Home of: Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, Andre Aggasi, Panic At The Disco, The Killers, 7 Seconds, Hemlock, Slaughter, 702, Jenny Lewis
Fun Facts: State flower; sagebrush, state song; “Home Means Nevada,” state animal; desert bighorn sheep
The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, which opened in 2003, was built specifically to house Celine Dion’s “A New Day” show (2003-2007). The venue is currently being shared by Cher’s “Cher At the Colosseum” and Bette Middler’s “The Showgirl Must Go On.”
Away from the glitz of the casinos is Beauty Bar. With an authentic late 50s interior, salvaged from the Capri Salon in Trenton, NJ, the venue hosts multi-genre DJ nights while the outdoor patio has a stage for live bands. Like its sister locations in NYC, Austin, San Diago, San Francisco and Hollywood, the Las Vegas Beauty Bar offers manicures with your martinis.
If you prefer The Vibrators and Murphy’s Law to Wayne Newton and Cirque du Soleil, The Double Down in Las Vegas is the bar for you. Punk, garage, surf and psychobilly are featured live on stage and on the jukebox. Catch OurStage punks The Bastard Suns on Oct 15th and heavy psychedelic rockers White Rhino on Oct 22nd. Thirsty? The Double Down claims to be “The Birthplace of the Bacon Martini.” Yum.
Las Vegas has been an entertainment mecca since it first legalized gambling in 1931. Aside from the casinos, Vegas is known for hosting big name acts like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. But what about the local, homegrown music scene? For more info on what happens in Vegas, OurStage turned to Kane Churko of local Las Vegas band Modern Science. Modern Science has been busy playing shows to support their self titled debut album, released earlier this year on their own MIMORTL label (Download the album for free at www.FreeModernScience.com). Their hard work seems to be paying off: Their song “Look Where Your Walkin’” earned them a Top 10 finish in the March 2009 Pop Channel, and they will be showcasing at OurStage venue Ace of Clubs in NYC as part of this year’s CMJ Music Marathon. Kane took some time out to answer some questions about the music in his home state.
OS: The songs on your debut album Modern Science are exuberant, danceable and flat out fun. Do you think your hometown of Las Vegas has had any influence on your sound?
KC: Las Vegas doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither do we. Don’t get me wrong—we’re serious musicians with serious ambitions but we like to have fun and make people forget about regular life for a little bit. In that sense—we’re completely Vegas. Let’s just hope the term “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” doesn’t apply to us. :-P
OS: Obviously not everyone in Nevada can play the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace like Cher & Bette Midler. What is your favorite venue to play in Nevada? Who are your favorite local bands to play with?
KC: House of Blues at Mandalay Bay no question. We played there a few nights ago for about 800 people and between the stage, the sound and audience there’s no better feeling. I would love to play the new Joint at The Hard Rock though—I saw Wilco there and it was the best show I’ve ever been to. As far as other local bands go Imagine Dragons are pretty cool—we played with them the other night too. Also our friends the Afghan Raiders are also doing some exciting stuff. We’re hitting up NY with them at the end of October for CMJ. Bringing Vegas to the Big Apple. Should be a party!
OS: While Nevada, Las Vegas in particular, is known worldwide for many things, the local music scene isn’t really one of them. Do you think that bands like The Killers and Panic! At The Disco have changed people’s minds about the local Las Vegas music scene? What do you think it will take to really put Nevada on the musical map?
KC: I think it’d be an absolute misconception to think that Las Vegas embraces their local music scene. The Killers had little to no local support before they got “signed” and blew up everywhere else. Very few local music venues here stay open long enough to develop a devoted enough following. I don’t know how many local shows I’ve been to where the band members and crew outnumber the crowd. Vegas is a transient city lacking deep roots so I guess people have reason for their lack of pride in their own local music scene, but I personally hope things change and that the city comes around and learns to embrace its own rising talent. I think it will take serious cooperation from within the local music infrastructure to turn things around and hey maybe Modern Science can play some small part in that. There’s huge potential in this town—outsiders are starting to see it…I just hope Vegas will too.
OS: Finally, there is one question that the OurStage community is dying to know the answer to: Siegfried or Roy?
KC: Siegfried because he DIDN’T get mauled by a tiger. He also has better hair. Did you know those guys are like 70? No joke.
Check out Modern Science and other great Nevada artists in the playlist below!
Who are your favorite OurStage Nevadans? Where do you like to see live music in Nevada? Let us know in the comments!