Monday, September 6, 2010

Give us your dreamers, your harlots, and your sins

Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas
We sell crutches in Las Vegas. In all shapes in sizes. We have one for every type of person, ready for emergency use. Even if you're healthy and able, we'd like to provide you one in case you stumble and fall.

What ever it is that will make you feel better, it's here. It's temporary and fleeting, but for a short time you will feel whole again. Renewed and alive. In the end it will cripple you completely.

Sex? Food? Drugs? Got a gamblers spirit? Need a companion, or two? Looking for a savior? It's all here.

I have lived here since I was 3 years old. It's home. Living here will build some callouses in your armpit. I've grabbed a free crutch or two. I've window shopped for crutches, needing to understand the drive of this person or that. I've bought crutches in time of need, and stolen them in times of great happiness. Still, I am stronger for all of this. My two feet ARE in fact capable of holding myself up.


Sometimes...sometimes you just wanna give your feet a rest.

It's a city that will eat you alive. You'll never enjoy that more than here.

Sunsets and neon lights
Call girls and neon lights
Black jack and lady luck
Cocaine and lady luck
You call upon her on holy knees tonight

I am always to excited to see a local band make it big. The Killers are a certified success, with 15 million records sold worldwide, but in my heart...I just wasn't sure what to think. The songs I loved by The Killers were scattered across their 4 studio albums, but was I ready to stand by this band of ours? We've had bands break out and up from this neon jungle before. Panic At The Disco! was the other BIG band that blasted out of the Vegas Valley. Sure, I loved much of "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out", but still something was missing. Where is the song that sums up what it's like to live here in my City of Sin?

Ends up, it wasn't a band, but Killers frontman Brandon Flowers gone solo that finally provides the link and connection for me. This connection came via his brilliant solo album called Flamingo, set to be released September 14th, 2010.

The opening sounds of tree crickets at night, that start the song and album off, to the the final words of "the house always wins" are bookends to the most perfect song about Las Vegas I have ever heard. Brandon Flowers would know. He is from Vegas, as you might know. Brandon was born in Henderson, NV (very close to Las Vegas) and lived here until he was 8, when his family moved to Utah. After his junior year of high school, he returned to Las Vegas to live with his aunt. The rest is history, so to speak. He went on to form the Vegas-based band The Killers and live out a dream of being a musician and songwriter.

The song title, "Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas," is a greeting known to locals and tourists alike. The words emblazon the sign you see at the top of this post. The sign that greets you as you enter the Las Vegas Blvd., THE Strip, from the South end of town.  It doesn't stop there, as I mentioned earlier. Those tree crickets at the beginning of the song? I can step outside on to my patio, right now,  and hear those same sounds. They are the sounds of my home for the last 30 years. The pull already of this song has me in a tight orbit.  Then the lyrics. The lyrics are so perfectly written. I can see visions of my own life, in this town, flash in front of my minds eye. The feelings and smells. The neon framing my misadventures and misfortune as well as the joy and love.

Download Brandon Flowers - Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas

Cameras on the ceiling tile
no place for you to hide
One-Oh-Seven and you're looking for shade
That no palm tree can provide
But there's a little girl you remember back in Tennessee
You have this recurring dream
Where you see her playing hide and seek
With a woman who used to know you very well

It's not the the kind of song the Las Vegas Tourist Bureau would ever want to use for a commercial, but it is the song that most accurately paints the picture of this town. From the eyes of someone who has stayed a little too long.

Las Vegas makes you wonder sometimes. Where does your strength come from. Is it me standing, or is there a crutch under my arms. You wonder if the hot blonde you love is just a crutch. We all need a ninja-killing lover to save us from ourselves, don't we? Don't we?

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