Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vegas Baby

After having spent a weekend in Las Vegas, I discovered that the old adage about a city having its own personality holds very true. For example, Milwaukee is a messy, lazy city built on the commerce of one export, beer. And the city loves it. It is comfortable in its own skin.

Vegas, on the other hand, is fake. Fake skyline, fake tan, fake tits, fake everything. And I was incredibly enamored with it. At the newsstand in my hotel they sold the one local Vegas daily, but also the New York Post, The London Daily Mail and a Japanese daily. No one cares about the local news, the city just serves as a sandbox for outsiders. This is the charm (and the curse) of Vegas.

My crew decided to venture off the strip to go to In-N-Out Burger. Let's just say the experience was eye opening. A pimp tried to grift my phone from me. Persians did shots of some sort of lemon liqueur while screaming "fuck" every other word. And a local in a Justin Bieber t-shirt and stunner shades claimed he was a regular, and then preceded to botch his order at the counter.

The key to the above paragraph is the location: In-N-Out is off the strip. The strip is clean, a joy to behold, safe. The off strip locations from what I saw were dirty, filled with low rent hotels and gas stations, and void of any people. When I stayed in Vegas a few years ago, I stayed at the south end of the strip past Mandalay Bay and it was very similar. Dead area, dicey.

On the strip though, the fakeness can be amazing. Watching a fountain show in front of the Bellagio (in a city that should have no water) is fun. Drinking Coca-Cola products from around the world is fun. Losing 100 bucks while playing slots is also strangely fun. But all these experiences are absolutely fake. You can't do any of these things in real life, in any other city in America(save for the gambling thing, and its not as fun to drop a Hondo with the old blue hairs at Treasure Island or Mystic Lake).

So Vegas is fake. But I wouldn't have my strip experience any other way. So I'm going to stay in the sandbox.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Been A Long Time Since I Left You...

...and I'm back kids!

So I have bought a guap of new CDs lately, and let me tell you, this has been an amazing summer for music. Tuesday I picked up the new Kele (the lead singer of Bloc Party) and The Roots. The Kele joint is sort of like Depeche Mode crossed with the gayness of Erasure, and the song "Tenderoni" is probably not about the same girl Bobby B was singing about if you get my drift. Still, I knew what I was getting into when I bought it...I wanted me some sexually ambiguous techno pop.

The Roots disc is murky and solid like their last three. Listenable all the way through. I really dig the track "Radio Daze" (it sounds like the hook was crooned by Gil-Scott Heron) and the Jim James guest starring "Dear God 2.0". The Roots boys should just do a whole album of reworkings of others songs ("Dear God" and "The Seed" 2.0s both being fire).

Next for this guy...Vegas baby! I will be so money this weekend I won't even know it. Here's to eating Del Taco/Weinerschnitzel at 5AM in some sort of weird food court!