Alibi V.18 No.20 • May 14-20, 2009 

Music to Your Ears

Happy Birthday, Dear Launchpad

New Mexico's most venerated rock bar—and recipient of a 2008 Nickelodeon Parents' Pick award for Best Place for a Parents' Nite Out, lest we forget—turns the ripe old age of 12 this weekend. To commemorate more than a decade of hearing damage, the Launchpad will once again turn up the volume with a birthday music marathon on Saturday, May 16. Doors open at 3 p.m., and a first come, first served "food/barbecue thing" prepared by Richard Agee is covered in the $5 admission charge—but you must be 21 or older to get in. Sorry, actual 12-year-olds. If you throw your shoes in a fit of adolescent jealousy as you read the scheduled lineup, I'll understand:

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Wax Tracks

Abstract Rude and Haiku D'Etat

Uniting like Voltron

Abstract Rude says he knew he had arrived when he signed with the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal Records in 1995.

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Flyer on the Wall

Shred Good

The Doomsdayers, Ends !n Tragedy, The Rum Fits and OuttaGear stitch together an all-ages psychobilly/punk bill at Santa Fe’s Warehouse 21 (1614 Paseo de Peralta) on Friday, May 15. Doors open at 7 p.m., $5 gets you through them. (Laura Marrich)

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Sonic Reducer

St. Vincent Actor · Fischerspooner Entertainment · A Hawk and a Hacksaw Délivrance

I have a vague memory of unintentionally seeing Fischerspooner perform live somewhere, some years ago, and being thoroughly cheesed out by it. Billed as an "art pop performance project," this third album from the electronic duo—with its 10-cent rhymes, gratuitous application of synth-based sound effects and precious production—has a similar effect. How it is that I like the Pet Shop Boys and not this is confounding, as Fischerspooner’s pretty much the same thing except American and with a 20-year time gap. And not as "good," I guess. (JCC)

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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 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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