Electronic music has come a long way since Thaddeus Cahill began work on an electromechanical instrument, the Telharmonium, in 1898. Ferruccio Busoni in 1907 predicted electrical impulses as the basis for modern music. Luigi Russolo gave noise concerts as early as 1914. One can only imagine the grave-spinning disappointment of these visionaries when the synthesized bleats of disco or the now naïve sounds of such LPs as 1968’s Switched On Bach came about.
The Tierney Sutton Band finds the mystic in the Great American Songbook
By Mel Minter
Gender has nothing to do with cojones. Anybody can have them. Two-time Grammy-nominated vocalist Tierney Sutton has ’em. That’s how she explains her performance of “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” the opening track of her latest, excellent recording, Desire.
On Friday local bluegrass favorite The Saltine Ramblers will express its love for drug-addled hippies and extended guitar solos in a Halloween tribute set as the Grateful Dead. Also appearing is Zoë Fitzgerald, the time-travelling transvestite—glam rock alter ego of Santa Fe musician Joe West. Los Angeles old-time band Triple Chicken Foot opens (as itself, we assume). The 21-and-over show starts at 9 p.m. and unfolds at the Moonlight Lounge (120 Central SW). Artwork by Christoph Knerr. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Random tracks from Diego E. Montoya, fearless Alibi intern
Diego E. Montoya is a UNM student and Alibi editorial intern. He has a strong affinity for New Mexican music, which he exhibits on some days with sharp boots and a cowboy hat. However, he’s also a fan of the punk rock and has put an interesting spin on this week’s column—all random selections from a Warped Tour playlist. Below you’ll find no accordions, no polka beats and no mustaches.
The Set-Up, the second record from Memphis trio The City Champs, conjures a funky, instrumental, Mid-South-style jazz sound. Hammond organ takes the lead, while guitar and drums provide complementary rhythm. Almost every track runs more than four minutes long but keeps the listener captivated with a jam-session-like flow. The album blends fast- and slow-tempos, mixing boogaloo and Stax-influenced soul jazz.
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.
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.