Alibi V.18 No.36 • Sept 3-9, 2009 

Music to Your Ears

Monolith Festival, Take Three

Since 2007, the massive team behind Colorado’s Monolith Festival has made magic happen with a two-day odyssey into musical bliss. Hosted at the scenic Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Monolith Festival is quickly becoming the premier festival in the region. Last year saw appearances by Cut Copy, Justice, The Hood Internet, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Tilly and the Wall, Atmosphere, and Band of Horses. As if those performances weren’t enough, four additional stages were set up throughout the venue to ensure a variety of musical experiences.

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Ween’s Gene (Aaron Freeman) and Dean (Mickey Melchiondo)
Courtesy of Ween

Music Interview

Prozac Enemas

A rare chat with Ween

Despite last year’s joyous release of an incredible live show from 1992 [Live at The Cat’s Cradle, 1992, Chocodog Records], all those early years when Ween consisted of Dean and Gene—two young, talented and hilarious Pennsylvania kids—and a drum machine seem like ancient history. Seeing a Ween show without drummer-extraordinaire Claude Coleman behind the kit has been impossible for the past 15 years, but that could change soon: Rumors have been spreading all over the Internet this summer about Coleman—a multi-instrumentalist who also leads the band Amandla and teaches at the Paul Green School of Rock in NYC—taking a break from Ween to make sense of a life that has perhaps appeared too fast and fun since his near-fatal auto accident. He even confirmed it in a heartfelt statement. However, when asked about Coleman’s departure, Dean Ween (born Mickey Melchiondo) told the Alibi, “Claude is still in the band the last time I checked.” In a follow-up e-mail, Ween’s manager Greg Frey told the Alibi, “Mickey's answer regarding Claude is spot on. Anything else is hearsay.”

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Flyer on the Wall

Swe-Den of Iniquity

It comes from the land of ice and snow, where the chief exports are IKEA and meatballs. Swedish five-piece Enforcer is proud to sport tight leather pants and play speed metal in the style of Iron Maiden. Hear the hammer drop at The Compound (3206 San Mateo NE) on Monday, Sept. 7, with Cauldron (from Canada, eh?) Torture Victim, Dread and Vetalas. 6:30 p.m. All-ages, $8. (Laura Marrich)

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Sonic Reducer

Eyedea & Abilities By The Throat · Mew No More Stories · Amanda Blank I Love You

Incorporating new wave, '80s dance music and Brit-pop into a rap beat is something relatively new. Within that realm, the contributions to hip-hop made by artists like M.I.A. and Santigold are unquestionable. Amanda Blank is cut from the same cloth as these pioneers, but it’s tough to make the case she brings anything new to the hipster-hop genre. Her rapid-fire raps are impressive, and she's got all the swagger a successful MC needs. But I Love You comes off as largely unoriginal and contrived. The Philadelphia-born wordsmith has the talent to branch out and find her own schtick in future offerings.

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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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