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 V.17 No.45 | November 6 - 12, 2008 

Music to Your Ears

Brian May Is an Astrophysicist

It shocks the rock and scientific communities to no end, but it's true. Besides originating the butter-smooth guitar licks that were as central to Queen's success as Freddie Mercury's vocal cords and unitards, Brian May is an astrophysicist. He had graduated with a bachelor of science (with honors) in physics at Imperial College London and was halfway through a PhD program (area of concentration: the velocity of space dust) when Queen blasted into a solar system all its own. May put down his thesis in favor of a guitar and didn't return to science for another three decades. He finally picked up that doctorate in May 2008. Wikipedia says an asteroid was promptly named after him: 52665 Brianmay.

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Noelan (left), Billy and Dan contemplate holiday cinema.
Eric Williams

Spotlight

The Bellemah Bus

Next stop: CD release party

A year ago this month, Billy Bellmont—namesake and auteur of defunct rock band The Bellmont—and Dan Dinning formed the loungy, acoustic, indie operation known as Bellemah. Like barnacles on a ship (or perhaps goatheads on a shoe), the band amassed seven members, then lost four, due mostly to time constraints. Now only Billy, Dan and Noelan Ramirez remain. Some days ago over coffee, Billy, Dan and I sat down for a chat. We laughed. We cried. We talked about Tom Waits. Below is a sample of our time together.

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John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet

Jazzed

John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet

Composer’s genre-blind music gently breaks new ground

Drummer/composer John Hollenbeck admits to being a “mixtape guy.” As a kid, he’d raid his brother’s record collection to create tapes featuring a wide range of music—from symphonic works to jazz to R&B and back again.

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Sonic Reducer

Keane Perfect Symmetry · The Sound of Animals Fighting The Ocean and the Sun · Eagles of Death Metal Heart On

Whether Perfect Symmetry provides instant glee or a splitting headache depends on how much you like alt.piano rock with a glob of synthesizer. If that sounds even remotely enjoyable, Perfect Symmetry is a surefire cure for the weepies. Keane is able to write lengthy ballads that don’t wear on your patience as easily as quick, punchy morning-starters. Piano is always the main course, and you never get more than a taste of drums or a sliver of guitar. Perfect Symmetry is more new-wave obsessed than Keane’s previous two releases, but it doesn’t slip into sulkiness. The group has become comfortable with its epic yet scaled-back songsmanship, and the water’s perfect if you feel like a swim. (SM)

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Ice Cold

Pale Young Gentlemen (Madison, Wis.), Small Flightless Birds and Back by October are cooler than cool this Thursday, Nov. 6, at Amped Performance Center (4200 Lomas NE). The 7 p.m. show is $5 and all-ages. (LM)

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EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Dec 10)

Wearing Nothing but a Christmas Stocking

Yule Logs and Jingle Balls • Holly Rebelle • Mena Domina • burlesque

Gilded Cage Burlesk and Varieté is definitely getting on Santa's Naughty list with Yule Logs and Jingle Balls: A Very Risqué, Very Glittery, Very Burlesque Ode to the Holidays. Burlesque dancers, sideshow performers, drag acts and more join forces to celebrate this most sparkly of holidays in grand style…
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EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Dec 17)

Make it a Merry Christmas

Big Holiday Bash • First Annual Toy Drive • Native Remedies • rap • 2 Evil • Seenloc • Illnickell & Badshit

Envision a happy Christmas morning: Kids waking up across the world and running with wide eyes to a collection of presents just for them. Here's the catch: Some kids can't have that. Not just the presents, but even just being home could be impossible. Pleasantly Offensive Productions is hosting the Big Holiday Bash: First Annual Toy Drive at The Jam Spot this Saturday, Dec. 17. Native Remedies, 2 Evil, Seenloc, IllNickell & Badshit, Acetone Boogie & Izzo, Big Jubes and many more local musicians will be performing to raise funds for kids who can't make it home because they're in the hospital. This all-ages show begins at 7:30pm, and entry is free with a donation of a toy.
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EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Dec 17)

Ugly Sweater Dance Party • Gabriel Jaureguiberry • funk • David Hartshorne

The best time to wear an ugly sweater is this Saturday, Dec. 17, at Boese Brothers Brewery from 6pm to 1am. Show off that bad boy with a Christmas tree made from macaroni or even that ugly sweater you’ve had stuffed away somewhere that you got as a gift from that relative you only see once a year. Make sure to strut your stuff and capture the moment in the taproom and use the hashtag #veryboesechristmas on Facebook or Instagram to win some prizes. If that doesn’t sound like enough of a good time, there will also be live entertainment by Gabriel Jaureuiberry and David Hartshorne along with catering by Karue’s Mexican Food!
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EVENT HORIZON (Sunday, Dec 18)

Tilting to the Left, Nudging to the Right

Pinball Tournament • arcade games • Food Drive

As my friends in Rudest Priest say, “I may not get the high score, but then again I might/ I just wanna play a little pinball tonight.” And this Sunday, Dec. 18, it doesn't really matter if you get the high score, everybody wins because at this Pinball Tournament—sponsored by and held at Sister—is also a food drive. All pinball machines on site will be set to free to play from 4pm onward, so get there early and warm up your fingers. There's a $10 buy-in for the tournament, and while non-perishable food donations aren't required, I'm just going to say this: Don't be an asshole. You're not going to eat that canned corn.
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