Alibi V.16 No.10 • March 8-14, 2007 

Music to Your Ears

Where There's Smoke—A new University-area hookah bar called Hunab Hookah is catering to the 18-plus crowd with live music. (Don't fret, there's no booze at this place—just flavored tobacco called "shisha.") The space is at 3400 Constitution NE, just west of Carlisle, which you may remember has housed several coffee bar-lounge-type establishments over the past several years, including the popular but short-lived Café Riviera. Give it a spin this weekend as local hippies Meat the Vegans play a CD release show on Saturday, March 10. The show is listed from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., but that seems like a typo. Maybe it’s not. $4 at the door gets you in. Call 232-0223 for more details, or log on to www.hunabhookah.com.

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Pistolera

Spotlight

An Anomaly in Brooklyn

Pistolera’s Mexican sound finds love on the East Coast

Sandra Velasquez arrived in New York in 1999 and developed a longing. Brooklyn’s streets lacked familiar Mexican restaurants, dishing up grub on every corner. The large Caribbean-Latino population spoke Spanish with a different accent. Most importantly, the music of her youth wasn’t blaring from car stereos. “Even though I had traveled around the globe, it wasn’t until I moved to New York that I felt really far away from Mexican culture.”

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Jon Gagan

Jazzed

Jon Gagan “Transits” Musical Cultures at the Outpost

Bassist’s quartet to feature music from his latest CD

Tabla, acoustic and electric guitars, alto and tenor saxes, palmas, synth, Fender Rhodes, vibraphone and marimba, bongos, cajón, kora, djembe, telephone (and more) ... the list of instruments and musicians appearing on bassist Jon Gagan’s latest release, Transit 2, takes up most of a CD panel. For Gagan, a Santa Fean whose background is heavy in jazz and funk, the multicultural instrumental palette reflects the world of influences informing his compositions, and a determination to break out of the confines of genre.

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The Prix, pixilated

Show Up!

The Prix

Don't let the name fool you

Cashew Van Harding and the rest of his band, The Prix (pronounced the "pree"), were sitting by the radio, anxiously waiting to hear their first radio single on Los Angeles' famed KROQ. When the time came, the DJ announced the song as "the latest from The Pricks." "We were all excited and then there it was, 'The Pricks,' right off the bat," Van Harding, the band's lead singer, says. "We're not opposed to maybe changing the name to 'The Grand Prix' so people get the idea, but we'll see."

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Sonic Reducer

A Brokeheart Pro The Kitten Next Door · Beirut Lon Gisland · Che Arthur Iron

Jeannette Kantzalis should be commended for creating a complete album. The Kitten Next Door is her first record, but it oozes the kind of experience and complexity many musicians don't capture until their third or fourth attempt. Kantzalis' vocals range from finely tuned to gritty and raw, showcasing her talent and passionate delivery, which saves The Kitten Next Door from being just another rockabilly/Americana/generic girl-with-guitar novelty production. Plus, the cover art perfectly captures the feel of the album: a confident woman wandering the desert highways with adventure on her mind and time on her hands.

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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 …
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Courtesy of the Artist

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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. …
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