determined to enter the costume contest at the arcade; and considering the costume was the perfect fit for the Minecraft crowd he was right on the ball with his assumption. As we sat at the bar enjoying some great cocktails by "Zach" we awaited the judges verdict. As 1pm approached "8-Bit" and I made our way to the dance floor where the winner of the costume contest would be announced. All of a sudden Insert Coin(s) proprietor and video game wunderkind Christopher LaPorte stepped up to the DJ booth to make the big announcement. Before I could even catch my breadth Christopher looks straight at me and yells out, "grand prize winner BRIAN PACO ALVAREZ!" Though I think he meant to say 8-Bit Paco. In either case I was elated for Steven and Richard who worked so hard to make the costume and what a better place to celebrate than at Insert Coin(s)! After all was said and done this Halloween was one for my personal record books and one that will not be forgotten.

A huge thanks for a memorable evening to Steven Liguori, Richard Brian, Cat Savelo, Christopher LaPorte and his amazing crew at Insert Coin(s) and let us not forget Corey Mervis and Leslie Bocskor founders of the Las Vegas Halloween Parade!





Photos courtesy of Richard Brian Photography

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, November 05, 2012

Behind the Beats - A five month journey through electronic music and culture in Las Vegas



Goodness knows Onnoleigh Sweetman and I share a passion for electronic music and her thoughts and observations are a perfect glimpse into it. Here she returns to give us an account of the Electronic Music Scene in Las Vegas and beyond. 

PLUR... Peace Love Unity and Respect... The Ravers Motto...

"At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the play of patterned frequencies against the matrix of time. We know that every particle in the physical universe takes its characteristics from the pitch and pattern and overtones of its particular frequencies, its singing. Before we make music, music makes us." Joachim-Ernst Berendt, The World is Sound 

Over the past year my hope for the electronic music scene that I have based my art and career in for so many years, had quite frankly started to diminish. A world which could once be considered a secret society of progressive, authentic music goers has become infiltrated with top 40 music and has taken over the clubs of Las Vegas. Tainted by remixes of Brittany Spears and other pop style tracks, the days of hearing true underground electronic music has been lost to the houses and bedrooms of real DJ’s across the globe. My scene had become “main stream”. These days, everyone and their mother is a DJ. The days of laying your hand over slick vinyl, listening ever so fervently to a house track on a head phone, patiently waiting for the beat to drop and matching beats to the current record seem to be long gone. Sorato, pre-recorded tracks, fist pumping, jersey shore socialites have infiltrated the scene. What once was an energetic exchange between a musical shaman and his disciples has at times; seem to have been forever lost to the greed of fast social climbers adhering to its popularity and fame. True rave culture as we know it might as well be a distant and fond memory of the past. What I once fought in a stellar battle to bring to the stages across the state of Nevada is now welcomed with open arms but not so much with open ears. And with the dismay, comes the call from the universe for hope. That all is not lost in the world of consumerism. That hope came in the form of none other than Pasquale Rotella.

Pasquale, “God of the Ravers”, as I like to call him, brought to Las Vegas once again the controversial Electric Daisy Carnival this past June. And with it, the first ever EDM (electronic dance music), business conference to the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino. Meshed in the mix was my favorite of them all, the first ever Discovery Project for unsigned producers of electronic music which proved to be the most exciting aspect of the 2012 EDC experience…

I first had the pleasure of meeting Pasquale at the 2011 Burning Man Arts festival in northern Nevada. Our camps and RV’s were side by side and I was nothing less than mesmerized by his Wide Awake dome and Art Car the entire week. Intrigued by his integration of business and electronic music culture, I made it a point to become more acquainted throughout the year with his work and ambitions. And, as raver luck would have it, as we neared EDC, I was asked personally by a local magazine to appear on their cover, circus style, with the God himself. Nothing says to your spirit you deserve it, after 12 years of dedication to the scene, than a moment like this moment. So with steadfast level of exhilaration, I rounded up the top performers of my group Nytronix Entertainment and spent three weeks prepping and preparing for the exciting adventure.

