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 Apr 1 - 7, 2004 

Blue Note

By Michael Henningsen

Chris Smither

Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.

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Aural Fixation

By Michael Henningsen

Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:

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via morguefile

EVENT HORIZON (Friday, May 6)

Floating on Cloud Nine

Infrequency • trance • Graeme Byous • electronica, progressive • AnthonyMarx 9 • house

By Megan Reneau
As a society we can agree that we’re ready for a heightened consciousness. In my experience, that is achieved through music–specifically trance. On Friday, May 6, at 9pm you can be lifted up physically, by climbing the stairs up to the mezzanine at the Historic El Rey Theater, and mentally, after listening to the rhythms and noise from AnthonyMarx, Graeme Byous, and Infrequency at Elevated: A Night of Trance and Progressive. For just $5, these DJs from the desert are ready to hypnotize with their beautiful, repetitive melodies and ambient echos.
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via Rock Jong Il's Facebook Page

EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, May 7)

Rock Jong Il Rocks Out

Rock Jong Il • punk • Suspended • metal • Russian Girlfriends • rock • Get Action • punk

By August March
On Saturday, May 7, put down that Communist Manifesto you've been perusing and take a stroll Downtown to Launchpad for the album release party of Rock Jong Il. The quintet of local rockers and stalwart party members are having a fete to celebrate the recording Dictators of Rock. Longtime members of the anti-capitalist forces seeking a rock and roll revolution in this city, Rock Jong Il have a sound that reviewers have rightly compared to seminal bands like Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Though the comrades in Rock Jong Il wear their influences heart-like on their tattered, war-weary sleeves, they're anything but derivative. With a list of songs that explore the miasma of postmodern culture through a cynical lens—through the use of hardcore aesthetics balanced with a casual mastery of their instruments—the band depends on the musicianship of its members. Rock Jong Il is a band whose steadfast dedication to form and function result in a rocking and rousing output. Members Jeff Cohen, Johnny Huchmala, Jay Collins, Bob Beckley and Brandon Davis have got what it takes to move past insurgency and toward world domination. Get Action, Suspended and Russian Girlfriends will provide support for a night of rampage and revolt. Tickets for this introduction to what punk rock should probably sound like cost $5.
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