October 28-November 3, 2010
A makeup expert shares sexy, scary looks for Halloween (and Day of the Dead)
Plus: A Halloween costume party roundup Dayvid Figler forms the Cocktail Party Eating Italian, from kitschy to classic
RON WHITE November 5 & 6
JO KOY â€˘ November 13 For tickets, please visit mirage.com or call Performing in the Terry Fator Theatre.
ANNOUNCING MOHAN AND MAJESTIC, OUR TWO NEW WHITE TIGER CUBS. Oversized paws. Fuzzy ears. Curious blue eyes. The wonder of these adorable animals is something you can’t miss. But if you wait too long, you will. See them, along with the rest of our Ambassadors of Conservation, at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat.
For visiting hours and ticket information, call or go online. 702.791.7188 • miragehabitat.com
This Week in Your CiTY 37
spend some time with Dracula, Mini kiss and the Von Trapps. By Patrick Moulin
Figuring a way out of the state’s budget crisis, and an appreciation of three new architectural wonders. Plus: David G. Schwartz’s Green Felt Journal and Michael Green on Politics.
reports on culture, politics and business from The New York Observer. Plus: The NYO crossword puzzle and the weekly column by personal ﬁnance guru Kathy Kristof.
arts & ENtErtaiNmENt
Eric Olsen ponders the future of literature, art reﬂects The Day of the Dead, and Rex Reed says Stone’s the pits.
Ferraro’s earns its delicious reputation. By Max Jacobson Plus: Max Jacobson’s Diner’s Notebook and steve Martorano serves italian with attitude.
nothing’s scarier than halloween in Las Vegas, except perhaps election Day. Plus: trends, Tweets, tech and gossip. The Latest Thought: Tea Party? how ’bout the tolerant, smooth platform of the Cocktail Party? By Dayvid Figler
Majestic scenery and a unique spirit make hawaii a holiday treat. By Kurt Weller
The family of “Crocodile hunter” steve irwin is honored at the Dinosaur Ball, and el Cortez hosts “The Tell.”
sports & LEisurE
Trying to stay optimistic halfway through coach Bobby hauck’s ﬁrst season, unLV braces for no. 4 TCu. By Sean DeFrank Plus: Matt Jacob plans to ride the Dolphins when they face the Bengals this weekend in Going for Broke.
This week’s Look, a few choice Enviables, and haute and harrowing looks for halloween.
Seven Nights ahead, fabulous parties past, and how MGM Grand entertainment director Barry Morgan balances his many responsibilities.
Above: The enchanting Fairy is one halloween option. Costume available at Halloween Mart; model Nikia Lee Provenzano. On the cover: Muerta, the Day of the Dead Princess. Model Tara. Photography by Danielle DeBruno, Desert Ice Studios; makeup by Natasha Chamberlin; hairstyling by Sarah Vickrey.
Fright Dome mastermind Jason egan on the creative process, his favorite scares and new uses for old chainsaws. By Elizabeth Sewell
a Last LooK?
Whether it’s a treasure trove or an eyesore, Dr. Lonnie hammargren’s eccentric collection may be forever hidden. By Sean DeFrank October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 9
Vegas seVen Publishers Ryan T. Doherty | Justin Weniger AssociAte Publisher, Michael Skenandore
editorial editoriAl director, Phil Hagen MAnAging editor, Bob Whitby senior editor, Greg Blake Miller senior editor, Xania Woodman AssociAte editor, Sean DeFrank A&e editor, Cindi Reed coPY editor, Paul Szydelko contributing editors
MJ Elstein, style; Michael Green, politics; Matt Jacob, betting; Max Jacobson, food; Jarret Keene, music; David G. Schwartz, gaming/hospitality contributing writers
Melissa Arseniuk, Geoff Carter, Dayvid Figler, Elizabeth Foyt, Jeanne Goodrich, Jason Harris, Patrick Moulin, Eric Olsen, Rex Reed, James Reza, Jason Scavone, Elizabeth Sewell, Kate Silver, Cole Smithey, Kurt Weller interns
Candice Anderson, Gabi de Mello Costa, Kelly Corcoran, Carla Ferreira, Jazmin Gelista, Natalie Holbrook, Charity Mainville, Nicole Mehrman, Alicia Moore, Kathleen Wilson
art Art director, Lauren Stewart senior grAPhic designer, Marvin Lucas grAPhic designer, Thomas Speak stAff PhotogrAPher, Anthony Mair contributing PhotogrAPhers
Hew Burney, Sullivan Charles, Danielle DeBruno, Francis + Francis, Roman Mendez, Tomas Muscionico, Amy Schaefer, Tony Tran contributing illustrAtors, Jerry Miller, Noelle Nersesian
Production/distribution director of Production/distribution, Marc Barrington Advertising coordinAtor, Jimmy Bearse
sales sAles MAnAger, Sarah J. Goitz Account eXecutives, Christy Corda and Robyn Weiss
Comments or story ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Distribution: firstname.lastname@example.org Vegas Seven is distributed each thursday throughout southern nevada.
WenDOH MeDIa COMpanIes Ryan T. Doherty | Justin Weniger vice President, PUBLISHING, Michael Skenandore chief MArketing officer, Ethelbert Williams MArketing director, Jason Hancock entertAinMent director, Keith White creAtive director, Sherwin Yumul
Finance director of finAnce, Gregg Hardin Accounts receivAble MAnAger, Rebecca Lahr generAl Accounting MAnAger, Erica Carpino credit MAnAger, Erin Tolen
Published in association With the obserVer Media GrouP Copyright 2010 Vegas Seven, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without the permission of Vegas Seven, LLC is prohibited. Vegas Seven, 888-792-5877, 3070 West Post Road, Las Vegas, NV 89118 10
Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Noelle Nersesian Illustration, “Lean Times Ahead,” Page 37 Nersesian was born in Detroit Rock City, raised in Las Vegas and graduated cum laude from Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in communication arts and illustration. She attended school in Chicago, but the cold weather proved to be more disappointing than any Cubs season, so she transferred to Georgia where she fell in love with the city of Savannah. Sin City’s little angel moved back to the neon lights to try to do something with her degree, but the blackjack table stole all her money so she’s working at Starbucks to make some of it back. This is her second illustration for Vegas Seven, and she hopes it’s good enough to keep the bookies off her back for a short time.
Natasha Chamberlin Makeup stylist, cover and inside features Chamberlin is a licensed aesthetician, makeup artist and body painter. She draws inspiration from her interests in art, history, culture and fashion. Drawing, painting and creating have been second nature to her since childhood, leading to her degree in art from Colorado State University. Since living in Las Vegas, she has gained invaluable experience doing makeup for weddings, ﬁlm, fashion, and also doing body painting. The most fulﬁlling part of Chamberlin’s job is seeing her vision create a positive effect on others.
Kurt Weller “Dreaming of a Tropical Christmas?,” Page 100 Weller made the island of Oahu his home from 1997 to 2006 while working as a local TV news producer. He is the son of Elizabeth and Harold Weller, founder of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Affairs of the heart ultimately lured him from Oahu to Las Vegas, and he married his wife, Marie Luna, last summer at Palms Place, not at Sandy Beach as he would have preferred. Weller now works in sales at Furniture Direct in Las Vegas.
Vegas Seven Mobile Chamberlin photo by Danielle DeBruno
Try It Now steP 1:
Visit getscanlife.com on your mobile device to download Free scanlife software.
as you scroll through Vegas seven, snap a photo anywhere you see a 2D barcode.
Your phone reads the 2D code and automatically loads interactive content.
Win Free stuFF ★ rsVP For eVents ★ 2D Mobile exclusiVe oFFers anD eDitorial
Visit the Vegas Seven website October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 11
Each year, tens of thousands of seals, many of whom are still babies, are massacred. It’s time to demand a permanent end to Canada’s cruel seal slaughter.
END CANADA’S SEAL SLAUGHTER
Seven Days The highlights of this week in your city. Compiled by Patrick Moulin
Thu. 28 The bridge bypassing the Hoover Dam opened Oct. 20, and you can expect it to be swarmed by tourists for the foreseeable future. If you want to avoid the crowds but still see how it all came together, visit the Patio Gallery at the Springs Preserve (333 S. Valley View Blvd.) for the Bridge at Hoover Dam photo exhibit. Jamey Stillings, the artist behind the camera, spent more than a year and a half capturing the amazing juxtaposition between technology and nature. Check SpringsPreserve.org for more information.
Fri. 29 We want to suck your blood, but ﬁrst we want to take you to see Dracula at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre. The classic vampiric tale is based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with a good mix of witty humor worked in. Twilight and True Blood fans should make the pilgrimage to see the godfather of blood sucking and seduction do his thing. The show starts at 8 p.m., tickets and information are available at UNLVtickets.com.
Sat. 30 Not sure what to do with the kids for Halloween weekend? Take them to Henderson for some Halloween horticulture and a bit of ornithology. At Tricks & Treats for Kids at the Acacia Demonstration Gardens (50 Casa Del Fuego St.), master gardeners will be on hand at 9 a.m. to demonstrate garden projects to kids ages 6 and up. Next stop: the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve (350 E. Galleria Dr.) for Birds With Spooky Reputations at 10 a.m. The demo is open to kids ages 6-12, allowing them to get a close look at crows, ravens, owls, turkey vultures and other ominous winged things. Check HendersonLive.com for more information.
Bridge photo by Jamey Stillings
Sun. 31 It’s tradition to bring in the New Year with a kiss, but the Pub at the Monte Carlo will bring in this Halloween with a Mini Kiss (pictured). The KISS tribute band, made up of four little people, has been rocking audiences since their ﬁrst show in 1996. Dressed in black sequins and white face paint, Mini Kiss will attempt to rock ’n’ roll all night, and perhaps even party every day. Check MonteCarlo.com for more information.
Mon. 1 The Valley is alive with the Sound of Music. The time-honored musical is presented by Signature Productions, a local theater group that features local talent with high-quality sets and production values. Follow Maria and the Von Trapps as they try to escape from their Nazi pursuers amongst the mountains of Austria whilst discussing their favorite things. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Summerlin Library Theatre (1771 Inner Circle Dr.). Tickets and information are available at SignatureProductions.net.
Tue. 2 There’s more to Halloween than just crazy costumes and delicious candy. In the Mexican culture, it’s a remembrance of loved ones lost to time. Called Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, this Hispanic holiday is celebrated with candied skulls, skeleton efﬁgies and altar displays. One such altar, or ofrenda, will be on display at the East Las Vegas Community Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave., at 9 a.m. Presented in conjunction the Hispanic Museum of Nevada, the altar is furnished with traditional offerings and decorations supplied by students from across the Valley. Call 229-1515 for information on this free event.
Wed. 3 Ethnic Express has been entertaining fans of international dance since 1978. Now, every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Charleston Heights Arts Center (800 S. Brush St.), the eclectic group of folk dancers will teach you dances from across the globe, including those rooted in Serbia, China, Russia and even right here in America. The group takes its name from the Orient Express, and the teachers will take you on a intercontinental dance journey weekly. Open to dancers of all levels, this event might bring a little culture to your two-step. Each class is only $4, so take a chance and learn a new dance.
October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 13
Fired up: Channel that energy at the Thomas & Mack.
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Above the fray: One way to get down Fremont Street.
Basketball photo courtesy of UNLV Photo Services
Zipping Down Fremont
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Star-studded parties, celebrity sightings, juicy rumors and other glitter.
Got a juicy tip? email@example.com
Christmas in october While Justin Timberlake had an all-star crew for his Shriners Hospital for Children beneﬁt show Oct. 23 at Planet Hollywood, there’s just one man who can host the after-party at Pure and play Vodka Santa while doing it. Diddy channeled his inner St. Drunkolas as he marched into the club, met up with his entourage at his table and then immediately handed a bottle of Ciroc to a fan in the crowd. Apparently he keeps a “naughty, nice and bad boy for life” list. It wasn’t the only bottle he’d pass out that night—and he poured out shots for the crowd, too. Responsibility is Job 1, though, as he also cautioned against drinking and driving. (Well, responsibility is more like Job 3, after “sell lots of Ciroc” and “occasionally make music.”) In the club until 3 a.m., the only tune Diddy didn’t get down to was Nicki Minaj’s “Your Love.” A statement reportedly from Minaj was released ripping Diddy as her manager, though she has since claimed the news release was a fake and took to Twitter to deny that she was jumping ship to Benny Medina. Rumors of her ﬁring Lady Gaga’s wigmaker have also gone unconﬁrmed. If only they could bottle all that energy! Oh, they can!
Vocational Training On Oct. 23, Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, who makes JWoww and Snooki look measured and reasonable by comparison, did what no one who’s ever watched Jersey Shore expected her to do: She cooked. Giancola got a lesson in meatball making from Nove Italiano’s chef Geno Bernardo. Then, quickly putting all that useful skill learnin’ behind her, she stopped in at the Playboy Club where she was given a key, then continued on to Moon, where she hosted.
Herding Bunnies There’s no way Hugh Hefner can keep up with all the Playmates after 57 years in the business—though he could have checked up on 1968 Playmate of the Year Angela Dorian a couple weeks ago to see if she was feeling attempted murder-ish. He can’t keep track of all of them, but he did have his eye on a few of them Oct. 21 when Playmate Claire Sinclair kicked off her guest stint at MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris. Hef came with girlfriend Crystal Harris and hung out with Holly Madison and Anna Sophia Berglund at Tabu and later at the Playboy Club. So that’s four down and only 670 or so to go. Another day at the ofﬁce for Hef.
Tweets of the Week Compiled by @marseniuk
@jeanscheidnes No one said @GQmagazine was family friendly. What outrages me about this Glee ﬂap is that GLEE SUCKS. @kpedraja So HP’s new iPad competitor runs Windows and requires a stylus. They’re partying like it’s 2001.
@celeryinthecity Conﬂicted: I want to replace morning coffee with my spinach juice stuff..but I’m in love with Whole Foods coffee boy. Hmm.
@NotJayCutler My 1,000th tweet was about my balls. Right on.
@DanBlackDiamond Is it bad that I care more if the Las Vegas Loco’s win than UNLV?
@mtsearlyrisers I love a Floridian naked man streaking and claiming to have superpowers... Isn’t there something else he could do with said powers? @janecmetcalf Settebello pizza. Is there anything better?
@lasvegasloopy Taco Bell’s new orange cream swirl freeze is yummylicious. If I didn’t have to be at work in less than 2 hours, I would totally spike it. @pjpaschal I’m going to Vegas this weekend and rent is due on Monday... #yikes #BMF.
@rae_rae2004 Voice is still a lil sore from karaoking @cocolee117 songs w/ the UNLV Asian student organizations all nite long!
It’s Tough to Be Christina
@sinai_selah heat What is this? Can’t a girl do her homework without someone screaming like a frat boy outside? This is Summerlin, not downtown. Gah.
In an interview published Oct. 21, Christina Aguilera said there were “days when it feels impossible to even get out of bed, much less function as a mother,” because of her separation from husband Jordan Bratman. What she left out is that it’s hard to get out of bed when you’ve been partying all night. Look, 7 a.m. ﬂights are awfully early, especially when you’re at Tao until 3 a.m., like she was Oct. 23. Aguilera, in town to perform at the Timberlake concert, was with friends and her backup dancers, and was shouted out by DJ Vice as “the sexiest lady in the world.” Unless you’re Bratman, to whom she’s “the most likely to induce wall-punching lady in the world.”
Chef Bernardo and Sweetheart get things cookin’. 16 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
@RobertJMontero Is it bad that I’m the Mayor of a liquor store? (@ Lee’s Discount Liquor)
@_emmychristmas Will Smith’s kids are slowly but surely taking over the world, one radical haircut at a time. Aguilera tries the late-night cure.
Diddy photo by David Becker, Giancola photo by Scott Harrison; Hefner photo by Erik Kabik; Aguilera photo by Tina Paul/Retna
THE LaTEsT Gossip
THE LaTEsT THougHT What’s Tea got to Do With It?
In the Cocktail Party, we understand that Nevadans want answers. And the answer is ‘Yes.’
Hiccup. Excuse me. I was just enjoying the vestiges of 4 a.m. freedom in Las Vegas. “Jose Cuervo, you are a mad bastard!” “Ay! La Garganta Del Diablo!” I’m sorry, where was I? Oh, right. A question that was bouncing around the bar as a parade of bores came on the TV begging for our votes. Why exactly is it that virtually none of the well-known Nevada politicians truly embrace the blow-thismutha-out lifestyle that’s the cornerstone of Nevada’s specialness? Sure, there’s the singular exception of the face of Las Vegas, our beloved Mayor Oscar “Bombay” Goodman, but as he leaves on the wings of term limits, is there any chance that someone with as much debauched charisma will replace him? Doubtful. Supersquares are already coming out of the woodwork to be the new mayor. I fear their real agenda is to “take back” Las Vegas from Mayor Goodman’s beloved downtown and refocus energies on the suburbs. It’s all so passive, uneventful and boring. In a word—it’s unNevadan. And how about the great Senate race of 2010? Whatever else you may think of “liberal” Harry Reid, at his core he’s a big ol’ cultural conservative. A devoutly religious stick-in-the-sand who shies off coffee let alone gambling, drinking, smoking, whoring or any of the other vice beneﬁts of our grand city-state experiment. His principal opponent, Sharron Angle, is a teetotaling Bible-ist who openly advocated the abolition of alcohol and seemingly views almost all of the most unique things about Las Vegas as cardinal sins. When U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s dalliances with a staffer’s wife were revealed, I kvelled. But instead of embracing his philandering as “cool where I come from,” Ensign repented. Sigh. What else could we expect? He’s a Promise Keeper, after all, and a member of the elite and evangelical “C-Street Fellowship.” He asked the world to forgive him, and I instantly did— well, for everything except the hypocrisy. If only Mr. Ensign had embraced his human, or at least Nevadan, condition! Only then would he have eternally secured my swing vote. 18 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
When did libertine and libertarian Nevada lose its way? Shouldn’t our representatives sorta kinda represent the emblematic Nevadan? When they do the same things many of us do, why not do them with a smile? In this election cycle there’s a whole lot of frustration. Hence all this talk of tea. To me, though, the Tea Party is an anachronism wrapped in salty bacon with a gooey religious center that has a tang of bitter Darjeeling. I mean sure, everything tastes better with bacon, and a lot of the supposed Tea Party tenets such as lower taxes and more freedom sound appealing. But the whole execution of this tea-losophy seems to be steeped in a lack of economic practicality or applicability in Nevada. These people talk like they’re either new to Nevada or they’re self-hating Nevadans. And don’t hand me this libertarian thing—no one who wants the government out of our lives would support
a candidate like Sharron Angle, who wants so desperately to be part of the government and is, by a reasonable interpretation of her own words, generally intolerant of lifestyles not her own. All of which is so not the Nevada ﬂavor! We don’t need nannies force-feeding us their moral castor oil; we need something that sings, swings and goes down smooooth. Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose the Nevada Cocktail Party. It’s time to create an environment where we can step up the weirdness and the wonderment for fun and proﬁt. We need a Party of Yes. The tea partiers supposedly dig the Constitution. Well, the Nevada Cocktail Party is in love with the Declaration of Independence—mostly the part about our unalienable right to pursue Happiness (yes, the capital H is in the original). Now far from being heathens or drunks (though both are welcome), we the people believe that as we pursue our Happiness, our government needs to cast aside impediments and foster sustained enjoyment. We envision a citizen-government partnership to ensure no one gets physically injured and that the Nevada way is protected from interlopers. Does that mean legalizing all substances that make us feel better? Yes. Does that mean anyone who wants to get married should be able to? Yes. Does that mean that when we overindulge and need help recovering the government should have safety nets in place? Yes. Does that mean that there should be magnet school for high school girls (and boys) to learn how to be successful and prosperous strippers if that’s what they choose to do? Possibly. See, the Nevada Cocktail Party loves freedom above all else. But if we’re going to do the Nevada thing right, we’ll need a bit of cooperation from a government of Nevadans, by Nevadans and for Nevadans. So elected ofﬁcials endorsed by the Cocktail Party have to appreciate that the prime directive is to work within the vice-industrial complex to pave the way for Nevada to restore and maintain its original splendor. That government is there to catch us when we fall, but also to prop us up when we need a hand. Misguided morality police and staid, stoic politicians have no place in the Old School Order. Nevada First, my friends. Have a drink on us!
