Alibi V.19 No.47 • Nov 25-Dec 1, 2010 
He’s coming down your chimney tonight.

Aural Fixation

It’s Elvis Time

How The King’s Christmas album saves my sanity

Say what you like about Elvis—culture thief; sad, boozy drug addict; cheese sandwich—but the man had a voice that could soothe volcanoes, particularly the volcano that is my head during the 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a time when every single store in the country, from Nordstrom to 7-Eleven, feels obligated to play Christmas music. And it’s not even the good stuff. As far as I can tell, no one except little kids enjoys hearing syrupy, cutesy “Jingle Bell Rock” played ad nauseam. Last year I made an obnoxious and totally doomed pledge to not shop anywhere Christmas music was playing. I should have stocked up on groceries in October.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Coffin Break

Autopsy "The Tomb Within" (Peaceville, 2010)

Old-skool in tha house! When it comes to classic grind, no one did a more Fangora-worthy job back in the day than Autopsy. There were equals, forebearers and even bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation that eclipsed the California trio both technically and stylistically, but in terms of unabashed bloody gore fests, no one pulled it off time and time again with Autopsy’s sublime dedication to good old-fashioned splatter.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Ravi Coltrane studies the ways opposites coalesce.
Michael Weintrob

Jazzed

A Spiritual Wallop

Ravi Coltrane’s quartet ascends to improvisational heaven

The title of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane’s most recent album, Blending Times (Savoy Jazz), released in 2009, works on two levels. First, harking back to a track of the same title on his previous album, In Flux (Savoy Jazz), it refers to the simultaneous blending of time signatures in a composition. Second, it refers to two distinct time periods in both Coltrane’s personal life and the recording of Blending Times. Those periods are divided by a cataclysmic event: the death of his mother, Alice Coltrane, musician, composer and spiritual leader, on Jan. 12, 2007.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]


[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Uncle Che

Taking a break from the T-shirts of marijuana-steeped college students, socialist icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara calls on New Mexico denizens to do their duty in service to rock music on Saturday, Nov. 27, at Hallenbrick Brewery (3817 Hawkins NE). The Dregz plays from 7 to 10 p.m. and the show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

Song Roulette

Michael Henningsen phucking hates Phish

Michael Henningsen has played in many a band—Bad Touch Uncle, The Strawberry Zots, Young Edward. He now plays in the David Kurtz Band, and will soon reunite with the Ant Farmers for a reunion show at Low Spirits on Dec. 4. Henningsen was also the Alibi’s editor-in-chief and music editor for a million years. As of this month, he’s back writing about scary black metal in a column called Coffin Break (see the second edition in this week’s issue). Below are random selections from his music collection.

[ 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 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.
calendar