Alibi V.19 No.26 • July 1-7, 2010 

Aural Fixation

Yankee Doodle Dandy,” perhaps the sassiest of all classic patriotic American tunes, is thought to have been written in mid-18th-century Europe, possibly during the Seven Years’ War. Though its exact origin is unclear, the song was a British invention and was used to deride American Colonists and their ragtag army. The most recognizable verse (there are nearly 200) is not seen in this sheet music: “Yankee Doodle went to town / Upon a little pony / Stuck a feather in his cap / And called it Macaroni"—nonsense on the surface, this verse is actually a snobby insult to pastoral Colonial fashion (a Macaroni was a traveled, upper-class European who wore extravagant wigs). In the American tradition of taking things that don’t belong to us, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was reclaimed by the disheveled patriots and became a source of Colonial pride. And, as we all know, in the end the garishly dressed Americans defeated the pretentious and dimwitted red coats whose flamboyant uniforms made them easy targets. U.S.A.! (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Peter Case knows what song’s on the B-side.
Ann Summa

Music Interview

Wig Out!

Power pop turns folkie—a chat with Peter Case

In 1975 Jack Lee, Paul Collins and Peter Case formed the short-lived but influential power pop group The Nerves. Most notably, the band is responsible for the classic track "Hanging on the Telephone," later made famous by Blondie. The group also had a hand in founding the West Coast punk scene—but just as the cultural explosion got its footing in L.A., The Nerves split in 1978. Collins and Case formed The Breakaways, and Lee went solo. Case went on to find success as the frontman for The Plimsouls, but by the mid-’80s that band dissolved and Case returned to his solo roots.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]


[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Psychedelic Hoedown

“Listen, Bob, I don’t have time to talk about the memo—I’m up to my flank in plastic army men right now.” A combination of discount wallpaper, highly effective business practices and possibly the artist’s bad acid trip make this an intriguing work of photo montage. More intriguing is the idiosyncratic show it notes— Grand Canyon, Shoulder Voices and The Booty Green—at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Saturday, July 3, beginning at around 10 p.m. The show is free for the 21-and-over crowd. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Sonic Reducer

Piñata Protest Plethora · Panda Riot Far and Near · Matt Perrine & Sunflower City Bayou Road Suite

Mixing punk with Mexican border music is nothing new. Joe “King” Carrasco hit it big on the frat-boy circuit with nuevo wave-o Tex-Mex party songs that ultimately tasted like watery horchata. Tired of Black Flag copycats but not the energy, San Antonio native Álvaro del Norte reclaimed the corridos he rejected as a child to study under Texas accordion maestro Juan Tejeda. Now his band, Piñata Protest, serves a steaming pot of caldo de res with beefy punk riffs and greasy accordion marrow—the tastiest Norteño/rock recipe to date. Be sure you save your last bit of tortilla to wipe the bowl clean. (CA)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

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.
calendar
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 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.
calendar