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Wednesday 18 September 2019

State of the Union - Nevada

George writes:
Yes, it’s a Vivid Dancer Damselfly, the official state insect of Nevada.

Las Vegas is in Nevada. It is ca. 270 miles from the major Californian city of Los Angeles. Reno is also in Nevada, and is ca. 220 miles from San Francisco, and only 130 miles from Sacramento (state capital of California). Is it only  a coincidence that these two major gambling cities are as close as they can be to major populations in the neighbouring state of California?

There will be none of the following, either too obvious, simply not good, or both:

Cocteau Twins, Elvis Presley, INXS, Tony Christie, but you can have the german-language version of that one:

Roberto Blanco is a schlager singer, which I think is the german version of the cheesy pop music in Portugal called pimba.

 And the first good song will be about Reno, by “new country” band Southern Pacific, I hear shades of Little Feat in this:

More on Reno: there’s a song by Mimi and Richard Fariña called Reno Nevada. Mimi has a quite well known sister, Joan. Joan Baez. Their mother was Scottish. 

More on Reno: there’s a Bruce Springsteen song called Reno, which is listenable.

Las Vegas. Charisma Carpenter is from Las Vegas. I recognised the name, she was Cordelia in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (of which I have watched every single episode, and did so whilst in a long-term relationship, let me tell you that!). 

(Thelma Catherine Ryan, born in Ely, Nevada. She was very famous in the late 60s early 70s. She was……..?)

I almost listened to a whole Billy Joel song for today’s piece, I lasted for 53 seconds of Stop In Nevada. Then I stopped. And here’s a 1981 song by Nico, with that instantly recognisable droning vocal you either love or hate. It has a Gang Of Four post-punk feel to it, minus angry male shouty vocal:
The official state artefact is the Tule Duck Decoy. This is not as crap as it might sound. In 1924 archeologists discovered a pile of artefacts that thankfully had not destroyed by miners during the latters’ work, amongst which were 2 000 year-old duck decoys made of reed. 
The miners were not mining gold or silver but bat shit, 250 tons of it.
That’s Nevada, where it is against state law to make public intoxication on offense.

And strangely enough, given its association with gambling, Nevada has no state lottery.
Another one next week

CC writes;
From his brilliant 1990 album
Jonathan Goes Country here is Mr Richman


  1. Excuse the big gaps - I think that is down to me when copying and pasting George's epistle

  2. There's a song by Michael Nesmith & The First National Band called "Nevada Fighter". It's also the title of the former Monkee's 3rd solo album.

    And there's a line on the Steely Dan song "Showbiz Kids" which is repeated throughout the song: "You go to Las Wages, Las Wages, you go to Las Wages". I misheard it as "go to Las Vegas" but, whatever, it's a fab song.

  3. And just to be more annoying, I can reveal that Ian Matthews (formerly of Matthews Southern Comfort) covered "Reno, Nevada" on one of his solo albums.

  4. Ah Pat Nixon - Wouldn't have recognised her.

    Schlager singer was a new term for me until recently when I discovered Tony Christie can be categorised as such - Bit harsh.

    Didn't know about Cordelia but I have to admit to becoming a great fan of the Buffyverse in my mid-40s and have all the paraphernalia. Even had a Spike poster on the wall of my very staid Local Government office - Excellent series with great writing throughout.

    In the song Jessie by Joshua Kadison the narrator of the song gets a call "from a phonebox in Vegas" - No-one likes that song around here but it's my 3rd most visited post on my blog after Sunshine on Leith and Radio Ga Ga!

    1. When I re-read the post it took me a while to recognise that it was Pat Nixon.....
      As for Buffy, I'm not sure I'd say I was fan, but it was certainly watchable (unlike Stargate SG1)