Alibi V.17 No.45 • Nov 6-12, 2008 
Noelan (left), Billy and Dan contemplate holiday cinema.

Music to Your Ears

Brian May Is an Astrophysicist

It shocks the rock and scientific communities to no end, but it's true. Besides originating the butter-smooth guitar licks that were as central to Queen's success as Freddie Mercury's vocal cords and unitards, Brian May is an astrophysicist. He had graduated with a bachelor of science (with honors) in physics at Imperial College London and was halfway through a PhD program (area of concentration: the velocity of space dust) when Queen blasted into a solar system all its own. May put down his thesis in favor of a guitar and didn't return to science for another three decades. He finally picked up that doctorate in May 2008. Wikipedia says an asteroid was promptly named after him: 52665 Brianmay.

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Noelan (left), Billy and Dan contemplate holiday cinema.
Eric Williams

Spotlight

The Bellemah Bus

Next stop: CD release party

A year ago this month, Billy Bellmont—namesake and auteur of defunct rock band The Bellmont—and Dan Dinning formed the loungy, acoustic, indie operation known as Bellemah. Like barnacles on a ship (or perhaps goatheads on a shoe), the band amassed seven members, then lost four, due mostly to time constraints. Now only Billy, Dan and Noelan Ramirez remain. Some days ago over coffee, Billy, Dan and I sat down for a chat. We laughed. We cried. We talked about Tom Waits. Below is a sample of our time together.

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John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet

Jazzed

John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet

Composer’s genre-blind music gently breaks new ground

Drummer/composer John Hollenbeck admits to being a “mixtape guy.” As a kid, he’d raid his brother’s record collection to create tapes featuring a wide range of music—from symphonic works to jazz to R&B and back again.

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Sonic Reducer

Keane Perfect Symmetry · The Sound of Animals Fighting The Ocean and the Sun · Eagles of Death Metal Heart On

Whether Perfect Symmetry provides instant glee or a splitting headache depends on how much you like alt.piano rock with a glob of synthesizer. If that sounds even remotely enjoyable, Perfect Symmetry is a surefire cure for the weepies. Keane is able to write lengthy ballads that don’t wear on your patience as easily as quick, punchy morning-starters. Piano is always the main course, and you never get more than a taste of drums or a sliver of guitar. Perfect Symmetry is more new-wave obsessed than Keane’s previous two releases, but it doesn’t slip into sulkiness. The group has become comfortable with its epic yet scaled-back songsmanship, and the water’s perfect if you feel like a swim. (SM)

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Ice Cold

Pale Young Gentlemen (Madison, Wis.), Small Flightless Birds and Back by October are cooler than cool this Thursday, Nov. 6, at Amped Performance Center (4200 Lomas NE). The 7 p.m. show is $5 and all-ages. (LM)

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Image courtesy of Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue

EVENT HORIZON ()

Step Right Up, Step Right Up!

Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue • Nik Sin • Short E. Dangerously • Lizard Man • The Govna Bryce Graves

Come one, come all! Hurry, hurry! See Death-defying stunts of mind over matter! Be amazed by the world's smallest escape artist, Nik Sin! Meet the half-man daredevil, Short E. Dangerously! Marvel at the world famous Lizard Man! The Govna Bryce Graves takes you on a wild adventure through authentic sword swallowing, fire eating, magic, illusions, glass walking and far more than meets the eye. The world-famous Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue takes over the Launchpad on Sunday, Nov. 25 for a night beyond belief! Doors at 7pm and the show rocks your socks off from 8 to 11pm, for mere pocket change at only $10. Carnie lovers of 21 and over can experience one of the last true freak shows on the circuit today.
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