Illustration by Jerry Miller
By Dayvid Figler
Masters of Disguise By Patrick Moulin When Marty Howard learned that he was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base after being drafted in 1970, the New Jersey native was sure he would die in the desert heat. But once he landed in Las Vegas, Howard knew he was home. After completing his service and spending a brief stint back East, Howard 20 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
returned to the Valley and started American Singing Telegrams in 1978. An entertainer at heart, he attended wedding receptions, 40th birthday parties and medical conventions, and delivered singing telegrams. To separate himself from the pack, Howard dressed in a variety of costumes, including a gorilla suit, Elvis, the Grim Reaper and one of his most popular requests, a cross-dressing Playboy Bunny. As Howard’s collection of costumes continued to grow, he began to rent them out, and in the early ’80s he opened American Costumes. The store itself, tucked into a small shopping center on West Sahara Avenue, wears a kind of mask, with a beat-up sign out front and forbidding metal bars on the windows. Howard says the bars
are there not so much to deter thieves, but window shoppers. On the weekends, the front door is locked, to be opened only after Howard or his partner, Tina Peeples, check to make sure you’re buying, not browsing. They say they don’t like too many people in the store; it limits the attention they can give to the customers who mean business. Howard and Peeples have been a couple for 20 years, and once you make it inside the store, you sense that American Costumes is a true family business, a labor of love. The walls are lined with pictures of past costumes donned by Howard, Peeples and smiling customers. All of the costumes are movie-production quality or actual vintage clothing; there are no pre-packaged costumes
here. “We take the time to take care of our customers,” Howard says. “Big and tall, tiny and small, we ﬁt them all.” The pair also supply costumes to ﬁlm and television productions, murder mystery plays and themed weddings, including one crazy Canadian couple who wanted to get married in a helicopter in gorilla suits. Howard had to class it up a bit, so he made the groom wear a top hat, while the bride wore a white gorilla suit with a veil. America may soon hear more crazy stories, as the couple is in talks to do a reality show based on the costume store. “It’s a happy business,” Howard says. “We have a ball with everyone who comes in here. It’s a big stage ﬁlled with costumes, and we entertain through them.”
Photo by Anthony Mair
FOOD + DRINK Burger Bar Hussong’s Cantina minus5º Ice Lounge Rick Moonen’s rm seafood Starbucks Coffee Yogurt In
CLOTHING Elton’s Men’s Store fashion 101 Flip Flop Shops The Las Vegas Sock Market Metropark Maude Nora Blue Paradise Island Shoe Obsession Suite 160 Urban Outﬁtters
SPECIALTY The Art of Music Cashman Crystal Fat Tuesday Frederick’s of Hollywood Jack Gallery LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Nike Golf OPTICA Oro Gold Peter Lik Gallery
JEWELRY Forever Silver Le Paradis TeNo SERVICES ARCS A Robert Cromeans Salon The Art of Shaving
Located on the skybridge connecting Mandalay Bay and Luxor. Free valet parking.
For more photos from society events in and around Las Vegas, visit weeklyseven.com/society.
No Bones About it Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin (pictured above), family of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, who was also the founder and conservationist of the Australia Zoo, were recently honored by the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. Festivities honoring the family, as well as the E.L. Wiegand Foundation, were held during the 18th annual Dinosaur Ball hosted by the Luxor. Adding an authentic touch to the affair was a baby kangaroo that obligingly posed with guests.
Photography by Tony Tran
22 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
2011 SLS AMG
It has wings for a reason.
925 Auto Show Drive s In The Valley Auto Mall s Henderson, NV 89014 702.485.3000 s www.mbofhenderson.com
For more photos from society events in and around Las Vegas, visit weeklyseven.com/society.
A Night of cheating It was standing-room-only for Las Vegas’ ﬁrst storytelling event, “The Tell,” on Oct. 22. The 220 people who packed the El Cortez’s Fiesta Room sipped on Dash of Betrayal cocktails created for the occasion by mixologist Drew Levinson while enjoying seven true stories about “cheating.” Performers included author Beth Lisick (below, far right), homegrown actor Michael Bunin (top right) and Vegas Seven A&E editor Cindi Reed (far left). This “pre-event” for Vegas Valley Book Festival (Nov. 3-7) was sponsored by Vegas Seven and hosted/produced by Dayvid Figler (above, left). You can watch the show at WeeklySeven.com/the-tell.
Photography by Hew Burney
24 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
S E X Y
I N T I M A T E
B O U T I Q U E
702.823.2210 • 8665 W. Flamingo, Suite129 • Las Vegas, NV 89147
hot oFF the PReSS
InStyle magazine has released the book Ultimate Beauty Secrets, featuring more than 200 tips from editors, celebrities and renowned makeup artists. Our favorite chapter: “Makeup Bag Multitasking,” with suggestions on how to use products in innovative ways. InStyle.com, $23.
Photographed by Tomas Muscionico
Jewelry designer; assistant to the president of UFC; age 26
Paul Revere Williams, one of America’s ﬁrst black architects, designed several iconic buildings in Las Vegas, including La Concha Motel and Guardian Angel Cathedral. Through January, the Art Museum of the University of Memphis showcases his work and achievements. PaulRWilliamsProject.org.
RodaRte x KiRKwood
The design team of Rodarte join forces with the genius of shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood to produce these dreamy shoes inspired by the town of Juarez, Mexico. In Step at Encore, $1,700.
Style icons: Kate Moss, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and Tom Ford. What she’s wearing now: Forever 21 dress, vintage belt, By Chari bracelets, Michael Kors watch, Prada bag, vintage fur vest (in the bag) and Chanel wedges. By day she works alongside UFC’s top executives and by night she indulges her creative passion as one of Las Vegas’ hottest up-and-coming jewelry designers. How does Chari balance her wardrobe to navigate both worlds? “As different as my roles may be from day to night, my style remains consistent: classic, with a few trends incorporated each season, but always elegant, sexy and comfortable,” she says. “I love my J Brand jeans, Alexander Wang T-shirt dresses and I never leave the house without my By Chari bracelets.”
October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 27
Muerta, the Day of the Dead Princess, is the look for the girl who wants to go all out. This character is difﬁcult to execute, however, because it involves many layers of body painting. “I started this look by laying out the shapes around the eyes. Next, I ﬁlled in the eye area,” makeup artist Natasha Chamberlin says. “I painted the face white and added in the black details and the rose prosthetics on the chin and forehead. Next, I added the gold accents and a dramatic lip. Finally, I colored the rest of her body white and applied the rose petal pasties and back prosthetics. I completed the look with a red wig with black roses and rosaries.” Model: Tara
Guise & Guile Haute and harrowing looks for All Hallow’s Eve
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Enchanting Fairy is for the girl who wants to go glamorous. â€œThis look incorporates standard beauty makeup with a green smoky eye shadow, dramatic lashes, glitter accents and coral lips and cheeks to complement the green hues,â€? Chamberlin says. Costume available at Halloween Mart (HalloweenMart.com). Model: Nikia Lee Provenzano
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GREAT PLACES TO GET YOUR LOOK Las Vegas loves Halloween, and many places around town provide makeup, body painting services and instruction, including: 1. Make Up For Ever at Sephora inside the Venetian. Makeup instruction. Call 735-3896. 2. Color at Caesars Palace. Makeup application and body painting. Call 730-7297. 3. Skin City Body Painting. Makeup application and body painting. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; SinCityBodyPainting.com. 4. One Luv Agency. Prosthetics, face painting and body painting. E-mail email@example.com or call 501-5751. 5. Makeup artist Nadia Shalini. Prosthetics, fantasy makeup, character concepts and beauty makeup. themakeuplab.net.
The Bride of Frankenstein is for the girl who wants full glamour body painting. â€œI started out by doing an eye with smoky, winged-out eyeliner and dramatic lashes,â€? Chamberlin says. â€œNext, I painted the face green and added contours and highlights. I completed the face with a deep, wine-colored lip. I ďŹ nished the look by painting the entire body green and wrapping her in bandages.â€? Model: Olivia Lakis, Envy Agency.
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The Gypsy is for the girl who wants to go sexy. â€œFor this character I did standard beauty makeup with a smoky eye, dark lip, dramatic eye lashes and gold accents on the outsides of the eyes,â€? Chamberlin says. Costume available at Halloween Mart; quartz crystal ball and assorted rings from For Mystic Minds, 434-7626. Model: Jamillette Gaxiola
Seven Very Nice Things 2
More cover and less chrome for the dome 1. Volcom Alvarez brimmed hat Available at Zappos.com, $38. 2. Thomas Pink Gable Harris tweed flat cap Thomas Pink, the Shoppes at the Palazzo.
3. Element Tacked beanie in black Available at Zappos.com, $26. 4. Goorin Brothers MQ Was Here hat Available at Metropark, Mandalay Place, $85.
5. Goorin Brothers Birth of Flight hat Available at Metropark, Mandalay Place, $75 6. Obey Wanderer fedora Available at Shop.ObeyClothing.com, $48. 7. Paul Smith painted stripe beanie Available at Paul Smith inside Crystals, $110. –Compiled by Justin Alexander and Carla Ferreira
32 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Canceled: Hammargrenโs collection wonโt be open to the public this Nevada Day after all.
A Last Look?
Nevadaโs former lieutenant governor thinks his home is a treasure trove of state history that should be shared. Some of his neighbors think itโs an eyesore that should be cleaned up.
By Sean DeFrank
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Among the clutter in Lonnie Hammargrenโs backyard is a stage with the marquee and paddlewheel from the former Showboat hotel-casino serving as a backdrop.
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Photography by Francis + Francis
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THe LocaL Newsroom
Lean Times ahead
The state budget is awash in red. Will we learn from our mistakes?
Illustration by Noelle Nersesian
By Bob Whitby Perhaps you’ve heard: Nevada has a budget crisis on its hands. On the state’s biennial budget sheet, revenues are going to come up woefully short of expenses. If the state budget was your household checking account, you’d be well advised to start eating a lot of ramen, forget about Christmas presents and get overdraft protection. The exact size of the gap is a point of contention, because revenue projections are really just an educated guess, and expenses are deﬁned by the people setting them. What’s normal spending and what’s excessive? Most reports put the gap between revenues and expenses at $3 billion, while some analysts say it could be half that—still not a pleasant prospect. So who’s dealing with this problem? At the moment, no one. But that’s by design. It may make for good political theater to accuse your opponent of dodging ﬁscal reality, but it’s up to elected ofﬁcials to decide how to balance the budget when the Legislature convenes Feb. 7, and the ofﬁcials haven’t all been elected yet. In the meantime, the state is busy crunching numbers. Andrew Clinger, the state’s budget director, required many department heads to turn in budget requests that are 10 percent less than the current ﬁscal year. Clinger doesn’t have the authority to steer the ship, but he is the one who scans the horizon for icebergs. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t like what he sees. “You could eliminate everything, and have nothing but K-12 and higher ed, and you would have a balanced budget,” he was quoted as saying by the Nevada News Bureau on Aug. 6. “So the magnitude of the problem that we face, or the challenge that we face going into the next biennium, is huge.” Virtually everyone who studies the budget seriously—who doesn’t have their name on the November ballot, that is—agrees that there is really only one way out of this mess. “At the end of the day, the most pragmatic thing is a blend of additional budget cuts and new revenue sources,” says Guy Hobbs, managing partner of Las Vegas ﬁnancial consultants Hobbs, Ong & Associates. “A lot of people that I talk to in my neighborhood, they are the kind who think you can walk in and lay people off to solve problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. It isn’t that we are bloated with bodies in the public sector.” So what goes when an already lean state operation has to shed more weight? Indeed, in 2007, Nevada
ranked 46th in the number of state employees per 10,000 residents, and 48th in state and local employee compensation as a percentage of gross state product. A lot of Nevadans realize that gutting state departments is not a cost-free solution, Hobbs says. “Most things that you do, there are social consequences that can be measured. If you decide not to educate kids, for example, you can guess that there will be costs down the road.” So look for a lot of cuts in a lot of places, he says. State employees could see the furloughs and merit pay freezes instituted in 2009 continue, though they are scheduled to sunset in July. The lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles won’t be getting shorter, he says. Education eats up 55 percent of the general fund budget, so it won’t come through unscathed. Class size will come under scrutiny, he says, and extracurricular activities such as sports, music and drama could become pay-to-play. Transportation—school buses—are a likely target. The state’s Millennium Scholarship program, established in 1999 to help high school graduates pay for college, will likely come under scrutiny. Look for possible hikes in tuition for higher education, especially in popular programs. Mental health services might also see cuts, but that’s an area in which paying Paul robs Peter, Hobbs says. “That’s one of those short-term costs versus long-term costs deals when [people who need mental health services] end up in emergency rooms.” Perhaps the best guide to what cuts to expect in state services came from Gov. Jim Gibbons’ Spending and Government Efﬁciency Commission, or SAGE, which issued its ﬁnal report in January. The SAGE Commission found dozens of ways to trim the budget, and scolded the state for the way it does business in general. “It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that the way the government is organized dates to the horse-andbuggy era,” the commission concluded.
The commission recommended eliminating duplication of state services, doing a better job of managing state real estate holdings, going after federal grant money more aggressively, closing the Nevada State Prison in Carson City, bringing state employee health care plans into parity with those offered in the private sector and privatizing medical care for prison inmates, among other things. On the other side of the ledger, expect tax increases of a sort. Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV, says legislators would do well to create a tax structure that reﬂects the state’s economy as a whole. “Nevada taxes a very narrow set of businesses,” Brown says, “primarily hospitality and leisure. As a consequence, our tax base is more volatile than our economy.” Brown is referring to the “too much reliance on sales taxes” argument, which goes like this: Why do we tax businesses that primarily sell goods, and not businesses that provide services such as consultants or a barber, when 60 percent of our economy is made up of businesses that provide services? Sales, gaming, liquor, lodging and other taxes on discretionary consumer spending make up 67 percent of Nevada’s general fund budget. A few politicians—state Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, and Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, are two—have dared raise the topic of broadening the tax base. And polls show the public is more realistic about the ﬁnancial quagmire than gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid and Brian Sandoval, who both still believe it’s possible to cut spending enough to balance the budget. But Hobbs, for one, sees this as a teachable moment when it comes to how we run our state government. “If we haven’t learned the lesson of select taxation,” he says, “then we are never going to learn it.” October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 37
The Local Newsroom
GO ST P W O IB A R N E D L
Green Felt Journal
Bilingual is in the cards in Primm By David G. Schwartz
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38 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Forty miles south of Las Vegas, Herbst Gaming is using its Primm casinos as a crucible for new ideas. With nothing to lose—the casinos have been hard-hit by the recession and competition from California Indian casinos—the company is getting creative. One thing that has worked better than expected is marketing to Spanish-speaking Californians. On Oct. 1, the company began offering table gaming in both English and Spanish, with surprising results. According to Primm Valley Casinos vice president of marketing Stuart Richey, the strategy is an outgrowth of the grab bag of concerts that the company has offered at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena since Herbst Gaming acquired the three Primm casinos in 2007. “We found that the Hispanic acts got a fantastic response,” Richey says. “We ﬁrst noticed this after a mariachi concert a while back, so we started looking for ways to make the casino a friendlier place for a market that, traditionally, has been neglected.” Richey has found that it’s a market loyal to casinos that offer good values for food and entertainment, something for which the Primm casinos are well suited. It helps that catering to the area’s Spanish speakers is a natural complement to the company’s bus program, which ferries dozens of busloads of California gamblers to Primm on peak days. The easiest way to roll out the welcome mat, Herbst has learned, is to speak the language of your customers. The company debuted a Nevada ﬁrst: bilingual blackjack tables. For a minimal outlay—essentially the cost of printing up felts with English and Spanish instructions and putting up some directional signage—Buffalo Bill’s opened up a mostly untapped market: those who enjoy blackjack but whose limited English makes playing the game at a typical table an ordeal. From a customer service standpoint, it may make perfect sense to allow players to converse with dealers in the language with which they are most comfortable. But there are gaming-enforcement reasons why this isn’t the best idea—dealers could collude with players by passing along information in a language their supervisors can’t understand.
With the proviso that any Spanishlanguage tables would be overseen by supervisors ﬂuent in the language, who are able to monitor the interaction between players and dealers, the Gaming Control Board signed off on the idea. For the most part, casinos have been slower than other businesses to embrace Spanish-speaking patrons. Yet Herbst saw bilingual tables as an idea worth taking a chance on, chieﬂy because of the current economic climate. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” says casino shift manager Marc Feldman, adding that the casino has seen a great return on its investment—a rarity in the gaming market these days. Spanish-language blackjack’s enthusiastic reception is impressing everyone at Buffalo Bill’s. It’s particularly striking at ground level, in the pit. “I’ve been in the business for 26 years,” says games supervisor Maria Macedo, who oversees the bilingual tables, “and I’ve never seen Spanish-speaking people playing blackjack like this. It’s unbelievable. They can speak the language and they’re not embarrassed. “Just this afternoon, I had a player tell me [in Spanish], ‘This is the ﬁrst casino I can play in and feel like I’m at home.’” The casino is thinking of adding other games—craps, with its frenetic group interaction, is a natural. Richey is thinking that maybe an entire dual-language pit might be in the cards. “After all, you’ve got party pits,” he says. “And this is clearly something our customers want.” Looking at the action on a recent Saturday conﬁrms Richey’s optimism; for now, Buffalo Bill’s has one big problem with its two bilingual tables: a shortage of qualiﬁed dealers. Hours from a Ramón Ayala concert, Buffalo Bill’s is doing New Year’s Eve-level business; the casino is so packed it’s difﬁcult to move around. About nine out of every 10 slot machines are being played. And, for a while at least, people are waiting to play blackjack on Macedo’s Spanish-friendly tables. Waiting. “We need more dealers,” Feldman repeats with a smile. If everyone in the business had these problems, Nevada would be on the road to recovery. David G. Schwartz is the director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research.
Clockwise from left: Henderson North Community Police Station interior, Centennial Hills library exterior, the police station exterior, the library interior and the Copper Haus residence.
