Story archive for July 2008

Lead Photo Comic turns: Bumping into a customer and meeting (well, not quite) Ray Bradbury

At the San Diego Comic Convention, I ran into a strip club customer. I was walking around the convention center in a sea of people, and I was suddenly making eye contact with a man who looked familiar. My first thought was that it may have been a recent customer, but what are the chances, really? He, however, had the same distinctive tattoo and my suspicions were confirmed. It was definitely him. He was with his wife, which saved me from the awkwardness of trying to dodge a conversation. Topics of conversation are different inside the club and out, naturally. I couldn’t just start humoring him with perverted fantasies. I was off duty and in my natural habitat among my own nerdy kind. I smiled at him and his suspicions were confirmed too. Anyway, the convention was otherwise relatively smooth sailing. I met a lot of amazing artists, socially inept ...

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Lead Photo Strip Scribbles: Mystere’s mystery guest: Michael Jackson

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (6:26 p.m.)

* Pop-prince Michael Jackson took his three children and four other guests to a performance of Mystere by Cirque du Soleil at Treasure Island. He slid in seconds after the show began in the dark to remain unrecognized and took their seats just a few rows from the stage. * Congratulations to Venetian-Palazzo chief Sheldon Adelson, who will celebrate his birthday this weekend as only a billionaire can and should. He’s taking his three 747 aircrafts from Boston, New York and Vegas for a group of family, friends, high-rollers and business pals to his Macau Venetian, where they all have front-row seats for the first overseas Team USA basketball exhibition game pre-Olympics. Then it’s a huge blowout bash steps away from the arena in one of the ballrooms there! * My friend Gary Lee Robbins at the new Retro Television Network, which will be broadcasting a live daily show from ...

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Tonight’s tip: Ataris-Carolina Liar – for free!

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (6:01 p.m.)

It’s a night where rock reigns supreme: There’s a special concert on the VooDoo Beach at the Rio, with Ataris and Carolina Liar -- and its free, and that’s the truth! … The Strange Noize Tour blows very loud with hardcore hip-hop from the Kottonmouth Kings, Tech 9, Hed PE, XClan, Prozak and Dirtball at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay and it runs from 7 p.m. to midnight to accommodate everybody. TOMORROW’S TEASE: Our hometown rock hero, Vince Neil returns with his Motley Crue, Pappa Roach and Buckcherry tour and the spectacle promises to be “the loudest show on earth.” Drummer Tommy Lee gets ready for ex-wife Pamela Anderson’s debut Girl on the Loose TV show filmed here in Vegas when she stripped down to her birthday suit for Hugh Hefner. Hef’s galpal Kendra Wilkinson heads in to host Slip & Slide at the Palms and now says ...

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Lead Photo Birthday boy Piven not withdrawn at Bank

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (5:38 p.m.)

HBO Entourage star Jeremy Piven decided Vegas was the perfect city to celebrate his birthday -- and joined with his own entourage of friends he took over the VIP section at the Bank nightclub in the Bellagio. Actors Amy Smart and Elden Henson -- best known for his role as Fulton Reed in the Mighty Duckstrilogy, co-starring Emilio Estevez -- were alongside Richard Brenner, CEO of Newline Cinemas, in the VIP section. Their birthday group was celebrating publicist Kate Fenney’s similar anniversary. The Bank’s sister club, Jet, next door at the Mirage, hosted Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce with an “MVP Championship Party.” Paul, who owns a condo here, relaxed first all day at the club’s Bare topless-optional pool. Then the Moet Rose champagne flowed in winning style. Other professional athletes partying included San Diego Chargers’ Shawn Phillips and Stephen Cooper, who sent the crowd into a wild frenzy when ...

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Lead Photo New V Theater magician is no illusion

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (4:48 p.m.)

Although she’s still an unknown name her rise to fame has been remarkable- in less than two years she’s gone from trainee to Strip headliner. Now starting tomorrow (Friday) for an initial six-month run and a further six-month option, Vegas has a new magician- and she’s a princess. Scarlett, Princess of Magic will star at the V Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile with unique illusions within a family entertainment experience. Scarlett is all set to dazzle with her skills, beauty and personality -- let alone all her costumed copies of everybody from Marilyn Monroe to Michael Jackson, as she charms with her conjuring conquests. David Saxe, V Theater’s show producer and managing partner, states that, “I have not seen such stage presence in a female magician since my sister, ‘Melinda: The First Lady of Magic.’ ” Scarlett has already mastered some of the most difficult feats performed by the ...

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Lead Photo Time still ticking at Flamingo Showroom

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (11:45 a.m.)

Now I can say it: Jerome, you missed a loop in the back. It’s the one we usually miss when slipping the eel-skin (or whatever manner of skin that might be) belt through the back of the ox blood-colored pants that is a crucial component to the ox blood-colored suit. It’s the one not quite in the middle, but near the middle, on the right. Not a huge deal, but the loop is there for a reason, and it’s rather noticeable when you’re not wearing the oversized jacket. I say this because, while Jerome always makes sure Morris Day is properly coiffed and assembled – the famous mirror always at the ready, even onstage – no one cares to make sure Jerome has always covered the details. So Jerome, next time out – check those loops. And while on the topic of loopy (hey! good transition), Morris Day and The ...

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Lead Photo Palms prepped for over-the-top Midsummer Night’s Dream

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (11 a.m.)

Hotel tycoon George Maloof is betting $300,000 that his upcoming Midsummer Night’s Dream party at Playboy Club will be the “biggest and best” Vegas has ever seen. A six-week construction project is underway, and Hollywood set designers are on hand to completely transform the Palms' main pool and VIP bungalow-area into a medieval enchanted forest. It will take three full days after everything is trucked in from California just to set up. The most highly anticipated event of the year returns for its second year on Saturday, Aug. 16. Originally made famous by Hugh Hefner’s annual exclusive event at the Playboy Mansion, this over-the-top party is the most lavish bash Las Vegas has to offer. In an exclusive Luxe Life interview, production manager Damien Sanders told me: “It will be one breathtaking and spectacular show. We are constructing a 30-foot-tall castle for the ‘Kings Court’ that will be the centerpiece, ...

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Paris continues her fancy footwork

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (8 a.m.)

We reported yesterday how Paris came to town and conquered the fall footwear fashions when she launched her new line of shoes at Macy’s in Fashion Show Mall. After that hullabaloo, it was time to party, Paris-style! She looked stunning in a sparkling, baby pink, near floor-length gown and started her night at the Asian-themed Social House restaurant at TI. Paris ordered up fresh sashimi and shots of chilled Grey Goose for the large party in her entourage. She made a grand entrance at Pure nightclub in Caesars Palace as the DJ played her hit single, “Stars Are Blind.” She grabbed the mic and sang along to her song. Paris then wowed the crowd with her own rendition of Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” She gave a shout-out from the DJ booth to friends of hers celebrating a birthday and then wished everybody else in Pure celebrating a ...

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Exclusive interview with Criss Angel moments after miracle escape

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (7:20 a.m.)

Minutes after his amazing unorthodox escape fraught with unexpected dangers and difficulties, Mindfreak magician Criss Angel told me: “I had no desire to die. I will never forget the worst moment of this escape -- and it's something I will never want to discuss -- but for the first time fear took over the adrenaline. I had trained so hard for this demonstration. I was physically, mentally and spiritually ready, but also knew anything could go wrong. We were live in full view of everybody -- and things did go wrong. But the magic is that I got out alive from an imploding building. Failure was not an option as I told you earlier."

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Lead Photo Off the street, onto the stage

Sarah Feldberg | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (3:43 a.m.)

Loews Hotel at Lake Las Vegas has been bumping to a very different beat for the past few days. Where there’s normally a pianist playing the classics, this weekend there’s a DJ spinning Snoop and Rick Ross. Accents from New Zealand, Japan and Trinidad rise from typically serene hallways, where dancers in jumpsuits, ties or Chuck Taylors stretch hamstrings against the hotel walls and count out rhythms with intense concentration. “Five, six, seven, eight.” Around every bend there’s another pack, standing in formation half-dancing through routines they’ve practiced a thousand times already. World Hip Hop Dance Championships Aug. 1, 2 World Hip Hop Dance Championships Finals, Aug. 3 World Hip Hop Dance Championships Watching them half-kick, half-booty shake, half-spin and half-pop, it's hard to believe the frenzy of energy that the crews bring to the stage. Under the spotlights these are totally different animals. Faces flip from huge smiles to ...

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LAX “Surprise” guest no ordinary Joe

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (2:43 a.m.)

It’s late-Wednesday, early Thursday in Vegas, and you know what that means: club night for The Johnny.

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Lead Photo Meet the dancers

Jennifer Grafiada | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (1:16 a.m.)

A decade old and still going strong, or at least still going, the annual Dance in the Desert festival celebrates dance entertainment that doesn't come wrapped in feathers and sequins with a Barry Manilow soundtrack. While troupes come from all over the western U.S., some of the most exciting performances will be by performers from right here in Las Vegas. Meet some of Dance in the Deserts local talent. Company name: Gail Gilbert Dance Ensemble Director: Gail Gilbert What they will be performing: I’m working with a special piece of music that was done especially for me by a local composer here in town, Derek Jones. The dance is called About Time and is performed by four women. Style of dance: modern. Does a lot of experimenting. From the Archives Tenth times a charm? (7/31/2008) A Dance Oasis (7/26/2007) Dance in the Desert, Aug. 1 Beyond the Weekly Dance in ...

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Lead Photo Conor Oberst

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Either the Omaha wunderkind has already hit his creative peak, or the contributions of his Bright Eyes cohorts Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott have long been overlooked in favor of heaping praise upon the figure at the rotating collective’s helm. That’s not to say Conor Oberst’s first wide-release solo effort is an outright disappointment; far from it.

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Lead Photo The power principle

T.R. Witcher | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Actors like playing the villain, the wisdom goes, because the villains get to be bad and the heroes must remain steadfast and dull. The villains enjoy their villainy; the heroes carry on like they’re wearing an uncomfortably itchy suit. Titanically crazed characters like Daniel Plainview and Anton Chigurh mesmerize audiences—and so it is not surprising that much of the focus on the new Batman film, The Dark Knight, centers on the late Heath Ledger’s bravura turn as the Joker.

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More than words

Ryan Olbrysh | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Ryan Olbrysh’s photos capture ironies you’d otherwise miss in the fast pace of Las Vegas life. A selection of images that speak for themselves.

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Lead Photo Mission to Montreal

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

In their own words, three Vegas comics at very different levels of their respective careers, and one rabble-rousing former Vegas open-mic-er, share their experiences throughout this year’s Just for Laughs in http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcz4cmfk_110hnzpznggMontreal, the largest and most prestigious comedy festival in the Western hemisphere.

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Lead Photo What about Bobby?

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

The overwhelming majority of comics have “a thing.” A shtick. An angle. And then there’s Bobby Collins.

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Lead Photo High-concept classics

Max Jacobson | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

When I was a university student, my anthropology professor claimed that the first takeout food in North America was the tamale, or tamal, as it is called in the Nauhatl language of southern Mexico.

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Lead Photo Ladies, lift your daubers

Kate Silver | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

I think we need to take some kind of lucky charm,” I text Sophia, as I don jeans and a T-shirt with a kitty cat on it. “Do you happen to have a troll doll?” As I await her response, I start getting nervous. Please, please be awake, I think. I don’t know if I can go through this alone.

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Lead Photo See ya later, improvisators

Ken Miller | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

They make their living with nonstop energy on stage, careening wildly from one idea to the next, never sure if anything will stick, and frankly not really caring for fear of that dreaded silence. But this particular afternoon Michael Lehrer and Robyn Norris, improvisational artists who perform in Las Vegas’ Second City show, are surprisingly subdued.

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Lead Photo Trial run

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

“How lucky for me that he made the stupidest mistake of his life in my city!” Scot Savage is talking about former NFL star, television pitchman and double-murder acquittee Orenthal James Simpson.

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Lead Photo 12 reasons to not hate the bus

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

It’s been a month of bad PR for the C.A.T. bus system. Whether it’s a crazy guy hijacking a bus or an alleged perpetual drunk crashing into a bus stop, finding reasons to like public transportation is harder than ever. Here are a few.

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Stories from your government

Stacy J. Willis | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

When she’s finished reading the storybook aloud, she tells the squirming kids, “I’m Catherine, and I’m your attorney general.” They blink, mostly, and wait.

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The limits of term limits

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

It’s certainly dispiriting to see democracy waterboarded by the people we elect or appoint to safeguard it for us, whether it’s through torture memos, secret evesdropping or the vast corporate porkapalooza that is Congress. Sadly, we’ve come to expect that of politicians.

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Lead Photo Five Questions with Troy Nkrumah, local organizing head of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

[Vegas hosting the National Hip-Hop Political Convention] is major considering Las Vegas attempted a ban of hip-hop. That, along with the fact that, nationally, Vegas is not on the map for either hip-hop—except for the b-boys—or for progressive youth activism. The 2008 Convention is the perfect opportunity because all eyes will be on Vegas.

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Lead Photo TULADTALLV

Deanna Rilling | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Party with the cars … and maybe a few stars. That’s the basic concept of The Ultra Lounge at Dal Toro & Lamborghini Las Vegas, in the Palazzo resort-hotel-casino (whew—got all that?). But this isn’t your typical party at the standard venue.

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Lead Photo Slow resurfacing

Deanna Rilling | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

They don’t go overboard fliering parking lots, nor do they post loads of MySpace bulletins. In 2007, they played only 14 shows. But that doesn’t mean eight-year-old Vegas band Slow to Surface was ever over, or even, in the mind of its members, unproductive.

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Lead Photo Excuses for Skipping

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Imagine if Kevin Shields had produced The Go-Go’s and you’ve got some idea where this Bay Area-based, all-female quartet is coming from.

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Peggy Plots Your Planets

Peggy Allison | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Another month down, but luckily you have Peggy to guide you.

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I wrote what?!

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Local duo The Naturals sent out a MySpace bulletin on July 28 announcing a dramatic mid-tour breakup, with the text attributed to … yours truly.

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Lead Photo Looking on the brightside

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

A local teen taking on Las Vegas’ biggest rock band? Call him brazen, foolish or naïve if you want, but Ian Shane Tyler might just be the most business-savvy just-turned-20-year-old on the local music scene.

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Lead Photo Vegas Gets Booked

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Giving new meaning to the phrase “Are you in the book?” first-time author Jay Louis’ debut, Hot Chicks With Douchebags (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2008), attempts to plant a righteous finger into a dam bursting with sightings of, well, hot chicks with douchebags, that is, men Louis would consider unworthy with the women they are unworthy of.

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Lead Photo Tenth time a charm?

T.R. Witcher | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Dancers—long-legged, festooned in sequins and feathers or little at all—are a Vegas staple. But, quiet as it’s kept, there is an alternative dance tradition in Las Vegas, one that embraces modern and contemporary dance, one that believes dance can be art, not just acrobatics (or merely titliation)

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Local track we love

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Duo Chris Leland and Joe Ervin, mainstays on the Vegas folk scene since 2005, have exceeded solid past efforts with this haunting serenade.

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Dream Zone

Lauri Quinn Lowenberg | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Lauri interprets what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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Lead Photo Take Back the “Night”

Jacob Coakley | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Shakespeare was a perv. Let’s keep a tally, shall we? Rape? Check. Man-boy-fairy love triangle? Check. Bestiality? Check. Oh yeah, it’s all there. All there and more in Insurgo Theatre Movement’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Lead Photo The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Matthew Scott Hunter | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

There’s a thin line between “winking at the camera” and “drawing attention to how bad your movie is.” In its third installment, The Mummy franchise crosses that line.

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Lead Photo Paul Weller

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Can you imagine Paul Weller’s latest album shooting to the top of the Billboard 200? Sure, as soon as John Q. Kansas figures out who the heck Paul Weller is.

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Lead Photo Alice Cooper

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Alice Cooper has always been one to go with the flow. Although his theatrical style and dark subject matter have influenced acts from Marilyn Manson to Slipknot, the heavy metal pioneer himself hasn’t been a hitmaker in decades. He dabbled in hair metal in the ’80s and industrial in the ’90s, to relative audience indifference.

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Lead Photo Crystal Rock’n Lemonade

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

A little bit Country Time (think rocking chairs) and a little bit rock ‘n roll (think streaking), bartender Toni Rossi’s irresistible creation has a deceptive sting.

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Lead Photo Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis

Richard Abowitz | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

On July 16, 1930, country music’s founding father, Jimmie Rodgers, and jazz progenitor Louis Armstrong found common ground in the blues, creating “Blue Yodel No. 9 (Standing on the Corner),” one of history’s most unlikely and extraordinary recordings. Almost 80 years later, on Two Men With the Blues, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis find the same sweet spot—a perfect match between Nelson’s Western swing and Marsalis’ New Orleans jazz—showing how much vitality remains to be mined from that earlier recorded encounter between jazz and country

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Lead Photo Who loves the ‘90s?

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Set for no apparent reason in 1994, Jonathan Levine’s The Wackness at first comes off like a calculated exercise in nostalgia, full of forced period details (Nintendo Game Boys, Reebok Pumps, references to 90210) that add nothing to the story and serve only to remind viewers who were teens in 1994 that, hey, you used to think this stuff was cool.

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Pure Satisfaction

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

This is an excerpt from the radio show Our Metropolis, a half-hour issues and affairs program that airs Tuesdays at 6 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and is hosted by Greenspun Media Group’s John Katsilometes. Tune in next week to hear the rest of this interview with Pat Davis, president of Passion Parties Inc., which bills itself as “the premier supplier of sensual products in the United States and Canada,” and is based in Las Vegas:

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Waxing insignificant

Greg Beato | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

At the London headquarters of Madame Tussauds, the only place in the world where bloody decapitations and exacting facsimiles of Brad Pitt’s ass are presented as family entertainment, strange and gruesome spectacle is the norm. And yet even by its outlandish standards, the museum’s recent unveiling of a new Amy Winehouse automaton was surreal.

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The Help Desk

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Elite Traveler’s list of 101 top hotel/resort suites of the year includes Palazzo’s $20,000-a-night Chairman Suite.
Word has it that it offers a great view of all the Valley’s foreclosed homes.
Eva Longoria Parker wants to open Las Vegas nightclub.
And we want a weekend in Rio with Eva Longoria. Hopefully both our dreams come true.
West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes in Las Vegas Valley.
Luckily, no one in Las Vegas ever leaves their home, so we’re safe.

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The price is … strange

Steve Friess | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

I am not one of those 9-11 conspiracy nuts. I have an eccentric British pal who does believe that George W. Bush, despite his incompetence at ordering in lunch, was behind the most horrific events of our time. This friend is constantly forwarding e-mails asserting that the Baltimore family behind Vegas casino implosions actually imploded the World Trade Center and made it look to the stupid people of the world as if some “hijacked” airplanes caused their fall.

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Lead Photo The Vines

Annie Zaleski | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

After earning comparisons to Nirvana and Oasis with 2002’s grungy Brit-pop tour de force Highly Evolved (remember “Get Free”?), The Vines found themselves drawing unwanted scrutiny for nonmusical reasons—namely, vocalist/guitarist Craig Nicholls’ bizarre and sometimes violent onstage behavior.

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Lead Photo Half In

Jacob Coakley | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Timed to make as big a splash with poker fans as possible, Tim Molyneux’s All In: The Poker Musical put on three performances earlier this month during the first days of the World Series of Poker’s main event.

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Lead Photo If Kinky called the shots

T.R. Witcher | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

Richard “Kinky” Friedman has certainly had a hell of a career: Peace Corps do-gooder in Borneo; singer-songwriter and leader of the band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys; later a mystery novelist and columnist for Texas Monthly.

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Lead Photo Brideshead Revisited

Benjamin Spacek | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

It’s no secret that this adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s celebrated novel originally had David Yates at the helm, while Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly and Jude Law were attached to star. Yates left to direct the remaining entries in the Harry Potter franchise, and the three leads were recast.

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Lead Photo Swing Vote

Tasha Chemplavil | Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (midnight)

In the town of Texico, New Mexico, lives Bud Johnson (Costner), the epitome of white-trash America. His slovenly and irresponsible ways haven’t stopped him from raising his precocious progeny, Molly (Carroll), who plays the part of the parent in the Johnson family, preparing food and registering Bud to vote.

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Lead Photo Less artistic than Matisse, but an inspired portrait nonetheless

At the end of a 12-hour, double-shift of work at a new strip club, my friend and I wait for our rides home outside the back doors of the place. By this time, it’s daylight out but it had been raining and it’s a bit cloudy. When sunlight filters through the clouds, the light is especially unforgiving. It’s like fluorescent lighting from God. After sweating in heavy makeup all night, we have smeared eyeliner that settles where our skin creases. The moisture from the sweat in our hair turns our glamorous hair-sprayed curls into a mess of frizz. Our bodies, particularly our feet, ache from all the entertainment we’ve just provided. Oh, and we stink too. We smell like cigarettes, whiskey and the musky cologne from hundreds of men. We are not what one would call a fantasy at this point. We sit directly on the concrete of the floor ...

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Criss Angel has 210 seconds to escape before dynamite explosion

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (2:03 p.m.)

A major storm is apparently moving into the Clearwater, Fla., area this afternoon. Police have notified members of the media that they will be moved from a 300-feet safety zone back another 200 feet as an additional precaution from falling debris. The explosion will go ahead as planned despite expected heavy downpours, thunder and lightening -- even though it may cause additional problems for the stunt helicopter pilot waiting above the rooftop for the illusionist.

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Lead Photo 90210 star among celebs taking celebrations to the Strip

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (12:45 p.m.)

It was a double celebration for Hollywood newcomer AnnaLynne McCord on her visit to Vegas. She celebrated her 21st birthday at the hot nightclub Pure in Caesars Palace -- and also the great news that she’s joining the cast of the new Beverly Hills, 90210 series. The young actress, who is recognized from last season’s Nip/Tuck plastic surgery drama series, arrived shortly after midnight, looking stunning in a bright blue dress. She enjoyed a fabulous "family and friends" yellowtail jalapeño and Kobe sliders dinner at the Strip’s chic sushi spot, Social House. At Pure, AnnaLynne danced and sang along to the mega mix spun by DJ Hollywood as the Las Vegas Pussycat Dolls serenaded her with a sexy rendition of "Happy Birthday," complete with a gorgeous cake. She blew out her candles and took photos with fans, who were mingling with her party through the night. Actress Ashley Scott, one ...

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Lead Photo Late-arriving Paris has quite a pair — 300, in fact

Richard Abowitz | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (12:37 p.m.)

The woman at Dillard’s told me how to get to Macy’s but suggested I check her store first. But, of course, her store was not going to have in stock what I was looking for: Paris Hilton. “In person, at Macy’s? When?” she whispered conspiratorially. When I let her know the moment was an hour away, she decided that is when she would go to lunch. I felt bad for her because I didn’t actually expect Hilton to be on time (she was appearing to promote her new shoe line). And she wasn’t. Some celebrities never keep their fans waiting. But it’s vital to Hilton’s appeal that she is more important than her fans. Hilton’s usual role in Vegas is as nightclub hostess. So I wondered how her appeal would hold up in sunlight. In fact, the teenagers had lined up early. But there were lines of viewers and those ...

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Lead Photo Paris Hilton sets off shoe frenzy

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (12:30 p.m.)

Just as Luxe Life predicted yesterday, fans by the hundreds showed up for Paris Hilton's appearance at the Fashion Show Mall for the launch of her new line of fall footwear. Photographer Erik Kabik was there for these candid close-ups. Last night, Paris celebrated with a party at the Pure nightclub and Luxe Life will feature those photos shortly.

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Lead Photo Happy National Cheesecake Day

Sarah Feldberg | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (11:43 a.m.)

The Cheesecake Factory at Caesars The Cheesecake Factory in Summerlin The Cheesecake Factory in Green Valley Treat yourself to something sweet today. In honor of its 30th anniversary, The Cheesecake Factory is offering slices of cheesecake today at the prices it charged when it first opened its doors in 1978: $1.50 per slice. The now ubiquitous chain started in Detroit with a small shop run by Oscar and Evelyn Overton. The couple later moved to Los Angeles where they expanded their business, eventually opening the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1978. Today the menu boasts more 20 flavors of cheesecake including decadent options like chocolate Oreo mudslide and Dutch apple caramel streusel (as well as my personal favorite, dulce de leche caramel). With slices going for less than a cup of coffee or a gallon of gas, National Cheesecake Day just might be my new favorite holiday.

