Alibi V.16 No.50 • Dec 13-19, 2007 

Music to Your Ears

Fat Ladies in Helmets

Peter Gelb has transformed New York's Metropolitan Opera since becoming general manager in the summer of 2006. His goal is broadening the opera house's audience, trimming down opera's overstuffed pomp and replacing it with populist circumstance. Basically, he wants regular people like us to enjoy opera again.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Leah Black is amped about unplugging.

On the Scene

Leah Black and Friends

Acoustic jams from electric performers

As someone whose music is sometimes not taken seriously because of her day job, it makes sense that 93.3 KOB FM DJ Leah Black wants people's hidden talents to shine. Black has gathered up four musicians who made names for themselves with amplified guitars and asked them to strip it down for an evening. From her experiences in her rock/soul pop band, Black has seen the highs and lows of being an acoustic performer, who thrives on the vulnerability of being without electricity. Black talked to the Alibi about being naked on stage.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Greg Ruggiero and his guitar

Jazzed

Greg Ruggiero’s Balance

Albuquerque native returns to celebrate release of new CD

Warm and liquid, the music of jazz guitarist Greg Ruggiero slides into the ear so easily, you don’t notice until it’s already had its way with you. The first signs include a slowing of the breath, a relaxed attentiveness and a heightened awareness of one’s blessings.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]


[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Let It Show

So the weather outside is frightful? Caustic Lye, Mechanism of Eve, Someday and Scarless are delightful this Sunday at the Launchpad. $7 (all-ages), $5 (21+). (LM)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Thanks for the Jewel Case

Down With Christmas

A selection of the Christmas albums we received this year, all of which fill us with urges to stab each other with sharpened candy canes

Michael Bolton A Swingin' Christmas (Concord Records)

Whether you're having problems with money, family, food, Jesus or Christmas in general, those minor issues will all be eclipsed if you happen upon this agonizing Michael Bolton album. Not only are these songs awful, they're crooned by one of the most horrid musical demons of our time. This Christmas, your troubles are of a Michael Bolton nature. (JCC)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Sonic Reducer

Rat Wakes Red Energy Garage · Gray Beast The Album That Killed Its Parents · Various Artists Tango Around The World

If a band releases an EP slightly longer than a commercial break, each song had better be pretty spectacular. Unfortunately, indie-pop group Rat Wakes Red only hits it out of the park once in four tries. The title track is a murky, slow but satisfying folk tune that thrives on layered melodies and graceful melancholy. The other three lack the refinements of Energy Garage and come off as whiney, ho-hum attempts at catchy alt.pop. It's worth a trip to the iTunes store to grab the record's one success, but anything further is ill-advised. (SM)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

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.
calendar
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.
calendar