Still Learning From Las Vegas Our best buildings are more than just fancy showpieces. Here’s why By Greg Blake Miller Award-winning buildings, like conceptcar prototypes, have a way of exciting our imaginations and leaving us a little depressed. So much is possible, yet on our award-free Hyundai-and-strip-mall plane of existence, so little seems probable. But when the Nevada Chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced its annual design award winners earlier this month in Reno, the three Southern Nevada honorees (northern projects took the other three prizes) seemed vessels not only of wonder, but of realistic hope. JMA Architecture Studios’ Centennial Hills Library (6711 N. Buffalo Dr.), Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects’ Henderson North Community Police Station (225 E. Sunset Road) and even assemblageSTUDIO’s 8,500-square-foot Copper Haus residence in Summerlin signal the comingof-age in Las Vegas of three architectural mantras that are as relevant to the corner eatery and suburban subdivision as they are to public institutions and private palaces. No. 1: Open to the world. When Tate Snyder Kimsey took on the construction of the police station on
the ramshackle far-eastern reaches of Sunset Road, it gambled on hope. The station, which opened in spring 2009, is bounded on its west side by storage sheds and on its east by the city’s transportation services barn. Just across Sunset to the south, there are crumbling homes, neglected yards and an aging Pioneer RV behind a chain-link fence. West of the station—raw desert. It seems for all the world a place to build not a glazedglass gem but a gray brick fortress. And, hey, it’s a police station. But the designers instead took the audacious step of creating a building that reaches outward to the community and opens itself up—at least its lobby— to the street. The lobby is a tower of glass—a mosaic of light green and gold and pink translucent rectangles—that brings light into the station by day and becomes a beacon in the low-slung neighborhood by night. The east side of the station opens up to a small park with chess tables and picnic benches under a shade whose design echoes the lobby rectangles. One unseasonably warm morning this fall, a few locals were sitting at the
tables talking. “I don’t know that they’re playing chess out there,” the front-desk ofﬁcer told me, “but they’re starting to stop by from time to time.” On three sides of the building, meandering paths lead to sad and dreamy dead-ends. “They don’t go anywhere yet,” says the ofﬁcer. “But I think someday they will.” No. 2: See the light. The police station takes what nature gives it: The daylight that shines through the lobby tower is diffused by a hanging sculpture garden of plywood bafﬂes. The parking lot shelters are covered with photovoltaic panels. On the interior of the station, skylights are connected to sensors that turn off electric lighting when the sun is getting the job done. The Centennial Hills Library also uses a mosaic of colored glass rectangles to create an entryway beacon, drawing light into the building by day and radiating light to the neighborhood in the evening. JMA designed the building to be ﬁlled with diffused indirect daylight, creating a ﬁrst-rate reading environment and minimizing the need for artiﬁcial lighting. The extensive use of glass also opens the library up to the adjacent park, uniting nature, knowledge and different types of civic space. No. 3: Store in a cool, dry place. Both the police station and the library are surrounded by xeriscaped grounds. Barrel cacti, mesquite, dry creeks and decorative stone create a visual experience something like stumbling upon an oasis on the moon. Desert landscaping is
also showcased at assemblageSTUDIO’s Copper Haus. The house, which is adjacent to a golf course at the foot of the Spring Mountain Range, is massive, but it demonstrates atmospheric and environmental principles that can be applied on any scale. In fact, the home’s integration of internal and external space with glass walls and doorways reminds one less of the McMansions of the boom years than the small “cocktail houses” of vintage 1960s Las Vegas neighborhoods such as Paradise Palms on Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn Road. Thanks to this blurring of boundaries, the home becomes a place to entertain neighbors and connect with the outside world—a shelter rather than a fortress. Nature shapes the place, both indoors and out. One of the most notable elements of the Copper Haus is its use of an ancient building material—rammed earth. Earthen walls increase energy efﬁciency by absorbing heat in the day and releasing it at night. At the Copper Haus, rammed earth and copper panels play off one another to gorgeous effect; the home is at once sleek and organic, modern and timeless. But for the rest of us, for whom 8,500 square feet is about 6,500 too many, what matters is that the home, like Henderson’s police station and the library in Centennial Hills, is a laboratory for ideas that are at once age-old and inspiringly fresh, dreams of the possible that are looking more probable every day. October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 39
The Local Newsroom
Down for the Recount Expert advice for Harry Reid and Sharron Angle should their dogﬁght drag on By Kate Silver the victory to Franken by a margin As the neck-and-neck race continues of 312 votes. Franken was sworn in between U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and eight months after the election. It Republican Sharron Angle, not evwas the longest and most expensive eryone is pulling for red versus blue, recount in American history. north versus south, or the Tea Party Citing the signiﬁcance of the insurgency versus the incumbents. Nevada race between the Tea Party Jay Weiner, who is watching the candidate and the Senate majorrace from his home in Minnesota, is ity leader, Weiner predicts that actually hoping it’s too close to call. it may not end on election night. “I’m probably the only person in “The Reid-Angle race will be the America that’s hoping for a million target one for the biggest and most recounts,” he says. “I’m trying to experienced recount lawyers and sell books.” technicians, because it stands for so Weiner is the author of This Is much, really,” he says. Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Weiner says both sides are probably Minnesota Senate Recount, published already getting their lawyers and in September by University of funding in place in case a recount is Minnesota Press, which details Weiner: There’s a lot at stake. needed. As such he shared the followthe behind-the-scenes process of ing predictions and recommendations for what the two Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. Senate race between Democrat candidates might do if it isn’t over until it’s over: Al Franken and Republican incumbent Norm Cole• Scrutinize the absentee ballots. The absentee ballots man. Although Coleman appeared to win on election in an election like this are critical. They were critical night by 215 votes, a lengthy legal battle went on to give
in Minnesota, and they were critical in the Washington state gubernatorial recount of 2004-2005, he says. • Candidates will likely plan their recount messages ahead of time. When they’re behind in the recount, they should say, “The electoral process is a slow, unexacting process. Let’s let it play out, and let the election ofﬁcials do their jobs.” If they’re ahead, they shouldn’t assume they are going to win. A more effective message is something like, “We’re ahead now, and we’re very conﬁdent that we’re going to stay ahead. But based on the experiences in Washington state and Minnesota, we’re going to make sure that we’re treated fairly,” he says. Assuming victory can come back to haunt you, he says. • Candidates should be wary of hogging the camera, he says. It’s better for them to stay out of the picture once the recount starts. Franken stayed out of the way and let the lawyers and technicians and data folks handle the recounts and came off a little more senatorial, even thought he wasn’t a senator, he says. Coleman was more available and looked as if he really didn’t have anything to do. • Post-election messages should be similarly planned out. Whoever wins will have to be humble because they won by the narrowest of margins. The loser should be a gracious, because no one likes a sore loser and, generally speaking, these people run for ofﬁce again. Take note, candidates, because Weiner suggests the following: “The system has worked. We should be proud of our state.”
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Trying to wrangle the Angle mangle By Michael Green
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42 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
The ﬁrst and most obvious problem facing Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election chances is that he looks Asian. Oh, you didn’t hear that Sharron Angle went to Rancho, my old high school—go Rams!—and told Hispanic students some of them looked Asian? Reid has a ﬂair for statements that make you say, “What did he say?” Angle’s talent is for making you say, “How could she say that?,” or “How could anyone say that?” That difference may decide this election, when even those who oppose Reid enter the voting booth and say, “I don’t like him, but I can’t vote for her.” Historically, Nevada has been a oneparty state in Washington, D.C., and not just the gaming or mining party. It started out strongly Republican in the 1860s and tended to follow the country—mostly GOP when that party was in power, largely Democratic through the decades that Democrats dominated Congress. Often in Washington and almost always in Carson City, while the disagreements between the two parties could be contentious, comity triumphed. No more. It sometimes seems as though the two sides will barely speak to each other now. Thus the signiﬁcance of Republicans for Reid, a long list of veteran political and business leaders. Their reasons for endorsing Reid have included his defense of gaming and mining, and understanding that with a limited population, Nevada would be insane to defeat the Senate majority leader—and that Angle’s positions don’t even look sane in comparison with crazies such as Carl Palladino of New York and Christine O’Donnell of Delaware. But while Palladino’s Neanderthal tendencies (sorry, Neanderthals) and O’Donnell’s obvious ignorance (sorry, ignoramuses) have destroyed their candidacies, Angle remains close to Reid in most polls and ahead of him in one. That it’s the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Mason-Dixon poll brings up a couple of points: one, the R-J push-polls, which can skew the results the way the R-J wants them, meaning toward Republicans; two, calling traditional voters on landlines skews the results, more likely toward Republicans. Political analysts hither and yon have noted and speculated on the visceral
hatred Reid inspires in some people. Perhaps we ask the wrong question: not why do they hate Reid, but, would they hate anyone else like him, namely, a Democrat with strong opinions and more talent for working on the inside than on the outside? Or are they simply right-wing Republicans who might occasionally vote for a Democrat, but only in a less or nonpartisan race for a less or nonpartisan position? In turn, are they enormous in number, or simply devoted Republicans and right-wingers who happen to be loud? How unusual this hatred for Reid is may be gauged from some of the reactions to U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D.-Nev., and County Commissioner Rory Reid, the majority leader’s son. To put it another way, try reading some of the comment sections on any political website without feeling the need to bathe. Similarly, how popular Angle is may be gauged from how Titus’ campaign has been tying her opponent, former state Sen. Joe Heck (who, interestingly, has played down his legislative tenure) to Angle. Angle’s biggest problem is not merely that she hates a government that feeds her. Or that her old pastor is bigoted toward Mormons and her diehard supporters see no contradiction between that and their feelings about Barack Obama’s onetime minister. It’s that she then denies taking these positions, even when the evidence is her own words, and in context. If the big polls are accurate, the Reid-Angle and Titus-Heck races will be close, and the Sandoval-Reid race won’t be. My guess is that the Democratic Get Out the Vote effort, along with fear of a Republican sweep, will help overcome displeasure with the economy, personal hatred (on either side) and the clumsiest journalistic hatchet job against an ofﬁceholder in recent memory, to re-elect Reid, and that Titus will squeak through. Rory Reid has a tougher row to hoe, but the Get Out the Vote effort certainly won’t hurt him. Could I be wrong? Of course. But for the sake of your state and country and mine, you’d better hope not. Michael Green is a professor of history at the College of Southern Nevada an author of several books and articles on Nevada history and politics.
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one cocktail in VeGaS
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text â€œwaterâ€? to 20222 to donate $10 today.
visit Generositywater.org for more information about our cause. and MyGenerositywater.org to start your own fundraising campaign.
Entertaining options for a week of nonstop fun and excitement.
Compiled by Melissa Arseniuk
Thu. 28 Savor the ﬁnal days of Crush Month (and some tasty wine) at Paris as Flo Rogers of Nevada Public Radio hosts an all-Bordeaux evening at Napoleon’s in Paris Las Vegas. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be served; tickets are $100 per person. While the ticket price might seem somewhat steep, the proceeds go to a good cause: KNPR—and, therefore, an eventual end to the broadcaster’s much-loathed on-air fundraising campaigns. (From 5–7 p.m.) Later, switch gears from wine and all-talk to house music at the Hard Rock, as DJ Mark Knight comes to Vanity for this week’s edition of Godskitchen. At the Hard Rock Hotel, doors 10 p.m., $30 guys, $20 girls, locals free.
Fri. 29 Head to Haze and sing “Happy Birthday” to songstress Ciara, who celebrates at Aria. Or forgo singing and just let DJ Karma do his thing. (Doors 10:30 p.m., $50 cover.) Over at Crazy Horse III, the 24/7 strip and sushi bar hosts a Jersey Shore costume contest, awarding $5,000 in cash and prizes. (3525 W. Russell Road., no cover.) Meanwhile, the real deal—Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino—will be at The Mirage, where he hosts a Halloween party at Jet. (Doors 10:30 p.m., $40 cover.) And, at Rain, we’re hoping it’s not “goodbye” but “see you later” as Z-Trip plays his last headlining gig at his namesake Revolution Fridays. His yearlong contract is almost up, and he’s about to head into the studio for the remainder of the year. (At the Palms, doors 11 p.m., $30, local ladies free.) Or pop by Tao at the Venetian, where True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten (pictured) hosts Yelloween. Doors 10:30 p.m., $30 men, $20 women.
Sat. 30 While we think Audrina Patridge is more “hot” than “scary,” the former reality TV starlet rides her seemingly never-ending 15 minutes straight to The Bank, where she hosts a Devil’s Night party and $10,000 contest. (At Bellagio, doors 10:30 p.m., $40). Get into a more macabre Halloween spirit at Haze, as modern shock-rocker Marilyn Manson hosts. Channel your inner Manson and don an asexual vinyl bodysuit for the $10,000 costume contest. (At Aria, doors 10:30 p.m., $50.) Or forget costumes altogether and check out the band that everybody loves or hates, Nickelback, with guests Buckcherry and Three Days Grace at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena (Doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m., $51.50-$99.50, all ages). Front man Chad Kroeger visits Surrender the following night to judge the club’s $15,000 costume contest while guest DJ Joachim Garraud spins. At Encore, doors 10 p.m., $44 men, $33 women.
All hail Kryoman! The lit-up, laser-wielding stilt-walker marks his return at Haze, which deviates from its usual routine for a special Halloween party with Dirty South, Chris Lake and LA Riots. (At Aria, doors 10:30 p.m.) The house music continues at the Venetian, where Erick Morrillo (pictured) returns for another sure-to-be-epic set at Tao (Doors 10:30 p.m., $40 men, $30 women, local ladies free.) At the Hard Rock Hotel, Swedish House Maﬁa brings their legendary Masquerade Motel to The Joint, only the second time the Maﬁa bring the party outside of Ibiza, so it’s a deﬁnite must. 9 p.m., from $60.
Mon. 1 Take a break from the Strip with some hot Monday Night Football action, happening concurrently all over town. Catch Houston vs. Indianapolis at Ovation (At Green Valley Ranch, doors open 5 p.m.), at Club Madrid (At Sunset Station, doors open 5 p.m.) the new Sporting House Bar & Grill (At New York-New York, doors open 11 a.m.), and at Cadillac Ranch Las Vegas (At Town Square, doors open 11 a.m.).
Tue. 2 The Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association trade show (SEMA) highlights the latest and greatest from the world of auto performance gadgetry, but it’s closed to the public. However, the after-show parties are open to the public—well, some at least. Tonight, Funkmaster Flex kicks off the show at Blush along with DJs Mighty Mi and G-Squared. And since it’s Tuesday, ladies drink free champagne 11 p.m.-midnight. (At Wynn, doors 9 p.m., $30, local ladies free.) Meantime, DJ Skeet Skeet (pictured) is at the Palms for an unsanctioned show, during this week’s edition of Bang at Moon. Doors 11 p.m., $20, local ladies free.
Wed. 3 Apparently they like to party, and tonight the Juice Crew—DJs Lisa Pittman, Dave Fogg, DJ88 and M!ke Attack—welcomes DJ Excel to Snitch at Ghostbar. (At the Palms, doors 11 p.m., $20, local ladies free.) It’s all about retro revival at Revolution, as Gen X takes over the Beatles-inspired lounge. The venue is transformed into a ’80s wonderland, complete with music videos, board games and authentic ’80s arcade games. At The Mirage, doors 10 p.m., $20, locals free. October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 45
Jet | tHe Mirage
Upcoming Oct. 29 | The Situation hosts Oct. 30 | Snooki hosts Oct. 31 | Fabolous performs
46 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Photography by Amy Schaefer
Lavo | PaLazzo
Photography by Sullivan Charles
Upcoming Oct. 30 | Annalynne McCord hosts Oct. 31 | Lavo-ween Nov. 2 | Industry Tuesdays
Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
TrysT | Wynn
Photography by Tony Tran
Upcoming Oct. 28 | Tales from the Tryst: Zombie Invasion Oct. 29 | Spiderween with DJ Spider
50 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Haze | aria
Photography by Roman Mendez
Upcoming Oct. 29 | Ciara performs Oct. 30 | Marilyn Manson hosts Oct. 31 | DJs Dirty South, Funkagenda, Chris Lake
Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Nightmare as Dream Job
HalloWIN! Halloweekend 2010 offers quite the payout
Barry Morgan celebrates his 13th year on 54th Street, where Halloween never ends
By Natalie Holbrook
By Xania Woodman
60 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Oct. 28 The festivities kick off at Blush with Mingle & Mayhem, a night of naughty networking and a tidy prize for best costume. Inside Wynn. Doors 9 p.m., $30 cover. Total awards: $3,000 | First place: $1,000
Oct. 29 Delectable devil or arousing angel? Gold will decide in a naughty or nice costume contest. Inside Aria. Doors 10 p.m. $20 men, $10 ladies. Total awards: $1,000 | First place: $1,000 Morgan steps it up for Halloween 2010.
Oct. 30 collaborates with R.O.B. on music. Next come the scenic designers, costumers, casting, rehearsals (Morgan’s favorite part) and before he knows it, it’s time. “It’s like having a baby,” he opines. “You spend so much time with your dancers, creating new stuff, but after you see people’s reaction in the club, for me that’s the most fulﬁlling part.” This year’s party starts Oct. 28 with a ’80s Throwback Thursday featuring Doug E. Fresh. 1990s icon Vanilla Ice returns Oct. 29, this time celebrating both his birthday and his updated image, although Morgan notes, “He has to do ‘Ice Ice Baby.’” Holly Madison returns to 54 for her second annual Hollyween on Oct. 30. “She’s actually super-nice,” says Morgan, dispelling any rumors of diva-dom. “She’s so easy to work with, she’s so game.” But more than just a party weekend, Nightmare on 54th Street will host Golden Rainbow’s 44th annual Beaux Arts Ball on Oct. 31, when performers of Viva Elvis, Le Rêve, The Lion King, Jubilee, Fantasy and other shows donate their time and, Morgan says, “get to show their creative abilities” by choreographing their own performances. Although the Beaux Arts Ball relocated to Krave last year, Morgan, who has sat on the board for that event for a little over a year now, is elated to have it back for the 44th annual ball, which auspiciously falls on Halloween. “It just seems like home,” he says. “It just seems like that’s where it’s supposed to be.” Morgan’s ties to Golden Rainbow—an organization which assists people living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada—date back to his days on the stage, when the performer who sat next to him in the dressing room died from AIDS in 1986. The next year, Morgan helped direct Golden Rainbow’s ﬁrst show, now called Ribbon of Life, and has remained a devout participant ever since. Predictably, Morgan is already thinking about next year. But more so, about how he can keep this great momentum going beyond Halloween. Because, says Morgan, “That’s what Studio should be.”
