Alibi V.19 No.28 • July 15-21, 2010 
Etran Finatawa

Show Up!

Let the Tribes Unite!

Etran Finatawa brings nomad blues from the Sahara

Niger, a landlocked West African country roughly twice the size of Texas, is one of the poorest places in the world. Mostly covered by desert, this hot, dusty zone is home to multiple ethnic groups, many of which are still nomadic. They lead their camels, cattle and goats along the edge of the Sahara in search of savanna pastures and water sources, sometimes clashing over limited resources. Two such groups are the Tuareg and the Wodaabe, who each have their own histories, social structures and religious beliefs.

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Quintron surrounded by a sea of Drum Buddys

Aural Fixation

Quintron, Miss Pussycat and a Tire Shop Named St. Claude

Scene 1 of Tennessee Williams’ magnum opus A Streetcar Named Desire opens with an introduction to the New Orleans neighborhood where the play unfolds. Williams lovingly illuminates the city's beautiful decay, omnipresent river and music around every corner. “The section is poor," he writes, "but, unlike corresponding sections in other American cities, it has a raffish charm. The houses are mostly white frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairs and galleries and quaintly ornamented gables."

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Psychodrama paraphernalia

Dirt City Archives

Here Comes Trouble

The Eyeliners vs. Psychodrama

Despite the inevitable dirty old men in the audience, The Eyeliners didn’t draw attention to gender. Sisters Gel, Lisa and Laura debuted as Psychodrama, certainly not a name that screams “girl band!” Nor did they emulate the pandering jailbait image that the girls of The Donnas milked successfully well into their 20s. There were no baby doll dresses or torn fishnets. Instead they wore tees, hoodies and high-top Chuck Taylors. All Psychodrama wanted was to rock out and have fun.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Go to Hell

Conjuring Victorian-era occult imagery, this ephemeral graphic notes the coming of Reverend Beat-Man. The Bern, Switzerland-based blues trash preacher is a one-man band, the founder of garage punk record label Voodoo Rhythm Records and a servant of the Church of Rock and Roll. See the Reverend in Santa Fe on Thursday, July 15, at 9 p.m. He’ll be performing alongside the comparably spooky New Zealander Delaney Davidson. The seance—$5 admission—will take place at Little Wing (at The Candyman Strings & Things, 851 St. Michael's Drive, Santa Fe). (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Bat Wings For Lab Rats—Rob Nakai is pictured at right.

Song Roulette

Rob Nakai is a vocalist and guitarist for Albuquerque bands Holiday Sail and Bat Wings For Lab Rats. The latter, a four-piece that melds diverse genres like punk, hip-hop, metal and funk, releases its debut album Punk • Hop • A • Delic at the Launchpad on Saturday, July 17. Below you’ll find an equally diverse sampling of Nakai’s music collection, selected at random.

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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 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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