Alibi V.17 No.1 • Jan 3-9, 2008 ››
Year in Music
Top 10 of 2007
After throwing them at the wall, these are the albums that stuck
Top 10 lists are intimidating. What if I miss something good? What if I don't agree with the critics? There's no way I could have heard every single disc last year. How can I be an authority?
Year in Music
Bottom 10 of 2007
Whether it was rock, pop or rap, it all sucked in ’07
10) Reel Big Fish
If it makes Reel Big Fish happy to cling to the dream of a third-wave ska revolution, then more power to them. Still, making ska for the sake of keeping the genre alive doesn't produce the best results. Even though their songs are still upbeat as ever, I can't help but think there were some tears shed behind the scenes for a genre that once was.
Pop music for artsy fuckers, inspired by robbery
After an ugly breakup and several robberies, Khaled Tabarra had a wealth of song-writing material.
De Novo Dahl Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound
· Sia Some People Have Real Problems
· The Local Tourists Happy Birthday, Kyle
Party-pop is not easy to make and De Novo Dahl's new album proves it. Like its title suggests, Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound tries to do too many things, attempting to combine bluegrass, alt.rock, electro, psychedelia and power-pop into a small, sugary dose of medicine that's too jagged to swallow. When the band meshes a couple of said genres instead of cramming them all in, there are some successful moments on the record. But too often, De Novo Dahl is in the midst of an identity crisis that a pop backdrop can't cope with. (SM)
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.