Alibi V.19 No.39 • Sept 30-Oct 6, 2010 
Our Maggie of Ross, patron saint of The Kosmos

Spotlight

Kosmopolitan

Maggie Ross’ organically grown universe

Sometimes the right person for the job has to be imported. When the late Felix Wurman needed someone to manage The Kosmos performance space, he summoned Austin expatriate Maggie Ross. In a year’s time, Ross has made the space a versatile tool, a virtual Swiss Army Knife for the community with live rock shows, chamber music, yoga classes, movies, poetry readings and a full coffee bar. I managed to catch up with the industrious Ross (no easy task) for some Q-and-A.

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Sisters, misters
Courtesy of CocoRosie

Show Up!

The Folks Get Freaky

Lucid dreaming with CocoRosie

You’re wandering through a labyrinthine mansion, lured on by eerily seductive voices. Spider webs audibly brush your cheeks and chimes ring out all around as you stumble into a room painted with murals of unicorns and rainbows. Some kind of plastic box emits scratchy beats and two beautiful sirens with mustaches and goatees beckon you with nonsense words. Crickets or perhaps a ceiling fan whir in the background. Did you watch a David Lynch movie right before bed? No, but you could’ve been listening to CocoRosie.

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, Beach House and a disco ball
Jason Nocito

Aural Fixation

Beach House

Whatever, whenever, wherever you want it to be

As Friedrich Nietzsche attests, "There are no facts, only interpretations." Maybe a newspaper is not the best forum for this idea, but the vast world of art can’t help but create infinite lenses through which we can observe the world.

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Flyer on the Wall

An Ocean of Ska

Put on your antique deep-sea diving suit (everyone has one lying around somewhere) and take a trip under zee zea to a magical land where two-tone ska and Latin indie music intermingle with anemone/clown-fish symbiosis. The Blue Hornets and Con Razon perform on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) at 9 p.m. for a petite $5 cover charge. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Sonic Reducer

Boom Chick Show Pony · The Gatherers Kurt Russell · Blue Rose Ramblers Blue Rose Ramblers

Self-described “cyberdelic pop,” Albuquerque’s latest synthbeat group The Gatherers has rapidly—and deservedly—become a local favorite. Dreamy female/male vocals are tidily mixed with the sublime instrumentation of live (yes!) bass and drums, keys, loops and lots of knob twisting on little black boxes. A few tracks off this debut CD (especially “Dark Triangle”) have a great Ladytron feel, and that’s as high a compliment as can be given to any synthpop band. As good as Kurt Russell is, it barely hints at the brilliant live shows of The Gatherers. There’s more recordings to come soon. Expect major things.

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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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