Grooves & Cuts – May 2024 – #2

By John Apice

This is a cool set with some dreamy vocals in a nostalgic manner. But that isn’t the whole story. San Francisco’s Vegas DeMilo has an early ’60s pop idol-style musical approach to “Heaven Can Wait.” It’s an almost Bobby Rydell-oriented distillation. But that comparison ends there. This tune is loaded with the romantic wonderful innocent teenage melody typical of 1962.


by music of the future

Bands are like big dogs; most have a short lifespan. Typically, the time between the first rehearsal and the inevitable breakup is a couple of years or less. Vegas DeMilo lasted almost eight years. That’s a minor miracle in the music business.

Alt-Pop Rockers Vegas DeMilo To Perform at Easy Street

by Glen Boyd

"...the new album crackles with a self-infused energy that conjures both the power-pop of bands like the Raspberries and Badfinger and the alt-rock of 1990s bands like the Smithereens and Gin Blossoms. On songs like “Charlie Watts” and “Imaginary Blondes,” the band takes on the clueless personas of the various exes and boyfriends that Phair once railed against with such righteous indignation on Guyville."



California, ‘90s power-pop group Vegas DeMilo is back with their latest album, Black Sheep Lodge. The album is a track-by-track response to Liz Phair’s iconic 1993 album Exile in Guyville, which is itself a track-by-track response to The Rolling Stones’ 1972 album Exile on Main Street. While Black Sheep Lodge may only be 12-tracks long rather than the 18-tracks of Exile in Guyville, and the songs may not be in the same order exactly, it’s a clever parody of the type of male bravado that The Rolling Stones sought to achieve on their album and that Liz Phair sought to mock on hers.

Vegas DeMilo lead vocalist and guitarist Foster Calhoun Johnson and guitarist and backing vocalist Travis Ballstadt sat down with us to talk a little bit about this unique album and the history of the band.

ALBUM PREVIEW: Alt Pop-Rockers Vegas DeMilo Return From Hiatus To Deliver Raucous New Album ‘Black Sheep Lodge’


Following a twenty year hiatus, Vegas DeMilo is back and ready to pick up where they left off with their new perfect-for-summer rock album.

Black Sheep Lodge celebrates the youth in all of us, and plays with the pessimistic, rebellious optimism that comes with an experience Vegas DeMilo knows well: the freedom of being young, uninhibited, and musically inclined.

The Spotlight Column

Mini-Music Reviews from Lee Zimmerman

Any band that readily declares ‘what passes for knowledge, I learned nothing in college’ or offers a beat-heavy tribute to the late Charlie Watts has the sort of insurgent attitude and outright aptitude needed to make it in the heady world of Indie Rock. Not that Vegas Demilo are solely committed to procuring an unhinged attitude — songs such as “Heaven Can Wait” and “California Let Me Down” make it clear they can also purvey a tender touch — but Black Sheep Lodge is, by and large, a full-tilt Rock and Roll record. There’s a clear sense of urgency and desire imbued within these grooves, and nowhere is that more evident than on such songs as “Brand New Low”, “Suicide Queen”, “Holly Golightly”, and “Imaginary Blondes”. That said, this band takes lessons learned from early architects of ‘60s and ‘70s sounds and reshapes them with their own searing style. Formed in the mid ‘90s by brothers Foster Calhoun Johnson and Alex Johnson, this eight-piece San Francisco outfit are making a comeback of sorts courtesy of this incendiary outing and proving in the process that straight forward rock and roll always allows for a singular celebration.

Vegas DeMilo Releases New Album ‘Black Sheep Lodge’

by Randall Radic

Entry points on the album include the opener, “Charlie Watts,” a blend of the Rolling Stones’ distinctive sound with Phair’s alt-rock. Johnson’s deliciously raspy voice infuses the lyrics with swaggering energy as whoo-hoo-hoo harmonies give the tune gusto.

Black Sheep Lodge is a superior album, one that reveals the instrumental gifts and songwriting talents of Vegas DeMilo.

Vegas DeMilo to Release Highly Anticipated Fourth LP ‘Black Sheep Lodge’

By Nessa P

Riff-driven power pop outfit Vegas DeMilo has announced the upcoming release of Black Sheep Lodge, their shimmering 4th album, which one writer described as “The Replacements fronted by Liam Gallagher.” It’s an apt comparison as the expertly produced collection displays its ’90s grit while also exhibiting the songwriting finesse of Paul Westerberg and Jeff Tweedy clamouring against the dramatic tension of Oasis anthems.

Tinnitist loves new VDM single "California Let Me Down"

By Darryl Sterdan

Vegas DeMilo expose the tarnish beneath the Golden State‘s glitter in the lyric video for their disenchanted single California Let Me Down — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.

Watch an exclusive conversation with Vegas DeMilo.

The latest preview of the power-pop outfit’s upcoming fourth LP Black Sheep Lodge — an album inspired by Liz Phair’s classic Exile In Guyville (no, really) — the shimmery, string-sweetened ballad voices the late-night lament of a young dreamer who headed west in search of a better life, only to find disillusionment and disappointment when the facts don’t fit with the fairy tale.