THE HOTTEST TICKET IN VEGAS. M I C H A E L J O R DA N . C E L E B R I T I E S . A N D YO U .
Watc h th e a c ti o n u n fo l d as Michael Jordan and f riends team up for charit y.
> TI CK E TS AR E O N SALE N OW at mjcigolf.com P h oto s r e p r e se nt 2 0 1 3 M J C I at te n d e e s .
Bill Cosby March 14
8 P M // T R E A S U R E I S L A N D T H E AT R E // T I C K E T S 8 9 4 . 7 7 2 2
@bengreenman When is it safe to talk about True Detective without ruining it for people? There should be a governing body to decide this kind of thing.
@RyanMarquardt Even McDonald’s in Vegas gets Vegas’d out. Why can’t they make the @NevadaDMV cooler? Like where’s my bottle service?
@ChrchCurmudgeon Spent the morning counseling a woman whose husband took all their daylight savings and blew it at the track.
March 13–19, 2014
By Jason Scavone
Another NASCAR Weekend has come and gone, and with it 48 points in the Sprint Cup standings for winner Brad Keselowski, for those of you still adjusting your Sprint Cup leaderboards at home. But what did we learn, other than Dale Earnhardt Jr. needs a bigger gas tank in his whip? Well, we learned that one should never underestimate the overlap between NASCAR fans and REO Speedwagon fans (a reported 12,000 crammed in the Fremont Street Experience to see rock dwarf Kevin Cronin chug through “Roll With the Changes”). We learned that Claire Sinclair looks fantastic in jean shorts and a corset (some lessons are easier to take than others). And we learned that, as usual, you’ve got to keep moving fast if you want to stay ahead of the Paul Menards of the world. One person who’s never shown any signs of slowing down, Penn Jillette, has his usual amount of far-more-irons-than-anyhuman-being-should-reasonablybe-expected-to-have in the fre.
He’ll be on the March 16 Chopped Tournament of Stars on the Food Network; he co-wrote a movie with Neil Gaiman, an adaptation of E.H. Jones’ The Road to En-Dor; and he’s working on another book: An Atheist Answers Catholic School Girl Questions. “I just want someone in the uniform on the cover. That’s really all that matters,” Jillette says. “It’s not even the cover that matters. It’s just the photo shoot.” Staying on top of the Downtown real estate puzzle is like trying to keep track of sand dunes. ST Residential—the owners of Fourth Street mid-rise tower Juhl—have reportedly received a purchase offer from a Chinese group. The street level of the tower was originally zoned for offce and art gallery use only, which partly explains why the lone retail tenant, The Town Bike, had such diffculty, ultimately shuttering last month … which also explains why the city is working to amend the zoning. And speaking of zoning Downtown, the site of the former Western RV Park has a sign up signifying intent to build a midrise tower while also securing a waiver for the mixed-use zoning that would require—let’s see here—
retail on the ground foor. Seems like all parties could have gotten together and saved each other some time and effort. If you didn’t get your three-day pass to Electric Daisy Carnival on June 20-22 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, you better come up with a Plan B. Insomniac Events announced they sold out all VIP and general admission tickets to the event—beating last year’s sellout by nearly two months. Particularly notable is the fact that EDC hasn’t yet announced a lineup. Remind us again why DJs can command fve-fgure paydays for a night’s work at a club when people mostly seem excited just to go experience the atmosphere? Do they charge a premium for working under a roof? That’s probably it. The one person who needs to move a little faster: Antonio Tarver. The former light heavyweight champ was arrested in Florida for failing to pay back a $200,000 marker to Wynn Las Vegas, according to reports. He took a loan from his manager to pay back the debt and says he’s going to box again to get square. But doesn’t hand speed slow down as you get older?
@Joan_Rivers Paris Hilton has a stalker who is covered in tattoos of her face. Quite a reversal! Usually she’s the one who’s covered in someone.
@GuyEndoreKaiser Seeing a commercial for Noah during Cosmos is as good as comedy gets.
