Alibi V.19 No.2 • Jan 14-20, 2010 

Music to Your Ears

Put a Scarf on and Get Out of the House

Things can get really dark music-wise in December and January. First there's the holiday craze. Bands stop touring, and local shows are few. Following Christmas, presumably due in part to cash flow issues stemming from said holiday craze (not to mention the ongoing recession), fewer people dare to venture out into the long, cold January nights. Being one who attends events several times a week, it's painful to witness the barren interiors of venues where crowds of music fans should be rocking out. This problem—tied up in economics as well as cultural awareness, a dwindling band supply, scant support for local musicians, hostility toward Downtown as an entertainment district, absurdly rigid liquor laws, absent public transportation and taxi services, and a mess of other issues—is more complicated than could be contained within a tiny column. In any case, this message is simple. Within the next month the January/December lull dissipates, giving way to cool, interesting, exciting or otherwise music-related events around Albuquerque and Santa Fe. And they'll only increase throughout the year. If you haven't made a resolution for 2010, please resolve to go see live music. By doing so you'll be entertained in a way incomparable to any video game or sitcom rerun, while also supporting the local culture and economy, and fighting the power—be it CABQ or Old Man Winter.

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Tony, Harry, Ella and Chris pose for a family portrait.

Spotlight

The World on Fyre

The wickedest band in the area directly surrounding the 12th Street 7-11 releases an album worth at least as much as a mediocre hamburger

Composed of the rural New Mexico-raised dirt heads from the late Unit 7 Drain (one of the most relentless Albuquerque rock bands of all time) and I is for Ida, The World on Fyre is the next phase in an enduring sonic assembly. Harry Redus-Brown, Ella Brown, Tony Sapienz and Chris Newman converge here in a noisier fashion, parting with catchy hooks to create a cacophony that should frighten some and titillate others. This week the band unleashes these new sounds in a physical form. In anticipation, we e-quizzed Harry about drinks, New Mexico music and, of course, The World on Fyre.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

The Odd Trio

A bill made of local bands could get stranger than this. What if Death Convention Singers, The Squash Blossom Boys and Cherry Tempo played a show together? Or, say The 2bers, Kimo and Nosotros randomly team up for a night? Still, a 100.3 The Peak-presented bill containing the modern rock stylings of Soular, the slick gypsy swing of Le Chat Lunatique and the timeworn sounds of Albuquerque mainstay The Tattersaints is slightly bewildering. It also sounds like a fun Friday night at the Launchpad, so get your eclectic ass down there on Jan. 15, and mingle with your musical brethren—doors open at 8 p.m. The $5, 21-and-over show starts around 9 p.m. And if you don't like one of the bands, you can always play Simpsons pinball, Ms. Pac-Man or Galaga. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Music Playlist

Song Roulette

Special Extra-Descriptive Edition

Not only is World on Fyre member Chris Newman talented enough to face a fierce drum-off with Neil Peart, he’s also a composer and a student artist at UNM where he’s learning to master the piano. This week he set his phone to “party shuffle” and this is what turned up.

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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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