Alibi V.15 No.5 • Feb 2-8, 2006 

Music to Your Ears

The SXSW Rock 'n' Report—In what very well may be the coolest thing we've done since the inception of Fall Crawl, the Alibi will give away airfare and a South by Southwest Music and Media Conference press pass to one aspiring music journalist. Based out of Austin, Texas, SXSW is one of the biggest independent music festivals in the world. It's where the most promising up-and-coming acts establish themselves on the international stage, and where music legends return for a rare, and sometimes final, encore. You can find out more about this year's festival, which is set for the third week of March, at www.sxsw.com. Read the “Music Magnified” by Amy Dalness in this week's edition for a complete description of the contest rules. If you love music and can write reasonably well, do not pass this up.

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Show Up!

I is for Ida CD Release Party

Immediate. Illusive. Inspiration.

I is for Ida--the top-secret hush-hush side project of (shhhh!) Unit 7 Drain--takes the stage for the first time tonight in a two-for-one that promises to impress all around. That's something not often said about any single debut show or debut CD release. Unlike the suffocating mass of side projects infecting indie rock these days, little here will remind you of their incipient U7D nativity.

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Flyer on the Wall

Tombstone Rock

Because we can't get enough of their precocious gloom. Friday, Feb. 3, at the Launchpad. Free CD with paid $5 admission! (LM)

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Music Magnified

Acoustic Showcase

featuring The Hollis Wake, Feels Like Sunday, Sincerely and Face Across the Floor

Burt's Tiki Lounge on Friday, Feb. 3 (21-and-over); Free: It's shows like this that make me long for my 21st birthday, which is one month, one week and three days from the moment this Alibi officially hits the streets. (But who's counting?) This one finds Santa Fe songsmiths The Hollis Wake trading in their tube amps for some good, clean, unplugged fun in the form of Friday night's acoustic showcase at Burt's Tiki Lounge. The acousticity of the show should make the band's irresistible harmonies take an even larger chunk of the center stage while scaling back some of the external fuzzy-drone that finds its way into many of THW's tracks.

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Music Magnified

SXSW Rock 'n' Report

Your free ticket to SXSW, fame and beyond

How many times have you heard the phrase, "This is the opportunity of a lifetime"? Enough to stop paying attention to the claim, I'm sure. Well, this is such an opportunity--if you happen to be an avid music fan with a dream to turn your hobby into a full-time job. The Alibi is looking to send one lucky, talented and enthusiastic future music reporter to the SXSW Music and Media Conference (www.sxsw.com) in Austin, Texas, March 15 through 19. This five-day music festival will host performances by over 1,000 international bands in every genre imaginable, as well as discussions and forums with some key players in the music industry.

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Spotlight

AC/DC Fighting with Motörhead while Lynyrd Skynyrd Watches

A romantic interview with Nashville Pussy

For a decade, Nashville Pussy, with their short, catchy songs, heavy and plentiful guitars and clever lyrics, has been rocking trailers in tri-state areas all over the country. I spoke with 50 percent of the band last week (husband-and-wife team, guitarist and vocalist Blaine Cartwright and lead guitarist Ruyter Suys). The sexier of the two (Ruyter) answered these questions.

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Sonic Reducer

The Junior Varsity Wide Eyed · Pearls and Brass The Indian Tower · Elefant The Black Magic Show

For those who like a little moonshine with their weed, Pearls and Brass offer up some good ol' fashioned hillbilly-stoner-rock. Drawing on Zeppelin and Stevie Ray Vaughan for their riff-heavy sound, this Nazareth, Penn., trio has released an album that's a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll and, frankly, a little bit obnoxious. Their relentless toying with time signatures is admirable at first, cute after a while and downright unpleasant by the end. Pearls and Brass deserve credit for their relatively unique slant on stoner rock, but I sincerely hope their haphazard approach doesn't catch on.

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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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