Battle for your bite into Rain’s prizes for the funniest, scariest and most shocking costumes. Inside Palms. Doors 11 p.m. $40 cover, local ladies free. Total awards: $47,000 | First place: $10,000
Oct. 31 944 Las Vegas throws a spine-chilling Lavo-ween soiree, awarding the deadliest costume in the Lavo lair. Inside Palazzo. Doors 10 p.m. $20 cover. Total awards: $5,000 | First place: $5,000
NOv. 1 Lavish, modern-day mega-speakeasy XS throws a Prohibition-themed party, slipping moolah to best in theme, sexiest and best overall. Inside Encore. Doors 10 p.m. $30 men, $20 ladies. Total awards: $20,000 | First place: $5,000
total jackpot: $76,000 total ﬁrst place: $22,000
Morgan photo by Tomas Muscionico
MGM Grand entertainment director Barry Morgan has been the man behind the MGM Grand’s annual Halloween spectaculars since well before the Strip’s longest continuously running nightclub—Studio 54—had even opened in December 1997. Were it his child, he’d be getting it a driver’s permit. Today, Morgan oversees all things stage and performance for MGM Grand as well as special events for other MGM Resorts International properties. Most of the year Morgan can be found bouncing around the MGM, day and night, whatever it takes for the show to go on. “I love being involved with performers, I love creating new events,” Morgan says. But for him, Halloween is a special time. When Vegas Seven caught up with the man, Morgan was simultaneously putting together an employee talent show, placing the ﬁnishing touches on Centrifuge bar’s entertainment re-launch, tentatively eyeing New Year’s Eve and readying Studio 54 for the 13th annual Nightmare on 54th Street party—all tasks Morgan is perfectly suited to juggle with aplomb. After completing his master’s degree in music at UNLV, and capping off 10 years dancing with the Las Vegas Folies Bergère, Morgan—a 25-year Las Vegas resident originally from Nashville, Tenn.—began performing at the MGM Grand Theme Park, which opened in 1993, then later directed and choreographed the performances. But when the club opened, Morgan’s attention turned to Studio 54. “We felt we could make Studio 54 a little bit more of an adult playground,” Morgan says. The Thriller-themed performances that had been such an important part of Morgan’s “Scream Park” Halloween entertainment were adapted to 54’s stage and the rest is nightlife history. To keep the production current, Morgan uses pop culture as his guide. This year, the spider web vignette will take on Ne-Yo’s song “Beautiful Monster” and “Teeth” by Lady Gaga, and the club will convert into a spooky maze of street signs, grafﬁti, black light and urban grit. While the production theme changes annually, what has remained constant since Morgan’s Scream Park days is the full-scale Thriller stage production, though that undergoes updates, too, such as last Halloween’s tribute to Michael Jackson. But the thrill lives on, with performances happening twice each night during 54’s Halloweekend festivities. “It’s so crazy. That entire week—from the whole set, transforming the club, the staff in their costumes, all the people that show up—it’s really become a destination. And people keep coming back year after year.” Morgan’s aide-de-camp since the Theme Park days has been DJ R.O.B. (a.k.a. Robert Hathcock). “He knows how to make enhancements to music that enhances the choreography … DJ R.O.B. is the man!” declares Morgan of their rapport. Their process begins two months before Halloween is even a thought in a second-grader’s mind. It starts with a big meeting of the entire MGM nightlife team, including representatives from Angel Management Group. After the think tank, Morgan
Whether your costume is spine-chillingly sexy, wickedly humorous or hellishly scary, there is a giant prop check with your name on it. Here’s our rundown of the Strip’s top costume contests.
By Xania Woodman
As served at Tacos & Tequila at Luxor, $8 Tacos & Tequila (T&T) has two reasons to raise up a toast this week, what with Halloween and El Dia de Los Muertos (Nov. 1 and 2) coming in such close succession. T&T will host a Halloween pre-party at 7 p.m. Oct. 30, with food and drink specials, Mariachi Elvis, sounds by DJ Ernan, and a $2,000 costume contest. Dia de Los Muertos will be celebrated a little early with a mariachi brunch kicking off at 11 a.m. Halloween day, featuring music by Los Mariachi Muertos and, of course, more drink specials. Created in honor of the double holiday, the Sangre de Vampiro cocktail (“Vampire’s Blood”) will be served through the remainder of October. Says its creator, Drive This! Entertainment bartender Jason Hughes, “Blood never tasted so bueno!” ¼ jalapeño pepper, sliced, stemmed, seeded 1½ ounces Perfect Puree blood orange concentrate ¾ ounce Milagro organic agave nectar 1 ounce fresh lime juice ¾ ounce Hiram Walker orange curaçao 1½ ounces Hornitos plata tequila Combine ingredients in a tin, add ice, shake and strain into a zombie glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a jalapeño spear.
See for yourself! Scan here to have the cocktail action delivered directly to your mobile device or visit WeeklySeven.com.
Death’s Door Spirits It’s a lot less intimidating once you’ve heard that you can now zip through Death’s Door—the once treacherous passage between Wisconsin’s Washington Island and the Door Peninsula, which separate Lake Michigan from Green Bay—on a ferry. Far safer than in past centuries, Washington Island (population 650) is today known for its Washington organic, hard red winter wheat, a vital ingredient for Death’s Door Spirits’ small-batch artisanal gin, vodka and white whisky (neutral grain spirit that’s been minimally wood-aged, in this case for less than 72
Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
hours). All three products are made in the same small 90-gallon copper pot still, in use since the company began in 2005. Especially unique, the rare citrus-free gin also boasts wild juniper berries foraged from Washington Island as well as Great Lakes area coriander and fennel. Death’s Door white whisky is featured on the Halloween menu at Panevino Restaurant in the Reaper cocktail,
along with apple schnapps, macerated black grapes and white cranberry juice (246 Via Antonio Ave, Sunset Road. and Gilespie Street.). You can sample all three Death’s Door spirits at Vanguard Lounge (516 E. Fremont St.). The Broken Neck cocktail—a take on the classic Horse’s Neck—employs Death’s Door white whisky, Drambuie, honey-lemon syrup and celery bitters. The aptly named Perfect Passage combines Death’s Door gin with prickly pear puree, Domaine De Canton, cinnamon tea-infused vanilla syrup, lemon and egg white. DeathsDoorSpirits.com
Mise en Place: Agave Nectar The process differs greatly between the making of the now-popular sweetener, agave nectar (high-pressure hydrolysis or the more traditional tapping of the quiote ﬂower stem), and that of mescal or tequila (cook then press agave piñas to get aguamiel or honey water, which is then fermented and distilled). What matters most is that they share an origin in the agave family. So it’s not hard to imagine why agave sweeteners can be so useful for bringing out the agave-ness of agave-based spirits in cocktails. Today, many tequila brands are selling their own branded agave nectar, with Milagro, Herradura and Partida being among them. But Tres Agaves Tequila makes my favorite. It comes in a 750-milliliter glass bottle that ﬁts a standard pour spout. Thanks to the addition of a little de-mineralized water, this “cocktail-ready” nectar is perfect for mixology applications thanks to its thinner consistency, which can easily be measured with a jigger. It dissolves right into both hot and cold beverages and does not seize upon contact with ice. Just you try that with honey! And while other sweeteners can vary from batch to batch, Tres Agaves champions consistency. “It’s made to have the same 48 Brix level for each bottle, which makes a more consistent cocktail every time versus anything else on the market,” says Tres Agaves executive vice president and partner Chris Alvarez. The San Franciscobased brand has determined this to be the ideal level of sweetness for margaritas. With a golden color and notes of fruity black tea on that palate, says Alvarez, “It’s the true ﬂavor of roasted agave plants.” TresAgavesProducts.com, $7
Sangre de Vampiro photo by Anthony Mair
Sangre de Vampiro
The NaTioNal Newsroom
The Father of the squid
Matt Taibbi’s magazine piece about Goldman Sachs became a signature moment of the ﬁnancial crisis. Now, having turned 40 and out with a new book, the coffee-throwing writer has mellowed. By Max Abelson At the climax of this summer’s silly Wall Street sequel, Oliver Stone’s camera lingers on our young hero’s bombshell banking exposé. “The ﬁrst thing you need to know,” it says, “is that it’s everywhere.” As if it weren’t already clear that Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone Goldman Sachs proﬁle has been the splashiest piece of ﬁnancial journalism since the ﬁnancial crisis began, Stone lifted its opening line verbatim. “I’m not really classiﬁable, I don’t think,” Taibbi said in a downtown diner near Sixth Avenue recently, sipping coffee. His second sentence of the July 2009 article called Goldman a blood-funneled and money-snifﬁng vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity. “There are a lot of people who take issue with the whole approach, who feel like if you’re going to present this factual case, that it shouldn’t be so polemical and so opinionated and have that much narrative in it. I just don’t think there are rules about these things.” The last time Taibbi agreed to be proﬁled, he met a Vanity Fair reporter up the street. Their coffee ended when he threw his cup at the interviewer, stalked out and then, when the interviewer caught up, told him, “Did you bring me here to insult me? Who are you? What have you ever written? Fuck you!” But that was nearly a year ago. Taibbi, freshly married and now 40 years old, has a major book, Griftopia, an expansion of the squid proﬁle and its main ideas, out Nov. 2 through Random House. It does not have a chapter on king-hell speed binges, like his ﬁrst book, or, like his second, anecdotes about gobbling acid before interviewing the former White House Drug Policy head and Sen. John Kerry aide, in a Viking outﬁt. In fact, the book has no stunts or gags in it, and barely any mugging for the camera. “I’m worried about it, because it’s not a particularly funny topic,” he said. When he was writing, he caught himself trying hard to amuse. “Some of those things ended up being so unfunny that we had to actually remove them from the book.” Since at least 2008, when he won a National Magazine Award, then began shifting from politics to Wall Street, his name has been a byword for a certain kind of worldview and writing. It is infuriated; inquisitive; indecorous; agog. Except for its lack of psychotropics and costumes, the book is a summation of what his name means to the landscape of ﬁnancial journalism. But, especially recently, it’s also become a schoolyard put-down. “How about that,” a New York item on the analyst Meredith Whitney said this month. “Next they’ll be ﬁnding holes in Matt Taibbi’s reporting.” Taibbi grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts, moved to England around age 7 and came back not very long after, which is when his parents broke up. “I was a bit of a troubled kid growing up, let’s put it that way,” he said. “I didn’t take pleasure in hard work.”
Still, he liked reading, and got The Collector (Back Bay Books, 1997), the John Fowles novel about a lonely young lepidopterist who kidnaps and tortures a beautiful girl, when he was young. “Eleven or something like that,” he said. He also went to Concord Academy, a prep school, and loved it. “It’s not a status place,” he said, though on a list of notable alumni he is behind Caroline Kennedy and Queen Noor of Jordan (and ahead of Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste). He did not want to be a reporter. “Everybody I knew, practically, was a journalist when I was a kid—my father, all of his friends. I never wanted to be like those people.” For about the last ﬁve years, he hasn’t talked to his dad, the NBC reporter Mike Taibbi, who did not comment. “The only reason I ended up doing it is by the time I got to be in my early 20s, I wanted to be a novelist,” he said. “My idol was Gogol: I went over to Russia, I lived in the neighborhood where he lived and everything.” In one of Griftopia’s brightest spots, where he calls Alan Greenspan a gnomish party crasher and a gaggle-eyed clarinetist, he drops Nikolai Gogol’s name to describe the intensity of Greenspan’s own name-dropping. He returned to America, brieﬂy. “I had some credits to ﬁnish up at Bard,” he said. He went back, then came home and worked in a private-detective agency called Dataquest International, run by a former Army man named Russ Bubas. “Once we had a job where we were trying to see if someone was stealing from the Stride Rite shoe company,” Taibbi said. “I parked outside their factory, waiting to tail him, and I didn’t realize I’d parked next to the company day-care center, where little kids were playing. They thought I was a pedophile. I was sitting in this old Oldsmobile. They alerted the whole company.” “Matt has got,” said Bubas, reached through the agency, “a really terriﬁc mind.” At Exile, the adored but gaga newspaper he co-edited for years in Moscow, there was a lot of speed. “You get together; everybody gets shit-faced; and everyone assumes nobody has anything going on because who does? Nobody,” he told The Observer’s George Gurley 10 years ago. By 1998, Taibbi had a problem with heroin. “I came back to the States and I didn’t have a connection,” he said last week, “is how I kicked.” That was not the end of his drug use. In 2005, well after he’d left Moscow, he wrote a New York Press column called “The 52 Funniest Things about the Upcoming Death of the Pope,” which, a week later, he said had been written in a Vicodin haze. “I’m too old for that shit now,” he said at the diner. In late 2003, he wrote a Nation cover story on Wesley Clark, in which, as one letter to the editor complained
Matt Taibbi’s latest take on the ﬁnancial crisis comes out Nov. 2.
afterward, he “inﬁltrated a volunteer meeting disguised as an injured adult-ﬁlm director just to get a rise.” In 2004, he began covering politics for Rolling Stone, Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O’Rourke’s old magazine. “People throw that term around, ‘gonzo’ journalism,” he told a reporter who asked him about it in 2007. His book that came out that year used it, too, on its back cover. So does the new one, thanks to an inadvertently ﬂattering line from Lloyd Blankfein, who by “gonzo” meant that Taibbi’s reporting is goofy, not Thompson-tier. “Who the fuck is Matt Taibbi,” a line on Wonkette said after a 2006 Rolling Stone cover story, “and what makes him think he is an expert on politics?” “Who the fuck is Matt Taibbi,” said a 2009 comment on the website of Men’s Journal, another Jann Wenner property, where the reporter covers sports on the side, “and what does he know about baseball?” “Who the fuck is Matt Taibbi?” a man wrote on an online gay forum, after someone asked if anyone else found him cute and funny. “I wouldn’t take anything I read out of Rolling Stone at face value unless they are talking about pot, cocaine, or music,” someone else wrote a couple of weeks ago. “Oh and who the fuck is Matt Taibbi?” Continued on Page 71 October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 69
The National Newsroom
Haunted Hollywood Taking a tour around the world’s most famous ghost town By Rena Dictor LeBlanc
70 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
is being restored to look like it did in its heyday. The Hollywood Tower reportedly was a popular residence for people in the entertainment industry. As for being spooky, it is said to be the inspiration for Disney’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror rides. How would you like to be awakened at night by ghostly kisses on your cheek? That’s what happened to a male resident who lived alone in his Hollywood Tower apartment, according to Turkalj. “He was a little freaked out. He said, ‘At least they’re kissing me and not strangling me. They like me.’” Another resident said she was sitting in her living room with a friend when she heard water running in her bathroom, according to the manager. “She went into the bathroom and noticed water coming out of her bathtub faucet,” Turkalj said. “It freaked her out. She went back in the living room to get her friend. By the time he got there the water wasn’t running any more. They went out for the night. When the woman returned at 3 a.m. the stopper was in the bathtub, the bathtub was completely full of water, but the water was no longer running out of the faucet. “At ﬁrst she was scared and left for two days,” Turkalj recalled. “When she returned her attitude changed.” The tenant told the manager, “What a nice gesture, somebody drawing my bath.” “We have friendly ghosts,” Turkalj said. Jackie Barrett, a psychic, medium and spiritualist, reportedly has seen the ghost of Marilyn Monroe at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Barrett, author of the book The House That Kay Built (iUniverse, 2005), reported seeing many ghosts of celebrities there, calling the Roosevelt a “cocktail lounge” for spirits. “I was staying at the hotel about four years ago and I saw this beautiful woman in distress in the lobby,” Barrett said. It was Monroe, according to the medium. “She had on a light pink sleeveless cocktail dress, very shimmering. You could feel the emotions of a broken heart. As she was leaving she turned and saw me, and that I will never forget.” Sinatra, Barrett said, appeared when she was waiting for a cab in Hollywood. Then he vanished. Elvis is another ghost she said she’s recently seen. “He wanted it to be known that he didn’t purposely kill himself.”
