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Posted by on Jan 30, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Music and Concert Reviews | 2 comments

Going Ga Ga Over Lady GaGa

 

 

Lady Gaga arrives in Las Vegas at the perfect moment for both the city and its newest star.  Let’s hope she shakes things up.

 

Lady Gaga seems intent on being all things to all people, and if her previous track record of success is an indication, she might very well have the gravitas to pull off what would be impossible for anyone lesser.

No singer-songwriter-performer-actress-influencer-icon on the planet is hotter at the moment.  So, it came as quite a shock to find out Lady Gaga is making Las Vegas her temporary residency.  Let’s be honest here — the Las Vegas Strip isn’t the usual first choice for a performer who could sell out any football stadium in the world within mere hours.

Indeed, casino showrooms have typically been the last whistle-stop before being tossed into the heap of the CD bin at the discount dollar store.  It’s where once-great but now-old performers go to die; it’s where one-hit wonders come to make one last fat paycheck before retiring and fading off into artistic oblivion.  Sure, most headliners make Las Vegas a mandatory concert stop on any national tour.  But the prospect of doing dozens, perhaps even hundreds of nightly shows isn’t just excruciatingly repetitive for cutting edge performers.  It’s always been a dead end.  For just about everyone here who’s turned into Wayne Newton, it’s been a set of golden handcuffs — lots of sweet guaranteed money, but with a heavy price.  Las Vegas has always been a creative graveyard.

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Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas | 2 comments

Was “LA RAMS -1” the Worst Opening Line in Super Bowl History?

 

 

What were oddsmakers thinking when they installed the Los Angeles Rams as the favorite of over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII?

Oddsmakers don’t make many mistakes.  Otherwise, casinos and sportsbooks wouldn’t be in business.  They certainly don’t make mistakes on NFL games, which attract the vast majority of sports gambling activity in America.  And, it’s beyond inconceivable that a major attraction like the Super Bowl, which generates billions of dollars in betting action, would have a pointspread that’s quite possibly off by perhaps 4 or more points.

What were oddsmakers thinking?  Or smoking?

Installing the Rams as a -1 favorite was the worst opening line on a Super Bowl game in history.  Bar none.  It wasn’t just a terrible number.  The line was so bad that the wrong team was favored.

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Posted by on Dec 11, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Rants and Raves, Restaurant Reviews | 1 comment

On Tipping: Tapped Out and Pissed Off

 

 

I don’t mind tipping.

Some jobs pay such pathetically low wages that tipping is absolutely necessary to get people to do that kind of work.  Besides, anyone who repeatedly has to deal with the public probably deserves some kind of “survivor” bonus.  Hell, I’d rather dig a ditch in the summertime for minimum wage than serve a family at an Applebee’s with a couple of highchairs.  Please, hand me a shovel.  I mean hand me a shovel to dig the ditch — not to use on the kids.  Just want to make that clear.

The problem is….everyone who deals with the public now expects a tip.  Tip jars are placed everywhere.  Here in Las Vegas, tipping is probably my third-highest monthly expenditure, behind my mortgage payment and what I pay to the bookies.

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Music and Concert Reviews, Personal | 2 comments

Review: The Mob Museum (Las Vegas)

 

 

Outlaws have long been the object of a peculiar fascination.  Fictional or real, from Robin Hood to Bonnie and Clyde to Joe Valachi to Don Corleone to John Gotti, we’ve obsessed over celebrity-criminals in life and even apotheosized them in death.  Many of us know more verses from The Godfather than either the U.S. Constitution or the Bible.

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