Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Plea For Sanity

Ladies and Gentleman, a plea for sanity.

Do we truly believe that these people came to Las Vegas for $0.99 Pabst Blue Ribbon?

Las Vegas City Council wants to “clean up” Fremont Street by restricting, rather specific, alcohol retailers.

At the behest of major gaming concerns, off-sale liquor retailers have been targeted as bringing an unsavory element to Fremont Street.

Many people who frequent Fremont Street choose to purchase their intoxicants from a liquor store rather than inside of a casino, presumably for the savings.

While persons of all income brackets enjoy paying a fair price for consumable goods, those who remain idle in the lowest socio-economic class have no other option than to seek the cheapest retailers.

Council members and controlling interested parties believe that stemming the proliferation of these markets will lead to a reduction in the unsavory element who currently frequent the area.

Meanwhile, the casinos who dominate the region are in the business of creating this epidemic.

A casino’s livelihood relies on it’s ability to completely bankrupt an individual and subsequently kick them out onto the street.

Can we really be so blind?

Can we continue to allow gaming moguls to capitalize on our community’s most vulnerable, reap vast profits, leaving broken individuals in their wake and not hold them accountable?


Casinos themselves should have outreach services, including mental health professionals on their staffs to combat the problem which they create.

If, in fact, the culture of gaming is safe and suitable for 90% or more of the general population and the only a small percentage of those who gamble will become afflicted, then all the more reason for these companies to be required to fund these services.

It is absolutely horrifying, that we as a community allow these giants to flourish, and when it comes time to deal with the carnage that they create, we place the blame on the symptom and not the cause.

These people did not come here for $0.99 Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Furthermore, we have a round table of politicians openly embracing these class war policies.

Consuming alcohol publicly is only legal if one looks good while doing so (and can afford the right drinks).

And now they want to create more indistinguishable laws to incarcerate those who do not fit the profile of who we/they want around in these parts.

It is (sadly, very predictable) madness.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What is a Haint?

Dear Friends,
You can now pick up a copy of my new book
when you book your next appointment at Hillary Salon.
Call Today (702) 525 1053

A little more than 10 years ago, like Las Vegans often do, my friend Joe was moving back to Las Vegas after a spell in Washington state. Upon his return, he brought with him many tales from life in the North along with keepsakes and treasures from his journey. Among those treasures was a compact disc with multiple artist’s music burned into it.

Joe was eager and pleased to share his newfound love, The Pine Hill Haints.

The Pine Hill Haints had recently performed in Seattle for a room containing many of our friends and had won their praise, mightily.

Naturally aiming to please, I decided I would bring Pine Hill Haints to Las Vegas.

Except it was not that easy.

In the past, I would search online for a favorite band, eventually find a contact email for the band or their record label and then send them an invitation to perform here.

Pretty simple.

However, these fellas who play washtubs, washboards and saws (along with the more traditional guitar, violin, drum and mandolin) come from the rural South and their online presence is virtually non-existent.

One would think that with the rise of Myspace (at the time) there would be SOMEthing out there but there was not.
I persist with very little encouraging results. Eventually, I find a DIY, online magazine that has a review of one of their shows. A funny story actually, ask me about it later, it’s creepy.

At the very end of the article, there was a blurb, “to contact Pine Hill Haints email: thewednesdays@______.com"
That’s strange, but it’s all I got. I sit down and write an email asking if they have ever played in Las Vegas, if they would like to, and if so I will take care of them.

Nothing happens.

It may have been a week, it may have been six months. I am not sure.
Then one sunny day on our way to the Meadows Mall, my phone rings, I answer and a Southern drawl on the other end asks, “Is this Michael Welsh?”

I confirm and he replies, “Hi, this Jamie from the Pine Hill Haints.”
Well, what do you know? This Southern gent still uses the telephone.

I cannot express to you just how eager and excited I became after that phone call.

He gave me the date of August 11th, but (like I always do) I insisted that they play two nights; the obligatory bar show and an all ages show. This is Las Vegas. Our scene is weird, just trust me on this.

And this is how a beautiful friendship was born.

Our scene being what it is, the all ages show fell through and we did a last minute house party in my living room, but the next night (August 11th, 2004) Pine Hill Haints performed inside the Cooler Lounge with Skorchamenza, Over The Line and a short-lived project called LARK.

Ask (current local band) The People’s Whiskey about LARK.

Every year since then, at some random time that I cannot predict, I receive that phone call and every year I attempt to outdo myself in putting on their show, as well as showcase my town for my out-of-town friends in pleasing and interesting new ways.

I may be the only person who cares about this, but the fact is that touring bands, whether DIY or major label, experience a rather predictable routine of sleeping, traveling and performing in venues that are equally predictable.

That’s why I like to shake things up. I have never hosted Pine Hill Haints in the same venue twice. We went from Cooler Lounge to Celebrity Theater to Art Bar, The Deep End, The Aristocrat, house and pool parties to our first hair salon (1104 S 3rd St) and on and on.

