Alibi V.17 No.45 • Nov 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.
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.
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.
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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Flyer on the Wall
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)
Why? • indie rock, alt.hip-hop, alt.rock, pop, folk • Go Dark • experimental
If you want a reminder—and not from Radiohead—that hip-hop is everywhere, even in the indie rock that millennials are sorta into (but only after they listen to every goddamn thing they can find by Kendrick Lamar) then trip, trip, trip on down to Sister on Monday, Feb. 19 at 8pm for a recital of sorts by Cincinnati alt-rappers cum indie rock stars, WHY? Founded by a dude named Yoni in the distant and unremembered aughts, WHY? has gained traction among rockish young audiences with their pop-nuanced mash-up of rocanrol and hip-hop. They got all kinda crazy rhythms, jams and flows going on betwixt rock references and may do some drugs; their latest effort is called Moh Lhean, after all. Additionally, the critics at Allmusic have judged their music as “quirky” which oughta count for something, amirite? They do have some pretty righteous tuneage, including works like “George Washington,” “White English” and “Into the Shadows of My Embrace.” Seriously, this one's worth the price of admission and if you're into skinny jeans and man buns, then damn, get out there, girl! The cover is $15 to $18, 21+.
Love Bites • Vampire Ball • goth, electro, industrial, '80s
If putting on something dressy and all black is your forte, boy do we have an event for you. Effex Night Club's Alchemy Presents: Love Bites, A Vampire Ball is happening on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 9pm. Prepare for a gory good time for just $2! Enter the raffle for $1 to sink your claws into a set of Kustom Fitted Fangs, Vampyre Tea Company's organic tea and more. Accompany your fellow vampires and goths for a night of '80s electro and EDM music. Show off your best goth looks in the costume contest to win sickening prizes, attract eager victims and dance the night away. 21+
The Open Bra • Mayo Lua de Frenchie • Miss Behavin • Burlesque improv competition • DJ CS Rucker • dance, house
Work up your courage or down a few beers this Saturday, Feb. 24 at Duel Brewing and take the stage for the The Open Bra, a bi-monthly burlesque improv competition. Performers are assigned a song at the beginning of the evening, and then hit the stage to enchant the audience and judges Miss Behavin, Mayo Lua de Frenchie and Annie O'Roar. And hey, if you're too nervous to take a turn dancing, you still get to weigh in on runner-up and winner slots as a member of the kowtowing crowd. This free, 21+ doors at 8pm and the event begins at 9pm. Plan on staying late for a dance party afterwards.