Alibi V.16 No.24 • June 14-20, 2007 
Humble (center) and other Royalty Life associates up late tying down RL's summer agenda.

Music to Your Ears

The Ground Beneath Gets Live—Steve Civerolo, lead singer and guitarist of Burque metalheads The Ground Beneath, called me from somewhere in Missouri last week. It was the second time in as many months I've talked to the band from their touring vehicle, The Van Beneath, while en route to a gig outside New Mexico. This is not a band of slackers. (Steve keeps a complete log of every show the band has played at www.thegroundbeneath.com.) And to put an exclamation point on all the intense touring and promotion they do, TGB is made up of just three people. (Although I like to think of their long, luxurious hair as the group's fourth member. It's silent but violent.)

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Humble (center) and other Royalty Life associates up late tying down RL's summer agenda.

Spotlight

Royalty Life, Royally Yours

Local record company is wise beyond its years

If you walk through the doors of Royalty Life Records on any given Sunday evening, you won’t see white-collared, middle-aged men discussing ways to dominate the music industry. Instead, you'll see a group of young gentlemen, no older than 23, discussing the agenda of a full-fledged independent recording company.

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Black Tie Dynasty

Show Up!

Black Tie Dynasty

Strangeways, here we come

The first time I saw Black Tie Dynasty was at a little club on the crusty edge of downtown Dallas called The Double-Wide. A little after midnight, the band shoved their way onto the stage as I waited, sipping a drink in the back of the darkened, bunker-like room. Eventually things settled and their set began.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Kiss and Tell

Before pop punk had its balls chopped by blood-sucking MTV clones, there were brash and bratty bands like Screeching Weasel and The Queers. On Wednesday, June 20, The Queers remind us what melodic punk really sounds like, with Italian stallions The Manges, plus The Rum Fits and T.G.M.B. All-ages at the Launchpad. $10. (LM)

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Sonic Reducer

of god and science of god and science · Handsome Furs Plague Park · Tomahawk Anonymous

I'm probably one of the only showgoers in town who's never stopped in on an of god and science gig. Shame on me. Gorgeously executed and recorded, original discs like this one make me proud of our not-so-little-anymore music scene. It's easy to get distracted by the careful arrangements and pitch-perfect pop hooks on this self-titled release. If you're paying attention, you'll also catch some wonderfully subtle drum work. I'd love to smash these guys into genre Tupperware for you, but some of their mellow, alt.country, indie, Beatles-influenced goodness would surely slop over the side.

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Hunab Hookah owner Brian Basser unwinds Saturday while listening to Meat the Vegans.
Xavier Mascareñas

On the Scene

Hunab Hookah's Up All Night

The 18+ den hosts bands, belly dancers, DJs and an open jam

I spent my youth, like most anyone in this town, at smoky, mostly boring house parties or in coffee shops drinking $1.26 refillable cups of joe until my pee ran clear. There's not a lot to do here if you're not of boozing age, unless you start something yourself. Like a band.

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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

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 the 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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