Alibi V.19 No.8 • Feb 25-March 3, 2010 
The Squash Blossom Boys

Music to Your Ears

Early to Rock, Early to Rise

Remember when you used to go out on the town almost every night of the week, sampling the ripe fruits of your town’s musical loins? Are those days gone, perhaps replaced by the fruit of your own loins and the responsibilities of adulthood? A new concert series unfolding at the Harwood Art Center aims to soothe the sonic aches of parents in this particular predicament.

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[Left to right] Dennis Thomas, George Brown, Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Khalis Bell
Silvia Mautner

Spotlight

The Spirit of the Boogie

An interview with Kool of Kool & the Gang

It's a good thing that Mr. Robert "Kool" Bell didn't answer his cell phone when I first tried to call him. Had he picked up, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of hearing his groovy voice mail greeting: "You have reached Kool, and it's kool to leave a message."

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A treasure chest full of Chinese Love Beads
Captain America

Dirt City Archives

¡Un Grito Electrico!

The Chinese Love Beads

Not long ago, the musical road between the ’Burque and El Chuco (that’s El Paso, Texas, to you) was well-traveled. It was easy to find records by Paseños such as Faction X, Not So Happy or Fall On Deaf Ears. Since many Tejano punks were from El Barrio de Ysleta with familia across the border, they also opened that path to exciting Juárez outfits like Setenta Dos Horas. In El Chuco one evening, my greatest regret was having to decline an invitation to a show en otro lado over the Rio Grande. A guero like me couldn’t have asked for a better escort, but being on the New Mexico state payroll I had to work early next morning with a clear head sin crudo.

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Flyer on the Wall

You Git Now, Vince

Soon Albuquerque’s burliest bluegrass band will lose its bass player, Vince Edgerton, to the northerly mecca of Denver. The Porter Draw will continue to perform, but on Saturday, Feb. 27, the bearded ladies gather together for a special final performance with Vince. Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) hosts at 10 p.m., and the show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Sonic Reducer

Tobias Gebb & Unit 7 Free at Last · Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore Dear Companion · The Besnard Lakes The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night

Tobias Gebb’s limber drumming and the adept pianism of Eldad Zvulun provide the underpinnings for four different combos (two quintets and two sextets drawn from nine other players) on four Gebb originals and four covers. Things get off and running with Toby Wine’s “Blues for Drazen,” which both altoist Bobby Watson and tenorist Stacy Dillard just nail. Unfortunately, the remaining tracks cannot all sustain that high level. On the upside, Gebb’s ballad “My Love” features sensitive work from tenorist Joel Frahm, who also captures the “out there” feeling on the perky arrangement of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” On the downside, Gebb’s calypso “Bop Be Dop” never achieves the genre’s centrifugal rhythmic pull, and on “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” Watson’s lovely solo is almost ruined by Gebb’s intrusive castanets. (MM)

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Courtesy of the Artist

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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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