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 Mar 19 - 25, 2009 
TAAS is hard to pin down.

Music to Your Ears

By Simon McCormack

The Agency Exits

Jason Wolf walked by the space that would become The Agency regularly for three years. “I couldn’t believe it wasn’t being used to its full potential,” Wolf recalls.

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TAAS is hard to pin down.
Courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records

Spotlight

These Arms Are Snakes

Navigating a Touch and Go economy

By Dan Hinkel

Sorry, even this tale of post-hardcore math rock is about the economy.

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Flyer on the Wall

CrazyFool on the Loose

CrazyFool releases its third album, Corruption Rock, on vinyl, CD and MP3 this week. Preview the funky madness at the Launchpad on Friday, March 20, as the band plays an all-ages show with La Junta, Fighting Chance and El Mono Sucio. Then stick around for the 21+ after show with Felonious Groove Foundation and Fantastic Planet. The music starts at 8 p.m., and cover’s $7. (Laura Marrich)

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Sonic Reducer

Thunderheist Thunderheist · Aaron J. Johnson Songs of Our Fathers · Chris Cornell Scream

Rave-rap is a strange beast, and few bands highlight the genre's strengths and weaknesses better than Canada's Thunderheist. As long as the synths are thick, the flows are energetic and the beats don't sound processed, this album is a party-starter. But when the beat is a programmed thud and the vocals are a monotone-mumble, only robots could get down. Thunderheist succeeds about half the time: When it does, there's usually xylophone, disco claps or tambourine bringing the songs to life. MC Isis wraps her rhymes tightly, but she often borrows lyrics from artists like Old Dirty Bastard, Aaliyah and Lil John. Her skills are strong enough to stand on their own, but she leans on the words of others too frequently. (SM)

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Courtesy of the Artist

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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

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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 at 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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