Alibi V.14 No.21 • May 26-June 1, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

Honky Tonk Hero

Anyone hoping for an in-depth page-turner of Texas country legend Billy Joe Shaver be warned: you're not going to find it here. Considering the life Shaver has led, the accomplishments he's achieved through raw perseverance, deep-seated faith and good ol' West Texas gumption, Honky Tonk Hero's 191 pages seems a paltry sum. Only 72 of those pages, however, contain any narrative, while the rest are dedicated to reprints of all Shaver's song lyrics.

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Blue Note

Billy Joe Shaver

Waco-born, Corsicana-raised Billy Joe Shaver is the quintessential unsung hero of American music; a sorely overlooked contributor to its formidable canon. Even though artists from Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe to Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers have enjoyed success on the coattails of the songs he began writing some four decades ago, Shaver remains on the periphery. In 1993, his luck began to change with the release of his first solo foray in several years, Tramp On Your Street (Zoo). The release two years later of Unshaven: Shaver Live at Smith's Olde Bar (Zoo) very nearly catapulted him to the forefront of country music, Texas-style. But, arguably, it was the stunning guitar work of his only son Eddy that made the elder Shaver remarkable to the ears of listeners, despite the fact that his gritty songwriting over the past 50 years or so makes him eligible for any Hall of Fame in existence.

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Music Magnified

Stereo Total

Monday, May 30; The Launchpad (21 and older): Combining equal parts French chanson, German electro-pop and good old American trash rock, Stereo Total is the most beguiling musical duo to rocket out of Europe in the last decade. Frontwoman Françoise Cactus bangs away on her drum set, singing everything from Serge Gainsbourg ballads to old school cheese balls like "Push It Real Good" with the brazen enthusiasm (and at times, fragility) of an eight-year old girl. Brezel Güring also does double-duty as a keyboardist and crooner, exhaling German-swathed lyrics as languidly as smoke pulled from a Gaulois cigarette. You might find yourself lighting up, too. Now touring in support of their seventh album, Do the Bambi, the Euro-trash wonder twins are taking American audiences to dizzying new heights of pop mulitilingualism. And, thanks to the support of Downtown's Mecca Records, we'll be one of the lucky ones to hear them live. Oh, how the accents will fly!

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Sonic Reducer

Spanish for 100 Metric (SPF)

Here's a band who loves straight-ahead rock tunes as much as their effects pedals. Spaced out music and melodies float around the standard rock progression to create a pleasant and easily digestable sound. Think Cave-In doing a bunch of Wilco covers. The last track was recorded live at the Crocodile in Seattle, and it shows Spanish for 100's music translates a lot better live than in the studio. "Metric" is a decent attempt, but they could benefit enormously from a bigger studio budget and a better producer.

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The Cat's in the Cradle

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…
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Are You Ready Kids?

TOKiMONSTA • electronic, hip-hop

Electronic experimentalist and heady hip-hop instrumentalist Jennifer Lee, better known as TOKiMONSTA, makes an appearance at the Historic El Rey Theater on Thursday, Sept. 28. An astral entity whose work with Project Blowed and Flying Lotus landed her squarely within the realm of El Lay’s underground hip-hop movement, Lee also happens to be a classically trained pianist. She is well known for deconstructing the work of luminaries like Justin Timberlake and Yacht through remixes that absolutely come apart in your head as the beat drops—sometimes delicately, sometimes like thunder, but always with a focus that speaks volumes about her musical prowess and wonky tendency to digress upon subtle rhythms and beatific bits of melody. $15 is all it will cost the average 18+ listener to engage in the elusive what-comes-next nature of West-Coast grooviness. The curtain rises on TokiMonsta at 9pm.
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Sorry, Not Sorry

Sorry Guero! • American death groove • Moonshine Blind • rock, country • The Lords of Wilmoore • punk rock • Cobra Vs. Mongoose

Hard rock is a thing that occasionally raises it's grizzled, drug-addled head in this dusty desert. It's a damn good thing the dude can play the guitar like ringing a bell. It also helps that the thing can sing. If not for these two crowd-pleasing aspects, Dirty City denizens would have booted Hard rock and his ilk outta this town ages ago. If you still haven't been exposed to this phenomena, may I suggest you haul your hipster ass down to Launchpad on Saturday, Sept. 30, for the album release party hosted by Burque groove-metal stalwarts Sorry Guero! The entirety of the diamond tough, blue-jean-clad, head-banging subculture who worship hard rock will be there, solidly represented by bands like hillbilly-heshers Moonshine Blind and pure punk provocateurs such the Lords of Wilmoore (eh, I lived on that street too, as an undergrad) and Cobra vs. Mongoose. So be there or be obtuse; it's only ten bones, okay?
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