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 V.18 No.41 | October 8 - 14, 2009 

Rock Reads

Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small

Everything anyone ever wanted to know about Merge Records and more lies inside this nearly 300-page congratulatory volume. Twenty years after its creation by Superchunk's Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, the North Carolina label celebrates its triumph over recording industry standards—and rightly so—with photos, first-person accounts and a compilation CD (which, strangely, neglects the early days).

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Justin Sullivan, second from right, leads the charge in old-school British punk outfit New Model Army.
Aimee Candelaria

Music Interview

New Model Army

Punk rock and poetry in motion

These days, a real punk band can almost never find its way onto the pop charts. But back in the day (see: mid-’80s), England’s New Model Army released political punk that didn’t merely sell to left-wing extremists. Almost 30 years ago, frontman/mastermind Justin Sullivan, who has been compared to punk legends like Joe Strummer and Dick Lucas, named NMA after Oliver Cromwell’s successful (at least for a while) 17th-century British anti-royalist forces. Sullivan’s intelligent, informed and captivating songwriting helped the group get signed by EMI—who the Sex Pistols swindled in the ’70s—and embark on a dozen British Top 30 singles before descending (or ascending, depending your worldview) to the worldwide cult status NMA holds today. The Alibi caught up with Sullivan just before the start of New Model Army’s North American tour, which hits the Launchpad this weekend.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Icky Reunion

Icky and the Yuks thrashes again with SuperGiant, Wormhole and Violenta. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). $6, 21+.

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via morguefile

EVENT HORIZON (Friday, May 6)

Floating on Cloud Nine

Infrequency • trance • Graeme Byous • electronica, progressive • AnthonyMarx 9 • house

As a society we can agree that we're ready for a heightened consciousness. In my experience, that is achieved through music–specifically trance. On Friday, May 6 at 9pm you can be lifted up physically by climbing the stairs up to the Mezzanine at the Historic El Rey Theater and mentally after listening to the rhythms and noises from AnthonyMarx, Graeme Byous,and Infrequency at Elevated: A Night of Trance and Progressive. For just $5, these DJs from the desert are ready to assist with their beautiful repetitive melodies and their ambient echos.
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via Rock Jong Il's Facebook Page

EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, May 7)

Rock Jong Il Rocks Out

Rock Jong Il • punk • Suspended • metal • Russian Girlfriends • rock • Get Action • punk

On Saturday, May 7, put down that Communist Manifesto you've been perusing and take a stroll downtown to Launchpad for the album release party of Rock Jong Il. The quintet of local rockers and stalwart party members are having an album release party to celebrate the recording Dictators of Rock. Longtime members of the anti-capitalist forces seeking a rock and roll revolution in this city, Rock Jong Il have a sound that reviewers have rightly compared to seminal bands like Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Though the comrades in Rock Jong Il wear their influences heart-like on their tattered, war-weary sleeves, they're anything but derivative. With a list of songs that explore the miasma of postmodern culture through the use of hardcore aesthetics balanced with a casual mastery of their instruments (these guys can actually play their guitars, basses and drum-kits, unlike some of the DIY punk outfits in these parts) Rock Jong Il is a band whose steadfast dedication to form and function result in a rocking and rousing output. Members: Jeff Cohen, Johnny Huchmala, Jay Collins. Bob Beckley and Brandon Davis have got what it takes to move past insurgency and toward world domination. Get Action, Suspended and Russian Girlfriends will provide support for a night of rampage and revolt. Tickets for this introduction to what punk rock should probably sound like cost $5.
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