Post-grungers, jazz swingers, Jacuzzi synths

I’m a huge Sade fan, so her recent concert at MGM Grand Garden Arena is all I can think about. Yes, I blew way too much money at that event. (It’s Sade, which means classy drinks and several tour T-shirts, right?) So I’m officially ripping out sofa cushions to gather loose change for this week’s live-music offerings.

Vampire-friendly post-grunge doesn’t get any better than Blue October. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is a big fan of the Houston quintet—going so far as to say these guys inspired several parts of her popular book series. (Heck, Meyer and Blue October even did a four-city tour together in 2008.) You probably know them for their emotional mid-tempo rocker “Hate Me,” delivered by frontman Justin Furstenfeld, whose voice sounds a bit like Peter Gabriel to my ears. The band’s attack, meanwhile, falls somewhere between Creed and The Cure. Catch Blue October 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at House of Blues.

Jazz singer Lena Prima, daughter of Louis Prima (who found great success and recorded popular live albums in the ’50s at the now-closed Sahara), is leaving Vegas for a new home and musical adventure in New Orleans. But not before saying goodbye with a series of local gigs, including a weeklong run as the featured entertainment 8 p.m. nightly Sept. 13-18 at Rio’s San Gennaro Feast (Oops, turns out her Aug. 27 performance in the Winchester Cultural Center, which we reviewed in our Sept. 1 issue, was not her final Vegas performance). Prima has a killer big band these days and will be sneaking in a few original songs from her recent CD, Since the Storm, dedicated to those affected by Hurricane Katrina, as well as swing songs made famous—“That Old Black Magic,” “Sing Sing Sing”—by her father, plus, of course, Italian tunes such as “Buona Sera” and “C’e La Luna.” Can’t wait to get in touch with my inner Sicilian-American. More info at

My favorite Vegas synth-pop act Jacuzzihidive recently unveiled a cool new virtual reality-themed video for the song “Turn You On” from the band’s Night Creatures EP, which I favorably reviewed in our March 24 issue. Frontwoman Aily Iglesias doesn’t always appreciate it when I describe this tune as a cool rewrite of “Into the Groove” (as in ’80s-era Madonna). But I swear this song is so rad it makes me want to lace up some funky rink skates and get rolling. (View it at The video presumably has a narrative. I’m too distracted by Iglesias’ killer costume (which comes courtesy of Jennifer Henry’s local vintage clothing boutique FlockFlockFlock) and multi-instrumentalist Aram Blassingame’s wicked bass-guitar line to fully grasp the story. Looks great is all I know. Jacuzzihidive just wrapped up its national tour in NYC and returns home to play Beauty Bar during Neon Reverb at 10 p.m. Sept. 10.

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Movie Review


By Tribune Media Services

This action film follows the sexy, vengeful contract killer Cataleya (Zoe Saldana), named after a Colombian orchid, signing her victims with lipstick. After a well-handled prologue gives us Cataleya as a child (Amandla Stenberg) witnessing the assassination of her next of kin by crime boss Don Luis (Beto Benites), we catch up with the beautiful adult Cataleya, now a hit-woman working for her uncle. The action sequences are effective, and Saldana is able to not only exude ruthlessness and sexiness, but also sympathy.