Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Brian May Is an Astrophysicist
It shocks the rock and scientific communities to no end, but it's true. Besides originating the butter-smooth guitar licks that were as central to Queen's success as Freddie Mercury's vocal cords and unitards, Brian May is an astrophysicist. He had graduated with a bachelor of science (with honors) in physics at Imperial College London and was halfway through a PhD program (area of concentration: the velocity of space dust) when Queen blasted into a solar system all its own. May put down his thesis in favor of a guitar and didn't return to science for another three decades. He finally picked up that doctorate in May 2008. Wikipedia says an asteroid was promptly named after him: 52665 Brianmay.
The Bellemah Bus
Next stop: CD release party
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
A year ago this month, Billy Bellmont—namesake and auteur of defunct rock band The Bellmont—and Dan Dinning formed the loungy, acoustic, indie operation known as Bellemah. Like barnacles on a ship (or perhaps goatheads on a shoe), the band amassed seven members, then lost four, due mostly to time constraints. Now only Billy, Dan and Noelan Ramirez remain. Some days ago over coffee, Billy, Dan and I sat down for a chat. We laughed. We cried. We talked about Tom Waits. Below is a sample of our time together.
John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet
Composer’s genre-blind music gently breaks new ground
By Mel Minter
Drummer/composer John Hollenbeck admits to being a “mixtape guy.” As a kid, he’d raid his brother’s record collection to create tapes featuring a wide range of music—from symphonic works to jazz to R&B and back again.
Keane Perfect Symmetry · The Sound of Animals Fighting The Ocean and the Sun · Eagles of Death Metal Heart On
Whether Perfect Symmetry provides instant glee or a splitting headache depends on how much you like alt.piano rock with a glob of synthesizer. If that sounds even remotely enjoyable, Perfect Symmetry is a surefire cure for the weepies. Keane is able to write lengthy ballads that don’t wear on your patience as easily as quick, punchy morning-starters. Piano is always the main course, and you never get more than a taste of drums or a sliver of guitar. Perfect Symmetry is more new-wave obsessed than Keane’s previous two releases, but it doesn’t slip into sulkiness. The group has become comfortable with its epic yet scaled-back songsmanship, and the water’s perfect if you feel like a swim. (SM)
Flyer on the Wall
Pale Young Gentlemen (Madison, Wis.), Small Flightless Birds and Back by October are cooler than cool this Thursday, Nov. 6, at Amped Performance Center (4200 Lomas NE). The 7 p.m. show is $5 and all-ages. (LM)
Infrequency • trance • Graeme Byous • electronica, progressive • AnthonyMarx 9 • house
By Megan Reneau
As a society we can agree that we’re ready for a heightened consciousness. In my experience, that is achieved through music–specifically trance. On Friday, May 6, at 9pm you can be lifted up physically, by climbing the stairs up to the mezzanine at the Historic El Rey Theater, and mentally, after listening to the rhythms and noise from AnthonyMarx, Graeme Byous, and Infrequency at Elevated: A Night of Trance and Progressive. For just $5, these DJs from the desert are ready to hypnotize with their beautiful, repetitive melodies and ambient echos.
via Rock Jong Il's Facebook Page
Rock Jong Il • punk • Suspended • metal • Russian Girlfriends • rock • Get Action • punk
By August March
On Saturday, May 7, put down that Communist Manifesto you've been perusing and take a stroll Downtown to Launchpad for the album release party of Rock Jong Il. The quintet of local rockers and stalwart party members are having a fete to celebrate the recording Dictators of Rock. Longtime members of the anti-capitalist forces seeking a rock and roll revolution in this city, Rock Jong Il have a sound that reviewers have rightly compared to seminal bands like Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Though the comrades in Rock Jong Il wear their influences heart-like on their tattered, war-weary sleeves, they're anything but derivative. With a list of songs that explore the miasma of postmodern culture through a cynical lens—through the use of hardcore aesthetics balanced with a casual mastery of their instruments—the band depends on the musicianship of its members. Rock Jong Il is a band whose steadfast dedication to form and function result in a rocking and rousing output. Members Jeff Cohen, Johnny Huchmala, Jay Collins, Bob Beckley and Brandon Davis have got what it takes to move past insurgency and toward world domination. Get Action, Suspended and Russian Girlfriends will provide support for a night of rampage and revolt. Tickets for this introduction to what punk rock should probably sound like cost $5.
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