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.