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Strip Scribbles: TMZ posts footage of Brit, Maloof on horseback in Cabo

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (11:28 a.m.)

* More photos of the Britney Spears vacation with George Maloof in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico are surfacing. Now the TMZ celebrity gossip Web site has video footage of Britney and George on a horseback ride along the sandy beaches there. There are two sets of video footage -- one from the dunes and another from a helicopter that tried to swoop in on the horseback riders. Her girlfriend and Mexican horsemen accompanied Britney with George following slightly behind. Click here for our first report on Monday. * With tourism numbers slipping and August reservations suffering the traditional decline because of our high-desert temperatures comedienne Roseanne Barr has decided to take the month off – and vacation at her Big Island Hawaii home. At first she was going to return to resume her Sahara show in early September, but now there are rumblings she may cut down on her schedule ...

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Tonight’s tip: Post-Angel, hit Sunset Tan bikini show at CatHouse, or House of Om at Body English

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (9:56 a.m.)

Don’t forget to watch the Criss Angel escape 7 p.m. our time live on A&E. It will be over by 8 p.m., so plenty of time afterwards to go watch the Sunset Tan bikini fashion show at CatHouse in the Luxor or party with the four DJs who make up House of Om at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Body English nightclub.

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Lead Photo No Idaho resort for Graff-Agassi; banks run “late” with City Center funding

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 30, 2008 (8:56 a.m.)

The troubled near-recession economy is shaking up business dealings almost everywhere you turn. Latest financial flounderings even affect a hotel resort project that Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff planned in Idaho -- and final funding for the ambitious City Center project that MGM Mirage and Dubai World is constructing right at the heart of the Strip is now “running late.” Luxe Life broke the news many months ago that Andre and Steffi were investors in a planned lakefront resort In Donnelly, Idaho, some 100 miles from Boise. They planned to partner with the Fairmont Hotel group from Toronto. We showed the Tamarack Resort brochures featuring its golf and ski attractions, but now the actual owners -– Jean-Pierre Boesplflug and Alfredo Afif -- have been sued by the Credit Suisse bank, causing Andre and Steffi’s investment group to terminate their portion of the funding. Demand for luxury Rocky Mountain properties has ...

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Lead Photo Au revoir nos petit canards (or get your ducks now!)

Sarah Feldberg | Tue, Jul 29, 2008 (5:39 p.m.)

Just 28 days after Xania Woodman reported on Palms Place’s new wonderfully casual Tuesday night pool party, it’s time to say goodbye to the little plastic floaters that have scored quite the hit at this summer event. We’re talking ducks, 25,000 ducks to be exact. From the Weekly Palms Place pool party Duck, duck, sploosh! For the past few weeks George Maloof has dished out $7,000 for miniature plastic ducks in a variety colors and designs so his guests could indulge in a sort of amplified communal bubble bath. Ninja ducks, army ducks, ducks with hockey sticks, ducks in pumpkins, even Elvis Presley in duck form have all bobbed along the pool’s surface, while revelers romped through shallow-end Twister or sipped cocktails on dry land. But while the party may continue into August, tonight will mark the ducks’ last appearance. That in and of itself is a good enough reason ...

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Lead Photo Strip scribbles: Longoria-Parker looking to branch out in Vegas

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 29, 2008 (2:44 p.m.)

“Desperate Housewife” Eva Longoria- Parker wants to open a branch of her successful Hollywood restaurant here in Vegas. While husband, San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker, played poker at a private table in the Strip’s largest poker room she went exploring -- possibly to find a location for her eatery! She went window-shopping throughout the Forum Shops at Caesars and twice dined at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. She confided her dream of a Vegas restaurant to friends who insisted Luxe Life should know her plans. Eva and Tony stayed in the newly renovated Fantasy Suites that were originally featured in the Tom Cruise- Dustin Hoffman movie Rain Man. * Actor singer Jamie Foxx continued his two-week Sin City vacation taking over the Prive nightclub’s exclusive Table 69 during recently retired basketball star Chris Webber's Bada Bing Welcome Party at Planet Hollywood. Also attending Chris’s charity fundraiser event were Flamingo headliner comedian ...

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Lead Photo Moonen’s new cookbook sizzling in culinary world

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 29, 2008 (1:59 p.m.)

Fellow chefs and food critics are all unanimous in their praise for celebrated Mandalay Bay chef Rick Moonen’s new Fish Without a Doubt cookbook. Even talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey picked it to premiere her new Cookbook of the Month club. Rick runs his RM seafood restaurant and today he’s got a double-header celebration there with a cooking demonstration and a book-signing with his co-author, Roy Finamore. “It’s a great fish book,” said star chef Daniel Boulud, who has restaurants in New York and at Wynn Las Vegas. Jacques Pepin of PBS food fame added: “For years I’ve enjoyed Rick’s superlative fish dishes and finally he reveals his master secrets: classic, modern, authoritative and approachable. It’s a must for any fish lover.” Blue Ginger owner chef Ming Tsai said: “He focuses not only on taste but also the environment.” The native New Yorker graduated first in his class from the Culinary ...

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The very best of hip-hop bound into Vegas

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 29, 2008 (1:30 p.m.)

An amazing cast of 1,500 dancers from more than 30 countries around the world start today’s (Tuesday) 7th annual USA and World Hip Hop Dance Championships -- the first time they has been held here in Vegas! American Idol judge Randy Jackson will present the awards at the end of the elimination and voting process at the Loews Lake Vegas Resort, with the final showdown on Sunday at the Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts along with the Living Legend Award ceremony to global star MC Hammer. The battle for world supremacy in urban street dance skills inspired the MTV series, Randy Jackson present’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Hip Hop International sitePlanet Hollywood site Natasha Jean Bart, who is featured as Lady Madonna in Cirque du Soleil’s Love, will return as head judge. Muhktar who was cast in Love after winning the World Hip Hop Championship in 2005 while ...

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Tonight’s tip on the Strip

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 29, 2008 (10:51 a.m.)

Dripping in bling, rapper Doug E. Fresh will star and sing at VH1 hip-hop honoree Mr. Freeze’s “influence” party at Studio 54 in MGM Grand … We are the Arsenal and So Long Davey! perform at Revolution in the Mirage … Black Violin will show classical instruments can be hip-hop, too, at Blush boutique nightclub in the Wynn … I’m betting that Palms hotel tycoon George Maloof won’t call it quits with the Duck Finale party at his new Palms Place pool deck. Its been such a success with visiting VIPs like Jamie Foxx and Samantha Ronson he just has to continue duck-hunting pool parties through August!

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Lead Photo The 48-hour, non-stop Slash birthday bash

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 29, 2008 (10:22 a.m.)

It all ran a little more than 48 hours -- yet guitar genius Slash was still roaring for more as his 43rd birthday celebration wound down! It was the birthday blast to beat all others as fellow music stars, including Fergie and will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, turned out to help him with the fun festivities. Last week, Luxe Life brought you the immediate overnight reports of the back-to-back parties all over the Mirage resort that rolled on at Bare pool, Revolution Lounge and Jet nightclub. There were stops in between for meals at Stack restaurant and a 60-person entourage visit to The Beatles Love musical by Cirque du Soleil. He even managed to squeeze in radio interviews, telling our DJ team that this all exceeded his 21st birthday blowout, where he got “plowed with late Vegas headliner and Rat Pack member, Dean Martin!” Now we’ve assembled the rare ...

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Paris sheds reality TV image to become fashion entrepreneur

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 29, 2008 (6:30 a.m.)

Paris Hilton normally makes headlines for her television and nightclub appearances -- but everybody seems to forget the blond-haired beautiful socialite is a corporate chieftain in charge of her own burgeoning business empire. The singer-actress has her hands in everything from fashions to fragrances -- and her busy schedule in Vegas today proves the point. She calls our playground her second home and is going to let style-hungry insiders get a sneak peek at some of the hottest trends in fall footwear! Extra security will be on hand to deal with the expected huge crowd turnout that usually mobs Paris wherever she goes. Says Paris: "I am so excited about my new fall shoe collection launching at Macy's Fashion Show Mall in FABULOUS Vegas. With the success of the launch earlier this year, my line continues to be inspired by high-fashion runways with a comfy fit, and the perfect price ...

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Lead Photo Things I learned at Body English’s Sunday School

Jennifer Grafiada | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (8:17 p.m.)

1) 3:00 am is not too late to start your night. 2) Jamie Foxx’s middle name is “Motherf-cking.” 3) It’s nearly impossible to be elegantly wasted. 4) You have to be smoking hot to be a bartender. 5) Brazilian men do not take no for an answer.

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Wyclef made my Saturday night

Jennifer Grafiada | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (8:05 p.m.)

The hours leading up to his 9 p.m. concert at the Joint had been not very pleasant. First, my family drove away in a U-Haul, crying their eyes out, leaving me forlorn and alone on the sidewalk. Then my phone died, the charger was lost and three phone stores lacked the correct charger. I also was unable to find anyone to go to the concert with me. So I went alone. I walked out to the Hard Rock poolside where Wyclef was scheduled to play to find it empty. I eventually discovered it had been moved inside to The Joint, and arrived at the door to find out I had arrived ten minutes too late to use my free Spy-on-Vegas ticket. Undeterred, I paid the thirty bucks and defiantly entered the concert, determined to see Wyclef perform. I stood alone in the back of the packed concert hall with my ...

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Lead Photo Champagne swishes: Team USA parties at Tryst

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (5:46 p.m.)

As if the courtside kings of commerce weren’t sufficient for the Vegas weekend over at Wynn and its exclusive Tryst nightclub well-heeled members of both the Walgreen’s and Cuervo families showed up to welcome the victorious Team USA celebration. NBA star and USA Basketball veteran Jason Kidd hosted the festivities at the Flex-Power sports cream party at Tryst. Kidd spent the night celebrating the Americans' victory against Canada with former United States soccer star Claudio Reyna at one the dance-floor tables after dinner at Wynn’s Terrace Point café. Other celebrities making a night of it at Tryst’s celebration included Memphis Grizzlies forward Antoine Walker, country music star Toby Keith and former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., for a second consecutive night. Next door at the Blush boutique nightspot, Kobe Bryant popped the cork on the Cristal champagne to celebrate with LeBron James and Darren Williams -- and that led to ...

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Lead Photo Team USA gets boost from billionaires

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (4:24 p.m.)

In the pop-music world of entertainment, Ludacris is thought of as a very wealthy multimillionaire -- but even he joked while sitting alongside billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet that he was in “the poor house” by comparison. As if America’s two richest men in the front row of the Team USA basketball pre-Olympics obliteration of Team Canada at our Thomas & Mack Center over the weekend wasn’t enough, there were even more Mr. Moneybags on hand. First, our very own billionaire hotel mogul, Steve Wynn, Prince Abdul Al Saud, son of the late Saudi Arabian King Saud and Mexico’s richest billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, ranked with a mind-blowing $60-plus billion as the second-wealthiest man in the world, who is trying to purchase his own NBA team. Also in the fans’ front-row favorite VIUP section was a slew of basketball superstars and coaches, gorgeous singer Ciarra and actor Jamie Foxx. ...

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Tonight’s tip on the Strip

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (3:32 p.m.)

There's a unique charity concert teaming the Doobie Brothers and Three Dog Night in a yesteryear flashback to raise funds for Soles4Souls at the Orleans Arena … Coolio is expected to "make it rain" with Benjamins and other bills at the Money for Monday party in Prive at Planet Hollywood when he hosts. Tomorrow's tease Paris Hilton comes to town to chalk up one more success in her growing business empire, and Luxe Life has the souvenir photo album of guitar great Slash’s amazing round-the-clock near three-day birthday celebration. Plus, the world’s best hip-hop dancers invade with more than 1,500 dancers from 30 nations competing for the No. 1 ranking on the very earth they dance upon!

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Strip Scribbles: Bill Gates among celebs enjoying nightlife

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (3:25 p.m.)

*Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates got to visit the Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles show, LOVE, for the first time -- and found himself near gorgeous actress Ali McGraw, who reunited with her former husband, Love Story producer Robert Evans, when they took their actor son, Josh Evans, to the show for their special occasion. *Star Surveillance: For two consecutive days, Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria lunched with San Antonio Spurs husband Tony Parker at celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace … L.A. Lakers and Team USA star Kobe Bryant took his bodyguard along for dinner at Nove Italiano restaurant atop the Palms Fantasy Tower … Cast members of MTV’s Real World and Road Rules shows joined forces at Blush in the Wynn to celebrate Real World: Las Vegas alumni Frank Roessler’s birthday … Basketball star Shawn Marion enjoyed the Gilby Clarke show inside Wasted ...

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Boxing battle fuels feud between rival nations

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (2:45 p.m.)

He entered the ring as the betting favorite and, with his unblemished record of 32-0, all his countrymen bet he’d wind up the winner yet again. But in the end, during the waning 55 seconds of the 11th round, Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto suffered his first-ever professional defeat and lost his World Boxing Association welterweight title to Tijuana’s Antonio Margarito. Among the celebrities ringside at the MGM Grand boxing event were Mike Tyson, Zab Judah, Winky Wright, Boston Celtics star and NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce (who maintains a Vegas condo) and the legendary Clyde Drexler. Ironically, many of the welterweight contests over the years have been between Mexican and Puerto Rican fighters, including the fight between Oscar de la Hoya and Felix Trinidad, and when Hector Camacho took on Julio Cesar Chavez. Cotto had to be taken to the hospital after the bout, which sent him to the ...

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Denzel Washington tries to keep his trip a ‘secret’

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (2:37 p.m.)

It’s been a real family affair for screen superstar Denzel Washington while he’s been in Vegas watching one of his sons play point guard in the Adidas Super 64 Double Pump Elite basketball tournament. Malcolm Washington is a high school senior and has enough passion for b-ball to try and make it a career after college. The teams have been playing out at Desert Pines High School and devoted, dedicated Denzel was there every game his son played in -- however, everybody finally guessed him as the guy under the baseball cap labeled “secret.” He took his wife, Pauletta, his son, Malcolm, and three other children -- Olivia, Katta and John David -- to the late performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles show, LOVE, at the Mirage, where all of them sang along and applauded with the cast. Denzel and Pauletta sipped on Patron margaritas while the kids wisely stuck ...

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Maloof reportedly part of Spears’ vacation party

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (12:20 p.m.)

The British tabloids have screaming headlines this morning that rehabbed pop singer Britney Spears is enjoying a beach-front vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with a group of friends that includes Palms hotel tycoon George Maloof! Click here for the full photo coverage of Britney's white bikini-clad sandy dance on the ocean front. Paparazzi for England's Daily Mail newspaper shot Britney, happy and smiling, dancing with a "mystery man” at the jet-set millionaire's playground. She was traveling with friends that included our local hotelier who has been previously linked with Britney. One of her girlfriends filmed a video of the "new look relaxed' pop royal at play. For the record though the 'mystery man' shown in the British photo coverage is not Maloof who has always insisted that he and Britney are just "the very best of friends." Luxe Life will continue to monitor this developing story for more details.

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Lead Photo Sarah Larson in Vegas: “Single and Available”

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 28, 2008 (10:27 a.m.)

She arrived -- then conquered and when all is said and done, Sarah Larson has become Vegas’ newest princess! The former cocktail waitress enjoyed a real-life Cinderella tale, and over the weekend when she hosted her very own night at Tao in the Venetian, you knew she was the new “IT” girl. Sarah was just named as one of the 100 most beautiful women in America. It’s been a whirlwind year for the statuesque beauty. Just 12 months ago she toiled as a cocktail server for the N9NE Group empire at the Palms working in both the Playboy Club and the Moon nightspots --just above in the Fantasy Tower. Then her life changed when screen superstar George Clooney attending the red-carpet premiere of his Oceans 13 movie locked eyes on her. For the next several months Sarah and George became the new darling jetset couple, spotted on globe-hopping trips for ...

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Lead Photo Despite line up change, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club rides tall

Tovin Lapan | Sun, Jul 27, 2008 (4:45 p.m.)

The Los Angeles-based Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has been touring heavily in the US and across the globe to promote their latest album Baby 81, which came out in May 2007. The tour has seen its share of bumps in the road. In June drummer Nick Jago was replaced with Leah Shapiro. The Las Vegas Weekly caught up with BRMC co-founder Robert Levon Been on the phone in Paso Robles, Cal. where they are opening for the Stone Temple Pilots. BRMC will be the headliner at the Beauty Bar Monday, July 28. Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubBRMC at Beauty Bar How was the show with Stone Temple Pilots at Berekeley’s Greek Theater last night? It actually was a short show, and we didn’t have an idea of what to expect. This was a bigger operation where we were small fish in bigger pond. The crowd seemed to really like it. Maybe ...

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Lead Photo Playboy in training takes over the Palms

Allison Duck | Sun, Jul 27, 2008 (3:54 p.m.)

Painted ladies? Open bar and lavish food spread? Hundreds of girls in lingerie? Dude drinking a rare $1,600 bottle of cognac out of the bottle with a curly straw? Yeah, that too. Las Vegas is in training for Playboy’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Party to be held at the Palms Pool on August 16, and this weekend the Palms threw a serious a dress rehearsal. Saturday marked the 7th annual Naughty Nighty Nite Party poolside hosted by Vegas’ own playboy, Jimmy Tipton. His guests sported silk pajamas printed with the event’s logo, and ladies were encouraged to wear their most risqué lingerie. Jimmy, looking pretty pimp in a white hat with a gaggle of beauties dancing around him, took the mic to sing a bluesy set with the band, also in their silk pjs. After his performance, I was able to ask the man of the hour a few questions. Las ...

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A terrible decision

The state Supreme Court’s decision Friday upholding the initiative that put 12-year term limits on state and local elected offices will have wide-ranging effects on Nevada for years to come.

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Stars roll in for new sushi sensation

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 25, 2008 (12:15 p.m.)

It's called Kagami-Baraki, and it's not Obama’s new Japanese nickname! It’s the traditional Japanese Sake Barrel ceremony where the wooden lid is broken open by a wooden mallet and the sake is served to everyone in attendance. The "good-luck" blessing was performed as the Light Group’s newest venture, Yellowtail Sushi Restaurant & Bar, opened its doors at the Bellagio. Company CEO Andy Masi, Bellagio President Randy Morton and Yellowtail Sushi Restaurant & Bar executive chef Akira Back, along with restaurant management Oliver Wharton and Shane Monaco, donned traditional Japanese garb, handled the "break-in" duties and quickly passed the sake to everybody there toasting for harmony and good fortune. Among the first diners were NBA legend Patrick Ewing, along with his wife and son, enjoying Chef Back’s delectable cuisine, including the rock shrimp, jidori chicken, spicy crab and vegetable tempura while sipping on Pellegrino water. Another basketball legend “Dr. J” Julius ...

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New Vegas-based World Xtreme Boxing tourney planned

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 25, 2008 (11 a.m.)

Every month around the country -- and maybe internationally -- the new Vegas-based World Xtreme Boxing Challenge (WXBC) will stage tournaments for a unique charitable cause, Fighting for a Better World. It will donate funds during each WXBC event to a spotlighted charity or cause. On Friday, tournament organizer and Vegas resident Don House will introduce the sport to the world, national and local media folks gathered at our Westin Casuarina hotel, along with the eight global boxers on the first $2 million cash-prize card. The inaugural benefit is Aug. 29 in Des Moines. Says Don: “WXBC brings the classic art of boxing to the next level with a “round-robin” tournament set-up; an exciting new style that has never been done before in the world of boxing. Fans will get competitive and exciting fights with a price point that is affordable to all, offering talented fighters a platform from which ...

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Lead Photo Making (verbal) love in the club at Poetry

Jennifer Grafiada | Fri, Jul 25, 2008 (10:56 a.m.)

His story reads like a heart-warming Disney film: A group of ragtag, inner-city underdogs band together and follow their inspired leader over varied obstacles to an ultimately miraculous triumph. It’s a true story, and one worth hearing. A skinny, middle-aged British black man who calls himself Knowledge and claims to be the first documented rapper in England was sitting in an LA coffee shop when he came up with the concept of a battle of the sexes poetry slam. Knowledge had been a published poet since, in his own words, “the turn of the millennium," and was a regular at the largest poetry venue in the country, Da Poetry Lounge. He’d also had one of those odd, life-altering conversations with an older man who told him: “You’re going to make poetry accessible to the mainstream, make it more palatable to the masses.” And so, like the protagonist of many a ...

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Lead Photo Slash hits Jet as birthday party rolls on

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 25, 2008 (9:43 a.m.)

Guitar great Slash continued his 43rd birthday celebration into a 2nd night of celebrating- and early this morning (Friday) he still showed no signs of slowing down. First, he took 60 friends to see the Cirque du Soleil-Beatles show Love at The Mirage and that was followed by dinner at the Stack restaurant and bar also in the Mirage. He ordered Yellowtail Sashimi, Surf & Turf and Sea Bass for his party group. Then at the midnight hour, the rock icon, formerly with Guns 'N Roses and now with Velvet Revolver, turned the nearby Jet nightclub into an all-star jam with Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine. Jerry, Tom and Slash teamed on the Pink Floyd classic "Wish You Were Here” as a trio, and every reveler in the nightclub joined ...

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Team USA plays its only game before going for the gold

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 25, 2008 (8:30 a.m.)

The one and only opportunity for American basketball fans to see our U.S. Olympics team in action is today, right here in a matchup against Team Canada at our Thomas & Mack Center. Veteran Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks is joined by legends Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz; Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors; Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic; Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets; Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons; Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks; Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz. They all head off for four more exhibition games out of the country in search of the elusive gold medal in Beijing. The first matchup there is against the Chinese team next month. At today’s game, cast members of our hot hit Strip shows give the team a unique ...

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Lead Photo Strip Scribbles: Chairman’s Suite at Palazzo makes Elite list

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 25, 2008 (8:26 a.m.)

* Elite Traveler magazine has released its ranking of the worlds top 101 resort suites, and Vegas has just one in the top 10 most expensive suites in America. The world’s most expensive suite is a $52,000 a night royal penthouse in Geneva and America’s priciest is the $30,000 a night Ty Warner penthouse at the Four Seasons in Manhattan. Our contribution to the prestigious listing is the Chairman’s Suite at the new Palazzo alongside the Venetian, which is a mere $20,000 a night! Hilton headliner Barry Manilow was one of the celebrity readers who took part in the survey for the magazine published by my longtime friend and regular Vegas visitor, Carl Ruderman. * Our condolences to John Thompson, Jr., son of my friends, Vegas magicians Johnny and Pam Thompson, who passed away here after a long battle with debilitating brain cancer. He was only 41 and the memorial ...

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Mystery surrounds Celine’s new touring co-star

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 25, 2008 (6 a.m.)

Canadian hit-song queen Celine Dion has just been awarded the highest honor by the government of France. Premiere Nicholas Sarkozy presented our Caesars Palace headliner with the Medal of Honor at his Elysee Palace in Paris, but that’s not the only reason she’s making headlines. Celine, who has indicated a return to the stage at Caesars after a year’s break following her current world tour, has just wrapped up the Asian and European segments of her tour -- and now gets ready to resume the North American leg with two sold-out shows in Boston. After Aug. 23, when she starts regular shows throughout Canada, it appears highly probable that Vegas entertainer and impressionist Gordie Brown, from the V Theater at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile, will be her new opening act. Gordie, also a Canadian, was enjoying great success at the V Theater after a similar run at The Venetian before ...

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Lead Photo Creative creatures and 3-D glasses do not a hit make

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (4:26 p.m.)

It's not that director Guillermo del Toro's visual creations aren't incredible. They are. It's just that the imaginative imagery can't compensate for the lackluster storyline in Hellboy II. Get more of Weekly film critic Josh Bell's takes on this week's releases in Josh Bell Hates Everything. Or, ya know, almost everything.

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Tonight’s Tip: Ferguson at MGM Hollywood Theatre

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (2:39 p.m.)

Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson starts a six-day run at MGM’s Hollywood Theatre -– and I promise you’ll warm to his Scottish humor and accent even though you will never like haggis. He once lost out as James Bond, but did wind up as Drew Carey’s butler-sounding boss on The Drew Carey Show … The second night of Slash’s birthday celebration continues with his acoustic performance at Jet nightclub in The Mirage and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas will be the guest DJ … Another triple-header at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay with Suburban Legends, Big D & The Kids Table and Less Than Jake & Goldfinger. TOMORROW’S TEASE: No sooner does Caesars Palace headline favorite Celine Dion win France’s highest award than rumors fly that she’s picked another Vegas entertainer to open for her on the upcoming North American tour. Luxe Life has Celine’s latest ...

