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 Feb 11 - 17, 2010 

Music to Your Ears

By Jessica Cassyle Carr

Musica in Monterrey, Mexico

Few music festivals really thrill me: Coachella, Lollapalooza, SXSW, New Orleans’ Jazz Fest—despite excellent lineups, they tend to be hot, expensive, impersonal clusterfucks (on one hand, I am seeing the Pixies; on the other hand, I've got a wicked sunburn, just paid $8 for a thimble of beer and am about to be stepped on by an asshole with a fauxhawk). That said, it's more than exciting to tell you about MtyMx, a three-day, post- SXSW arts and music festival in Monterrey, Mexico—located in the northeast, it's the country's third-largest and reportedly safest city. On March 20, 21 and 22, acts such as Acid Mothers Temple, Hunx and His Punx, No Age, Neon Indian, Fucked Up, Thee Oh Sees, Dan Deacon and many others are scheduled to perform at Autocinema Las Torres, a mountainside drive-in movie theater. A third of the bands on the bill are Mexican—some of which rarely make it to the U.S. due to restrictive border controls. The festival is a collaborative effort between show promoters Yo Garage (enelgarage.com) and Todd P (toddpnyc.com). It’s an all-ages event and costs only 390 pesos for a three-day pass—that's $30, folks. For more on this fiesta, visit the aforementioned sites.

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Eydea, Abilities and Eyedea

Show Up!

Emotional Execution

Eyedea & Abilities murder the mainstream

By Kyle Eustice

“Playing live is like a drug. It induces a manic state for me,” says hip-hop MC Eyedea. “Usually I vomit uncontrollably afterwards, cry or, if it’s really good, I pass out. I put everything into it. If you’re a musician and not giving it your all, what are you even doing?”

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Mark Weaver’s UFO Ensemble visits the fun house.
Mark Jackson-Weaver

Jazzed

Mark Weaver’s UFO Ensemble

Well-engineered tunes support free, focused improvisation

By Mel Minter

Mark Weaver—tuba player, composer and founder of the UFO Ensemble—interlaces written and freely improvised elements to construct sturdy, expressive tunes capable of bearing the full weight of his collaborators’ imaginations. At turns bluesy, boppish, swinging, funky, concrete and organic, his compositions promote a focused but freewheeling conversation among the quartet’s musicians. The dialogue engages listeners even as it challenges the suppositions of some.

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Exene Cervenka
Ali Smith

Music Interview

Riding With Exene

By Laura Marrich

Exene Cervenka could care less about resting on laurels. She's fronted X for more than 30 years, stoking a dynamo of L.A. punk, poetry and American roots music alongside singer/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake. With such a robust career in music, Exene could easily cash in her chips and retire with plenty to be proud of. But she hasn't. And she won't. Far from holding steady, Exene has turned her attention to bands like The Original Sinners, The Knitters and Auntie Christ, playing with formats like country, rockabilly, folk, punk rock and glam. She's also acted in films, mounted visual art exhibitions and built a reputation as a spoken word artist.

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Flyer on the Wall

Love, Noise and Bacon Are in the Air

Nani Chacon is responsible for this lovely Tex Avery-inspired flyer, filled with titillating information. On St. Valentine’s Sunday, Feb. 14, Speaker Waffle Breakfast Club presents the rock and noise of Brooklyn's Wild Yaks, as well as New Mexico's A Church is not a Hospital, Rocket Parlour, Bigawatt and Baby Shampoo. Early bird showgoers will also be presented with pancakes, bacon, eggs and orange juice. Breakfast happens at Club Oven (1016 Coal SW) at 10 a.m., music begins at 11 a.m. All-ages are welcome. Food or $5 dollar donations will be gladly received. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Courtesy of the Artist

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Their Kindness is Charade

Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house

By August March
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

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Special Beat Service

The English Beat • ska

By August March
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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