@Ron_White “I” before “E” except “Toby Keith.”
@RealCarrotTop Junior ran out of gas today. I feel your pain @ DaleJr. I ran out of jokes 20 minutes ago.
@BrookeInVegas I’ll be much more impressed with technology when they make it possible for me to punch annoying people in the face over the Internet.
@AlezaFree We seem to have a Vegas show for every stage of life: Menopause, marriage, divorce. Yet still no “Toddlers, the Musical.”
Share your Tweet! Add #V7.
ILLUSTRATION BY CIERRA PEDRO
Speed Demons, Speed Wagons and Speedy Ticket Sales
Massachusetts banned upskirt photos. Or as Kim Kardashian calls them, “selfies.”
Eric Booker in 1983.
Spacebyrdz on launching Afer, the direction of the Vegas scene By Deanna Rilling
March 13–19, 2014
Get Down to the Underground
A FORMER MARINE and a Spundae promoter walk into a warehouse … that’d be the abbreviated version of how Alex Clark and Oscar Molina met and formed Spacebyrdz. But what you really need to know about the Las Vegas duo is not how they met, what’s up with their label RiffRaff (new remix EP out soon), or even exactly what genre they spin (just know that it isn’t electronic dance music). Spacebyrdz wants you to know why people should dig deeper when it comes to electronic music, why they’ll stick to their roots and never sell out and how the experience changes beginning March 14 when After opens its patio.
29 VEGAS SEVEN
PHOTO BY MIKEY MCNULTY
Your city after dark, photos from the week’s hottest parties and what’s it like to be a DJ’s agent
Alex Clark and Oscar Molina lead you underground.
You talk about staying relevant, but you aren’t playing that Vegas big-room sound that prevails at the megaclubs. Molina: It’s a big-room sound, but it’s a big-room sound to what we like. The techno that we play? That’s a festival, big-room sound. Clark: Big-room sound here, they’re thinking Hakkasan, Calvin Harris—but it’s all the same cheesy buildup, big synth-y buildups and drops. The thing about that stuff is all of the resident DJs are playing that same music, the same tracks in a different order. You have a headliner come out and you pay them $400,000? You’re hearing the same shit your residents are playing for $1,000. So what’s
“I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW EVERYONE GETS AWAY WITH PLAYING THE SAME MUSIC AND THE CLUBS THINK THAT’S COOL.” the fucking point of having a headliner playing the same music your residents are playing—not just your residents, but everyone in this town? Molina: I don’t understand how everyone gets away with playing the same music and the clubs think that’s cool. Clark: I have a friend who’s a go-go dancer at The Bank, and there’ll be one DJ who she said plays the same song three times within an hour. As DJs, if we play, say, an eight-hour set, we might play one song twice if we played it really early and might want to play it again later when there are more people, but it’s because it’s that good. But even then I’m still iffy about playing the same track in the same set in one night—no fucking way. It’s like an unwritten rule. We
have way too much music. Why not just take the commercial EDM route and be set for life? Clark: We put in years of our lives doing this, but because we keep up with the times, it’s not like we have to do it all at once now. But if you’re someone new on the DJ scene? You just go to the Beatport Top 10, download those tracks, it’s easy and you can just play that and everyone will love it. New DJs want to do it for the limelight, the glory, to look cool and make money. You can fake it till you make it. There are a couple of people in this town— I won’t mention names—who faked it till they made it, but they still want to claim their underground roots, and you can’t do that, man. Once you
go that route, your credibility is gone. And that’s fne, but at least just claim it. Claim that’s what you’re doing: You’re a commercial, open-format jukebox for the club and you make good money. Good shit. We need people like you, because I wouldn’t do that. The patio at After kicks off March 14. Explain why people should hang out as that dreaded sun comes up? Clark: First of all, the patio is legendary just because of the location [After is housed in the space once occupied by original Las Vegas nightclubs Utopia and Empire Ballroom]. Everyone’s like, “Oh, it’s so bright out!” I’m like, “It’s bright when you walk right out into it.” When you subtly get let into a sunrise as the music’s playing,
the right music is playing? That shit will change you. I’m going to be bringing out the guys who do the Love Life parties in San Diego. RollingTuff, that’s another promotion company out in L.A., the guys who do End Up in San Francisco. We’re also going to be working with Gene Farris and Steve Gerard who do Sound Bar in Chicago, gigswapping with Dino G. who runs Spybar in Chicago. Plus working with the guys who run NORAD Dancebar in Denver. So I’m getting a lot of people involved with After, and I want to put them on the patio. As of right now, Brett Rubin’s also a resident with us, so he’ll probably be playing the main room when we’re playing on the patio on Saturdays. Sounds busy. When are you going to sleep? Clark: We sleep during the week. It’s not about us; it’s bigger than us. We just want to provide a platform for good music. To discover more sounds of the underground with Spacebyrdz, visit VegasSeven.com/spacebyrdz.
