Music to Your Ears
Goddess of Arno, Burque's premier Balkan dance band, will host their first Balkan dance party of 2004 on Saturday, Feb. 7, at R.B. Winning Coffee Company at 8 p.m. (Beginner dance lessons will be given at 7:30 p.m.) Cost is a meager five bucks, and kids under 12 are admitted free. Also that night, reggae fans can get their groove on at the Sunshine Theater in the company of Michael Franti and Spearhead. ... The following evening, local bands Dead City, Cole Mitchell and the Currs and Rakes of Mallow will rock the Atomic. ... In non-musical, but nonetheless important, news: The Monte del Sol Charter School will present Moises Kaufman's “The Laramie Project” on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7 at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe. All ages are welcome for $5. Both shows begin at 7 p.m. Call (505) 989-4423 for more information. ... Jason and the Argonauts, led by the incomparable Jason Daniello, are headed out for a long-ish tour of Arizona and northeast Texas beginning on Feb. 6 in support of their recent live album. And, with any luck, they'll get back to discover they've been invited to SXSW, and will be headed to Austin along with the 12 Step Rebels and Mr. Spectacular for the festival that begins March 17.
Ned Rorem Three Symphonies: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Naxos)
He's written 15 books, some 300 art songs, and dozens of orchestral, chamber and choral works. Yet despite winning the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral piece Air Music, earning renown as America's undisputable living master of the vocal idiom, and enjoying the luxury of spending the past 40 years of his life only writing music on commission, composer Ned Rorem has until now seen his early symphonies largely ignored.
The Deathray Davies
with special guests
Wednesday, Feb. 11; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): The Deathray Davies' latest record, Midnight at the Black Nail Polish (Glurp) makes it difficult to believe that Dallas doesn't have a “London District” the way big cities have Chinatowns, Little Italies and the like. But that six Texans can sound so convincingly Brit-pop is only part of the story. The other, more important part is that the Deathray Davies make Brit-pop with teeth—cleverness, melodic sensibility, warbling organ and all. These guys write songs that are guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings of any self-respecting XTC fan, likewise fans of Flaming Lips. But the band also employ undercurrents of early Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and just about every '60s garage and snotty '80s new wave band you can think of.
With hooks worthy of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, cleverly biting lyrics and surprisingly little pretentiousness, the Deathray Davies may just be the most perfect pop band in the world.
A local musician profile
Local musician and teacher Kevin Kinane is a Renaissance Man is the truest sense. He's played drums with some of the biggest bands in town, performed as a multi-instrumentalist with countless other local bands and as a solo artist. His musical endeavors, from his stint with the relatively straightforward rock ensemble, The Withdrawals, to his alter-egos Daddy Long Loin and Recycle-Man, have always been cutting-edge in Kinane's own way. But he's also found a way to channel his creativity and genuine love for all things musical into programs that benefit local children.
Force of Evil Force of Evil (Escapi/Navarre)
Consisting of guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner of Mercyful Fate, two members of King Diamond's “solo” band and singer Martin Steene, Force of Evil is essentially Mercyful Fate (or King Diamond) without King Diamond. To his credit, Steene doesn't often attempt to mimick Diamond's caterwaul, but he does manage to employ every Satanic cliché in the metal canon. The lyrics are laughable, but the music is Don't Break the Oath-era piercing, with Shermann and Denner offering up a solid duel attack. Not exactly groundbreaking, but not entirely bad, either.