Now's the Time

Stereo on Strike gets in the Christmas spirit

Earlier this year, a group of electronic musicians in Denton staged a coup of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios' open-mike nights, arriving early and commandeering the sign-up sheet each time out, turning the open-mike nights into their own open forum. Soon enough, the group, collectively known as Stereo on Strike, was given its own every-other-week showcase. Since May, these nights have been the home to performances by such outfits as Aberatt, The Aleph, Cricket Metronome, Data Jockey, David Gross, Healthcat, Intesticle, MFH, RF programme, The Silver Saint, The Wild Bull and many others. On December 13, Stereo on Strike will have a special Christmas shindig, with The Wild Bull, The Aleph, Earl Harvin and more. As we understand it, The Wild Bull and Earl Harvin will perform a handful of tunes on their own, then play a drum and bass set, featuring Riki Bryan on bass and MCs Isa (of Zulu Nation) and Jah Rich rhyming along. If you haven't been out to Rubber Gloves for a Stereo on Strike show, now's as good a time as any. Maybe even a better time...

Speaking of special Christmas shows, Good Records will present the Second Annual Polyphonic Spree Holiday Celebration on December 21 at the Lakewood Theatre. In addition to the Spree, performers include MC Astronautilus and UNB (United B-Boys Breakdance Posse), First on Film Improv Comedy Collective (who begin a three-month run at The Door in January), Syncopated Ladies (dancers from the Denton Senior Center who Good's Chris Penn says will "tap dance their way into your heart") and the accordion-playing husband-and-wife duo Norman and Sharon Seaton. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys as part of the Toys for Tots drive. (Speaking of benefits, in an attempt to lend a hand to the North Texas Food Bank, Good is also offering a 5 percent discount on purchases through December 22 if you bring in any canned food item.) You can get advance tickets ($12) at Good or by calling 214-752-GOOD. Definitely sounds like fun for the whole family, if there is such a thing...

Ropelab has just released its first 12-inch single, containing extended club remixes of two tracks, "Radioactive" and "Oracion," from its upcoming full-length, which should be hitting stores in late January or early February. Head Lab technician Don Relyea says "Radioactive" features Ropelab's newest member, former Hellafied Funk Crew guitarist Yoshi Suzuki. You can find the single at all the usual spots (Oak Lawn Records, Bill's, Illmatic, Core and Good), and you can check out MP3 versions of the songs at www.ropelab.com. If you like 'em, make sure you go buy the disc, too. We'd say something like, "Don't steal music," but we're pretty sure Apple has that phrase copyrighted...

Speaking of singles, El Gato has just put out a three-song teaser for its forthcoming full-length, We're Birds (recorded by Tripping Daisy/Polyphonic Spree bassist Mark Pirro, making his debut as a producer), due in stores January 15. You can get the three-track single now, and you should. The disc features "Winter" and "Christmas in My City," as well as a live version that combines the two. It's only $4, so skip a pack of smokes and get a taste...

Centro-matic's Will Johnsonand Scott Danbom are in the midst of a short West Coast swing, opening for erstwhile Posie Jon Auer. The tour winds up on December 16 at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. A new Centro-matic record should be coming out in January, and if we remember right it's a collection of songs recorded by Johnson and Matt Pence featuring little more than Johnson and a nylon-string guitar. Look for a limited release, possibly only on the group's Web site (www.centro-matic.com) and at shows. And if things go as they usually do, there will be at least one or two other Centro-matic discs coming out next year, too...

Quality Park Records will finally release the long-discussed vinyl version of the pAper chAse's fabulous cntrl-alt-delete-u EP, which was issued on CD by Chicago's Divot Records a few months back. Only 500 will be pressed, so grab 'em as close to the release date (January 15) as you can. In related news, the pAper chAse still kicks ass...

Truth in advertising: On December 31, the Bronco Bowl Theatre will host New Year's Evil, with performances by Drowning Pool, Sevendust, Union Underground, Gasoline and Big Iron. Other rumored titles for the concert were: Last Chance For These Bands to Suck in 2001 (too wordy), Interesting Facial Hair and Uninteresting Music (too obscure) and Shit Sandwich. Maybe next year. Does this mean we will be getting coal in our stocking? Probably. Just so long as there's no room for a Drowning Pool CD...

Get out: The Happiness Factor opens for Bare Jr. at Trees on December 14, two days before the Local Show Music Awards are held there; Nate Fowler's Elixir is at Club Dada on December 13; Adventures of Jet, Stara Zagora, Red Animal War and Pony League play Galaxy Club on December 15; Pleasant Grove, 7% Solution and Stumptone perform December 13 at Curtain Club; Chomsky, [DARYL] and Macavity are at The Aardvark in Fort Worth on December 15, and Chomsky plays an acoustic set at Barley House the following night; The Gospel Swingers and Dead Sexy drop by Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on December 15.

 
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