PHOTO BY MIKEY MCNULTY
March 13–19, 2014
You two frst teamed up after playing a warehouse party in L.A. in 2007. In what direction has your sound gone since then? Clark: As time’s progressed, we kept current on our music changes: electro, progressive, tech house, deep house, techno. You have to stay relevant. It’s just kind of a growing snowball.
[ UPCOMING ]
See more photos from this gallery at SPYONVegas.com
PHOTOS BY SEAN AK ARI AND TONY TRAN
March 13–19, 2014
March 15 Arizona Takeover March 27 Ty Dolla $ign performs March 29 Turnt Up with DJ Pauly D
[ UPCOMING ]
See more photos from this gallery at SPYONVegas.com
PHOTOS BY TONY TRAN
March 13â€“19, 2014
March 14 Joe Maz spins March 15 DJ Spider spins March 16 XIV Game World
The Venetian [ UPCOMING ]
See more photos from this gallery at SPYONVegas.com
PHOTOS BY AMIT DADL ANEY
March 13â€“19, 2014
March 13 DJ Five spins March 14 Sakebomb Fridays March 15 Vice spins
King Ruck tattoos on Spike TV’s Ink Master.
Off the Wall, Under Your Skin and Onscreen: Meet King Ruck By Zoneil Maharaj
IF YOU MET JOSH GLOVER as a teen, you knew him as Ruckus, a ruthless artist-vandal who bombed buildings (with a spray can) so prolifically that he eventually earned a title befitting graffiti royalty: King Ruckus. When you meet the 37-year-old King Ruck, as he’s better known today, you encounter a humble business owner who put the illegal aspect of graffiti behind him long ago. The lifelong Las Vegan channeled his passion for graffiti into legal murals and art commissions before taking his work off the walls and onto skin. He now owns two Downtown tattoo shops: Black Spade on 6th Street (closed for remodeling) and Red Elephant on 3rd. King Ruck stars in the fourth season of Ink Master, a Spike TV reality competition hosted by Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro that pits 17 tattoo artists against each other in a series of challenges. The winner brings home a $100,000 bounty. You got your start doing graffiti. What’s the Vegas scene like? I’m proud to represent Las Vegas [as a graffiti artist], but the scene’s always been a little suspect. Las Vegas is 24 hours. Don’t nobody go to bed. You go out in Cali, you go out in New York—after about 3 in the morning, the only people walking around are people doing dirt, or they’re drunk or high.
