By Jessica Cassyle Carr
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).
New Model Army
Punk rock and poetry in motion
By Adam Perry
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.
Flyer on the Wall
Yule Logs and Jingle Balls • Holly Rebelle • Mena Domina • burlesque
By Devin D. O'Leary
Gilded Cage Burlesk and Varieté is definitely getting on Santa's Naughty list with Yule Logs and Jingle Balls: A Very Risqué, Very Glittery, Very Burlesque Ode to the Holidays. Burlesque dancers, sideshow performers, drag acts and more join forces to celebrate this most sparkly of holidays in grand style…
Big Holiday Bash • First Annual Toy Drive • Native Remedies • rap • 2 Evil • Seenloc • Illnickell & Badshit
By Megan Reneau
Envision a happy Christmas morning: Kids waking up across the world and running with wide eyes to a collection of presents just for them. Here's the catch: Some kids can't have that. Not just the presents, but even just being home could be impossible. Pleasantly Offensive Productions is hosting the Big Holiday Bash: First Annual Toy Drive at The Jam Spot this Saturday, Dec. 17. Native Remedies, 2 Evil, Seenloc, IllNickell & Badshit, Acetone Boogie & Izzo, Big Jubes and many more local musicians will be performing to raise funds for kids who can't make it home because they're in the hospital. This all-ages show begins at 7:30pm, and entry is free with a donation of a toy.
Ugly Sweater Dance Party • Gabriel Jaureguiberry • funk • David Hartshorne
By Desiree Garcia
The best time to wear an ugly sweater is this Saturday, Dec. 17, at Boese Brothers Brewery from 6pm to 1am. Show off that bad boy with a Christmas tree made from macaroni or even that ugly sweater you’ve had stuffed away somewhere that you got as a gift from that relative you only see once a year. Make sure to strut your stuff and capture the moment in the taproom and use the hashtag #veryboesechristmas on Facebook or Instagram to win some prizes. If that doesn’t sound like enough of a good time, there will also be live entertainment by Gabriel Jaureuiberry and David Hartshorne along with catering by Karue’s Mexican Food!
Pinball Tournament • arcade games • Food Drive
By Maggie Grimason
As my friends in Rudest Priest say, “I may not get the high score, but then again I might/ I just wanna play a little pinball tonight.” And this Sunday, Dec. 18, it doesn't really matter if you get the high score, everybody wins because at this Pinball Tournament—sponsored by and held at Sister—is also a food drive. All pinball machines on site will be set to free to play from 4pm onward, so get there early and warm up your fingers. There's a $10 buy-in for the tournament, and while non-perishable food donations aren't required, I'm just going to say this: Don't be an asshole. You're not going to eat that canned corn.
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