Director Ryen McPherson has made some startling music videos: blowing up the Magic Kingdom in Deadhand’s “Places” and depicting blond twins giving birth to disco balls in the Mad Caps’ “Baby Man.” With indie-rock blues-punk trio the Dirty Hooks, he’s found a group that matches his visual ferocity. “Naked City Colt” is from 2012’s Electric Grit (which Vegas Seven named Best Local Album that year). The video, available on YouTube, is pure momentum—the band members confined to a prison cell atop a flatbed as it blasts across the desert. Ski-masked, the beefy driver puffs a cigar. A holstered black 9mm wobbles on the dash. The Hooks play as if doomed to die. Knives to their throats, guns to their heads, they wait for deathblows. “Just give me what I want,” pleads singer-drummer Jenine Cali in the last frames. McPherson, of Shoot to Kill Media, a Vegas Seven sister company, doesn’t give viewers what we want. He administers a shot of adrenaline to the visual cortex. ★★★★☆
A Peek at Life Is Beautiful 2017
Gorillaz are coming to Las Vegas for the first time ever. 2016’s Grammy winner for best new artist, Chance the Rapper, will return. English rockers Muse will bring their dizzying live show to the streets of Downtown. And that’s just the top of an eclectic bill that features more than 70 acts, along with comedy, interactive art installations, a group art exhibit featuring the work of Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson and Shepard Fairey and much more. Last year saw more than 137,000 attendees trod the festival footprint. Who’s ready for more?
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.