Liberace was the saddest ghost Barrett said she’s encountered. “His spirit told me he was very sad because his mother didn’t accept his sexuality.” On the other hand, Groucho Marx was the happiest ghost Barrett encountered: “He’s happy because he was himself on camera and off camera. He knew how to have fun.” One of the most notoriously haunted spots in Hollywood is the Comedy Store where stars such as David Letterman and Robin Williams performed. You might assume that ghosts, too, enjoy a good laugh. But, that’s not believed to be the reason for the alleged
hauntings. “This place used to be Ciro’s (nightclub) run by the mob,” said Alf LaMont, vice president of marketing and development for the Comedy Store. People who were killed in the club by mobsters are believed to return as ghosts, he pointed out. At the Magic Castle, séances have been conducted for years in an effort to contact the ghost of magician Harry Houdini. The Magic Castle is the showplace for magicians from around the globe, and houses a collection of Houdini’s tools of the trade, according to Leo Kostka, its resident medium. Continued on Page 74
Marilyn Monroe isn’t really gone, she’s just been hanging out at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Photo by Vince Bucci / Getty Images
When a ghost stalked actress Jennifer Love Hewitt she knew exactly what to do. She was, after all, the star of the former CBS television series Ghost Whisperer. It was a young male ghost that was stalking her. No, she didn’t whisper to him, as the title of her TV show might imply. She called her very own “ghostbuster” associate who helped her in the most amazing way. There are those who believe Hollywood is a ghost town of sorts. It’s not a ghost town like you’d ﬁnd in the Old West. We’re talking real ghosts who haunt Hollywood for a variety of reasons, according to experts in the ﬁeld of the paranormal and others who have claimed to see celebrity spirits. Reported encounters with some of Hollywood’s most famous ghosts include Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Rock Hudson, Rudolph Valentino, Sharon Tate, Errol Flynn, Liberace, Jack Benny and Groucho Marx. In Ghost Whisperer Love Hewitt portrayed Melinda Gordon, a character inspired in part by famed mediums James Van Praagh and Mary Ann Winkowski, who claims, “I see and talk to spirits like I see and talk to regular people.” When Love Hewitt believed a ghost was stalking her in her home she called Winkowski for help. The apparent apparition was causing the light dimmer switch in Love Hewitt’s bedroom to go up and down, moving things, staring at her, draining her of energy. Ironically, Love Hewitt’s home originally was owned by actor Lon Chaney, who frightened millions in his bizarre and macabre screen roles. When Winkowski determined an earthbound spirit of a 30-year-old admirer of Love Hewitt was haunting the actress, Winkowski said she found a way to help not only the actress but the ghost as well. She said she created a white light that enables the dead to cross over into the spirit world, and convinced the young man to cross over. Sure, ghosts have a reputation for being frightening. But, they can be affectionate and surprisingly helpful, says April Turkalj, business manager for the Hollywood Tower. It’s an apartment building with 52 units that was built in 1929, and is listed in the National Register of Historical Places. The building
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Photo by Robin Holland
Taibbi Continued from Page 69
Commission’s lawsuit, it popularized By the 2008 presidential election, the idea that Goldman Sachs was a Lehman and Bear had been killed off. gargantuan, cackling, antisocial villain, “It just seemed pretty obvious to us when typifying a system built on making the crisis hit that he had to get into this,” money from guile and inﬂuence, not Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s managing merit. Taibbi describes this in his editor, said. It doesn’t bother him that book as an invisible hive of high-class Taibbi didn’t know anything about the ﬁnancial burglars and castrato henchAmerican ﬁnancial system. “He edumen pillaging the masses. cated himself very quickly. Once he gets Second, it unleashed waves of fury into something, he burrows in deep.” about its author. “I’m not saying that “It’s dark, and grotesque, and funny, Matt Taibbi is an impotent little bitch, so it perfectly matches the writing style but …” said Dealbreaker. The Atlantic’s I have,” Taibbi said about his beat. “The Megan McArdle called one thing that I do is take him “the Sarah Palin really complicated systems of journalism.” and subjects and make them Although his other accessible to regular people.” Rolling Stone pieces examine He is also good at Goldman’s rivals—like outrage—loud, acrossan infuriating piece about the-board, one-hand-onJPMorgan nearly cremating chest-the-other-clenched, Birmingham, Ala., thanks great gasping gall. “Arms to brilliantly fraudulent ﬂailing,” the second sentence bond swaps and a huge new of Griftopia goes, “I manage sewer system, a plot straight to scribble,” which is about Taibbi out of an early Randy Newtaking notes during Sarah man song—the new book doesn’t. The Palin’s classic convention speech, but only other big villain is Greenspan, about it has wider reverberations, too. “I whom Taibbi writes that “it sounds facile dropped my fork,” he writes later, after to pin this all on one guy.” Even Morgan hearing from a source at a restaurant Stanley, which, he writes parenthetically, about the potential sale of the Pennsylpushed up commodity prices with Goldvania Turnpike to foreign investors. He man, makes only a cameo. is a fork dropper. “Literarily, in order to sell people on a The Goldman blockbuster, with lot of the subject matter, it just works betits majestic and lurid vampire-squid ter when you make a villain, like a James opening, was one of his ﬁrst Wall Street Bond–style villain, out of Goldman articles. “I don’t know, I was trying to Sachs, and you almost use ﬁctioncome up with an image,” he said about writing technique to sell the story,” he its huge metaphor. “It was originally said. “But it’s all factual.” just a throwaway line, and they put it I’ve just calmed down a lot,” Taibbi up at the top.” said after the diner. What he called the “From tech stocks to high gas prices, Vanity Fair incident, even if it’s already Goldman Sachs has engineered every a while ago, was “an aberration from major market manipulation since the how I’ve behaved in the last six or Great Depression—and they’re about seven years.” to do it again,” the article, called “The Unlike three of his other books, Great American Bubble Machine,” said Griftopia does not refer to “near nervous in its subhead. “I mean,” Taibbi said breakdowns,” “nervous collapses” or later, grinning, during an interview a “howling-on-the-bathroom-ﬂoor with WNYC, “there was a little bit of ten-alarm” break. hyperbole that went into the headline“I think he’s in a different place in his making there.” life,” Dana said. “Writing about credit Other writers mocked Taibbi, default swaps probably doesn’t lend widely, for suggesting that a single ﬁrm itself to wearing Viking suits and taking could be held responsible for so much acid. I don’t know if Matt’s there in his over such a long period of time, from life, anyway. There’s only so far you can Depression-era Ponzi scheming to the take that stuff.” tech and housing and oil booms, to the Speaking of which, Taibbi said he bailouts, to the cap-and-trade plan. has one more Rolling Stone ﬁnance piece “Read the piece more carefully and see coming before he takes a recess. “Then if Matt’s saying that there’s a massive I’m going to be doing some different conspiracy,” Dana offered, ruminating things. I’ll come back to it,” he said. on the headlines. “Perhaps we should “Sometimes the best gift you can give to have said ‘had a hand in,’ or ‘was your readers is your absence, and I think involved in.’” I’ve kind of hit this as hard as I can The article did two things. First, a possibly hit this, for a while.” year before the Securities and Exchange October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 71
The National Newsroom
Plays I’d Like To See 2
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ACROSS 1 In the least 6 Arizona neckties 11 Lively dance 14 Replacement part? 17 Detect, as danger 18 Yucatan’s capital 19 Smell 21 “___ Mo’ Time” 22 Play about a woman who gets her “just desserts”? 24 Westernmost Aleutian 25 Theater co. 26 Sudan neighbor: abbr. 27 Off-limits item 28 Play whose title character won’t eat anything unless it’s fried? 31 Play about a woman who dances with short people? 36 Cockatoos, sometimes 37 Hunky-dory 38 “Check,” in poker 39 It’s N of Mex. 41 Humped oxen 44 Play about a diner patron whose food never arrives? 50 Bates or Cumming 51 ___ the city 52 Looked high and low for 53 Recorded intro? 55 Play about a guy and his sloppy little pal from Mars? 57 Peek-a-boo player 58 Enthusiasm 59 Roadside retreat
60 Chevy model 65 Emotional attachments 66 Play about an actress trying to unload some real estate? 72 “The ___ Page” 73 Hitmaker Don or Phil 74 Promising letters 75 Kaput, as a battery 76 Lacking color 78 Play about an over-thehill boxer? 83 “Brother ___” 84 Lose one’s hearing 87 Fencing weapons 89 Subtle glow 90 Play about girls who were raised by orangutans? 93 Animated ogre 94 Ring ﬁnishes 95 Let out ___ (bellow) 96 Clerk on “The Simpsons” 97 Zenith 100 Play in which a college kid’s football prayers are answered? 108 With 114 Across, play about a couple with a cloth allergy? 110 Foe of Caesar 111 Bygone bird 112 Foam alternative for shavers 113 Some are tell-all 114 See 108 Across 119 Snake in the sea grass
Answers found on Page 74 72
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Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
120 Something ___ 121 Wheaties, e.g. 122 “... could ___ lean ...” 123 Trick ending? 124 Auth. submissions 125 Mythological trio 126 Edith Head creation DOWN 1 Word in a Frank McCourt title 2 “The Skin of Our ___” 3 “___ walks with me ...” 4 Grain-fungus drug 5 Simple shelters 6 Dizzy’s music style 7 Sun or moon, to bards 8 Small, in rapper names 9 “To Spring,” e.g. 10 Crusaders’ foes 11 Actress Pﬂug who played Lt. Dish in “M*A*S*H” (1970) 12 Patient’s wristwear 13 Failed as a sneak 14 “Three Men on a ___” 15 Bumbling 16 Diarist Samuel 18 Pre-stereo sound 20 Play with robots 23 Boil, broil, or bake 29 “Do ___ Gentle ...” 30 Apple release of 2010 32 Hot room’s analogy 33 Cranky mood 34 Oz visitor
35 Kimono sash 40 Falling-down drunk? 41 Kill electrically, as bugs 42 Brother of Peyton 43 Carry-on 44 Eloi girl in “The Time Machine” 45 Objectivist’s ﬁrst name 46 ___ a limb 47 Vietnamese name that anagrams into an egg drink 48 Parts, as a curtain 49 Embargo target 51 “___ Lear” 54 Subway cousins 56 Navel buildup 58 “The ___ Story” 60 Honda SUV since 1996 61 “Yes, Captain” 62 Apt. or dept. VIP 63 “___ My Sons” 64 51 Down, to Luis 65 “The House of ___ Leaves” 66 “The ___ White Hope” 67 Really reluctant 68 Word before result 69 Name meaning “born again” 70 The other Dr. Crane 71 Some UPS deliveries 72 Signer of the GlassSteagall Act 76 Golden Turkey Award recipient 77 Lemon/lime addition 78 Not ’neath 79 Book after Micah 80 Forest sticker 81 Iron in the raw 82 Be a chatterbox 84 Classic muscle car 85 Japanese beer brand 86 Wrote and sent quickly, as an angry letter 87 LAX guesses 88 Make waves? 91 ___ out a living 92 “___ gather” 93 Used a utensil 96 Start of the play 97 “You shouldn’t have!” 98 Root for the team 99 Actress Ringwald 101 Mr. Perot 102 Decreases, as pain 103 Ranch units 104 Pesters constantly 105 Ham it up 106 Wimpy and Stimpy 107 Street-lamp effects 109 Rushmore guy 115 Snowbirds’ Dec. home 116 Big container 117 Mamie’s mate 118 “Oh! What A Lovely ___” 10/28/2010 © M. Reagle
Calling All Call Girls in search of discretion in the world’s oldest profession By Bob Morris Not long ago, I was solicited by a prostitute. At least I think she was one. She had her pale hair pulled back in a proper bun and a trench coat buttoned to the top. We were on Columbus Circle in Manhattan, and after I asked her the time, she quietly asked if I wanted some company. It was a little surprising, but not because she was soliciting me. What was surprising was how discreetly she did it. It used to be that going to a hooker was a safe route for secret sex, and a far less corrosive way to have it than doing it with your secretary or the woman next door. Now you call a call girl and pretty much assume you’re going to end up on a reality TV show. Look at Irma Nici, the ex-call girl who was paid for her accounts of sessions with David Beckham. She recently told the New York Post that Eliot Spitzer wore white socks during sex, not black ones. “He couldn’t last as long in bed as his one-hour CNN show,” she added. Most people I know couldn’t last that long either, but other than Dr. Ruth, who would discuss it? Meanwhile, Nici’s former boss, Kristin Davis, is now running for governor, of all things, and Ashley Dupre has become a celebrity sex columnist. In New Orleans, a former prostitute is lending her voice to a campaign ad against David Vitter, who is running for U.S. Senate. I know that a girl’s got to make a living. But does she have to talk about it? In Europe, a hooker would be lucky to get Ashley Dupre has capitalized anyone to listen. Here, on her past as a call girl. entire governments grind to a halt each time one goes public. It’s not like we’re living at the time when George Bernard Shaw wrote Mrs. Warren’s Profession. The play, about a madam who does extremely well, was seen as a moral outrage and censored for years. Shaw had the nerve to show a mother with the smarts and gumption to make a good living using sex. I wonder what she’d think about the attack California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is making on Jerry Brown. She won’t let him forget that one of his campaign workers once referred to her as a whore in a conversation. In a debate last week, Brown apologized again for the incident. Whitman remains indignant. Meanwhile, prostitutes, take back your code of honor. Practice discretion. In a world in which we’re all busy trying to ﬁgure out how to prostitute ourselves in one way or another, we really don’t care what you did at work last night and with whom. You’re the world’s oldest professionals. You’re also old news.
Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage
By Merl Reagle
The National Newsroom
Personal Finance Haunted Hollywood Continued from Page 70
Kostka rattled off an A-list of séance attendees, including Johnny Depp, Michael Douglas and President Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy. According to Kostka, Nicolas Cage attended a séance years ago with Lisa Marie Presley. The medium recalled, “Someone said, ‘Let’s bring back Elvis.” Lisa Marie replied, ‘We don’t have to. He’s still alive.’” Sharon Tate, the actress murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson and his followers, allegedly haunts the home of David Oman, who co-wrote and produced the 2006 movie House at the End of the Drive. He lives just down the road from the house where Tate and her friends were killed. His ﬁctional movie is about four people who travel back in time and become victims of a horrible massacre. Oman said he’s encountered Tate’s spirit repeatedly, and the movie was inspired by her communication with him. Laurie Jacobson’s book Hollywood Haunted: A Ghostly Tour of Filmland (Angel City Press, 1999) reviews more than 100 years of ghostly encounters. According to Laurie, a Hollywood historian, the house where movie legend Errol Flynn once lived is haunted. When entertainer Ricky Nelson lived there with his actress daughter, Tracy, there were repeated instances of strange sounds like chairs being thrown against the wall and glass smashing. Yet nothing had been disturbed. Tracy Nelson once saw a man inside the house. When she told her father he said, “Oh my God, that’s Errol. I see him frequently.” Barry Taff, director of the American Institute of Parapsychology, said he has had repeated encounters with the spirit world—both in and out of Hollywood. He reportedly has been the principal investigator in more than 3,500 cases of hauntings. Taff described what appeared to be one of Hollywood’s most thoughtful ghosts. “There was a place in front of the Paramount Studios in Hollywood where Rudolph Valentino used to live,” Taff said. “The people living there would go out and come back and the dishes would be washed. They thought it might be Valentino.” Plays I’d Like To See By Merl Reagle
A S H E S
T E E T H
A N D H E
Z E B A L A P I G G F R D E R A T
L O A T H
A C WH GE E E E R
M O L L Y
L L B S E ME D A COB NONO S T OOP AOK U S WA N K E Y A L I E N I NN E NGA R N T E D WA N GOD E E T R E E KOS E T H E S A F R A B I OS E L S E MS S
O L OS R I D A B L E R A S T OC NOB E I T I N T O S C AMA R YG L V E R L A S A H I
F I R E D O F F
E S T OA I S F V L A A T
J O A NN ON T GO OU T RO E N Y O P E E R R MA C I R K E E S
I D T A G
G O T C A U NG GH O T N I L E S
C O D S
A NC A T G I S
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H R O U R R I S P E S A ODO T P Z E BON L OS U E N B A U S HR P U OME O M NWO E A T DR E
I N E P T
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Scrutinize for-proﬁt colleges before enrolling By Kathy Kristof, Tribune Media Services Krystle Bernal spent three years studying fashion design, and she’s got $80,000 in loans to prove it. But you’d never know it by what she does. She’s a part-time bank teller. “I wanted to be a fashion buyer,” she said. “They told me I could earn $65,000 a year.” After ﬁnishing a three-year program at Westwood College, a for-proﬁt university in Denver, Bernal was rejected for job after job by hiring managers who told her she wasn’t qualiﬁed. Westwood wouldn’t comment about Bernal, who is a lead plaintiff in a suit against the school, but said in a prepared statement: “We are proud of the hard work by our 40,000 students and graduates, many of whom are working at businesses throughout the U.S.” Roughly 1.8 million—or some 10 percent—of the nation’s college students attend for-proﬁt schools that promise to prepare them for careers in everything from fashion design and culinary arts to criminal justice and medical technology. Advocates say these schools play a pivotal role in educating low-income students, but some experts in the ﬁeld maintain that the graduates of for-proﬁt campuses are often illprepared for work, deeply in debt and unable to transfer their units to not-for-proﬁt universities. The U.S. Department of Education recently said it was about a month away from announcing a new gainful-employment regulation that colleges will have to meet to maintain their eligibility to participate in federal student-aid programs. “Career colleges play a vital role in training our workforce to be globally competitive, but some of them are saddling students with debt they cannot afford in exchange for degrees and certiﬁcates they cannot use,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in calling for new gainful-employment rules. The regulation will probably aim to prevent schools from overloading students with debts they’re highly unlikely to pay on time, based on the salaries they’ll make in a given ﬁeld. Another regulation proposed by the agency would require schools to provide prospective students with their programs’ job placement rates. The regulations won’t go into effect until at least July 2012. In the meantime, it’s a good idea for students considering for-proﬁt schools to do their homework before signing any commitments, including loans or paying any money. Check graduation rates: Every school must provide the Department of Education with its graduation rates. This data is available at the College Navigator website (nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator).
Check for more affordable options: Among the many troubling ﬁndings in a recent investigation of for-proﬁt colleges by the Government Accountability Ofﬁce was that many students had far more cost-effective education options. A student wanting to earn a certiﬁcate to do massage therapy or computer-aided drafting could spend $14,000 at a for-proﬁt school, for instance, or could attend community college at a total cost of $520, according to the GAO report. Those who wanted a two-year associate’s degree in respiratory therapy could pay more than $38,000 at a for-proﬁt college or pay less than $3,000 for the training at a not-for-proﬁt school. Had Bernal checked the College Navigator site for other schools providing her major, she would have discovered that she could have studied apparel and textile marketing management at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. There, the graduation rate is 62 percent (another 9 percent of students transfer to other colleges prior to graduation), and the $6,318 tuition was less than half the cost of Westwood’s $13,958 tuition. One major obstacle, however, is that not-for-proﬁt schools tend to have much higher admission standards than for-proﬁts. For example, Colorado State, according to application information on its site, gives “priority consideration” to applicants “who have earned a minimum 3.25 GPA and have successfully completed 18 recommended high school units.” Look for aid and net cost: The cost of tuition isn’t always the cost of education. That’s because some schools provide more ﬁnancial aid than others. As a result, college experts say you’ve got to check each school’s ﬁnancial-aid information to assess your chances of getting help with tuition and living expenses while studying. Check transferability: Westwood has revamped its website and practices as the result of the GAO investigation, according to a company spokesman. The school now provides a frank answer to whether its units are transferable. “Credits you earn at Westwood College in most cases will probably not be transferable to any other college or university,” the site says. Conversely, units earned at Colorado State can be transferred to other schools or used as the basis for a graduate degree.
Not-for-proﬁt schools tend to have much higher admission standards than for-proﬁts.
Kathy Kristof’s column is syndicated by Tribune Media Services. She welcomes comments and suggestions but regrets that she cannot respond to each one. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arts & Entertainment rEading
Book’s Not Dead Two generations of Vegas Valley Book Festival authors debate the future of writing
Photo collage by Marvin Lucas
By Eric Olsen Writers tend to be a pessimistic lot. You’d be pessimistic, too, if your income depended on having a good idea—on being visited by the Muse, whose visits usually come few and far between, if they come at all—and then getting that idea down on paper in a way that makes sense and is entertaining and that someone might buy, all while that pesky internal editor is going on and on and on: “No, you can’t be serious,” and “No, no, that really sucks,” and then “No, no, no, no what the hell are you thinking?” And then if you can get past all that and manage to ﬁnish something and send it off to a publisher, chances are you’ll get back one of those little postcards with a “Thanks, but it’s not for us, good luck,” if you get anything at all. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I asked novelist T.C. Boyle a few questions about the future of publishing, and what he thought the new digital technologies might portend, and I got an earful of how messed up things are. Boyle, who’s giving the opening keynote address at the Vegas Valley Book Festival this year, must be visited by the Muse by weekly—maybe daily—appointment. I can’t imagine his internal editor saying anything but, “Splendid! You’ve done it again, old boy!” About every three years, he publishes another novel that invariably is both a critical and commercial success. What does he have to complain about? “I’m no expert on technology,” he told me, “far from it. But with the relentless assault of the visual it seems inevitable that print will continue its decline. Perhaps the new technologies such as electronic readers will keep things going, but the old pleasures of working with an editor at a publishing house and creating printed books that are objets d’art in themselves or even browsing in a bookstore where you might—God forbid—brush shoulders with a fellow citizen or discover a new author or title seem doomed.” And there you have it, folks: Doomed. So then I turned to some of Vegas’ own to get their views on the matter. I ﬁgured I’d get an earful from them, too, and I did, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. I started with Todd James Pierce and Jarret Keene, editors of Dead Neon: Tales of Near-Future Las Vegas (University of Nevada Press, $20). Their collection of speculative ﬁction will be among the books featured at this year’s festival. The stories in this collection involve all sorts of Vegas-based catastrophes, but as for literary doom and gloom? Forget it. “I don’t think the turmoil in publishing is a bad thing,” Pierce says. “The people who’ll lose will be the publishers, but kids now are more interested in the tonalities of language than before; they all have blogs and e-mails and so on, and they’re more sensitive to contextual tone. They have a stronger connection to language than ever.” On the topic of young writers, even Boyle managed a glimmer of hope. “Young writers are better than ever, and those born to write will create their work whether there’s a market
Some of the featured participants of the Book Fest: (clockwise from top) Suzanne Morgan Williams, Sally Denton, Dennis Lehane, Brian Turner, Deborah Coonts, T.C. Boyle and David Ebershoff (center).
Continued on Page 78 October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 77
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Reading Book Fest Continued from Page 77
or not, and those born to read will seek them out. Still, it would be nice to get paid for it.” “It’s hard to separate legitimate concerns form being stuck in the old days and missing them,” says an upbeat Vu Tran, one of the contributors to Dead Neon. “The world is changing, and you have to adapt to the new technologies. People are reading on machines now, rather than books; they’re reading on the Internet. But people will always want stories; that’ll never go away.” Tran’s story features climate change, conﬂagration and a one-armed mind-reading cab driver and poker player. Tran lived in Vegas for seven years while he worked on a Ph.D in ﬁction from UNLV’s creative writing program. He now teaches ﬁction at the University of Chicago. “I’ve been enjoying my Kindle immensely and I’ve been reading books that I would never have discovered through older, traditional distribution channels,” Keene says. “My concern is one day the Internet will be re-shaped in such a way that it gives corporate publishers an advantage and then digital platforms/publishing will succumb to the Twilight/ Franzen effect, where everyone’s reading the same book because they’ve been told to.” Lori Kozlowski, another contributor to Dead Neon, grew up in Las Vegas and now lives in L.A., where she’s a writer for the Los Angeles Times. Her story in Dead Neon includes mean, sentient pigs. “I feel like there’s a lot of excitement,” she says. “People are seeing the new technologies and new ways to tell stories. I’m hopeful, actually. I don’t think narrative is going anywhere. People want to tell stories; people want to read them. And we’re beginning to see how technology helps.” “A lot of people are irrationally scared right now of things going to digital rather than paper,” Pierce says. “But it’s no big deal. If we get rid of distribution and publishing costs, that frees up what we think of as a book.” “You’ll have writers who like the short form, writers who prefer the long form,” Kozlowski says. “In Japan, they’re writing novels on cell phones. How do you get the most out of your words? Every word on Twitter has to mean something. Poets ought to be very good on Twitter.” So I checked in with poet Joshua Kryah, a visiting assistant professor at UNLV. His ﬁrst collection of poems, Glean (Nightboat Books Inc., $15), was published in 2007. He’ll be heading a panel on poetry and conﬂict at the Book Festival. “Most conversations concerning the state of publishing today usually have little to do with poetry because poetry as a proﬁtable form is almost completely devoid of remuneration. So anxieties about proﬁtability don’t necessarily factor in the production of poetry. The move to online publication has, if anything, allowed poetry to reach more readers than ever before. More poetry is happening now online, and poets and readers prefer it that way. I know I do. Instead of 78
Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
BingE On LitErary gOOdnEss The Vegas Valley Book Festival is so big that it’s comprised of four different parts. If you can only hit one event of each part, here’s what we recommend: the Main Event. Don’t miss the keynote speakers, authors T.C. Boyle (7 p.m., Nov. 3, UNLV Student Union Theater) and Dennis Lehane (7 p.m. Nov. 7, Clark County Library Theater, 1401 E. Flamingo Road). Feasting on Words—the Literature & Food Fair. Eat up the panel discussion called “The Food Critics Take on Las Vegas Cuisine” by John Curtas, Vegas Seven’s Max Jacobson and Al Mancini (11 a.m. Nov. 7, Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St.). Comic Book Festival. Commune with comic book lovers (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 6, Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road).
