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Cruisin’ down the Thai way

Restaurant-housed Skinny Jeans look to build a scene within the scene

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Photo: Aaron Thompson

Calling the Skinny Jeans a rock band feels like an understatement. They’re a soccer team. And a promotions and production group. And devotees of everything from American indie rock you might have heard of to Thai pop bands you almost certainly haven’t. Mostly, though, the sextet of Thailand-born 20-something men—which plays every other Saturday night at Marnee Thai Restaurant near Chinatown—is looking to build Las Vegas’ small, young Thai music community.

Calendar

The Skinny Jeans at Marnee Thai Restaurant
First and third Saturday of each month, 10 p.m., free.
5600 Spring Mountain Road, 873-9798.

“In Thailand when you go to restaurants, you always have bands playing,” Skinny Jeans co-vocalist Ga Jewcharoen says. “In Vegas, you’ll have restaurants doing karaoke, but no real live bands.” The few live bands that do perform, Jewcharoen says, stick mainly to slow Thai and remade American pop classics. So two years ago, he and his friends, just out of longtime restaurant act Release, formed the group that would eventually become The Skinny Jeans.

“We joined up together mainly to make some money and play at special events,” Jewcharoen says. Yet with an indie-cum-rock edge punctuated with heavy guitars and the exuberance of singers Jewcharoen and Jay Noidee, the Jeans are helping to bring a music scene extremely popular in California and Texas to Vegas. The band has seen a moderate rise in popularity, with its partnership with Marnee Thai helping the band make its name, helping attract other Thai groups like LA’s Body Slam to the restaurant (May 8) and helping fill Marnee Thai with patrons on show nights. Now they hope to unite a Thai community bored with the Strip and looking for a more authentic form of entertainment.

“We just wanted to help bring nightlife and music in the city for Thai people,” Jewcharoen says. “And if we succeed, that would be cool.”

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