Alibi V.19 No.14 • April 8-14, 2010 
The girl can’t help it.

Spotlight

Gretchen Parlato: A Voice to Call Her Own

When vocalist Gretchen Parlato performs a song, she doesn’t so much inhabit it as become inhabited by it, living and breathing a musical and emotional life that is inseparable from the artist. Her singing is personal, and therefore it’s immediate and resonant—and because of that, apparently artless.

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Myles Boisen mylesboisen.com

Show Up!

Geek Glam

Zoe Boekbinder makes music for people who like to wear sequins to the library

When I first heard Zoe Boekbinder’s beautiful Artichoke Perfume, I thought it sounded like the musical child of Jolie Holland and Joanna Newsom had joined the circus and made an album. Not only do other people compare her to Holland, Boekbinder (pronounced “Bookbinder”) lists the musician as an influence, too. But the Oakland-based Canadian is hesitant to label her sound.

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Luís Guerra and Amani Malaika

Jazzed

A Little More Experimental, a Little More Eclectic

Jazz, Deconstructed series explores jazz’ roots and branches

Jazz, Deconstructed, a new four-concert series, features local artists with visionary projects that stretch from New Orleans’ Congo Square to an electrocoustic jazz/hip-hop detente.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Sexy Springtime

She beckons with her ... eyes. Also, her tetas. One of the best things about Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) is that there’s continuously been local art on the punk rock bar’s walls since it opened in May 2003. (Do we smell a birthday coming on?) Atomic’s not afraid to hang pop art, risqué or abstract, along with other beautiful and weird works by 505 faves. This month, drop by to see paintings by Christina Aristmuño, David Gatt, Megan Cronin, John Henry Hansen, Amanda Banker, Heather Cronin, Sunita Aristmuño, George Evans, Rodney Ibarra, Jay Smithline and Melinda Casey; photography by Crystal Sims, John Salazar and Nathan Paolinelli; ink work by Jeff Hayes; and mixed media by Kevin Hopper and Sharon Chang. (Marisa Demarco)

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Sonic Reducer

The Grateful Dead Crimson, White & Indigo · The Freak Out List, DVD

Despite the stereotypically cheesy cover art that will probably shoo away non-Deadheads (as usual), Crimson, White & Indigo (or “7/7/89”) includes a whole lot more than the mindless hippie drool suggested by the horrible ponytails worn by Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia at the time. Just one year before his fatal drug overdose, keyboardist Brent Mydland delivered an improvised monologue that was both uplifting and jarring during “Blow Away” and was really the MVP of this charged evening in Philly. The band also covered Willie Dixon, James “Sugar Boy” Crawford and Bob Dylan, and mesmerized the huge audience with its often-peaking space-folk, highlighted by poet Robert Hunter’s powerful lyrics in “Box of Rain” and “Wharf Rat.” Proof that the Dead were an impressively diverse and effectual band well after the ’60s.

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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

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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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