I can’t remember the last time I asked musicians who their influences were. In the years before Google, the “influence question” was a necessary evil. But now?
“A lot of musicians will just mourn that question coming,” Peter Murphy told me the other day. (He performs Thursday night at the LVCS concert saloon downtown.)
I didn’t ask Murphy the influence question because, in the 1980s, he and his British band Bauhaus popularized introspective goth music (“Bela Lugosi’s Dead”) for men and women wearing black eyeliner (and for “South Park” to mock two decades later). So Murphy is sort of his own influence.
But the other thing is, musicians and other creative types are inspired by all of life, and not just their three favorite bands when they were 17.
The better question to ask artists such as Murphy is, “What’s inspiring you these days?” That’s the question I asked him, and he was cool with it.
“My inspiration comes from everything and anything,” Murphy said. “I tend to stay away from music. It’s environmental, personal, friendships, observation of life and others’ lives, and the muse will come to me.
“Lyrics tend to come very quickly, and I tend to write in an abstract way, in an oblique way, as to not be too obvious.”
This is the part of the interview where Murphy put the kibosh on everyone asking the broader “who have been your greatest influences over the course of your life” query.
“It’s a difficult question, really because it’s not that obvious where it comes from when you’re in that moment when you’re making music.”
By the way, one of the most memorable visual shows I’ve ever seen was Bauhaus on tour in 1998. The curtain opened and Murphy wasn’t on stage, but his singing face was on an old TV on a cart on stage.
But that visual flourish is all in the past, Murphy said.
“I’ve cut that down a lot,” he said, seeming not impressed by my terrific memory of him. “That was Bauhaus on tour. That’s over now. This is playing the songs and the audience.”
KRAVE OUT; NEW GAY CLUBS IN?
Sunday night will be Krave’s last night in the Tommy Wind Theater on the Strip. The owner plans to open a new venture, but he said in a news release it’s a big secret, shhh.
But today’s Krave spot looks like tomorrow’s new gay-clientele club called Equilibrium, as run by Wind and family. That’s what Wind passed on to the Review-Journal’s Mike Weatherford.
Krave has bounced around the Strip for years, with its I-will-survive spirit.
Krave owner, Sia Amiri, released this not-subtle-at-all Vegasy quote:
“I have developed a brand new and very revolutionary nightlife concept for the LGBT community, and while I sort through the logistics and implementation of this concept, as well as secure a suitable venue with a better operation, we have decided to close the existing location.”
FIRST FRIDAY’S ‘WONDERLAND’
The people behind First Friday said Wednesday that, when the downtown event resumes Aug. 1, it will be the first time artists are given sole creative freedom for curating overarching events.
The August First Friday will be tagged “Wonderland,” “designed to explore the scope of fantasy, surrealism and all things that inspire awe and wonder.”
Wednesday was a big day for hyper-breathless news releases, as you can see. But where there’s hype, there’s news (sometimes).
AOL STILL EXISTS?
Remember actor Andrew McCarthy? He was in the 1980s Brat Pack. He co-starred in the romantic “Pretty in Pink,” the god-awful “St. Elmo’s Fire” and, um, “Weekend at Bernie’s.”
He is a travel video host now for AOL, which just posted a video of McCarthy in Vegas, doing the racetrack’s Dream Racing, Bellagio’s Fountains, Fremont Street, the High Roller and an Elvis-y wedding.
My official review: It’s good for reminding AOL people Vegas still has stuff they’ve heard of.
But the interesting thing is the advertorial feel of McCarthy’s jaunt here. There’s a product placement in the almost six-minute video for a credit card.
According to AOL’s adopted daughter, Huffington Post, this travel series is part of a group that “creates custom editorial content that is sponsored by marketing partners. The sponsoring partners do not exert editorial influence over the content, but may be organically integrated within content in an authentic manner that does not impact editorial integrity.”
Dear media lawyers: What in St. Elmo’s Fire does that mean?
Doug Elfman’s column appears on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/entertainment/reel.