Alibi V.14 No.21 • May 26-June 1, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

Honky Tonk Hero

Anyone hoping for an in-depth page-turner of Texas country legend Billy Joe Shaver be warned: you're not going to find it here. Considering the life Shaver has led, the accomplishments he's achieved through raw perseverance, deep-seated faith and good ol' West Texas gumption, Honky Tonk Hero's 191 pages seems a paltry sum. Only 72 of those pages, however, contain any narrative, while the rest are dedicated to reprints of all Shaver's song lyrics.

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Blue Note

Billy Joe Shaver

Waco-born, Corsicana-raised Billy Joe Shaver is the quintessential unsung hero of American music; a sorely overlooked contributor to its formidable canon. Even though artists from Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe to Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers have enjoyed success on the coattails of the songs he began writing some four decades ago, Shaver remains on the periphery. In 1993, his luck began to change with the release of his first solo foray in several years, Tramp On Your Street (Zoo). The release two years later of Unshaven: Shaver Live at Smith's Olde Bar (Zoo) very nearly catapulted him to the forefront of country music, Texas-style. But, arguably, it was the stunning guitar work of his only son Eddy that made the elder Shaver remarkable to the ears of listeners, despite the fact that his gritty songwriting over the past 50 years or so makes him eligible for any Hall of Fame in existence.

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Music Magnified

Stereo Total

Monday, May 30; The Launchpad (21 and older): Combining equal parts French chanson, German electro-pop and good old American trash rock, Stereo Total is the most beguiling musical duo to rocket out of Europe in the last decade. Frontwoman Françoise Cactus bangs away on her drum set, singing everything from Serge Gainsbourg ballads to old school cheese balls like "Push It Real Good" with the brazen enthusiasm (and at times, fragility) of an eight-year old girl. Brezel Güring also does double-duty as a keyboardist and crooner, exhaling German-swathed lyrics as languidly as smoke pulled from a Gaulois cigarette. You might find yourself lighting up, too. Now touring in support of their seventh album, Do the Bambi, the Euro-trash wonder twins are taking American audiences to dizzying new heights of pop mulitilingualism. And, thanks to the support of Downtown's Mecca Records, we'll be one of the lucky ones to hear them live. Oh, how the accents will fly!

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Sonic Reducer

Spanish for 100 Metric (SPF)

Here's a band who loves straight-ahead rock tunes as much as their effects pedals. Spaced out music and melodies float around the standard rock progression to create a pleasant and easily digestable sound. Think Cave-In doing a bunch of Wilco covers. The last track was recorded live at the Crocodile in Seattle, and it shows Spanish for 100's music translates a lot better live than in the studio. "Metric" is a decent attempt, but they could benefit enormously from a bigger studio budget and a better producer.

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Shonen Knife
Courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON (Monday, May 22)

Boy Knife in Burque • 少年ナイフ

少年ナイフ • pop, hardcore punk, metal • Prism Bitch • Crime Lab

Here's an interesting bit of rock history for you to think about before you head on over to one of the best and most badass shows to come our town's way in a little while. Shonen Knife doesn't make J-Pop and were never really part of that tentacled arm of Pacific Rim rock…
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Courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, May 25)

Take Me to Drug Church

Drug Church • alternative, hardcore punk • The Coma Recovery • metal • Boyfriend Armada

Hey man, do you, like, wanna go to drug church? How's does coma recovery suit you after a night out and is there a Boyfriend Armada waiting you you in the stormy waters of the Rio Grande? Ask yourself these and other relevant questions on Thursday, May 25, when the fine folks over at ye olde Launchpad bring some of the bestest rocanrol music—made by some of the most archly named musical units in Satan's legion—to our humble, though not quite innocent little town by the river. Get ready to mosh until you melt down when the aforementioned Drug Church, a hardcore quintet from Nueva York, hit the stage. They'll be joined in brutal, sonic ritual by two of this town's loudest and louchest acts, Coma Recovery and Boyfriend Armada, of course. It'll be fun and maybe you'll even have a bruise or broken bone to show off afterwards … you know after your parents trundle off to bed and Snapchat is getting hot. This 13+ show is only $18; that should hopefully help the dark lord's recruitment efforts for the evening—it begins at 7pm, by the way.
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EVENT HORIZON (Friday, May 26)

Just Hold on, It's Going to Be a Bouncy Ride

Steve Aoki • EDM, electro house, dubstep • Slushii • future bass, progressive house, trap, hardstyle • Ookay • K?D

Wiggle on over to the parking lot across from El Rey this Friday, May 26, to see the extraordinary, world-class electro house musician, record producer, DJ, and music executive, Steve Aoki at Downtown's Memorial Day Weekend Block Party. The booty bumpin' party will be held in the parking lot across from the Historic El Rey Theater (technically at Park It Place) and festivities get goin' at 6pm and will end at 11pm and general admission costs $49 and VIP tickets (which includes a commemorative lanyard, express entr, and access to the VIP area the best view) cost $83. Supporting the grammy nominated DJ are notable musicians in their own right, Slushii, Ookay and K?D.
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