People were amped about this year’s Coachella (April 13-15 and April 20-22 in Indio, Calif.) lineup, for good reason given all the legendary ’90s alt-rock acts reuniting (Mazzy Star, Firehose, Refused, At the Drive-In) or coming out of relative seclusion (Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum). I was eager to see my favorite contemporary bands—Bon Iver, M83, Yuck, Beirut and Wild Flag. Sadly, tickets went on sale Jan. 13 … and sold out in just three hours! Expanding the event to two weekends was supposed to alleviate this problem, but clearly demand (or maybe scalpers?) outweighed supply. Someone needs to bring back Vegoose, since so many people here want an A-list rock festival and won’t be getting it. Me included. I guess there’s always Craigslist.
Finally got around to checking out “So You Think You Can DJ?” at Artifice (1025 S. 1st St.), and it dawned on me that this event (Tuesdays, 9 p.m.) is a golden networking opportunity for local-music and arts-and-culture peeps. On the night I went (Jan. 10), I took in sets by (and bummed drinks from and heckled) rock novelist Andrew Kiraly, indie-comics publisher Pj Perez, travel author/Vegas Seven columnist James Reza, and Neon Reverb’s James Woodbridge. Amateur spin-offs aren’t new; clubs all over the country do it. But the Artifice version is where Vegas tastemakers gather. If you’re in a cool band, a curious Zia employee, a promoter—even if you’re just a minor-league starfucker—it might behoove you to show up and sign up. Warning: If you come to spread shitty fliers announcing a Cheyenne Saloon gig, I’ll punch you in the face.
Know what your musical diet needs more of? Goan pop. And I know just the spot. Let me recommend Namaste (953 E. Sahara Ave.), the kickass Indian restaurant in Commercial Center, where the lovely and talented owner, Melque Rodrigues, fills just about every position—hostess, waitress, busser and singer. It’s the latter role that earns her a loyal following, as she often takes the microphone in between duties to deliver a multitude of mainstream hits from Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best.” In truth, I don’t care for those songs; I only show up to hear Rodrigues perform pop hits in her native Konkani language, spoken by more than half the people who live in Goa, a West Indian state. Sadly, there’s no live band—tracks are sequenced, which means they’re programmed especially for her voice, and not sterile karaoke. But Rodrigues sings like an angel, and you should request the Goan pop. (Along with the butter chicken, yum.) For more info, go to NamasteLasVegas.com or call 892-9695.