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New awards, new menus, new cookbooks

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (2:38 p.m.)

* Star chef Charlie Trotter and his team at the Palazzo restaurant Charlie welcomed chefs Dominique and Cindy Duby to celebrate their newest cookbook, Wild Sweets, Chocolate. More than 120 guests showed as the internationally famous chocolate couple proved their culinary artistry and passion. The chefs presented 25 of their exquisite recipes for specialty chocolates and savory-sweet desserts, such as cherry, ancho truffle, balsamic vinaigrette and crispy bacon, encapsulated in chocolate. Charlie’s pastry chef, Aaron Lindgren, also prepared a sampling of luxurious dessert samplings, including Japanese eel with grapefruit and battera kombu and diver sea scallops with preserved kumquats and Thai chili. * Summer has arrived with a mix of new menu items at the Palazzo’s modern Mexican Dos Caminos restaurant from executive chef Scott Linquist. Highlighting seasonally available ingredients, the new starter offerings feature crispy soft-shell crab taco rollitos with pickled red cabbage; avocado and jalapeno remoulade; a hamachi ...

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Lead Photo Strip Scribbles: Love for Gibson; Chief Larry Johnson moves the chains on the Vegas club scene

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (2:07 p.m.)

* To celebrate his son’s 21st birthday, movie superstar Mel Gibson took his wife and seven children including the birthday boy, Louis to the late performance of the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show Love at The Mirage. For the entire run of the show, Mel held his young grandson in his arms -– who made nary a sound. Maybe a gurgle of appreciation? * Kansas City Chiefs star Larry Johnson appears to have taken up residence in Sin City. Every day for the past 10 I’ve received a spywitness report of him at restaurants and nightclubs around town. He’s become a regular at Drai’s After Hours at center Strip in Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, where our photographer snapped him with a beautiful pair of twins! Larry was also in fine form at Prive at Planet Hollywood, when G-Unit's Tony Yayo got on the mic to rap some of his biggest hits. ...

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Stars continue to party hearty all around the Strip

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (2 p.m.)

* THE TALENT AT TAO: Actress Kate Bosworth partied it up with six friends at a VIP table in the moat area of the nightclub after dinner at Tao Asian Bistro. Also at Tao for both dining and dancing was actress and former model Angie Everhart; at an adjoining table was actress Kristen Cavallari with four friends drinking Grey Goose cocktails. Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx made a 2:30 a.m. appearance at the nightclub with eight friends, partying until the pre-dawn hours when the lights were turned on! Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, looking stunning in a purple dress, arrived with a group of 15 girls celebrating a bachelorette party inside Tao’s private dining room. They feasted on favorites Chilean sea bass and lobster wontons before working off all the calories on the dance floor. Incidentally, on Aug. 15, Kim will strip down to her skivvies in a burst-out bustier, garter ...

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More than candles blown out at Slash-A-Palooza

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (9:47 a.m.)

Maybe this all didn’t happen Wednesday night. Maybe, on my walk through the parking garage leading to The Mirage, someone flung a brick at my head and knocked me cold, and the whole tableau played out in my concussed consciousness.

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Lead Photo Fergie-Slash and birthday cake photos from Slash party at Bare

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (9:07 a.m.)

Former lead guitarist of Guns ‘N Roses celebrated his 43rd birthday last night with an all-star lineup of rockers led by the reigning Duchess, Fergie! The unforgettable night featured a 90-minute concert with Slash himself joined by Fergie, her Black Eyed Peas partner Will.i.am Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, ZZ Top legend Billy Gibbons, Spacehog's Royston Langdon, Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains, and even singing ventriloquist Terry Fator! The once-in-a-lifetime show at the Bare adult-alternative pool at The Mirage was highlighted by the official birthday cake presentation by Slash's wife Perla Hudson. Created by the Jean-Philippe Patisserie it was a larger than life guitar topped with the rocker's trademark top hat! The celebration continued on until pre-dawn this morning at the nearby Revolution Lounge and tonight (Thursday) it will rock on again when Slash parties at Jet nightclub in The Mirage and performs a special acoustic set with Will.i.am ...

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Lead Photo Time for San Diego, comic books — and a civilian look at strip clubs

As I have already said, the summer is the slowest most miserable time in the service industry. I am taking a weekend off. I’m going to the San Diego Comic Convention. I’m very excited. It will be my first time to this huge convention, and my first time in San Diego as an adult. Perhaps I’ll check out the strip clubs there. I enjoy strip clubs as a civilian. The atmosphere can be a lot of fun when the pressure to maximize earnings in minimal time is not a concern. I always feel guilty taking time off. I feel strange about not accomplishing something every day, whether that means making more money or reading a book. They say for every day you don’t take a step forward, you take a step back. I don’t know who says that but it makes sense. Becoming better every day reinforces the possibility of ...

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Lead Photo Barrett-Jackson classic car auction to be a real gas

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (8 a.m.)

It’s now definite that collector-car aficionados from around the world will descend on Vegas for Barrett-Jackson’s first-ever auction here on Oct.15-Oct. 18 at Mandalay Bay- - as was first revealed in Luxe Life. At two earlier events this year, in Scottsdale, Ariz., and West Palm Beach, Fla., Barrett-Jackson wooed more than 340,000 fans who shelled out more than $110-million to buy the 1,672 beauties –- and they’re expecting it to be a bigger and better bonanza here in Sin City! “We always believed that adding Vegas was a natural step in our evolution,” said Craig Jackson, chairman of Barrett-Jackson, confirming our earlier Luxe Life exclusive. “ We’re looking forward to bringing our high-octane excitement brand to the Strip. Our two auctions this year were completed very successfully and we have already received an overwhelming response for the Vegas auction. Every vehicle will be offered at ‘No Reserve,’ which will ensure ...

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Lead Photo S&R get a little help from their friends in naming of cubs

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (6 a.m.)

Incredible illusionists Siegfried & Roy welcomed their beautiful new baby white-striped tiger cubs just a few weeks ago – click here for Luxe Life’s previous incredible close-up coverage from June 17. At the time they promised our Clark County School District students the unique opportunity to name some of them. Our Luxe Life ace photographer Scott Doctor was at The Mirage on Wednesday when they held the naming ceremony. See his gallery of photos here. Students from more than 60 school classes took part in the contest. Siegfried & Roy personally selected “Star” as the first winning name. “Celestial” was chosen as the second winning name from the list submitted by Mirage hotel guests, including winners Jackie Topacio from Cerritos, Calif., and Lori Diaz from Ocoee, Florida. From our photographer’s lens, it’s easy to see that Celestial is the quieter of the two, happily sucking on its milk bottle the ...

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Lead Photo Three questions with Scars on Broadway drummer John Dolmayan

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

We caught up with Scars on Broadway drummer and Las Vegas resident John Dolmayan for an update on his new project with fellow System of a Down-er Daron Malakian ... and more.

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The Right Wing

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

It’s hard not to feel just a little like a hooker when you’re dressed to the nines, waiting for a man you couldn’t pick out of a lineup and whom you only know by his first name.

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Lead Photo Miley Cyrus

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

"Miley Cyrus is the Coldplay of teen pop,” I said offhandedly to a co-worker the other day, trying to convey the level of anticipation and excitement surrounding the release of Cyrus’ “solo” debut.

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Lead Photo Double-mocha nonfat soy sadness

Stacy J. Willis | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

What really hurts in a near-depression/recession/national tragedy is when cherished neighborhood coffeehouses are affected. Upon hearing the death knell for five—five—of my favorite local Starbucks, I set out to enjoy them all one last time before they close on July 27, and to chronicle them here, so that they’re etched in history.

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Lead Photo Wire

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

The title of Wire’s latest album refers to its position as the 47th item in the British art-punks’ catalog, an unwise designation considering it reminds us how much peripheral material the band has released since its initial LP trio of 1977’s Pink Flag, 1978’s Chairs Missing and 1979’s 154.

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Lead Photo Sexyspeak with stand-up Jim Gaffigan

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

The sexiest city is the city that I’m in, obviously. When it comes to balding, 40-year-old, out-of-shape guys that are very pale, I’m bringing sexy to the foreground.

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Fee for all

Steve Friess | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Before you roll your eyes and groan, hear Adam Russin out. He’s not trying to get any money, he’s not trying to draw any attention to himself, and he’s absolutely, positively not trying to ruin your good time. He just has a simple question that seems to have only one logical answer. And very soon, odds are good the state will agree with him, and a lot of melon carts will be upset. Russin’s question: How can anyone seriously believe it is not discriminatory to charge a man more than a woman for the same access or service?

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Beyond Father Flanagan

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

John Katsilometes chats with Tom Waite, CEO of Boys Town Nevada, in this edition of Our Metropolis.

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The Help Desk

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Lake Las Vegas files for bankruptcy.
Caviar will now be served only on weekends.
Third terminal project approved for McCarran International Airport.
More canceled flights than ever before.
Nicolas Cage selling Las Vegas home for $9.95 million
Or roughly the combined gross of Next and The Wicker Man.

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There’s wind in them thar hills

Dave Berns | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

The green crowd is at it again, this time pushing for wind farms throughout much of the West and Great Plains. TV commercials are appearing nationally making the case, saying that a sea of wind towers could free us from our oil dependency, with a boost from cars fueled by natural gas.

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Lead Photo Run, don’t walk

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

When walking-enthusiast website walkscore.com rated Las Vegas the No. 18 most walkable city in the country, we all scoffed, of course. When being a pedestrian is seen more as a liability than an advantage, you know there’s a problem with the way walking is seen around town.

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Lead Photo Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Christopher Bell may look like your typical meathead jock, but he’s got the outsider gadfly instincts of a Michael Moore or Morgan Spurlock in his debut film, Bigger, Stronger, Faster. A documentary about the use of performance-enhancing steroids in America, Bigger is very much cut from the Moore mold of snarky, confrontational filmmaking that puts the director front and center in the narrative.

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Lead Photo The X-Files: I Want to Believe

Jeffrey M. Anderson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

The big question, 10 years after the first X-Files movie and six years after the series ended, is: What’s the point of a new movie? But the real question is: Why not?

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Lead Photo Glen Cohen

Team Hangover | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Mixologist Glen Cohen focuses on simple and practical cocktails for his list at Revolution.

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Lead Photo The celebrity watchdog

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

In the final months of her reign as Miss Nevada, Alicia Jacobs figured life after pageantry would be filled with legal tomes, a clerkship or two and, eventually, a law career. When legendary entertainment manager Bernie Yuman (Siegfried & Roy, Muhammad Ali) marched the Las Vegas native into Channel 13’s offices in 1994, those plans took a turn.

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Aggress me!

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Wisconsin’s Naked Aggression aren’t your normal ’90s Midwest punk-rockers.

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Lead Photo Alkaline Trio

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Agony & Irony by Alkaline Trio is a fast-paced and straightforward but somewhat castrated blend of pop, emo, goth and arena rock: generic bombast that evokes mild unease and not much more.

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Lead Photo Shannan Calcutt as Izzy in Zumanity

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

“Izzy loves her eye shadow and blond bouffant!” says Calcutt. “Looking that coiffed takes work. “

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Lead Photo Felina

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Vegas has been barren on the R&B front, but Felina, the first R&B act on Heat City Recordz, aims to change this with the debut of Lady Like.

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Lead Photo Ping-pong balls and cups! Run for your lives!

Ken Miller | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

I’ll just say up front, in the interest of full disclosure, that I’m 43 and an avid video-game player. I’ll kick your ass on Guitar Hero, and I also played the original home version of Pong. It’s a pastime that’s stuck with me through the decades. Ditto for Jag Jaeger and Vince Valenti. Unassuming with just a touch of mischief, they’ve both lived in Vegas their entire lives, and they know everyone in town—you name ’em, they nod.

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Lead Photo Falling Down

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

As they are in most areas of absurd cultural production, the Japanese are way ahead of the rest of the world in creating ridiculous game shows that encourage contestants to injure or humiliate themselves on a regular basis.

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Lead Photo It would be taboo to talk about struggling”

Stacy J. Willis | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

All of these things kept coming back to him: the 3-year-old girl’s crushed eye socket, the mask-like face of a woman who had been run over by a truck, her brain laying several feet away on the curb, the dead babies, the sodomized kids, the suicides.

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Dream Zone

Lauri Quinn Lowenberg | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Lauri interprets what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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Lead Photo High-dollar crash pads

Team Hangover | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

It’s far better that you crash at one of these high-end bachelor (or bachelorette) pads at CityCenter’s Veer Towers than attempt to make it out to whichever corner of this sprawling burg you call home after a long day and night of party party party.

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Lead Photo One great big family”

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

As Mike Watkins, 26-year-old bassist for Vegas band Nous, smashes into best friend Dave McCraw while moshing his brains out to local metal act Parannoyd during a benefit show in his honor July 16 at the Cheyenne Saloon, you’d never guess he’s sick.

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Lead Photo A step back

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Step Brothers demonstrates the inevitable negative effects of too much of a good thing by taking a bunch of stuff that has worked in previous Will Ferrell comedies—his chemistry with co-star John C. Reilly; his overconfident-boob persona; a loose, improvisational approach to scenes; jokes largely made up of bizarre non sequiturs—and unleashing them in a movie with barely any sort of plot or structure to contain them.

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Lead Photo Outside in

Susanne Forestieri | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

I was driving on I-215 south of town when for an instant I mistook the silhouetted Strip for the real Manhattan skyline. I had gotten back from three weeks in the Big Apple the night before, and what I’d seen there was on my mind. The following day I decided to try to find a meaningful connection between the art I saw in New York and a new Las Vegas exhibit.

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Lead Photo Coldplay

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

A really interesting band played the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday night. Its songs were built on unpredictable arrangements and compelling dynamic changes; its lyrics felt heroic without seeming sophomoric; and its musicians displayed instrumental sophistication belying their relative youth.

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Lead Photo Ciao Bella!

Max Jacobson | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

You mightn’t know it to look at me, but I occasionally work out at Las Vegas Athletic Club on South Eastern Avenue, and a mere stone’s throw away is one of Vegas’ truly great Italian restaurants, the unassuming La Focaccia.

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Lead Photo The Black Ghosts

Scott Woods | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Theo Keating and Simon Lord, aka The Black Ghosts, will be familiar to those who’ve followed the traces of U.K. dance outfits Simian and The Wiseguys, from whence they were hatched. The ominous new band name and skeleton’s-head mascot suggest some sort of doom-laden industrial darkcore, but don’t let that frighten you.

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Lead Photo The boonies are good enough

Matthew Scott Hunter | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

The Silverton Hotel & Casino has an off-the-beaten-path sort of feel to it, which is odd considering it’s just off of Las Vegas Boulevard—an exceptionally well-beaten path.

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Lead Photo The Baseball Project

Patrick Donnelly | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

The historical overlap between baseball and popular music is pretty grim. For every poignant, evocative song like Bob Dylan’s “Catfish,” you’ve got a thousand like John Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” beaten to death by ballpark PAs and TV highlight reels.

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Lead Photo Black Kids

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Only two members—vocalist/guitarist Reggie Youngblood and his vocalist/keyboardist sister Ali—are technically black, and with each member well into his or her 20s, none would easily be mistaken for kids. But it’s not the semi-incendiary name alone that has had bloggers, and more recently, Columbia Records, fawning over the synth-loving fivesome’s debut full-length.

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Lead Photo Mandarin Mojave

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Oranges, mint and jalapeños?! Surprisingly, it works.

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Peggy Plots Your Planets

Peggy Allison | Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (midnight)

Find out if the end of July means big things for you, courtesy of Peggy's foretelling talent.

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Strip Scribbles: 80s night with Biz Markie

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 23, 2008 (6:15 p.m.)

*Blond bombshell Yvonne Strahovsky, who plays top CIA agent Sarah Walker on NBC's hit show Chuck dined at the Light Group's newest meat-lover’s paradise, Brand Steakhouse, in the Monte Carlo. The Polish beauty, by way of Australia, enjoyed the specialty cocktails, including the “impeared,” somehow miraculously maintaining her girlish figure nibbling on the restaurant’s signature appetizers, including the “mini” Maine lobster rolls, Kobe beef meatball pizza and the tuna tartare. Yvonne and her mom spent about two hours drinking, eating and, bravo -- topped off dinner with cigars. *Hip-hop legend Biz Markie played a special performance at the Influence 2080s industry night party dedicated to 80’s movies, music and memorabilia at Studio 54 in MGM. Biz Markie performed on stage for a massive crowd, including many decked out in their best 80’s outfits, replete with leg warmers and neon colors to honor the theme of the evening. Markie, who has ...

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Tonight’s Tip: Slash burns at Bare pool lounge at The Mirage

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 23, 2008 (1:43 p.m.)

Former Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash celebrates his 43rd birthday with two nights of celebrations, starting at the Bare pool lounge at The Mirage, with Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction as guest DJ and Slash with surprise guests, and following that set with his own Velvet Revolver concert. The Rhapsody music service has hired Vegas HD to shoot the show for worldwide DVD release … Criss Angel hosts the fourth-season premiere screening of his A&E series Mindfreak at the Cathouse restaurant and lounge in the Luxor … A special cabaret performance featuring the cast of Jersey Boys from the Palazzo, and George Wallace’s favorite a cappella group, Mosaic, will perform at the Vox Lounge in Henderson. The 8:30 p.m. charity event will support the Public Education Foundation … Tickle me pink as Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Finch and Foxy Shazam rock out at the House of Blues. TOMORROWS TEASE: ...

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Struggling economy fans fall-out fears for rock tours

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 23, 2008 (12:30 p.m.)

The faltering economy nationwide that’s affected Vegas with lower tourist and reservation numbers as well as discounted rooms is playing havoc with the pop music concert tours, too. Down here in San Diego, AEG Live vice president John Wojas says it’s the biggest impact he’s seen in 17 years. “We’re seeing lower attendance at every show across the board from adult contemporary to alternative rock.” So much so that he doesn’t see it getting better until next spring or summer. Worse, his rival, Live Nation, which books shows throughout Vegas on a steady basis, just offered tickets for $10 apiece to 11 different shows -- including ones for Santana and Counting Crows in the San Diego area and another 30 shows in Orange County and Los Angeles. Live’s president, Nick Masters, says it’s the only way to counteract escalating transportation costs that have led to drastic audience decline. Last year, ...

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Criss Angel, Part II: A 15-year dream fulfilled with haunting Believe

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 23, 2008 (11:57 a.m.)

“Believe will be unlike any show the world has ever seen,” said Mindfreak magician Criss Angel from backstage at the Luxor theater. “It is beyond even my wildest dreams -- absolutely incredible,” as he took a break from rehearsals for his new $100 million Cirque du Soleil spectacular that will open this September.

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Peel off the lingerie to find the hottest new nightclub

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 23, 2008 (11:17 a.m.)

The owners of L.A.’s hottest and newest nightclub, Kress, may have their sights set on the Strip -- and that’s even before its official gala opening. The former Frederick's of Hollywood landmark building on Hollywood Boulevard was acquired by San Diego club operators -- the On Broadway entertainment conglomerate. He ordered the rundown building scrubbed clean and, lo and behold, as the grime peeled off, discovered there was a gorgeous art deco, historic Kress chain-store building. It was too good to change, so he polished it up even further with 900 premium parking spaces "soft-opened" days ago. It’s the first Vegas-type super-club in Hollywood and instantly the stars have fled all the other nightspots to make it the hottest. Paris Hilton immediately filmed an entire episode of her new reality show Best New Girlfriend on its roof; stars from MTV's The Hills discovered it and are shooting several episodes overlooking ...

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Lead Photo Storied Del Mar a stable for Vegas VIPs

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 23, 2008 (8 a.m.)

It has become a summer “rich and famous” tradition for numerous Vegas VIPs and hotel honchos! For the 69th consecutive year the beautiful Del Mar Thoroughbred Club -- just 363 miles south of the Strip and 20 miles north of San Diego -– plays host to casino high-rollers and executives, Vegas horse owners and equestrian enthusiasts, including yours truly! Spotted in the perfect weather and sensational scenery MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni who, as a director of the track’s Board of Governors, often walks the center-attraction paddock at the track looking on at his horses; former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, and WYNN sports book director John Avello. Also there: actress Bo Derek, who has just been appointed to the California Horse Racing Board by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who presented the silver plate to the winner of the Oceanside Stakes. Other celebrities included Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, San ...

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Lead Photo Wrath doesn’t live here anymore: Inside the Libertine

Richard Abowitz | Tue, Jul 22, 2008 (6:38 p.m.)

It’s hard to make a living on wrath, even in Las Vegas. Most forms of wrath go by ugly names, such as assault. But Ed Hurt found a way to cash in on biblically sinful, wrathful urges. It was a couple weeks after Valentine’s Day when Hurt opened the Libertine. He was excited because he’d found in this town a huge market and absolutely no competition. “How many people get to say they were the first to create something especially in Las Vegas?” says Hurt, who has thin with bloodless lips and pale skin. “The fact is that there isn’t one.” One what, you ask? Well, that’s where things get fuzzy. The Libertine is a dungeon. Many of the rooms have Hurt’s custom-made torture devices and cages. (All of which, by the way, Hurt is willing to sell. My favorite cage goes for about $700, but the bars are too ...

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Nicholas Cage wants $1.5 million profit on house re-sale

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 22, 2008 (4:42 p.m.)

National Treasure movie star Nicholas Cage loves Vegas real estate for investment purposes. He has hung a near $10 million price tag on his 14,000-square-foot investment home with views of the Strip. It has garage parking for 16 cars, real estate records and listing information show. The seven-bedroom house was built in 2003 and has a pool, a movie theater and an elevator. The action-adventure star bought the property in 2006 for $8.5 million, records show, and now he wants $9.95 million for it. The actor bought a nearby smaller home on the same street for $2.25 million and sold it for $2.3 million last year.

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Stars are shining all over the Strip

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 22, 2008 (4:31 p.m.)

Our top two Strip nightclub venues, Pure at Caesars Palace and LAX at the Luxor, have been packed with celebrities -- and it seems to be a growing trend during these hot summer months. Everybody's come here to cool off -- and yet heat up the night!

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Save 50 percent or more on expensive restaurant wine

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 22, 2008 (4:27 p.m.)

For some of the best wines in the city -- at the best prices -- the hidden gem for those in the know is the Marche Bacchus French Bistro, located just 10 miles from the Strip in the Desert Shores community of Summerlin. I can spend up to $75 for my favorite -- Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc -- on the Strip, but at Marche Bacchus its just $38.99. My Veuve Clicquot champagne might set me back $110 on the Strip but here it has only a $60.99 price tag. The reason is simple: Marche Bacchus is a retail wine shop with a restaurant component. The food is great and the lakeside view is gorgeous -- but the savings on wine are staggering and noteworthy! Here are some more incredible examples: The Harlan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 vintage is a $950 Strip charge but here its $634.99; the Caymus Conundrum at ...

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Lead Photo For bachelor parties, dancers have the beat down

It seems like my club has been hosting more bachelor parties recently. During a bachelor party (and sometimes birthdays) some clubs will allow the bachelor to be pulled onstage and get humiliated or teased in front of his friends by one or two strippers. It’s quite a spectacle and always great fun. I know I stop whatever I’m doing to watch the show. I’ve even participated once. The bachelor might get a lap dance by two strippers onstage. He might be blindfolded and handcuffed. I normally see strippers remove the guy’s belt and use it to leash him. Its just typical Vegas stuff and the activities vary slightly from club to club. An interesting thing about these shows, however, is that they often involve some degree of violence in the form of whipping or spanking, sometimes with the guy’s own belt. I’ve seen women get very carried away, I mean, ...

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Angel ready to make waves at Lake Mead

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 22, 2008 (3:22 p.m.)

Mindfreak magician Criss Angel doesn’t want to even think of how much extra insurance his Cirque du Soleil partners have just taken out on him. “That’s more frightening than death,” he told me. “ I’m not in fear of death, but I know they’ve bought a lot of extra insurance. I’ve no idea how much, and quite frankly I don’t want to know.”

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Lead Photo Tonight’s Tip: Duck! It’s Jamie Foxx at Palms Place

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 22, 2008 (3:08 p.m.)

I have a sneaky quacky feeling that Jamie Foxx will stick around town long enough to host the Swim with the Ducks party at the Palms Place pool where he was just the guest last week … Accordion-playing ordained minister comedienne Judy Tenuta starts a week’s run at the Improv at Harrah’s, with Jeff Carpi and Adam Richmond opening for her. You can expect some of her audience to let her marry her as part of her wacky comedy stint … Champagne wishes as “Bubbly” Colbie Caillat, 22-year-old daughter of Fleetwood Mac record producer Rob Caillat, brings her sparkling songs from the My Space launch of her debut nickname Coco album to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel … Triple threat at Revolution in the Mirage with The Start, The Filthy Souls and The Day After … The guys who love gowns, Frank Marino from An Evening at La ...

