By Jessica Cassyle Carr
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).
New Model Army
Punk rock and poetry in motion
By Adam Perry
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.
Flyer on the Wall
courtesy of the band
Russian Girlfriends • rock, punk • Leeches of Lore • stoner rock, psychedelic • Hanta • stoner rock • The Talking Hours
By August March
Russian Girlfriends, a popular local pop-punk outfit that lovingly and somewhat esoterically takes their musical cues from progenitors of the genre like Descendents and Hüsker Dü—while adding the desert nuance and mystery of New Mexico to their quite awesome sound—are preparing to tour the Southern lands as a precursor to their new mission to conquer the US…
Boyz II Men • R&B
By August March
On Sunday, Feb. 14, the Legends Theater at Route 66 Casino presents a concert by romantic balladeers and masters of a capella ruminations on love and life, Boyz II Men. An R&B group (now a trio, formerly and originally a quartet) with an affinity for soulful musical wanderings through the heart of human affection, Boyz II Men first made the scene in the 1990s with radio-friendly hits like “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You” and “One Sweet Day,” an epic tune to forever love they recorded with super-chanteuse Mariah Carey. In the years since they rose to the top of the pops, one member, Michael McCary departed the ensemble, leaving an essential trio comprised of tenors Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris as well as baritone Nathan Morris. Together, these three still bring the flavor of love to life as they tour around a gratefully enchanted planet of men and women. Tickets for this all-ages performance range in price from $35-$70 while romance fills the air beginning at 8pm.
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