The girls and I spent an entire six hours donning everything from pink fluffers, silver sparkle bras, grinding guitars, whips, hoops, poi, staff and everything in between. The energy amongst the girls was an impeccable mix of gratitude and professionalism. What better way to spend a Monday afternoon than playing in a fairy land with the one man responsible for changing and evolving the history of electronic music and culture as we know it.

At first interaction with Pasquale, he radiates a quiet and almost intimidating business charm. Dressed to the nines in a black suit, with dark hair and piercing blue eyes, you almost wonder what’s going on inside that head of his. But once he warms up to you, Pasquale is passionate, inquisitive and nothing less than endearing. I had the opportunity to hear first hand Pasquale speak of his first rave experiences, his passion for safety at his events and where he would like to see the festival headed to in the future. With my recent ideals of the electronic music scene completely disheartened, it was as if the universe was reaching out to the corner of my soul that will always be a raver. As if to say, this (top 40 bullshit) too shall pass...

If I ever had questions of Pasquale’s authenticity of pure love for the music and the “experience” they were squashed first hand that evening. His demeanor was nothing less than passionate when he spoke of his first rave experience at 14. He said that he wanted others to experience that same feeling that he felt and that is why he does what he does. And there it was like a first time rave, the excitement and ambition to keep on keeping on. It reminded me of when I first started producing “rave style” dance productions. Recalling the inspiration that emanated from my very being, that nothing could be more pure than the truth and passion to bring the music to the unsuspecting public. The inspiration was contagious. I almost felt guilty for ever thinking at times that I wanted to quit or give up. But as I have said before, “Once a raver, always a raver”.

June came with a fierceness and a glory like none other. The 2nd annual Las Vegas Electric Daisy Carnival was on its way and I had secured myself and four other friend’s a spot working the Info booth for the event. We headed out in true “burner” style from my apartment downtown. Back packs, camel backs, sturdy boots and stellar attitudes as we were prepared to rock the info booths and all the little raver bees to come. The first night came with it a little confusion, but nothing that could confound a group of burners that survive the harsh desert each year. It was an eclectic group of info staff and all became friendly right away. Our home base was the artist relations area and we headed out in groups of two with stacks of maps and walking info signs for the night. It was on. The track became filled with lights, music and adrenaline. And once again, in my second EDC year I was enamored to see the burning man art installations as a primary part of the experience at the event. The Flaming Lotus Girls were in high effect with countless local “burners” heading up the team as volunteers. I walked the track with my partner and our info booth sign while countless ravers came to us with questions. The most asked question? “What is the meaning of Life”? My favorite answer, “Ecstacy”. We made a pit stop around 10:00 pm to see one of my favorites “Gabriel & Dresden”, whom out of all the live sets I have ever heard in my existence in the history of electronic music hands down goes to this duo with their live set at WMC 2006 which one could only wish to auction off a limb to go back into time to experience the bliss for one’s self. This is definitely a duo that puts true progressive house music on the map and bitch slaps top 40 DJ’s and social climbers right in the face with a swift kick in the ass. Move over assholes, let the real gods play.

I found myself playing the role of raver mamma throughout the entire weekend. Checking on every little raver that I could, directing, hugging, and most importantly guiding them through their experience. At one point on Friday I found a girl dressed in daisy’s sitting outside the circuit grounds crying. She had lost her friends and her cell phone didn’t work. I guided her back to artist relations, where she was able to use my cell phone to contact her friends and sent her on a golf cart ride to meet her crew. To me, there was more to the info booth then just handing out maps and directing kids to the water refill stations. This was about the experience: P.L.U.R.R Peace, Love, Unity, Respect and most importantly RESPONSIBILITY. Responsibility to our fellow music goers for safety, guidance, and the ultimate connection of human spirit.

