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 V.16 No.52 | December 27 - January 2, 2008 

Music to Your Ears

Make It Funky

Jesse L. Spicer is a man obsessed. Not with stamp collecting or American naval history or vintage amps with perfect tone, but with The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. He's obsessed with the late, great James Brown.

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Rex Barron

Spotlight

Plans on Ice

Organizers disagree on how to get the Ice House all-ages space off the ground

2007 didn't have the flash of controversy surrounding all-ages shows of previous years. It was more like a slow illness. Blue Dragon shut its doors. The Curio opened and closed. Space Maybe winked in and out of existence. Sol Arts announced its closure just weeks ago.

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The men of The Big Spank and their fabled tour bus, The Gypsy Wagon

CD Release

The Big Spank CD Release Party

Building its own Latin ska-punk bandwagon

After 10 years of making music in The Big Spank, singer-guitarist Mike Garcia has seen his band go from an ultra-young, semi-serious ska-punk band to a bilingual pop-rock group that risks sanity and starvation to tour the country 11 months out of the year. One thing hasn't changed, though.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Free Bird

Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW, 243-0878) says “adieu” to 2007 with a masquerade soirée and toast-worthy tracks spun by DJ Losack. Bring a mask and a 21+ ID (with a D.O.B. before 1987, if you’re keeping score). No cover. (LM)

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Sonic Reducer

Gretchen Parlato Gretchen Parlato · Three The End is Begun · Lupe Fiasco The Cool

You can’t swing a dented saxophone without hitting a female jazz singer these days. Most have something to offer, but only a handful bring the complete package to the table, as does Gretchen Parlato on her first CD. Superb vocal control and uncanny musicality allow her to dive to the bottom of a song without rippling its surface. Backed by an empathetic combo throughout, she opens with a stunningly ingenuous rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Skylark” over a Latin rhythm and continues to captivate with tunes by Djavan, Björk, Loueke, Jobim and Shorter. Find it on CDBaby.com and iTunes. (MM)

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Franks and Deans
Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Feb 23)

Buoyant and Rambling

Franks & Deans • punk rock, rock 'n' roll • Shrewd • Punctured Muffler • Silent Crush • metal

At some point during the progression of meta-ultra-postmodernism, it was only natural that a band covering Rat Pack tunes revisioned as rambling ska paeans or blisteringly buoyant punk anthems based on the imbibing and love-making habits of dudes like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would rise from the rocanrol cauldron. Well it's 2017 and such has indeed come to pass. The name of the band is Franks & Deans. They've succeeded by inflecting the sweepingly romantic, sometimes melancholy and nearly always self-referential ditties of these post-war, pre-rock vocal heroes with good-natured rhythms and danceable guitar leads—as well as an updated fashion sense that seems to borrow more from ZZ Top's summer style guide than from Robin and the 7 Hoods—that adds affable nuance to legendary, mid-century American popular music. Band members Rob DeTie, Mike "Pip" Ullemeyer, Hoss and Sampson await your indulgence at Low Spirits on Thursday, Feb. 23, and the admission price of $5 sure as heck beats dropping “Three Coins in the Fountain.”
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