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)
Castle • metal • Shoggoth • metal • SuperGiant • stoner rock • Jagged Mouth • metal
By Megan Reneau
Aleister Crowley nor George W. Bush will be around (maybe) but prepare to sharpen your horns and do some bidding for some badass folks that definitely aren't involved in the occult—the doom metal trio Castle enchants locals at the Launchpad this Saturday, March 4, with the doors to the underworld opening at 8pm. Joining the '70s heavy metal-esque group will be Burque inhabitants Shoggoth, SuperGiant and Jagged Mouth. Only vessels 21+ for this $8 show allowed.
Gaby Fuentes • Regulus • Tear Pressure • indie pop, punk
By August March
An up and coming local band I have been enjoying listening to is named Tear Pressure. I found out about them when I was wandering the local college campus and saw a flyer for a show they were doing at some apartment complex up on Copper in the Heights, yo. That was a decent show with an excellent barbeque and I felt like Tear Pressure was going to appear on the scene within the year. Now of course, they are playing their dirty and delicious, slithery and subtle no wave at Burt's Tiki Lounge on Monday, March 6, and as usual at Burt's there is no goddamn cover charge. Ever. I hear some daring lo-fi pop credentials being built on tunes from the band's latest recording, the Chill Ass EP—songs like “Quaaludes” and “All Moms Are Weirdos” that build intensity as they roll through cray melodic and stylistic changes. They'll be opening for math mastermind and CRTTRZ guitarist Gabriel Angel Fuentes and Austin indie taco-rockers Regulus, so be there.
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