Alibi V.18 No.26 • June 25-July 1, 2009 ››
A rock-cycle built for two
Nick Kraska and Rachel Shindelman wanted to be the sole creative forces in a band—but first they had to tie the knot.
The Cal Haines Connection
The drummer debuts a new CD and trio, capped by a performance by the John Proulx/Bobby Shew Quintet
Since returning to New Mexico a few years ago—and packing a résumé that includes performances with Diahann Carroll, Al Greene and Clark Terry—drummer Cal Haines has been much in demand on the jazz scene, appearing with the Alpha Cats and backing headliners at various venues in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
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Flyer on the Wall
Nels Andrews, a favorite son abroad, revisits Albuquerque for the Old Town Americana Block Party on Friday, June 26. The free, all-ages show begins at 6 p.m. and continues with The Handsome Family at 7 p.m.
La Junta Slangin Dirt
La Junta toys with rap-rock and lives to tell the tale. Bands like P.O.D. and Limp Bizkit have sullied that genre’s name, but La Junta pulls it off by adding more to the equation. Latin rhythms, maracas, congas and saxophone leave their footprint on most of the 12 tracks. La Junta even uses the glorious cowbell. Slangin Dirt is soulful and not gimmicky as a result of the instrumental accoutrements. The band's irrepressibly energetic delivery tells me that La Junta would be an ideal band to invite to play your summer barbecue or all-night rager. Catch the group's CD release show at Launchpad on Friday, June 26. (Simon McCormack)
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.