Alibi V.13 No.51 • Dec 16-22, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Well, well, well ... I can't simply (no pun intended) ignore the fact that after ranting about local bands dropping out of tribute night shows at the last minute, Joe Anderson's band, simple. was one of two bands who actually did drop out of the Launchpad's Metal Tribute III last Saturday night at the last minute. Anderson reported that simple. guitarist Dan Previtt dislocated a shoulder the previous night and was unable to play guitar or lift a variety of relatively small objects, so all is forgiven. As for the bands that did show up, all did a pretty spectacular job pulling off metal tunes that ranged from the comically awful to the actually pretty killer. In my humble opinion, Cue the Wing-ed Serpent, the first band of the evening, which most people missed, were the highlight of the evening, serving up renditions of “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “The Final Countdown” and “Don't Stop Believin'” that were sights and sounds to behold. ... Does anyone other than me find it odd in a sort of the-end-is-near way that Marty Robbins, John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell all died on the same date, Dec. 8? ... and the three shows not to miss this week are the Seventh Annual Antichrist Mass on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Launchpad, featuring Phobia, Catheter, Curse of the Nation, Noisear, Tortus and Pretty Little Flower; the Launchpad Employee F*ck Jam on Monday, Dec. 20, featuring a bunch of stupid shit; and kick-ass Texas-based instrumental band Collect All Five at Stella Blue on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 9 p.m.

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Blue Note

Holiday in Eastern Europe

Women's vocal ensemble Kitka sing-in the season

Admittedly, I've become a bit jaded when it comes to holiday-themed music. I have, after all, spent every early December listening intently to and reviewing the latest of such releases for the past 11 years, and it doesn't get any easier. But usually, there's at least one stunning new addition to the Christmas music canon each year. In 2004 it's Kitka's Wintersongs (Diaphonica).

Composed of eight uncommonly gifted singers, Kitka capture the tradition, intrigue and spirituality of music of Eastern European origin that commemorates the Christmas season and, in the case of the melodies that predate Christianity, the corresponding winter solstice. Far removed from the mind-numbing holiday music courtesy of Bing Crosby and every other long-dead crooner and contemporary country music artist known to mankind, Kitka's Macedonian-based music aims straight for the soul and hits its mark without exception. Consisting of ancient village chants to eerily complex harmonic arrangements, the group's repertoire sounds timeless with a unique urgency. Accompaniment is generally sparse and rooted in traditional Slavic instrumentation, affording the music with a calm that's synonymous with winters that are long, dark and cold.

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Music Magnified

Isis

with These Arms Are Snakes and Everlovely Lighteningheart

Friday, Dec. 17; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Frankly, Isis may be the most important metal band on the planet at the moment, and not just because they're able to rock with the best of them. Isis represent the last vestige of hope first proffered nearly a decade ago by pioneering post-hardcore bands Neurosis and, later, Tool. Unfortunately, the promise those bands showed never quite manifested fully in the psyches of fans who flirted with serious, artful metal, only to eventually be sucked in by poseurs like Korn and a half-dozen frat metal bands whose music was fun to drink, fight and plan date-rapes to.

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Sonic Reducer

U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope)

Beginning with the iPod theme song, “Vertigo,” U2's latest release brims with that Rattle and Hum self-absorption fans of the band have been forced to come to grips with over the course of the past 14 years, with the notable exceptions of Achtung Baby and 2002's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Here, U2 attempt to strike a balance between their distant past and their perceived future, and they very nearly succeed. The Edge is allowed back in the driver's seat, accelerating each of the album's 11 songs with his trademark effects-soaked, chiming guitar figures.

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Shonen Knife
Courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON (Monday, May 22)

Boy Knife in Burque • 少年ナイフ

少年ナイフ • pop, hardcore punk, metal • Prism Bitch • Crime Lab

Here's an interesting bit of rock history for you to think about before you head on over to one of the best and most badass shows to come our town's way in a little while. Shonen Knife doesn't make J-Pop and were never really part of that tentacled arm of Pacific Rim rock…
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Courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, May 25)

Take Me to Drug Church

Drug Church • alternative, hardcore punk • The Coma Recovery • metal • Boyfriend Armada

Hey man, do you, like, wanna go to drug church? How's does coma recovery suit you after a night out and is there a Boyfriend Armada waiting you you in the stormy waters of the Rio Grande? Ask yourself these and other relevant questions on Thursday, May 25, when the fine folks over at ye olde Launchpad bring some of the bestest rocanrol music—made by some of the most archly named musical units in Satan's legion—to our humble, though not quite innocent little town by the river. Get ready to mosh until you melt down when the aforementioned Drug Church, a hardcore quintet from Nueva York, hit the stage. They'll be joined in brutal, sonic ritual by two of this town's loudest and louchest acts, Coma Recovery and Boyfriend Armada, of course. It'll be fun and maybe you'll even have a bruise or broken bone to show off afterwards … you know after your parents trundle off to bed and Snapchat is getting hot. This 13+ show is only $18; that should hopefully help the dark lord's recruitment efforts for the evening—it begins at 7pm, by the way.
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EVENT HORIZON (Friday, May 26)

Just Hold on, It's Going to Be a Bouncy Ride

Steve Aoki • EDM, electro house, dubstep • Slushii • future bass, progressive house, trap, hardstyle • Ookay • K?D

Wiggle on over to the parking lot across from El Rey this Friday, May 26, to see the extraordinary, world-class electro house musician, record producer, DJ, and music executive, Steve Aoki at Downtown's Memorial Day Weekend Block Party. The booty bumpin' party will be held in the parking lot across from the Historic El Rey Theater (technically at Park It Place) and festivities get goin' at 6pm and will end at 11pm and general admission costs $49 and VIP tickets (which includes a commemorative lanyard, express entr, and access to the VIP area the best view) cost $83. Supporting the grammy nominated DJ are notable musicians in their own right, Slushii, Ookay and K?D.
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