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 Reighnbeau

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Jun 29)

You don't need rain to see this rainbow

Reighnbeau • indietronica • Sazoram • electronic • Austin Morrell • rock

I have always been astounded by the potential of sound; for millennia, sounds have been pieced together in inventive ways, entrancing audiences and shaping emotion through music. Music to me is a thing of magic, constantly transforming into something new in the hands of those with the ability to harness that magic. Albuquerque native Bryce Hample, better known as the mastermind behind the surreal vibrations of Reighnbeau, is truly one of those wizards, an electro-maestro with a brilliant capability for intricately layering sounds where one would least expect, but where they truly belong. This Thursday, June 29, Reighnbeau will be transforming Sister into a dreamlike world of glinting shoegaze and celestial ambience, adorned by Hample’s remarkable capabilities for visual art and mesmerizing performance even as he concocts the magic of music before our eyes. Featuring opening performances from Sazoram and Austin Morrell, the cosmic stage will be set at 9pm. Be sure to get your tickets at the presale price of $5 before they go up at the door.
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