Alibi V.16 No.9 • March 1-7, 2007 

Music to Your Ears

The Disco Balls Come Down—The bar door was wide open when I arrived at the Albuquerque Mining Company (AMC) one bright Sunday afternoon last October. Peering in, I saw a small gaggle of men in cut-off jeans and high-top sneakers, armed with brushes, rollers and buckets of paint.

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Flyer on the Wall

Debut

One hour after Albuquerque alternative-pop sensations Ki broke up, ex-members Orio, Powell and Bradshaw, along with other former "lynchpin" musicians from HATEengine, Aisling and This Life (both from El Paso), created Mechanism Of Eve. See their first show ever Thursday, March 1, at the Launchpad. (LM)

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August Spies

Spotlight

August Spies

Local genre-benders release their polished debut album

Search for "August Spies" and you're not going to come up with an Albuquerque band bent on smart, tight songs—songs that kick over the genre trashcans as they run rowdy down Pop Ave.

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Oleg Bernov

Music Interview

Red Elvises

From Russia, with love

I like to believe that, in my daily life, I exercise at least a small degree of free will and have some say in what my body does or does not do. So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself in a dive bar on my hands and knees, waiting for the Red Elvises' Igor Yuzov to sing the chorus to "Rocket Man," which would serve as the audience's cue that it was permissible to stop wallowing on the filth-coated floor. It is rare to see a band with that much control over a crowd (of 200-plus people, no less), but for these surf-rockabilly purveyors, it happens every night they put on a show.

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Joan La Barbara

Show Up!

Finding Her Voices

Composer uses extended technique and layering to fashion an orchestra

Joan La Barbara hasn't been nervous about getting up in front of an audience and doing unusual things for many years. In the old days, the early ’70s, sometimes people would giggle. "I haven't gotten that reaction in a very long time," she says.

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Sonic Reducer

Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts The Scenic Route · Kendra Shank A Spirit Free: Abbey Lincoln Songbook · Justin Ray Justin Ray

Drummer Wilson’s nimble crew (Terrell Stafford, trumpet, flügelhorn; Gary Versace, piano, organ, accordion; Dennis Irwin, bass, clarinet), with assistance from a female vocal trio, take straight-ahead jazz on a winding and thoroughly refreshing tour. The “sonic spots of interest” include four originals from Wilson (including the Booker T–ish title track), Monk, O. Coleman, Metheny, Hutcherson, D. Ayler, Lennon and one standard. Stafford—a paradigm of precision, economy and edge—finds every emotional seam. Driven by the joyful, geometric and continuously variable propulsion of Wilson’s drum kit, Arts and Crafts swings exuberantly through the tightest corners and cruises with the top down.

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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 the 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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