Out here, you got a regular guy who’s just getting off of work and he sees you and he calls the police. You really had to be on your toes. But it made me stronger, it made me more versatile. When I’d go to another city, I’d crash that shit. I don’t wanna say there was a lot of culture here, but it was enough to keep things going. Sometimes you have to bring culture to a place, and I feel like I was one of those pioneers. Has Las Vegas embraced legal graffiti? Yes, finally. It took a lot of hard work, man. A lot of blood, sweat and tears. There was a lot of frontin’, people frontin’ on you and making you look like you’re a villain. But now we’re here. Did you get any resistance like that when you started doing tattoos? Being an African-American in Las Vegas tattooing, it was a bad look back in the day. Plain and simple. There was a guy by the name of Twig and a dude named Psychs also doing it back in the day … but I’m the first to own my own tattoo shop. There’s a show about tattooing in Las Vegas, Bad Ink, which also stars a Ruckus. Them dudes is doing what they do. They’re catching exposure. Homeboy Dirk Vermin, he’s been doing it for a long time. I give them respect for get-
ting on TV and trying to cover up bad shit. I ain’t mad at it, because part of our industry is covering up tattoos. Sometimes a whole week will just be coverups of bad-ass decisions people are making. … Vermin’s sidekick, Ruckus, they’re in a band together [The Vermin]. People hit me up like, “Man, he got your name.” Nah, man. We got mutual friends. He sings and plays in a band. I do tattoos, draw and paint on walls. We’re two different people. It’s all good—respect. What can we expect from Ink Master? Just a lot of roller coasters. There are times when I think I’m doing something like, “Oh, shit, I might have this!” and I’m feeling good—and then the judges shit on you and put you down. You just never know how things go. One second, you’re feeling good, the next you’re feeling like, “I might be going home.”
KING RUCK Watch Ink Master at 10 p.m. Tuesdays on Spike TV. Follow King Ruck on Twitter and Instagram: @therealkingruck. Curious about his backstory? Read Vegas Seven’s 2011 profle of King Ruck at VegasSeven.com/KingRuck.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SPIKE T V
A&E March 13–19, 2014 VEGAS SEVEN
CO N TIN U ED FRO M PAGE 67 enthusiast whose presence at the track is the human equivalent of dumping a bushel full of Swiss chard inside a Burger King. Then there’s John Conte, with his shoe-polish black mullet and supply of jokes you aren’t quite sure if they’re racist or not; poor-man’s Kenny Powers Kevin Cox; and Team Rotondo—the Jeff Garlin clone Lee Davis, the Russian bride-toting Peter Rotondo Sr., and son Peter Jr., a bow tie-rocking media specialist with the Breeders’ Cup. While the show does a decent job of establishing its cast of characters early on, it makes some curious choices in both structure and editing. The frst episode opens with the 2012 Breeders’ Cup, which is traditionally considered the close of the racing season and has no bearing on the 2013 National Handicapping Championship. Ditto the second episode, which hits all three Triple Crown races that again don’t affect the handicappers’ road to the tournament. It’s all a bit betwixt worlds, at times seeming aimed at the experienced fan and at others overexplaining pedestrian terms like “pick six” and “winner” and “horse.” No one’s going to mistake it for the reality-show equivalent of the brilliant, departed and wildly obtuse Luck, where showrunner David Milch’s attitude toward the casual race fan could best be described as: “Fuck you, look it up.” That aside, with some refnement, Horseplayers could be, if the breaks all go right, similar to another show about a sport in decline widely considered to be the domain of shopworn degenerates: World Poker Tour. That’s the one that helped nudge along the poker boom, even before Chris Moneymaker’s explosive win in the 2003 World Series of Poker. It did it through slick production and savvy packaging of the long, endless poker grind into digestible hourlong tournament segments. Wisely, Horseplayers follows along in that formula by focusing on individual handicapping tournaments instead of the day-to-day slog. If it continues to sell, say, Cox as the pony-playing equivalent of Phil Hellmuth, or Conte as its wizened Doyle Brunson, it could tap into that same heady mix of reality, sports and easy money that put poker on the map. And why not horse racing? It’s certainly got everything you need to appeal to the ironic contrarian hipster: insular, arcane language; a vintage soul; steeply declining popularity; a tarnished reputation; an intoxicating complexity that rewards the nerdy and studious; a preference for cocktails most people’s grandfathers stopped drinking by the time they hit their 40s. Put a Snidely Whiplash mustache on Orb or stage intermezzo unicycle races among the jockeys, and you’ve hit all the bases. It’s practically Etsy with pari-mutuel wagering. This is your opportunity to get in on the ground foor. Don’t you want to be able to say you were into horse racing before it was cool? Or at least after it was really super cool but before it got kind of briefy cool again?
