Alibi V.13 No.34 • Aug 19-25, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Things are rolling along quite well for local bands these days. Nels Andrews and El Paso Eyepatch have struck a record deal with Bloodshot and Checkered Past Records founder Eric Babcock for the release of their latest record, Sunday Shoes, on Babcock's Catamount label, and they've been selected to appear at the Americana Music Awards Showcase in Nashville next month, Sept. 23-25. After their appearance at the AMA Showcase, they'll be back in town for their local CD release party at the Launchpad on Friday, Oct. 1. After that, it's off to Europe for a tour throughout Scotland, Ireland and England. ... As mentioned this week in Devin D. O'Leary's review of Garden State (page 61), the Sundance sensation starring Natalie Portman and Zach Braff, The Shins are featured prominently on the film's soundtrack. Braff, who wrote and directed the film, is a self-proclaimed Shins freak, and included “New Slang” and “Caring is Creepy”—both from The Shins' Sub Pop debut, Oh, Inverted World—in the film. Braff had originally approached lead Shin James Mercer about writing a song specifically for his movie, but touring and other commitments prevented it. Since the release of the movie, both Shins' Sub Pop releases, Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow, have re-entered Amazon.com's Top 100 in sales. Mercer has also been asked to write and record a song for the upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants movie, due out later this year.

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Blue Note

Eighth Blackbird Thirteen Ways (Cedille)

Think the expansive vision of Kronos, the freshness of youth, and an unusual complement of instruments. Note that their name derives from Wallace Stevens' enigmatic poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." Add the specifics—Molly Alicia Barth, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Matt Albert, violin & viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; and Lisa Kaplan, pianoand you have Eighth Blackbird, one of the most exciting contemporary music ensembles on today's scene.

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Music Magnified

Random Access Memory

Thursday, Aug. 26; Pulse Nightclub (21 and over, 9 p.m.): DJ Kentifyr (a.k.a. Kent R. Wilhelmi) has been a staple at Pulse Nightclub for four years, during which he's served as a resident DJ and promoter—as founder and proprietor of Dark Beat Productions—of most of the gothic-industrial bands that have come through in that time.

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Aural Fixation

Memorial Day Ceremony

Ben Kweller On My Way (ATO/RCA)

Once, playing the Velvet Underground's "After Hours," on my boom box, my uncle asked me if I had recorded myself singing. It wasn't a compliment: Mo Tucker sang so girlishly off-key that he simply thought I'd made a bad recording of my own bad voice. But I liked the way she sounded. The vulnerability in her voice matched the yearning of the song. In a similar way, there's something endearing about Ben Kweller's voice. He's got to be in his early 20s but he sounds like a teenager when he sings; his voice is tentative and almost cracking until he bursts into a shouting chorus. Especially on the title track, "On My Way," when Ben sings to his mom, "I'll kill him with karate that I learned in Japan," you picture a gawky kid something like the main character in Napoleon Dynamite. Pretty and simple, just Kweller and a guitar, could it have been recorded at a coffeehouse open mic night?

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Aural Fixation

Kitka Wintersongs (Diaphonica)

Mesmerizing Eastern European vocal music from a Berkeley based ensemble? Absolutely. Kitka was founded in 1979 by women who wished to share their passion for the "stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, intricate ornamentation, lush harmonies, and resonant strength of Eastern European women's vocal music." The ensemble has since become recognized as the foremost exponent of Balkan and Slavic choral repertoire in the U.S.

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Sonic Reducer

Morrissey You are the Quarry (Attack Records)

Morrissey's latest effort is a slap in the face for those with a utopian view of the world. The album combines beautiful melodies and dark lyrics. With songs like "America is not the World," "Irish Blood English Heart," and "I Have forgiven Jesus," Morrissey, formerly of the Smiths fame, proves his love and disdain for society. Longtime fans will love this album. Newcomers who are into political bands and Sylvia Plath poems, this one's for you. Gut wrenching and enjoyable at the same time, I can't stop listening to it.

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EVENT HORIZON ()

A Positive

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's vampire's ball entitled Love Bites commences at 9pm this Thursday, Feb. 22. All those over 21 should prepare for a gory good time for just $2! Enter a raffle for $1 to sink your claws into a set of Kustom Fitted Fangs, Vampyre Tea Company's organic tea and more. Accompany fellow vampires and goths for a night of '80s electro and EDM music. Show off your best tripp pants and other dark wave looks in a costume contest to win bloody good prizes, attract eager victims and dance the night away—but not too late because you may turn into dust.  
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courtesy of Prism Bitch

EVENT HORIZON ()

But I Like It

Prism Bitch • punk • Shitty and the Terribles • garage, punk • Gerunding

Let's be clear: the premier psych-y, slithery rocanrol event of February takes place at (where else) the Launchpad on Friday, Feb. 23. That's when local, sultry sound stars and de facto leaders of the soulful garage rock unit of this city's scene, Prism Bitch take the stage to blind 21+ locals with sonic and spectral divination from the mouths of prison-bound purveyors followed by no-wave Shitty and the Terribles complete with Nueva York style aggression and power chords. Whatever, it's $7 and they totally rock. And psych-pop pronunciators Gerunding (everything they sing ends in -ing, one hopes) open up this super psychedelic can of worms that are actually magic mushrooms that are actually … oh my gawd, you better go and see for yourself at 9pm.
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EVENT HORIZON ()

Great EXXXpectations

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.
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