Another “Burner” on the same page as me was local fire dancer Shaun Abel. An ex-marine, he shared stories with me of his times over seas in the 90’s. When he would get leave, he would hit the clubs in Japan to see the likes of John Digweed. With so many kids not really knowing what true electronic music is, or its roots, we took it upon ourselves to guide the party goers to the what we know as the real deal. At Shaun’s info booth, Digweed had come to the rescue more than once over the weekend to assist. Shaun and I reveled in the fact that these kids had no idea they were being guided by the one of the Pioneers of electronic music. On Sunday night, two guys approached us at the info booth at The Recharge Station. It was their first rave. We looked them dead in the eyes and told them if they wanted the real experience to go see Carl Cox and John Digweed and report back to us. Hours later they came back to our info booth, eyes wide with a definitive change in their spirits. They thanked us and told us they had never experienced anything like it before. And there it was. The truth of the beats, the example of why I do what I do. Perform, Produce and Volunteer. To lead the people to the ultimate experience of the human spirit. A place where we all exist but at times have forgotten. A place that is our real reason for being. A place where the truth is re-awakened and love and human connection take precedent and wash away the delusions of grandeur that is society. And this experience can only be awakened through a shamanic DJ experience of the right and true kind of music of which was experienced that night in and through the likes of John Digweed and Carl Cox.

Another example of an authentic DJ experience was The Discovery Project with unsigned producers. My San Diego pals I met at Burning Man showed up and introduced me to Discovery Project winner Michael Badal. I checked out his set at the Discovery Stage and was highly impressed with his enthusiasm. So much pride and appreciation went into that set. He threw down hard and was grinning from ear to ear. A true example of being IN-SPIRIT hands down goes to Michael. A well deserved winner to take the stage for what I believe was the best part of the EDC Experience. A fantastic way to give back to the movers and shakers of the scene.

Another notable DJ mentions of the EDC experience hands down goes to my all time favorite DJ Tatiana Alvarez. Tatiana was all over EDC from the Recharge station to the Discovery stage. One of the few women to even play EDC, this dark haired beauty had no problem throwing down on the decks wherever she was. A scene dominated by men, Tatiana is the Cleopatra of Electronic Music. Strong and steadfast in her demeanor, her decks are her throne and she rules them with class, dignity and a mysterious magnetism that few can challenge. One of the best sets I have experienced in Las Vegas to date was Tati’s duo KillrKat during Halloween 2011. Donning the most bad ass pair of cat heads with laser eyes, this duo not only spins, but most importantly produces their own progressive house tracks. Now that is a true DJ. Two people mixing their own beats live. Proving herself time and time again, one can see why she was voted the Number 1 Female DJ in the World by a national DJ poll.

On Saturday night, I chose the recharge station specifically for the fact that DJ Tatiana was slated to play to the wee hours of the morning. The winds were strong and at one point I saw debris falling. I tried to pull the rest down as to not hit anyone. I made it back to my disco info booth, thoroughly enjoying the energy of the evening when all of a sudden the lights came up and thousands upon thousands of party goers rushed the recharge area. That’s when on my walkie talkie, I was told the festival was shut down due to the high winds. A decision made by the fire marshal and good call if I ever saw one. The party goers filled in one by one and you could barely walk or move. The entire festival was on my side of the track. That’s when Denver DJ Casey Stongle started busting out some tracks with DJ Tatiana dancing alongside him. The party goers cheered and danced. This party wasn’t going down without a fight. And that is when a young man rushed to me with worry at the Info booth. “I need your help” he said. “I think my friend is having an overdose”. I tried to barrel through the crowd, hopping over people huddled in piles. I grabbed a blanket and some water and a friendly burner I had met earlier offered his help. I called for paramedics and was worried how they were going to get through the crowd. This was all going down right in front of the DJ booth. The young man was on the ground half hyper and half lethargic. I calmly held his hand and whispered in his hear to calm him down. One of the paramedics looked at me and said “you are amazing”. “I’m just an old school raver” I replied. We have all seen this before and a situation like this called for calm, calm and more calm. Once the situation was under control I headed back to my info booth which was being held down by two local burners John and Meesh. And that’s when the idea hit me of what EDC needed for its events. Like that of Burning Man, where there are Black Rock Rangers, EDC needed some Rangers as well. A non threatening group of experienced ravers designed to patrol the premises to aid and help countless participants in whatever needs possible.

