Alibi V.17 No.19 • May 8-14, 2008 

Music to Your Ears

"You Dream It, We Build It"

The city's all-ages music and performing arts space planned for 508 First Street NE is set to open in December. The old Ice House building has architectural plans drawn up for 14,000 square feet of multiuse main floor space, a 10,000 square-foot basement (with a small movie theater, among other things) and a built-out roof area. It even has a name: Warehouse 508. Now all it needs is you.

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Strung Out

Show Up!

Strung Out

A band and its army

Strung Out, based in Simi Valley, Calif., has been making punk music for more than 15 years. Since its inception in the early ’90s, the band has cultivated a rabid fan base that’s stayed loyal to the group as it flirted with gutterpunk, danced with thrash and constantly tinkered with a signature sound that flutters in the breeze, resting somewhere between horror-punk and hardcore metal.

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Spotlight

The Empty Orchestra

Seven Days of Karaoke

What started in Japan in the ’80s has, over the years, come to practically infest our fair city with poor renditions of yesterday’s hits. And why not? Everyone loves to watch other people make fools of themselves. See, I’ve found that for maximum entertainment, the trick with karaoke is not to sing as well as you possibly can, but with as much tuneless and tone-deaf harmony as you can muster, being sure to botch the lyrics with swear words and humorous twists. Of course, there are those who take it seriously, but that's probably not you.

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Jon Forrest Little (in Mexico)

Music Interview

Little-Known Facts

.... about Ant Farmers, Dixie Deer and migrating bands from El Paso

Jon Forrest Little says he writes "kinda cheesy piano show tunes." All told, he has almost 80 spaced-out, two-minute jingles in the style of Daniel Johnston (replace Jesus with nature and you'll be close). Each song started on an $80 Wal-Mart keyboard. "I don't like expensive things because when they break, you get really sad," he says. His vehicle for the songs is a solo project called Church Camp.

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Flyer on the Wall

“Classic Rock Jam Band”

Find out what, exactly, that sounds like with the Gregg Daigle Trio this Friday, May 9, and again on Wednesday, May 28, at Garduño’s on the Green. 6 to 9 p.m. (LM)

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Sonic Reducer

Alexis Cuadrado Puzzles · mr. Gnome Deliver This Creature · No Age Nouns

One of three excellent inaugural releases on this label, bassist Alexis Cuadrado’s Puzzles offers jazz that is ever light on its feet, no matter how intricate the step or how heavy the vibe. From the pop-inflected “Bright Light” to the introspective suite “Quintessential,” Cuadrado’s original compositions demonstrate a sensitivity that never devolves into sentimentalism, and a superior rhythmic sense. Featuring Loren Stillman (sax), Brad Shepik (guitar) and Mark Ferber (drums), with guest appearances by Alan Ferber (trombone) and Pete Rende (organ). Also check out Anne Mette Iverson’s Best of the West + Many Places and Bernard-Emer-Lackner-Ferber’s Night for Day. (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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