Alibi V.16 No.40 • Oct 4-10, 2007 

Music to Your Ears

"We're Not Worthy! We're Not Worthy!"

Wayne Campbell, the character created by Mike Myers on "Saturday Night Live"'s "Wayne's World" sketches, could have been based on Mike Trujillo. Like his NBC Doppelgänger, Albuquerque's Mike T. hosts a public access music show, worships hard rock and righteous babes with equal reverence, even sports long hair crowned with an ever-present baseball cap. Mike and Wayne both made their Public Access debuts in 1992.

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Flyer on the Wall

You Write the Songs That Make the Whole World Sing

Just kidding. Sarah West, Freddy Raygun and Leah Black do. Learn how at the Songwriters Showcase this Thursday, Oct. 4, at Ben Michael's Café (2404 Pueblo Bonitio NW, at Rio Grande, 224-2817). Free and all-ages. (LM)

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Spotlight

Sonic Independence

Seven-year-old Oscillation Electronic Music Festival rails against conformity

The Oscillation Electronic Music Festival is remarkably well-behaved for the strong, subversive stuff it spits out. The festival is a two-day gathering of weirdo electronic music that lumps together not-so-friendly-sounding tags like "glitch," "IDM," "EBM" and "darkwave." Yet the festival is drug- and alcohol-free and all-ages friendly, immaculately organized and executed in one of the nicest theater spaces in town. Oscillation is a polite 7-year-old, but one that likes to raise hell.

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The two founding Johns, Flansburgh (left) and Linnell, of They Might Be Giants.
Susan Anderson

Music Interview

They Probably Are Giants By Now

A silver anniversary approaches the songwriting geniuses behind "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Particle Man"

In spite of their unorthodox sound and nerdy science- and history-based lyrics, They Might Be Giants managed chart toppers and radio play with the best of them. And they've been at it, fresh and inspired, for a quarter century. "I think most things that have been around for 25 years tend to have this safe quality to them. They were probably already slick in the first place," says John Flansburgh, one of two Johns that founded the band in 1982. "The most interesting stuff from our culture doesn't usually stick around that long."

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Sonic Reducer

David Torn prezens · Dethklok The Dethalbum · Grayskul Bloody Radio

Guitarist David Torn “magicked” dozens of hours of live studio improv (with altoist Tim Berne, keyboardist Craig Taborn and drummer Tom Rainey), condensing it down to 72 minutes and 45 seconds of astonishingly present jazz/electronica. Aggressively emotional, the compositions move through abrupt sonic shifts, as in the track “bulbs,” which opens with a techno bull in a china shop shift dreamscape shift acoustic interlude shift howling guitar of darkness. The burning fuses of Torn’s guitar lines set off conflagrations everywhere, and his mates are ready with the gasoline. Yet the anxiety and terror are sometimes subsumed in the contemplative peace of interstellar drift. [MM]

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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 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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