Las Vegas Review-Journal (7.17.98)

Mike Weatherford

Gettin' hip

You can't blame the Huntridge Performing Arts Theatre, 1208 E. Charleston Blvd., for falling somewhat short of its original promise as a live music hall for all people. After all, the restored movie theater has loans to pay off, and competition is tough: The House of Blues and Billboard Live soon will join the Hard Rock Hotel among concert-club venues.

And so, it seems, the Huntridge has been doomed to life as a teen ghetto for ska and punk bands such as The Vandals, who play there today and who _ come to think of it _ may be getting a little long in the tooth to be riding in one van themselves. The 'nerd rock' of Nerf Herder, The Ataris and Pimp rounds out the bill at 8 p.m. General admission is $10.

But what is this? Saturday and Sunday offer two shows that promise to attract Bohemians and hipsters over age 25 back to the theater for the first time since Beck played there early last year.

Saturday brings Morphine, a sinister and jazzy trio that sounds like it grew up on Raymond Chandler novels and should be allowed to play only in smoky nightclubs with velvet drapes on the wall. The saxophone-dominated trio of singer-bassist Mark Sandman, saxophonist Dana Colley and drummer Billy Conway visits at 8 p.m. General admission is $15.

Sunday follows it with The Creatures, which should interest early modern rockers with its teaming of Siouxsie Sioux and her Banshees drummer, Budgie. The bio for their new album, 'Anima Animus' compares its tracks to Cab Calloway, Anne Rice, 'Wim Wenders gone psycho' and 'Emily Dickinson in bed with Tricky.'

Now that's avant-garde. But wait _ there's more! The opening act is none other than John Cale, a certified Velvet Undergrounder who has followed his muse down many roads, most of them best termed 'experimental' and only casually linked to rock or pop music. General admission tickets are $20 for the 8 p.m. show.

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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