With Sunday upon us the last night of EDC was underway. Once again I choose the recharge station for my info booth set up. On this night I felt dialed in and I felt that I had found my calling. Versus just being a party goer, I found that my true purpose was to work the info booth. Where I could interact, guide and give the best of me to the participants. I found complete joy in this equation. When it came time for my break, that’s when my reward for the hard work of the week was realized. Shaun and I ventured out for a two hour interactive adventure. Our first stop was the Ferris Wheel. I was in complete amazement at the vast amount of people, lights and music that was experienced in the sky above the magic land. And that’s exactly what EDC is. Magic. Magic of the music and magic of the soul. Pasquale has taken an emotion felt at 14 years old, and it expanded into an experience for thousands to experience. Any judgments over his possible jail time are nothing but a witch hunt by those with a mediocre mind set. You see, with Pasquale and Insomniac Productions, he is breaking major barriers in the consciousness of our world as we know it. It is easier for people to conform and people are afraid of that which they do not know. Pasquale opens people to worlds of the imagination, of possibility. This can be a threat to those that adhere to control. What would we do with a world where people believed and experienced infinite possibilities? A scary thought for those that like to keep the hope of the world contained.

As we ventured from the Ferris Wheel, I heard beats that had me completely mesmerized. My sound, my taste, my style in full effect was happening on The Wide Awake Art Car by a duo called Prince Club. I grabbed my poi and starting dancing on the vehicle which was blasting its’ sound from Funktion 1 speakers. Just then, I saw one of my dancers and dear friends swinging her poi as well. Georgia Curringa, a salsa dancer turned rave goddess extraordinaire, had followed the beats as well. We danced upon the art car for some time when I stopped and took everything in that was going on around me. I looked out across the grounds. Art cars, people, music, laughter, screams, joy. It was all happening around me and it was mesmerizing. I emphatically took it all in basking in the joy of the celebration. If there ever was a meaning of life, this was it, right here, right now and I was “wide awake” and loving every single minute of it.

From the Art Car we all ventured for a set that would define my EDC musical experience. None other than the pioneer himself, Mr. John Digweed. Having production passes, Shaun, Lilah and I were able to stand on stage with the man himself. It was amazing seeing the crowd through the eyes of Digweed. Carl Cox hung around backstage as well and I flashed him my happy raver smile as he walked around, shook hands, and hugged a few onlookers. Digweed’s set was progressive and hard core. True electronic beats emanating from a huge sound system with the crowd going crazy. If there ever was a set to “experience” this was the one. And if you don’t know who John Digweed is, rent the fucking movie “Groove” and get on with it.

Digweed, known for his up to 12 hour sets, is in my mind, a legend. After we left the stage area, a tear trickled down my face. I looked at Shaun and he shook his head in complete understanding. We were there in the 90’s in the beginning of the magic, of truth being blasted and exposed through a new form of music and evolution. Where the secret society of music goers used electronic music and shamanism as an evolution of the mind and soul to recognize the truth of our very own existence. It was a moment of vast respect and gratitude to be in the presence of an electronic legend.

And so with my second EDC under my belt a new appreciation for the scene emerges. From what once was a stellar fight in my world of performance art, is now taking a new lead of acceptance and exposure across the country. That there will still be others to take form to not only keep the true underground alive, but expose and inspire others to take creative forms of action, to build community, to improve spirit, and to lead all other beings out of the realms of a mundane and controlled society and existence and into the infinite possibilities of creativity, freedom, love, art, and most importantly, Truth.

