I’ve spent the past few days in Las Vegas. Not surprisingly, I found nothing there to feed the blog. (The Vijay Iyer post was written before I left.)
As you can guess by the music I write about, Vegas isn’t my kind of town. I was there for my job. I don’t begrudge the people who find it fun — my grandmother is one of them — but there’s not much there for me as a tourist.
Still, Vegas’ suburban growth, coupled with the fact that classic rock fans are now over-the-hill Vegas tourists, means some interesting rock music makes it there. Like the recent Matador Records festival and Guided by Voices reunion.
I read some listings for the weekends preceding and following my trip. The Carl Palmer band apparently is or was stopping by. Singer Marc Cohn was a featured coming-soon poster. Neither is really my cup of tea, but after hearing Andrew Lloyd Weber piped through hotel lobby speakers again and again and AGAIN, I’d gladly have attended either show.
Or rather, I would have, if it hadn’t been for this bill: Aging punk bands Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish. I really like Goldfinger. They’re an honestly good band. Lead singer John Feldmann was about 30 when they broke in 1996, and his maturity was an asset — bizarre as that might sound for a skate-punk L.A. band. The lyrics are intelligent, and while they touch on the ego-bluster of other testosterone-saturated MTV bands, you don’t feel like Feldmann takes himself that seriously.
Anyway, that would have been my pick. And then I’d hide in my room playing tons of Rudresh Mahanthappa tracks on the computer (having purchased the multidisk download package from his site). And I’d turn up the speakers to force my neighbors to hear something good, dammit.
I’m listening to the “All Out” show on KCSM-FM right now, and it’s so nice to be home.