Sites to see By geoff Carter tHE First stEP (HalloweenAddict.com) I like Halloween. Like. I LIKE it. I’ll even go so far as to say that it’s my second-favorite holiday after New Year’s Eve, which also encourages the consumption of sugars. But the sad truth is that I’ve never really gotten into Halloween the way you have; I grew up a Jehovah’s Witness. And by the time I left that religion at age 18, I had missed out on nearly everything about the holiday that makes it fun. However, that’s not to say that I can’t look at your Halloween festivities and say, “Gee, that looks like a swell time.” Halloween Addict is a terriﬁc blog for us peekingover-the-wall types; it’s all about candy and costumes and Zelda Rubinstein, and it makes the holiday’s pagan roots practically glisten with sweetness and blood. This is about as close as I like to get—though I will eat your candy.
FranKiE MaCHinE Children’s Book Festival. Meet the creator of Nickelodeon’s Oswald, author and illustrator Dan Yaccarino (10:30 a.m., Nov. 4 at the West Charleston Library, 6301 W. Charleston Blvd., and at 4:30 p.m. at the Centennial Hills Library, 6711 N. Buffalo Dr.). For a complete schedule, visit VegasValleyBookFestival.org.
telling friends or family to pick up a journal that’s published a poem of mine at their local Barnes & Noble, I can send them the link. And I can link to the poem from my website. And I can share it with folks on Facebook. Or I can Tweet about it. It goes on and on.” Literary Darwinists say that humans evolved the desire to tell stories precisely because such activities helped us survive. Speculation, they explain, offers a no-risk way of anticipating future problems, the better to avoid them in real life. Imagine that: Our forebears managed to not get eaten by hyenas because they told good stories, and most likely stories with plenty of sex and violence. Who’da thought? Which might help explain why local writers seem so upbeat in these tough times. The place is a rich lode of pure material. Let’s thank our lucky stars for the Vdara Death Ray. You can’t make this stuff up. But you can sure try. And you’d have to have a hell of an imagination to pull it off, and imagination, again, gives you the edge … “America in 2010 is not in a good place,” Pierce says. “America is on the verge of being eclipsed by China and India; the world of everyone’s grandparents is about to be changed in radical ways. Writing is a way of ﬁguring things out, and when it goes well, it’s a joy.”
(Frankensteinia.blogspot.com) He’s tall. He’s dark. He’s handsome, in a Mickey Rourke kind of way. He’s been played by De Niro, for crying out loud. And now, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s man of parts, has a long-overdue blog solely devoted to his electrifying cult of celebrity. Pierre Fournier’s Frankensteinia blog is all Frankie, all the time. The author proﬁles books, movies, comics, television shows and other media that have featured the big guy (as well as Mrs. Frankenstein), digs up artistic takes on the dashing green anti-hero, and makes a sincere and serious-minded effort to get to the root of the creature’s enduring appeal. The pictures—especially the Mrs. Frankenstein pinups, homina homina—are worth your while all by their lonesome. It ... is ... alive.
gHOst WOrLd (GhostsOfAmerica.com) Once, I joined a ghost-hunting group. This wasn’t the slick, high-tech operation you see on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters; this was a couple dozen people snapping photos and looking for “orbs”—ﬂoating circles that denote a supernatural presence. (Or dust specks illuminated by the camera ﬂash.) I can’t declare for the supernatural world—maybe there are ghosts, and maybe there aren’t. But I think an idea that lives for so long—long enough to inspire a user-supported ghost-sightings site like Ghosts of America—has to be based on something substantial. There are plenty of things in this world to be afraid of, and the fact that we keep coming back to ghosts ... well, that says something to me, something substantial. Journalist Geoff Carter is a Las Vegas native living in Seattle, land of virtual titillation.
Hosted by Randy Couture
with Eric Church and Josh Kelley
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Arts & Entertainment
The Elegant Skull Day of the Dead comes to life with the vibrant creations of local artists By Jazmin Gelista Most Americans associate Halloween with witches, ghosts and goblins. But in Mexican culture, the important image is the skeleton. That’s because Mexicans honor deceased loved ones with their own holiday on Nov. 2, El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). Being a diverse city, many people celebrate this holiday in Las Vegas. Here’s a survey of the rich local art that’s being made in respect of the dead: Bright Palette. “In my work I try to show how much life death leaves behind,” artist Olga Mendoza says. “The colors are vibrant, the subjects are fun. It’s meant to be a representation of those lives lived to the fullest even when cut short.” Her acrylic-on-canvas paintings will be on display 4-10 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Day of the Dead Festival at Springs Preserve (333 S. Valley View Blvd., 822-7700). Theresa Lucero paints Day of the Dead themes on canvas. Her art will be displayed at the Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV (4505 S. Maryland Parkway, 895-3381), through Nov. 5 at Winchester Cultural Center (3130 S. McLeod Dr., 455-7340) and on her website, Orecularts.com. Lucero says Day of the Dead art should include “Hot, bright colors, rustic, sometimes rudimentary depictions or textures, overt religious imagery, morose humor, etc.” Sculpting La Catrina. One traditional art form is sculpting, and Kathy Worley uses polymer clay to
make sculptures of La Catrina (the typical Muertos skeleton). She incorporates varied elegant colors and meticulous details in her sculptures. Her work can be found downtown at First Friday on Nov. 5. Artistic Altars. Ofrendas, or “altars to the dead,” are a large part of Dia de los Muertos. Dorian Gomez will be displaying an ofrenda at Winchester, and will be participating in the altar contest. While you’re at Winchester, check out Bobbie Ann Howell’s graphite pencil drawings. Her drawings are based on compositions, including skeletal forms expressing a sketchy, solid drawing. Tattoos. Day of the Dead tattoos have become very popular in the past ﬁve years, according to local tattoo artist Phil Luck of Studio 21 Tattoo (6020 W. Flamingo Road, Unit B-2, 248-8762, Studio21tattoo.com). His tattoos incorporate ﬂoral designs and ﬁligree with different Day of the Dead skulls, and he also makes watercolor and acrylic paintings. His work is part of Cornerstone Art Gallery’s (201 E. Colorado St., 238-5894) October Day of the Dead show. The show incorporates Muertos art from local artists and tattoo studios, including Studio 21 and Red Handed Tattoo Gallery (8665 W. Flamingo Road, 541-8080). Make sure to check out the art of Chance Gomez and Bob Simmons of Red Handed Tattoo Gallery and Eddie Crotsley and Ray Jimenez of Bad Apple Tattoos (5640 W. Charleston Blvd., 259-5580).
“Esquelético Family Portrait” by Theresa Lucero. 80 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
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Arts & Entertainment
Mad Max, Snake Plissken and scary playlists
Escape the Fate gets back to its shock-rock roots By Jarret Keene
By Jarret Keene
From left: Robert Ortiz, Craig Mabbitt, Monte Money and Max Green.
So does the Fate feel like jumping from punk indie Epitaph to the giant Interscope means critics and fans are gunning for them? “Oh yes,” Money conﬁrms. “It’s the overall theme we wanted the video to reﬂect. But it’s also about how, despite anything we say or do, before we even made this record, people thought we were devil-worshippers. If there’s a message in the video, it’s that people should worry about themselves instead of others.” Forget Satan. These days the Fate is more likely to be slagged for aligning with the teeny-bopper store, Hot Topic. “Look, Hot Topic offers kids a place to ﬁnd cool music, cool clothes, when there aren’t a lot of places to ﬁnd them in many parts of this country. I still love Hot Topic, and they support our music. For me, that’s what counts.” Escape the Fate with A Skylit Drive, Get Scared and Kisses for Kings, House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, 7 p.m. Oct. 29, $22, 632-7600.
DJ Picks What are you currently listening to? I really enjoy music that is well-produced, hot, funky beats. Stuff like LMFAO, Timbaland, Gorillaz, even Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga. All these albums are innovative and don’t really fall into the normal formula. Taking chances with new sounds, even if the tracks don’t make it onto the radio.
JB King Afternoon Drive/Assistant Program Director/Music Director 98.5 KLUC/CBS Radio
82 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Do you have any recommendations? Earlier this year I was introduced to a new artist who, I believe, will end up with a huge career. His name is Jordy Towers. Kind of sounds like a combo of Black Eyed Peas mixed with Jamiroquai and a little reggae ﬂavor.
What do you listen to on the go? When driving around the city, I really do enjoy listening to the radio, but on long trips, I can’t hit the highway without some classics: Van Halen, Police, Bob Marley, Steve Miller Band, Genesis, or I listen to mix-tape CDs from one of our local club DJs. Do you listen to the music you play on the radio? Actually, I do. Being the music director for 98.5 KLUC, I listen to the rhythmic/pop music we play every day; it’s part of my job. But I do like that mass-appeal sound. Most of the time the music is upbeat and fun. Most of the music that we consider classic now were huge radio songs in the past.
Scary things afoot this week for your weak-kneed Soundscraper, starting with a Mad Max-themed party Oct. 28 at Las Vegas Country Saloon. Billed as “Roxie’s First Annual Bitchin’ Halloween,” this post-apocalyptic (in other words, bring your battle helmet) event features Batusis, a glam-punk supergroup consisting of Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys, Rocket From the Tombs) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls). These two legends are supported by equally talented bassist Enzo Penizzotto and drummer Thommy Price, who comprise the rhythm section in Joan Jett’s band the Blackhearts. Batusis is a ton of power-chord fun with greasy, glittery tracks such as “What You Lack in Brains” and “Bury You Alive” sure to get you grooving in your ghastly getup. In addition to booking the best rock shows, LVCS promoter Roxie Amoroso throws awesome hullabaloos, so don’t be lame and “forget” your costume. Everyone will be there, including local bad boys The Vermin. After you’ve gotten your Road Warrior on, you can relax a bit (not really) with Japanese all-female punk-pop trio Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re. The girls will have traveled thousands of miles to bring their quirky yet hard-edged attack to Double Down Saloon on Oct. 31. Expect absurd songs about food (“American Hamburger,” “No-Miso Shortcake”), adorable outﬁts and cranked-up guitars. Can’t wait to guzzle Ass Juice in the Double Down Halloween night! I’d better secure a designated driver pronto. Thrash-punk trio Life’s Torment has just released its self-titled debut CD on the local Panic Inc. label, and it’s a bruising monster. Thirteen original tracks, plus a Stormtroopers of Death cover (“United Forces”), all produced by Brian Garth (Black Camaro), who gives the alreadydeadly proceedings an enhanced, eviscerating quality. Galloping Torment tune “Grey Spots” is among my favorite songs of 2010 and kicks the crap out of other songs in its vicinity. The band plays Cheyenne Saloon on Nov. 4 with death-metal dealers Enthraller. Then, on Nov. 5, my favorite Vegas hard-core group, Caravels, crushes Meatheads. The band has a song called “Snake Plissken” that’s ideal for the dark holiday week. In fact, I may go out and buy an eye-patch and a leather jacket so I can resemble my favorite action-movie star. Too bad I don’t have any muscles, which is what Caravels boasts in musical terms. Seriously, give them a listen. Word on the street: A certain vintage guitar store in town is quietly making plans to close its storefront and rely on eBay to generate sales. This is bad news for many drooling musicians—me included. The economy has hit everything, even the classic guitar market. Now, my haunted iPod playlist: The Misﬁts’ “Halloween,” Helloween’s “Halloween,” The Cramps’ “I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” The Sonics’ “Witch,” Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” Roky Erickson and the Aliens’ “I Walked With a Zombie,” Fields of the Nephilim’s “Celebrate,” David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps),” Sisters of Mercy’s “Lucretia My Reﬂection” and, of course, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Share your scary soundtrack by e-mailing email@example.com.
Escape the Fate photo by P.R. Brown
Forget everything you know about Las Vegas metal-core act Escape the Fate. Forget the band’s absurd Mötley Crüe-esque “stripper teachers in high school” debut music video. Forget exfrontman Ronnie Radke’s prison sentence for narcotics and battery. Forget all this and just listen to the Fate’s new self-titled third album, its ﬁrst for Interscope. It’s a dark, gothic, even (yikes!) artistic effort, especially compared with the band’s ﬁrst two CDs. Safe to say the Fate has grown up? “I don’t know about that,” says guitarist Monte Money during a phone interview after the band’s recent Hot Topic signing in L.A. “I think the new album is more theatrical, like a movie soundtrack. It has fun, horror-ﬁlm vibe. Making this one, we were inﬂuenced by Michael Jackson’s Thriller, music you don’t hear anymore.” For Money, writing Escape the Fate also involved revisiting his earliest musical heroes—Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne— and reconnecting with an older guitar-shred attack that centered on ﬂourishes like pinched harmonics, fretboard-tapping and whammy dives. “We dug back into our roots to ﬁnd what we really loved all along,” he says. “To me, [ex-Ozzy guitarist] Zakk Wylde is the sickest. I wanted to reclaim that.” The new horror-laden Fate is evident in the band’s grim “Issues” video, which ends with singer Craig Mabbitt’s neck snapping in a noose. In the video, pitchfork-carrying townsfolk kill the Fate.
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Arts & Entertainment
By Jarret Keene
Monster Magnet Mastermind (Napalm) You can’t keep a great songwriter down. Despite label problems, personnel issues and ongoing relapses, Monster Magnet frontman Dave Wyndorf soldiers on. Now signed to Napalm, he sounds rejuvenated, his patented blend of stoner metal, space rock and psychedelic doom hitting all cylinders in return-toform Mastermind. Wyndorf, who once wrote an entire album (1998’s Powertrip) in downtown’s Plaza Hotel, presents a journey of addiction and mild recovery in the 12 tracks, and it’s tempting to see them as a dark narrative, starting with the explosive, mind-altering “Hallucination Bomb.” From there, songs take a raunchy, bass-guitarheavy tack, as on the pounding rave up “100 Million Miles” (“Mama, mama, tell me I ain’t gonna die/Maybe, baby, say you found the Astroglide”) and gothic pill-popping post-punker “Dig That Hole.” Hope is only glimpsed in the brilliant lyrics of album zenith “Gods and Punks” and the stunning “Perish in Fire,” the implicit message being: Get clean or die. Thrilled to hear Wyndorf made the right choice. ★★★★✩
Mini Mansions Mini Mansions (Rekords Rekords) Bassist Michael Shuman, 25, may have a knack for holding up the bone-rattling bottom end of Queens of the Stone Age, but he’s also quite gifted at crafting baroque pop-rock pastiche. His band Mini Mansions’ self-titled debut, released on Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme’s own label Rekords Rekords, channels The Beatles by way of Elliot Smith and acid-tripping Kurt Weill. In terms of lyrics, it’s pretty much nonsense—“Superglue all your pretty wounds” seems to be a line from the lovely, piano-kaleidoscoped “The Room Outside”—but that’s the cinematic intent. Indeed, in an interview, Shuman’s bandmate Tyler Parkford has described Mini Mansions as having “the effect that you’re watching an invisible movie.” Sure, there’s no plot, but that’s what makes Mini Mansions a deeply rewarding piece of art. If you’ve wondered what The Beatles would’ve sounded like had they pushed deeper into Sgt. Pepper territory, grab this disc and touch the psychedelic diamond-sky expanse of a track like “Majik Marker.” Not a boring side project, for sure. ★★★★✩
Shawn Mullins Light You Up (Vanguard) Mr. “Lullaby” has managed a low proﬁle and a highquality career in the 12 years since his 1998 breakout No. 1 Grammy-nominated single. He’s enjoyed continued success with songs featured on TV’s Scrubs and Dawson’s Creek, and although he’s a Georgia boy, his music screams “California,” particularly his subdued James Taylor-esque vocals and big, open guitar chords, which maybe explains why he wrote another wry, cynical song about the Golden State (as if it needs more after The Eagles’ “Hotel California”). Light You Up doesn’t stray from Mullins’ strengths, the only difference being his lyrics are more caustic, his pop instinct sharper. Sure, the title track’s quasi-rap delivery isn’t radical but the way Mullins inhabits the character’s desire to connect in a world adrift feels lived-in. “The Ghost of Johnny Cash” is a powerful country-rock tribute to the legend, while “Tinseltown,” again targeted at the Hollywood set, possesses a soaring hook pushing the line “I don’t wanna go downtown tonight/The neon burns just a little too bright.” A solid effort. ★★★✩✩ 84
Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Arts & Entertainment
This confusing new ﬁlm makes good actors go bad
By Rex Reed Nothing changes overnight. Which, I guess, explains why the sad decline of Robert De Niro’s acting has taken so long to witness. It’s been too many years to count since Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, and despite a few honorable but quickly forgotten roles in ﬂops, this once-revered actor has done nothing worth writing home about. He chased money and women and remained an icon to wannabes who still think it’s a big deal to get into the Actors Studio. Then, like Brando, he sort of gave up on truthfulness in acting somewhere along the way, leaving his fans with the impression that he’ll do anything if the timing is convenient and somebody meets his asking fee. Result: He’s buried himself under a cinematic dung heap from which his talent rarely surfaces. This is not going to change with a horror called Stone. Stone is really a double-barreled disaster, because it also wastes the talents of the gifted, versatile and gen86 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
boiled corrections ofﬁcer is just the fool to fall for it. Mabry may be a monster in a bottle waiting to get out, but he’s not stupid. He knows a con man when he sees one, so falling for Stone’s sex bait never rings true. In the end, the point (if there is one) is that to save a bad man’s life, a trashy Lilith/Lolita/Lorelei in hot pants destroys a good man in the process. But save your sympathy. Everybody is bad in Stone—in more ways than one. There is nothing in the dreadful screenplay by Angus MacLachlan that matches even one priceless word of Charles Schnee’s Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1952 classic The Bad and the Beautiful, but it did remind me of Elaine Stewart’s memorable line, “There ain’t no good men, buster—there’s only men.” Stone is so illogical that it’s hard to know where to place the blame. The ridiculous, religion-obsessed sin-andredemption script, replete with a fake faith called Zukangor? The lazy direction by John Curran, who did a much better job establishing mood, narrative and characterization in Wasted talent: Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. his last ﬁlm, The Painted Veil, also starring Norton? The actors, who walk through it in erally clueless Edward Norton. (Seems like yesterday a state of glazed somnambulism? There are so many that he was hooted off the screen in the despicable things wrong with this mess that it’s pointless to pick hillbilly pot-factory bomb Leaves of Grass.) Maybe it’s just one, when there’s enough vile stuff to go around. their agents who convince otherwise reliable artists The Stone character is too reptilian for a smart they can get away with anything the market will cookie like Mabry to fall so easily into his obvious bear. I’ve got news. No market can bear a ridiculous trap. And Mabry is so full of his own demons (an performance by Norton, jabbering like Stepin Fetchit opening scene, irritatingly never referred to again, with his hair tightly twisted in rows of dreadlocks, shows him torturing his cowering wife by dangling that is so bad it’s laughable. their baby outside an upstairs window and threatThe clean-cut Norton, covered with tattoos in ening to drop it on its head) that his dysfunctional his freakiest disguise since American History X, is a marriage to a wasted Frances Conroy (Six Feet Unhard-case arsonist named Stone who torched his der), punctuated by creepy right-wing music blasted grandparents’ home. He shows no remorse, but after from Christian radio programs played in Jack’s serving nine out of a 10- to 15-year prison sentence, car, only serves as a portentous warning of things he claims he’s in the middle of a spiritual rebirth to come. Mabry is a nut, but the actual reason he that demands respect (and parole). begins his adulterous affair is never examined. Did De Niro is Jack Mabry, the head case ofﬁcer on Stone force his wife to sleep with the parole ofﬁcer, the Michigan parole review board, who is counting or did Jack do it to experience a religious epiphany? the days before his retirement. Unimpressed with De Niro fails to make anything about his miserable Stone’s trailer-trash ﬁlibusters and infuriated by his character poignant, while Norton’s overwrought threats, Jack turns him down. So Stone hatches a intensity borders on hysteria. The desired moral plan to manipulate the system by dispatching his dilemma never arrives. sluttish common-law wife, Lucetta (another droolIt is never clear what Stone is really about, or why ing, hip-grinding travesty of bogus acting by Milla anyone would want to make it in the ﬁrst place. Jovovich), to seduce the old cop with the sexual It’s an ambiguous look at the spiritual emptiness prowess of a Bourbon Street lap dancer. of middle-American religious conservatives that is In the preposterous plot, cobbled together from dead on arrival. Wait for the DVD. half a dozen loopy stories by the late, unlamented cynic Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me), her undulating thighs do magic tricks, and the hardRex Reed is the ﬁlm critic for the New York Observer.
