James Howard Adams stands in front of my T.V. in his boxer shorts, barefoot with a bottle of champagne swilling through his system, a tipsy Teddy Roosevelt with a short mustache as stout and sincere as his small frame. His other half, Tsvetelina Stefanova, sits on the couch like a sphinx, cradling her Spanish Lager. We’re providing audience for James as he tells us about this twenty-two-year-old kid he met that listens to Blink 182 religiously, “Like for real,” he says, “This kid was like, did you guys hear the new Blink 182 album yet, and he was serious.”
These two cats, Tsvet & James, are no Blink 182, they’re Same Sex Mary, the band and brain child of these two Boulder City bad asses. They’re also the wizards, along with Jack Evan Johnson, behind an alternative to ‘Life Is Beautiful’, the art/food/music festival that commandeers Downtown with triple-digit-priced ticket holders, providing the Silver State instead with a ‘shitty music fest for shitty people’…the Life is Shit festival that hosted fifteen bands at The Dive Bar this past September for the fourth year straight.
If “Life is Shit” isn’t enough reason to throw yourself in front of bullet for these two, they also run “Bad Moon Booking”, which has brought bands from all over the country to play venues like The Bunkhouse, Velveteen Rabbit, Fremont Country Club, and most recently, their latest gift to Las Vegas, the Concert Series at the Plaza Hotel and Casino. It’s final weekend is this Saturday, October 22nd, featuring a Burger Record’s band from L.A. called Adult Books, and local bands No Tides, Kurumpaw, and DJ Cromm Astaire.
On my coffee table, besides the empty bottle of champagne that James downed on doctor’s orders (“Said I needed to cut down on carbohydrates”), there’s a mustard colored lit mag with an Andy Warholesque banana, the potassium fueled fruit being peeled back, a piece of human shit is revealed. “This was harder to put together than the actual (Life is Shit) festival,” Tsvet says, “It’s mostly work from friends of ours.” The zine was sold for $10 at the festival and contains poems like “I hate White People” by Jack Evan Johnson, along with the art of ERIDAN, geometric odysseys that journey like M.C. Escher without the icing. A piece written by the blissfully misanthropic Josh Ellis that would make even the most self-loathing Las Vegan’s heart melt, “My Penis Is a Killing Word: A Memoir of the Crimean War” that describes the Vegas community as ‘a terrible place with some of the most amazing people’.
I wouldn’t say Vegas is terrible, I’d say it’s full of shit. It’s a pathological liar with the capriciousness of an over-caffeinated teenager, it’s Vegas. There’s still a little bit of that desert hospitality, that small town lifestyle that led this city before the mafia clamped down like a deer tick and nearly killed it. There’s still a couple cowboy’s here, a few ranches off of Russel road, an entire Boulder City. There’s a truth that costs nothing. It’s the desert and the desert doesn’t try to hide from you, it’s as bare as James Howard Adams in his boxer shorts. He and Tsvetelina Stefanova are the sap inside the sagebrush, they’re a Bad Moon Booking. They’re bringing local bands to the Plaza Hotel and Casino this weekend, bands that’ve been around for a while, that stay beautiful in their corners of concrete and refuse, those pretty little flowers in the cracks that us fans find nirvana in.