Alibi V.13 No.46 • Nov 11-17, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

In May of this year, Chris Hotchkiss of local band Morning Wood was killed in a tragic accident. An all-ages benefit show for his family will take place Saturday, Nov. 13, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Launchpad featuring performances by Morning Wood XXX, Concepto Tambor, Feels Like Sunday, The Big Spank, Frostbite, The United, Mantis Fist, Caustic Lye, Romeo Goes to Hell, 2 Wise, and DJ Tino Mazon. I asked members of Chris' band to provide brief words of remembrance in his honor:

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Blue Note

Impressions of Brazil

Dave Pietro and Banda Brazil Visit the Outpost

Although he's become an increasingly renowned saxophonist, Dave Pietro's fluid passages sound as though they were charted by a pianist. One is compelled to deduce that the decade he spent recording and touring as the lead alto saxophonist in Chinese pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi's jazz orchestra has quite a bit to do with Pietro's smooth phrasing. But there's also a highly evolved understanding of piano-like voicing at work in the musical mind of the young reed player from Southboro, Mass.

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Music Magnified

Prince Diabaté Dance Party

Saturday, Nov. 13 at Airdance Artspace (3030 Isleta SW, all ages, 8 p.m.): Prince Diabaté has been called "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora," a true innovator on the instrument. He and his former musical partner, vocalist Amara Sanoh, began wowing local audiences in 1997, making regular appearances at Outpost Productions' Fall Fundraiser for several years consecutively. Diabaté's masterful fusion of funk, reggae Caribbean rhythms and the traditional sounds of his Malinké roots in Guinea, West Africa makes his some of the freshest, most danceable music going.

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Sonic Reducer

Dexter Romweber Solo! Duo! Trio!: Blues That Defy My Soul (Yep Rock)

Nearly two decades before Jack and Meg White went thrift store shopping for matching red polyester uniforms and spawned rock's latest Gap-like trend, guitarist Dexter Romweber and drummer Crow were actively putting the guitar/drums duo concept on the map; first in Chapel Hill, N.C., then across the country. After releasing nine records as Flat Duo Jets, Romweber and Crow split in 1998. Romweber is back with his third solo album, and it's a record that begs the question: Why did I spend all my dough on those White Stripes and Black Keys discs? This is the real thing, kids. Garage blues at its most surfalicious.

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Courtesy of the Artist

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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

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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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