Alibi V.16 No.31 • Aug 2-8, 2007 ››
Find inner peace through Photosynthesis
Light your frangipani-scented incense. Roll another blunt. Absorb into your blood the music of Plants. The Oregon-based psychedelic-folk group founded by Josh Blanchard and Molly Griffith-Blanchard are on tour with a musical acid test. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Josh spoke with the Alibi last week to give us a taste of just how sweet and dreamlike Plants will be when they hit the Atomic Cantina on Monday, Aug. 6.
Paid Dues Festival
Independent hip-hoppers find a home on the road
Who’s your favorite independent rapper? Name the last time you saw this beloved word wizard of yours in person, on stage, with other independent rappers. If you're speechless, you're not alone. Sure, you get your token emcee at Coachella or South by Southwest. You can even get whole festivals of indie hip-hop in New York, California and Cincinnati. But both take large lump sums and a trip halfway across the country. For far too long, world-class independent hip-hop has been inaccessible to most of the country.
Nedelle The Locksmith Cometh
· Eastern Conference Champions Ameritown
· Okkervil River The Stage Names
Scores of bad singer/songwriters have deflated some words: you, this, night, feel, love, city, asphalt, sky, heart, etc. There they lay, withered and shrunken, miserable and odorless—until Nedelle came along and filled some of them all back up with stunning song-poems. They're perfumed with her clear, sweet voice and interesting chords that slip through tracks like "I Hate a Mountain" and "Spell the Night Right." That’s not to say everything that spills from this pretty, little voice is pleasant and friendly. This bard's ready to dig into the dark bits when she needs to. [MD]
Courtesy of the Artist
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.
Courtesy of the Artist
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.