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Lead Photo What happens outside of the NBA Summer League, stays off the record (almost)

Andy Samuelson | Tue, Jul 22, 2008 (2:05 p.m.)

NBA veterans like Golden State’s Corey Maggette and Sacramento’s Brad Miller were seen out and about in Sin City last weekend. So too was recently crowned Boston Celtic Paul Pierce, who after throwing his own party for his Finals MVP performance at Jet on Friday, took in a UFC fight the next night at the Palms. It seems like the pros know how to party Vegas-style, but their NBA Summer League counterparts were either mildly pathetic or very smart in keeping a low profile. Beyond the Weekly NBA Summer League 2008 on Las Vegas Sun NBA Summer League 2008 “I guess you can go out if you want to, but it’s tiring,” said Minnesota’s second-year guard Corey Brewer (who we will catch-up with in just a bit). “You really don’t feel like doing nothing after playing basketball all day.” Sure Corey, we believe you. It’s not like you’re young, rich, ...

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Mariah won’t carry a Vegas residency — yet

The music world went into Mariah Carey overdrive buzz at the end of last week and over the weekend. Internet websites were awash around the globe repeating and repeating the outrageous story that the pop-diva had accepted an offer to appear as a resident headliner at the Planet Hollywood casino resort. It would have meant she was joining the likes of Cher, Bette Midler and Elton John - and accordingly would have been the youngest singer with a new permanent home here on the Strip. However Luxe Life can assure you all there is “ absolutely no truth" to the claims per Planet Hollywood CEO, Robert Earl who was said in the reports to have signed her to a $100-million three-year deal. While traveling he reached me in response to my queries and said “ Absolutely no truth”. He and I believe that the ridiculous rumors all began when she ...

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Strip Scribbles: SushiSamba and Strip sightings

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (8 p.m.)

* The first celebrities to try the new SushiSamba Asian-Latin American dining palace in the Palazzo were John O’Hurley and his wife, relaxing after the closing of Spamalot, and Rick Faugno, who plays Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys at the Palazzo, with his actress wife, Joyce Chittick. In the first four days of opening, owner Matt Johnson reports they are up to 500 dinners nightly -- proving the long-awaited and much-anticipated unique, fun cuisine. * Basketball stars are everywhere you turn … NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce, of the Boston Celtics, chatted with fans and high-fived them, posing for photos while politely waiting with his group to enter Tryst nightclub at the Wynn … also there were NBA players Corey Maggette, of Golden State; Eddy Curry, of the New York Knicks; and Brad Miller, of the Sacramento Kings ... Hall-of-Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier, who played 10 years for the Knicks ...

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You’re never too old for neon

Sarah Feldberg | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (7:52 p.m.)

I love the ‘90s. You love the ‘90s. VH1 definitely loves the ‘90s. How could you hold anything but fond memories of the decade that brought us Crystal Pepsi, Beverly Hills, 90210 and Lorena Bobbitt? Yup, those were the good old days. Step Into the '90s Vol. 1 at Jet Thanks to the friendly folks at Light Group, tonight you can relive those magic years with fellow ‘90s fans at Jet Nightclub at the Mirage. Step Into the ‘90s Vol. 1 is a celebration of all the cringe-worthy things we thought were cool back before we knew better. Hosting the party is none other than ‘90s slacker jerk icon David “Puck” Rainey from The Real World: San Francisco. (Good thing he got cast before MTV took a liking to Abercrombie-clad alcoholics.) In honor of the decade and tonight’s bash, I asked some friends to share their very best/worst fashion decisions ...

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Jamie Foxx and Brody Jenner play the Palms’ party pleasure game

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (7:41 p.m.)

None other than Oscar-winning actor, singer and comedy star Jamie Foxx was first in line -- with friends -- for the first midnight showing of the new Dark Night Batman movie at the Brenden Theatre at the Palms! Jamie took over a VIP cabana at the Palms pool for his seven friends and ordered up chicken quesadillas, chicken salad, pina coladas and Fiji water. His friends danced and partied in the sun, but Jamie, wearing camouflage shorts and a polo shirt, relaxed happily in the shade. Once again George Maloof’s platinum playpen, the Palms, was celebrity central. George Clooney’s former gal-pal Sarah Larson was spotted up at Ghost Bar and Sacramento Kings basketball coach Reggie Theus ordered a chicken Caesar wrap and iced tea during his brief visit to the Palms pool, wearing a Kings shirt, shorts and slippers! UFC head honcho Dana White was with mixed martial artist BJ ...

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Exclusive: Tao sets opening date for LAVO club in the Palazzo

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (7:26 p.m.)

The talented team behind the extraordinary success of Tao at the Venetian has now created a new restaurant and nightclub concept, and Luxe Life can exclusively reveal they've decided to open the unique LAVO at the adjoining Palazzo on Aug. 23. Expect official confirmation of this within the next 24 hours but, as always, Luxe Life is first with the news!

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Corey Feldman and Playboy wife party it up

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (7:07 p.m.)

Eighties icon Corey Feldman began his birthday blast celebrating the success of his top-rated A&E cable TV series The Two Coreys while his wife showed off her new naughty-but-nice, provocative, peek-a-book pictorial in the new Playboy magazine!!!

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Lead Photo Sash advance: Miss America Organization officials confirm Luxe Life scoop

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (noon)

Just hours after Luxe Life broke the exclusive news that both the Miss America and the Miss USA beauty pageants were returning to Vegas both Planet Hollywood casino resort executives and parade officials confirmed our scoop! Miss America officials confirmed the 52 scholarship contestants will arrive on the Strip mid-January for a week of preliminary competitions. It will all culminate in a totally new live telecast on The Learning Channel on Saturday, Jan. 24, live from Vegas at 5p.m. for the 8 p.m. East Coast satellite feed. “We are delighted to have the most beautiful girls on the planet 
returning here to their home at Planet Hollywood,” said Michael 
Mecca, president and chief executive officer of Planet Hollywood. "This 
is a wonderful event for not only Planet Hollywood, but for the city of 
Las Vegas, It 
gives us a wonderful opportunity to showcase our magnificent resort.” Art McMaster, president of ...

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Tonight’s tip: Prive hosts “Money for Nothing”; Puck drops at Jet

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (10:14 a.m.)

It is “Money for Nothing” Monday at Prive, with rap ballers Tony Yao and Ace Hood … Real World San Francisco alumni Puck “steps into the 90s” with DJ Flip at the Jet nightclub party in The Mirage … It’s a daylong birthday celebration for Randy Davilia at MGM’s Wet Republic pools and continues on late-night at the Rock Lounge in Tabu ,,, Vintage clothing from the Annie Creamcheese boutique is on parade as the models strut their stuff on the catwalk at Madame Monday’s visual couture party in the Cathouse at the Luxor hosted by Madison Alexander, DJ Mia and Sunset Tan’s Janelle Perry.

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Lead Photo Hilton-Madden lead celeb parade at Wasted Space

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 21, 2008 (9:40 a.m.)

It took two parties and a birthday bash for tattooed motocross champ Carey Hart to open his new Wasted Space rock lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel. Rock stars and Hollywood’s socialites and singers mingled together to pronounce it “one incredible winner.” Our double opening-night souvenir photo album shows a better story than any words we can conjure up! First, to celebrate the new locals industry night and his birthday, action sports superstar and co-owner Carey was joined by N.Y. Yankees star Jason Giambi -- also a co-owner -- with his wife, Kristian; good friend John Dolmayan, drummer for System of a Down; and the club’s managing partner, Cory McCormack, with wife Shannon DuPont. Hard Rock nightlife team executives Jason Habel, Greg Costello and Mike Myers, along with every member of the bar staff sported mustaches in a cheeky nod to Jason’s trademark facial feature! Wasted Space was packed to ...

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Just call me the Minute (and a second) Man

John Katsilometes | Sun, Jul 20, 2008 (2:04 p.m.)

Until the July 5 Kendall Holt-Ricardo Torres fight at the Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts, it had been more than 10 years since I’d covered any boxing event. That fight ended in less time than it takes to boil an egg, 1 minute, 1 second, with Holt gathering himself after two knockdowns to knock Torres into la-la land with an overhand right. Last night I was on hand for the Anderson Silva-James Irvin UFC light-heavyweight bout at the Pearl Theater at the Palms, and that fight also ended in a quick knockout, with Silva pummeling Irvin into submission in the first round. That fight lasted 1 minute, 1 second. I think most statisticians refer to such episodes as “trends.” Somehow that time span reminds me of my junior prom, but I digress …

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Lead Photo By George, Hard Rock sends a message

John Katsilometes | Sat, Jul 19, 2008 (6:22 p.m.)

This afternoon I was driving along Flamingo Road, heading west across I-15, and hit the stoplight. Suddenly, I felt wasted, thanks to a strategically positioned billboard. As a long trail of cars waited for the green where Flamingo meets the I-15, I could not help but notice a big Hard Rock Hotel-Wasted Space billboard partially obscuring the view of the Palms, which is one of the Hard Rock’s more fierce rivals. “Rock and Roll Decadence,” reads the sign, which is to promote Carey Hart’s new club at the hotel. Wasted Space opens tonight with a bunch of stars (two Maddens and a Hilton, is what the ubiquitous Robin Leach is reporting) and should set the nightclub world ablaze for, oh, 48 hours at least. I don’t know how long the Wasted Space billboard will be up in George Maloof’s back yard, but we can’t wait to see what the Palms ...

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Five reasons Trisha Yearwood is not Garth Brooks (and that’s a good thing)

Josh Bell | Sat, Jul 19, 2008 (12:37 a.m.)

While her superstar husband Garth Brooks was busy helping Billy Joel bid farewell to Shea Stadium on the other side of the country Friday night, Trisha Yearwood was playing to a slightly smaller house at the Orleans Showroom. 1. No one yells "Where's Trisha?" at a Garth Brooks show. Yearwood responded gracefully to the cry of "Where's Garth?" with an only semi-sarcastic "Nobody ever asks," before explaining that Brooks had actually been with her in Vegas for the last two days before being called on his Billy Joel-aiding errand. She then joked that since Brooks wasn't paid for the Joel performance, he was still technically retired. 2. She doesn't swing across the stage on a giant harness. As Yearwood noted, there are no fancy theatrics in her show, unlike the arena spectacles her husband favored in his heyday. She walked casually onstage in a colorful top and jeans, strolled back ...

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Lead Photo During the summer, we feel like Voltaire in a G-string

Business in the Las Vegas service industry takes a nosedive in the summer. The strip club world is no exception. Sales are at a fraction of what they were during the peak season. Desperate strippers who did not expect the reduction in income (even though it has happened, like clockwork, every year for the past 12 years of their stripping careers) are outnumbering customers. It’s a terrible cycle at work during these cruel summers. Many strippers will have bad nights and since they have bad nights, they cannot afford to take the next night off. So not only is there no client base to support the ones that would be there on their regular schedule, there are also tons more strippers hanging around being extra aggressive and making everyone’s piece of the pie a little smaller, leaving only unsubstantial crumbs that leave everyone starving. This would be a good time ...

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Strip Scribbles: Vegas Palace coming our way

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (2:30 p.m.)

*Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is firing up his grill with a $5-million cash infusion from General Electric's financial arm, GE Capital Solutions, to launch a chain of Bobby's Burger Palace. Bobby, who runs Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace, opened the first one yesterday in Long Island, N.Y., but says one will definitely be targeted for Vegas as soon as is possible. Bobby's Burger Palace is "convenient casual" and features gourmet burgers, emphasizing influences from different regions of the United States (Dallas Burger, Philadelphia Burger, Miami Burger, L.A. Burger, and of course a Vegas Burger!) You can visit www.bobbysburgerpalace.com for more details. I helped bring Bobby to the Food Network when we first launched it and he wound up marrying my first talk-show sidekick, Katie Connolly, when he became our nightly guest chef before all of his top-rated shows. Expect to see a Vegas Palace here within the next 12-months! *Like ...

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Lead Photo Iron Chef challenger opens Bellagio’s new sushi restaurant

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (2 p.m.)

Iron Chef contender Akira Back opens the Light Group's new Yellowtail Sushi restaurant tonight – and it’s just steps from owner Andrew Sasson’s other nightlife destinations at the Bellagio.

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Lead Photo Brody Jenner’s escalating party hi-jinx cause concerns

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (1:34 p.m.)

The Hills heartthrob hunk Brody Jenner heads to Vegas today for yet another round of partying, and his recent drinking sprees at nightclubs from coast to coast have both friends and family "seriously worried." I was told they are really concerned about his nonstop, merry-go-round behavior of drinking and may well "intervene with a rehab rescue."

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Team USA returns for final pre-Olympic workouts

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (1:30 p.m.)

Just as 10 days of NBA Summer League with 21 teams ends this weekend, in comes Team USA in its final preparations and workouts before heading off to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. The athletes arrive here Sunday and will be training at Valley High School through Thursday. Then on Friday, July 25, at Thomas & Mack, the team faces Canada in an exhibition game that is the only matchup where fans will be able to see them on a home court. They take off for Beijing and play their first game Aug. 10 against China, the host team. Stars going for the gold include Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Jason Kidd, who won a gold medal in 2000, and Carmelo Anthony, who won a bronze medal in 2004. Also on the roster will be Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Michael Redd, Tayshaun Prince, Chris Paul and ...

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Who watches the Watchmen trailer?

Josh Bell | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (10:35 a.m.)

The Watchmen trailer premiered online and in theaters with prints of The Dark Knight yesterday, and I find myself fairly underwhelmed. Granted, it's been a while since I read Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' landmark graphic novel, but the trailer makes no effort to convey the plot or even much of the general themes of the story. It's a bunch of fairly cool-looking images, along with the pimping of director Zack Snyder as the "visionary director of 300." It's that association that worries me most: 300 was a loud, empty bundle of aesthetic tricks, and the shots in this trailer of characters kicking and falling backward in slo-mo remind me way too much of the look of Snyder's last film. We've got six months to speculate on what the end result may be, and the fanboys online are already going apoplectic one way or the other, but for now I ...

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Lead Photo Weekend tease: A veritable fast break awaits Vegas visitors

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (8 a.m.)

Now its time for us to tip-off the weekend highlights, shoot straight, avoid a penalty and grab a 3-poiner with a bonus we lovingly referee around here as the ROYAL ROBIN RUNDOWN: Friday July 18: * It’s opening day of Mamma Mia! the movie with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Waters and Christine Baranski -- and if you love it and haven’t seen the musical, then call the Mandalay Bay box office immediately. * Three huge classic rock acts -- Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick -- are the triple threat to kick off the weekend at Mandalay Bay. Ann and Nancy Wilson are in the starry lineup with Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, Deen Castronovo and Arnel Pinedr. Also appearing there for two nights is D-List comedienne Kathy Griffin, who will skewer both herself and a host of other celebrity names about their gossip and blunders with ...

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Lead Photo Opening of Hart’s Wasted Space to be an all-star gala

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (8 a.m.)

For the second time in as many weeks, reconciled reality-show co-stars Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie return to Vegas with their beaus, twin-brother rockers Benji and Joel Madden. They are just four members of the all-star Hollywood invasion set to attend Saturday night’s official rock ‘n’ roll decadence opening of Carey Hart’s new Wasted Space rock lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel. Click here for the Luxe Life posting on Monday for our exclusive tour of the hip nightspot. Benji and Joel, the frontmen for Good Charlotte, have joined with New York Yankees star Jason Giambi and Cory McCormack of the Hard Rock as investors in the “anti-club,” which will open with a special up-close intimate acoustics only performance by Gwen Stefani’s husband, British rocker Gavin Rossdale. In true rock fashion, a number of porn stars will also mix with the Hollywood A-listers, including Jenna Jameson and her sexy blonde ...

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Lead Photo Caesars Palace gets the jump on New Year’s Eve spectacle

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 18, 2008 (6 a.m.)

For some unknown reason, the fountains at Caesars Palace have held a mystical and myth-making fascination for daredevils, stunt guys and motorcycle mavericks. Maybe it’s the spectacular setting at center Strip? Maybe because the legend has played out with Caesars and Cleopatra and the 200,000 spectators who pass by each day? Maybe it’s because Caesars has always prided itself as the Vegas home of unique and unusual sporting events? Luxe Life has learned that the Fox TV network has been in ongoing talks with Robbie Knievel, who is following in the footsteps of his legendary stuntman father to reprise his 1989 motorcycle jump across the top of the fountains. Robbie executed it perfectly to honor his father who had failed the same ill-fated jump 22 years earlier on New Years Eve 1967for an ABC-TV broadcast. (Fun fact: actress Linda Evans was the camera girl back then because she was married ...

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Lead Photo A final look at Spamalot’s well-worn wares

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (3:04 p.m.)

Whenever I air my dirty laundry at Tiffany Cleaners, I play catch-up with owners Dan and Judy Del Rossi. This is how I know that Dan is a onetime pinball wizard, and how they know to talk to me before they ever go handgun shopping. This week, Judy ask what I’d been up to, and I told her I’d just covered the closing of Monty Python’s Spamalot from the orchestra pit at the Spam theater at Wynn Las Vegas. Her eyes lit up. “What a coincidence!” Judy said, or, rather, exclaimed. “They just dropped off their costumes!” Tiffany, which boasts that it is the city’s only couture cleaner, has been a family business at the Commercial Center on East Sahara Avenue since 1973. Over the years, Tiffany has cleaned the garments of such Vegas luminaries as Liberace, Wayne Newton and flamboyant Vegas attorney James “Bucky” Buchanan. The Producers are former ...

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Tonight’s tip: Donny & Marie or heavy metal rock?

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (1 p.m.)

* Brother-sister singing duo Donny & Marie Osmond begin a seven-night run at MGM Grand's Hollywood theater as part of their world tour, which wraps in time for them to start a regular headliner engagement at the rival Flamingo in September. * There's a heavy metal rock triple header at the House of Blues with an early 6 p.m. start to get Mastodon, Machine Head and Black Tide all on and off stage for each others' performances! * There are the six matchups today for the NBA Summer league at Thomas & Mack: it all tips off on the basketball court at 1 p.m. with Mavericks vs. Pistons; 3 p.m. is Hornets vs. Clippers; 5 p.m. is Raptors vs. 76ers; 5.30 p.m. is Spurs vs. Suns; 7 p.m. is Trailblazers vs. Timberwolves and 7:30 p.m. is Nuggets vs Bucks. Tomorrow's tease: An incredible over-the-top extravaganza is already in the planning ...

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Vegas stars of all ilk team for recovery effort

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (12:55 p.m.)

Top stars, beloved VIP chefs and even our beauty-salon kings from the best Vegas Strip venues are joining forces to help fight the current economic recession and mortgage crisis. They have all become part of a special promotion specifically designed to boost tourism to Sin City from across America and Canada.

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Mamma Mia! musical stars welcome Mamma Mia! Movie

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (12:30 p.m.)

If the stars of our Mamma Mia! musical at Mandalay Bay were movie critics like Ebert & Roeper, they’d give the new Mamma Mia! movie "two thumbs up." Our local cast and crew got a sneak preview of the Meryl Streep-Pierce Brosnan-Christine Baranski-Colin Firth movie, which opens across the country tomorrow. At the special preview in the Town Square movie complex, current and former cast members of the Mandalay show were joined by Jersey Boys and Phantom of the Opera cast members from the Palazzo and the Venetian. Carol Linnea Johnson, Jacquelyn Holland-Wright, Victor Wallace and Tina Walsh represented Mamma Mia! and Jeremy Kushnier (Tommy DeVito) and Erich Bergen (Bob Gaudio) were there from Jersey, while Kristi Holden (Christine) was there from Phantom. "I'm going to steal a lot of the stuff that Meryl did in the movie that hadn't occurred to me for the same role on stage," said ...

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Strip Scribbles: Sightings, magic’s black eye

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (12:20 p.m.)

* Comedy star Jamie Foxx treated his sister and some friends to dinner at Iron Chef Kerry Simon's restaurant in George Maloof's Palms Place condotel. He then went out onto the pool deck to join the fun of the weekly "duck-hunting" party -- but he didn't go wading in the water like some of the other enthusiastic revelers. However, Jamie did entertain the crowd with two unexpected songs, including his hit he recorded with rapper Kanye West, "Gold Digger." * I'm asking if Flamingo headliner magician Nathan Burton is planning another over-the-top illusion involving 100 gorgeous showgirls. Word is that he'll tackle the super-stunt this fall. National TV coverage is guaranteed, which will also give Vegas tourism incredible exposure! * Meantime, my friend Stan Allen, publisher of Magic Magazine, tells me that the art of magic got a black eye on America's Got Talent. In his new issue, Stan says: ...

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Lead Photo Great theater for Donny & Marie at MGM Grand

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (8 a.m.)

Everybody should know by now that brother and sister singing duo Donny and Marie Osmond are returning to the Strip as resident headliners starting in September at the Flamingo! So what are they doing opening tonight for seven days with eight shows at the rival MGM Grand Hollywood Theater? Hard to believe that its their first time together back here on the Strip since 1979! That’s just about 30-years ago -- wow time flies! Don’t fret, my pet! The Flamingo engagement is still on. The MGM Grand week was previously scheduled as part of the world tour that the Osmond family and Donny & Marie have been wrapping up this spring and summer. It’s the family reunion tour they promised their father George just before he died. In this reunion show, they’re reprising some of their largest hits from yesteryear together. There’s the premiere of several new videos that Donny ...

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Lead Photo Holy List, Batman!

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

As "The Dark Knight" soars into theaters this week, we’ve combed through the lengthy archives of Batman lore to create our list of the caped crusader’s finest moments. Someone fire up the Bat Signal!

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Lead Photo Girl Talk

Annie Zaleski | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Girl Talk—aka Pittsburgh biomedical engineer Gregg Gillis—elevated the concept of the mash-up to an art form on 2006’s Night Ripper.

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Lead Photo Nas

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Nas is cursed. Ever since the release of 1994’s seminal Illmatic, the Queensbridge representer has faced impossibly high expectations.

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In the building with “Elvis”

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Brendan Scholz is a man of few words. Or, more accurately, the Lydia Vance vocalist/guitarist is a man of few short-term plans.

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Lead Photo Enveloped in darkness

Mike D'Angelo | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

"Why so serious?” wonders the poster tagline—invoking, ironically enough, the very question that moviegoers will likely be asking as they emerge from the theater. Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan’s well-regarded reboot of the franchise, was fairly (and appropriately) somber as blockbusters go, but it’s downright frivolous compared to The Dark Knight, which is not even remotely kidding about its titular adjective.

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Lead Photo John Mellencamp

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

His latest album may be coming out on the Starbucks-owned Hear Music label, and his last hit may have been the soundtrack to a Chevy commercial, but John Mellencamp sounds crankier and more pessimistic than ever on Life, Death, Love and Freedom. T

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Lead Photo ‘The Hive will open’

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

It’s sweltering inside The Hive, but not because the dance floor is packed with bodies.

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In water, who matters?

T.R. Witcher | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

When it comes to water in the desert, a few local players have a whole lot of juice.

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Lead Photo Onara

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

A sort of treatise on the state of industrial rock, Onara’s Out of Print might be one of the most manic CDs ever recorded.

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Lead Photo Coca-Cola WE8

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Calm down, caffeine fiends—Coke hasn’t gone and changed its magic formula or anything like that. But for a short time, at least the bottles will be available in some very original new packaging.

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Dream Zone

Lauri Quinn Lowenberg | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Lauri interprets what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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Lead Photo The queen of Pahrump

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

People like Heidi Fleiss tend not to stay in the spotlight once the initial frenzy surrounding their infamy dies down. It’s a little hard (though maybe not impossible) to imagine anyone making documentaries or writing lengthy magazine features about John Wayne Bobbitt or Joey Buttafuoco these days. But even 15 years after her initial arrest for running a high-priced prostitution ring in Los Angeles, Fleiss still generates plenty of interest, and the documentary Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal (HBO, July 21, 9 p.m.) does a good job of showing why she’s still such a fascinating character.

