Alibi V.17 No.31 • July 31-Aug 6, 2008 ››
Music to Your Ears
Old Main Fest II
Just when you thought you were done shaking off your hangover from the last Old Main Fest (held in May at the Albuquerque Press Club), Burque music hellion and The Old Main frontman Rod Lacy is asking you to get wild again—"in the tall pines of the Zuni Mountains."
On the Scene
The Air Guitarist
Hot lixx and jump splits
In a kilt and leather Viking helmet with duct-taped-in Heidi braids, Erik Peterson takes the stage in San Diego. The song: "Who's Your Daddy?" by Finnish heavy metal band Lordi. As the second challenger, he gives it his best for 60 seconds, even incorporating his signature jump splits.
Patti Littlefield Goes Woof!
Vocalist heads genre-crossing quartet at the Outpost
On a recent Sunday evening, vocalist Patti Littlefield took a drive up NM 14 to Madrid to catch the Alpha Cats’ last set at the Mine Shaft, that venerable kick-ass tavern featuring the longest bar in New Mexico.
Oxford Collapse Bits
· Ellis Marsalis Quartet An Open Letter to Thelonious
· Son Ambulance Someone Else's DÈjà Vu
Monk fans might not jump with joy to hear that the Ellis Marsalis Quartet (Derek Douget, saxes; Jason Stewart, bass; Jason Marsalis, drums) has released a collection of Monk tunes. After all, how far can the pianist’s elegant swing take the angular material? The high points in this uneven effort make it worthwhile, though, particularly the softened “Monk’s Mood,” the lively fun of “Rhythm-a-ning” and the harmonically rich and sensitive rendering of “’Round Midnight.” Kudos to J. Marsalis for understanding that Monk was just plain funky, and to E. Marsalis for playing Monk’s tunes, not bronzing them. (MM)
Courtesy of the Artist
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.
Courtesy of the Artist
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 at 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.