Alibi V.14 No.49 • Dec 8-14, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

Happy Trails, Cheryl— Cheryl Hooks, host of KUNM's "Ear to the Ground," panel member of the Albuquerque Music Association and champion of the all-ages music community in Albuquerque, is leaving New Mexico for a full-time on-air position in Arizona. "I'd like to say thanks to everyone in the New Mexico music scene," Cheryl said in an e-mail last week. "It's been a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of this community." I call say is, it's been a real honor working with the caliber of tireless local music advocacy that Cheryl has embodied through her work here in New Mexico. In parting, you can read Cheryl's "Crawl Out and Get Active" piece, here.

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Flyer on the Wall

Bang a Gong

Get it on with ex-Fever Hot punky new-wave threesome Bang! Bang!, N.Y.C. evil bass-punk duo Mommy And Daddy, Burque's glam-bam thank-you-ma'ams The Foxx and maximus rockus via The Gracchi. Free on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Atomic Cantina. You must be 21 to ride this train. (LM)

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Show Off!

The Bellmont/Below The Sound CD Release Party

with Oktober People, The Answer Lies and Tanuki

Every few years, I find myself driving through eastern New Mexico, looking for music: record stores, shows, even a--godhelpme—Hastings, if necessary.

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Spotlight

The Verbs CD Release Party

Songsmiths with a penchant for similes

Former Madison, Wisconsinites and current Verbs members Seth Hoffman and Jacob Lowery came to Albuquerque over three years ago and settled in as the house band at Stella Blue. Over the course of several Tuesday night jam sessions at the club, Hoffman and Lowery joined up with mandolinist Christie Lipinskai, bassist Cory VanMinefee and drummer Vance VanDonselaar to create what Lowery candidly refers to as, "the only thing in my 16 years of playing music that I'm really proud of."

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Music Magnified

DJ Swamp

Thursday, Dec. 8, 10 p.m.; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over), free: DJ Swamp is stepping out from behind Beck's turntables with his recent hip-hop release, Never Is Now, and a solo tour. Yes, he played with Beck for four years, but he's not piggybacking off that fame; he's making his own. Never Is Now showcases Swamp's "turntablism" and rapping talents, and it sounds like what nü-metal should be aiming to achieve--a real collaboration of rap and rock. It's dark, hard rock with a kickin' beat and some majorly skilled scratching. In an interview with Alexander Laurence, Swamp said he was working as a street sweeper, even after winning the USA DMC Championship in 1996, until he posed as a reporter and dropped Beck a demo. Following in that "make my own opportunities" vein, Swamp wrote, produced, recorded and performed everything in Never Is Now. His life performance is self-produced, too—and it's much more than dark hair hanging in his face with an occasional hand gesture. He is a pyromaniac; well, a self-described "fire retard." He lights his hands on fire, breaks LPs--and then uses them as instruments--and, apparently, scratches his tongue with phonograph needles. Since it's low budget, he doesn't use flame retardant and has been hospitalized (though I don't know if Burt's allows fire displays of any kind during performances). In "Ring of Fire," Swamp calls himself "the inferno, burning down the show.” I think he's got a theme going here. So mod-clash dance partygoers: Be ready for a different reason to dance Thursday night. It's not the kind of DJ experience we often see in Burque.

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Music Magnified

Red Lightning

Tuesday, Dec. 13; Atomic Cantina (21-and-over), free: Alain Whyte, Morrissey collaborator and current lead singer and songwriter for Los Angeles/London's Red Lightning, is bringing the stripped-down sound of his new three-piece to the Atomic Cantina. Whyte, who helped create such Morrissey faves as You Are the Query and Your Arsenal, has put together a power trio that draws much of its creative ammunition from bands like The Cult, The Smiths and U2.

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Sonic Reducer

Goblin Cock Bagged and Boarded · The Rosebuds Birds Make Good Neighbors · Guided By Voices Propeller

Metal: The debaucherous, demonic, fist-pumping, parent-scaring glory of it all sometimes makes me want to explode with a "F**k yeah!" Or a high-kick. Or both, which is what happened when I heard Goblin Cock. With the liner notes written in rune, skull and cauldron imagery and song titles like "Kegrah the Dragon Killer," you'd think this is a joke. But I'm almost certain it isn't. The mixture is of the Black Sabbath-era, sludgy desert rock and something very un-metal. And what's that? Oh, the mastermind behind this is Rob Crow of Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, Team Sleep and ... Pinback. High-kick!

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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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