Posts tagged ‘beauty bar’

LA and Vegas converge for indie-electro madness at Beauty Bar

March 25th, 2008

The Black Angels
Two hot chicks. One awesome band.

We can’t keep up with these hip kids. They come up with new party ideas every week, it seems, and they’re all designed to maximize the obfuscation as to their true purposes. Well, Los Angeles’ largest weekly indie and electro party, The Heist, is smashing headfirst into Las Vegas’ own Say What?! this Saturday, March 29 at the Beauty Bar (517 Fremont St.) at 10 p.m.

Austin, Tex.’s The Black Angels will headline the band lineup on the outdoor stage, which also includes Los Angeles’ The Start, Atlanta’s City Sleeps and our own Hello Astro. DJ VaJayJay will fill in the space between bands outside, while inside the bar, DJs Hyphy Crunk and Score from The Heist will join Say What?! residents Grimehaus, ABOM and Noel.

Expect other madness such as performance art, live painting, body painting, a screening of the movie Blade, and some sort of Buffalo Exchange-sponsored Stunna Shade contest. Cover is free for the bar, $5 if you want the bands in the back (and why wouldn’t you?) and well drinks are only $3 from 10 p.m. to midnight. Sounds like a Saturday night plan to us.

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

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.”

Judging beauty: Values be damned, bring on the bathing suit contest

August 29th, 2006

Aaron gongs
Aaron Thompson’s thumbs weigh their options in front of the famed gong at Mist inside the Treasure Island for “Gong Karaoke.”

I am not a judge. I did not go to law school, I did not pass the Nevada State bar exam, I do not wear black robes nor wield gavels. However, I have dressed in black capes and wielded hammers, but neither of those have anything to do with casting judgment upon other human beings.

Apparently, no one cares about this. A few years ago, I was called upon to judge a battle of the bands. This kind of makes sense, as I have a history as a proto-musician and have been writing about music since I was old enough to grow a beard. I sat through one night of bad bands, and never returned.

Earlier this month, I was asked to judge karaoke at Mist lounge inside the Treasure Island, and part of a veritable judging squad made up of, for the most part, Las Vegas Weekly staffers and columnists who themselves could not carry a tune to save their lives. But it was all in fun, part of a promotion to drum up new faces at the bar’s monthly “Gong Karaoke” night. Yes, the premise is simple: “The Gong Show” meets karaoke bar.

Sadly, even that turned sour. No, the singers weren’t horrible, for the most part. But one member of our party, young Aaron Thompson, nearly got clobbered by some big, dumb lunkhead who didn’t like being gonged. Um, he was singing Godsmack in an upscale lounge. He needed to be gonged.

Well, after that less-than-enlightening experience – after which we fought over who was not going to gong the next contestant – I thought that maybe judging anything should be left to elected officials with fancy law degrees.

That was until I received a text message asking for my beauty judging skills to be employed at the Beauty Bar’s Drop Dead Gorgeous Beauty Pageant Sunday night. What beauty judging skills, you ask? Oh, I asked myself the same question.

I removed my mismatched light blue T-shirt and replaced it with a nondescript patterned button-down and headed to the Beauty Bar, unshaven and nowhere near beautiful myself, to judge the fourth round of local qualifiers for this multi-location beauty pageant.

What was I doing judging a beauty pageant? My fellow judges were far better-qualified: Tracy Lee, owner of, is responsible for putting beautiful people from multiple cities online, and is herself a former fitness model. Brandy Beavers is a vivacious local celebrity, shadow dancer and living pin-up. Frankie the File is the man that keeps the hands and nails of Beauty Bar’s patrons as gorgeous as they can be.

Me? I’m a journalist. We are not known for beauty, hygiene or even owning mirrors. Though I am a music and nightlife specialist and an occasional talking head, I still know about as much about judging a beauty pageant as I do about covering professional sports. Which is nothing, in case no one has been following my illustrious career.

Nevertheless, there I was, sitting on a plastic-coated sofa between Lee and Beavers, watching the five contestants in this round of the pageant strut their stuff down a makeshift runway, clipboard in lap, pen at the ready, passing judgment on women with whom I have no familiarity. They could be active members of charitable organizations, mothers of multiple children, survivors of abusive relationships – I had no idea. All I knew was that I had to rate them based on five criteria using the standard 1-10 numbering system.

Winner Natalie Summerlin poses with judge Brandy Beavers shortly after Summerlin’s victory is announced.And so they came out on the runway, first in skimpy outfits of their choice, then again in bathing suits, just before being asked purposely inane questions that read more like “truth or dare” jabs than personality-diggers. There was biting. There was straddling. There was shimmying. But in the end, there could only be one winner.

I guess the numbers on the white Xeroxed sheet on my clipboard were on the mark, at least in choosing a winner based on appearance, personality, bathing suit, Q&A and crowd reaction. Natalie Summerlin (not her real name), who is apparently the sister of some other hottie, was the leggy, raven-haired winner of this night’s showdown. No. 3 on my list was No. 2 in the final, the wild-haired, mocha-skinned beauty Amelian Kashiro, who is a senior at UNLV studying marketing.

In the end, I didn’t feel good or bad. Just … shallow, I suppose. I despise beauty pageants. They are the summation of everything we have done wrong with our society. Well, no, that’s MySpace. But beauty pageants are second. But I was doing a favor for a friend, and its semi-lowbrow approach made it slightly more palatable than the big TV freak shows – I mean, pageants.

Still, I don’t think I’ll jump at that chance again, unless someone’s career or rep is on the line. Next time you need something judged, please don’t call me. I like to sit back, observe, record and report – it’s what I do. I’m a journalist. What do I know about anything?