Until recently, an entire colorful Vegas subculture was displaced. The budding burlesque dancers, custom car enthusiasts, pin-up model wannabes and the rockabilly and ska lovers had nowhere to go to share their passion for all things retro and rock ‘n’ roll.
Now, thanks to Beauty Bar general manager Joe Garcia-Miranda and Cassia, the flame-haired burlesque dancer “Penny Slots” of local burlesque group Babes in Sin, they have an ideal venue: the vintage-inspired, indie-embracing Beauty Bar and a regular event all their own: Underground-a-Go-Go.
“I like supporting the underground scene,” says Garcia-Miranda. “We do a good job with indie and hip-hop, and now I want to focus on roots rock. … Those people (local vintage enthusiasts) live here and they don’t have any place to go.”
Last Tuesday was the inaugural Underground-a-Go-Go, a locals party that mixes a tempting cocktail of hard drinks, live music and dancing spiked with undressing women. A roaring success with over 200 people, Garcia-Miranda said the party was “a lot of fun, especially for Tuesday.”
The opening party was also the site of Original Sin Cider’s pin-up model search. A micro-brewed cider from New York City, Original Sin was on the lookout for the next model for their promo posters, which are illustrated by artist R. Black of Darkhouse Comics.
Black judged the contest for an iconic “modern-day pin-up,” picking local model and burlesque performer Anabel Miramontes, raven-haired, full-lipped, tattooed and built like a coke bottle.
Female-fronted rockabilly band Bekah Just and the Ex-Boyfriends provided live music and humorous covers of gangster rap like 2 Live Crew.
Every Tuesday Underground-a-Go-Go will focus on a different genre of rock roots, like rockabilly, swing, second wave ska (English wave), ‘60s garage, surf, psychedelic and old-school punk and rock ‘n’ roll. Local DJs Mondo, Cody Moore, Skasteady B and Jason Void will take turns spinning.
Once a month burlesque performers will take to the outdoor stage in feathered boas, elbow-length gloves and titty tassels and the back gate of the “backyard” will open to give vintage auto enthusiasts space to show off their tricked out rides.
Tuesday, December 2nd is punk night, with local band The Tinglerz dishing out classic old school punk. On December 9th ska band Boss City Sound “will have rude boys and 2 tone ska boys skanking all night long,” Miranda-Garcia promises.
“Underground-a-Go-Go will have a strong framework, but won’t be the same all the time, so people won’t get bored – we are trying to keep the momentum up. Every night is a new genre, and each genre has so many levels. … Rock and roll has a large history and we want to focus on every part of it. …We want people to be able to delve into and enjoy these further dimensions of music, instead of the same few popular songs, the same thing that gets beat up all the time.”
While the music is the throbbing heart of the event, Underground-a-Go-Go is also about a community.
“Now that all these other venues are closing around town, like Sin City Saloon, people want a place to go,” says Miranda-Garcia, evoking spectres of Greasers, rebels without a cause, and fetishistic Bettie Paige-types wandering around downtown with nowhere to park their classic Chevys. “So now they know, if they want something worthwhile to do on a Tuesday, they can always come here and feel welcome and hear the music that they enjoy and be around the people that they love.”