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 Aug 5 - 11, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

By Michael Henningsen

I never thought I'd think or write this, but former Toadies' and current Burden Brothers' frontman Todd (a.k.a “Vaden”) Lewis is a prima donna, crybaby, wannabe-rockstar prick. Upset because his band received three, not four, cases of Miller Lite (despite the fact that three cases were contractually agreed upon) and a bartender at the Launchpad who didn't instantly recognize him (who the fuck do you think you are, Sting?) attempted to do his job and charge $5 for a shot, Lewis extracted his revenge by insulting the Launchpad management and staff from the stage. Nice work ... for a 14-year-old. Anyway, I urge you not to buy the Burden Brothers' debut release, even though it rocks. If you really want it, I'll be happy to oblige all requests to burn copies of the disc. ... In “back From the Dead” news, the original Starsky has reformed, featuring guitarist/singer Jason Ward, bassist Wade XXX and drummer Chris Partain. The reformed Starsky will debut Friday, Aug. 13 at the Launchpad and are on-tap for Weekly Alibi Fall Crawl 2004 on Saturday, Aug. 28. And they will probably sound nothing like Pavement. ... In “Gone But Not Forgotten” news, former Drift frontman and one the best rock singers Albuquerque has ever seen, Marty York, is back on the scene with a new band. York and Black Cowboy will debut at Club Rhythm & Blues on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

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Blue Note

By Michael Henningsen

Hot August Nights

Young Lion Chris Potter Stars at Outpost Productions' 2004 Raffle Drawing Fundraiser

It's hard to believe, considering the phenomenal level of talent Outpost Productions brings to Albuquerque—99.9 percent of the top jazz talent in the world—that the organization only conducts one fundraising event each year. It's truly one of those rare cases of getting way more than you pay for.

This year's headliner, though not yet a household name, is well on his way to graduating from Young Liondom into the elite class of saxophonists occupied by Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and others synonymous with jazz music's sexiest brass instrument. As evidenced on his latest recording, Lift: Live at the Village Vanguard (Universal), Potter has established himself as one of the most important creative voices in the jazz world. Having cut his teeth as a sideman with Red Rodney, the Mingus Big Band and other notables, Potter has become increasingly more comfortable and powerful as a leader. Better than half the compositions on Lift are of Potter's own creation, but there's a seamless quality between his original works and tunes by Bill Stewart, Ned Washington and Mingus that speaks volumes to the 33-year-old's stature among his peers.

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Sonic Reducer

By Michael Henningsen

The Hives Tyrannosaurus Hives (Interscope)

Why Sweden's Hives keep getting compared to The Ramones by critics far and wide is beyond me. For one thing, The Ramones were at least half-serious about what they were doing, whereas The Hives have chosen a path that's 98.6 percent schtick. And that's fine, just as long as they intend their second album to be their last. It takes 30 minutes to get through the dozen songs included here and far less time to forget what you just heard. The collection of tunes isn't bad, but it's sure as hell no Rocket to Russia. Here today, gone tomorrow.

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Courtesy of the Artist

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Their Kindness is Charade

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.
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Courtesy of the Artist

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Special Beat Service

The English Beat • ska

By August March
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 the 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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