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V.22 No.42 | 10/17/2013
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Last Month in Music

Last Month in Music: September 2013

By Mike Smith
Author Mike Smith muses on connection, chaos and, of course, live music.
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V.22 No.39 |
This post is better than the pics I got at the show
PLANT
This post is better than the pics I got at the show

Music

Cross X Off Your Bucket List This Season

No Principles Tour finds punk band X in fine form

By Geoffrey Plant [ Mon Sep 30 2013 2:22 PM ]

X at the Pacific Amphitheater, Orange County Fair 7/18/2013

Having attended more than a few "reunion" shows, the only ones that were any good were a Washington, D.C. Damned show in 1988 and a recent Negative Approach show in Albuquerque. Lets face it: By the time most bands reach a certain age, there are good reasons for calling it quits and the motives for resurrection are largely monetary. In many cases the existence of the Casino Circuit enables bands that never should have been assaulting my ears in the first place to once more hit the road and get in my face with billboards along the highways of North America—or at least the highways running through Albuquerque.

The entirely legit performance that the Los Angeles punk rock legend X put on at the Santa Fe Opera last Monday, Sept. 23, dispelled any doubts I might have had about their motives or competence. I was also pleasantly surprised at what a nifty spot the Santa Fe Opera is—and it sounds great in there. There ain't much to say about X: They rocked, they rock and they still rock. With all four original members on stage, X launched their set with a tight rendition of "Los Angeles" and proceeded to rip through nearly two hours of their best songs—that's a lot of tunes—without slowing down, fucking up or retooling their catalog. Guitarist Billy Zoom played with the same panache and chops he had back in 1980 and drummer DJ Bonebrake—though he looked as though he might collapse near the end of the set—whipped it on his snare like Orville Redenbacher makes popcorn. John Doe and Exene Cervanka (or "Cervenkova," as she is apparently going by these days) performed with all the chemistry they showed in Decline and The Unheard Music way back when. The group is obviously enjoying themselves on this tour, with their health and safety in mind, too.

Seriously, folks, if you live near a city the X/Blondie or X/Blasters tour is coming through: Get a ticket and show up. X fans will freak out as the dopamine and serotonin levels in their brains reach pleasure levels produced by only the world's finest live music. Blondie, by the way, while adequate and definitely popular with the choir—oops, I mean crowd—just didn't have the energy and vibe to elevate their set above the rating of "reunion-rock," a term I hereby claim to have coined.

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V.22 No.38 | 9/19/2013
Leon Russell

Ledger Lines

By Samantha Anne Carrillo

Global listening party

Whether you’re hankering for Ukrainian “etho chaos,” Mexican electronica, new wave, dance-rock, punk or surf rock, Ledger Lines has you covered.
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V.22 No.31 | 8/1/2013
Willis Earl Beal, photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images
Willis Earl Beal, photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images

Music

Sound the Alarm: Willis Earl Beal still has juice

By Mark Lopez [ Fri Jul 26 2013 1:52 PM ]

Willis Earl Beal - “Too Dry To Cry”
I heard of Willis Earl Beal late … at least later than all of the indie/hipster music blogs that cause artists to catch on like a quick flame and spread their ashes into the atmosphere before anyone had a chance to know what was coming. It's a very ADD complex with music. Nothing gets a chance to settle, to simmer, to fully sink in … but Beal is separate from all of that. First of all, he doesn't really have an online presence, so the only thing people had to work with was his first album of experimental bedroom recordings, Acousmatic Sorcery. For those who have cable, you might have seen him on “The X Factor.”

But Beal is weird. His interviews boast a vagabond background mixed with rock star arrogance—because he doesn't bullshit. He knows who he is, and he truly doesn't care what anyone thinks, as long as he has room to make music at his own pace. Give the man some room so he can make magic happen. He recently shared a new track from his upcoming record Nobody knows. That song, titled “Too Dry to Cry,” showcases his poignant and forthright lyrics as well as his soulful, ridiculously good vocals. Seriously, this dude has the ferocious authenticity of Robert Johnson with an affinity for slowly slithering into your eardrum like Otis Redding.

Willis Earl Beal - “Evening’s Kiss” on “Later ... with Jools Holland”

Comparisons aside, the guy is prolific. If you haven't seen his performance on “Later … with Jools Holland,” watch it immediately. If it doesn't bring a minor tear to your eye, there's no humanity left in you; all that's left is a shell, a flicker of what used to be a vibrant example of humanity. Okay, I'm being a little dramatic, but it's that good. If his new track is anything to go by, we can expect some great things from his new record. Nobody knows. hits stores September 10. So keep an eye and ear out.

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V.22 No.3 | 1/17/2013

Celebrity b.s.

Happy Birthday, Ronnie Milsap

By Nick Brown [ Wed Jan 16 2013 11:13 AM ]

Back in 1984, blind country-western crooner Ronnie Milsap released this rocking crossover hit, “She Loves My Car,” with some surprising support from Exene Cervenka and John Doe of the band X. It seemed unusually edgy and tuneful for Milsap back then, and it still holds up pretty well. The video also features a young and early appearance by “Law and Order” star Mariska Hargitay.

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V.21 No.44 | 11/1/2012
Kenta Henmi
Rocky Norton
Kenta Henmi

Music

Kenta Henmi shuffles for us

By Samantha Anne Carrillo [ Wed Nov 7 2012 2:00 PM ]

Kenta Henmi wields his axe with precision and style. He played Song Roulette with us this week. The guitarist’s current projects include the Jonny Cats, Glitter Dick, High Iron, Suicide Lanes and Pumpin’ for Jill. The newest, Pumpin’ for Jill, is named for an Iggy Pop tune and Henmi’s wife, Natalie Bruce, is the principal songwriter for the group. See the reborn Jonny Cats perform on Wednesday night. Check out music from the Jonny Cats, Koffin Kats, Terri Schiavo Dance Party and Glitter Dick after the jump. Launchpad • Jonny Cats • Koffin Kats • Glitter Dick • Terri Schiavo Dance Party • Wed Nov 7 • 9:30 pm • $8 • 21-and-over • launchpadrocks.com

Jonny Cats - S.B.C.P.M.F.
Terri Schiavo Dance Party - “Sluts n Coke”
Koffin Kats - “The Way of the Road”
Glitter Dick - “Audiophile”

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Kenta Henmi
Rocky Norton

Song Roulette

Kenta Henmi’s random tracks

By Samantha Anne Carrillo
Kenta Henmi puts his iPod Shuffle to titular use and reflects on five resulting, random tracks.
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V.21 No.43 | 10/25/2012

Music to Your Ears

By Samantha Anne Carrillo
Plan your creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky week of concert-going with a little help from Music to Your Ears.
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