Alibi V.20 No.28 • July 14-20, 2011 

Sonic Reducer

"Blew My Speakers" 7-inch (Española Recording Company)

On one fateful night at a rough bar somewhere in New Mexico, Calida and Frankie (The Dirty Hearts) witnessed a gangster’s inspiring performance of “Billie Jean,” then, later, his arrest after violently demanding to sing Rosie & The Originals' "Angel Baby" out of turn. The Angel Babies were born. The Austin-based duo uses electronic beats, synthesizers, accordion and vocal harmonies to create a lo-fi, experimental, quasi punk sound that's fun and maybe a bit dangerous. Hear the band live and buy this 7-inch at the Launchpad on Sunday, July 17. The Angel Babies plays with The Seeing Things and St. Petersburg. (JCC)

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Gardens & Villa sounds like the name of a chichi decorating magazine. Instead, it’s a funk-laced, intergalactic-feeling Santa Barbara-based band with post-punk and prog rock undertones. The music is a far-out affair and has little to do with topiary or Tuscany (though the moniker is derived from the group’s lush residence on Villa Street). See Gardens & Villa live along with frosty sweet New Orleans rock band Generationals on Saturday, July 23, at Low Spirits. (JCC)

After initially asking myself "what is this crap?" this album really grew on me. It takes a while to adjust to the laid-back sound, kind of a Randy Newman meets Leonard Cohen affair. The band features some loose piano playing by Spooner Oldham along with minor guitar chords that complement the misanthropic lyrics perfectly. "I'll take a drink from your jugular vein / I'll unleash my cats on your salty brain," sings Black Francis on “Curse.” Strange. Cool. Comes out in September. (GP)

(JCC) Jessica Cassyle Carr, (GP) Geoff Plant