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 Dec 6 - 12, 2007 

Music to Your Ears

By Laura Marrich

Playing House

It's gotten awfully quiet over at the city's proposed teen music space, which will occupy the former Ice House building Downtown. But the project hasn't gone away. On the contrary, it's having an open house this Saturday, Dec. 8.

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Suspended

On the Scene

Little Metal Sisters

Suspended thrashes Burque's masses

By Marisa Demarco

The most promising metal act in town is not staffed by tattooed, beer-guzzling, sweaty men in their late 20s/early 30s. Amanda Castillo, Channing Concho and Melynda Montaño draw their inspiration from the ’80s metal that infected their childhoods.

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Iron & Wine and his indie-beard

Show Up!

Iron & Wine and You and Me

And Arthur & Yu, all together this week

By Jessica Cassyle Carr

It's unfortunate that Iron & Wine—Florida native, former film and cinematography professor, and Austin resident whose real name is Sam Beam, that is—is best recognized for his quiet cover of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights." His original work tops any cover by far. Not-quite-folk, yet not-quite-rock ’n’ roll, not fully characterizable at all, Beam seems to have accomplished the impossible task of forging his own style. This is especially true of his overwhelmingly lovely late-September release, The Shepherd's Dog. His most recent collection, which is aided by Calexico (á la their 2005 collaborative release In The Reins), hangs on to the absorbing melancholy of Beam's previous recordings, yet twists it into something more mature and slightly happier. Try tracks No. 1, "Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car," and No. 9, "Boy with a Coin" (where flamenco fans may note a nice use of palmas).

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Spotlight

Mei Long CD Release Party

Mei love you Long time

By Simon McCormack

When psychedelic mod-rock outfit Mei Long decided to go electric, the growing pains ached enough to make the band question whether the transition would work at all.

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Flyer on the Wall

Everybody Scream!

A litany of Solid State/ Rise Records bands— My Children My Bride, Every Bridge Burned and Oh, Sleeper—feel emotional, then enraged, then emotional again this Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Compound (all-ages, $10). With locals Death of a Legend and Last Fifteen, who generally feel peeved. (LM)

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Sonic Reducer

Sightings Through the Panama · Bran Van 3000 RosÈ · CunninLynguists Dirty Acres

Bands of the noise music persuasion must always be wary of making noise for noise's sake. They can cause as many headaches as they wish, but the second they become mundane, they're as forgettable and annoying as a jackhammer on the street. Through the Panama's title track is indicative of the album's constant dilemma, beginning with genuine suspense generated by an unfulfilled expectation of melody and cohesion, followed by a safe and predictable climax and conclusion. The record, produced by Andrew W.K., is constantly shifting from the brilliantly irksome to the easily ignored. (SM)

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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Their Kindness is Charade

Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house

By August March
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

By August March
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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