Alibi V.15 No.6 • Feb 9-15, 2006 

Music to Your Ears

The Jenny Gamble & Friends Acoustic Showcase—Who is Jenny Gamble, and why is she so freaking excited about local music? You've heard of her before. As a singer-songwriter, promoter and unflappable foot soldier for the New Mexico State Music Commission, Jenny's name gets around in the New Mexico music community. In fact, I can sum up some of the best advice I can give to burgeoning musicians in three words: "Talk to Jenny." And bring a demo. She'll guide you in the right direction.

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Wes Naman

Show Up!

The Isness

Rap-rock minus that nasty Limp Bizkit aftertaste

"I'd rather be an angsty teenager than a depressed old guy sitting at the bar," muses Brandon Atencio, one of the two lead singers of Albuquerque rap-rock five-piece The Isness. Atencio's self-reflection goes a long way in describing what his band is all about.

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Music Magnified

No Use for a Name

with Fenix TX, Versus the World and Fair Shot

Tuesday, Feb. 14, Launchpad (all-ages welcome); $15: "It's No Use for a Fuckin' Name!" And with that fateful introduction given by a drunken stagehand, No Use for a Name launched into what would become, arguably, their best album ever created over their decade-and-a-half career as staples of the punk rock scene. No Use's Live in a Dive (released on Fat Wreck Chords) is one of the best live albums any punk band has assembled; not only for the musical proficiency it showcased, but for the growth it showed from the band's first Fat Wreck release, Leche Con Carne. No longer relying on catchy but overly simplified riffs, the band created a concrete wall of distortion with drum fills forceful enough to shatter pelvises and vocals that wrenched at the heartstrings.

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Music Magnified

Snow

with The Wailers and Sub Agencia (Moonlight Lounge)

Wednesday, Feb. 15, Sunshine Theater (smoking and alcohol service in segregated areas only); $20: Remember Snow? If you've heard of the ragga artist at all, it's only thanks to his unintelligible 1993 one-hit wonder, "Informer." (You know, "In-for-mer! You know ... de-blooby-da-boo-be-I-go-bam ... A nicky boom boom, yeah!") Love it or loathe it, the song is difficult to ignore. Something about a wimpy blonde dude with a Jamaican accent will do that.

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Flyer on the Wall

Killah Beez

What's that buzz? It's the Beat Hive featuring Zach Freeman and Sina Soul. Hip-hop, poetry, beat-boxing, jazz, improv and live jams, with special guests Danny Solis and DJ Mateo. Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Blow that roof off the Shadow Lounge at Out Ch' Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW, in Barelas). (LM)

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Spotlight

The Empty Orchestra

Seven Days of Karaoke

What started in Japan in the '80s has, over the years, come to practically infest our fair city with poor renditions of yesterday's hits. And why not? Everyone loves to watch other people make fools of themselves. See, I've found that for maximum entertainment, the trick with karaoke is not to sing as well as you possibly can, but with as much tuneless and tone-deaf harmony as you can muster, being sure to botch the lyrics with swear words and humorous twists. Of course, there are those who take it seriously, but that's probably not you.

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Sonic Reducer

Low Skies All the Love I Could Find · Eef Barzelay Bitter Honey · Mudhoney Under A Billion Suns

On the new album from the atmospheric, brooding and down-tempo Low Skies, the band has replaced massive crescendos and guttural wails with gentler song structures and soft vocal harmonies. It's less risky, but more listenable while keeping with their amazing ability to create a setting, plant a mood and turn you loose with only distance and detached reverie to hold you.

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Courtesy of the Artist

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Their Kindness is Charade

Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house

Remember the thing called Witch House? How about darkwave? The constant bifurcation of artistic paths in the field of electronic music can be damnably confusing and irritating, as well as rewarding and helluva lot of fun too—as long as you pick the right band. When adherents of these sorts of genres aren't busy sorting their rainbow-colored toe socks and looking for tubes of Vick's Vaporub to snatch up at the local Walmart, then it's a pretty fair bet that they are listening to the likes of Crystal Castles, a duo of Canuck electro-arhats who've made their mark in the music world with a febrile and spooky glitchiness that has outlasted any names critics might apply in favor of an honestly, intimidatingly pure exploration of sounds that make humans dance and rejoice as they swirl around the very noisy and icy maelstrom of life and death. Ethan Kath and Edith Frances, AKA Crystal Castles, perform live in Burque on Thursday, Oct. 19. Viewed as an opportunity to joyfully and ferociously embrace the void, this ought to be a damn good show, but don't blame me if you can't remember your name afterwards.
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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Special Beat Service

The English Beat • ska

Here's a brief on a band with three names, but unlike Eliot's bunch, these dudes are not a coterie of cats. At home across the pond, they're known as the Beat. In the land down under, kindly refer to them as the British Beat. Here in 'Merica, we call them the English Beat. But no matter what you call them, this estimable ensemble that still includes founder and guitarist Dave Wakeling—but not vocalist Ranking Roger—was partially responsible for the upsurge in popularity that two-tone ska saw on both sides of the Atlantic during the '80s and '90s. With a retinue of classic, upbeat jams like “Monkey Murders,” “Spar Wid Me” and “Save It for Later,” the band's touring the states again, impressing OG ska lovers as well as the next generation of horn-crazy youth with their combination of crazy stage antics and terrific tuneage. You can catch the outfit live here at the Duke City on Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Historic El Rey Theatre, but don't worry you don't need checkerboard pants or a smart little hat to enjoy this gig—just make sure those great big feet of yours are rested and ready to dance.
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