Alibi V.18 No.41 • Oct 8-14, 2009 ››
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
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.
Love Bites • Vampire Ball • goth, electro, industrial, '80s
If putting on something dressy and all black is your forte, boy do we have an event for you. Effex's vampire's ball entitled Love Bites commences at 9pm this Thursday, Feb. 22. All those over 21 should prepare for a gory good time for just $2! Enter a raffle for $1 to sink your claws into a set of Kustom Fitted Fangs, Vampyre Tea Company's organic tea and more. Accompany fellow vampires and goths for a night of '80s electro and EDM music. Show off your best tripp pants and other dark wave looks in a costume contest to win bloody good prizes, attract eager victims and dance the night away—but not too late because you may turn into dust.
courtesy of Prism Bitch
Prism Bitch • punk • Shitty and the Terribles • garage • Gerunding
Let's be clear: the premier psych-y, slithery rocanrol event of February takes place at (where else) the Launchpad on Friday, Feb. 23. That's when local sultry sound stars and de facto leaders of the soulful garage rock unit of this city's scene, Prism Bitch—that would be Lauren Poole, Lilah Rose, Chris Walsh, Teresa Cruces and Nelson Crane—take the stage to blind you with sonic and spectral divination from out the mouths of prison-bound purveyors of a sort of electric blues that takes plenty of pop turns as it smolders and then catches fire all hot and shit. Shitty and the Terribles, say they're punk rock, but their vibe feels more no-wave to me, complete with Nueva York style aggression and power chords. Whatever, they totally rock; psych-pop pronunciators Gerunding (everything they sing ends in -ing, one hopes)—a duo that features Mag Kim and Racheaella Ceniceros—open up this super psychedelic can of worms that are actually magic mushrooms that are actually … oh my gawd, you better go and see for yourself. 9pm • $7 • 21+.
The Open Bra • Mayo Lua de Frenchie • Miss Behavin • Burlesque improv competition • DJ CS Rucker • dance, house
Work up your courage or down a few beers this Saturday, Feb. 24 at Duel Brewing and take the stage for the The Open Bra, a bi-monthly burlesque improv competition. Performers are assigned a song at the beginning of the evening, and then hit the stage to enchant the audience and judges Miss Behavin, Mayo Lua de Frenchie and Annie O'Roar. And hey, if you're too nervous to take a turn dancing, you still get to weigh in on runner-up and winner slots as a member of the kowtowing crowd. This free, 21+ doors at 8pm and the event begins at 9pm. Plan on staying late for a dance party afterwards.