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October 23, 2017

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Melody Sweets to debut ‘Shoot ’em Up’ video with a bang


John Katsilometes

Melody Sweets lets a scarf dangle as a target during the video shoot for Sweets’ “Shoot ‘em Up” at Grand Canyon Ranch on April 22, 2014.

Melody Sweets’ ‘Shoot ’em Up’ Video Shoot

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Dinner at the lodge after a day of shooting with Misha "10-Pack" Furmanczyk and Melody Sweets during the video shoot for Sweets' "Shoot 'em Up" at Grand Canyon Ranch on April 22, 2014.

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A lineup of showgirls, from left, Leah Christiana Gonzalez, Alexa Hukari, Katerina Matvienko and Marta Szczerba, during the video shoot for Melody Sweets' "Shoot 'em Up" at Grand Canyon Ranch on April 22, 2014.

The purpose of this party and performance is to promote a video.

And the purpose of the video is to produce a party and performance.

If that all makes sense.

The video is for the song “Shoot ’em Up,” which is a country-fied cut on Melody Sweets’ debut album, “Burlesque in the Black.” The great unveiling of the video is Tuesday night at the “Absinthe” tent outside Caesars Palace in a performance titled “The Wild, Wild West Burlesque Show.”

The show is at 10:30 p.m., doors at 10. Tickets are $15 in advance if purchased at, $25 at the door. Proceeds go to AFAN and the Burlesque Hall of Fame.

Sweets and her “Absinthe” friends and cast members Penny Pibbets and The Gazillionaire will host the special one-off performance, which is to spotlight Butterscotch and Spencer “Ripley” Novich of the recently sidelined “Vegas Nocturne”; burlesque stars Peekaboo Pointe and Dirty Martini; Oleksii Sodolinskyi of “Absinthe”; crossbow artists Mr. and Mrs. G (aka Ottavio and Naomi Gesmundo, longtime Las Vegas stage performers); and the rope-trick master Chris McDaniel.

The video is to be posted on YouTube in concert with Tuesday’s show. “Shoot ’em Up” joins “Slice of Heaven” and “Love Digital” as songs made into videos from “Burlesque in the Black,” and thus far those slick clips are being used primarily to promote Sweets’ album and, in a more expansive fashion, her career in and out of “Absinthe.”

“I hope people watch them on YouTube and go to my website to watch them on YouTube,” Sweets says. “But this is mostly to keep word out about the album. We have had a lot of fun making these, and they are all different.”

Sweets has delivered a lot of creative material from “Burlesque in the Black,” including “Up All Night,” the new number in “Absinthe” where she dances and splashes inside a giant cocktail glass full of water.

The album itself has been out for a while, having been made available for sale in the fall of 2012. The shoot for “Shoot ’em Up” was a themed undertaking in April, with a few “Absinthe” performers and members of the production crew joining Sweets and videographers Mike and Jerry Thompson for two days of costumed make believe at Grand Canyon Ranch on the canyon’s West Rim near the town of Meadview, Ariz.

(The best way to find this place is to drive to Dolan Springs … and keep driving for another 25 minutes or so. Can’t miss it.)

Taking part in the shoot were “Absinthe” company manager Daniel Kells; Misha “10-Pack” Furmanczyk; Pibbets; Paul Lopez (Fat Frank in the show); the Gesmundos; Ming Hukari and his wife, Alexa; Lucasz Sczerba and his wife, Marta; the Matvienko family (Sergie, Katerina and their adorable little son, Yuriy); Kyle Vonn Elzay; Jake Alberda; Leah Christiana Gonzalez; and choreographer Tori Lubeki of “Ka.”

The group recorded all around the ranch for two days. Sweets was asked to flip backward, spin six-shooters and hold a scarf as a target for the Gesmundos to fire at with arrows traveling at high velocity. Pibbets juggled hatchets (well, one hatchet), and the gentlemen portrayed the most unlikely cowboy posse you will see anywhere.

Off-camera, the group rode horses, dined at the ranch, hung out at the campfire and were serenaded by “The Singing Cowboy,” Casey Adams. The Singing Cowboy sang with such verve that his voice itself was shot by the second night.

And, after a lengthy build-up, the resulting art is made public this week.

Sweets is planning a follow-up album of all-cover songs in collaboration with “O” music director Mike Plante. Expect more fun, bouncy music and video interpretation from the ever-busy Miss Sweets.

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