Alibi V.15 No.11 • March 16-22, 2006 

Music to Your Ears

SXSW Rock 'n' Report—No one is sleeping in Austin right now, not even your grandma. The South by Southwest music festival and conference is going full force, and one lucky Alibi reader is reporting about it. Lucille King is the proud, press-pass carrying Rock 'n' Report contest winner, armed with a reporter's notebook and a March 23 deadline to produce some damn good copy. Lucille and her two friends, Aja and Margaret, road tripped it to Austin for their virgin SXSW experience, and we'll get all the gritty details. For daily, late-breaking information from the trenches of SXSW, check out our blog at alibi.com. It'll be the next best thing to being there yourself. Next time, just write the freakin' 500-word essay, won't ya?

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Flyer on the Wall

Sssssssssss

Local psych-rockers Death Valley Days take codeine bong hits for breakfast. Heaaaavy. See this week's "Sonic Reducer" for Hypatia Lake's deal. March 19 at Atomic Cantina. A great Sunday show, and a free one at that. (LM)

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Katie Murray

Music Magnified

An Albatross

with Cul De Sac, Circle and Aurora Covert

Sunday, March 19, Launchpad (21-and-over); $8:

Q: What does a kinky dance party sound like when the expensive designer drugs really, really kick in? A: An Albatross.

Celebrated for their explosive, one-minute, synthesizer-soaked songs and their tendency to encourage impromptu audience participation in their live shows, An Albatross are a stirring thing to behold. Their We Are the Lazer Viking LP clocks in at a mere eight minutes and 20 seconds, but don't rush to judgment. With an odd habit of attempting to add words and phrases to popular language ("The Bear Warp" and "Aural Liberation," for example) and an even odder habit of distilling four minutes of already-lunatic rock into 60 seconds of utter abandon, everything about these guys is designed to rescue pop culture from the ho-hum condition that it's in. One visit to see An Albatross will have you convinced they are succeeding. Eddie Gieda, lead singer and self-proclaimed "Psychedelevangelist" puts on an impulsive, athletic performance that will have you questioning reality. (And afterwards, he's likely to come and visit you in your booth to talk about music, love and what it's really like to be a Lazer Viking these days.)

Go on—be a part of An Albatross' cultural revolution. Tickets are available at Natural Sound and www.virtuous.com.

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Show Up!

Colonel Knowledge and the Lickity Splits

As a genre, doo-wop has been the least-mined for contemporary inspiration, overshadowed by the wealth of '50s R&B gold.

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Music Magnified

Shooter Jennings

with Redgun Radar

Friday, March 17, Launchpad (21-and-over); $12: I should preface this by saying that the idea of individual entitlement by birth, whether it be money, fame or artistic talent, is somewhat nauseating. That said, pursuing a career in music as the spawn of a great musician must be a complex position to be in. Some obviously do use nepotistic avenues to gain commercial success (Lisa Marie Presley, Jakob Dylan). Some hide their parentage (Nora Jones, daughter of Ravi Shankar). Others are legitimately talented (Natalie Cole, Hank Williams Jr.). The latter is true of the son of outlaw country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, who after years of rocking in L.A. with his band Stargunn, decided to get back to his roots and become the outlaw he was born to be.

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Wes Naman

Spotlight

Our Music Showcase is Better Than Yours!

The Second Annual New Mexico Music Showcase at SXSW

Texas and New Mexico have what one could call a sibling rivalry. We New Mexicans give our Texan friends a hard time for being from the Lone Star state, and they jest back by asking us how we learned to speak English so well. Well, big-bro Texas, we really do love ya and that's why we're coming over to crash your party.

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Sonic Reducer

Hypatia Lake And We Shall Call Him Joseph · Pistolita Oliver Under the Moon · The Foxymorons Hesitation Eyes

Hypatia Lake's previous release was a concept album about the fictional town from which the band draws its name. ... And We Shall Call Him Joseph focuses on the experiences of a particular resident of the town, Joseph Bigsby, who ends up starting a riot in the town's candy store where he works. Expansive, engaging and richly textured, Joseph is a splendidly complex LP that is consistent without becoming predictable. Lance Watkins' vocals and the Mercury Pop-, M83- and even Pink Floyd-evoking melodies create an atmosphere that reeks of depressingly stagnant suburbia. The whole package is bizarrely alluring.

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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Their Kindness is Charade

Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house

Remember the thing called Witch House? How about darkwave? The constant bifurcation of artistic paths in the field of electronic music can be damnably confusing and irritating, as well as rewarding and helluva lot of fun too—as long as you pick the right band. When adherents of these sorts of genres aren't busy sorting their rainbow-colored toe socks and looking for tubes of Vick's Vaporub to snatch up at the local Walmart, then it's a pretty fair bet that they are listening to the likes of Crystal Castles, a duo of Canuck electro-arhats who've made their mark in the music world with a febrile and spooky glitchiness that has outlasted any names critics might apply in favor of an honestly, intimidatingly pure exploration of sounds that make humans dance and rejoice as they swirl around the very noisy and icy maelstrom of life and death. Ethan Kath and Edith Frances, AKA Crystal Castles, perform live in Burque on Thursday, Oct. 19. Viewed as an opportunity to joyfully and ferociously embrace the void, this ought to be a damn good show, but don't blame me if you can't remember your name afterwards.
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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Special Beat Service

The English Beat • ska

Here's a brief on a band with three names, but unlike Eliot's bunch, these dudes are not a coterie of cats. At home across the pond, they're known as the Beat. In the land down under, kindly refer to them as the British Beat. Here in 'Merica, we call them the English Beat. But no matter what you call them, this estimable ensemble that still includes founder and guitarist Dave Wakeling—but not vocalist Ranking Roger—was partially responsible for the upsurge in popularity that two-tone ska saw on both sides of the Atlantic during the '80s and '90s. With a retinue of classic, upbeat jams like “Monkey Murders,” “Spar Wid Me” and “Save It for Later”, the band's touring the states again, impressing OG ska lovers as well as the next generation of horn-crazy youth with their combination of crazy stage antics and terrific tuneage. You can catch the outfit live here the the Duke City on Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Historic El Rey Theatre, but don't worry you don't need checkerboard pants or a smart little hat to enjoy this gig—just make sure those great big feet of yours are rested and ready to dance.
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