Alibi V.19 No.18 • May 6-12, 2010 

Rock Reads

Sam Cutler You Can't Always Get What You Want: My Life With the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Other Wonderful Reprobates (Random House)

In his autobiography, Sam Cutler—tour manager for The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead in their raucous heydays—seems coy about the path his life took after splitting with the Dead about 35 years ago. But it’s obvious that a lengthy hangover must’ve ensued. From snorting cocaine with Janis Joplin to dropping acid with Jimi Hendrix to chugging Southern Comfort with the Dead’s Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Cutler spent his time as “rock ‘n’ roll nanny” in the company of some seriously self-centered and out-of-control stars, nearly matching their risky behavior and living to tell the tale. Just be careful—you may not be a fan of some of your favorite classic rockers after reading this.

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Del Sol String Quartet performs “Night” in the center of the installation.
Petr Jerabek

Spotlight

Garden, “Night"

A musical installation gently leads audiences down the garden path

Garden is a three chapter series of performances, incorporating live music and video projection, exploring themes of night, place and the intersection of humans with their environment. Albuquerque music lovers can catch chapter one, “Night,” this weekend. Chris Jonas, the Santa Fe-based composer and multimedia artist behind Garden, hopes to give audiences a richer, more layered experience than a standard concert would. Meshing music with art installation, he’s working with different musicians and artists for each piece of his trilogy.

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Kate Mann

Show Up!

Cowboys Are My Weakness

A night of disparate local Americana

Years ago Kate Mann traded her New Mexico home for Portland, Ore. She’s just returned to Taos, guitar in hand, packing a songbook full of brilliant lyrics and discreet melody. Often backed by a rotating cast of musicians known as the Calamities, this week Kate plays her welcome-home set as a solo.

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Ila Cantor

Jazzed

Compelling Compositions and Playful Puzzles

Guitarist Ila Cantor's trio finds new routes to familiar destinations

Listening to the variety of compositions penned by guitarist Ila Cantor, you get the sense that she is as comfortable in Brooklyn’s new music scene as she would have been filling in for Charlie Christian at Minton’s, that Manhattan crucible of bebop, in the ’40s. Then again, she might have been equally at home subbing for Barry Melton, Country Joe and the Fish’s lead guitarist, at San Francisco’s Fillmore in ’67.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Willy J and the Storytellers CD Release Show

Despite having a name that might suggest Americana, Willy J and the Storytellers plays lively and cathartic alternative rock, and the members cite acts like Pearl Jam, Incubus, Rage Against the Machine and Oasis as influences—smells like '90s revival. The band’s front man, a shaggy-haired painter from Montana by way of Tennessee, says the name suits the quartet. "Our songs are stories,” says Willy J, “and the songs I like the most are the ones that do have a story behind them." Find out what it's all about on Friday, May 7, at Low Spirits when the band releases its first album, Chopping Trees. Listen and find out more on alibi.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Song Roulette

David Hevener of Gnossurrus

David Hevener is a preschool teacher and the guitarist, vocalist and mystic rattle player for Santa Fe’s Gnossurrus. The robe-cloaked mystic-prophecy metal band is releasing its first album, Beast of Destiny, this Saturday at Burt’s. To get a feel for some of Gnossurrus’ inspiration, take a look-see at five random tracks from Hevener’s collection.

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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

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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 the 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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