Elton’s Million Dollar Piano will be screening around the world, but we still have the best view By Lonn M. Friend
March 13–19, 2014
➧ I WAS ON THE SIDEWALK waiting for the
doors to open at Moby Disc Records in Van Nuys, California, on November 5, 1971. Had to have the frst copy of Elton John’s LP, Madman Across the Water. Why? Because I had spent the previous year wearing the grooves off Tumbleweed Connection. My teenage ears and heart were evolving rapidly. The breakup of the Beatles hit me harder than a Liverpool winter. Elton and The Who saved me from a prolonged pathetic pimpled depression—but mostly Sir E because I’m the son of a piano player. When I sliced open the denim blue sleeve and inhaled that unique almostglue aroma signifying magical new music was seconds away, I went crazy. Madman meet mad kid. The record opened with “Tiny Dancer” and “Levon,” back-to-back six-minute orchestrated rock opuses proclaiming with clarion verve, “Elton’s returned and he ain’t fucking around.” And it just got better. “Razor Face,” “Holiday Inn,” “Rotten Peaches,” “Indian Sunset,” the aching title track—Madman endures. To this archetype fan, it remains Elton’s watermark effort. Four decades later, the album and the artist remain vital. The ivory avatar is stronger, funnier, faster, tighter and more confdent than ever. He’s risen from being little Reggie Dwight of
Middlesex, England, to Sir Elton of the palace of Caesar. He’s a seven-fgure Las Vegas rock star with a Colosseum residency, The Million Dollar Piano. And both are coming to the big screen. The flm version of the spectacular Million Dollar Piano concert will screen in cinemas on March 18 and 26. It will play in an expected 500 American theaters and in more than 40 countries. But is it gracing our
ELTON JOHN The Million Dollar Piano at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 7:30 p.m. various dates through April 26, $55-$500, TheColosseum.com.
own neon village, where the spectacle was born? The answer to that, oddly enough, is an 88-key twinkling no. Reason enough to catch the Rocket Man in the fesh. I’ve seen Elton live dozens of times and have enjoyed his Las Vegas shows since Red Piano landed in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace 10 years ago. I wasn’t that into Red Piano’s David LaChappelle infuence—too much bombast and boob. Then Million Dollar Piano arrived in 2008. This one got it right. Nearly
four years in the making, the stateof-the-art piano displays imagery complementing Elton’s iconic songs. The cataclysmic keyboard weighs nearly 3,200 pounds. And you thought only metal was heavy. Thanks to my friend, DC Parmet, Elton’s tour accountant/tour manager and a loyal fan of my long-deceased rock magazine, RIP, my access has been solid gold. Last residency, I made an overnighter from L.A. with high school pal and legendary guitarist, Steve “Luke” Lukather. Luke played on three Elton discs in the early ’80s, but he hadn’t seen Bennie or his Jets in 20 years. During their loving postshow reunion, I noshed in the elegant private dressing room holding area, chatting with Michael Bublé. “My manager told me to see Elton for inspiration,” the Canadian superstar said. “I’m overwhelmed.” So was I. Million Dollar Piano’s set list features rapturous, extended, free-form renditions of Madman’s “Tiny Dancer” and “Levon,” as well as a meditative, almost psychedelic, “Indian Sunset.” From hearing “Tiny Dancer” for the frst time on brand-new vinyl to watching Elton perform the now-classic on a major stage, my Almost Famous journalistic trek had come full circle. Remember the wartime ballad from the 1970 Elton John LP, “Sixty Years On?” Bernie Taupin penned the ephemeral verse, And the future you’re giving me holds nothing for a gun/ I’ve no wish to be living 60 years on. Well, Sir E. turns 67 on March 25, and he has every reason to be living. Part of the birthday celebration includes the super tricked-up re-release of 1973’s seminal Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Since you can’t see the flm, get to Caesars and witness a master at the top of his game. Tell them a madman sent you.
