Alibi V.13 No.24 • June 10-16, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

For those of you who don't know, especially club owners and talent buyers, our calendars editor of the past two-and-a-half years, Rachel Heisler, has moved on to the hellish desert shithole that is Las Vegas, Nev., where she hopes to land a job with the Las Vegas Weekly and pursue musical endeavors. Luckily, though, we won't have to 86 our calendars, because the more-than-capable and immensely talented and friendly Laura Marrich (pronounced Merrick, like the Elephant Man) has come on board as our new calendars editor. All calendar rules remain the same, but you'll need to contact lauram@alibi.com (or clubcal@alibi.com for those of you bad with names) to continue to get your listings published for free. Good luck, Rachel, and welcome Laura! ... Whatever you do, don't miss Alabama Thunderpussy with Rwake and our own Fivehundred on Friday, June 11, at the Launchpad. ... On Friday, June 18, the Mountainside YMCA will host “Band Together,” a showcase of local bands at the Mountainside branch (12500 Comanche NE, 292-2298) from 7 p.m. to midnight. The event will be headlined by Unit 7 Drain at 11:15 p.m. and is sponsored by the fine folks at Music Go Round, so that's where you should spend your money. Look for details right here in next week's issue.

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Blue Note

The Tommy Castro Band

On his first album for Heart & Soul Records, Bay Area bluesman Tommy Castro makes it abundantly clear that there's no room in his soul for blues-lite. Gratitude is marked by its staunch refusal to shove anything but pure, expressively crafted jump blues across the table, all of which, in this case, was written by one of Castro's influences. Backed by a phenomenal band, including saxophonist Keith Crossan, Castro steps his best Albert Collins up to the plate—a fiery guitar style not, thankfully, mired in cliché ridden Texas blues, the West Coast rut or the safety of the Chicago sound. Instead, Castro infuses hints of classic R&B and blues rock into this collection, affording himself songs that virtually stand alone among contemporary blues.

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Sonic Reducer

Patton Oswalt Feelin' Kinda Patton (United Musicians)

Comedian Patton Oswalt has appeared in plenty of movies and on television shows from “Late Night” to “The Man Show,” but his first full-length recording contains material more akin to his HBO specials. Feelin' Kinda Patton runs the rather broad comedic gamut between dick jokes and high-brow analyses of the impending apocalypse. Oswalt handles all of his material with the same verve and panache as comedy's current Golden Boy, David Cross, but he's got his own brand of edginess. This one's a screamer by any standard, and specifically geared toward Bill Hicks' fans.

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Interview

Rock 'n' Roll Over and Over and Over ...

My Last KISS Interview Ever (with apologies to Brett Baker)

Farewell, my ass. Count KISS among the many bands who've hoopla'ed their farewell tours only to quietly hit the road again shortly thereafter in search of more money, acceptance and, as KISS founding member Paul Stanley puts it, the "high." So they changed their minds. So what? Michael Jordan did it. Dennis Rodman is threatening to do it and the number of rock bands that have done it—many of them multiple times—is nearly inconceivable.

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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

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

EVENT HORIZON ()

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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