Alibi V.13 No.44 • Oct 28-Nov 3, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Fittingly, local psychobilly-ists 12 Step Rebels will celebrate the release of their debut album, Go Go Graveyard Rockin' with 12 Step Rebels on Dead Body Wreckerds at the Launchpad on Halloween night (Sunday, Oct. 31, for those of you smoking too much chronic) with special guests Machine Gun Symphony, Feels Like Sunday and Abandon All Hope. This one's all ages. Go for the live music, stay for the costume contests. FYI: The Rebels' CD, which is sure to be on sale at the party, is pants-shittingly awesome! ... Also that night, El Rey Theater will present the “Rocky Horror Zombie Ball,” an event that includes a showing of the infamous film and performances by Darker Vision and horror rockers, Creepshow. And yes, there will also be costume contests. ... The Metal Movement Tour, featuring Kittie, Otep and Crisis, will be unleashed at the Sunshine Theater on Tuesday, Nov. 2 (that's Voting Day, for those of you huffing too much paint). Locals KI will open, in keeping with the female-fronted theme. ... The inaugural “Frostbite Food Drive" will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). Highlights include performances by Pipe Hustlers, 20/20 Blind, EvenKeal, the Dirty Baby Dolls and Frostbite, and the opportunity to donate nonperishable (that means canned-goods for those of you sniffing too much glue) food items to Roadrunner Food Bank for New Mexico families in need. Don't worry, I'll remind you of all the particulars next week.

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Blue Note

One Man's Blues

Geoff Muldaur Returns to the Outpost

When the dust settles on the 21st century and people begin to sift through the past for those artists whose work will most certainly reverberate for decades to come, Geoff Muldaur will be near the top of the list when it comes to the blues and folk traditions. Of Muldaur's chameleon-like voice, folk hero and Fairport Convention founder Richard Thompson has been quoted as saying, "There are only three white blues singers—Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them." Comedian (and accomplished guitarist himself) Martin Mull once commented that Muldaur is one of few white men who should own a guitar. They're both right on target.

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Cori Wells Braun

Music Magnified

Don Byron Ivey-Divey Trio

Friday, Oct. 29; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Clarinetist Don Byron got his musical start thanks to instructions from his childhood doctor, who had diagnosed the Brooklyn-born youth with asthma and recommended that he take up a wind instrument for therapy's sake. It wasn't long before a young Byron was excelling on the instrument and absorbing the sounds of his neighborhood, which boasted a large Jewish population. It's no surprise, then, that Byron first came to notoriety as a Klezmer musician. And ever since those early days of his career, Byron has taken special care to absorb, adopt and/or adapt to any number of musical styles.

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Music Magnified

Napalm Death

with Goatwhore, Macabre and Noisear

Monday, Nov. 1; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Grindcore progenitors Napalm Death returned last month with their second scalp-tingling tribute to classic hardcore and thrash metal, and the world is a better place for it. From the brutal recasting of Cryptic Slaughter's “Lowlife” to a thoroughly crushing take on Agnostic Front's “Blind Justice,” the 22-year-old band prove themselves not only to be masters of death metal, but well-versed in all of the different sub-genres the music they pioneered eventually became during the first decade and a half of their career.

Of course, you can expect plenty of trademark Napalm Death songs on this tour, as well as a smattering of the covers represented on Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (Century Media). Time to dig out the Die Kreuzen T-shirt, kids.

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Aural Fixation

Brian Wilson Brian Wilson Presents Smile (Nonesuch)

Why not refer to Brian Wilson's latest CD as simply Smile? Because, essentially, it isn't that record. Smile, as pretty much anyone with even a passing interest in pop music is aware, was shelved by an increasingly mentally ill Brian Wilson in 1967. And, for all intents and purposes, it remains there, forever unfinished. Brian Wilson Presents Smile is a recasting of the original material, finished and finally assembled 37 years later by Wilson, original lyricist Van Dyke Parks and Wondermints' keyboardist Darian Sahanaja. Splitting hairs? Not really. This, the first officially sanctioned compilation of the tracks written for the Beach Boys' follow-up to Pet Sounds, isn't the record the Beach Boys would ultimately have made. Without Carl Wilson, without Bruce Johnston, without Al Jardine, without Mike Love (whether you happen to love him or hate him) and, to a lesser degree, no Dennis Wilson, there's no Beach Boys. And with no Beach Boys, there's no infamous Beach Boys Smile album. All that aside, however, Wilson's presentation of his self-proclaimed "teenage symphony to God" is not without merit by a longshot.

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Sonic Reducer

Ticklefish Icky Sticky (self-released)

Like Jim Cosgrove, local recording artist John Grant makes children's music that's designed to keep the adults engaged, too. But where Cosgrove's recordings sometimes veer into the land of children's television homogenization, Grant (a.k.a. Ticklefish) writes semi-acoustic upbeat rock songs with lyrics geared toward the kids. But his melodies and arrangements are clearly inspired by the modern “adult” world of the singer-songwriter. Icky Sticky is truly an “everyone's” record—with plenty of appeal for mom and dad, and enough camp, silliness and general oddness for the little ones. It's the perfect rock 'n' roll introduction for Junior. Available at www.ticklefish.net.

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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 the 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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