You want to succeed, but you’re just an average Joe, sings New Cold War guitarist-songwriter Andy Harrison on acoustic-powered everyman anthem “Corporate Dick.” Ten hours isn’t nearly enough/Stepped up my game/But my boss says no. Dissatisfaction is palpable on the band’s debut five-song EP. Consider “Growing Down,” about being a pent-up adolescent in a regulated world. Only music offers a sense of belonging, as it does on “Who We Are,” a shoutout (with the chorus Don’t forget where you came from) to punk communities coast to coast, and to the sofas upon which New Cold War has crashed. Comprising members of local groups—Cody Leavitt and Luis Mendez (The People’s Whiskey), Mike Janoff (Guilty by Association), John Brown (Battle Born)—New Cold War is an unglamorous punk supergroup. Harrison, who played in Surrounded by Thieves, wrote these songs intending to record them with a band. Once they realized their strength, New Cold War opted to heat up by playing shows. The group’s live debut takes place at the EP-release party at 8 p.m. March 14 at Artistic Armory. Also on the bill: DC Fallout, Happy Campers and the C.G.’s. Time for stoner-rock: Portland’s Ape Machine brandishes a heavyrock attack reminiscent of ’70sera analog bands. 2013’s Mangled by the Machine, is an aggressive throwback effort. Ape Machine will pound your eardrums to dust at 10 p.m. March 17 at Cheyenne Saloon. Also on the bill: the Young Rapscallions and the Solid Suns. Southern-fried psychedelic postrock? Atlanta sextet Spirits and the Melchizedek Children make it appealing. The band specializes in darkly hypnotic song structures, like the eerily trudging “Lullabies for War.” In it, singer Jason Elliott’s falsetto waves ghost-like above the ominous momentum, like Neil Young caught in an apocalyptic mudslide. Get fried at 10 p.m. March 19 at Velveteen Rabbit. Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo. com to share your band news.
PHOTO BY CARL STUDNA/THE FUN STAR
PUNK SUPERGROUP HONORS UNDERDOGS ON DEBUT EP
NAVAL NAVELS This 300 sequel puts bared abs on boats By Michael Phillips Tribune Media Services EVEN WITH A CHANGE in directors and a half-enlightened, half-salacious emphasis on the voracious Persian conqueror played by Eva Green, 300: Rise of an Empire hews closely to the look, vibe and the casualty count of its sleekly schlocky 2007 predecessor, helmed by Zack Snyder. Likewise taken from a Frank Miller graphic novel, the sequel chronicles mighty Grecian battles regarding who’s going to get to use the workout equipment frst. This is the genre of abs and pecs and arrows in the eye in slow motion, with geysers of globby blood foating around, prettily and painlessly, for our gamer-style delectation. Midway through the flm, Green’s Artemisia—former sex slave and commander of the Persian feet intent on leveling the freedom-loving Grecian upstarts—invites the stalwart Gen. Themistokles, played by a truly dull Sullivan Stapleton, over to her place so that he might study her battle fgurines. “Welcome to my humble barge,” she says, in a come-on line we’ve all heard at some point in our lives. She really wants him in That Way, if only to take her mind off the Battle of Thermopylae for a while. But after some rough foreplay and rougher midplay, any hint of
Eva Green debuts next year’s best-selling Halloween costume: the Artemisia.
