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 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 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 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 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 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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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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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Dream Zone

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

Lauri interprets what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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 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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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 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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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 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 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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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 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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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 Mandarin Mojave

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

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

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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 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 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 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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Dream Zone

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

Lauri interprets what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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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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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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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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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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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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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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 Run, don’t walk

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 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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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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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 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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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 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 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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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 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 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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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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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 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 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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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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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 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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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 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 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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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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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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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 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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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 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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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 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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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 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 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 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 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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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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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 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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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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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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