Alibi V.16 No.8 • Feb 22-28, 2007 ››
Music to Your Ears
CABQSXSW—The rejection notices have been doled out. Just in case you had any lingering doubts, we regret to inform you that your band didn't make it. We can say this with complete confidence because only one Albuquerque band was accepted onto this year's official South by Southwest Showcase roster. That band was Beirut.
Whole Wheat Bread
As clichéd as punk covers have gotten these days, you'd be hard pressed to find a better cover, punk or otherwise, than Whole Wheat Bread's rendition of Lil Jon's "I Don't Give a Fuck." The song even drew the King of Crunk's attention himself, which led to a collaboration on several tracks for an album due out this spring.
Leave your social stigmas at the door
Quality time with grandma—it's a beautiful thing. A few hands of pinochle. A game or two of Scrabble. Longs hours of breakdancing to the kickin' beat. For this month's quality time sesh, she's taking on other b-girls at the annual Breakin' Hearts competition and you're her moral support. Damn, your nana is cool.
Psychedelia sans self-indulgence
After 10 years together, proggish art rock five-piece Isis knows when to expand an instrumental interlude and when to pull it back. They know when to create tension and then release it in an instant, only to build the anxiety anew. Listening to an Isis song is an exercise in perpetual capitulation and catharsis. Most enticing is the band's uncanny ability to understand just how to keep the proverbial ball rolling, never surrendering to drone or monotony.
Flyer on the Wall
Pack up your peg legs, matey: Zombies are the new pirates. Starring Poloroid Pornography, Unit 7 Drain and The Dead Electric, this Saturday, Feb. 24, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (free, 21+). Long live the undead! (LM)
Busdriver Roadkill Overcoat
· The Trucks The Trucks
· Aesop Rock All Day: Nike + Original Run
I've heard flows this funny, laced with poetry and cynicism. I've heard production this spunky, cross-genred and chunky. I've laughed at great lines from other rappers and gotten chills and spots of green envy from stunning language use—but rarely all at once. Busdriver doesn't come to you easy. It might be a couple spins before tracks like "Kill Your Employer (Recreational Paranoia is the Sport of Now)" and "Bloody Paw (on The Kill Floor)" become hummable, before the odd word choices make sense. Work for it, though. All that mental sweat will pay off.
Courtesy of the Artist
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.
Courtesy of the Artist
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.