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Arts & Entertainment
A Hornet’s Nest of a Story The third ﬁlm adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s famous trilogy stings the viewer By Cole Smithey
made Dragon Tattoo a stunning success, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is a fallen cake. Since taking over the series from director Niels Arden Oplev (Dragon Tattoo), Daniel Alfredson remains unable to massage the revenge-based source material into the rapid kick-and-punch that Oplev executed with ease. Yet another change of screenwriter also contributes to a lack of cohesion in the ﬁnal chapter. The switching of directors and writers has done the franchise no favors. Hornet’s Nest picks up where the second ﬁlm left off, with the wounded Lisbeth being airlifted to a hospital after a night of deadly brutality at her evil father’s remote cabin. Lisbeth lies in a hospital bed with a bullet in her head while murder charges threaten to strip her freedom. Still romantically driven, magazine publisher Mikael sets out to prove Lisbeth’s innocence in the face of extensive political corruption with a tell-all article in his magazine. As in the second episode, Lisbeth and Mikael are kept inappropriately apart save for a brief meeting where she makes it clear that their amour is a strictly one-sided affair. His affection is not returned. Lisbeth remains a remote protagonist that the audience can best understand as a well-defended victim with a badass sense of style. The ﬁrst ﬁlm had an intriguing 40-year-old mystery pulling the two charismatic activists together in spite of their vastly different personal lives. In the second ﬁlm (The Girl Who Played With Fire), the newly rich Lisbeth returns to Stockholm from a luxurious vacation to ﬁnd Swedish actors Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace. herself a hunted criminal. Of primary importance to the ﬁlm is Lisbeth’s vendetta against her father. A sex-trafﬁcking The same decrease in quality between the ﬁrst and second sub-plot muddles the triptych’s theme of society-sanctioned installments of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy continues abuses against women. here. Where the ﬁrst story, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, had News that David Fincher will direct an American version of taut criss-crossing subplots of boundless signiﬁcance, the ﬁnal the series, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, holds the act of the trilogy is little more than a tepid courtroom drama promise of achieving a higher level of continuity for Larsson’s with some willy-nilly spectacle thrown in for good measure. material. Perhaps a more romantically developed narrative Perhaps the author’s gravest sin is his refusal to follow up on from some savvy screenwriter could improve on what in its the budding romantic relationship that developed in the ﬁrst current version can only be viewed as a failure. story between his simpatico protagonists. Without the buzzing energy between Noomi Rapace’s goth-girl vixen Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist’s activist Mikael Blomkvist that The Girl Who Kicked the hornet’s Nest (R) ★★✩✩✩ By Cole Smithey
Jackass 3D (R)
What began as a juvenile MTV series in 2000 has gone on to inspire laughter via the Jackass franchise’s ever-funnier movies. As with the ﬁrst two ﬁlms, a carnival atmosphere of perverse male-centric performance art comedy pervades. It’s just funny watching people who are willing to get stung by bees. Yes, it’s over-the-top-gross-out humor but if you can’t laugh at this, you can’t laugh at nothin’. 88 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Welcome to the Rileys (R)
Director Jake Scott’s tale of redemption attempted works better as an actor’s showcase for Melissa Leo, James Gandolﬁni and the ever-watchable Kristen Stewart than it does as a work of cinema. Stewart plays Mallory, an underage New Orleans hooker with a heart of gold who tries to proposition traveling businessman Doug (Gandolﬁni). Away from his wife (Leo), Doug stays to help the trouble-prone Mallory.
The Social Network (PG-13)
Everybody will love David Fincher’s fast-paced drama about the meteoric rise of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Jesse Eisenberg gives Zuckerberg an acidtongued, fast-twitch cyberpunk attitude. Aaron Sorkin’s dazzling script toggles between law ofﬁce depositions and ﬂashback sequences. Context and tone are everything in a pitch-perfect drama about the cold-blooded Zuckerberg and the friends he lost on the way up.
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Arts & Entertainment
Paranormal Activity 2 keeps the tone of the original.
Candid Camera Found-footage scares return with a demonic vengeance in Paranormal Activity 2 By Jason Harris Rarely does a horror movie sequel come close to the quality of the original. There’s no Godfather II or Lord of the Rings trilogy of scares. A comedy follow-up that’s not as good as the ﬁrst is worthwhile if it still gets some laughs. But with horror, it’s almost impossible to capture the original tone. Paranormal Activity 2, a sequel with a much bigger budget, comes close. What made the ﬁrst Paranormal Activity so good is that it’s a horror movie that slowly built its scares by creeping into the viewer’s mind—as opposed to the typical loud noises and quick startles. Plus, the tiny budget made the ﬁlm look and feel real. Paranormal Activity 2, which is really somewhat of a prequel, takes place two months before the events of the original, where Micah Sloat is killed by her demon-possessed girlfriend Katie Featherstone. In this instance, Katie’s sister Kristi (Sprague Grayden) is the protagonist. She and her family—husband Daniel (Brian Boland), stepdaughter Ali (Molly Ephraim), toddler son Hunter and dog—have a nice house in Southern California. But bad things are happening there. After ﬁnding it trashed one afternoon, the family thinks their home has been broken into even though nothing has been stolen. The solution: Scatter security cameras around the house. This gives Michael R. Perry, a television writer in his ﬁrst produced screenplay, and director Tod Williams the perfect reason to mimic the shooting style and story delivery of the original. Some things are completely redundant, such as husband Daniel not believing in any of this supernatural mumbo-jumbo and pretty much ignoring everything his scared wife and daughter say. This is much like Micah 90 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
in the original, except that Daniel is one of the most unlikable movie characters in recent memory, and toward the end, makes a decision that leaves the audience wanting him to die a painful, horrible, demon-riddled death. Where the ﬁlmmakers get it completely right is by adding a dog and a little child. The scariest elements of the ﬁrst ﬁlm always took place with the weird, macabre incidents that would happen to Katie. Think about some of those things and then imagine seeing events of a similar nature happening to a cute kid and a cuddly dog. By injecting Ali, there is also a completely new point of view from a character, which enhances the overall scope of the picture. A teenage girl’s thoughts about living in a haunted house certainly differ from a new mother’s, at least for a while. (Maybe next time the pet will announce its fears on a grainy camera). The scares work really well. Another slow burn where the viewer can seem impending doom for the main characters who can’t seem to get out of their own way. After a successful sequel, the team behind Paranormal Activity has set themselves up nicely for a franchise. An easy prequel from the early 1900s could take place given the information revealed in this one. And at least two different sequel setups are there for the taking: one involving a family member who doesn’t die and one involving Katie (who is featured often enough in this edition that we remember just how awful things got for her). Audiences could easily tire of watching the same formula over and over again, but when done this well, probably not for a while.
Paranormal Activity 2 (R)
Dining An Italian Institution
Ferraro’s turns 25, and for the occasion, our food critic gives the locals favorite a thorough exam
By Max Jacobson It’s Sunday, when many local restaurants are so empty you could shoot a cannon through them. But Ferraro’s is fully booked. I wish I knew the secret. Owner Gino Ferraro is celebrating his 25th year in Las Vegas on Nov. 5, and he is doing so at a handsome new location across from the Hard Rock. His son, Mimmo, a culinary school grad, runs the kitchen, ably assisted by longtime Ferraro’s chef Hercules Mantel. I walk into a crowded room where the diners—mostly locals, it seems— are enjoying dishes that made the restaurant’s ﬁne reputation: meaty osso
Photo by Anthony Mair
Continued on Page 94
Chef Mimmo’s melt-in-your mouth gnocchi.
October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 93
buco (priced at $41, which is hefty by any standard), creamy risotto with lobster and trufﬂe, and one of the best Caesar salads in town. New-generation Italian cooking this isn’t. No one seems to mind. I settle into a comfortably upholstered booth, with a sweeping Italian designer fabric to rest my back on. Immediately, hot, crusty rolls and delicious pesto swimming in a pool of extra virgin olive oil laced with balsamic vinegar arrives. It’s a good beginning. Then comes my three-ounce taste of Treana, an excellent blend of Viognier and Marsanne grapes from Central California. Ferraro’s has long had one of the best wine lists in the city, heavy with big Italian reds such as Barolo and Brunellos of prime vintage. The prices are quite fair. Looking around, I must admit this is an improvement over the Flamingo Road location. It’s done in earth tones, divided into a series of rooms public and private. A glass wall separates the bar area, where patrons can do a number of antipastini (small plates). The lighting is spiffy, including a pair of molded glass ﬁxtures that look like sea anemone. That night, chef Mimmo is in the kitchen, and everything works just ﬁne. I’ve never been a fan of pasta e fagioli where the beans are whole in the broth, but this version still manages to be delicious, thanks to a healthy dose of pancetta. My vegetarian friend settles for the Insalata Mimmo, a hearty blend of heirloom tomato, avocado, fresh mozzarella and red onion, cut up into bite-size pieces and splashed with vinegar. And the main dishes are their equal. I choose coniglio brasato, rabbit perfectly braised and served with polenta, a staple from northern Italy (far from Gino’s native province of Calabria) and a bargain for only $26. My friend, meanwhile, has two of the evening’s specials: pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage, a sweet and delicious treat from Piedmont, next to the
French border, and gnocchi with asparagus, which the kitchen turns out with aplomb. Gnocchi are often gummy, but Mimmo’s gnocchi melt in your mouth. But not everything I’ve eaten here made such an impression. Trippa Satriano (tripe in a tomato bath) was unpleasantly gamy, as if the tripe hadn’t been soaked long enough. The chopped salad had too much lettuce and not enough mix-ins, and the lettuce looked a bit past its prime. Still, the antipastini are mostly terriﬁc, such as a ﬁne fritto misto of calamari, shrimp, fennel and zucchini, nicely crisp pizzette—really full-size pizzas masquerading as appetizers—and good meatballs and baby lamb chops, the latter served on a savory caponata. After 10 years in this town, a restaurant has to be called a success. If you stretch it to 25, you’ve got yourself an institution. Ferraro’s, 4480 Paradise Road, 364-5300; brunch 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri, dinner 4-11 p.m. daily, late-night menu 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Dinner for two, $65-$118.
Mobbed-up ambience, Dad’s sandwich shop and an All-Star weekend By Max Jacobson If you’re in the mood for a fun experience, visit Capo’s Italian Steakhouse (5675 W. Sahara Ave., 364-2276), where the specialty is retro Italian. Now that the Liberace Museum is no more, this is about as kitsch as it gets in this town. Enter through a phone booth and be greeted by a made guy in a black suit. The dining room is kept dark, so you won’t be recognized, and it’s furnished with black leather booths. Most nights a singer does Bennett and Sinatra standards. The menu runs to Italian-sausage-stuffed banana peppers, stuffed mushroom caps, shrimp scampi, pasta e fagioli soup and Italian-style steaks. I’m told the homemade tiramisu for dessert is, er, a killer. Meanwhile, at Dad’s Grilled Cheese (5255 S. Decatur Blvd., 247-6640), you can eat sandwiches with names like The Godfather (it’s a grilled salami and cheese, for the record). It’s not just about grilled cheese at this sandwich shop. The Count is a classic Monte Cristo stuffed with ham and turkey on delicious egg-battered toast, and The Executive is a grilled three-cheese sandwich embellished with onions, tomatoes, avocado and mushroom. The one caveat is that the kitchen tends to get backed up during the lunch hour. Moving upscale, legendary chef Jean Joho was in town recently to cook a menu he paired with wines at his Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Home-smoked trout, sea bass with smoked quinoa and slow-roasted wild salmon were just a few of his creations, and the wines came from his native Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhône. This event again proved that Eiffel Tower is one of the best restaurants in town, in spite of the tourists. If you go, I recommend the beef Wellington—this is one of the only places in town to get it—and Peeky Toe crab salad. Reservations are essential: 948-6937. Finally, gear up for one of the year’s most exciting food events. It’s the inaugural Food & Wine All-Star Weekend, Nov. 5-7 at Bellagio, Aria and Vdara. It will be hosted by Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons and feature a galaxy of culinary stars such as Bravo’s Top Chef contestants Jennifer Carroll, Carla Hall and Stephen Hopcraft, plus an array of Vegas celebrity chefs such as Rick Moonen and Hubert Keller. The event will culminate with an All-Star Tasting poolside at Aria featuring the hotel’s signature restaurants: Jean Georges Steakhouse, American Fish, Sirio Ristorante, Julian Serrano, Bar Masa and Sage. For tickets and information, visit FoodAndWine.com/vegas. Hungry, yet? Follow Max Jacobson’s latest epicurean observations, reviews and tips at FoodWineKitchen.com.
A Ferraro’s crowd-pleaser: osso buco. 94
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Photography by Anthony Mair
Ferraro’s Continued from Page 93
Dishing Got a favorite dish? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seared Albacore at Yellowtail
This restaurant is the place to dine before dancing the night away at a club, especially with creations from executive chef and rising celebrity chef Akira Back. The albacore is thinly sliced, brushed with garlic puree and chili oil, and then lightly seared. It is topped with crispy onions and fried mushrooms in a tosazu sauce. $23, in Bellagio, 693-7223.
96 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Roasted Petaluma Free-Range Chicken at Bradley Ogden
James Beard award-winning chef Bradley Ogden created this staple that varies with each season. An 8-to-10ounce roasted chicken breast is cooked tenderly in a Concord grape sauce with grape and red endive and roasted shallots. It is garnished with watercress salad and served with roasted purple ﬁngerling potatoes. Although it is a chicken dish, it should be paired with a red wine because of its red grape sauce. $38, in Caesars Palace, 731-7410.
Fried Pickles at PBR Rock Bar
Here’s a new way to munch on what you’ve been craving. Dill pickles are battered with cornmeal and breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. Each one is a warm burst of light tangy ﬂavor. Dip in a side of Cajun rémoulade to complement the ﬂavor on your taste buds. $7, in the Miracle Mile Shops, 750-1685.
Chicken and Waffles at First Food & Bar
This is the perfect dish for brunch. Sammy DeMarco uses buttermilk batter to make incredible fried chicken and plates it with crisp buttery wafﬂes and a little jar of pure maple syrup. If you’re counting calories, don’t go there. In the Palazzo, $20, 607-3478.
Not cut out for the mob, Steve Martorano ﬁnds his calling in the kitchen By Melissa Arseniuk You can call him a gangster or a goombah (you won’t be the ﬁrst or the last), but whatever you do, don’t call him a chef. “I’m just a cook,” Steve Martorano insists. The 52-year-old doesn’t really look like one either. Instead of chef whites, he wears a tight T-shirt, military-inspired shorts and a winter hat. Instead of standard kitchen clogs, he dons blue Nikes. His exposed arms are covered in tattoos, and diamonds bling loudly from his ears, neck, ﬁngers and wrists. Nothing about him is by the book, aside from his family recipes. But Martorano, who runs his eponymous restaurant at the Rio, doesn’t live by anybody’s rules, aside from his own. “I don’t wear that white coat, I don’t follow that foodie group, I don’t hang with that circle,” he says. “They just think we’re gangsters.” His gangster reputation doesn’t come without reason: Martorano was a gangster at one point. His uncle, Raymond “Long John” Martorano, was a high-ranking member of the Angelo Bruno crime family back East, served 18 years in prison and was murdered shortly after his release. And a cousin, George Martorano, remains behind bars following a marijuana-smuggling conviction in 1982. “He’s the longest-serving nonviolent offender in the history of America,” Martorano says. “He’s been in jail longer than [Nelson] Mandela was.” Martorano acknowledges that he, too, has had trouble with the law, but he has never been convicted and has
MeATBALL MAniA The second annual Martorano’s Masters Meatball Eating Championship, sanctioned by Major League Eating, is set for noon Nov. 7 at the Masquerade Village stage in the Rio. Defending champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, winner of four consecutive Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championships, will try to top the 50 Martorano’s meatballs he ate in 10 minutes last year. The winner receives $1,500 cash and a monogram “M” necklace.
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no criminal record. Not that he was an angel by any means. “I wanted to be a gangster all my life,” he says. “When I was in my 20s, I was on the street. I loan-sharked, I did it all.” When his loan-shark father died in his sleep, most expected his son would take his place, but Martorano surprised them all. “I walked away,” he says. “I said no.” You can read about the rest of his novel upbringing in his autobiography (complete with recipes), due out in December. It’ll build to the climax that is today’s mini restaurant empire, which has become his life’s obsession. “I worry about my spaghetti marinara as much as I worry about my kids,” says the father of two. It all started, slowly, in his hometown of South Philadelphia, where he sold sandwiches out of his basement, a.k.a. Steve’s Italian Kitchen. “For three months, the phone never rang,” he recalls. “I had to throw food away.” His ﬁrst order came in at 8 p.m. one night: two hoagies for $7. He delivered the sandwiches and received a $2 tip. Business soon picked up, but so did trouble with his landlord, who didn’t appreciate a sandwich business operating inside one of his apartments. Police were called, and operations quickly moved to Martorano’s mother’s house. “My mother would answer the phone. I had a four-burner stove in the basement,” Martorano says. “I did that for ﬁve years.” Today, he has namesake restaurants in Florida, in addition to the Rio, in the space formerly occupied by Rosemary’s ill-fated second location. Martorano says it hasn’t been easy for him, either. “It’s been a struggle, but we’ve been here for three years,” he says. “I get hit every day by people saying it’s too expensive, the music’s too loud.” His concept—high-end Italian comfort food in a nightclub-inspired environment—isn’t something that everyone appreciates. “The word’s called ‘it,’” Martorano says. “If you walk in here and don’t get it, we’re the biggest mistake of your life. But if you get it, we’re great.” Indeed, the music is loud (he plays a lot of Barry White, Al Green and old-school slow-jams from the DJ booth near the kitchen), and cheaper Italian fare can be found elsewhere.
