Alibi V.13 No.19 • May 6-12, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Punk's not dead. Punk's not dead. I can't say it enough. Icky & the Yuks, local purveyors of the old brand of punk rock that got the genre kicking decades ago, celebrate the release of their second CD, Same Shit, Different Day. The release party, which will be held at the Launchpad on Saturday, May 8, at 8 p.m., will also serve as a tour kickoff party (the tour will begin on May 12, and hit cities such as San Francisco, Long Beach, San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix). The evening will include performances by Albuquerque's best hard rock and punk bands—including Beefcake in Chains, Fivehundred, Black Maria, Dead on Point 5, The United, Coke is Better with Bourbon. CDs will cost $5, and a $5 cover will be charged at the door. Same Shit is faster and harder that the group's first CD, and includes some of the same songs—but now they're studio versions. Singer/screamer Richard Trott readily admits: "It's a great sounding record." For more Icky information, visit www.ickyandtheyuks.com. ... The First Annual New Mexico Music Festival will be held at EXPO New Mexico (New Mexico State Fairgrounds) on Saturday, May 8, Entertainment will be provided by musicians who reside in our great state: Robby "Jude," Street Scene, Crystal Renee, Mike & the Wild Bunch, Agua Negra, Juntos Unidos, Amber Anaya, Jerome Grant and many others. Tickets cost $15 a pair in advance and $10 each at the door. Children under 10 get in free. Tickets are available by calling J.R. "Juice" Padilla at 463-4314.

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Blue Note

Cosy Sheridan Returns

As with artists of any medium, musicians are sometimes faced with critics who call their latest works "departures" and "evolutions." Most often, such words are used to convey shifts in sound, direction and perspective, and occasionally lead to exclamations that the work in question may in fact be the artist's "best to date." Usually, works that inspire such description are indeed remarkable, but the problem for critics is often one of being so thoroughly blind sided by a specific work that more analytical words simply don't come to the fore of their weird writers' brains. Such is the case, as you may have guessed, with Cosy Sheridan's latest release, The Pomegranate Seed.

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Music Magnified

Suffocation

with Morbid Angel, Satyricon and Premonitions of War

Friday, May 7; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): Innovation has its downside. Just ask any of the three original members of death metal pioneers Suffocation. By the time the New York City band released their now classic EP, Despise the Sun, in 1998, the unique sound they had cultivated—a brutal mixture of speed metal, hardcore and classic metal—had in turn cultivated countless copycat bands. With the death metal scene becoming saturated by Suffocation sound-alikes and the genre itself seemingly nearing demise, the band that single-handedly created the New York death sound threw in the towel at the turn of the millennium.

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Sonic Reducer

By Divine Right Sweet Confusion (Linus/spinART)

By Divine Right are Canada's answer to Ohio's Guided By Voices, both in terms of having a former band member roster well into double digits and that kind of vaguely psychedelic power pop that can make you downright ecstatic. Jose Contreras, BDR's lone remaining founding member, writes with a Pollard-like grasp of imagery and Wayne Coyne's sense of slippery little melodies that work their way into your psyche and refuse to leave, leading you instead on a blissful ride through kaleidoscopic pop. Sweet Confusion is BDR's best effort to date. Buy it and fall instantly in love.

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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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