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Lead Photo Behind the Neon

Danielle Kelly | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

The backstory is exceptionally cool. Local writer Matthew O’Brien writes a book called Beneath the Neon that local artist Brian “Paco” Alvarez reads. Moved by its subject matter, Alvarez feels compelled to curate an installation based upon the text. The Contemporary Arts Collective agrees to be the venue. Each attempts to offer a necessary glimpse into the very real experience of Las Vegas’ immense system of storm drains, home to a subterranean city that thrives beneath our own.

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Brick Lane

Mike D'Angelo | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Residents of the actual Brick Lane, a London thoroughfare inhabited mostly by Bangladeshi immigrants, turned out in droves to protest this filmed adaptation of Monica Ali’s novel, complaining that her book portrayed them as insufficiently devout Muslims. Once they finally see the movie, expect them to hit the streets again, this time livid that they come off as so damn boring.

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Lead Photo The Singing Revolution

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

The tiny Eastern European nation of Estonia gets its moment in the spotlight with The Singing Revolution, a blandly positive documentary about the nonviolent action that led to the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

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Lead Photo Space Chimps

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

After seeing Pixar’s dazzling, creative and heartfelt WALL-E, it’s a serious crash back down to Earth to watch Space Chimps, the clumsy, unfunny and aesthetically crude middle entry in this summer’s trio of animated movies about space (look for Fly Me to the Moon next month).

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Lead Photo Street Dogs

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Making the leap from Brass Tacks to Epitaph offshoot Hellcat Records elicited nary a cry of “Sellout!,” but the move still raises expectations for the Boston quintet’s fourth LP.

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Lead Photo Mamma Mia!

Matthew Scott Hunter | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

I remember reading years ago that when John Woo was making Mission: Impossible II, he conceived the action scenes first and then had the screenwriter write his script around those sequences. It showed. The narrative had to strain to explain why there was suddenly a motorcycle chase and where all these doves were coming from, and sometimes it didn’t even bother.

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Lead Photo Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Fans of Fela Kuti—and, really, what listener of the jammed-out African funk known as Afrobeat doesn’t worship its creator?—have been treating the emergence of his son, Seun Kuti, like the coming of the messiah, and understandably so.

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Peggy Plots Your Planets

Peggy Allison | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

What do the planets hold in store for you this week? Find out as Peggy foretells your luck.

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The Help Desk

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Naked man hijacks Las Vegas bus.
Well, he would have to; no pockets for change.
Starbucks to close five Las Vegas shops this month.
Damn! If only there was some other venue we could find coffee at ...
Michael Jackson spotted at Las Vegas Barnes & Noble in wheelchair, wearing a trucker hat, dreadlocked wig and khaki sweater.
We know what you’re thinking: A sweater in this heat?

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Lead Photo Taxing argument

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Here’s the deal, folks: We need higher taxes. There, I said it. And (gulp) I mean it. We need them because we can’t budget-cut ($1 billion and counting) our way to fiscal health. Nor can we rely on Casino Inc. to part with much more—gaming revenues already provide half of Nevada’s general-fund budget.

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Lead Photo Trump-atross?

Steve Friess | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

I'm sitting at the lobby bar of the undeniably pretty Trump International Hotel on a Sunday evening about to tuck into a $21 burger and sip from an $8 pink-grapefruit soda. I didn’t mean to splurge on dinner here, but I popped in to take a look-see and realized that this was the only thing for me to do. Which is, of course, the big problem here. The slender gold tower with the most famous name in real estate emblazoned atop it is a bafflement to all who consider its existence. It is also, by a large measure, the very last place most Las Vegas tourists should ever feel comfortable visiting.

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Lead Photo The Gibbons follies

Dave Berns | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

It’s ridiculous, just plain ridiculous to assume that Gov. Jim Gibbons used any political influence to receive a special designation that lowered his annual property tax liability from about $5,000 to $15 on 40 acres of sagebrush in rural Elko County.

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Lead Photo Four questions with The Zombies’ Colin Blunstone

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Spencer Patterson interviews lead singer Colin Blunstone of the 60's British hit rock band The Zombies.

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No country for old shoppers

Greg Beato | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

When was the last time you read a John Updike novel cover to cover in a single sitting? Or even a John Updike book jacket cover to cover in a single sitting? While dour eggheads are forever forecasting apocalypse borne of our infatuation with images over text, it should be obvious by now that reading is grossly overrated. For most people, bookstores are where you get lattes and Burt’s Bees sampler kits, and yet life just keeps getting better. In previous centuries, apparently, everyone was so engrossed in Paradise Lost they never got around to inventing the Internet, organic frozen dinners, reality TV. We haven’t made the same mistake.

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Lead Photo Gonged but not forgotten

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

“It’s too bright and shiny out there. I want it to be dark and dingy,” host Dave Attell grumbles in his debris-strewn dressing room in Stage 6 of Hollywood’s Sunset Bronson Studio. “I like bringing out the acts and giving them their moments, especially the quirkier ones, and defending them against the judges. But I think the set should read that this is not a talent show, it’s more of a bar show. It looks like a gay bank.”

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Lead Photo The allure of Rita Rudner

Ken Miller | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

We all know Rita Rudner’s pretty funny. We’ve got her stand-up, television and movie work to support that. What I didn’t know is that she’s also kinda—hot.

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Lead Photo Food by the Yard

Max Jacobson | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

The network of overhead pipes above you carries the world’s largest selection of draft beers, up to 250 delicious brews. And the menu seems almost as encyclopedic, as if the world’s largest selection of dishes were on hand to accompany them.

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Freaky and Fabulous

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Las Vegas has no shortage of strange and strangely wonderful performers many of which turned out for The Gong Show try outs at V Theater in Planet Hollywood on May 13th. Meet the five locals that made the cut.

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Lead Photo At last, the black night

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

You understand fully that it will not be a typical show when a horn player grabs a scarred metal flask and asks, “Is this the tequila or the scotch?”

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Lead Photo Scotty, Scotty, he’s our man!

Team Hangover | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

“What happens at the Ball … stays with you forever.” With a motto like that, it’s understandable why the Exotic Erotic Strippers & Hustlers Ball, with events such as the world’s largest girl-on-girl pillow fight, will be taking over the Orleans Hotel like mono at summer camp.

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Bottle Rockin’ It

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

"The wine area is mobbed. Way busier than last time,” the text message reads. I’m off bridesmaiding in New Jersey, but an enlisted spy keeps me in touch with Red Rock Resort’s second poolside Bottle Rock-It Saturday, a 14-week duet of rock concert and wine tasting ($30, $15 respectively).

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In the mix

Deanna Rilling | Thu, Jul 17, 2008 (midnight)

Gas prices are impeding party funds. We’re thinking twice about ordering another $15 cocktail at the club. Even lap dances in the VIP lounge are no longer in the budget! What is a Sin City club-goer to do?! Relax … Thanks to local Vegas DJs, at least our music collection won’t suffer this summer.

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Sunday Times readers heap praise on Vegas resort

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (4:25 p.m.)

Readers of the prestigious London Sunday Times have decided a Vegas resort-casino is the best hotel in the world. It beat out properties from as far afield as Dubai, Singapore, the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and Antigua in the Caribbean, which ranked in the Top 5. The readers represented in the voting had visited 108 countries, flown on 46 airlines and stayed in 1,772 hotels. So high praise indeed and many congratulations to MGM’s Bellagio for winning the ultimate award! One voter reported: “Sleeping at the Bellagio is like being on beds of marshmallows.” Italy was named the Best European Country, and Australia was ranked Best Worldwide Country, with America close behind in second place. Although the Bellagio won as best, Vegas itself didn’t get mentioned in the Best Worldwide City rankings, but New York and San Francisco placed No. 1 and No. 3, respectively. London was named Best ...

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Lead Photo Unexpected Jane’s Addiction reunion at Red Rock Resort

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (4:02 p.m.)

Three thousand fans turned up for the short Bottle Rock It concert by Jane’s Addiction star Perry Farrell at Red Rock Resort near Red Rock Canyon in suburban Summerlin. They may have grumbled about the length of the show, which ran a little over half-an-hour, but they got the surprise of their lives with the unexpected reunion of Farrell and fellow Jane’s Addictions star, super guitarist Dave Navarro! The twosome had feuded bitterly in recent years, but patched up their squabble earlier this year. The reunion performance looked as if they’d never split -- but in fact, they hadn’t even rehearsed together. They used the Internet to swap tracks and performances with each other. Luxe Life readers can view the video at YouTube.com. “We missed each other. Dave and I have a lot of history and we are not making war, we are making music.” Perry, who created the Lollapalooza ...

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Lead Photo Two new restaurant openings and a hit moves westward

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (3:26 p.m.)

Star Chef Alessandro Stratta who already runs the top-ranked, 5-star fine-dining Alex at Wynn Las Vegas, has now opened a sleek casual Italian trattoria there. Corsa Cucina has been transformed into the new Stratta, serving the best of regional Italian cooking, and opens its doors this week. Said the celebrated chef: “Alex is uptown and Stratta is downtown -- a bustling restaurant with a totally different vibe of fun and good food. Its very soulful and very representative of what I consider to be the best of regional cooking. We apply the same spirit and cooking techniques that we use at Alex but in a very approachable way focusing on flavor and tradition.” Ten years ago, when he cooked at the Palace Court at Caesars Palace, Food and Wine Magazine tapped him as Best New Chef. Last year in New York, after creating several successful restaurants around the country, he ...

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Lead Photo Late-night Strip revelry for rockers and sports stars at LAX

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (2:47 p.m.)

It was easy to tell the star attractions apart at the LAX nightclub at the Luxor: Half of them all looked exactly the way rockers should and the other half all looked the way sports star should! The heavy-metal contingent was represented by Godsmack lead vocalist Sully Erna, and the trim athletes were represented by NBA star forward Jermaine O’Neal of the Toronto Raptors. Other leather-lovers included Dave Navarro and Perry Ferrell from Jane’s Addiction, after their Red Rock Resort concert and Mindfreak magician Criss Angel. Other sports stars included New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, Charlotte Bobcats power forward Sean May, former Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens player Kordell “Slash” Stewart and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Gorgeous Lisa Angeline, who won the Miss LAX beauty contest earlier this spring, hosted her own party there with a bevy of beauties and poker pros Nenad Medic and David Williams, ...

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Tonight’s tip: Take Hart in new rock lounge at Hard Rock Hotel

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (2:22 p.m.)

Don’t forget the “locals opening” of Carey Hart’s Wasted Space rock lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel, complete with the inaugural industry night to be ghoulishly known as “Mommy’s Little Monster Party” … Howard Jones is at one with the electronics poolside at the South Point, while DJ Girl 6 twists those wheels of steel … And the NBA Summer League continues at Thomas & Mack; later games are the Kings vs. Mavericks at 3 p.m., 76ers vs. Wizards at 5 p.m., Timberwolves vs. Lakers at 5.30 p.m., Grizzlies vs. Clippers at 7 p.m., and Cavaliers vs. Rockets at 7.30 p.m. Tomorrow’s tease: Just who has cornered the market in Vegas on the beauty pageant business? Vegas stars join forces in the fight against America’s current economic crisis with unique campaign to get more tourists back to Sin City. Luxe Life also welcomes Donny & Marie Osmond to their new ...

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Lead Photo Upon closing, Spamalot looks on the bright side

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (1:53 p.m.)

After 18 months of double- and triple-curtain calls and standing ovations from enthusiastic fans, the wacky Spamalot musical ended its run at the Wynn Las Vegas. Its star, John O’Hurley, led the cast in a sing-along of its hit song “Always Look on the Bright Side” of Life” as the curtain came down for the final time. The award-winning show had opened in March 2007 and a sold-out audience was on hand for the finale as John, in the role of King Arthur, held his 19-month-old son William, who was also dressed in costume as a baby King Arthur! “I hope my son will recall years from now that he was here with me at my happiest,” John told the crowd of well-wishers. “ I have the photos now to show him.” He told me: “This has been an incredible and wonderful experience. Honestly, the happiest months of my entire ...

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Strip Scribbles: NBA athletes spotted along Strip

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (1:15 p.m.)

* We're about a month away from the debut of the new Raw Talent Live show opening at the Sahara. Today, Siegfried & Roy's producer friend, Nicole Durr, wraps up the casting at the New World School of Arts in Miami -- and also is donating $10,000 from her philanthropic foundation, Angel's Warriors. Nicole will pick her final singers, dancers and performers for the 75-minute production, which fuses dance with live original music and high-tech video illusions and 700 extravagant costumes! * Three upcoming dates for you to circle, please: Siegfried & Roy will sponsor, yet again, the 18th annual K-9 trials for Metro Police at the Orleans Arena on Oct. 19, and it's the best way we know to thank the patrol officers and their dogs for being our local heroes and dedicating their lives to keeping our community safe ... our Deadly Seven all-girl punk rock group that ...

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Pamela’s ‘down under’ trip grabs ratings but doesn’t save show

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (10:11 a.m.)

One always has to follow-up on delicious ironies. Luxe Life reported all last week on Vegas showgirl Pamela Anderson's trip down under to Australia. She flew 16 hours to go into the Big Brother house on Network 10. It was the producer's last-ditch gamble to save the show from cancellation. The ratings were gigantic. In fact, more than 1 million viewers -- the most ever -- tuned in. But after seven years, the network chiefs decided to kill it off. So, Pamela flew back 16 hours learning that she'd been successful in reviving the flagging numbers but the axe had fallen anyway! The show ends this month for good. "At least she ended it on the best and the highest for us," said program head David Mott.

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The star merry-go-round of romance, marriage, divorce, possible reunion

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (7 a.m.)

One of the toughest fighters inside the octagon may have fallen hard! UFC superstar Chuck Liddell is said to have fallen "head over heels" for blond beauty Erin Wilson, who delivered the knockout punch! Now, inside word has it they have become engaged to be married later this year.

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Lead Photo Water wise

T.R. Witcher | Wed, Jul 16, 2008 (midnight)

The foreclosure crisis. The shaky national economy. The shaky local economy. The state budget crisis. The steady climb of gas above $4 a gallon—great in a town built for driving. Hot enough for you this year? Obviously, we’ve got a lot on our minds as is, but let’s not forget that the fate of Las Vegas is dependent on water. And water has made the news a lot in 2008.

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Lead Photo Speaking of tips — give it up for the East Coast!

I recently signed a strip club contract that said, “Do not ask for tips. If you are doing your job well, customers will show their appreciation by tipping you.” I disagree. Sometimes, as tacky as it might be, mentioning a tip is the way to receive it. People don’t always know that they’re supposed to tip. Tipping habits vary enormously from person to person and country to country. Even people from different parts of the U.S. tip differently. On that note, I love the East Coast crowd! Foreign tourists don’t necessarily understand American tipping culture. Either that or it saves them money to play the ignorance card. Like I said, mentioning a tip has proven to be a great tactic to gain more money. Saying things like “Don’t forget the tip!” or “You owe such-and-such amount and any tip you want to give me …” are proven methods to add ...

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Lead Photo The skinny at Skinny’s: The place is shut down

John Katsilometes | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (3:06 p.m.)

This is one of those we-know-the-what-but-not-the-why deals. Skinny Dugan's is closed, again. That’s the what. The why is not quite clear, at least not as clear as the empty parking lot and boarded-up entrance with a hastily crafted warning sign taped to it. What we know is that about two weeks ago one of the new owners of Skinny Dugan's walked into the bar during the day shift and said the place was closing. Everybody out. At least that’s one version I’ve heard from someone who was there when it happened. The place was summarily shut down with no explanation. Aside from serving as home to one of the fabled 12-step recovery meetings in this city – a powerful noon weekday men’s stag session that often drew 60 members of the local AA community – Skinny’s is one of the more storied haunts in the city (read an item in ...

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Web site displays Strip’s winning, losing condo projects

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (2:24 p.m.)

One of the most comprehensive and up-to-date Web sites dealing with construction news, architectural renderings, and site maps along the Strip and downtown can be found at VegasTodayAndTomorrow.com. The report says we're in the largest building boom that Vegas has ever seen but we're bloated with new projects. Apparently, more than 110 high-rise condo, hotel, mixed-use and other major projects are in various stages of planning, development and construction with "green" buildings making an entrance and many world-famous "starchitects" stepping up to the plate here. The site describes downtown as in the middle of an unprecedented metamorphosis into a sustainable modern urban city. More than 2,000 photos on the site's 170 pages prove the extraordinary building boom -- but it also displays on a "dreams" page the ones that never got off the drawing board after the original renderings. In addition, there are videos along with facts and stats with ...

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Images of 60s British music invasion on display

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (2:21 p.m.)

Ever wonder just what Mick Jagger looked like 50 years ago when he was a teenager breaking into rock? Or how The Beatles, The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix and Ike and Tina Turner looked a half-century ago. They are all remarkably captured in a candid series of author-photographer Ian Wright’s new exhibit, Pop: Images of the British Invasion, which is on display at the Symbolic Gallery behind the Strip through the end of this month. Rocker Spencer Davis of his own-named group joined Hard Rock Hotel curator Warwick Stone for the opening. Wright previously authored "On The Brink of Fame" and won the prestigious Spotlight Award from Black & White magazine. While in Vegas for The Fest for Beatles Fans at the Mirage, model-photographer Patti Boyd, who was married to both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, stopped by the exhibit.

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Stars dunk with the ducks at Palms Place

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (2:02 p.m.)

Hotel tycoon George Maloof has created the wildest, wackiest "hot summer nights" parties -- and it simply involves bathtub rubber duckies! Actually, there are more than 25,000 of them, filling the sixth-floor pool of his new Palms Place condotel every Tuesday. Tonight will be no different. The stars are turning out in droves for the six hours of festivities that begin at Iron Chef Kerry Simon's restaurant with happy hour at 6 p.m., then the pool is open from 8 p.m. until midnight! Bring your swimsuit because you’ll want to go wading as you hunt for the specially marked ducks that offer prizes for free drinks, dinners and rooms all over George’s casino resort. Lindsay Lohan’s steady liplocked galpal Samantha Ronson -- (when will they go public with their Sapphic affair?) -- was the guest DJ that lured in UFC head honcho Dana White and his top-draw mixed martial arts ...

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Lead Photo I heart local rock

Allison Duck | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (1:58 p.m.)

It’s no Seattle, New York or Austin, but Las Vegas has produced its share of musical heavy weights. In recent years the Killers and Panic at the Disco have taken over the airwaves, and at Sunday night’s Local Bands Jam at the House of Blues, a slew of local bands proved that the Vegas music scene is just getting started. The show opened with a set of high-energy pop punk tunes from Leaving Springfield. The band, which is made up of drummer and vocalist Matt Norcross and guitarist and singer Brent Kessler, is relatively new, but its musicians are Vegas veterans and together they produce a big sound. Following Springfield was local hard rock favorite Solidify, which played its new song, “Stories,” for the energetic crowd. “It’s a doozy,” lead singer Chase Grijalva warned. Solidify followed up with “Disarm,” one of their hits getting radio play on Area 107.9, the ...

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Tonight’s tip: Hit Studio 54 (with leg-warmers) and hang with Mr. Freeze

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (1:20 p.m.)

* Hardly the time of year, but ladies if you want to wear leg-warmers you will drink free till midnight at Studio 54 at the MGM Grand because VH1 honoree “Mr. Freeze” is hosting the Influence 2080’s party with a live performance by hip-hop star Biz Markie. * Comedy is king as disc and movie performer Aries Spears headlines at the Improv at Harrah’s, with Joel Lindley and Howard Allen as his opening acts. You can guarantee that Chicago-born Aries will do his spot-on impersonations of everybody from Snoop Dogg to Jay-Z They are all there thru Sunday night. * Here’s the five match-ups for the NBA Summer League games at Thomas and Mack today: 3 p.m.: Pistons vs. Bucks. 5 p.m.: 76ers vs. Lakers. 5:30 p.m.: Spurs vs. Hornets. 7pm: Kings vs. Trail Blazers. 7.30 p.m.: Bobcats vs. Warriors. TOMORROWS TEASE: Romance is in the air and love is ...

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Lead Photo Sushi Samba, Sugarcane lounge set to open at Palazzo

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (12:54 p.m.)

For weeks, the owners of the new extraordinary Sushi Samba restaurant at the Palazzo have been waiting for their inspections from every county department imaginable. Now, with their myriad of certificates and licenses, the eclectic jewel featuring a mix of Asian, Brazilian and Peruvian treats opens tonight for dinner. Next Tuesday, the restaurant will start its lunchtime service, staying open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight. Sushi Samba restaurants in New York, Miami, Dallas and Chicago are monster hits -- and the Vegas property is the most lavish and luxurious of them all. It includes the new Sugarcane late-night lounge, which will open Aug. 1 with service until 4 a.m. A star-studded gala opening will be held in early September. The 14,000-square-foot restaurant seats 150 people in the main dining room. There's a sushi bar for 21 guests and a main bar for 35 more. The Sugarcane lounge will seat ...

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Human Cannonball beats death-defying stunt

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (12:28 p.m.)

World-traveled, world famous and Guinness World Records holder David "The Bullet" Smith paid his first visit to the Vegas Valley. David Smith holds the Guinness title from 1996 for soaring 181 feet through the air as a human cannonball. David and his family travel the world -- including the United States, Canada, Australia, England, the Middle East, Holland and most recently South Africa -- delighting audiences with the amazing daredevil human cannonball stunts. He has worked professionally as a human cannonball for more than 11 years and logged more than 5,000 human cannonball shots. David told fans in Henderson that he is pretty sure he holds just about every human cannonball record and he's certain his friends at Guinness World Records would notify him if somebody else came up with a larger verified claim. During his first-ever Vegas visit, "The Bullet" shot out of his 35-foot-long, custom-made human cannonball launcher ...

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Lead Photo Strip Scribbles: Robin S. shows the love; Beauty and Beats at Jet

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (11:52 a.m.)

* You would never know that we’re officially in a recession based on the amount of wild free-spending partying that continues onward in our Vegas nightclubs. At Bank in the Bellagio, dance-queen diva Robin S. had the revelers going wild when she performed her smash single “Show Me Love”. Watching the show in a separate VIP group was former Pittsburgh Steelers multipurpose star Kordell “Slash” Stewart. * Over at Jet at The Mirage, Playboy Playmate Janine Habeck and DJ Cobra teamed-up to host their hot Beauty and The Beats party. The German-born beauty and Hollywood beat-master made an unusual teaming to ensure the town’s sexiest people had an unforgettable night of party playtime. * Death Row Records founder Suge Knight made a couple of late-night appearances on the Strip. He first headed to at Victor Drai’s Tryst nightclub in the Wynn, then he went onto Victor’s After Hours club at ...

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Lead Photo Torrid Tera’s club calls keeps ‘em guessing

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (10 a.m.)

Nightclub rivalry of another kind involves the world’s No. 1 porn-star princess. Torrid Tera Patrick made headlines with a unique deal at the Hard Rock Hotel, but it has since clouded over with casino executives saying there was no plan to have her dance with the Helles Belles in the gaming pit there. Instead, they said she would present her shows with a series of dates in the hotel’s Body English nightclub. However, she turned up at the rival Prive nightclub at Planet Hollywood -– and posed for sexy and sizzling photos. She put on “quite the show” to prove she’s the top porn star in the business, according to our spywitness. “She got physical with a whole group of her female friends and the crowd went wild with approval when she kissed and danced with the femme fatales wearing her new lusty line of lingerie!” Tera and rocker husband ...

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Lead Photo Final nine at WSOP set

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (8:37 a.m.)

It was past 3 o’clock this morning –- and the clock ticking toward 4 a.m. -– before the final nine poker players were decided for November’s ultimate World Series of Poker showdown. Two Canadians, one Russian and one Dane will compete against five Americans for the $9.2-million grand prize back here in Vegas just before Thanksgiving –- and not one star-name poker prince or local hometown champion remains in the war! Two California players, Kelly Kim of Whittier and David “Chino” Rheem of Los Angeles will go up against Craig Marquis from Texas, Ylon Schwartz from New York City and Dennis Phillips from Missouri. Darious Suharto and Scott Montgomery represent Canada, Ivan Demidov hails from Moscow and Peter Eastgate from Denmark is the remaining player. At exactly 3.25 a.m. today, Dean Hamrick from Michigan left the table with almost $600,000 in 10th place as he was eliminated. More than 6,840 ...

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Lead Photo Buff call: Will Sarah Larson take a half-mil to pose nude?

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 15, 2008 (6 a.m.)

