Alibi V.18 No.41 • Oct 8-14, 2009 ››
Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small
Everything anyone ever wanted to know about Merge Records and more lies inside this nearly 300-page congratulatory volume. Twenty years after its creation by Superchunk's Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, the North Carolina label celebrates its triumph over recording industry standards—and rightly so—with photos, first-person accounts and a compilation CD (which, strangely, neglects the early days).
New Model Army
Punk rock and poetry in motion
These days, a real punk band can almost never find its way onto the pop charts. But back in the day (see: mid-’80s), England’s New Model Army released political punk that didn’t merely sell to left-wing extremists. Almost 30 years ago, frontman/mastermind Justin Sullivan, who has been compared to punk legends like Joe Strummer and Dick Lucas, named NMA after Oliver Cromwell’s successful (at least for a while) 17th-century British anti-royalist forces. Sullivan’s intelligent, informed and captivating songwriting helped the group get signed by EMI—who the Sex Pistols swindled in the ’70s—and embark on a dozen British Top 30 singles before descending (or ascending, depending your worldview) to the worldwide cult status NMA holds today. The Alibi caught up with Sullivan just before the start of New Model Army’s North American tour, which hits the Launchpad this weekend.
Courtesy of Victory Records
Reverend Horton Heat • rockabilly • Fishbone • Strung Out
Would you like to attend a “Psycho Strung Out Fish Fry?” Well, gentle readers, if such esoteric activities appeal to you, then please consider attending an awesome event with that very name at Burque's Sunshine Theater on Thursday, Sept. 21. In case you wanna know, the main participants in this far-out festival include legendary “county-fed punkabilly” roustabouts the Reverend Horton Heat, led by the charismatic and cray Jim Heath, the fellow credited with creating and cultivating the contemporary rockabilly sound on albums like Liquor in the Front and We Three Kings. Soulful ska scenesters Fishbone—whose 1994 epic effort Give a Monkey a Brain and He'll Swear He's the Center of the Universe is still on rotation at mi chante—plus OG Cali punk rockers Strung Out provide sonic support for this mad 13+ pre-fall fish party which begins at 7:30pm and costs but 22 clams.
Zomboy • electronic • Trampa • Xilent
The Sunshine Theater continues to bring Burque the best in post-contemporary jams when they welcome electro wizards Zomboy, Trampa and Xilent to town on Friday, Sept. 22. Zomboy, you may recall (if you're young enough to do just that) is a British dubstep dude whose 2011 debut set the stage for an excellent entrada into electronica that includes bouncy and beatific recordings like 2014's The Outbreak. Supporting the bill are Trampa, another Brit beat master, known for his anomalously aggressive take on the same genre and Xilent, a Polish fellow who works magic with dubstep, electro-house and drum and bass. So, go on kids, grab your Vicks Vaporub, plastic pacifier and rainbow colored toe-socks and head downtown for a 7:30pm dance party that coincidentally signals the beginning of fall. For only $20-$25 and an ID that says you're 16+, you know you wanna.
Miss May I • Ice Nine Kills • metal • Capsize • alternative, melodic hardcore • Lorna Shore • emocore • Westwind
If you still haven't had your fill of melodic hardcore, emocore and/or emo with no chaser—and lord knows who hasn't; I still dream of Hawthorne Heights every night before jumping up from my La-Z-Boy recliner and toddling off to bed—then do yourself a solid and visit Albuquerque's home for rock, Launchpad, on Monday, Sept. 25. That's when the Chaos Rising tour hits Dirt City. Featured performers include Miss May I, Ice Nine Kills, Capsize, Lorna Shore and Westwind. I'm goddamn sure this show will totally fucking rock, but I tell you what: check it out and afterwards send me a text with some cool stickers or GIFs attached to let me know for sure. This 13+ emo extravaganza costs the average teenager $15 and it all begins at 8pm.