Alibi V.13 No.52 • Dec 23-29, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

The Library Bar & Grill opened its doors last Friday, Dec. 17, at 312 Central SW, formerly the home of Brewster's Pub. The Library began as a concept bar nearly three years ago in Tempe, Ariz., catering to the lunch and dinner crowd, then transforming somewhat in the later hours of the evening into a bustling nightclub. Live bands will reportedly be an established part of the Library's entertainment, which also includes servers dressed as Catholic schoolgirls who dance on the bar at prescribed times each night for the deeply religious among you, 26 screens featuring music videos, and special events to be announced. ... Local band Frostbite will celebrate the release of their debut CD on Tuesday, Dec. 28, with Evenkeal and 20/20 Blind at 9 p.m. ... In other local band news, at long last KI have put the final touches on their new CD, Powdershy, which they'll officially release on Friday, Jan. 7, at the Launchpad. Meanwhile, you can get a taste of what's in store on the new record by visiting www.kimusic.net where you can download a pair of the fresh tracks. The band are currently busy confirming a second, all-ages CD release party, and you can get the latest update on that show as well by visiting the website.

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Blue Note

Ian Bostridge and David Daniels Britten: The Canticles/Folksong Arrangements (Virgin Classics)

This much anticipated pairing of our greatest young Britten tenor, Ian Bostridge, and most versatile countertenor, David Daniels, yields impressive results. Britten was a devout Christian and pacifist who wrote much of his vocal music for his life-partner, tenor Peter Pears.

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Sonic Reducer

Neil Young Greatest Hits (Reprise)

With fans still waiting for Neil Young's boxed set for more than a decade now, the release of Young's first-ever official greatest hits collection last month was something of a letdown in that it indicates that Shakey will spend perhaps another 10 years working on his mythical career retrospective. What you here get are 16 Young classics you've heard a million times, compiled, as his liner note states, “based on original record sales, airplay and known download history.” The included “supersaturated” stereo DVD version of the album is the best reason to buy it, as the sound is truly enormous.

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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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