You can trust that this show is going to happen, but I am trying something new (yet) again, by not announcing the venue immediately. I can tell you that the forthcoming performance will be somewhere in or near downtown Las Vegas (where we live and play). That is a fairly safe bet.

The truth of the matter is that the venue may change based on public demand.

We have a lot of options and this is one area of expertise where I enjoy getting creative.

Now in their 10th year returning to Las Vegas, I present for your entertainment and delight,

JULY 28, 2014
with special guests Bombón (San Pedro, CA)
If you want to be a part of this year’s magic

Go to: https://www.nevadanearthling.blogspot.com

and purchase your admission using the PayPal button on the page. $11 in advance (using PayPal)

$15 at the door, day of show

You can also pay in cash when you
Yours, Michael(+Hillary)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pre-sale "Tickets" Now Available.
JULY 28, 2014
special guests BOMBON
Purchase your admission via PayPal.
When you complete your purchase, your name will be added to the guest list for the event.
further show information, i.e., Venue, Supporting acts, time, etc., will be sent to you via email.
$11 in advance, $15 day of show

Complete your order today and request a song from the band!

This will be the 10th year that Pine Hill Haints have returned to our dusty, western town.

Let us show them the best time that they have ever had, this year.

The Pine Hill Haints "They Tried To Kill My Momma's Son"

Friday, April 18, 2014

It's a Kids World

Lately I have been thinking about childhood. If your childhood was anything like mine, you grew up in a neighborhood filled with (what was then thought of as) middle class homes, maybe even middle-lower class, either way, it was a multi-ethnic neighborhood filled with people of all ages and varying religions.

Each weekday morning, children lumbered and meandered towards school while parents drove off in their automobiles to their respective careers. Some of us had an idea about what our parents truly did day in and day out in order to keep the lights on and the kids fed, but mostly parents existed on a different plane than the children of the neighborhood.

The parents came and left our world with regular frequency.

The Kids, if you will, had an extensive network of news and happenings all throughout the neighborhood in which parents were all but oblivious.

An adult’s world consisted of their household, their jobs, their commute to their jobs, grocery stores and figuring out “what’s for dinner?” and maybe what’s on TV every night. Grown ups were seldom interested in the goings on within the kid world.

The Kids know who just moved in or who just moved out, where the scary dogs live, who just had kittens, who got beat up on their way home from school, were they crying or not, where the big piles of leaves are or where to find the trees with ripe fruit.

Do you remember such a time?

Who do you feel more like today, the child or the adult?

I was thinking about these memories most recently because it occurred to me that I am The Kid, once again.

For a minute I had become the adult, but ever since getting rid of both of our vehicles and opting to walk most destinations (which are all mostly within 1.5 miles from our home), I have returned to the wonder-filled Kid World.

It appears to have been the automobile altering our universe all along.

Now that we live in an area that we can walk to our destinations, we are able to observe our surroundings and take in the small things that all the grown ups are missing. We have countless friends up and down every street in our urban neighborhood who wave a friendly hello or stop to chat as we pass by. Some of these people are shopkeepers, some of them are what you might quickly generalize as "homeless", (we prefer the term "outdoorsman"), while still others are complete strangers who see us everyday and are compelled to pull over their vehicle just to tell us how lovely we are. Believe it or not, that has happened on more than one occasion.

This feeling of belonging within my community takes me back to my childhood when life was far less rushed and directed more to enjoying the moment right now for what it is.

I have so many friends who seem to have forgotten the simple pleasure of walking. People who got a driver’s license as a teenager and just never looked back. I remember the humiliation of being a walking teenager while the cool kids would speed by in their own cars laughing all the way.

Back then, the automobile was a serious right-of-passage one had to reach before even being considered to be a whole person.

I understand the desperate need for youth to be “taken seriously”, at least in their own eyes, and the necessity of feeling like a real grown up. I get that. I was that person.

At some point, it all just became so exhausting; the insurance, the gasoline, the maintenance.

How much am I laboring simply to maintain this vehicular status symbol?

Compound this idea with the fact that every dollar I am spending on maintaining this vehicle is going directly to industries and companies that I abhor, whether they be insurance companies, oil companies or douchie mechanics.

We have it in our collective conscious somehow that these atrocious industries are “necessary evils” in our society.

I, myself, am quite sick and tired of necessary evils.

Although your results may vary, since shedding our automobiles, so many advertisements have been rendered useless. The ads keep coming and you really don’t realize how much of our world is auto-based until you are out of your auto.

In the mail, you have smog check coupons, ads for tires, used car sales events, etc.,

On television, there is a nonstop onslaught of insurance companies competing to save you a dollar on this presumably mandatory obligation, auto dealers liquidating their inventory, innumerable ads from manufacturers themselves along with safer tires, brakes, and the like.

Then, of course, are your gas stations conveniently located around every corner along with mechanic shops- these things don’t fix themselves.

