Alibi V.20 No.40 • Oct 6-12, 2011 
Beirut traverses the Rio Grande.

Spotlight

Beirut’s Zach Condon Distills Himself

Trumpeter/ukulelist/singer Zach Condon, native Santa Fean and frontman for Beirut, has garnered a world of attention for music that draws heavily on his serial “flirtations,” as he calls them, with various genres. French chanson, Balkan brass, Mexican church bands, electronica—each has provided the inspiration and stylistic setting for a Beirut album.

The constants in those recordings, though, are Condon’s love affair with melody and his ear for the right sound in the right place. For the latest Beirut release, The Rip Tide, Condon focused on those elements, hoping to distill his own sound from the multigenre cocktail. He’s succeeded in creating his most personal and arguably his most beautiful and mature work to date.
Photo courtesy of Le Chat Lunatique

Troubadour

Coca Leaves, Vinyl and Confiscated Mustache Scissors ...

Le Chat Lunatique goes to Colombia

The mountains are to the east, and there’s a tram to the top of them. Spanish is spoken, tamales are eaten, potholes are plentiful. Albuquerque’s Le Chat Lunatique felt right at home in Bogotá. The gypsy jazz band made its first, but likely not its last, visit to Colombia in early September to take part in the 23rd Festival Internacional de Jazz del Teatro Libre.
Brad Charles and Hansen Ashley at Skatesploitation in Santa Fe
Akiliah Martinez

Show Up!

Electronic Blessings

Fest spotlights new wave of Native musicians

Brad Charles wants you to know there's more to rez music than metal. Charles and his partner, Hansen Ashley, make up the Navajo Nation-based post-punk duo Discotays. Dissatisfied with performance opportunities on the reservation for indie and electronic music, Charles organized a showcase to coincide with the 100th annual Northern Navajo Nation Fair.

[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Blitzen Trapper, Dawes and the Smoke Fairies in Santa Fe
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