Sexy Sarah Larson has really hit the big-time with a rumored whopping $500,000 offer to pose for Playboy according to inside-word that’s reached us at Luxe Life. The former N9NE Group cocktail server at Moon and the Playboy Club had her life changed early last summer. Bachelor movie heart-throb George Clooney spied her while attending the CineVegas premiere of the casino heist movie Oceans 13 and the twosome turned up vacationing in Europe and together at film festivals and on movie location sets. As the romance neared the one-year mark he took her on his arm to the Oscars, and even his friends predicted she would be the one girl to finally get his marriage proposal. It certainly looked as if his bachelor status was about to end as she even moved into his Hollywood home, temporarily. However, just as suddenly he stuck to his single-status MO and the romance ...

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Obscenity undefined: Stagliano reflects on his indictment

Richard Abowitz | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (9:38 p.m.)

I first met John Stagliano in the summer of 2004 reporting a backstage feature for Las Vegas Weekly on the creation of his show, Fashionistas, at what is now Planet Hollywood. I had never heard of him before that. The show opened in the summer of 2004 to great acclaim and lasted for three years. That beat Hairspray, Spamalot and The Producers, to name a few of the better-financed shows that closed more quickly. However, it wasn't the longevity but the extraordinary quality of the show that was surprising to a lot of people, including me. The reason: Buttman. The most innovative show the Strip has seen in the new century was backed by the money John Stagliano earned as the legendary pornographer known as Buttman, and as owner of Evil Angel, perhaps the largest distributor of adult content in the country. In fact, Fashionistas the production show was based ...

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Lead Photo Strip Scribbles: Diaz & Co. find themselves in quite a Fix

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (6:01 p.m.)

* Blonde beauty and Hollywood's favorite "it" girl, Cameron Diaz, turned up unexpectedly with two other galpals at midnight craving supper at Fix at the Bellagio. They enjoyed an array of mixed vegetables, including a baby lettuce salad, grilled asparagus, mini potatoes and roasted mushrooms. The trio dined quickly and left after 45 minutes to hit the gaming tables at the Bellagio. No word yet as to why she was here on a surprise visit or whether she won or lost at the tables! * With the prize pot standing at a whopping $65 million over the weekend in the World Series of Poker, it means come November, during the ESPN coverage, when the final nine sit down to play for a shot at the title the ultimate winner will walk home with the apparent top prize of nearly $10 million. Tonight we should know the identity of the final ...

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Tomorrow’s tease: Clooney’s ex asked to shed

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (5:36 p.m.)

Will she or won’t she? Playboy allegedly wants George Clooney’s former galpal and Vegas cocktail server-turned-model to bare all for a pictorial and sizzling Tera Patrick photos prove why she’s the adult film world’s No. 1 porn princess … Human cannonball Dave Smith, known as “The Bullet Man” is one amazing daredevil and LuxeLife should have the amazing photos of his flight across Findlay Toyota’s new 145,000-square-foot auto dealership … We also have advance coverage on the opening tomorrow of the much anticipated Sushi Samba restaurant at the Palazzo.

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Lead Photo Silent treatment noted at Electra’s Disaster party

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (4:47 p.m.)

It might have been just a two-hour visit that began after midnight but Sunday morning, pre-dawn, petite Carmen Electra packed a powerful punch as she hosted a party at the Prive hotspot inside Planet Hollywood. Even though they weren’t really talking to each other she and her fiancée, rocker Rob Patters, celebrated her new Disaster Movie with the nightclub revelers. After dinner in the resort’s sushi and sashimi Asian-themed Koi restaurant, Carmen, wearing a pink-and-white sequined dress with sexy purple Christian Louboutin high-heeled spiked shoes posed on the red carpet for breathless photographers. Despite the fact they weren’t really speaking, Rob never left her side –- even when she got on top of the club’s couches to dance along to the music. One spywitness told me: “They looked bored to tears with each other. They didn’t speak to each other. They weren’t kissing or cuddling. They weren’t even holding hands ...

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Lead Photo Missy Elliott Celebrates Birthday No. 37 at Tao

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (2 p.m.)

Grammy award-winning hip-hop queen Missy Elliott celebrated her 37th birthday at the Tao nightclub in The Venetian. Wearing a stylish black and gold tracksuit from her Adidas Respect M.E. Originals collection and a chunky gold necklace to match, her birthday entourage included 25 of her closest friends, including her choreographer and dancers. First, they dined inside Tao’s Asian Bistro feasting on Chilean sea bass satay, Pad Thai noodles and lobster wontons. Missy was surprised when the attractive Tao servers presented her with a beautiful pink birthday cake adorned with fresh pink roses and sparklers. Although she said she loved roses, Missy passed them all out to her friends. After they polished off the cake, Missy and her crew continued the celebration at their VIP table upstairs in the moat section of the nightclub. DJ Reach honored Missy by giving her a special birthday shout out and then spun an amazing ...

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Jacko’ seen in wheelchair wearing pajamas, surgical mask, wig

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (1:30 p.m.)

What is going on with the one-time King of Pop? For the second time in as many weeks, a surgical-masked Michael Jackson has been photographed in a wheelchair. But this time he was even wearing pajamas and slippers, and hoping a rasta wig, black scarf and large sunglasses would keep him disguised. Now, everybody is asking if his failing health is cause for fear or is it just another diversionary publicity stunt. "Wacko on Wheels" screamed the London tabloid headlines as they bought up the exclusive photos of him being wheeled around one of our local Barnes & Noble bookshops by one of his security guards. They claimed he's suffering from new debilitating back problems. The paparazzi photographer who snatched the shots commented: "He looks really frail. His skin was peeling and he looks thin and gaunt." An alleged shopper in the store told The Sun tabloid in England: "It ...

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Lead Photo Spending a final night in the Spam can

John Katsilometes | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (12:38 p.m.)

You understand fully that it will not be a typical show when a horn player grabs a scarred metal flask and asks, “Is this the tequila or the scotch?” The musicians are as usual dressed in all-black, as is required, fitting for the funereal event about to unfold. But it is not entirely somber as the musicians who play such numbers as “Find Your Grail,” “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” and “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life” in Monty Python’s Spamalot. The brilliant but ill-fated musical is closing, and I am seated in the belly of the beast for the finale, behind my French-horn playing friend Beth Lano and in front of guitarist Larry Esparza, who is remarkably patient and focused as I continually slam my elbow into his music stand as I take notes and adjust my ear buds, which are plugged into the feed that allows ...

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Lead Photo Sneak preview of new Hard Rock lounge grabs the governor

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (12:16 p.m.)

With Nevada's fiscal picture in freefall and looking darker by the moment, our divorce-fraught Gov. Jim Gibbons has been burning the midnight oil, including at nightclubs here on the Strip! First, he was up-close to the octagon when he hit the $800-a-ticket celebrity zone of the UFC fight at Mandalay Bay and then turned up at Tao nightclub’s dance floor in the Venetian. However, his latest Vegas foray that’s really raising eyebrows was a sneak preview that tattooed motocross champ Carey Hart gave for his new Wasted Space rock lounge at the Hard Rock! The governor was rubbing shoulders with his own motley crew that included wild boys Sully Erma from Godsmack, John Dolmayan of System of a Down, A.J. McLean from Backstreet Boys, plus Mindfreak magician Criss Angel, free-wheeling bachelor Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals and actor Billy Zane. Wasted Space is an "edgy, dark and dirty decadent ...

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Angel’s former galpal running like a Giselle

Robin Leach | Mon, Jul 14, 2008 (12:02 p.m.)

Sexy Giselle Diaz is making more headlines now she’s split from Mindfreak magician Criss Angel than she did when they were together oh-so-briefly! No sooner had they first met there was talk from inside their camp they were rushing into a quickie marriage and honeymooning in Mexico. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the romance fell apart faster than it began. Newly single Giselle struck out on the party scene and was caught contentedly kissing various girls at nightclubs around town.

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Lead Photo Script Scribbles: Little Anthony and big celeb chefs hit town

Robin Leach | Sat, Jul 12, 2008 (2:47 p.m.)

Saturday, July 12: *One of the biggest soul groups of all times, Little Anthony & The Imperials, reprise their hunk of hits from the ’50s and ’60’s in a special concert at The Club in the Cannery, which has carved itself a wonderful niche with the “goldie-oldies.” *Even if gas goes to $7 a gallon, think of it as a bargain today for the quick 25-minute pedal-to-the-metal drive south on the I-15 for guitarist Boz Scaggs in concert at the Star of the Desert Arena at Terrible’s Casino on the stateline in Primm. *Hip-hop trailblazers the Roots perform tracks from their latest release Rising Down at The Joint at the Hard Rock. It’s the 10th album release for the Grammy Award winners, who hail from Philadelphia with Amir “Questlove” Thompson on drums, Captain Kirk Douglas on guitar and Tariq “Black Thought" Trotter handling vocals. *The new eco-charity concert series Bottle ...

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Lead Photo For prostitutes, life is just a (lucrative) fantasy

“Do you ever have orgasms while working?” I asked a prostitute at a party. She laughs and thinks about the question. “Occasionally, yes.” She tells me that customers notice the clenching of her muscles when it happens. They say so in her online reviews. She says she’s also a good actress. I wonder how often she fakes it. This prostitute is a member of a huge online community of prostitutes and customers that review each other and keep the practice relatively safe for all participants. Customers and workers alike know what to expect. I follow up with, “Do you have customers that you absolutely hate having sex with?” She says that most people are fine. She says there is one particular customer in the community that she has been avoiding an appointment with. He is active in the community and is well known for being, well, repulsive. Another Weekly blog ...

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Pam Anderson just says ‘no’ to Criss Angel, Tommy Lee rumors

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 11, 2008 (3:49 p.m.)

While on Australian television's controversial Big Brother series, guest star Pamela Anderson issued a string of denials about her love life.

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Strip Scribbles: Celebs’ late nights, Friday night rundown

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 11, 2008 (2:47 p.m.)

*It was a very late night -- in fact, 2 a.m. -- for both Bette Midler and her fans. The superstar decided to hold a surprise "meet and greet" with her audience after a The Showgirl Must Go On spectacular at the The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. During the performance she told the audience she would meet any of them who bought her book, "The Adventures of Baby Divine," or her new greatest hits CD, Jackpot. At 10 p.m., some 400 enthusiastic fans began lining up, and by the time she'd signed everybody’s purchase, posed for photos and said "hello," it was four hours later! Bette is here with us until July 20 with five shows per night, then she takes a hiatus before returning Oct. 9. *The Summer Surprise Series has got off to a great start at the Pure and LAX nightclubs. At the debut concert in LAX, ...

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WSOP the biggest in 39-year history

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 11, 2008 (2 p.m.)

With a record 58,720 players from 118 different countries around the world the World Series of Poker at the Rio has officially gone into the record books. After 39 years it’s the richest and largest, according to WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. He’s also betting that next year it will even be bigger! He believes the 8-percent “ buy-ins’ increase over last year’s tournament added a $20-million bonanza bonus to the prize pool of $180-million. The 55 events run over 47 days at the Rio -- and then the final table of nine won’t take place until November to build even more excitement and anticipation for both players and the network TV audience. Pollack, who said the player count increased by 36 percent over last year, added that during the tournament to-date every American and Canadian state has been represented with money winners!

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Lead Photo Behind-the-scenes secrets as Spamalot draws to a close

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 11, 2008 (noon)

And now for something completely different! But unfortunately probably the last time on the Strip! On Sunday evening the curtain comes down on Monty Python’s Spamalot at Wynn Las Vegas, and star John O’Hurley gets ready to take his King Arthur role on the road with tour of major West Coast cities. It doesn’t look as if he will be singing, “Look on the Bright Side” anytime soon on the Strip. Sunday’s finale won’t be very much different than the previous performances that originally began with its March 31, 2007 premiere -- except there’s a good chance that creator Eric Idle will fly in as the cast has a “farewell and au-revoir” speech at the final curtain. Spamalot has been honored with numerous awards, including three Tony Awards -– one for Best Musical -- and a Grammy Award for Best Original Cast recording. You know I love the Fun Facts ...

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Lead Photo What’s that in the air? It’s love! And marriage!

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 11, 2008 (8:55 a.m.)

There are two affairs of the heart this weekend that I’d like you to pay special attention to- not because I’m a romantic but both could change your life at first sight and involve some very special lovely lady-friends of mine! First up is tonight’s Adam & Eve Charity Love Fling -– a bachelor and bachelorette auction to benefit the New Vista Community organization, which provides equal opportunities and support to intellectually challenged folks of all ages. The event takes place starting at 6 p.m. at Prive at Planet Hollywood. You’ll have the opportunity to bid on a double-date with my topless dancer friends from the adult cabaret Fantasy revue at the Luxor; bid on a dream date with my good friend Vegas TV celebrity news anchor Denise Pernula, who posed in her birthday suit for Playboy and do a night of dinner and nightclub experiences with my favorite nightlife ...

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Cher’s mystery suitor is named

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 11, 2008 (8 a.m.)

The buzz on Cher's alleged upcoming Vegas marriage grows positively stranger by the moment. Now, the National Enquirer has named 38-year-old former Hells Angel biker Tim Medvetz as her apparent beau. Once mistaken for one of her bodyguards, the 6-foot-5 adventurer is said to be a mountain climber who was seen climbing Mount Everest in the Discovery Channel series Everest: Beyond the Limit. Cher’s press representative still continues to deny any upcoming Vegas wedding and no license has been issued here at City Hall. However, the tabloid continues to stand by its reporting of the rumors from inside Cher’s camp. She returns to her concert run at Caesars Palace next month.

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Lead Photo Barkley makes million-dollar marriage proposal as celebs cause Palms gridlock

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (5:20 p.m.)

It didn’t matter if you were simply playing slots in the casino or lounging by one of the many pools of hotel tycoon George Maloof’s Palms resort the past few days. You were certain to run into sports and movie stars because they were there in an all-out VIP invasion, and every restaurant and nightclub on the property claimed its fare share! This was Star Surveillance at its finest -- and it wasn’t even an opening party! NBA star Charles Barkley caused the best commotion by coming into the N9NE steakhouse from a successful golf course outing -– and went straight to the bar for a celebration drink and promptly asked gorgeous bartender Char if she would marry him for $1 million! No word if she said yes to “Sir Charles” and become “Lady Char,” but at least they could have interlocking C initials on the towels! Later, he went ...

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Lead Photo To Jet set, Shannon is Vegas’ hottest

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (4 p.m.)

Stunning hometown model Shannon Kelly drove away the winner at Jet nightclub’s Vegas Blondeshell Awards finale. Crowned “The hottest girl in Vegas,” Shannon won a customized pink Corvette. For the past three weeks, 30 Vegas vixens vied for the top prize in weekly contests at the Mirage nightspot by mingling with and impressing club-goers. Patrons then voted American Idol style by texting the number of their favorite entrant. In the final round, Shannon wound up in the winner’s seat of the pink Corvette. Marketing Director Steven Lockwood, who organized the outrageous Blondeshell Awards, said: “It simply proved that it truly is what’s on the outside that matters! Jet has changed the face of Vegas nightlife with such events as Pole-a-Palooza, Crunk Cup Ball and 9 to 5: Partying is a Full Time Job, and now the Blondeshell Awards will be added to the annual calendar.”

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Lead Photo Top celebs turn out to trumpet tantalizing tower

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (3:17 p.m.)

It was a patriotic and star-studded ceremony at Planet Hollywood to celebrate the topping off of the new PH Towers by Westgate. Country-western singer and songwriter Lee Greenwood sang his hit “God Bless the USA” as a 50-foot American flag rose and unfurled at the top of the 52-story building. Rambo superstar Sylvester Stallone joined Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, Planet Hollywood Chairman Robert Earl and president Mike Mecca for the event. Construction had begun in January 2006. “It is the tallest timeshare building in history,” said Westgate Resorts president David Siegel. “It is the first vacation ownership resort to be fully integrated with a major resort and casino complex. I am especially proud that our development is located at the most significant location on the Strip at its very heart. We are surrounded by the moist prestigious properties in Vegas and it will provide our 400,000 timeshare owners with a ...

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Strip Scribbles: Club dust-up, sightings

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (2 p.m.)

*Now what was that dust-up all about? Janet Jackson’s lovemate, Jermaine Dupri, returned to the Prive nightclub's Money For Nothing party to DJ a 90-minute set, but banned female rapper Khia, singer of "My Neck, My Back," from getting up on his booth to sing her song. "Not while I'm in the house," Dupri apparently said. There was an even bigger commotion when reality star Brody Jenner waltzed in with a gaggle of young beauties in tow. Champagne, he decreed for all, but despite the hatchery he left only with one girl -- a striking 6-foot blonde! *American Idol finalist Brooke White enjoyed the Tapis Rouge red carpet VIP service at the Beatles Revolution Lounge, where she filmed a Happy Birthday Ringo tribute that aired on CNN's Larry King Live. Then, accompanied by her husband and friends, she went to see Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE. She was invited backstage afterward ...

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Lead Photo Cher’s Vegas runaway marriage report denied

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (12:03 p.m.)

Tabloid and Internet gossip reports worldwide are ablaze today that 62-year-old singing star Cher has married a 36-year-old former Hells Angel biker! The buzz broke in advance of Friday’s National Enquirer story that Cher, who headlines at The Colosseum it Caesars Palace, had “eloped” -- and married in a surprise and secret Vegas ceremony. I can confirm that not one of my celebrity wedding sources in Vegas has any knowledge whatsoever of the supposed runaway exchange of vows -- nor is there any record, at least yet, of a certificate for a license at City Hall! Cher’s long-term press representative Liz Rozenberg also denies the tale saying Cher won’t be back in Vegas until August. “Cher always promised me if she ever got married again I’d be the flower girl, and I didn’t get any such invite. There is no such wedding,” she commented. Despite the denial, the story is ...

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Lead Photo Pam-demonium Down Under update: Chaos as sex symbol starts animal rights protest

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (11:45 a.m.)

Bolstered by massive TV ratings, sex symbol pinup Pamela Anderson carried through with her threat to protest the KFC restaurant chain, despite being paid a reported $500,000 for her three-day stint in the Big Brother House TV show sponsored by the fast-food empire! The former Baywatch busty blonde bombshell delivered a letter of complaint and videotape documenting alleged abuses to a KFC outlet in the Southport area of Brisbane on Australia’s Gold Coast tourist strip. She was mobbed by hundreds of fans when she railed against the company’s treatment of chickens, and called for less-cruel methods of their slaughter. Bodyguards and extra security were called in to help her high-heel it through the crowds. She wore an extremely skimpy and tight pair of orange shorts and an unbuttoned low-cut white shirt to display maximum cleavage for her demonstration of dissent. "I've been in Australia filming Big Brother House, in which ...

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Lead Photo Abba members reunite to welcome Mamma Mia! movie stars

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (8 a.m.)

Just days before the Vegas cast of Mamma Mia! at Mandalay Bay gets to see an advance sneak-preview screening of the new movie version of their musical, members of the ABBA supergroup reunited publicly for the first time in about 22 years. (It was back in 1986 when they last performed together in public, although there are rumors they played together at a friend’s birthday party in 1999.) Our local actors, singers and dancers will host the special viewing of the new Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan movie at the recently opened Town Square movie complex Sunday -- and answer movie-goers' questions afterward. The film gets its American premiere next week with our local theaters starting showings as of Friday, July 18. Meryl, Pierce and co-stars Colin Firth, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters traveled to Stockholm for the unique Swedish premiere. There, ABBA founders Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agneta Faltskog ...

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Lead Photo Pamela leaves Vegas, goes “down under” for Big Brother

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (6 a.m.)

The Australian "tough as Crocodile Dundee" gossip press criticized blond bombshell Pamela Anderson from the moment she landed "down under" direct from her birthday celebration in Vegas: *They lambasted her for her antics in the LAX nightclub at the Luxor with a sexually suggestive birthday cake and for finger-feeding it to Mindfreak magician Criss Angel. *They bashed her for arriving with an apparent smaller bust-line than what she had in her naked Playboy layouts. *They raked her over the coals for plotting a PETA attack on Australian food interests -- and her plea to the prime minister about doing more for the animals than just being food! "She's baring her own animal rights claws," headlined one tabloid. *They ridiculed her for the ridiculously skimpy white hot pants and matching halter-top she wore before entering the Big Brother TV house, and then the plunging red mini-dress she wore for her first ...

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Lead Photo Anuhea “Anu” Hawkins

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Anuhea "Anu" Hawkins has made a name for herself as the sommelier at Nove Italiano at the Palms, but when she's not studying and serving wine, this native Hawaiian prefers spending time with her 6 year-old daughter.

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Lead Photo Hangover Buster

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a … raging bloody hangover! Summer drinking, pool parties, insufficient water intake, quaffing alcoholic drinks for refreshment—all can lead to killer hangovers. Though not a cocktail per se, this simple concoction of water and an effervescent lemon-lime wafer does in fact—we discovered after an outdoor wine-sampling event—take the edge off a potential hangover.

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Lead Photo Out with the new, in with the newer

Matthew Scott Hunter | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

In case you didn’t notice from the dozens of enormous cranes littering the skyline, Las Vegas is a city obsessed with the new. Where once there was nothing, there must now be something, and where once there was something, there must now be something new. The old must be redesigned, reinvented and rebuilt. In some cities, places become more precious with age. They become antiques. In Las Vegas, they just become antiquated.

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Read between the party lines

Dave Berns | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

We’re reeling from a series of jolts: $4.50-a-gallon gasoline, neighborhoods shaken by empty homes, rapidly rising food prices, growing unemployment and a war in its sixth year. We’re seeking solace, a sense that things will be okay, but there’s no consensus on solutions. It’s the American way. Greater wisdom can come from the partisan divide that passes for enlightened debate in Carson City and Washington, D.C. But it feels as though we’re lacking enlightenment and debate

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Lead Photo Succulent Carnage

Grace Bascos | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Hot n’ Juicy Crawfish. Just the name of the joint made me want to go in the first time I saw it. Its Spring Mountain location at first made me wonder if it was an Asian concept, but I was elated to learn that the New Orleans tradition of the crawfish boil had made the trip to Vegas.

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Lead Photo Neither pucks nor Picassos

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

What should come first, the sports stadium or the fan base, the world-class museum or the appreciative culture? To those counting the days until we can pay to see flying pucks (or basketballs) or hanging Picassos—in a museum not attached to a casino, that is—my answer may sound like heresy: The latter is more important, particularly if we’re serious about either endeavor.

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Lead Photo Identity Crisis?

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Sometimes finding—and shedding—an identity is tough, especially when that identity is a gateway to drugs, sex and debauchery only yards away from nearly a dozen successful locals joints.

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Lead Photo Talk of the Town

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Call Halloween Town a local supergroup if you want, but its leader prefers a different term.

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Flush in the pan

Steve Friess | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Joanna Freund and her boyfriend, George, have flown in all the way from Toronto to be here at the 2008 World Series of Poker’s Main Event. Neither of them actually is playing in the tournament, but they’ve watched it on television for years, and, the weak U.S. dollar being what it is, they figured they could make a holiday out of it and see their favorite poker players in action.

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Peggy Plots Your Planets

Peggy Allison | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

What do the planets have in store for you this week? Find out as Peggy tells of your future.

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Lead Photo Sin City sex trade

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Tell-all books have a hold on the public psyche for much the same reason that high-level gossip does: Americans are a nosy bunch, as addicted to TMZ.com and Page Six as older generations were to the McNeil-Lehrer Report.

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Lead Photo Blades of steel

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Jack Dagger, otherwise known as the “King of Fling,” has tossed knives at everyone from potential Louisiana politicians looking for notoriety to targets (or possibly people) on one of those crazy super-surreal Japanese game shows.

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Lead Photo Ed Harcourt

Barbara Mitchell | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

British singer-songwriter extraordinaire Ed Harcourt has a best-of album, but we in the U.S. get The Beautiful Lie two years late.

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Lead Photo Your right to vote

Tovin Lapan | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

The letter startled Isaiah Cage. Twenty years after he’d been convicted of drug trafficking, and 17 since he had been released from prison, he was holding in his hand a single sheet of paper from the Clark County Election Department accusing him of a felony for trying to vote.

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Lead Photo The Bleachers

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Named Nevada’s Best New Band in the Boston Phoenix’s recent “50 Bands, 50 States” survey, The Bleachers prove they deserve a big seat at the small table of Las Vegas acts worthy of consideration with their second expert full-length in as many tries.

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A legacy owed to Celine

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

This is an excerpt from the radio show Our Metropolis, a half-hour issues and affairs program that airs Tuesdays at 6 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and is hosted by Greenspun Media Group’s John Katsilometes. Tune in next week to hear the rest of this interview with John Nelson, vice president of AEG Live, which produces top concerts and shows across the country, including Elton John, Cher and Bette Midler at the Colosseum at Caesars, and has partnered with Harrah’s for an arena project just east of the Strip near Bally’s:

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Lead Photo Phenom of funny

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Not many produce more than a few albums over the entire course of a comedy career.

