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DTHOmnibusTtiursday, March 23, 19895
- In concert next Monday , - .
Christmas, Angels to play; no carols, though
By KATE HAUSER
Ho, ho, ho. Christmas is coming
to Cat's Cradle Monday, and open
ing for it are the Angels of Epis
temology. Dont expect any carols
The band Christmas' name pro
vides for plenty of stupid puns.
Christmas, a "demented pop"
band out of the Boston music
scene (see Throwing Muses, Pixies,
Big Dipper) is on tour promoting
its second album, Ultraprophets of
Thee Psykick Revolution
Christmas is an ambitious band.
Guitarist Michael Cudahy gave me
an interview from a pay phone
outside a club somewhere in
Alabama Tuesday night. A career
minded man is he.
Early this year, Ultraprophets
was released. The album has been
selling out in Chapel Hill. Christmas'
first album, in Excelsior Dayglo
from the now-defunct Big Time
label, came out in 1986, five years
after Liz Cox, Cudahy and his
brother Nicholas left Boston Uni
versity to form the band.
There are some notable differ
ences between the band's earlier
material and this second album.
Somewhere along the road, Christ
mas opened a deeper, political vein
- a move Michael Cudahy calls
The first album was considered
fun and humorous. When asked
about being called a "joke band,"
Cudahy plainly said it was not.
More often, it displays "heavy
handed irony" than humor, he said.
The title of the new album is
no joke either, Cudahy said. He said
he thrived on the big, fast and loud
American culture, but often felt
this country is a spiritually bank
rupt place,- the whole "psykick
revolution" idea is what America
needs. A number of . the band's
songs revolve around a political
core (see AIDS, war and corrupt
Charmed by Cox's ultra-feminine
pop-star voice, one might over
look the group's cutting lyrics.
"Richard Nixon sees youRichard
Nixon sees through you . . ." she
will sing. Pay attention.
Cudahy said the band got its
name when someone slipped an
envelope under its practice room
door. They opened the envelope,
and the word "Christmas" was
printed on a p ace of paper. The
band has never known where the
mystery mail came from, but it
took the name anyway.
Christmas used the five "un
vinyled" years to develop a visible
confidence onstage. Michael
Cudahy's gymnastic energy level
during a performance is unrivaled
And not to add to the sticky
novelty she must be subjected to,
it will be enthralling to see Cox on
drums. Cudahy called her "the axis
of the band."' ;
"We act on every stupid impulse
we have," Cudahy said about the
band's recent move to las Vegas
from Boston. The Big Dipper album
Craps is a vague account of Christ
mas' move, he said.
When the word "alternative"
came up, Cudahy asked, "Alterna
tive to what?" He said the term
was often just an exclusive label
bands give themselves, usually
giving them a "permit to suck."
Cudahy said he viewed the alter
native label, if not the movement,
as a dead end.
The band has been to Chapel Hill
on two occasions, once with
Husker Du and another time on its
Angels of Epistemology, a band
from Raleigh, will open for Christ
mas in its first Chapel Hill appear-'
ance since last May. Band member
Sara Bell said the band's recent
material appeared to contain less
thrash than it did a few years ago.
The band has not released an
album, although a number of
songs were included in the boxed
singles set Evil I Do Not Tonot I
Live, which was produced a few
Claire Ashby is the group's
drummer. Bell, Jebb Bishop and
Mike Carter make up the rest of
the band, which has been together
for three years.
Monday night's concert offers a
local thrash band that may have
smoothed out, a goofball band
that may have added some (pol
itical) thrash, and the beat of
women drummers. If it's not
enough to come and listen, come
and watch. Tickets are $4. Joy to
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