Alibi V.13 No.48 • Nov 25-Dec 1, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Congratulations to Joe Anderson and Kara XXX on the birth of their baby daughter, Tannyn Jane, who joined the waking world on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at a whopping seven pounds, two ounces. ... Arguably the best, most entertaining way to celebrate and give thanks that Thanksgiving is over and you don't have any further family obligations for a whole month is to join every bloated, overstuffed indie rock loser the night after Turkey Day, Friday, Nov. 26, at the Launchpad for Socyermom Records' Annual Turkey Purge. This year, Unit 7 Drain, The Mindy Set, Manifold, Scenester and Romeo Goes to Hell will be doing the on-stage honors while everyone else drinks themselves sick in an effort to cleanse their gastrointestinal systems of tryptophan and green bean casserole, and to give the Launchpad cleaning crew something fun to do on Saturday morning. ... Over the past three years, singer-songwriter Andru Bemis has traveled some 40,000 miles by train, motorcycle and thumb, touring the country with his guitar, banjo, fiddle and original songs. His Amtrak schedule brings him to Albuquerque's Blue Dragon Coffee House on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. for a free performance that's suitable for music fans of all ages. ... Next Thursday, Dec. 2, the Santa Fe Film Festival will premiere VFWbya at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe. The gritty documentary showcases the musicians, veterans and audiences involved in a sector of Santa Fe's scene that centered around shows given at the local VFW hall. More details next week.

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Blue Note

Hat's Off

The Tin Hat Trio Return to the Outpost

Ever had a fever dream, those slippery scenes that play themselves out in your mind's eye as your body tries to rid itself of whatever bacterial or viral infection you happen to be suffering from? Sometimes, fever dreams can be terrifying—your waking self isn't quite rooted in reality when your body temperature rises above the 101-degree range and, if you've taken cold or flu medicine, the line between what's real and imagined becomes even more clouded.

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Music Magnified

Edith Frost

with Manishevitz and Fast Heart Mart

Monday, Nov. 29; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): I might as well just say it: Despite all her formidable indie rock cred—associations with Archer Prewitt, Mark Greenberg, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and others, along with legendary Chicagoland grump Steve Albini, who produced her latest album—Edith Frost will always be one of my favorite country singers. Not milquetoast, bullshit noncountry Shania Twain country; the kind of country that sits on your eyelids and tells you true-life tales of sadness, heartbreak and the chronic, mild discontent that made mountains out of men like Nick Drake, Gram Parsons and Tim Buckley.

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Sonic Reducer

Duran Duran Astronaut (Epic)

Duran Duran's latest effort, Astronaut, proves that they are more than just washed-up, 80's, gender bending, where-are-they-now has beens. Duran Duran, back with all five original members, deliver an album reminiscent of their early stuff ("Planet Earth," "Girls on Film"), with a mature sound and more meaningful lyrics. Newcomers will enjoy this heaping helping of Duran Duran without all the extra '80s cheese. Closet Duranees will get all nostalgic and wish for the good ol' days of leg warmers and mullets. This is pure feel-good music.

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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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