Alibi V.17 No.21 • May 22-28, 2008 

Music to Your Ears

Love Me Tender Loin

Daddy Long Loin—or Kevin Kinane, if you want to talk day jobs—is used to being by himself. Not socially, but categorically. He's the only local musician I know of who brings a 12-string Chapman Stick (a bass/guitar hybrid that somehow looks Thai to me) to all of his shows. He's just one guy, decked out in colors so bright he needs to wear shades, shuffling in harmonica, keys, foot-powered drums, loops and samples, and that arresting Chapman, like a many-armed Vishnu- Zappa incarnate.

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Quick! Be inconspicuous.
Pixie

Music Interview

Life is No Cabaret

The Dresden Dolls duo invites you anyway

Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione met at a costume party—a fitting beginning for a band that's sprouted stage makeup, painted-on eyebrows, thick eyeliner, striped stockings and a black bowler hat. More than that, the Dresden Dolls cultivated tendrils of thorny but beautiful lyrics and shoots of surprising and precise rhythmic sensibilities.

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Show Up!

Steel Tigers of Death

Lighten up or go see Godsmack

It plots a course, cranks the speed to “skate-punk," finds the straightaway and drives. It's rowdy, trashy and nasty, but if you can't take a few wisecracks with your aggression, Seattle's Steel Tigers of Death says look elsewhere.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

The Reaganator

The Agency (111 Fourth Street NW) presents The Governors of War Simulvision (co-starring Freddy Mercury) this Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24, at 9 p.m. As best as we can tell, "simulvision" is kind of like a mulitmedia rock opera-rave hybrid. Or something. $15 tickets (each night) at www.the-agency.org. (LM)

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Sonic Reducer

Dafnis Prieto Sextet Taking the Soul for a Walk · Cavedoll No Vertigo · Ed Harcourt The Beautiful Lie

While Cuban-born and New York–based Prieto has already proven himself a virtuosic drummer, this masterful release (the first on his own label) insists that we recognize his remarkable gifts as a composer, too. On Taking the Soul for a Walk, Prieto gives full, emotionally articulate expression to the exile’s internal life, the angst of separation scissoring across the exhilaration of liberty. His skillful use of texture seems to double the sextet’s sound and heightens compositional nuances, and complex rhythms rub bellies together to produce an affecting dance for the spirit. Special kudos go to trumpeter Avishai Cohen and saxophonist Yosvany Terry. (MM)

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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 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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