Alibi V.14 No.21 • May 26-June 1, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

Honky Tonk Hero

Anyone hoping for an in-depth page-turner of Texas country legend Billy Joe Shaver be warned: you're not going to find it here. Considering the life Shaver has led, the accomplishments he's achieved through raw perseverance, deep-seated faith and good ol' West Texas gumption, Honky Tonk Hero's 191 pages seems a paltry sum. Only 72 of those pages, however, contain any narrative, while the rest are dedicated to reprints of all Shaver's song lyrics.

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Blue Note

Billy Joe Shaver

Waco-born, Corsicana-raised Billy Joe Shaver is the quintessential unsung hero of American music; a sorely overlooked contributor to its formidable canon. Even though artists from Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe to Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers have enjoyed success on the coattails of the songs he began writing some four decades ago, Shaver remains on the periphery. In 1993, his luck began to change with the release of his first solo foray in several years, Tramp On Your Street (Zoo). The release two years later of Unshaven: Shaver Live at Smith's Olde Bar (Zoo) very nearly catapulted him to the forefront of country music, Texas-style. But, arguably, it was the stunning guitar work of his only son Eddy that made the elder Shaver remarkable to the ears of listeners, despite the fact that his gritty songwriting over the past 50 years or so makes him eligible for any Hall of Fame in existence.

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Music Magnified

Stereo Total

Monday, May 30; The Launchpad (21 and older): Combining equal parts French chanson, German electro-pop and good old American trash rock, Stereo Total is the most beguiling musical duo to rocket out of Europe in the last decade. Frontwoman Françoise Cactus bangs away on her drum set, singing everything from Serge Gainsbourg ballads to old school cheese balls like "Push It Real Good" with the brazen enthusiasm (and at times, fragility) of an eight-year old girl. Brezel Güring also does double-duty as a keyboardist and crooner, exhaling German-swathed lyrics as languidly as smoke pulled from a Gaulois cigarette. You might find yourself lighting up, too. Now touring in support of their seventh album, Do the Bambi, the Euro-trash wonder twins are taking American audiences to dizzying new heights of pop mulitilingualism. And, thanks to the support of Downtown's Mecca Records, we'll be one of the lucky ones to hear them live. Oh, how the accents will fly!

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Sonic Reducer

Spanish for 100 Metric (SPF)

Here's a band who loves straight-ahead rock tunes as much as their effects pedals. Spaced out music and melodies float around the standard rock progression to create a pleasant and easily digestable sound. Think Cave-In doing a bunch of Wilco covers. The last track was recorded live at the Crocodile in Seattle, and it shows Spanish for 100's music translates a lot better live than in the studio. "Metric" is a decent attempt, but they could benefit enormously from a bigger studio budget and a better producer.

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courtesy of Prism Bitch

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But I Like It

Prism Bitch • punk • Shitty and the Terribles • garage • Gerunding

Let's be clear: the premier psych-y, slithery rocanrol event of February takes place at (where else) the Launchpad on Friday, Feb. 23. That's when local sultry sound stars and de facto leaders of the soulful garage rock unit of this city's scene, Prism Bitch—that would be Lauren Poole, Lilah Rose, Chris Walsh, Teresa Cruces and Nelson Crane—take the stage to blind you with sonic and spectral divination from out the mouths of prison-bound purveyors of a sort of electric blues that takes plenty of pop turns as it smolders and then catches fire all hot and shit. Shitty and the Terribles, say they're punk rock, but their vibe feels more no-wave to me, complete with Nueva York style aggression and power chords. Whatever, they totally rock; psych-pop pronunciators Gerunding (everything they sing ends in -ing, one hopes)—a duo that features Mag Kim and Racheaella Ceniceros—open up this super psychedelic can of worms that are actually magic mushrooms that are actually … oh my gawd, you better go and see for yourself. 9pm • $7 • 21+.
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Great EXXXpectations

The Open Bra • Mayo Lua de Frenchie • Miss Behavin • Burlesque improv competition • DJ CS Rucker • dance, house

Work up your courage or down a few beers this Saturday, Feb. 24 at Duel Brewing and take the stage for the The Open Bra, a bi-monthly burlesque improv competition. Performers are assigned a song at the beginning of the evening, and then hit the stage to enchant the audience and judges Miss Behavin, Mayo Lua de Frenchie and Annie O'Roar. And hey, if you're too nervous to take a turn dancing, you still get to weigh in on runner-up and winner slots as a member of the kowtowing crowd. This free, 21+ doors at 8pm and the event begins at 9pm. Plan on staying late for a dance party afterwards.
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Popular

Red Light Cameras • indie rock • Jared and the Mill • The Timewreckers • cosmic country

   The favorite, most popular pop band in Dirt City is named after a thing that no longer exists here. No, dudes, it's not the dinosaurs or the inherently racist educational institutions of el duque that one thinks of in such situations; rather it's the Red Light Cameras. ¿Los Recuerdas? Consequently, besides a lot of happy motorists, there's the story of a band here too. That resulting rocanrol ensemble, The Red Light Cameras, continue to draw huge audiences all over the state and now you can count yourself among the lucky humans who've seen them perform when they appear at Sister on Wednesday, March 7 at 8pm. Phoenix indie unit Jared & The Mill are also on the bill. For realz rockers—and perhaps heirs to RLC's guilded throne—The Timewreckers, open. Showtime is 8pm with a $5 cover and 21+. 
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