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Lead Photo Sparkle … dim … and fade to black

Julie Seabaugh | Published Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

R.I.P. Doug Frye, local drummer, DJ and music scene mainstay

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Dream Zone

Lauri Quinn Lowenberg | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Lauri interprets what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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Lead Photo A botched operation

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Movies and TV shows about America’s current conflicts in the Middle East haven’t exactly fared well recently, either critically or commercially, but that hasn’t stopped The Wire creator David Simon and his producing and writing partner Ed Burns from following up their groundbreaking and highly praised cops-and-criminals series with Generation Kill (HBO, Sundays, 9 p.m.), a seven-part miniseries about a Marine unit during the early days of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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Lead Photo Moving house

Team Hangover | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

The Empire Ballroom crew isn't homeless for long, Soundbar hunts for venues, alcohol-free drinks? and Christmas in July. Get a nightlife.

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Lead Photo Patti Smith and Kevin Shields

Annie Zaleski | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Patti Smith’s 1997 book The Coral Sea is a slim but powerful volume of prose she wrote in tribute to the late artist Robert Mapplethorpe, who photographed her for the cover of Horses.

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Lead Photo Beck

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

When the creative well runs dry, what’s a musical mastermind to do? Well, if he’s anything like Bob Dylan, grind away and hope the spark returns, as it did for Dylan in the late ’90s after a long period of muddled mediocrity. Or he can take a more drastic route, say that traveled by Miles Davis, who retired for more than five years when he sensed his best innovations were behind him.

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Lead Photo The Hold Steady

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Over the course of three albums, America’s best bar band has penned modern-classic rock ’n’ roll odes to drinking, drugging and generally partying until one passes out.

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Lead Photo Vanessa Hudgens

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens was most recently in the news for a fairly tame nude-pictures scandal, but her second album gives no indication that she’s looking to shed her otherwise squeaky clean image and play with the grown-ups.

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Fresh off the vine

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Christian Audigier—the man, the designer, the winemaker? I learned a lot about the French designer-culprit behind Ed Hardy, Diesel and Von Dutch during a hard-hat tour of his new joint, successor to Tangerine at TI. Beyond his fashionable designer-for-hire past, I found out, Audigier, 50, has lent his good name (originally Christian Ginutti) to a good many other personal ventures: “The Cool Wine” by Montpeyroux Estates (“It’s a lifestyle, screw tradition!”), Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier fragrances, Crystal Rock jewelry, named for his daughter … his resume reads like a celebrity’s shopping list.

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Lead Photo Fleet Foxes

Barbara Mitchell | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

They look like hippies. They frequently get compared to Crosby, Stills & Nash.

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The Help Desk

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Star Trek: The Experience to close September 1.
Who needs science fiction? $4 a gallon for gas? A text-messaging governor? Gambling on the decline? We’re living it!
Harry Reid says that coal and oil “make us sick.”
No, Harry, what really makes us sick is watching the Democratic Party shoot itself in the foot at every turn.
Report: Most poker players support Obama.
So remember, if you’re still undecided, ask yourself: Who would “The Unabomber” endorse?

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Lead Photo Creature Feature

Mike D'Angelo | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Filmmakers with a distinctive vision can generally be divided into two camps: those primarily concerned with human behavior and those obsessed with the properties of cinema itself. Towering figures like Orson Welles and Martin Scorsese fit both profiles. But Mexico’s Guillermo del Toro, uniquely, fits neither.

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Lead Photo Journey to the Center of the Earth

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 10, 2008 (midnight)

Perhaps someday, movies made in digital 3-D will be so commonplace that we’ll see relationship dramas, workplace comedies and psychological thrillers in three dimensions, but at this point the technology is so new that all it’s really useful for is showing off. Luckily Journey to the Center of the Earth director Eric Brevig has a background in special effects and experience working on 3-D movies/theme-park attractions Captain EO and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, so his feature debut finds him perfectly at home with the showy aspect of 3-D cinema.

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Lead Photo A flush of clubs: A look back at those we miss

John Katsilometes | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (7:43 p.m.)

It was Thursday night at the grand opening of Christian Audigier at Treasure Island, the first nightclub operated by the so-named fashion designer, that I asked a few longtime Las Vegans which now-defunct clubs on or off the Strip they now miss. Nobody said they missed Tangerine, which occupied the spot now home to “CA.” That is probably because, but for some muted tones, dark-red hues and wall art of body art, the new CA effectively mirrors the old Tangerine. Same layout, same splashy view of the Sirens show. Same deal, pretty much. Nevertheless, as the sun set behind this fabulous new club, we did conjure up a few bygone Vegas haunts that have shuttered and we wish hadn’t. Here’s my list; feel free to make your own: Pink E’s: A lot of strange stuff went on in the parking lot of this club, located north of Tommy Rocker’s on ...

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Lead Photo Strip Scribbles: Idol’s white visits dolphins, Perez Hilton hits Prive

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (3:54 p.m.)

-- American Idol finalist Brooke White had missed out on a prior trip to the Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage –- so she was determined when the 2008 AI tour came through Vegas it wasn’t going to happen again. Sure enough it happened and she got to spend some quality time with the dolphins at the Habitat. -- Love the line magician Lance Burton used on The View co-host Barbara Walters after he’d sawn her in half to wrap the Caesars Palace live broadcasts week. She asked, “How do you do that?” Lance replied (hopefully) joking, “If I told you then I’d have to kill you.” -- He’s known as the self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media,” but when celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has a party he gets two bands to perform in his honor. At the Prive nightclub at Planet Hollywood he relaxed to the music of both Ultraviolet Sound ...

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Tomorrow’s tease: Lingerie loungerie

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (2:40 p.m.)

* Every Wednesday just after midnight, the sexy Cathouse lingerie loungerie at the Luxor throws its Vanity after-hours party that sometimes can run until dawn -- and you might even find the gorgeous girls from the topless adult cabaret Fantasy next door in for a late cocktail. If you miss the delicious dolls at Cathouse, catch them every Tuesday night for a pre-show at the nearby Flirt bar! * In advance of next week’s American premiere for the movie version of Mamma Mia, Luxe Life is traveling to Stockholm for the Swedish premiere. ABBA’s favored foursome, who wrote the music and lyrics, reunite for the first time and show Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan the delights of their "jag alska dej" land plus Planet Hollywood tops off its new condo tower with a true red, white and blue star-studded ceremony.

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Lead Photo The governor’s nightclub dinner with the stars

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (1:35 p.m.)

In the midst of a divorce scandal, it's obvious that headline is meant to titillate -- I have no shame! But it’ll make you read on as Luxe Life notes all the stars that surrounded Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons when he made a surprise late-night dinner visit to the Tao Asian bistro in the Venetian! Also there -- just tables away -- by total coincidence was former Nevada attorney general George Chanos with actor Billy Zane, and nearby, comedy actor Damon Wayans was ordering up the Kobe Beef, crispy lobster and shrimp dumplings with the assorted sushi. After dinner, Billy Zane grabbed a VIP table on the dance floor, where UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn and WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber celebrated the first-year anniversary of Fight! Magazine with ring-girl Arianny Celeste. Also enjoying the fun was Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson. At 3 a.m., R&B singer Tyrese decided to ...

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Star-studded turnout for UFC 86 as “Rampage” Jackson falls to Forest Griffin

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (1:03 p.m.)

It was an all-star ringside gathering at the octagon as the Ultimate Fighter reality show became real life at UFC 86 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. On hand to watch the carnage as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson fell by unanimous decision to Forest Griffin were everybody from actress Jamie Pressly to Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler! The celebrity guests included Mindfreak magician Criss Angel, Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis, lovely Mandy Moore, Laura Prepon, Rebecca Field, comedians David Spade and Robert Kelly, rockers Joel Madden of Good Charlotte and Pete Wentz (without his pregnant wife, Ashlee Simpson), Jim Norton, Wilmer Valderrama, and San Diego Chargers Shaun Phillips and Steven Cooper

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Lead Photo An extravaganza, but not so much

Josh Bell | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (12:51 p.m.)

Josh Bell likes action extravaganzas, but Wanted, a film where he says "the occasion is not worth rising to," falls flat -- despite the presence of Angelina Jolie. Listen to Josh Bell every Friday night at 6 p.m. on 107.5 FM's Xtreme Disorder.

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Lead Photo Will Smith takes the Fourth with Hancock

Josh Bell | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (12:38 p.m.)

Will Smith owns the July 4th weekend every year, and that is the case this year with Hancock. But does this down-and-dirty superhero pack a punch? Not entirely. Listen to Josh Bell every Friday night at 6 p.m. on 107.5 FM's Xtreme Disorder.

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Romance updates: Life after George Clooney and Pink

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (noon)

Former Moon nightclub and Playboy Club cocktail server Sarah Larson is giving former flame George Clooney credit for her new modeling career. In a new interview with Britain’s Hello magazine, the 29-year-old former N9NE Group employee says her year-long fling with the movie superstar has ended without any bitterness. "Doors have opened and I have a lot of great opportunities and no complaints," she said, adding, "I make good money. I have all the things I’ve always wanted. I’m in a good place." She says she’s fielding some amazing offers and is hoping one modeling campaign will take her to Britain for the first time. She said she'd like to spend time there and maybe find a British boy with a good sense of humor! Sarah commented for the first time about George since their breakup: "He is a great guy and a wonderful person. I don’t regret spending time ...

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Lead Photo Color of skin — and hair — can be imperative

“The owner doesn’t want two black girls on stage at the same time” said a strip club DJ. As soon as I had clocked in to work, the DJ told me I would be up next to dance onstage. I wasn’t ready, and normally I am allowed at least half an hour to an hour before I have to walk the plank. “I just got here,” I complained. “Yeah well the owner doesn’t want customers to think it’s ‘that’ kind of club. You’re the only available white girl right now.” I couldn’t believe he said that. I asked, “What do you mean by that?” He said, “I don’t make the rules.” He explained that the owner didn’t want men to walk in and immediately see only black women onstage. It’s bad for business, they say. I scrambled to get ready and performed as needed. I later asked a manager about ...

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Lead Photo Boxing Match Draws Stars for 61-second KO

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (9:30 a.m.)

It took Kendall Holt just 61 seconds in the first round to KO challenger Ricardo Torres when Planet Hollywood presented Top Rank boxing. Casino chieftain Robert Earl and Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum welcomed Paris Hilton and beau-friend Benji Madden, along with former champ Mike Tyson, singers Steve Lawrence and Clint Holmes, New York Giants star running back Brandon Jacobs, 'N Sync manager Johnny Wright and showman Jeff Beacher ringside. Our Luxe Life photographer, Tom Donoghue, captured an incredible study of photo-journalism fireworks at its finest in this start-to-finish collection of the boxers. He was ringside as they trained, ringside at their weigh-in and ringside as they fell in defeat. Lamont Peterson won a ninth-round TKO over Rogelio Castaneda, Carlos Vinan defeated Andrew Cancio, Don Mouton scored a TKO over Josiah Judah, Michael Franco defeated Javier Lagos, Glen Gonzalez defeated Robert Da Luz, Omar Coffi defeated Trinidad Mary, and ...

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Lead Photo Poker-playing stars raise thou$and$ for Cheadle charity

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 9, 2008 (6 a.m.)

Win or lose, the Hollywood celebrity contingent didn’t care because they were having fun and raising almost $1 million for fellow actor Don Cheadle’s second “Ante Up for Africa” poker tournament. Last year Don and poker princess Annie Duke teamed for the inaugural challenge as part of the World Series of Poker at the Rio -– and raised $700,000 in their campaign to bring awareness to the suffering of refugees in the horrid ethnic-cleansing warfare in Darfur. It was a turnout worthy of an Oscar’s red carpet, with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and brother Casey, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, George Lopez, Mekhi Pheifer, Montel Williams and Anthrax rocker Scott Ian taking part. Last year co-founders of the “Not on Our Watch” project, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, attended but both were unable to head into Vegas this time because of travel commitments in Europe. By the end of ...

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Lead Photo Tuba in the club

Sarah Feldberg | Tue, Jul 8, 2008 (4:35 p.m.)

If you weren’t at Body English this past Saturday night you missed a truly unique nightclub accessory: a tuba. At most clubs in this city there are oddities that catch your eye on any given night. The guy who brings his monster python to the party in the hopes that a huge snake will help him get laid. (Note: This might actually work.) The pack of girls who dress in matching schoolgirl outfits in the hopes that plaid and thigh highs will help them score free drinks (Note: This definitely works). The dudes in full kilts for reasons we can’t quite ascertain – they’re Scottish? They were at a wedding? Creative frat hazing? They hate the restrictive nature of pants? But a tuba? Sure enough, around 12:30 a.m. last Sunday morning the music stopped, the lights turned to the stairs and in walked a guy with a tuba. The tuba ...

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Strip Scribbles: Engagement on, Strip sightings

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 8, 2008 (2 p.m.)

* It certainly didn't look as if "the engagement is off" for Brian Austin Green and fiancee Megan Fox when they cuddled up and kissed during their visit to Cirque du Soleil's O show at the Bellagio. Gossips have been breathless with their breakup reports -- but once again proven wrong! * Bette the baker? Caesars Palace headline showgirl Bette Midler was so impressed by the unique and unusual breads wheeled around during dinner at Guy Savoy’s three-star Michelin restaurant that she asked if she could get a private cooking lesson from the pastry chefs. The new Bett-y Crocker took copious notes as she learned what really goes into making the loaves and rolls for the silver, elegantly mobile bread cart. She had such a "divine" time that she returned to the restaurant’s "Bites & Bubbles" bar for more of the tasty treats! * We'll have our interviews with Ben ...

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Tomorrow’s tease: Action in the octagon

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 8, 2008 (noon)

Luxe Life is up-close and personal with the fight-fan celebrities at both the UFC Octagon rumble and the Planet Hollywood boxing plus tableside with everybody from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck at the World Series of Poker showdown. Photos and interviews galore for a star-studded edition of Luxe Life. Read Luxe Life every day -- both at this Web site and here. Our weekly Luxe Life wrap-up is heard on the ABC radio network to 300 stations around the world. When visiting Vegas, be sure to see Las Vegas Magazine in your hotel suite featuring a print edition of Vegas LuxeLife, and an incredible directory of attractions, shows and restaurants.

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Lead Photo Pamela Anderson makes magic with Criss Angel at birthday bash

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 8, 2008 (8 a.m.)

The birthday girl wore pink. The cake, shaped suspiciously similar to a female body part, was pink -- and buxom blond bombshell Pamela Anderson let just enough of her pink pulchritude show to cool the censors as the satin gown slipped off her shoulders and dutifully fell open as, giggling and squealing, she fed her friends finger-sized helpings from the precious pastry! But it was the "makeout" maneuvers with Mindfreak magician Criss Angel that raised even more eyebrows than her bountiful bodalicious body of work. The two wound up charmingly cozy with their Cristal champagne and Grey Goose cocktails in the lavish red-leather VIP booth. "They made out in the corner after she’d blown out the candles on the cake and before they playfully posed for photographers," said one spywitness. "They danced together to the turntable mix from DJ Hollywood and got cheers and applause from the club full of ...

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Lead Photo Marriage to Mariah is fine, Cannon says at Audigier opening

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 8, 2008 (7 a.m.)

If fans were expecting superstar singer Mariah Carey to be on the arm of her new husband, TV comedy host Nick Cannon at the opening of the new Club Audigier they were disappointed. She wasn’t anywhere to be seen. If fans were expecting the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, to be in fashion designer’s Christian Audigier’s VIP section at his new nightclub at Treasure Island they were disappointed. He wasn’t anywhere to be seen. If fans were expecting George Clooney’s former galpal, hometown model Sarah Larson, to be there as the just announced “new face” of the Audigier couture line they were also disappointed. She was out of town -- and that’s set off its own stack of speculation! Instead, the singer in Christian’s celebrity contingent was Johnny Hallyday, a French pop idol who was at the top of the charts in the ’70s and ’80s. However, sexy actresses Jamie ...

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Lead Photo Paris parties as marriage and baby rumors surface

Robin Leach | Tue, Jul 8, 2008 (6 a.m.)

If, once upon a time, there was feuding and fighting between Simple Life reality TV co-stars Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, today they are the best of friends -- and all thanks to love being "all in the family." Nicole and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden have a baby, Harlow -- and Paris, who is now dating his twin brother, Benji Madden, has begun talking about marriage and having a baby with him. The girls were doing the love, romance, marriage and baby chat-fest in a VIP cabana at the Hard Rock Hotel pool, where their "boys" and the band played for the holiday weekend. Paris and Benji are wearing each other’s initialed diamond rings of "PH" and "BM" that Luxe Life first showed you photos of three months ago. Now, friends say it's all leading to marriage and babies. I’m not saying anything specific, but let me just throw it ...

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Lead Photo You Can Pee When You’re Dead”: Doug Benson at the Backyard Comedy Show

Julie Seabaugh | Mon, Jul 7, 2008 (11:37 p.m.)

For the fifth effort since their collaboration’s inception, Brandt Tobler and Matt Markman traded Tobler’s fenced-in gravel for Beauty Bar’s rear patio Thursday night when they welcomed Doug Benson to the Backyard Comedy Show. Following the pair’s opening sets, Benson welcomed the heavily-drinking crowd, asking, “How’s it going, Backyard Comedy Show? That means you all take it in the ass!” For a loose 45 minutes the VH1 talking head and star of the recent documentary Super High Me marveled at the overhead streetlight’s random lighting patterns, gave away a t-shirt and DVD and performed extended chunks on the McGriddles breakfast sandwich and the absurdity of anti-pot ads. At 125 strong, the crowd responded well to such material as “For the past few years, I have only had sex in the months that end in –bruary, in years that have an Olympics. Just the Winter Games,” and “Did you guys hear ...

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Lead Photo Paris! Welcome to Sage Vice

Richard Abowitz | Mon, Jul 7, 2008 (10:18 a.m.)

Good Charlotte, a band more famous for girlfriends than hits, recorded their latest video at the Palms on Sunday. This, of course, resulted in Paris Hilton stealing the spotlight, lackey Jeff Beacher at her beck and call and the sort of drama meant for reality television and not reality. The Palms conveniently donated this photo, and we welcome Paris Hilton to her inaugural appearance in Sage Vice. It is a philosophical riddle to me: If I was being tortured, would I suffer more from hearing Paris Hilton's disc or Good Charlotte?

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Lead Photo Despite trauma, he soldiers on

On the 4th of July, I had hoped to encounter a night full of stupid cheesy red and blue sequin costumes working at a strip club. Sure enough, I saw one girl in a red sequin bikini and one guy in a terrible American flag shirt. The crowd tends to be a little different on American holidays, but it hadn’t been as weird as I’d hoped. America’s birthday: what a strange thought this year. Just the fact that we’re celebrating is weird to me. We’re in a horrific war. We’re over $9 trillion in debt. We’re fatter than ever. Unfortunately, these sorts of holidays bring out the sadness in the world and make me dance for it. America is a scary, scary monster in the world. I’ll try not to get too terribly political. I’ll just tell a story: I danced for an American soldier on the night of the ...

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Lead Photo The Independence Day Equation

Sarah Feldberg | Sat, Jul 5, 2008 (2:21 a.m.)

It’s around 3:30 p.m. when I walk into Bare Pool Lounge, and the place is jammed. Every daybed hosts a slender bikini-ed young thing or a well-muscled gent. Both small pools are packed with bodies. Hands clasp drinks. Eyes squint behind Technicolor designer shades or oversized aviators. Everything is as it should be except for one tiny detail, it’s the Fourth of July, but among the fit and fashionable at Bare it’s nearly impossible to tell. It only takes a second for me to realize my white skirt and deep blue tank top (paired with red-rimmed sunglasses) aren’t exactly par for the patriotic course here. I should’ve worn black. Maybe pink. Anything but this. I also decipher that there’s something vastly more important than a national holiday going on this Friday afternoon at the Mirage’s adults-only outdoor lounge. It’s something of international (or at least national) significance – an event ...

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Spontaneous battle rocks Christian Audigier

Sarah Feldberg | Fri, Jul 4, 2008 (2:28 p.m.)

What happens when you mix free booze, red patent leather, corset-clad bartenders, a fashion designer and a brand new Vegas hot spot? You get Christian Audigier The Nightclub and, apparently, a high school dance party. At the club’s pre-opening soiree on Thursday, July 3rd invitees met, mingled, imbibed and watched two entertaining and totally free shows: Treasure Island’s signature bikini-clad pirate battle and an impromptu break dance throw down on the club’s dance floor. Sure, the production value of the pirates kicked the dancers’ ass, but there was something intimate and genuinely sweet about the spontaneous circle that formed around two young men break dancing on an empty patch of the Christian Audigier dance floor. It felt like a high school dance, only the girls and boys weren’t on separate sides of the room and everyone was sipping vodka lemonades instead of diet Sprite. Will Audigier take over as the ...

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Lead Photo More Scribbles: Luxe Life runs down the rest of the weekend

Robin Leach | Fri, Jul 4, 2008 (12:22 p.m.)

Robin’s Royal Rundown for the remainder of the weekend in Las Vegas: Saturday -- Paris Hilton will be front-row center -– or in the wings -- for boyfriend Benji Madden’s Good Charlotte rock concert poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel. He’ll play guitar and share vocals with brother Joel, and they’ll feature tracks from their newest hit album Good Morning Revival including “Misery” and “March On.” -- Rival blond-haired bombshell Pamela Anderson will celebrate her birthday at the LAX nightclub in the Luxor resort with DJ Casanova accompanying the former Baywatch babe’s dance floor fun. -- The American Idols 2008 Live Tour 2008 lands at the Thomas & Mack Center, with songs by six of the self-described “pop-tarts” and four of the guys, including the dueling Davids, who were just together on Barbara Walters View shows. -- Our beloved country music queen Reba McEntire pumps up the volume down at ...

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Strip Scribbles: A packed holiday weekend in Vegas

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (8:55 p.m.)

-- George Clooney and former Palms cocktail server Sarah Larson were a hot two-some for almost 12 months -- and some fans were disappointed when he pulled his routine of "ending the relationship." Most felt sorry for the gorgeous girl who had worked for the N9NE Group restaurants and clubs at George Maloof’s casino-resort. Now she has bounced back on a dinner date with British actor Jason Statham of "The Bank Job" fame. No word on if there will be more dream dates, but they looked comfortable and at ease with each other over dinner at "Iron Chef" Kerry Simon’s new Palms Place restaurant. -- Minutes after sitting down to play poker in Don Cheadle’s celebrity tournament to raise money to help the Sudan's Darfur region, NBA star Charles Barkley lost his money -- and was out! Don, along with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, took a midday break at ...

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Lead Photo Sports stars and celebs party hearty at Tryst

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (6 p.m.)

It may just have been the most dazzling week of sports stars and celebrities at Victor Drai's Tryst nightclub in the Wynn since its glittering gala opening more than two years ago. Luxe Life has the inside-club photos of all the VIPs. Los Angeles Lakers hero Luke Walton was there the same night as Baltimore Ravens star Terrell Suggs and Milwaukee Bucks player Richard Jefferson. They were wide-eyed as former world boxing champ and our hometown wonderman Floyd Mayweather Jr. walked in carrying two massive stacks of dollar bills. With boxing champion Andre Berto and Floyd’s manager Leonard Ellerbe in tow Floyd came “to make it rain’ by throwing stacks of the money onto revelers partying on the dance floor. Also there -– all on the same evening -- were LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets, NBA stars Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets) Carlos ...

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WSOP stars cut loose in Vegas

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (4 p.m.)

At first count well over $500,000 was raised for Don Cheadle's "Ante Up for Africa" celebrity poker tournament to aid the refugees of the Darfur region of the Sudan. Later today we'll know the final exact amount. Meantime, enjoy the photos of all the celebrities at play. The morning started off calm enough with Australia's cricket superstar Shane Warne and boxing legend Jeff Fenech posing for me in front of the infamous Las Vegas Sign. Then the day got sizzling hot and a group of celebrities headed the charge at the World Series of Poker in raising well over half a million dollars in the 2008 Ante Up For Africa No Limit Poker Tournament. Shane Warne made his way to the tables along with Shannon Elizabeth, Jennifer Tilly, Matt Damon and his wife Luciana, Ben Affleck, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, Abi Titmuss, Charles Barkley, Phil Hellmuth and many more.

