Alibi V.17 No.47 • Nov 20-26, 2008 

Music to Your Ears

EarWin II

An interview with the Alibi's second Earwig playlist winner

Screen Name: pathless
Real Name: Mark Fischer
Age: 33, Cancer
Day Job: Medical student going into Family and Community Medicine
Winning Earwig Mix: "I Touched Her Thigh And Death Smiled"
Hear It At: alibi.com/earwig

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Flyer on the Wall

Use the Force

And bring me the passengers--I want them alive! Hit By A Bus, The Big Spank, Sector 5, Seis Pistos and Felonius Groove Foundation have the death sentence on 12 systems. Friday, Nov. 21, at the Launchpad (all-ages, $5). (LM)

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Sleepercar
Alison Narro

Music Interview

Sleepercar

A secret best friend

For seven years, Jim Ward tinkered with an Americana album.

The guitarist for defunct post-hardcore band At the Drive-In and lead singer of alternative rock outfit Sparta finally saw West Texas get pressed this spring.

Sleepercar is Ward’s very own project. He recruits a band to play on tours and gathers musicians (including his father) to play in the studio. Whether the group lives or dies depends on him. “It’s the band I get to have forever,” Ward explains. “Nobody can start or stop it, except for me.”

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Sonic Reducer

The Knux Remind Me in 3 Days · The Flaming Lips Christmas On Mars (CD/DVD) · Billy Miles Brooke All Dressed Up ... and Nowhere to Go

One must appreciate the vital significance of a soundtrack, especially when the maestro is The Flaming Lips. This is no regular Flaming Lips album. The band directed, filmed and starred in a science-fiction film with an indie-budget feel, almost seven years in the making. The package is an epic score to an instant cult classic--that is, if you’re a fan of The Lips’ psychedelic lushes. Put it on the wish list and check it three times because the CD/DVD bundle comes in three differently decorated packages. (JH)

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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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