Seven Things Steve Martorano Can’t Live Without Macaroni. With Sunday Gravy sauce, or my jarred Café Martorano spicy Sicilian sauce.
He charges $44 for veal parmisiana, for example, but the cutlet is tender and it comes topped with fresh mozzarella and a side of homemade gnocchi. “People expect Italian food to be inexpensive because of what’s out there,” he laments. But high-end ingredients come at a price. He uses Giuseppe Cocco pasta, which costs $7 a pound; San Marzano tomatoes grown in the volcanic soil of Naples, Italy; and Laudemio Tenuta Cantagallo olive oil, which costs $42 a bottle. After that, nothing too fancy happens—just “old-school” cooking. “It’s the right way to do it,” Martorano says. “I’m not changing, I’m going to continue doing what I do. If I die tonight, I did it my way; if I live to be 100, I still did it my way.”
R&B music. Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Barry White ... A heated swimming pool. I go for a swim every day. The Food Network and the Cooking Channel. Those are my two favorite channels. Tom Joyner. He’s an old-school radio jock who has a TV show, who goes to different neighborhoods. They do the old-school, Soul Train thing. A fast car. “I drive a Maserati, which is my baby.” San Marzano tomatoes. “They’re the best!”
Travel Dreaming of a Tropical Christmas? Then make your reservations for Oahu, where paradise gets festive for the holidays By Kurt Weller
If You Go … Paddling out to “The Mokes.”.
Islands). Maybe staying on land is more your speed. In that case, take a hike to the Pillboxes for the ideal windward-side photo opportunity, which includes the many beautiful beach homes that make up the island enclave of Lanikai. Don’t make the trip to Oahu in December without going to the North Shore to see the giant waves. Watch the world’s best surfers (for free!) at the Van’s Triple Crown of Surﬁng. The most well-known of the three Triple Crown events is the Billabong Pipe Masters, Dec. 8-20 (conditions permitting). Pipeline has a special place in Hawaii surf lore and each winter holds the promise of mind-bending barrels mastered by the likes of Kelly Slater, Andy Irons and last year’s Pipe Masters champion, Taj Barrow. And remember, to see Pipeline you’re looking for Ehukai Beach Park. Trafﬁc can be heavy along the North Shore during any high-surf time, so get there early, stake a spot and chill—you’re on island time. If you’re making the trip to Oahu for Christmas, then plan to stay for New Year’s Eve, too, because that’s one party you don’t want to miss. It’s a holiday to end all holidays for locals as they ring in the New Year by exploding ﬁrecrackers—lots and lots of them! It’s a sight you really have to experience to believe.
Downtown sights: Iolani Palace (left) and Shaka Santa at Honolulu Hale.
100 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
Flying. You can save money by visiting Oahu in mid-December. Most roundtrip ﬂights cost about $850, but if you’re willing to endure a slight layover at LAX, you can ﬂy to Honolulu from Dec. 12-30 for $515. Hawaiian Air has a fabulous nonstop ﬂight from Las Vegas. Depart on Christmas Eve morning and it’ll cost you just $175 one-way. Fly home on Jan. 3 for $380. Bed-and-breakfasts. Try Papaya Paradise in Kailua. One of its properties affords a picture-perfect backyard view of Mount Olomana. The price isn’t as steep as Olomana, at around $100 a night (three-day minimum stay). It also offers beachfront condo accommodations starting at $125 a night. House rentals. On the North Shore you can ﬁnd a four-bedroom beachfront home for rent on Ehukai Beach (yes, right in front of Pipeline!) for $600 a night. (VrBO.com/181589). Simple Internet searches will yield many other options. Insider dining. Irifune, near Waikiki at 563 Kapahulu Ave., is known for its garlic ahi—and it’s only $10 a plate. Also, take the scenic route from Honolulu to the North Shore up Kamehameha Highway. In the town of Kahuku, you’ll ﬁnd Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, where the shrimp are big and loaded with garlic. It’s a great lunch deal at $13 a plate. One of the most well-known plate lunch spots on the island is the rainbow Drive-In in Waikiki, 3308 Kanaina Ave.. Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this is the spot where locals go to refuel after an actionpacked day in the sand and surf. The weather. December in Hawaii can be wet with cooler temps, so bring long T-shirts to stay warm on days when winds are gusting on the beach. But you can wear shorts your entire vacation with no problem.
Palace and Santa photo courtesy Oahu Visitors Bureau; kayak photo courtesy Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks
After a summer of staycations, it’s time for something special this holiday season—especially for those of us stuck here on the ninth island. It’s time to go back to Oahu. During my time living in Honolulu, before I relocated to Las Vegas, I found Christmas and New Year’s Eve easily the best time of year to take in all the island has to offer: from big surf on the North Shore to an island-wide New Year’s ﬁreworks celebration you have to see (and hear) to believe. Honolulu has a traditional downtown, one that proudly recognizes its Hawaiian heritage. Iolani Palace is a majestic stone castle and the centerpiece of what was once the home of the Hawaiian monarchy, and one of the ﬁrst structures in Hawaii to be outﬁtted with electricity. (Tours Mon-Sat; $20 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12.) Downtown is where the holiday season comes alive with many buildings and banyan trees adorned with lights. There are also holiday displays inside and around Honolulu Hale (city hall). Take an evening stroll by the fountains and see up-close the giant “Shaka Santa” presiding over the holiday scene. Most of the best hotel deals are in Waikiki, but you can enjoy less-crowded surroundings on other parts of the island, such as the windward side in Kailua and across parts of the North Shore, where you can ﬁnd a variety of beachfront bed-and-breakfasts. Take the Pali Highway from Honolulu over the Koolaus to the windward side of the island for a day trip to Kailua. (It’s called the windward side because prevailing winds change weather conditions from one side of the island to the other, meaning Kailua gets more rain than Honolulu.) Kailua is world renowned for its clean beaches and calm surf conditions enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Explore the ocean by renting kayaks and paddling out to “The Mokes” (Mokulua
SportS & LeiSure
Growing pains A heavy reliance on freshmen has made the ﬁrst season for UNLV coach Bobby Hauck tougher than imagined By Sean DeFrank
102 Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
There have been some youngsters, though, who have shown promise for UNLV. Running back Tim Cornett leads the Rebels in rushing, gaining 237 yards while averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and quarterback Caleb Herring has completed 59 percent of his passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns in limited playing time. Kicker Nolan Kohorst has made all 15 extra-point tries and is 6-for-8 on ﬁeld-goal attempts, with a long of 47 yards, and defensive backs Sidney Hodge and Eric Tuiloma also have been heavy contributors. “We’re not playing the young guys just because we want to get them experience,” Hauck says, “we’re playing them because they’ve won the job, either via outright winning it competitively or somebody’s hurt. … We aren’t a real veteran team in terms of numbers, and a lot of the older guys are banged up.” UNLV has done a relatively good job of taking care of the football, with QBs Omar Clayton and Herring combining for just four interceptions, but the Rebels also have lost six fumbles, some of which have come at crucial points in games. “We’ve had a couple of games where we didn’t play as well as we needed to to be in them, in particular on the road,” Hauck says. “We haven’t played well on the road at all except for the ﬁrst half at Utah. That’s been particularly disappointing.” While road losses against ranked opponents such as Utah and West Virginia weren’t surprising, blowout defeats at Idaho and Colorado State were. In the 30-7 loss to the Vandals, the Rebels were outscored 24-0 in the ﬁrst half, and the Rams pounded UNLV 43-10 on Oct. 16 even though they carried a 1-5 record into the game and hadn’t beaten a Mountain West Conference rival since November 2008. Even when the Rebels have played well, they have not be able to sustain it, except in their lone win, a 45-10 home victory on Sept. 25 against New Mexico, which is ranked by ESPN. com as the worst team in the country. Against ranked teams Wisconsin, Utah and Nevada, UNLV put up a good ﬁght
Freshman Tim Cornett’s emergence has been one of the few bright spots for the Rebels this year.
in the ﬁrst half before costly mistakes Payne will likely return to the lineup and turnovers quickly turned the games for the Rebels’ Oct. 30 home game into routs. versus No. 4 TCU, which will enter the contest as the second highest-ranked There also has been some position opponent in UNLV’s history, trailing changes by players since the season only No. 2-ranked Tennessee, which started, most notably junior Mike rolled behind Peyton Manning to a Clausen, who started at quarterback 62-3 victory against Wisconsin in in 1996. the ﬁrst game of the With UNLV season before moving reliant on so many to safety, and junior UNLV’S young players and Deante’ Purvis, who RemaiNiNg ScheDULe facing a formidable has made the switch Horned Frogs team from cornerback to Oct. 30, vs. TCU, 8 p.m. that might need to running back, and run up the score at now is the Rebels’ Nov. 6, at BYU, 11 a.m. every opportunity third-leading rusher in an attempt to with 145 yards on 35 Nov. 13, vs. Wyoming, 7 p.m. reach the BCS carries (a 4.1National Champiyard average). Nov. 18, vs. Air Force, 7 p.m. onship Game, the Add to that the Rebels possibly Nov. 27, at San Diego suspension earlier could experience State, 5 p.m. this month of receiver a thrashing even Phillip Payne, arguworse than the Dec. 4, at Hawaii, 7:30 p.m. ably the team’s most Volunteers gave the talented player, for program in ’96. allegedly criticizing “We were realists Hauck on Twitter, and coming into [this year],” Hauck says. the coach has had plenty to deal with. “We knew what our schedule was and “I think you have to have a little Dr. what we going to be up against in terms Phil in you when it’s not going well,” of having to play young guys, and then Hauck says. “You can really push the injuries have compounded that. harder when you’re winning than when We had hopes that the record would be you’re losing, so we’ve had to temper better than this, obviously, but it is things a bit at times, but we haven’t had what it is.” to change a whole bunch.”
Photo courtesy UNLV Photo Services
As the UNLV football team practices on a rare gloomy, wet day in Las Vegas during its off week, the mood at Rebel Park is much brighter than the weather. Receivers and defensive backs work in one-on-one blocking and tackling drills during the downpour while coach Bobby Hauck shouts words of encouragement to his players. The spirited atmosphere on the ﬁeld seems at odds with the Rebels’ performance this season, which has resulted in six one-sided losses in seven games, but Hauck says his team’s mindset at the midway point of the season remains largely positive despite its struggles on game day. “The attitude has been good. We’ve had good persistence out of our older guys and a willingness from our young guys to learn,” he says. “The idea is to get better and we’re going to have to keep working at it, because we’re not there certainly as evidenced by our record.” Hauck knew he was coming into a dire situation when he was hired in December to replace Mike Sanford as UNLV’s coach—with a roster lacking experience, speed and size; and a schedule loaded with top 25-caliber opponents—but things have unfolded even worse than most Rebel fans would have imagined. Part of the Rebels’ problems this season stem from an unusually large dependence on freshmen. UNLV has played 23 this year—including 14 true freshmen, which is ﬁfth-highest total in the country—and six of them have started at least one game. Hauck says it’s been tough to evaluate some of his ﬁrst-year players, some of whom have been thrust into the lineup because of a multitude of injuries that have hit the Rebels, because of the difﬁculty of the team’s schedule. “When you ask that question, it’s more as do we grade them as freshmen or do we grade them as guys that are playing at an elite collegiate level, which is where we forced them into,” he says. “I think they’ve been competitive, but any time you’re playing the number of freshmen we’re playing, it’s never going to be really great.”
Going for Broke
Dolphins will continue to swim strong on the road By Matt Jacob On the opening Sunday of the NFL season, I walked into the Las Vegas Hilton sports book 75 minutes before the ﬁrst set of games kicked off. Judging by the sea of humanity in the joint, you would’ve thought it was 75 minutes before the start of the Super Bowl—one endless line after another of NFL jerseyclad gamblers with their parlay cards in one hand and their cash in the other. Fast forward to the fourth Sunday in October. I strolled into Sunset Station’s sports book an hour before kickoff of Week 7. Half the ticket writers sat idle, and what little crowd existed was about as lively as the dinner table at the Favre household. Twenty minutes later, things picked up to the point that the longest line was exactly two people deep. Some might blame the economy, and that certainly is a factor. More likely, though, bettors are tired of the guys behind the counter channeling their inner Lawrence Taylor and blindsiding them every week. With underdogs cashing at an incredible rate, this has been one of the most unpredictable NFL seasons in recent memory. And nothing makes bookmakers happier than the word “unpredictable.” The good news: We’re not even to the midpoint of the season, so there’s still plenty of time to turn things around. The bad news: We’re not even to the midpoint of the season, so there’s still plenty of time to end up in the poorhouse. Speaking of good news-bad news, I went 4-6 last week, but cleared $283 as I won my two big plays (Falcons over the Bengals; Patriots over the Chargers). I’m now 21-15 in October and have recouped $880 to push my bankroll back up to $4,531, and I’m determined to close out the month on a positive note.
of South Beach and they’re a perfect 3-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS), including impressive wins in Minnesota and Green Bay. Miami has won six of nine on the road, going 8-1 ATS.
$550 (to win $500) on DOLPHINS (+2½) at Bengals: OK, so maybe I was a little premature last week in engraving Carson Palmer’s NFL headstone (he threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns at Atlanta). But the Bengals did fall 39-32, and the game wasn’t even that close. That’s now three consecutive losses and noncovers for Cincinnati. The Dolphins have dropped three of four themselves, but all three defeats were at home against playoff-caliber foes ( Jets, Patriots and Steelers). Take the Fish out
BEST OF THE REST: Stanford (-7½) at Washington ($66); Nebraska (-7½) vs. Missouri ($44); Titans (+3½) at Chargers ($44); Bills-Chiefs OVER 44½ ($33), Oregon (-7) at USC ($33); Washington State (+21) at Arizona State ($33).
$220 (to win $200) on LIONS (-2) vs. Redskins: One of the Redskins must be playing with a horseshoe up his backside. Washington’s four wins: 13-7 over the Cowboys, whose seemingly gamewinning TD was nulliﬁed by a holding penalty on the ﬁnal play; 17-12 over the Eagles, who lost Michael Vick to injury early in the game; 16-13 over the Packers in OT when Green Bay’s kicker clanked a would-be game-winning ﬁeld goal off the goal post at the end of regulation; and 17-14 over the Bears last week when Jay Cutler threw four picks to DeAngelo Hall. Well, the luck runs out this week. Detroit is coming off a bye and gets QB Matthew Stafford back from injury, and the last time the Lions played at home they drilled the Rams 44-6 … the same Rams that throttled Washington 30-16. $110 (to win $100) on PATRIOTS (-6) vs. Vikings: Fact: The Patriots’ victories the last two weeks were by identical 23-20 scores. Fact: If you take away an interception returned for a touchdown in the waning moments of a 29-20 loss at the Jets, the Vikings’ four defeats have been by ﬁve, four, two and four points. Fact: New England QB Tom Brady is having an MVP-type season. Fact: Minnesota QB Brett Favre is having an AARP-type season. And if Favre (ankle injury) actually does sit out a game for the ﬁrst time since becoming a starter in 1992, we’ll have ourselves a Tarvaris Jackson sighting. Giddy-up!
Matt Jacob is a former local sports writer who has been in the sports handicapping business for more than four years. For his weekly column, Vegas Seven has granted Matt a “$7,000” bankroll. If he blows it all, we’ll ﬁre him and replace him with a monkey. October 28-November 3, 2010 Vegas Seven 103
Jason egan The man behind Circus Circus’ Fright Dome talks about scaring jaded kids, the lasting appeal of chainsaws and the coolest ways to die
By Elizabeth Sewell
How do you come up with the ideas? We ﬁgure out what’s going to get cut and then what worked really well. We tested zombies last year and it worked really well. People really liked it and we thought, “Let’s have a whole scare zone of zombies. Let’s take it the next step further and talk to Lionsgate partner Kunami and see if they’ll grant us rights 110
Vegas Seven October 28-November 3, 2010
to their Zombie Apocalypse game and let’s base it off their video game.” We did that and created this amazing scare zone. If you see it at night you see what we want you to see, it’s fun stuff. Every year we sit down at the drawing board and we ﬁgure out what works and what didn’t work, and what’s popular, too. I’ve got to stay with the times, so that’s why I’m always watching videos like crazy because certain things are popular and certain things are a complete ﬂop, so we want to stay away from that. A lot of times people like feeling like they’re in the movies because it’s like a safe scare. Why do people like being scared? It gets their adrenaline going. People like bringing their dates down here and having a good time. It’s a safe scare. You can go out and experience the set pieces. You watch My Bloody Valentine on the big screen, and now you can walk through the actual sets and the character is literally right there. I understand that he’s right there with the 3-D glasses on, that’s great, movies are great, but this takes it to a whole new level with them being in your face.
How do you scare kids today? They’re extremely jaded, so it really boils down to your actors. A friend of mine used to say a haunted house is as good as your worst actor. We can create amazing set pieces and amazing props but if we don’t have good actors, it’s nothing. Good actors are a staple. There a thousand ways to die in horror movies. What’s your favorite? I always like the shocking methods like the Final Destination and the Saw methods. Something that’s really wacky and weird. Saw has devices that crush your organs, just wacky weird things that you aren’t suspecting. Don’t get me wrong, you get the typical slasher ﬁlm that uses the butcher knife, but I like the ways you’re not expecting. You know your person is going to die, but sometimes you don’t know how. I like the weird traps. What is the most scared you’ve ever seen someone? I’ve had people wet their pants. I’ve had journalists come in here and have panic attacks. People get extremely
scared, and we have to lay off all the time. We understand that point. We don’t need to see you go away in an ambulance. Once we know we’ve done our job, we’re not going to hover over you with a chainsaw while you’re in the fetal position. You have to pay close attention to your customers to make sure everything stays safe. What works year after year? I can never do away with chainsaws. They are a staple item. They love the chainsaws and if there’s not enough, I’ll hear about it. I don’t know when that fad will go out, but right now people love it to death and I think it’s that fear of not knowing if there is a blade on that chainsaw or did this crazy maniac get a hold of it and manipulate it, because it is a real chainsaw. You can hear the motor and you can smell the gas and you just don’t know. What scares you? The only thing that really gets me is, believe it or not, snakes. I don’t know why it is, I never understood why, but I’m getting a little bit used to it. Haunted houses don’t scare me.
Photo by Anthony Mair
Haunted houses lose their luster in the light of day. There are no chainsawwielding maniacs to jump from behind dark corners or ﬂashing strobe lights to disorient me as Fright Dome mastermind Jason Egan guides me on a sneak peak at the eighth installment of his Circus Circus-based Halloween attraction. It is at night when they come alive. Under the cover of darkness, Egan’s blood-crazed zombies and demented clowns are reminders of why I tend to stay away from haunted houses—they’re supposed to scare you. Egan, 32, began designing haunted houses while still at the University of Nebraska. His ﬁrst haunted house in Las Vegas, a haunted ballroom off Highland Avenue, was so treacherous it caught the attention of Circus Circus ofﬁcials, who asked him to take over their Adventuredome theme park and transform it into a horror playground. Eight years later, Egan’s Fright Dome is the largest and highest-grossing haunted attraction in Las Vegas, and has partnered with Lionsgate Films and video game producer Konami to bring you scares based on the Saw movie franchise and the Zombie Apocalypse video game, earning the ghoulish attraction the distinction of being named one of the top ﬁve scariest attractions in the United States.
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