-Onnoleigh Sweetman

*Keep posted as Onnoleigh shares her experiences over the past five months with “Community”, “The Pure House Music Festival”, The LV Glow Run & After Party, and the Burning Man DJ group and interactive dance experience “The Dancetronauts”.*

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at | 0 Comments

Coffee with Kaiser... Musical happenings for the week of November 5...

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. 
- Victor Hugo


Everyday 5:00pm-6:00pm 
until November 24th
Enjoy live classical music by harpist
Kim DeLibero Monday-Thursday and
this Friday through Sunday she is joined by
violinist James Harvey
in the beautiful Fall Harvest Garden at the
Bellagio Conservatory (large garden near the front desk, and self parking)Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas NV 89109Free and Open to the Public
http://www.bellagio.com/attractions/botanical-garden.aspx

Tuesday November 6th, 7:30pm
Chamber Orchestra Concert
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16999

Thursday November 8th and Friday the 9th
7:30pm and Sunday the 10th at 1:00pm
UNLV Opera Theater "Fairy Queen" by Henry Purcell directed by Linda Lister
Jae Ahn-Benton performs on piano, an adaptation of "Midsummer Night's Dream" 
UNLV Ham Fine Arts Building (music office building)
Paul Harris Theater
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$10, $8-seniors/military/disabilities1 free ticket per student with ID
more info: 702-895-2787
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16659

Thursday November 8th,7:30pm
UNLV Saxophone Studio Recital 
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/17217

Friday November 9th, 5:30pm
Flute Studio Recital featuring the UNLV undergraduate and graduate students of flute professor
Dr. Jennifer Grim program includes the following composers:
Mozart's son: Felix Xaver, W. F. and C. P. E Bach, Frederick the Great, Bizet/Borne Demersseman
Prokofiev, Gaubert, Taffanel, and MuczynskiUnlv
Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16618

Friday November 9th, 7:30pm
Chamber Music Recital featuring Doctoral Trumpet Student Justin Bland
composers include Vogel, Schoenberg, and Plog, also performing are
Erin Kennelly Soprano, AJ Merlino, Percussion, Donald Malpass, Piccolo/Alto Flute
Michelle Lee Piano, and many more
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16558

Saturday November 10th, 3:00pm
Cello recital featuring graduate student Rebecca Gray program includes Britten, Glazounov,
Bach's Suite for unaccompanied cello No. 5, Beethoven's Sonata for Cello and Piano in A MajorUnlv
Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/16995

Saturday November 10th, 7:30pm
Concert of music by composer Bryan Kostors featuring "Migrations" a three movement work for large ensembleinstrumentation of this world premiere includes flute, clarinet, oboe, horn, bassoon, violins, viola, cello, bass and piano. Also featuring Jae Ahn-Benton performing some shorter Kostors works on piano conducted by Bronson Foster
UNLV Doc Rando Hall
Beam Music Center
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332
http://www.unlv.edu/node/17763

Sunday November 11th, 5:00 pm and 7:30pm
Large Scale Symphonic and Choral work performed by Zion Youth Symphony and Choir
"Saints and Pioneers" by Gardner depiction of the 19th century Mormon Pioneers directed by
David and Jeffery Skouson
Smith Center Reynolds Hall
361 Symphony Park
Las Vegas NV89106
possibly sold out? no tickets available at this time, sorry not sure why.........
http://www.thesmithcenter.com/events/zions-youth-symphony-and-chorus-saints-and-pioneers/

Upcoming

Philharmonic Concert! 
November 17th, 2012 8:00pm
All American Composers Copland- Fanfare for the Common Man, Lincoln Portrait and more Barber-Adagio for Strings Bernstein -West Side Story Symphonic Dances Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh is the guest narrator!conducted by guest conductor and current assistant conductor to the New York Philharmonic: Case Scaglione.


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm
Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at | 0 Comments