Local warming

It’s that time of year again when outdoor music beckons us. Coachella was a nice indie-rock slice, sure, but there are more local moments to hotly anticipate. Here are the event tickets I’ve purchased (no freebies for me):

The second annual “Gimme Shelter” blues festival is back at The Village Lake Las Vegas on May 1. The casino at Lake Las Vegas has shuttered and the resort is under new ownership, but The Village remains a great cobblestoned spot, thanks to a few key restaurants and bars. It’ll be even more fun to hang out there courtesy of music by the Pete Contino Band and John Earl’s Boogiemen Blues Band. Both acts have been kicking around Las Vegas for years, but since they’re comprised of genuinely accomplished (rather than garage-ensconced) musicians, their set lists are never stale and always fluid. Accordionist/vocalist Contino offers a low-key stage presence, but his band is wildly powerful. The show starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $20. More info at thevillagellv.com.

Sponsored by the Clark County Parks and Recreation Department, the ninth annual Reggae in the Desert (2 p.m.-10 p.m. June 7 at Clark County Amphitheater, $25 advance, $30 door) has its best and most diverse lineup to date. For example, comprised of Hawaiians and white dudes, Vegas-based HaleAmanO (“House of the Sharks” in Hawaiian) specializes in a world-music and pop-tinged brand of roots-rock reggae (singer Waahila brandishes a ukelele and excels with his cover of “Love Me Do”). The band will be riding high after their May 22 CD-release party, an all-ages show in the Henderson Events Plaza starting at 4 p.m. Marcia Griffiths, meanwhile, is considered “the matriarch of Jamaican music,” and recorded with legendary Bob Marley years ago. Other highlights include a set by Barrington Levy, dubbed the “mellow canary,” and Sly & Robbie, the combo that produced Grace Jones’ heyday albums and is well-known for creating island remixes of Madonna and Britney Spears’ cuts. More info at reggaeinthedesert.com.

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Let the sun shine on your gadgets

Let the sun shine on your gadgets

Looking to take a vacation away from technology? Good luck. These days, it takes a lot of discipline to turn off your Blackberry or iPhone and get away from it all. Even a weeklong camping trip to the Valley of Fire State Park doesn’t mean you’ll be without access to e-mail anymore. OK, it can be tricky to get cell reception, but there’s no need to go without power.