Alibi V.13 No.34 • Aug 19-25, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Things are rolling along quite well for local bands these days. Nels Andrews and El Paso Eyepatch have struck a record deal with Bloodshot and Checkered Past Records founder Eric Babcock for the release of their latest record, Sunday Shoes, on Babcock's Catamount label, and they've been selected to appear at the Americana Music Awards Showcase in Nashville next month, Sept. 23-25. After their appearance at the AMA Showcase, they'll be back in town for their local CD release party at the Launchpad on Friday, Oct. 1. After that, it's off to Europe for a tour throughout Scotland, Ireland and England. ... As mentioned this week in Devin D. O'Leary's review of Garden State (page 61), the Sundance sensation starring Natalie Portman and Zach Braff, The Shins are featured prominently on the film's soundtrack. Braff, who wrote and directed the film, is a self-proclaimed Shins freak, and included “New Slang” and “Caring is Creepy”—both from The Shins' Sub Pop debut, Oh, Inverted World—in the film. Braff had originally approached lead Shin James Mercer about writing a song specifically for his movie, but touring and other commitments prevented it. Since the release of the movie, both Shins' Sub Pop releases, Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow, have re-entered Amazon.com's Top 100 in sales. Mercer has also been asked to write and record a song for the upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants movie, due out later this year.

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Blue Note

Eighth Blackbird Thirteen Ways (Cedille)

Think the expansive vision of Kronos, the freshness of youth, and an unusual complement of instruments. Note that their name derives from Wallace Stevens' enigmatic poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." Add the specifics—Molly Alicia Barth, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Matt Albert, violin & viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; and Lisa Kaplan, pianoand you have Eighth Blackbird, one of the most exciting contemporary music ensembles on today's scene.

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Music Magnified

Random Access Memory

Thursday, Aug. 26; Pulse Nightclub (21 and over, 9 p.m.): DJ Kentifyr (a.k.a. Kent R. Wilhelmi) has been a staple at Pulse Nightclub for four years, during which he's served as a resident DJ and promoter—as founder and proprietor of Dark Beat Productions—of most of the gothic-industrial bands that have come through in that time.

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Aural Fixation

Memorial Day Ceremony

Ben Kweller On My Way (ATO/RCA)

Once, playing the Velvet Underground's "After Hours," on my boom box, my uncle asked me if I had recorded myself singing. It wasn't a compliment: Mo Tucker sang so girlishly off-key that he simply thought I'd made a bad recording of my own bad voice. But I liked the way she sounded. The vulnerability in her voice matched the yearning of the song. In a similar way, there's something endearing about Ben Kweller's voice. He's got to be in his early 20s but he sounds like a teenager when he sings; his voice is tentative and almost cracking until he bursts into a shouting chorus. Especially on the title track, "On My Way," when Ben sings to his mom, "I'll kill him with karate that I learned in Japan," you picture a gawky kid something like the main character in Napoleon Dynamite. Pretty and simple, just Kweller and a guitar, could it have been recorded at a coffeehouse open mic night?

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Aural Fixation

Kitka Wintersongs (Diaphonica)

Mesmerizing Eastern European vocal music from a Berkeley based ensemble? Absolutely. Kitka was founded in 1979 by women who wished to share their passion for the "stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, intricate ornamentation, lush harmonies, and resonant strength of Eastern European women's vocal music." The ensemble has since become recognized as the foremost exponent of Balkan and Slavic choral repertoire in the U.S.

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Sonic Reducer

Morrissey You are the Quarry (Attack Records)

Morrissey's latest effort is a slap in the face for those with a utopian view of the world. The album combines beautiful melodies and dark lyrics. With songs like "America is not the World," "Irish Blood English Heart," and "I Have forgiven Jesus," Morrissey, formerly of the Smiths fame, proves his love and disdain for society. Longtime fans will love this album. Newcomers who are into political bands and Sylvia Plath poems, this one's for you. Gut wrenching and enjoyable at the same time, I can't stop listening to it.

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EVENT HORIZON ()

Why Not?

Why? • indie rock, alt.hip-hop, alt.rock, pop, folk • Go Dark • experimental

If you want a reminder—and not from Radiohead—that hip-hop is everywhere, even in the indie rock that millennials are sorta into (but only after they listen to every goddamn thing they can find by Kendrick Lamar) then trip, trip, trip on down to Sister on Monday, Feb. 19 at 8pm for a recital of sorts by Cincinnati alt-rappers cum indie rock stars, WHY? Founded by a dude named Yoni in the distant and unremembered aughts, WHY? has gained traction among rockish young audiences with their pop-nuanced mash-up of rocanrol and hip-hop. They got all kinda crazy rhythms, jams and flows going on betwixt rock references and may do some drugs; their latest effort is called Moh Lhean, after all. Additionally, the critics at Allmusic have judged their music as “quirky” which oughta count for something, amirite? They do have some pretty righteous tuneage, including works like “George Washington,” “White English” and “Into the Shadows of My Embrace.” Seriously, this one's worth the price of admission and if you're into skinny jeans and man buns, then damn, get out there, girl! The cover is $15 to $18, 21+.
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EVENT HORIZON ()

Get Your Vamp On

Love Bites • Vampire Ball • goth, electro, industrial, '80s

       If putting on something dressy and all black is your forte, boy do we have an event for you. Effex Night Club's Alchemy Presents: Love Bites, A Vampire Ball is happening on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 9pm. Prepare for a gory good time for just $2! Enter the raffle for $1 to sink your claws into a set of Kustom Fitted Fangs, Vampyre Tea Company's organic tea and more. Accompany your fellow vampires and goths for a night of '80s electro and EDM music. Show off your best goth looks in the costume contest to win sickening prizes, attract eager victims and dance the night away. 21+  
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