We’ve all driven by the huge sign on Central, east of Louisiana, that looks like it’s from ’40s Vegas and promises “Western Dancing” and “Ladies Special Drink Prices.” I passed it countless times before I realized the sign wasn’t just a leftover landmark and there was actually a building to go with it. The country nightclub Caravan East is set back from the street, behind a field of pitted asphalt. Asking acquaintances for details on the place yielded warnings of sleazy characters, grimy ambience and prevalent violence. The general consensus was if you weren’t already a regular, you should not set foot in the place—you’d most likely get your ass kicked.
Music is a workout motivator second only to the thought of looking svelte and fabulous in swimwear. To help you get pumped, Music Editor Jessica Cassyle Carr shares a mix of her old dance party favorites that doesn't involve the shudder-inducing sonic foolishness often found on other workout mixage. Enjoy.
In the personnel list on his latest album, The Gate (Concord Music), his credit reads: “Kurt Elling—Voice.” It’s an appropriate choice because Elling plays his voice the way an instrumentalist plays his ax.
See that thing on the left center of this flyer that looks like a fuzzy squiggle? It says “Impaled Offering,” which is the gory name of a metal band playing with Torture Victim, Echoes of Fallen and Loknar at the Launchpad on Monday, April 11, beginning at 8 p.m. ($4 for those 21-and-over). Why some bands choose to create illegible typefaces confuses me more than algebra. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
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.