Cosmic synth pop act embarks upon its maiden voyage
By Samantha Anne Scott
Hyperland wants to take you on an intergalactic pleasure cruise. The Alibi was alerted to the synth pop duo's celestial plans via a colorful in-flight manual delivered to our music desk. The band releases its six-song EP on Tuesday, Oct. 18, but Burqueños can experience “Tomorrow, Today” at the band's live debut on Saturday.
Hailing from Rotterdam, virtuoso trumpeter Eric Vloeimans (pronounced “Vlouie-mans”), like many of his jazz-playing countrymen, brings a good-natured swagger and cheery fearlessness to the music. Thursday at the Outpost, his quartet Gatecrash will windmill its way through engaging original compositions.
They don’t have fireworks, a giant inflatable penis or any of the other spectacular bullshit of a major-label tour. Albuquerque’s A Hawk & A Hacksaw, Minneapolis’ Dark Dark Dark, and Chicago’s Pillars and Tongues don’t even have a name for their tour.
They do have an unusual collection of instruments, two vans and the ability to reshape time, although they accomplish that in different ways. The three groups will be altering perceptions at the South Broadway Cultural Center on Friday in an all-ages concert produced by AH&AH accordionist Jeremy Barnes.
Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house
By August March
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.
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.