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Oct 2002 / sights and sounds :: email this story to a friend

Cities from Sin to Suffragette
By Thomas Crone and Amanda E. Doyle


"The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America"
Sally Denton and Roger Morris
Buy it at Left Bank Books

The Money and the Power Ordinarily, this is a section in which we extol the virtues of local things: records, websites, racetracks, watermelon stands, what-have-you. But this book, released in hardcover last year and now in affordable softcover, earns an exception to the rule. As history nerds, we all enjoy the odd dissertation on a specific city or place, but this exhaustive look at the underbelly of Las Vegas is a graphic, damning look at a city that's factored heavily in our society's political culture in the 20th century. Deep and far-reaching in its scope, "Money and the Power" casts a wary eye on the lingering and lasting effects of Vegas money on the American underworld, union scene and even the White House. A tremendous read and an important look at one of America's still-rising urban centers, "Money" is a must for any follower of American civic life. (And to pull a local note in, reputed "mob lawyer" Morris Shenker makes more than a few cameos in these pages.) (TC)


The Bar at Monstrosity, City Museum
701 N. 15th St.,

So, the buzz spread quickly on this one, as is usually the case with any Bob Cassilly-sponsored joint: within the sprawling tentacles of his newest vision, Monstrosity (a Swiss Family Robinson-like tree house of hanging bridges, spiraling staircases and, curiously, dangling airplane bodies), there now resides a little log-cabin bar. Like, maybe Abe Lincoln would've quaffed a cold one here, were he of a mind to. For now, it's open from 5:30-9:30 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but a kind woman sweeping around the bar advised that the hours may be extended, "just depending on how it all goes." On a recent Saturday, the tiny votives were twinklin' and the crowd was friendly, and I gather the saxophonist had just packed up. Of course, some folks still bounced around on giant bungee cords. Such a scene passes for typical in our favorite urban playground. (AED)


"Suffragette City" - special edition
Monday, September 16
KDHX, 88.1 FM

Here's why alternative radio is so cool: anything's possible. We've extolled the virtues of Rene Saller's "Suffragette City" before (and I've even filled in one time since, ya-hoo!), but this mid-September show was a real keeper, with two hours of live, improvisational music being played in one studio, while Saller mixed in pre-recorded cuts in the other. Starring a local who's-who of improv (Ben Hanna, Eric Hall, Toby Parks, Matt Harnish and Chris Dee), the show was fascinating listening, with the group never exactly knowing when they were on. Instead, they just flowed and let the host bring them in and out of the mix. A real brain stimulant on a Monday night. And the next one will be when? (TC)

"Last Call"

One of the remaining web-only features on the site, Pamela Lowney's every-Friday "Last Call" is an enjoyable look at local nightlife and sipping culture. Which, as proven by some of the early columns, also can slip into the daytime hours. Fun read. Worth a click. (TC)

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© 2002 The Commonspace