Alibi V.18 No.25 • June 18-24, 2009 
AlHaj (left) and Khan unite on Friday, June 19, for a world premiere performance that marries Middle Eastern and Indian music.

Music to Your Ears

All Folked Up

You can only squeeze so many banjos, two-steppers and fiddlers into a single Saturday afternoon. If you don't watch your elbows, you might get a rosined bow where God never intended.

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AlHaj (left) and Khan unite on Friday, June 19, for a world premiere performance that marries Middle Eastern and Indian music.

Show Up!

Rahim AlHaj and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

Two musical masters serve the single purpose of peace

Though rooted in two different cultures, Iraqi oudist Rahim AlHaj and Indian sarodist Ustad Amjad Ali Khan have each flourished under the same sun: the belief that music is a singularly uniting art form that can transform the world for the better.

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A mosh pit erupts during the first Kannaroo music festival two years ago.
Jessie Martin

Spotlight

Kannaroo 3: Killith Fair

Music for music's sake

Usually, drunken ideas only sound brilliant while you're sloshed.

Max Moulton and three of his friends from Dixon beat the odds and came up with a solid idea for a music festival while blitzed. "Alcohol was kind of the catalyst," Moulton recalls. "Booze cures all."

That was three years ago. Since then, there have been two installments of their Kannaroo music festival in Sunshine Valley, situated just north of Questa. The third Kannaroo features 12 bands from New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, a guitar shred-off competition and an improperly sized volleyball game.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Team America

Religious Girls (East Bay, Calif.), Jessie Williams and Colton Saylor (California, California), and Our Brother the Native (Ann Arbor, Mich.) split the cross-country difference and meet in Albuquerque at CiRQ art gallery (712 Central SE, just west of I-25) on Wednesday, June 24. Yoda’s House acts as Southwestern ambassador. 8 p.m., $5, all-ages. (Laura Marrich)

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Sonic Reducer

Nikki Kelly Nikki Kelly · Miles Okazaki Generations · The Ashes The Ashes

Albuquerque's Nikki Kelly sounds like she just woke up. Her sleepy, raspy and understated vocals set up the scene for everything she crafts instrumentally. Kelly plays guitar, piano, accordion and ukulele on her self-titled release, but the record is hardly cacophonous. Subdued folk keeps its cool and the biggest surprises come when Kelly's voice shoots high into the air. Lyrically, Kelly covers boredom, smoking and all matter of relationship troubles. She has a quiet, self-assured delivery and enough patience to stay away from overreaching. Her songs shun gaudy ornamentation—their simplicity is their greatest strength. (SM)

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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

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

EVENT HORIZON ()

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 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.
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