Alibi V.17 No.37 • Sept 11-17, 2008 ››
Music to Your Ears
It's the 70th anniversary of the New Mexico State Fair. If there were ever a year to eat deep-fried Twinkies, this is it (though the must-scarf junk food item for 2008 appears to be chocolate-covered bacon). And this week's free music programming makes it a can't-miss.
In German: Es ist New Mexico
Experimental electro artist Reba Hasko was lured to Albuquerque from afar.
The Game LAX
· Trilobite Silver Skin
· Ani DiFranco Red Letter Year
If you heard gangsta rap is dead, you're tuning in to the wrong radio station. And if you think gangsta rappers thrive on violence and monotonous material, you're only partially correct. LAX is lyrical and beat-driven, bombing murals of street life and hard times in The Game’s L.A. Joining in some of the highlights are Nas, Common and Raekwon. Say what you will about mainstream rap and its current condition, but The Game spits in all the right directions. (JH)
On the Scene
It's the Vinyl Countdown!
Records are cool
When Albuquerque glam band The Foxx went to put out its first release in 2004, it needed a label. So, naturally, bassist Zac Webb started his own enterprise, a vinyl polymer-only affair cleverly known as Vinyl Countdown. More than four years later, he's released six albums that include his band as well as rare sonic items found during record collecting adventures. Next month he will release a double gatefold LP by one of the first L.A. punk bands, Black Randy and the Metrosquad. The album is called Pass the Dust I Think I'm Bowie. He's also soon to release an album by early '80s Kentucky power-pop band Sgt. Arms, and just last weekend signed one of Australia's first DIY punk bands, Last Words. Zac and I had a chat about the record biz over drinks.
Courtesy of the Artist
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.
Courtesy of the Artist
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.