THE SEASON FOR STYLE: Do springtime and swingin' down to old-school rhythms have something in common? It's a question that has some legs, given that a few of the West's best rockabilly gatherings break out the shiny guitars, paper parasols, and tubs of Brylcreem within a few weeks of each other. We'll put it down to spring's sunny ways, which translate into more muscle t-shirts, halter dresses, and the windows rolled down on your '60s-era T-Bird. Sure, rockabilly and mid-century cool can reign in the winter, but coats can hide the cool clothes (especially those beautiful Western-style big-shouldered suits, all rhinestones and faux pearls). So the spring parties roll out: The end-of-April Rockabilly Showdown in Orange County, Ventura's Roadshow Revival in June, and Viva Las Vegas, which is billed as "The Biggest Rockabilly Party in the World." Three guesses as to where it happens -- bet you'll get it on try one -- and one guess as to what you'll need to go: A deep love of rockabilly culture, cool, togs, sounds, cars, the works.
WELL... you'll need tickets and a hotel room and such, too. But the doings are plentiful, so plentiful that four days are required to catch all the tiki-burlesque-alt-country-punk-hairdo-ing up that attendees love to do. Dates? Thursday, April 17 through Sunday, April 20. The to-dos? A sprawling shined-up car show, burlesque bingo, guitar demos, hula girls, and oodles (and oodles) of bands playing the Orleans Hotel ballroom. History maven Charles Phoenix'll be there, with his '50s-era slides and bolo ties, and jiving classes and contests shall be afoot (literally). A fashion show and pin-up beauty academy round out the style-serious proceedings. Not "serious" as in no fun, but definitely come to dress, dance, and admire others as they don their fashionable best. Dates, details, tickets, hotel stuff, and the huge calendar are behind this door.