Alibi V.18 No.41 • Oct 8-14, 2009 

Rock Reads

Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small

Everything anyone ever wanted to know about Merge Records and more lies inside this nearly 300-page congratulatory volume. Twenty years after its creation by Superchunk's Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, the North Carolina label celebrates its triumph over recording industry standards—and rightly so—with photos, first-person accounts and a compilation CD (which, strangely, neglects the early days).

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Justin Sullivan, second from right, leads the charge in old-school British punk outfit New Model Army.
Aimee Candelaria

Music Interview

New Model Army

Punk rock and poetry in motion

These days, a real punk band can almost never find its way onto the pop charts. But back in the day (see: mid-’80s), England’s New Model Army released political punk that didn’t merely sell to left-wing extremists. Almost 30 years ago, frontman/mastermind Justin Sullivan, who has been compared to punk legends like Joe Strummer and Dick Lucas, named NMA after Oliver Cromwell’s successful (at least for a while) 17th-century British anti-royalist forces. Sullivan’s intelligent, informed and captivating songwriting helped the group get signed by EMI—who the Sex Pistols swindled in the ’70s—and embark on a dozen British Top 30 singles before descending (or ascending, depending your worldview) to the worldwide cult status NMA holds today. The Alibi caught up with Sullivan just before the start of New Model Army’s North American tour, which hits the Launchpad this weekend.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Icky Reunion

Icky and the Yuks thrashes again with SuperGiant, Wormhole and Violenta. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). $6, 21+.

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Courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, May 25)

Take Me to Drug Church

Drug Church • alternative, hardcore punk • The Coma Recovery • metal • Boyfriend Armada

Hey man, do you, like, wanna go to drug church? How's does Coma Recovery suit you after a night out and is there a Boyfriend Armada awaiting you in the stormy waters of the Rio Grande? Ask yourself these and other relevant questions on Thursday, May 25, when the fine folks over at ye olde Launchpad bring some of the bestest rocanrol music—made by some of the most archly named musical units in Satan's legion—to our humble, though not quite innocent little town by the river. Get ready to mosh until you melt down when the aforementioned Drug Church, a hardcore quintet from Nueva York, hit the stage. They'll be joined in brutal, sonic ritual by two of this town's loudest and louchest acts, the Coma Recovery and Boyfriend Armada, of course. It'll be fun and maybe you'll even have a bruise or broken bone to show off afterwards … you know, after your parents trundle off to bed and Snapchat is getting hot. This 13+ show is only $8; that should hopefully help the Dark Lord's recruitment efforts for the evening—it begins at 8pm, by the way.
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EVENT HORIZON (Friday, May 26)

Just Hold on, It's Going to Be a Bouncy Ride

Steve Aoki • EDM, electro house, dubstep • Slushii • future bass, progressive house, trap, hardstyle • Ookay • K?D

Wiggle on over to Downtown this Friday, May 26, to see the extraordinary, world-class electro house musician, record producer, DJ and music executive, Steve Aoki at Downtown's Memorial Day Weekend Block Party. The booty bumpin' party will be held in the parking lot across from the Historic El Rey Theater (technically at Park It Place) and festivities get goin' at 6pm and end at 11pm. General admission costs $49 and VIP tickets (which include a commemorative lanyard, express entry, and access to the VIP area with the best view) cost $83. Supporting the Grammy-nominated DJ are notable musicians in their own right, Slushii, Ookay and K?D.
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