an afterglow is ruined by the general’s unwillingness to betray his men and join her side. It was the arrow loosed by Themistokles once upon a time that felled Artemisia’s king and mentor. Rise of an Empire is not a movie on which to waste a good mood or a full night’s sleep. It takes care of business, one splurch at a time. In the frst flm, the marauding Persians and Xerxes, the godlike giant of many piercings played by Rodrigo Santoro, were treated as subhuman swarthy folk and therefore, in the 2007 flm’s geopolitical universe, the slaughter was morally comfortable, easy to take. Gerard Butler’s rage carried the day. At the end of 300 the 300 lay dead, so a sequel seemed unlikely. Then the box offce reports washed in, and you know how it is with days of yore: Combine yore with gore, and you’re going to get your sequel. In Rise of an Empire, partly because Green so
easily dominates the proceedings even when not bare-breasted, the Persians at least seem human. Vicious, but human. Lena Headey’s Spartan Queen Gorgo returns from the frst outing, her gaze full of steely revenge and her mouth full of voice-over exposition setting up events taking place years earlier, as well as immediately after the action of 300. We learn in Rise of the Empire how the Persian king’s son Xerxes made the transition from human to Oscar statuette, gold as you please. We learn from Gorgo that someone’s eyes can actually emit “the stink of destiny.” Yes, and it takes the nose of destiny to smell it. The flm’s a series of moderately diverting battles on the roiling Aegean, at full ramming speed. The look of sophomore director Noam Murro’s picture, photographed by Great Gatsby cinematographer Simon Duggan
March 13–19, 2014
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG) ★★✩✩✩
The frantic, occasionally funny animated feature Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a 3-D big-screen version of a fantastic early 1960s artifact. Director Rob Minkoff, who co-directed The Lion King, responded to the script’s sentimental streak. The rejiggered premise casts a cold light on the dog/boy relationship. Modern Family’s Ty Burrell voices Peabody; Max Charles is Sherman; first-rate supporting talents help out: Stephen Colbert. Leslie Mann Pat and Mel Brooks.
Non-Stop (PG-13) ★★★✩✩
Liam Neeson is back headlining another entertainingly preposterous thriller. Non-Stop confines its action almost entirely to the inside of a trans-Atlantic New York-to-London flight. Federal air marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) is a nervous flier, an alcoholic ex-cop who looks as though he’s carrying around a suitcase of unresolved issues. His seatmate (the overqualified Julianne Moore) sees in Bill a man in need of some comfort and conversation. But this is a whodunit, or the present-tense variation on the whodunit, the who’sdoingit. The movie’s fun.
Son of God (PG-13) ★★★✩✩
Blame Mel Gibson: No new Jesus movie is worth its salt without an unflinching treatment of his torture and Crucifixion. But Son of God, a big-screen version of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s History Channel series The Bible, has a redemptive optimism that makes the brutality go down easier. Like the criticized TV series it is culled from, the film aims to be inoffensive. With multiple directors and screenwriters, they manage that. Unlike Gibson’s bloody blockbuster, this loving, forgiving son comes back long enough to remind us why Christianity has endured.
in the original 300 flm’s trademark two-tone palette, never for a second intends to impart a sense of realism. This is digital fake-ism all the way. Audiences bought it the frst time; they’re likely to buy it a second time. It wouldn’t be much without Green. There’s not much room for psychological nuance in anything created by Frank Miller. A certain queasiness attends Rise of the Empire in its mourning of brutalized innocents one second and its celebration of bloodletting the other 59. Still: Murro’s flm asserts, proudly and with many beheadings, that democracy was a good idea. It was worth the strife, so that 21stcentury storytellers and their effects teams might capture it a new way, in all its insanely violent, limb-lopping, stinky-destiny glory. 300: Rise of an Empire (R) ★★✩✩✩
By Tribune Media Services
The Wind Rises (PG-13) ★★★★✩
This is being marketed as the “farewell masterpiece” of Japanese writer-director Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises makes the dream of flight a vehicle for bittersweet enchantment. Most U.S. theaters will be presenting the English-dubbed edition featuring the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski and Stanley Tucci. I hope The Wind Rises turns out to be one of those false farewells a major artist makes, before re-entering the creative arena. Either way, Miyazaki will have left behind a lifetime of handmade beauty.
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HOLY TOLEDO: LESSONS FROM BILL KING By Ken Korach, available at Barnes & Noble in Henderson (567 N. Stephanie St., 434-1533) and on Amazon. tournament games, including UNLV-North Carolina, and he [later] became an analyst and did a lot of our games on TV. So whenever Irv Brown walked in the arena, Gondo would turn and walk the other way. [Laughs.] That was a hurt that I don’t think he ever got over till the day he died.
