October, 2007

Rawkerz homeless … again …

October 16th, 2007

Reports confirmed by John “Ducky” Slaughter of M.A.D.a.M. indicate that “Flux Fridays” at the Stratosphere’s four-room nightclub Polly Esthers is ending. Johnnie Rox and his crew — who previously held a long residence with their popular “Rawkerz” Saturday night parties at Beauty Bar — are now moving to, according to Slaughter, a new home at a “locals venue with [a] stage for bands.”

Isn’t that what they had at Beauty Bar?

However, the planned performance by indie-electro group Datarock at Polly Esthers this Friday is still on. See flier below for details.

Datarock at Polly Esther’s

Oh, the Hype! The Hype!

October 15th, 2007

Curses, people: My favorite site for discovering/recovering music, The Hype Machine, is launching a new version of, um, itself, but here’s the trick: it won’t launch until 10,000 people are viewing its front page all at once. That means 10,000 of us need to leave this window open on our browsers before the music blog aggregator will be accessible (to all but those few people who already have beta test access).

Even Neil Gaiman’s pushing this on his blog. Come on, people, load up and leave it up. Only 7,000 6,500 or so more people to go.

EDIT, 5:30 p.m.: OK, publicity stunt over. The username and password for the “beta” version of Hype Machine is … get ready … “hype”.

Hype Machine indeed. Well, thanks for the extra love coming from Google, Technorati and the like.

Judging Beauty, Part Deux: Burlesque babes and Third Street woes

October 15th, 2007

Had this post been published on Friday, as originally planned, it would have been all about Circus Circus’ Frightdome, and how pathetic its “haunted houses” are, and how lackluster its entire approach is. But given today is Monday and so much more has traversed since then, you’re getting a break. Sort of.

After swearing off judging anything again (click here to see why), I acquiesced when the Babes in Sin burlesque troupe approached me to be one of the judges of their “Miss All Tease, No Sleaze” burlesque pageant at Beauty Bar Las Vegas. I figure as an appreciator of burlesque and hot chicks with tattoos, I’d be as qualified as anyone to do this. And I suppose they felt the same, me being editor of a magazine that has featured both of the above numerous times.

The “All Tease, No Sleaze” went pretty well, actually. It was very well-organized, on-time and smoothly-executed. Babes in Sin used a full stage with catwalk in the outdoor venue behind Beauty Bar, and set up a “backstage” area in a tent to the side of the stage for full professional effect. The venue was packed with colorful characters. My fellow judges were, admittedly, better-qualified than myself–Kalani Kokonuts, a busty burlesque diva, and Luke, who does something with the Burlesque Hall of Fame (sorry, dude, I didn’t take notes!!)–but as with the Babes in Sin, they were welcoming and accommodating.

JUDGE THIS!As is typical, the girl I didn’t want to win, won (again, I did not take notes, so her name … escapes me). Which is not to say I didn’t contribute to that. Remaining objective, she received the highest scores on my sheet as well. But it seems she brought every person she knows to the event, and her crowd response was therefore overwhelming, even before she stepped on stage. Something about her made me not want to like her, but the fact remains, she had her moves together, she was spunky, and again, had ridiculous crowd support, so we could not deny her the Miss All Tease, No Sleaze title.

And lest anyone think Fremont East is losing its steam, all three existing bars down there were packed Saturday night. The same cannot be said for sidebar, the formerly hip cocktail lounge on Third Street. When it opened, it had so much promise, adjacent to Triple George Grill and offering a simple formula: classic cocktails in a low-key atmosphere. Somewhere along the path, sidebar lost its way: loud pop music; glaring flat screen TVs; the subtle natural color palette mauled by the addition of cushioned seating with pastel-colored adornments; and most recently, the loss of favorite bartender George, to Downtown Cocktail Room, where he now mans the bar as night manager.

Yes, Third Street in general is suffering after a promising debut a few years back: Celebrity could neither survive as a drag club nor a live music venue; Triple George has been in serious pain despite rave reviews and a midday government and lawyer customer base; the Lady Luck closed for an alleged remodel, detracting further from the area’s appeal. Only Hogs & Heifers continues to be a serious draw down there, and sorry to say, but outside of bikers and white trash, that’s only a detractor from the area. Hipsters aren’t going to throw back beers surrounded by old. burly men in leather singing along to “Freebird.”

Farrell, MINK drop by Tao — but does anybody notice?

October 11th, 2007

Turns out Perry Farrell did show up last night to Vinyl Wednesdays at Tao, as did Satellite Party opening act MINK. But based on my unscientific vocal surveying conducted over the last two days, no one cares. I was hard-pressed to find anyone who even knows who Farrell is, and those who did were only superficially familiar with his Jane’s Addiction work, likely only “Been Caught Stealing.”

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Those of us oft-identified as “Generation X” tend to hold Jane’s Addiction and its ringleader Farrell as pioneers of the alternative rock domination of the 1990s. But I guess those under 25 (under 30??) really have no sense of history or care to delve deeper into musical history beyond Fall Out Boy and the Used.

Not that Farrell hanging out at a club is a drawing point for me–I was going to Tao last night to see Danny Roberts’ art and to meet with one of my friends. And the Lollapalooza founder arrived with little fanfare (despite the promoters trying to build some sort of hushed din). He walked right past me with a small procession of people and headed (of course) back to a roped-off area in the back of the dining area. I asked one of our company’s photogs to be sure to snap a few pics of Farrell just because it would be cool to have in the next issue of Racket, but I think the best he got was MINK.

I know the announcement of Farrell’s attendance at the party was late coming (I received a call about 3 p.m. yesterday about it), so maybe more promotion would have yielded a bigger crowd. But all I know is when the Plain White T’s were in attendance at Vinyl Wednesdays a month or two back, there was a line around the corner to get in and the place was packed.

And have you heard Plain White T’s? Ugh.

Moving on to sexier things: I’ve never really found Alicia Silverstone attractive, but the new PSA she filmed for PETA is kinda hot. I am reconsidering my opinion on the matter. Click here to see why.