Alibi V.16 No.41 • Oct 11-17, 2007 ››
Music to Your Ears
I keep forgetting to congratulate the winners of this year's State Fair Talent Showcase, which was announced a few weeks ago by the New Mexico Music Commission. That makes me a hot dog. But it's our Best of Burque Restaurants issue, so now seems like as good a time as any to sound the trumpets—with relish! (Sorry.) More than $7,000 in prizes, including band merchandise, gear and recording time, was awarded to the local winners. Why wasn't your band competing, again? (Looks like I'm not the only hot dog here.) Without further ado, here are the victorious bands of 2007. Cheers to them all!
Penelope Houston revisits the early days of punk
We're not yet at the point in history when I can stop asking this question: What's it like to be a woman in [insert musical genre/profession here]? Penelope Houston, frontwoman of the punk ’77 band The Avengers, says in the early days, there were plenty of women on the scene. "A lot of the bands around Los Angeles and San Francisco had female performers, female musicians and singers. I wasn't the only one around." Still, she says, she would like The Avengers to be compared to other punk rock bands without any reference to gender—period. Houston can't escape an awareness of her sex, but it's not without payoff. "Women starting bands and performing because of The Avengers is always really gratifying to me."
Nick Luca fights for his life and wins
As he and his band, Luca, traveled the country, Nick Luca found himself with a case of the touring blues. Unfortunately, things were about to get much worse.
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 at 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.