Reno’s and Sparks’ event calendar is full of popular and nationally known celebrations, including Hot August Nights and the Nugget Rib Cook-Off, but none stirs up controversy like the annual Street Vibrations, underway this weekend.

Nevada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, and the governor’s office has issued a directive stating that there should be at least 150 special events and exhibitions to commemorate the sesquicentennial. So far, about 300 have taken place, but the biggest coup has been scored by the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

There’s an old line about where performers go when the spotlight starts to dim. Country singers book a ticket to Branson, Mo., and rock-and-rollers head to the casinos.

Everybody seems to remember when the Beatles sold out Shea Stadium, but fewer recall when Grand Funk Railroad did the same thing in 1971, reportedly even faster then the Fab Four did.

The Nugget in Sparks may no longer belong to the Ascuaga family, but that doesn’t mean an end to the resort and casino’s special events.

Before each live performance, Stephanie Mills has a ritual.

Fitzgerald’s Hotel-Casino in downtown Reno was never a very happening place. While it enjoyed a few moments of notoriety (parts of the 1992 movie “Sister Act” were filmed in its lounge), its dining was mediocre and its décor largely overwhelmed by shamrocks.

When Deep Purple was formed, it was named after original guitarist Richie Blackmore’s grandmother’s favorite song, connecting the band (obliquely) to the likes of Artie Shaw, April Stevens and Dean Martin – a touch of irony because the song’s gentle strains have nothing whatsoever to do with the band’s sound.

There were a few slump years, but Reno’s Hot August Nights has been back on track for some time, and ranks as one of the country’s top classic-car events. This weekend marks the culmination of its 28th year, long after the naysayers said that Reno was just a gaming town and couldn’t host a crowd-packed car show and that a nostalgic interest in cruising and sock hops would eventually die out.

George Benson is set to release “Benson: The Autobiography” next month. In it, he will recount stories from a career that’s seen the singer-songwriter partnering with artists including Miles Davis, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Quincy Jones, Count Basie and Benny Goodman.

More than 1.6 million people have viewed – and likely laughed – at Eric Buss’ YouTube clip.

When Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen got out of the Israeli military in the mid-’90s and formed a musical duo, they didn’t anguish over a name; instead, they just appropriated one from some old friends – Infected Mushroom.

Tribal factions agree to a binding general election to settle the question of who controls a $100 million-a-year casino in Corning, averting a long legal fight.

Happy Independence Day!

A few changes in the routine promise plenty of holiday fun.

On Season 16 of “Dancing With the Stars,” Val Chmerkovskiy came close to hoisting the mirror-ball trophy with his partner, Zendaya, but they ran into the Derek Hough/Kelli Pickler juggernaut and came in second.

With only one pause – for a solo cover of “Greatest Love of All” – the Eldorado’s “Dance Inferno” serves up non-stop, rapid-fire, sometimes-exhilarating, sometimes-exhausting disco.

Casino entertainment this week is a veritable nostalgia buffet, with appetizing acts from several different decades under the heat lamps.

Memorial Day has come and gone, and now warm-weather festival and special-event season is upon us. While the casinos are bringing in major artists, there’s plenty to do outside as well, with some of it slightly off the beaten track.

When Wilson Phillips released its eponymous first album in 1990, the success was instantaneous and phenomenal.

Fans of Con Funk Shun have been waiting for the group’s new album, “The Sound of Grown Men,” but several years have passed since it was announced and a full record has yet to be released.

It has not always gone the way they expected, but it’s gone well nevertheless.

Divas dominate the casino-entertainment scene this week. In fact, some true “Funky Divas” are set to play Cache Creek on Saturday.

The ‘SNL’ and ‘30 Rock’ veteran has new stand-up special and will appear Saturday at Thunder Valley

It may be hard to believe that “Achy Breaky Heart” is 22 years old. Actually, it’s a bit older, since shortly after it had been passed over by the Oak Ridge Boys, it was recorded in 1991 by the Marcy Brothers (their version was titled “Don’t Tell My Heart”). Billy Ray Cyrus then took it to stratospheric heights in 1992 by adding tight blue jeans and some countrified Elvis-esque hip swivels.

Taj Mahal doesn’t fit the strict definition of “blues musician.”

Fans of Filipino entertainment have some choices to make Friday, as both Harrah’s Tahoe and Thunder Valley feature performers beloved by the island nation.

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