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 Oct 14 - 20, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

By Michael Henningsen

Last Thursday night's Mountainside YMCA local band showcase was a smashing success. The second event of the “Band-It” showcase series featured Camden, the Ryan McGarvey Band, Someday, Gingerbread Patriots and Unit 7 Drain. All of the above gave spirited performances, but the surprise of the evening, at least as far I as was concerned, was 17-year-old blues guitar prodigy, Ryan McGarvey. With a little more vocal seasoning, just a tad more experience and a few additional original tunes, this kid's gonna be as jaw-dropping a performer as Alex Maryol. The YMCA's “Band-It” series will resume in the spring. ... El Paso's Cantina Flys will appear at Pucinni's Golden West Saloon on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 9 p.m., after appearing on KUNM's “Ear to the Ground” program at 7 p.m. ... and right next door at the Launchpad, you can catch the Punx Unite Tour, featuring The Casualties, Lower Class Brats, Frontline Attack and The Visects. Children of all ages are welcome at this one, but details regarding just what the “punx” are uniting for or against are hazy as of press time. ... Acclaimed axman Greg Osby is slated to appear on Monday, Oct. 4, at the Outpost Performance Space at 7:30 p.m. If Joe Anderson bought bigger ads, I'd have more space to tell you all about this show, but you'll have to settle for calling 268-0044 for more information.

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Music Magnified

G. Love & Special Sauce

with Slightly Stoopid

By Michael Henningsen

Friday, Oct. 15; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): G. Love (a.k.a. Garrett Dutton) got his sauce back; that is, in reviving his career, he had the foresight to re-enlist the formidable contributions of original Special Sauce ingredients James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on upright bass and Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens on very sparse drum kit. The resulting album, The Hustle, soon to be released on San Francisco's Brushfire Records, is a return to the urban hip hop-meets-ragged Delta blues sound that proved to be one of the freshest things to happen musically or otherwise in the mid-'90s. (There are, after all, very few among us who can honestly claim to not have sung out loud the chorus of “Baby's Got Sauce” out of pure delight for the song.)

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Blue Note

By Michael Henningsen

Uganda's Finest

Singer and Multi-instrumentalist Samite's Healing Music

To say that Samite's journey thus far has been difficult would be to understate the enormity of loss and struggle that has marked the Ugandan musician's life throughout. Extraordinarily, though, Samite has distilled the whole of his experience—the good and the bad—into lyrics and melodies that seem to have very definite healing powers. Not in that slightly creepy standard “new age” way, rather in a visceral, primal, beating-to-the-rhythm-of-your-own-heart way.

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Sonic Reducer

By Michael Henningsen

Elf Power Walking with the Beggar Boys (Orange Twin)

Forgive me for weighing in rather late on this one, but I honestly thought it would grow on me. It didn't. As one of the last vestiges of the infamous (and quite infamously overrated save for Neutral Milk Hotel) Elephant 6 collective, Elf Power's seventh record is about as average as they come. If the whole Elephant 6 phenomenon isn't completely out of gas at this point, then Elf Power have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's running on fumes at best. Walking ... isn't a bad record, but it's lackluster and boring to say the least.

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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

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

EVENT HORIZON ()

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 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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