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Las Vegas artist brings unique perspective to new podcast on city's past

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Brent Holmes
Brent Holmes / Facebook

Brent Holmes

There are plenty of podcasts on Las Vegas, most focusing on gaming, sports and entertainment.

One acts like a giant audio textbook of the city’s rich history, from the birth of the Flamingo hotel-casino to the re-birth of the showroom residency.

"Spectacle" makes the argument that Las Vegas became a cultural force in America as it explores social issues that played a role in the city’s development.

Narrating each episode is a local who knows a thing or two about the cultural temperature of Las Vegas: local artist and journalist Brent Holmes.

It’s a national podcast, part of Neon Hum Media, which rents recording space from KNPR.

 

I think it's informative for locals and tourists. I think there's always something you can uncover about a city or its identity, if it's analyzed appropriately ... And I think when we get into the nitty gritty in some of the episodes, I think there's a lot of locals that really don't know, the massive cultural influence that Las Vegas has had on the United States.

He said even for longtime residents, it’ll be of interest. If you want a deep dive on the boxing phenomenon or the impact of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, they cover that.

There’s a lot Holmes said they needed to set straight.

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“I think we definitely need to talk about the mafia and Bugsy Siegel's legacy, and how the mafia actually influenced the city and how it paved the way for the corporatization of the city in weird way,” he said.

“We don't want to paint Las Vegas two dimensionally in the podcast. And so, we're hoping that people grasp it a little bit better, and a little bit, see the complexities and the nuances.”

Holmes himself learned a lot about showgirls on the Strip, segregation in the West Side and more. One episode dives into the past of Moulin Rouge, which “was proof-positive that desegregating casinos was fiscally viable.”

What’s coming up? He said he would love to hear episodes on an honest look at mining in Nevada, the nightlife industry and crime within and art and architecture of Las Vegas.

“We are so incredibly unique in both aspects and it's not normally celebrated or spoken of,” he said.

Guests

Brent Holmes, artist and podcast host, Spectacle

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