Inside the markets are scented trees for your automobile and never-ending lines of products that have been altered for auto comfort; your bluetooth, your specially designed cup holder cup, sun visor attachments designed for easy access while driving.

And let’s not forget dude….. Food designed to be eaten while driving.

So many inventions that are completely useless to me, due to my decision to say No.

No, I do not need to earn an extra $600-1000 per month that I can contribute to reprehensible industries that are poisoning our planet as well as ourselves.


So you won’t think that I’m a loser?

For the convenience of driving to Del Taco on a whim?

I can see that it is the whimsical behavior that most people seem to be addicted to.

When I want something, I really need it and I need it right now, no questions asked.

This is very childish behavior. You might NEED to get to a hospital now and again, but I seriously doubt that you NEED a cheeseburger.

You might be asking yourself some basic questions like:

How do you get groceries?

How do you get to work?

Pick up your kids? Etc.,

First off, I don’t have any children and do not plan on having them, so yes, right there you could probably shut down and assume that your kids need your car. Fine. I’m not arguing with anyone over here. This is just my tale.

My partner and I walk to work (less than half a mile) each way. In the event that we have heavy objects to transport or inclement weather, we take the bus. Two people, one way equals $4.

Groceries? Of course, the G D groceries!? Vehicle or no vehicle, I highly recommend ordering your groceries online. I use VONS, but I am sure there are others. I can sit with my list of items that I need and fill my cart online, select a delivery window, pay online and just sit back and wait for the grocery man to wheel all of my goods up to my door. In many cases, the store offers free delivery but even if I had to pay $6.99 for delivery, it would still be completely worth it. Note: their drivers are not allowed to accept tips.

While there is little to zero chance of our society moving toward independence from automobiles at least in the foreseeable future, there is still a lot of room for individuals to free themselves from the clutches of this vehicular octopus,

We did not always have such a simple life. We took deliberate steps to create this lifestyle for ourselves.

If you have a desired way-of-life that you are not currently fulfilling, I would suggest taking personal inventory on what aspects of your life take priority.

Next, stop accepting “necessary evils” in your life.

Purchase ****THIS IS NOT SPAM**** TWENTY THIRTEEN Renaissance by Michael Welsh.

Purchase ****THIS IS NOT SPAM**** TWENTY THIRTEEN Renaissance by Michael Welsh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Como Me Encanta

I do not intend for this to be a food-centric blog, but food is something we all need, so it can also be the great denominator.

Hopefully, for your own sake, you read the earlier post, “Where I Eat”, a veritable gold mine in local dining awesome spots.

In “Where I Eat”, I praised Los Molcajetes for being thee most amazing mexican fare you are going to find ANYWHERE. This is true, we do love us some Molcajetes.

Yet, there is and almost always has been something lacking from Las Vegas Mexican food/restaurants- DELIVERY.

I have no doubt that you, reading this right now, have a list or even a drawer full of delivery restaurants in your kitchen (or similar) at home. You have your favorite pizza place and thai restaurants, maybe chicken wings, traditional Americana, etc.,

But WHERE are the Mexican delivery restaurants?

12 or so years ago, I would get delivery from a little place called La Familia ( located at Jones/US 95), which later became Mi Familia and later still became a vacancy.

That place was amazingly authentic, including “weekend cures” of menudo, pozole, barbacoa and the like. Mmm mmm… nothing like getting a piping hot pozole delivered to your door on Sunday morning.

Neither here nor there.

Ten years have gone by, but now, finally….

We have discovered an all out fantastic Mexican restaurant THAT DELIVERS!!!

To be certain, we have ordered from them 4 times in the past week, trying different menu items and here I sit today overjoyed to share the good news- LOS HUICHOLES.

I queue up mariachi music while we devour our tacos and burritos, chips and salsas, as to enhance the experience.

The food is incredibly authentic AND affordable. AFFORDABLE TOO???


$0.99 mini tacos (buy half a dozen or more at least)
$3.99 breakfast burritos
$4.99 burritos (choice of several meats)
All kinds of Mexican family specialties, a full veggie menu and full American menu (with burgers, fries, cheese steaks, wings, that kind of thing) to boot.

As with most all delivery restaurants, you are going to be limited to your radius (aka distance from the restaurant).

Los Huicholes is located at 546 N Eastern Ave, and their delivery area is roughly 3 miles. Great news for downtown Las Vegas (as we get delivered to all the way over at I-15/Oakey Ave).

It gets better.

No habla espanol? No problemo.

We discovered this beautiful treasure of a restaurant while perusing Eat24.com, a website dedicated to getting you whatever type of grub you like delivered to your door.

Browse the full menu and complete your order, even pay using paypal, google wallet or credit card online. No miscommunication due to verbal translation errors.

It does tend to take about 75 minutes for delivery.

The extra 30-45 minutes to wait for food from Los Huicholes (opposed to other delivery restaurants) is like a meditation, preparing oneself for the glory one is about to recieve. It makes the food taste that much better.