Alibi V.18 No.41 • Oct 8-14, 2009 

Rock Reads

Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small

Everything anyone ever wanted to know about Merge Records and more lies inside this nearly 300-page congratulatory volume. Twenty years after its creation by Superchunk's Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, the North Carolina label celebrates its triumph over recording industry standards—and rightly so—with photos, first-person accounts and a compilation CD (which, strangely, neglects the early days).

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Justin Sullivan, second from right, leads the charge in old-school British punk outfit New Model Army.
Aimee Candelaria

Music Interview

New Model Army

Punk rock and poetry in motion

These days, a real punk band can almost never find its way onto the pop charts. But back in the day (see: mid-’80s), England’s New Model Army released political punk that didn’t merely sell to left-wing extremists. Almost 30 years ago, frontman/mastermind Justin Sullivan, who has been compared to punk legends like Joe Strummer and Dick Lucas, named NMA after Oliver Cromwell’s successful (at least for a while) 17th-century British anti-royalist forces. Sullivan’s intelligent, informed and captivating songwriting helped the group get signed by EMI—who the Sex Pistols swindled in the ’70s—and embark on a dozen British Top 30 singles before descending (or ascending, depending your worldview) to the worldwide cult status NMA holds today. The Alibi caught up with Sullivan just before the start of New Model Army’s North American tour, which hits the Launchpad this weekend.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Icky Reunion

Icky and the Yuks thrashes again with SuperGiant, Wormhole and Violenta. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). $6, 21+.

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EVENT HORIZON ()

Searching for Something

¡Mayday! • Demrick • DJ Stigmata • Septicemia Records • rap, hip-hop

I’m not sure that the concept of “genre” is really relevant anymore in the realm of music. The days of “pure” music are long gone, and while this might leave some “old-heads” grumbling over message boards about the loss of “real rap” or “real jazz,” I think that for the most part this is a good thing. The possibilities are more abundant than ever before as artists dip their fingers in any number of genres and traditions. ¡MAYDAY! is one group embracing this diversity in their quest for success…
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EVENT HORIZON ()

Pinball Wizards

Geekon • Arcade Art Show and Pinball Tournament

Break out your quarters! Geekon—Albuquerque's premier arcade cabinet and pinball machine restoration and preservation company—is sponsoring the Arcade Art Show and Pinball Tournament starting at 7pm on Saturday, Aug. 26. Local artists will be exhibiting paintings, sculptures and more inspired by classic video games. There will be DJs, alcohol, food and plenty of video games and pinball machines to play at the local watering hole, Sister. Art will remain up though Aug. 29. This is a free event, but you must be 21+.
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