Crisp black-and-white images depict a tight-knit community building lives in a new city. They show baptisms, school marching bands, parades and barber shops. Real people doing regular activities, with a quiet vitality.
Photographer Clinton Wright spent 30 years documenting life on Las Vegas’ Westside during the Civil Rights era. Now 80, he returns to take part in a photo exhibit and an advance screening of the documentary African Americans: The Las Vegas Experience (set to air on Vegas PBS Channel 10 February 20 at 9 p.m.). Wright would like viewers to see in his photos the hard work of the residents: “The people in that time period were instrumental in [making] the community grow ... and making it a better place.”
Curator and photographer Aaron Mayes says he was moved by Wright’s photos. “I can’t begin to explain how my views of our city, its history of segregation and my general understanding of the black community has been influenced by working with Clinton’s images,” says Mayes, who chose 28 Wright photos from approximately 4,000 archived in UNLV’s Special Collections. “I’m terribly proud of this show. .. probably more proud than if it were my own photographs.”
Wright’s photos are testament to a historic moment in Las Vegas. But he would like his legacy to be remembered on a more personal level. “That I played a recognizable role in the community in the service I did,” Wright says, “to capture their memories—the good times, the bad times, their endeavors. I was able to play a part in many people’s lives.” February 16, 3 p.m. RSVP at cal.library.unlv.edu. –C. Moon Reed
If Brown—the masked performer behind 1968 psych-rock touchstone “Fire”—seemed too mythical to be real, a few, lucky Las Vegans caught a glimpse of Sasquatch in the wild last year. The 74-year-old singer, who has rarely hit the road since the old days, brought his band to the Joint for August’s Psycho Las Vegas festival, which found him donning a variety of headdresses and robes (naturally) and dancing with female dancers who looked to be a third his age, and were, at times, twirling balls of actual fire (of course).
Good news for longtime fans, or those simply curious about the spectacle: Brown’s first full U.S. tour since 1969 will find its way back to the Hard Rock Hotel this week, for a headlining gig at intimate club Vinyl. Also in the plus column, New York City psych warriors White Hills (of memorable 2010 Beauty Bar patio-set fame) are on the bill, along with rising Cincinnati stoner-rockers Electric Citizen. If you have some face paint in your medicine cabinet, now’s a good time to dig it out. February 16, 7:30 p.m., $24-$30.–Spencer Patterson
The math isn’t complicated: It’s burlesque plus Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, etc. Scheduled to strip for justice: Dahlia Dark, Innocence, Katarina Honeybunny, Loon A Tik, Mae Du Luc, Pistol Holliday and former Absinthe “bubble girl” Charlie Starling. JP Nomi Malone hosts. February 18, 7:30 p.m., $10. –Geoff Carter
While many of their emo and pop-punk peers from the late ’90s and early ’00s are busy with nostalgia tours, California goth-punks AFI are forging ahead with new music, touring behind their recent self-titled release (subtitled The Blood Album) with support from Nothing and Souvenirs. February 18, 8 p.m., $28-$128. –Josh Bell
This all-female Memphis foursome sounds just the way a garage-punk group formed by art-school chums ought to: shambolic; indebted to X-Ray Spex, The Raincoats and Bikini Kill; and perfect for a night of open-air Downtown dancing. With No Tides, Headwinds. February 19, 8 p.m., free. –Spencer Patterson
Las Vegas offers any number of fighting competitions throughout the year, but rarely does any of it approach the ballet-esque technique and stunt-like showmanship of the Shaolin Warriors, who practice a hybrid of spirituality and zenful combat that dates back 1,500 years, and is far more physically demanding than other form of kung fu.
The Shaolin Warriors show will feature several different displays, ranging from artful, choreographed meditation poses to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-like presentations that would make Cirque du Soleil blush. It includes graceful sparring matches, both bare-handed and with staffs; choreographed individual and group numbers that showcase agility and combat prowess; and eyebrow-raising demonstrations of strength.
When you witness a huddle of warriors hoisting up and then balancing one of their brothers with the ends of their spears, you’ll be simultaneously impressed with their gravity-defying accomplishment and stunned at how they have turned pain tolerance into an art form. February 20, 7:30 p.m., Reynolds Hall, $24-$85. –Mike Prevatt
Tags: Arts & Entertainment