Alibi V.14 No.46 • Nov 17-23, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

Your Name in Lights Heads West—With a name like Your Name in Lights, your options are pretty well-laid out for you: Either rise to the top of rock and roll celebrity, or face fading away into the mired bog of bitterness and unfulfilled dreams. Thankfully, it's looking more and more like the former for these Burque-based hard-core kids—especially since they've been selected to play in the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, to be held in December at the Key Club in Hollywood. YNIL will compete against four other bands, whittled down from a jaw-dropping10,000 groups that had initially entered the first round of competition. Perhaps even more incredible is the fact that YNIL has been playing together for just one year—one year! Unbelievable. For more information on the Battle, contact battle@ernieball.com.

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Spotlight

Oscillate Wildly

The Oscillation Festival revels in electronic music from New Mexico

The Oscillation Festival, New Mexico's only local electronic music showcase, will launch into its fifth year this Friday, Nov. 18, at Downtown Albuquerque's Cell Theatre (700 First Street NW). The all-ages festival will feature roughly 12 electronic acts from the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area. Performances will be broken into conceptually exciting "vs."-style sets, where teams of musicians go head-to-head on the same stage—with the same equipment and songs—in what promoter Kent Wilhelmi calls "a demonstration of all-out audio warfare." Not only that, Oscillation sets out to capture the somewhat broad diversity of New Mexico's growing electronic music scene, from synthpop to dark ambient and noize. Confirmed acts include Autopoesis, Brian Botkiller, Diverje, Enigmatik, Leiahdorus, Noir Effect, Ohmniscience, RAM, Unnatural Element, The Wake 6, Vertigo Venus and Wurm. The Alibi recently caught up with Wilhelmi (AKA DJ Kentifyr) for a quick tour of Albuqerque's electronic happenings.

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Music Magnified

A Static Lullaby

with Haste the Day, Halifax, Scary Kids Scaring Kids and Bedlight for Blue Eyes

Monday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.; Launchpad (all-ages): Many a time, I've found myself wondering whether bands like My Chemical Romance, Midtown and New Found Glory are really that broken up about, say, not being invited to prom or knowing the girl they have a crush on is dating a jerk. Until they released Faso Latido, A Static Lullaby could have been grouped in with these overly dramatic ensembles. Their debut And Don't Forget to Breathe smacks of forced emotion and unsubstantiated rage and sorrow. With Faso, however, A Static Lullaby has learned that it isn't how loud you scream that's most important, but when and what you choose to scream about that makes all the difference in the screamo universe. Without exactly mellowing out, ASL has matured and polished themselves up to the point where they seem less like immature, pubescent pansies and more like grown adults with a knack for screaming-cum-melody. Meanwhile, Joe Brown's lyrics have come a long way; focusing less on his own broken heart and more on large-scale devastation. Also apparent on Faso is the band's increased adeptness with their instruments, from the scratchy, layered guitar on down. After opening for The Used, Killswitch Engage and Senses Fail on the "Taste of Chaos Tour," the vastly improved ASL is swinging through the Duke City to headline an all-ages show at the Launchpad. Screamo fans looking for genuine angst will not be disappointed.

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Flyer on the Wall

Get Your Squawk On

Get cozy with Rocksquawk.com all-stars Five Minute Sin, Simfonik Plague, Third Hour, 7 of 9, Nunchuk and Holiday Sail. Launchpad doors open at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23. $3 gets you in, but you've gotta be 21-or-older. Squawk on! (LM)

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Music Magnified

The Hard Lessons

hosted by The Dirty Novels with special guests The Gracchi and The Fab Jim Phillips Show

Thursday, Nov. 17 : Winning Coffee (all-ages), $5: Detroit has done it again. Another in a long line of innovative rock purist ensembles has made a name for themselves on the national scene. In this case, The Hard Lessons take guitar-driven rock with soulful organ and sultry vocals and combine it with a "let the good times roll" mentality indicative of a band that knows the world is going to hell, but has taken enough hydrocodone to make it a non-issue. With names like Agostino Visocchi and Korin Cox, one might think that THL is composed of ultra-hip ex-MTV VJs, but their sound is not so much chic as down-to-earth and playful. THL has gained tons o' critical acclaim for their latest release, Gasoline. The album has also helped firmly place the band in the indie genre, despite having elements of soul and garage rock in their repertoire. The Hard Lessons will bring their sadistically warm and fuzzy sound to Winning Coffee on Thursday, for an all-ages show hosted by Albuquerque favorites The Dirty Novels. Rest assured, this will not be your typical, low-caliber coffee shop performance.

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Show Up!

The 17th Annual Western Music Association International Awards Show and Festival

Although we live in the heart of the Wild West, cowboys that ride off into the sunset are not something often seen in the bustling metropolis of Albuquerque. The days of cattle drives, roping steers and whistling Dixie are all but a memory here. But one look up to the stars proves that spirit is still alive. We can still see them; the city has not grown too big to block them out.

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Sonic Reducer

The Clientele Strange Geometry · Catfish Haven Please Come Back EP · Old 97's Alive and Wired

If someone said, "Hey Jessica, what would you tell your ideal band to sound like and what instruments would they use?" I'd say, "Organs, obviously. And f*** the bass drum, snare rules! And throw in some string arrangements and steel guitar and freaking castanets! And use tremolo wherever possible, for god's sake! Make sure you seem normal on the surface, but actually be weird British guys. And whatever you do, don't talk about your feelings in any rote way; relate them to things like trampolines and math. You'd sound a bit like Tommy James and the Shondells with a post-rock twist." Well, nobody asked me, but here's that band.

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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 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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