Alibi V.14 No.19 • May 12-18, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

Spring Crawl fired the first shot in late April, noisily declaring open season for music festivals in New Mexico. Here's what's on the radar for the rest of May.

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Music Magnified

Brant Bjork and the Bros

with Honky and the Gracchi

To stoner rock fans, Brant Bjork is somewhat of a legend. He has spent the last decade-plus drumming in some of the most notable bands of the So-Cal desert rock movement (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Mondo Generator, Queens of the Stone Age, CH'E, etc.). This time around, Brant won't be behind the drums; he'll be in front of his band, The Bros, strapping on a Fender Strat to lay down a blend of psychadelic, soulful, lowrider funk mixed with hard-rocking riffs. I saw these guys last time around and they totally rocked the house. Their live show is much heavier compared to what they put out on plastic. And what better place to catch these guys with their '70s surfer, laid-back California vibe than the sunset beach backdrop of Burt's Tiki Lounge? Brant Bjork and the Bros are sure to leave no stoner unturned when they take the Tiki stage this Friday the 13th. Doors open at 9 p.m.

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Music Magnified

Damian "Junior Gong" Marley

with The Empire and Stephen Marley

Tuesday, May 17; Sunshine Theater (All Ages): Music lovers pay attention to dynasties. This isn't always a healthy habit (cough, Lisa Marie Presley, cough), but if music children can make credible stuff, fans usually pay attention long enough to figure it out. Arlo Guthrie didn't have to be as good as Woody—who could be?—but when he brought "Alice's Restaurant," he showed fans that their natural curiosity with an icon's offspring can pay off nicely. To speak of musical dynasties without mentioning the Marley Family would be like speaking of acting dynasties without saying "Sheen." Out of Jah knows how many Marley children, seven make music, and not one is resigned to ragamuffin torch bearing. They start young, too. Stephen, one of three Marleys representing the Melody Makers, started performing at 6 years old. Skeptical? Good. This Friday, two Marleys will make their second visit to the Duke City in the space of a year. I'm sure they'll be happy to shatter your doubts. Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, the family's youngest at 26, and Stephen, who made his solo debut last month with "GOT MUSIC?," hit the Journal Pavilion last August with Ziggy, Julian and Ky-Mani. This time it's "Welcome to Jamrock," a tour taking its name from a song of Damian's that is already generating good vibes on dancehall dance floors. Way to go, Jr. If you'd like to catch a fire to push you through the workweek this Tuesday, stop by the Sunshine Theater and have a listen.

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Sonic Reducer

Your Ultimate Summer Playlist

Click on the above image to view as seen in the Alibi.

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George Bekich

Spotlight

Coachella Art and Music Festival 2005

Weezer, Nine Inch Nails, Coldplay, Bauhaus and others treat 100,000 visitors to two days of kickin' rock 'n' roll

There's not much that beats hanging out with friends on a weekend of sunny, 85-degree weather in Southern California, but add two days of music and you've got an unstoppable party. This was the sixth year of the Coachella Art and Music Festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio (near Palm Springs), and organizers say that more than 100,000 people passed through the festival gates on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. Tickets for the two days cost more than $150, but it was well worth the cost, as anyone who made it to the festival knows.

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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 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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