Tour Buzz: She & Him, Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine and 80s Music

MELLOW AGED: Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine is playing at Sunset Station’s Club Madrid on June 14 ($34-$56). The last time I saw this musical comic—whose born name is Mark Jonathan Davis, which sounds even less realistic than “Richard Cheese”—I was at Venus, the short-lived tiki bar and ultra-lounge at the Venetian. Remember that place? Marc Campbell, the lead singer for the Nails—the new-wave band that did “88 Songs About 44 Women”—ran the place. Anyway, Cheese did lounge versions of then-popular songs: “Down With the Sickness,” “Gin and Juice” and so on. I remember him as being funny. Though to tell the truth, I miss the Venus lounge more than I’ve missed him. And I miss lounge music—real, earnest lounge music, sung by real, earnest lounge singers—more than I miss either of them. Still, memories!

THE PRONOUNS: I’ve yet to read any critical piece on She & Him, who plays poolside at the Cosmopolitan on June 19 ($37), that doesn’t include the phrase “unlikely pairing.” (And I’ve read a few that include the words “saccharine” and “derivative,” but haters will hate.) Yet the pairing of New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and alt-country experimentalist M. Ward isn’t really all that unlikely. I think Ward’s talent is big enough to support him and a guest … which leaves the question of whether Deschanel can sing, and I say she can. Besides, I maintain that all you really need to play good folk music is a passion for the sound and the talent necessary to make the notes, and She & Him has both those things in the quantities they need. I’d gladly see their show. But I ain’t watching New Girl. Nope.

NOW ON SALE: Brace yourself for the entire decade of the 1980s packed into a Speedo. A Flock of Seagulls, Animotion, Bow Wow Wow, Gary Myrick, Naked Eyes and Wang Chung play Mandalay Bay Beach on August 10 ($35). The caveats are these: Bow Wow Wow no longer has its original singer, Animotion still only has the one overplayed hit song, and I think the members of A Flock of Seagulls have been dead for years. All that aside, though, it should be radical or tubular or whatever it’s called—and Southern Californians of a Certain Age can close their eyes and pretend they’re at Magic Mountain. C’mon, dude, let’s smoke a bowl in the Magic Pagoda and get in line for Colossus.

Suggested Next Read

Concert Review: Kobra and the Lotus

Concert Review

Concert Review: Kobra and the Lotus

By Jarret Keene

Despite her band’s galloping thrash rhythms, Canadian iron maiden Kobra Paige had always struck me as pop and indebted to Evanescence’s Amy Lee. My confusion stemmed from the polish of Las Vegas-based producer Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, In This Moment) who tends to airbrush sonic warts. As a result, the Churko-touched songs on Lotus’s self-titled Universal Records debut sound like a bid for mainstream attention. But once Paige—draped in black leather, silver face paint and blonde dreads—stepped onstage with her ass-whuppin’ bandmates, there was no compromise.