Alibi V.13 No.39 • Sept 23-29, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Another week, another anti-Bush rock show. On Friday, Sept. 24, punk rock heavies Anti-Flag, Midtown, Strike Anywhere, Plea for Peace founder Mike Park, The Epoxies and Tom Morello will share the stage at the Sunshine Theater for a Bush-bashing bash featuring outrage and dissent in a loud, punk rock fashion. And you don't even have to be of legal age to vote to attend and join in the fun! Stay tuned for info on upcoming “Resurrect the Kerry Kampaign” shows. ... For those of you who don't already have enough anger and hatred weighing heavy on your mind and compelling you to commit violent crimes, the “Harsh Reality” Tour, featuring the soothing sounds of Freakhouse, Lyzanxia and Sybreed hits the Launchpad on Tuesday, Sept. 28. ... On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Outpost Productions and Burque's own Goddess of Arno Balkan Band present Esma Redzepova, the Queen of Macedonian Romani Song and her band, Ansambl Teodosievski, at the Sunshine Theater as the “Voice of Hope” Tour pulls into town. Tickets are $20 general, $15 Outpost members, and are available at Ticketmaster and Alphaville Video in Nob Hill. Call 268-0044 or 243-6276 for more information. ... 12 Step Rebels debut album for West Coast label Dead Body Records, Go Go Graveyard Rockin', officially hit the record stores on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Produced by Geoff Kresge (Tiger Army), the new disc is a psychobilly fan's delight. Ask for your copy by name at one of the few remaining independent record stores in town.

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Blue Note

Lucy Kaplansky

Though she once provided background vocals on recordings by Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith, New York-based singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky has long since established herself as a unique presence in the singer-songwriter world. The Red Thread (Red House) is a lush collection of five stunning originals written by Kaplansky and her husband, Richard Litvin and five covers (including James McMurtry's “Off and Running”) that is infused with her significant life experiences of the past three years—from the events of 9-11 which she basically witnessed first-hand to the recent adoption of her infant daughter—and of the threads that connect all of us. And, as always, Kaplansky illuminates the proceedings with hints of alt.country and “new folk” sensibility that sets her apart from most of her contemporaries. And she calls on an A-list of guests to assist in punctuating her songs, including Richard Shindell with whom she has toured and recorded as part of Cry, Cry, Cry, Jonatha Brooke (The Story) and Eliza Gilkyson.

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Music Magnified

Breaker 19 CD Release Party

with Thrift Store Cowboys (from Lubbock) Unit 7 Drain and Young Edward

Friday, Sept. 24; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): For what seems like the past 26 years, Breaker 19 have relied on that greezy, redneck mystique that separates the truckers from the real men. Only now, well into their third decade of existence, the Breaker boys have finally put a spit-shine on their debut record and released it at truckstops from here to Tulsa. Was it worth the wait? That depends. Do you prefer breakfast buffets that feature a minimum of four different styles of pork and fried bologna? Do you subscribe to the belief that a good cup of coffee needs to have “mud” at the bottom? Do you fear God as much as you fear homosexuals, Democrats and longhairs? Are you able to explain in detail how glow plugs work? Do you own any David Allen Coe cassettes? Did you have to look up the word “subscribe” in the dictionary just now? Yeah? Then Keep it On the Road was definitely worth the wait.

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Music Magnified

Tommy Emmanuel

with Simon Bruce

Sunday, Sept. 26; KiMo Theatre (all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Of the literally thousands of musicians I've seen live over the years, exactly two of them have rendered me impotent to accurately describe or explain their respective performances and techniques. One is flamenco maestro Paco de Lucía. The other is Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.

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Music Magnified

Leon Russell

Saturday, Sept. 25; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 9 p.m.): As a member of “The Wrecking Crew,” producer/alleged murderer Phil Spector's legendary session band, Leon Russell contributed heavily to some of rock music's earliest and most enduring gems, recording with and writing songs for everyone from the Beach Boys to Ike and Tina Turner before scoring his first hit with Joe Cocker's version of “Delta Lady.” The same year, 1970, Russell released his own eponymously-titled debut album, introducing rock listeners to an idiosyncratic blend of swamp boogie, blues, country and southern-fried rock that would later make bands like the Doobie Brothers household names.

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Sonic Reducer

American Music Club Love Songs for Patriots (Merge)

Being a self-professed alcoholic is a cliché lost on AMC's Mark Eitzel. There are gobs of songwriters regularly crediting their insights to booze and drugs, but few of them actually write from that place between reality and sad, slow death. Eitzel, unquestionably, is one of them. The pain, loss, heartbreak and sadly accurate worldview he crafts songs with can't be faked. As a result, AMC's first studio album in 10 years bristles with passionate suicidal tendencies and the kind of yearning that'll reduce you to tears—proof that giving up may well be the first step in starting over.

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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Their Kindness is Charade

Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house

Remember the thing called Witch House? How about darkwave? The constant bifurcation of artistic paths in the field of electronic music can be damnably confusing and irritating, as well as rewarding and helluva lot of fun too—as long as you pick the right band. When adherents of these sorts of genres aren't busy sorting their rainbow-colored toe socks and looking for tubes of Vick's Vaporub to snatch up at the local Walmart, then it's a pretty fair bet that they are listening to the likes of Crystal Castles, a duo of Canuck electro-arhats who've made their mark in the music world with a febrile and spooky glitchiness that has outlasted any names critics might apply in favor of an honestly, intimidatingly pure exploration of sounds that make humans dance and rejoice as they swirl around the very noisy and icy maelstrom of life and death. Ethan Kath and Edith Frances, AKA Crystal Castles, perform live in Burque on Thursday, Oct. 19. Viewed as an opportunity to joyfully and ferociously embrace the void, this ought to be a damn good show, but don't blame me if you can't remember your name afterwards.
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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Special Beat Service

The English Beat • ska

Here's a brief on a band with three names, but unlike Eliot's bunch, these dudes are not a coterie of cats. At home across the pond, they're known as the Beat. In the land down under, kindly refer to them as the British Beat. Here in 'Merica, we call them the English Beat. But no matter what you call them, this estimable ensemble that still includes founder and guitarist Dave Wakeling—but not vocalist Ranking Roger—was partially responsible for the upsurge in popularity that two-tone ska saw on both sides of the Atlantic during the '80s and '90s. With a retinue of classic, upbeat jams like “Monkey Murders,” “Spar Wid Me” and “Save It for Later,” the band's touring the states again, impressing OG ska lovers as well as the next generation of horn-crazy youth with their combination of crazy stage antics and terrific tuneage. You can catch the outfit live here at the Duke City on Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Historic El Rey Theatre, but don't worry you don't need checkerboard pants or a smart little hat to enjoy this gig—just make sure those great big feet of yours are rested and ready to dance.
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