Summer is upon us, not that we always have the traditional indicators of it in our fair city. Though we don’t have the 100 degree heat and thunderstorm sunsets of our East Coast friends (I was just there, it’s pretty nice…sigh), there's still that indescribable essence of summer that has us wanting to leave work early, wear cute dresses, fall in love and wile away the hours with aimlessness and leisure. Here are just some of the most anticipated ways I will be wiling away my hours this summer.
This can include true adventuring far and wide of course. Thailand. Brooklyn. The Outer Banks. Belize. But what I want to talk about is Reno. Though you can certainly go to Reno year round, there is something extra special about going in the summer when this gem of a city rises up out of the desert heat to embrace you in all its grimy glamour. With some of the best thrift shopping around, really good restaurants and one wine/beer bar complete with cute bartenders, there's also the go-go dancing delight that is Club Aura and the hidden Italian restaurant serving cold red wine in carafes, whose name I will not write here because it feels like a secret. But that’s the beauty of Reno. You will always discover something secret. A cut-throat karaoke competition with Dolly Parton look-alikes. An art piece of everyone’s life dreams written on a chalkboard in an empty parking lot. A beer festival with a rock band comprised of all the local cops. The fact that you have a dormant gambling addiction. There is of course also the thrill of sipping free watered down cocktails in an evening gown while traipsing over a carpet from the '70s with your nearest and dearest, and practicing the zen of penny slots so as to only lose approximately $5 in 48 hours. Reno never gets old and is the best, cheapest summer getaway.
Austra’s new album is out and ever so good. Wailing and plaintive but still too-cool, fraught but composed, with lyrics seeking forgiveness and bemoaning being wronged, there’s everything to love about these girls. They will be playing at the Independent on June 26 and I will be there with bells on. The awesomely weirdo uber-hipster sisters of Prince Rama will be at The Chapel on July 1. On their website, they explain that they "invented ten different pop bands that died during the apocalypse, channeling the ghosts of each one to perform the various songs." It sort of sounds like that, even if they are elaborately kidding. And then Soft Metals is at the Rickshaw on July 24 (with a new album out July 16). I saw them play last fall and they were AH-MAZING, louder and more layered and intense than I would have guessed. Not to mention Washed Out’s new album arrives on August 13. Amping up the anticipation is the dreamy, kaleidoscopic little teaser above. Oh Ernest, I cannot wait!