Music to Your Ears
By Michael Henningsen
Well, well, well ... I can't simply (no pun intended) ignore the fact that after ranting about local bands dropping out of tribute night shows at the last minute, Joe Anderson's band, simple. was one of two bands who actually did drop out of the Launchpad's Metal Tribute III last Saturday night at the last minute. Anderson reported that simple. guitarist Dan Previtt dislocated a shoulder the previous night and was unable to play guitar or lift a variety of relatively small objects, so all is forgiven. As for the bands that did show up, all did a pretty spectacular job pulling off metal tunes that ranged from the comically awful to the actually pretty killer. In my humble opinion, Cue the Wing-ed Serpent, the first band of the evening, which most people missed, were the highlight of the evening, serving up renditions of “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “The Final Countdown” and “Don't Stop Believin'” that were sights and sounds to behold. ... Does anyone other than me find it odd in a sort of the-end-is-near way that Marty Robbins, John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell all died on the same date, Dec. 8? ... and the three shows not to miss this week are the Seventh Annual Antichrist Mass on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Launchpad, featuring Phobia, Catheter, Curse of the Nation, Noisear, Tortus and Pretty Little Flower; the Launchpad Employee F*ck Jam on Monday, Dec. 20, featuring a bunch of stupid shit; and kick-ass Texas-based instrumental band Collect All Five at Stella Blue on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 9 p.m.
By Michael Henningsen
Holiday in Eastern Europe
Women's vocal ensemble Kitka sing-in the season
Admittedly, I've become a bit jaded when it comes to holiday-themed music. I have, after all, spent every early December listening intently to and reviewing the latest of such releases for the past 11 years, and it doesn't get any easier. But usually, there's at least one stunning new addition to the Christmas music canon each year. In 2004 it's Kitka's Wintersongs (Diaphonica).
Composed of eight uncommonly gifted singers, Kitka capture the tradition, intrigue and spirituality of music of Eastern European origin that commemorates the Christmas season and, in the case of the melodies that predate Christianity, the corresponding winter solstice. Far removed from the mind-numbing holiday music courtesy of Bing Crosby and every other long-dead crooner and contemporary country music artist known to mankind, Kitka's Macedonian-based music aims straight for the soul and hits its mark without exception. Consisting of ancient village chants to eerily complex harmonic arrangements, the group's repertoire sounds timeless with a unique urgency. Accompaniment is generally sparse and rooted in traditional Slavic instrumentation, affording the music with a calm that's synonymous with winters that are long, dark and cold.
with These Arms Are Snakes and Everlovely Lighteningheart
By Michael Henningsen
Friday, Dec. 17; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Frankly, Isis may be the most important metal band on the planet at the moment, and not just because they're able to rock with the best of them. Isis represent the last vestige of hope first proffered nearly a decade ago by pioneering post-hardcore bands Neurosis and, later, Tool. Unfortunately, the promise those bands showed never quite manifested fully in the psyches of fans who flirted with serious, artful metal, only to eventually be sucked in by poseurs like Korn and a half-dozen frat metal bands whose music was fun to drink, fight and plan date-rapes to.
By Michael Henningsen
U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope)
Beginning with the iPod theme song, “Vertigo,” U2's latest release brims with that Rattle and Hum self-absorption fans of the band have been forced to come to grips with over the course of the past 14 years, with the notable exceptions of Achtung Baby and 2002's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Here, U2 attempt to strike a balance between their distant past and their perceived future, and they very nearly succeed. The Edge is allowed back in the driver's seat, accelerating each of the album's 11 songs with his trademark effects-soaked, chiming guitar figures.
Infrequency • trance • Graeme Byous • electronica, progressive • AnthonyMarx 9 • house
By Megan Reneau
As a society we can agree that we’re ready for a heightened consciousness. In my experience, that is achieved through music–specifically trance. On Friday, May 6, at 9pm you can be lifted up physically, by climbing the stairs up to the mezzanine at the Historic El Rey Theater, and mentally, after listening to the rhythms and noise from AnthonyMarx, Graeme Byous, and Infrequency at Elevated: A Night of Trance and Progressive. For just $5, these DJs from the desert are ready to hypnotize with their beautiful, repetitive melodies and ambient echos.
via Rock Jong Il's Facebook Page
Rock Jong Il • punk • Suspended • metal • Russian Girlfriends • rock • Get Action • punk
By August March
On Saturday, May 7, put down that Communist Manifesto you've been perusing and take a stroll Downtown to Launchpad for the album release party of Rock Jong Il. The quintet of local rockers and stalwart party members are having a fete to celebrate the recording Dictators of Rock. Longtime members of the anti-capitalist forces seeking a rock and roll revolution in this city, Rock Jong Il have a sound that reviewers have rightly compared to seminal bands like Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Though the comrades in Rock Jong Il wear their influences heart-like on their tattered, war-weary sleeves, they're anything but derivative. With a list of songs that explore the miasma of postmodern culture through a cynical lens—through the use of hardcore aesthetics balanced with a casual mastery of their instruments—the band depends on the musicianship of its members. Rock Jong Il is a band whose steadfast dedication to form and function result in a rocking and rousing output. Members Jeff Cohen, Johnny Huchmala, Jay Collins, Bob Beckley and Brandon Davis have got what it takes to move past insurgency and toward world domination. Get Action, Suspended and Russian Girlfriends will provide support for a night of rampage and revolt. Tickets for this introduction to what punk rock should probably sound like cost $5.
Chicano Batman • rock, psychedelic • JJUUJJUU at Meow Wolf
Open Mic • variety at The Blue Grasshopper Brew PubMore Recommended Events ››