Alibi V.19 No.16 • April 22-28, 2010 
Red Earth in 2001

Music Interview

Red Earth Reunites

And the band is still as greasy and delicious as a Spam sandwich

Between the mid-’90s and mid-aughts, you could frequently find Red Earth concocting its “tribal stew” of funk and reggae-laced hard rock all around New Mexico. While the band hasn’t performed since 2006, this week it reunites for two shows—one at the Gathering of Nations and the other as part of the Rock the 9 Native Music Festival. Last week we asked lead singer and guitarist Ira “Icemon” Wilson questions via e-communiqué.

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Flyer on the Wall

Hark Now, Methinks I Do Hear the Sounds of Gnomes

Cleveland indie psych band mr. Gnome writes songs about vampires and pirates. San Francisco gravelly-voiced accordionist Mark Growden writes songs about Saint Judas and singing stars. Together with Albuquerque power pop / indie rock band Lousy Robot and Billy Bellmont spawn Janksder, they create flyers that look like a medieval tarot card. All four of these fine acts perform on Saturday, April 24, at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). This free show begins at 10 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Sonic Reducer

The Doors When You're Strange (Songs From The Motion Picture) · Erykah Badu New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh · Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings I Learned the Hard Way

If New Amerykah, Part One (4th World War) is the cynical side to Erykah Badu’s psyche, then New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh is the lighter, more amorous side. The video for the first single, “Window Seat,” has stirred up plenty of controversy with Badu ending up naked walking down a street and then shot. However, that does not set the tone for the rest of the album. In fact, it’s full of up-tempo, soulful beats propelled by Badu’s inimitable voice. Highlights “Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY)” and “Umm Hmm” evoke a sunny, sexy day. (KE)

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Song Roulette

Peer into Megafaun’s world through songs from Brad Cook’s collection, selected at random

Bearded folksters Brad Cook, Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund are the meat and bones of Megafaun. Taking an oddball approach to traditional American music, the band’s compositions are an endearing, organized cacophony of guitars, banjos, fiddles, horns and harmonica. Megafaun hails from North Carolina (and Wisconsin, originally), and is touring in support of its second album, Gather, Form & Fly. On Saturday, April 24, the trio makes a stop in Albuquerque to perform at Low Spirits.

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Powwow Guide

The Gathering of Nations Is Here

North America’s biggest powwow happens on April 22, 23 and 24, at the University of New Mexico Football Field (University and Avenida Cesar Chavez SE), beginning at 10 a.m. each day. Massive amounts of Native musicians, songwriters and storytellers begin to perform on Stage 49 on Friday. Music includes traditional, blues, rock, jazz, folk, country, hip-hop, metal and reggae. Wristbands for the powwow, Indian Traders Market and music events on Friday and Saturday are $15 per day at the gate (cash only) or $30 for a two-day wristband.

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Courtesy of the Artist

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Their Kindness is Charade

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.
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Courtesy of the Artist

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Special Beat Service

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 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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