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Your New Best Friends gets a hand from Dick

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (2:30 p.m.)

It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime, you-gotta-know-someone-to-hear-about-it things. After all, Your New Best Friends, the variety production combining classic clowning with bawdy humor and modern attitude, debuted at the Onyx Theatre back in late April and has returned sporadically ever since. When creators and stars Wayne Wilson, Daniel Passer and John Gilkey weren’t taking the show to the likes of New York, L.A. and Seattle, that is. Or when they weren’t occupied with their full-time jobs as La Revecast members. But it was only this afternoon at 1 p.m. that Anthony Cools invited the group – and its members’ family, friends and co-workers -- to his 250-ish capacity showroom at The Paris. And it was only this afternoon that Andy Dick, fresh from serving as celebrity judge for last week’s tapings of Comedy Central’s revamped Gong Show with Dave Attell, stood in for an out-of-town Gilkey. “Daniel and him are ...

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Lead Photo Sly Stallone celebrates at Planet Hollywood ceremony

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (1:44 p.m.)

Movie superstar Sylvester Stallone helped celebrate last night's ceremony for the "topping off" of the new Planet Hollywood Towers by Westgate timeshare vacation resort. He's seen in our Luxe Life photo, fists proudly held high with owner David Siegel and Planet Hollywood chairman Robert Earl in the background. Country singer Lee Greenwood sang "God Bless America" as a giant 50-square-feet American flag was hoisted to the top of the building. Planet Hollywood Towers is the largest shared vacation ownership resort ever built in Vegas. It is located on Harmon Avenue directly alongside the driveway ramps of the Planet Hollywood casino-resort. David Siegel operates one of the largest timeshare companies in the United States under the name of Westgate and has several smaller residential resort quarters here in Vegas. This is his first venture on the Strip. He and Robert Earl are neighbors in Orlando, Fla., where both are headquartered -- ...

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This news is new — unless you’ve been reading Luxe Life

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (noon)

There’s been an amazing flurry of headlines this week both locally and nationally about Vegas news stories that all appeared weeks and months ago in Luxe Life. We rarely pat ourselves on the back but we’ll take credit for the story of Bette Midler finally obtaining her wedding photos after 23 years following her marriage here in 1984 at the Starlight Chapel to husband Martin Von Hasselberg. The photos came to light back in February when the owners closed down the wedding chapel. Luxe Life ran that story when she started her very first debut shows at Caesars Palace earlier this year -- but now the papers are jumping up and down as if it is today’s hot celebrity news when in fact its many months old. Then Luxe Life broke the news that porn princess Tera Patrick was bringing her Hell’s Belles dancers to a new project at the ...

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UBS in a pinch for a poke

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (10:48 a.m.)

Five minutes. One pint. A record. Last night I donated a pint of whole blood at the United Blood Services main regional center at 6930 W. Charleston Blvd. I was supposed to donate platelets, which takes up to two hours, but was pressed for time and donated just the pint. The “draw” took five minutes, which we all concurred was an unofficial donation record. So I got extra cookies in the post-draws “canteen” area, where looming overhead are many pictures of dignitaries who have contributed to the cause -- including the R-J’s Norm Clarke! Sit for a bit United Blood Services United Services reps – whom I refer to as the Blood Mafia --- contact me whenever I am again eligible to donate. Usually I give platelets, which are used for trauma victims but also have a very short shelf life of three days. Donors are actually eligible to give ...

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The 4th is boom time in Vegas

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (9 a.m.)

Our Strip skyline will be lit up in red, white and blue tomorrow –- and one fireworks display by the renowned Grucci New York family is being billed as the biggest show west of the Mississippi. Lights over Vegas will be a 9-minute long celebrating America’s 232nd birthday and will be coordinated from six Station Casino properties: Red Rock, Green Valley, Texas Station, Fiesta Ranch, Sunset Station and Santa Fe Station. It’s taken Grucci 60 hours to choreograph the dazzling display and 320 hours to set it all up. The lumber took the equivalent of the siding for an average family home just to build the support structures for the fireworks themselves. The fireworks have been choreographed to music by everybody from Jimi Hendrix to Frank Sinatra and James Brown, ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp. Add the fireworks on the beach at Mandalay Bay and wherever you are ...

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Lead Photo An advance look: The new $40 million Christian Audigier nightclub

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (8 a.m.)

It's being called the most fashionable nightlife venue ever to style Las Vegas -- and tonight, famed fashion designer Christian Audigier holds the "soft" opening of his new club. Talk about the ultimate in luxurious opulence and decadence! On Friday, actor-comedian and MTV personality Nick Cannon will DJ and bring his own celebrity pals to add to Christian’s contingent. He commented: "Quite simply, it feels amazing. I feel like I can do anything and this is just another facet of who I am. I have so much to offer this world from what to wear to how to relax, party and enjoy life. This will be an extension of how I do it and everyone will be able to do it with me. Let’s party." Audigier is the fashion industry's creative genius behind such best-selling lines as Ed Hardy, Crystal Rock and his own rock'n'roll glam-inspired Christian Audigier line. He's ...

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Lead Photo Paris, Pamela duke it out for holiday headlines

Robin Leach | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (6 a.m.)

A phalanx of paparazzi photographers from New York and Los Angeles, along with a contingent of celebrity correspondents, is invading Vegas this holiday weekend. They’re here in the hope of headlines when the spotlight falls on two blond beauties who will be rivals for attention. Paris Hilton will be at the Hard Rock for boyfriend Benji Madden’s Good Charlotte poolside concert. Actress-model and former Vegas showgirl Pamela Anderson will celebrate her birthday at the LAX nightclub in the Luxor. Add the possible appearance of actress Lindsay Lohan alongside her DJ friend Samantha Ronson and you’ve got the perfect storm for the guerilla gossip gang. Incidentally, Lindsay is also celebrating her birthday this weekend -- but fortunately, that’s going to be in Los Angeles, although Lindsay is expected to commute back and forth with Samantha’s two weekend DJ gigs here.

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Lead Photo Badasses with heart

Danielle Kelly | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

The art handlers who work for MCQ Fine Art are badass—according to the postcard for their group show. The Difference Between Making a Living and Making a Killing is hardcore, and there’s even a skull and crossbones to prove it. Don’t let the act fool you, though.

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Lead Photo Priceless

T.R. Witcher | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Here’s the best bit of insider wisdom that the new Audrey Tautou rom-com Priceless offers us about the art of being a professional gold digger: The key is to pepper your mark with halting, incomplete sentences that suggest unfathomable depths of mystery and desire, until they welcome you into their beds and open their checkbooks.

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Lead Photo The Hillywood Show’s sisters grim

Sabrina Golmossian | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

The future of character acting has a new, well, face. At the Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas Strip, two sisters, macabrely made-up, pose for photographs. The pint-sized pair is set apart from the crowd of mostly middle-aged professionals who don Elvis suits in every hue and blond wigs à la Marilyn, and unlike their plucky predecessors, they’re easy to miss.

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Lead Photo Earlimart

Annie Zaleski | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Is there a more underrated Los Angeles band than Earlimart? While fellow Silverlake darlings Sea Wolf and Silversun Pickups dominate the spotlight, Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray have spent the better part of a decade quietly creating hushed, lush indie-pop.

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Lead Photo The Watson Twins

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

If your knowledge of the duo formerly known as Black Swan begins and ends with Rabbit Fur Coat—Chandra and Leigh Watson’s alt-country effort with Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis—you’d be forgiven for expecting their debut full-length to evoke the second coming of the McGarrigle Sisters.

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Duck, Duck, Sploosh!

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

For all the ground we covered, trying over the last few years to be so sophisticated with our half-a-grand bottles of $35 vodka, the Hummer and that too-good-to-be-true down payment on a condo in that high-rise tower over by the …

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Lead Photo Money for nothing

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Whatever you think of VH1’s popular “celebreality” shows, you have to sort of admire their shamelessness. The participants on ABC’s The Bachelor all act like they really expect to find their soulmate on the show, and the producers encourage that fiction; on VH1’s matchmaker shows Flavor of Love, Rock of Love and I Love New York, the prospect of finding love always seemed dubious at best, and the producers were not at all above putting their eligible bachelors and bachelorettes on the block multiple times.

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Lead Photo A community’s theater

Jacob Coakley | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

We’re three hours north and 20 degrees south of Las Vegas when I slip in the river that’s rushing along the side of the road. here’s not a cloud anywhere in the sky, but the water’s deep enough and fast enough to soak my shoe in a flash. I don’t mind—this time of year 20 degrees cooler still means upper 80s in Cedar City, Utah, so the cold water actually feels quite refreshing.

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Lead Photo Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

Jeffrey M. Anderson | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

As the father of a two-year-old boy, I know Elmo, Spider-Man and SpongeBob, but I had never heard of the American Girl dolls. Apparently, they have quite a franchise going; they have books and DVDs and accessories. Each girl has a trademarked name and her own story, torn from the pages of history.

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Lead Photo A change does Marche Bacchus good

Max Jacobson | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

For wine lovers in Las Vegas, Marche Bacchus, a small, comely wine store and bistro located in the bucolic Desert Shores community, has been a touchstone since the first day it opened.

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Lead Photo No heroes

Richard Abowitz | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

The generation that fought World War II is beginning to pass, and few remember much about the final year of the war with Imperial Japan except for the decision to use the atomic bomb. That choice has echoed through history without context, endlessly second-guessed, attacked and defended.

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May the fourth be with you

Team Hangover | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Happy birthday, America! We got you a little something: boobs.

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Lead Photo Underground no more

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Dave Hawkins was there for its birth, and now he’s marking the passing of Matteo’s Underground Lounge in song.

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Lead Photo Osiris May

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

As a DJ and producer, Osiris has worked with MCA Records’ Chris Stokes to bring the world Immature and Tony! Toni! Toné!, and in doing so, amassed a library of MP3s before the world even knew what the term meant.

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Lead Photo Dirty Blonde Cocktails

Xania Woodman | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

“Sweet” doesn’t even begin to describe the full impact of a Dirty Blonde Cocktail, Sunday night, where five ladies and one somewhat bewildered guy sampled the DBC variety pack.

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Lead Photo Early start

T.R. Witcher | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Nobody said being a jazz musician was easy, but local trumpeter Kevin Early is off to an auspicious start.

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Lead Photo RZA as Bobby Digital

Ben Westhoff | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Wu-Tang ringleader RZA faced mutiny last year in the wake of the Clan’s latest album, 8 Diagrams.

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Lead Photo Sigur Rós

Spencer Patterson | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Something’s rotten in Hopeland. Or, at the very least, something’s different, judging from the final track on Sigur Rós’ fifth album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.

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Lead Photo Sonic boom

K.W. Jeter | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

There’s something about the Fourth of July that just sets the minds of classical-music programmers racing. The fact that they all race to pretty much the same destination is merely an indication that they all know where their target audience is.

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Lead Photo Before and After: Margaret Menzies as Connie Mocogni

Las Vegas Weekly Staff | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Menzies, who got married last year, is ready to start a family: “I have enough experience, being pregnant all the time.”

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Drama 101

Jacob Coakley | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Othello and Cyrano aren’t the only plays you can catch at the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

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The world needs a poker star

Steve Friess | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

t was a Monday, I was overdue on more than one assignment—including that week’s Strip Sense entry—and I don’t usually watch sports on TV anyway. But the human drama of a hobbled Tiger Woods somehow managing one amazing comeback after another in the U.S. Open was so compelling that it even made watching privileged people using a crooked metal stick to hit a small white ball across a water-guzzlingly lush and exclusive private park worth my attention.

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Mystery is killed by the Web

Greg Beato | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

In the earliest days of e-commerce, it didn’t matter if you were ordering from a little old lady on eBay or a venture-funded start-up like Amazon or Webvan: Every transaction was a crapshoot. With a leap of faith, you clicked on the Order button and surrendered your mailing address and credit card number.

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Lead Photo Locksley

Julie Seabaugh | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Love-struck garage-pop with huge, doo-woppy choruses may come across as both retro and a bit manufactured, and there’s a fair argument to be made that the Brooklyn four-piece’s defiantly unsigned status is a selling point in its own right.

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Walkin’ Fremont with Jackie Gaughan

John Katsilometes | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

This is an excerpt from the radio show Our Metropolis, a half-hour issues and affairs program that airs Tuesdays at 6 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and is hosted by the Greenspun Media Group’s John Katsilometes. Tune in next week to hear the rest of this interview with El Cortez General Manager Mike Nolan:

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Lead Photo Th’ seven signs

Aaron Thompson | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Everyone in the lunatic fringe of America’s Southern-tinged swamp-rock scene knows Th’ Legendary Shack*Shakers vocalist and all-around madman, Col. J.D. Wilkes.

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Lead Photo Katy Perry

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Katy Perry’s pseudo-debut album (she put out a Christian-pop release in 2001 under the name Katy Hudson) is a distillation of everything vapid and annoying about teen culture, filtered through the musical sensibilities of a gaggle of top pop producers and songwriters (Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Butch Walker, Glen Ballard, Cathy Dennis, etc.).

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Lead Photo Reprise

Mike D'Angelo | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Writers are constantly being told to write what they know—a perfectly sensible dictum that nonetheless presents the screenwriter with a serious dilemma. What any writer mostly knows, of course, is writing. Trouble is, few things are less cinematic than some dude sitting alone at a computer (or a typewriter, if you decide to go period) trying to work out what word comes next. And so we get movies like Reprise, from Norway, that are ostensibly about the literary world but strenuously avoid any shots of the characters practicing their lonely and visually tedious craft. Instead, behavioral tics multiply like useless adjectives in an attempt to fill the void.

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Peggy Plots Your Planets

Peggy Allison | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Wonder what this week holds for you? Find out as Peggy foretells your future.

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Dream Zone

Lauri Quinn Lowenberg | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Lauri explains what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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Lead Photo Hogg Corps

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Bay Area expatriates Hogg Corps don’t swing for the fences as much as they could on Street Concepts, and the result is an uneven CD that’s about as satisfying as a handful of fries on an empty stomach.

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Lead Photo Rhyme N Rhythm

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Press materials for Rhyme N Rhythm describe the group as a hip-hop soul funk experience, but its seven-song demo could more aptly be described as Pharcyde-ish bonhomie mixed with Roots-ish musicality.

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Lead Photo When Did You Last See Your Father?

Josh Bell | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Based on the memoir by British poet and novelist Blake Morrison, When Did You Last See Your Father? is a low-key, somber account of the writer’s ruminations and memories as his father lays dying. Played as an adult by Colin Firth and as a teen by Matthew Beard, Blake comes off as a sort of sullen, mopey guy who never really gave his dad, doctor and somewhat boorish philanderer Arthur (Broadbent), the credit he deserved.

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Men in Uniform

Beverly Poppe | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Uniformly interesting. Images of men in uniform make up a genre of their own, and Vegas takes that genre to a new level. Our photographer aims to highlight some of the national icons, such as firefighters, and then expand to the more specifically Vegas personalities who wear uniforms everyday: Caesar, Elvis. Take a look.

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Lead Photo The Las Vegas archway

T.R. Witcher | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

Not as if Vegas didn’t have enough lights, but last week the Las Vegas City Council approved funding for a giant piece of public artwork designed to highlight the perpetually up-and-coming arts district between the Strip and Downtown.

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Lead Photo Back from Iraq

Damon Hodge | Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (midnight)

On July 31, 2005, in an alley near Sahara and the Strip, 20-year-old Iraq war vet Matthew Sepi machine-gunned 47-year-old Sharon Jackson and 26-year-old Kevin Ratliff, killing Jackson. Published reports note that Sepi said he feared for his life—he told police he thought he was being ambushed and merely reacted the way he’d been trained.

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Lead Photo Strip Scribbles: Sightings in Vegas

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 2, 2008 (5 p.m.)

Star Survelliance: Our hometown hero Steven Jackson, who is now a running back for the St. Louis Rams and formerly played at Eldorado High School, dined at Fix in the Bellagio with friends in the private dining room. They enjoyed spicy wings, rock shrimp and the surf and turf ... Wayne Brady and Jennifer Tilly were separate lunch and dinner customers at the new Brio Tuscan Grille restaurant in the Town Square complex while magician Penn Jillette -- not wishing to be rude -- sent a basket of free bread to a guest at a nearby table, who sent him over a Bruschetta appetizer ... actress Menu Suvari enjoyed sashimi and tempura platters in the Newspaper dining room of the Social House Asian-themed hotspot at Treasure Island. Actor Billy Zane dined with actress Bai Ling and her manager at Tao in the Venetian on healthy vegan dishes and hot tea. ...

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Lead Photo Tonight’s Luxe Life tips

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 2, 2008 (noon)

Country king Lee Greenwood will entertain at the “Topping Off” ceremony of the new Planet Hollywood Towers by Westgate -- the tallest timeshare building ever built and the first vacation ownership resort fully integrated into a major casino complex. The country-pop singer and songwriter will sing his God Bless the USA hit as a giant 50-foot American flag is sent to the top of the building. Slyvester Stallone, PH Chairman Robert Earl, Gov. Jim Gibbons and PH President Mike Mecca will all be on hand as David Siegel, president of Westgate Resorts, leads the patriotic- themed ceremony … British music legend Spencer Davis will host photographer Ian Wright’s exhibition of his artworks documenting The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and other English pop groups who led the British Invasion to America in the 60’s at the Symbolic Gallery on Dean Martin Drive … blond and beauty Natasha Bedingfield sings for her ...

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Lead Photo The Tao of Donovan (in a Las Vegas penthouse)

Richard Abowitz | Wed, Jul 2, 2008 (11:33 a.m.)

Back in the day, Donovan’s questionable musical skills were more than compensated for by his pixie perfect folkie look that was the dream of a generation of women. These days he is plumper and his hair thinner, but he still has the ego to place a gigantic pillow under his butt to hoist himself a few inches above my 5’ 6” of height. This is before he starts speaking to the value of selfless meditation. There is something horrible about the way boomers have idealized their childhood. Vietnam did not stop Iraq. Free love ended with AIDS. Experimenting with drugs resulted in many deaths and a huge recovery industry. But while the myths of the ‘60s may be dramatic examples of assumptions unexamined, the ‘60s undoubtedly did produce great music like the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Donovan. Ok, that last one was a joke. There was a time when he ...

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Lead Photo Hard Rock’s Body English serves up Black Eyed Peas

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 2, 2008 (10:05 a.m.)

Fans cameras were in overdrive when Apl.De.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas showed at Body English nightclub in the Hard Rock Hotel and put on a totally unexpected surprise performance while he was partying there. His Black Eyed Peas partner Will.i.am had spent the afternoon lounging poolside in a VIP cabana and boxer Mike Tyson dined there at Ago, and along with actor Aaron Yoo they all watched Apl.De.Ap’s wild show. NBA player Brandon Rush, was selected 13th in the NBSA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and was promptly traded to the Indiana Pacers, celebrated all those maneuvers with Cristal champagne at the nightclub.

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Lead Photo Fun facts as Phantom enters third year at Venetian

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 2, 2008 (9:43 a.m.)

Last week, Luxe Life reported on the cast and crew celebration of the second anniversary of Phantom – Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian. We didn’t have time on deadline -– or the space-- to go digging for the fun facts of the 24-month run, and you all know how I love those wacky stats. In all, they’ve performed the 95-minute show exactly 930 times in the $40-million Venetian theater. To stage it cost an additional $35 million, for the original spectacular sets, visual effects and of course the breathtaking falling chandelier experience! Technicians have racked up 3,536 hours in maintaining the elaborate disintegrating chandelier and its safety riggings. It alone cost $5 million and took six months to construct with its 29,444 individual crystals weighing 2,000 pounds, with the nickname “Maria.” More than 30 winches are used to operate it. Since opening on June 24, 2006, the actress/singers portraying ...

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Lead Photo Nicole celebrates with her Pussycat Dolls; a Killers surprise

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 2, 2008 (8 a.m.)

Stunning lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger, celebrated her birthday in top-pop style at the Luxor. She brought all the glamour girls from the gorgeous group -- Kimberly Wyatt, Melody Thornton, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta -- and founder-creator Robin Antin and record producer Marco 'Polo' Bruno. First stop was the chic Company American Bistro eatery, where the model-thin girls selected shrimp ceviche and Soho Burgers, followed by grilled Maine lobster paired with two wine courses. Then, a multi-layered chocolate cake topped with sparklers was wheeled in for Nicole as her table sang "Happy Birthday."

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Lead Photo Charles Barkley breaks gambling vow for a good cause

Robin Leach | Wed, Jul 2, 2008 (6 a.m.)

Less than two months after paying off a $400,000 marker to the Wynn Las Vegas that he'd "forgotten about," former NBA star Charles Barkley said he'd give up gambling in Vegas for the next couple of years. Now he's breaking the promise -- but it's so he can donate his winnings to a good pal, actor Don Cheadle.

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Lead Photo Follow Yellow Brick Road to new stations

John Katsilometes | Tue, Jul 1, 2008 (5:59 p.m.)

From across the club I heard my name, then the question, “Got any requests?” It was Brody Dolyniuk, barking into his microphone from the stage at the Railhead at Boulder Station. It was the last Friday before the last Saturday at the Railhead for the city’s premier classic rock-cover band, which has been going off the rails on the crazy train at Boulder Station since 1998. There have been a few other stops for YBR, including a brief stint at Red Rock Resort, where the sound level for such rock classics as “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” spilled into the casino. When asked to turn it down, the band opted to leave. Rightfully so. “Turn it down” is not in the band’s vocabulary. Actually, countless terms are not in the band’s vocabulary. "We'll take any requests for Abba," is another. Anyhow, when I heard Brody, whom I’ve known for a ...

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Lead Photo Oh, how to handle these stacks of cash?

My friends never have any money. I ask friends from work if they want to go out, but they rarely can afford it. They are on the cusp of eviction from their weekly apartment or in a bad gambling debt. I’m talking about people who have been earning piles of cash for years and have nothing to show for it. I asked a girl at work, “Do bank tellers ever give you a hard time when you bring them all those singles? Mine are so nosy.” She tells me, “Girl, I don’t have a bank account.” She was probably in her 30s. Actually, my usual bank teller did scare me away from going to that particular branch. I used to bring in a lot of cash to that bank. I brought stacks of crinkled singles bound together by rubber bands in bricks of hundreds, along with the usual 20s and ...

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Lead Photo A super mess

Josh Bell | Tue, Jul 1, 2008 (2:53 p.m.)

Why does Will Smith always have to save the world? Wouldn’t it be nice, just once, to see the king of the summer blockbuster play, like, a regular dude? One who doesn’t become a larger-than-life hero by the end of the movie? Hancock, Smith’s latest box office-conquering action film, almost starts out that way: The title character isn’t exactly a regular dude, but he is a bit of a loser when we first meet him, passed out on a bench in a drunken haze.

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The inside scoop as Starbucks downsizes

John Katsilometes | Tue, Jul 1, 2008 (2:47 p.m.)

The top-10 things overheard at a Starbucks Corp. executives meeting today, as it was announced the company was closing 600 of its 16,000 stores and eliminating 12,000 full- and part-time jobs. 10. “I knew we overstocked that Simon & Garfunkel greatest-hits CDs!” 9. “I said, ‘Why not just black coffee in Styrofoam cups for 95 cents?’ And no one – no one! – listened to me!” 8. “Does this mean our reality show with Paris Hilton working at a Starbucks is a no-go?” 7. “What are we going to do with all these veggie wraps?” 6. “I guess now, we really do have room for cream.” 5. “We should have broken the news by driving hearses up to the drive-thru windows.” 4. “The shot of adrenaline after laying people off is a lot stronger than a shot of double-espresso!” 3. “Our coffee is more expensive than gas. What could possibly ...

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Line drives up the middle — a good way to ruin a night

John Katsilometes | Tue, Jul 1, 2008 (10:08 a.m.)

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged about the Alsco softball team, staples of the Monday Men’s D1 Summer Adult Softball League at Arroyo Grande Sports Complex. I missed a couple of games while covering CineVegas, which is an unexcused absence to this crew. What I can provide as an update is, we are the worst team in the league. We lost another doubleheader Monday night, to a verbose and mostly paunchy ballclub sponsored by T-Bird Lounge (and if the sponsor of that team was seeking to have his business associated with a bunch of juvenile pop-off artists, mission accomplished!) Alsco, the linen company that can’t seem to clean up, is now 0-8. We compete. We lose. Last night’s twinbill – and they are all twinbills at this level of recreation softball – one of softball’s great conundrums unfolded: Whether to hit line drives up the middle. ...

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