A&E

Las Vegas music notes: Sand Dollar Downtown debuts, DougieTheDon drops a new LP and more

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The Benders perform at the Sand Dollar Downtown inside the Plaza.
Photo: Wade Vandervort

NOW OPEN

The iconic Sand Dollar Lounge has seen its share of history. Some of the biggest names in blues and rock ’n’ roll have played the Spring Mountain location, helping put it on the map as a true Las Vegas epicenter of live entertainment.

The venue soft-opened a second location inside the Plaza on Main Street on May 5, with local bands Shanda & The Howlers and The Rhyolite Sound kicking off the celebration.

Sand Dollar Downtown bears a strong resemblance to its flagship. Rock art adorns the walls, and you can play billiards in the back. New cocktails anchor the bar menu, but they’re still cleverly named after classic songs (the Barracuda, the Paranoid, the Life on Mars). Pizza is still available barside, but this time it’s from the Plaza’s Pop-Up Pizza.

The 4,000-square-foot Sand Dollar Downtown feels distinctly more open and roomy compared to the original. There’s a huge dancefloor and cushy, modern booths with tables scattered about with candle lighting. It’s cozy and relaxed, reminiscent of an old jazz club. Sound-wise, however, the room should take it down a few decibels, so patrons can better enjoy their conversations.

Sand Dollar co-owner Anthony Jamison says live entertainment, which remains free, will continue to be a mix of local and touring acts, “but at Sand Dollar Downtown, we will be broadening the spectrum to include everything from blues to punk, and definitely skewing more towards rock ’n’ roll in general,” he says.

The venue will celebrate its grand opening during Memorial Day Weekend, with performances by Vegas-based band Crash Midnight (May 27), blues singer Artur Menezes (May 28) and local rocker Stoney Curtis (May 29).

RETURN OF THE DON

The rap game never rests, and neither does DougieTheDon. The Las Vegas-based emcee released latest solo album Don Talk 2 in March after dropping two LPs and an EP last year.

“I don’t like to hold songs. It can ruin the whole creativity process,” the 34-year-old born Douglas Sorro says. “Whatever I’m going through, I’ll write it and I’ll put it on a song. But unless I release it, it feels like I’m still holding on to those feelings.”

Sorro let go of a lot in his previous album, For What It’s Worth, which he says he wrote during a period of great depression. “I had gotten out of probably one of the most terrible relationships I’ve ever been through. It was my Kanye [West] 808 & Heartbreak,” he says.

The rapper says he was able to recollect himself on Don Talk 2, bringing the uptempo energy for which he’s known. “This is me coming back, me being confident, me believing in myself and me just wanting to make some fun music,” he says. “Let’s go back to the Don Talk. Let’s go back to where we all started.”

Unsurprisingly, Sorro says his next project, 92.Vibes, should be out in a few months. The R&B-driven album will also feature the rapper singing, but don’t expect to turn up too hard for it.

“I want people to be able to drive to it,” he says, “or when you’re at home and you’re burning candles and you’re relaxin’, I want people to be able to do that. This is not for the club.”

Sorro will open for rapper Stunna 4 Vegas at Inside Man HQ (1921 Western Ave.) on June 2. Dougiethedon.com.

DESERT DEBUT

Alt-rock quintet Secos officially has an album—an eponymous LP that captures the essence of a chill, afternoon drive.

“We think of the album as an emotional journey, ranging from topics like love, fear, trust, internal growth, nostalgia and even vice—all inspired by personal experience and the things you see when living in this great city,” says frontman David Candelas. “The album is like reimagining how we see Las Vegas through our Secos lens.”

Candelas says standouts include “Monochrome,” “Doomsday Clock,” “Love Drunk to the Bone,” (for which the band released a surprise music video) and “Victim of Vice.” Secosband.com.

FRESH SPINS

Desert honky tonkers The Rhyolite Sound have a new single, “The Day My Daddy Died,” recorded, produced and mixed by the band at Sonic Rodeo Studios, which is owned and operated by vocalist Larry Reha and drummer A.J. Palluck. … Sonia Barcelona also just released “Tell Me Tell Me,” a hazy, dreamlike track … And QuixkMadeIt has taken some downtime from producing for others to drop the single “Are You Down?” featuring local emcees Kenyadda and Iris C.

SHOW TIME

Rock rascals Los Emptys, who announced an EP for summer, will hit the Truth Spot on June 3 … Alt-rockers The Dirty Hooks, who are also working on new music, will play SoulBelly BBQ on June 11 with Mojave Sun and Mother Mercury … Poppy punk band Ugly Boy will take over Taverna Costera on May 28, with support from White Noise, Secos, The Musket Vine and The Red Seduction. … And Spanish singer Dama Vicke will close out Memorial Day weekend at Taverna, along with Sonia Barcelona, No Que No, Di Ivories and Madison Deaver.

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Amber Sampson

Amber Sampson is a Staff Writer for Las Vegas Weekly. She got her start in journalism as an intern at ...

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