Desert Magic

J.B. Jackson once said that in regard to the desert and the mountains, “what catches our eye and arouses our interest is not the sandy washes and the naked rocks, but the evidences of man.”

Presumably, the Sprites would agree. Originally recorded as a souvenir of the semi-habitable regions of Nevada, their Desert Magic LP celebrates the “evidences of man” in the form of tourist-board mythology and showbiz hucksterism:

“From Southern Nevada, the Romantic Beauty of the Desert and the spirit of lively LAS VEGAS are captured for you in this recording of magic moments in entertainment as THE SPRITES perform some of their best.”

It’s a perfect album in its own little way, despite the off-the-cuff performances, the sloppy bouncedown, and the inattentive mixing. From the seedy menace of “Spanish Love” to the giddy percolation of “Midnight in Las Vegas,” this “UNIQUE GIFT, SOUVENIR ALBUM” presents the Silver State’s hotspots not as they might appear to someone who’s eating a dollar plate of rubbery scrambled eggs at a casino buffet that reeks of Pine-Sol, but as they actually exist in the realm of Forms.

I dislike Las Vegas, myself, but thirty seconds into “Midnight in Las Vegas” I feel ready to fly there and try my luck with the Martingale system. In just that way, each song is a promise you can’t stop taking at face value, no matter how many times you’ve been let down.


Spanish Love

Desert Magic

Midnight in Las Vegas

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