05 October, 2010

Weekend! (Las Vegas Edition)

I know I'm behind on the blog, and there have been so many awesome weekends that it's hard to begin to catch up. But this weekend was so above and beyond that I am still reeling in euphoria/disbelief. Let me start by saying that when my friends and I first heard about Matador Records' 21st anniversary bash in Las Vegas, I was DYING to go. I have been a Guided By Voices fan since my 13th birthday, when my cousin Matt sent me a copy of Bee Thousand, my very first CD. When I heard that they were reuniting this weekend with the original lineup, and playing alongside so many other incredible bands such as Yo La Tengo, Pavement, and Sonic Youth... I had to be there! But try as we might, none of my friends or I were able to secure tickets- they simply sold out too fast! I was placated by the fact that GBV announced other tour dates (I am seeing them tonight in SF!), and by planning a trip to see friends in Seattle and visit BrickCon. I'd completely stricken the idea of Vegas from my mind when last Sunday my friend Susie informed me that a few more tickets had been released! I jumped at the opportunity and the next thing I knew I was changing my Seattle flights to Vegas.

How can I begin to describe the surreality and simultaneous awesomeness of being in a Las Vegas hotel full of hipsters? Of hearing the likes of Belle & Sebastian and Harlem over the loudspeakers on the casino floor while bachelorettes in painful heels and their male counterparts decked out in Ed Hardy played the slots? Of eavesdropping on bearded, flannel-clad boys discussing their plans for SXSW amidst a sea of fake tans and fake boobs at the pool? This weekend was a blast. I was lucky enough to go with one of my very oldest friends, and we took Vegas by storm. In addition to seeing SO MANY AMAZING BANDS that were such a huge influence on my young adult life (Sonic Youth, Pavement, Cat Power, Spoon, Superchunk, Belle & Sebastian, GBV, Liz Phair, Yo La Tengo, The New Pornographers...) and some newer favorites (The Clean, Fucked Up, Harlem), we played black jack, ate room service, sunbathed by the pool, drank far too many frozen cocktails, ate our way through a brunch buffet, visited the Liberace Museum (which closes permanently on the 17th), and walked almost all the way up the Strip.

Now that I am home, I feel a little empty inside. I never went to summer camp but I imagine that this is what it would feel like to leave one's fellow campers and return to "our sorry little lives," as Bob Pollard so eloquently put it during the closing set last night. During the shows I failed to take any pictures worth posting, but the Matador flickr page has quite a few. Here is a video of one of my favorite moments from the Yo La Tengo show. How awesome are Ira and James' dance moves???

Yo La Tengo "You Can Have It All" LIVE Matador at 21 10/2/10 from 'SUP Magazine on Vimeo.

I have been reading the press from the event, watching fan videos, and poring through other peoples' flickr accounts ever since I got home in some sort of attempt to reassure myself that this actually happened, that Superchunk ruled my world, that I rode the elevator with Bob Nastanovich and sat at the bar with Dan Bejar. If this was a "Lost Weekend," then I don't want to be found!


Watkins35 said...

wow - that sounds so much fun! LOVE Belle & Sebastian & New Pornographers and Hubby loves Pavement & Sonic Youth, sure it was AMAZING. We visited Vegas in 1995 for a friend's wedding & had a fab time - how can you not - I totally get the 'empty' feeling once you're home again! Still, what memories you have. x

Jessica Appelgren said...

Oh....your post reminded me of the days where I could actually jet off to SXSW on a whim. Such fun!!!! What an amazing line up. I better dust off some of those records RIGHT NOW.