Alibi V.17 No.51 • Dec 18-24, 2008 ››
Artistic Director Bobby Shew leads the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra onto higher ground
Renowned trumpeter Bobby Shew has come full circle, and the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra couldn’t be happier about it. For Shew, who returned to the Albuquerque area about two years ago to “retire,” developing a quality jazz orchestra for his hometown is something he first dreamed of as a teenager. For the orchestra, the decision to offer Shew the position of artistic director—the first in the group’s long history—reflected its decision to go to another level.
Common Universal Mind Control
· Joanna Pascale Through My Eyes
On her second release, this young, Philadelphia-based vocalist freshens the American songbook with new takes on old standards, including some out-of-the-way tunes. With a vivid imagination, infallible phrasing, and a sensual and intelligent expressiveness, Pascale discovers surprises in timeworn favorites we all thought we knew. On “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” for example, she eschews the usual skipping giddiness for a slow, bluesy approach, and finds an almost unbearable longing and a charming, genuine delight in an imagined future. She gets excellent support from her band: Tim Warfield (sax), Andrew Adair (piano), Madison Rast (bass) and Dan Monaghan (drums). (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.