Ken Korach The former UNLV broadcaster on working alongside a Rebels legend, his long tenure as the radio voice of the Oakland A’s and the most emotional night of his career
March 13–19, 2014
By Matt Jacob
It’s been a decade since you called your last UNLV basketball game. Do you miss it? I miss doing the games and the people you hang out with, going to practice and the associations you make. But I don’t miss the travel. Up to that point, I had done 22 years of college basketball, starting in Northern California in 1982, and I really wanted to know what an offseason would feel like. I probably haven’t missed it as much as I thought I would. But there’s nothing like a close college basketball game that comes right down to the wire and 15,000 fans are screaming— you’ll never replace that feeling.
Those were very diffcult times. Obviously, the town was divided. But [Massimino’s] frst team got off to a great start; that was the J.R. Rider team, and there were some players who were holdovers from the Tarkanian era, and they were 16-2 and I think ranked eighth or ninth in the country. And then it fell apart quickly. Then as we moved forward, all of us who were close to the program were just hoping there’d be some stability, and it took a long time for that to develop. There was a lot going on off the court at a time when, in a perfect world, you’d just like to focus on doing the games.
You started with the Runnin’ Rebels in 1992, the year Rollie Massimino replaced Jerry Tarkanian as coach. What are your memories of that tumultuous period?
Who’s the most talented Rebel you saw play in your dozen years behind the mic? J.R. Rider. He was an incredibly gifted talent, but unfortunately, unfulflled potential.
I thought Shawn Marion was the greatest and most relentless offensive rebounder during the time I was there. Nobody played harder. … You know, [UNLV] had some very talented teams back then. It’s easy to kind of write off that whole era because of all the uncertainty and all the coaching changes. But they had some excellent players. Your longtime UNLV basketball broadcasting partner was the late Rebels great Glen Gondrezick. How much did you enjoy that partnership? It was wonderful. He was an amazingly supportive partner. … There was never a time when I felt that we weren’t in this together on the air. And the thing about Gondo was he really understood the role of a color [commentator] on radio,
which is really diffcult, especially in basketball, because the action is so fast. He knew when to get in and get out; he knew how to be succinct. And he worked hard at it, he did his homework, he was prepared, he got to know the other teams and coaches. I miss him so much. That was so diffcult to get that call when he passed away. Boy, I couldn’t have asked for anything more than to have spent those 12 years with him. Favorite Gondo story? [Laughs.] In the famous UNLV-North Carolina Final Four game in 1977 [which the Rebels lost 84-83], Gondo fouled out. When you look at the stats from that game, the foul column was very one-sided. Well, Irv Brown was a legendary [college basketball] offcial who did a bunch of NCAA
You’re about to start your 19th season doing radio for the Oakland A’s—only the late, great Bill King had a longer tenure in the booth with the organization. What’s been the secret to your longevity? Boy, you’d have to ask other people, maybe my boss. I have to say this: I’ve worked for some amazing people who have allowed me to be myself. And I think certain broadcasters ft in certain markets, and the Bay Area has been a wonderful ft for me in terms of being accepted there. Having spent 10 years with Bill—I got paired with an iconic individual, the most revered broadcaster ever to work in the Bay Area, and he reached out to me from the frst game we ever did. He endorsed me. I’ve often said that if our fans felt that Bill King thought this guy was OK, then maybe he’s OK. Why did Ken Korach decide to write a book about Bill King? And what was it like to be behind the mic for a perfect game? Find out at VegasSeven.com/Korach.
PHOTO BY MICHAEL ZAGARIS
Most memorable moment at the Thomas & Mack Center? When I did my last game [in March 2004]—and I had no idea they were going to do this; it was an unbelievable gesture by the people at UNLV—they called me out to midcourt during one of the timeouts, and they announced it was going to be my last game. There was a huge crowd, about 15,000 people there—UNLV was playing BYU—and I got a standing ovation. That was the most emotional single moment of my career. Because you never know when you’re doing the games if you’re making that kind of connection with people. I can tell you, I was in tears.
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