(Sonic Youth and Pavement, backstage at the Palms Hotel and Casino's Pearl Theater, October 1, 2010: Bob Nastanovich, Thurston Moore, Scott Kannberg, Mark Ibold, Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, Stephen Malkmus, Steve Shelley, and Steve West)
The Matador at 21 birthday concert was a 48-hour all-you-can-eat music buffet at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Vegas, featuring more than two dozen roster mainstays of the venerated New York-based indie label (Yo La Tengo, the New Pornographers, Belle and Sebastian), reconstituted alumni (the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Superchunk, Chavez, Pavement in their likely last-ever U.S. appearance), and welcome newbies (Girls, Harlem, Perfume Genius, Esben and the Witch).
All this, plus the temptation to blow one's paycheck on an ill-advised 4:30 A.M. round of blackjack with Pavement's "Frontwards" playing on the P.A. between Ke$ha and the Fray.
If you pay attention to the sort of media that reasonably expects its audience to scroll through a list of 300 albums, you already know the fetching story of Shamir Bailey. A 20-year-old, male-pronoun-approving, gender-fluid African-American who grew up in Vegas and played country music until enough bizzers told him they didn’t know how to… More »