Meice on Mars Singer Joe Reineke and drummer Shawn Trudeau crushed Meices fans when, after four records and too many drunken shows to count, they played their final gig at the Bottom of the Hill in March. The two relocated down south, but it appears extraplanetary forces are stronger than broken guitar strings. Rumor has it that during a strange astral conjunction that occurred on the anniversary of the UFO crash at Roswell, Reineke and Trudeau were sent a mental missive: Form a band and call it the Alien Crime Syndicate. They obeyed, recording a demo with appropriately titled songs like "Take Me to Your Leader" and "Trippin' Up to the Clouds." They offered the Alien technology to various record labels. Interscope, Reprise, Dreamworks, and Epic all expressed gluttonous interest, but, according to plan, ACS shunned the majors and signed with Revolution, with whom their rather earthy manager, Don Robertson, was already familiar. ACS are going into the studio this January to start recording with producer Gil Norton of Pixies fame. Folks can expect an album by summer and according to Robertson it'll have a futuristic sound, "something like Beck meets the Replacements." (S.T.)

Bring the Noise Local musicians have plenty of straight studio options, but what about those folks whose passion for sound sometimes goes way beyond something that can be captured on a CD? Never fear, there's 23five, a nonprofit organization -- founded by Scott Jenerik -- dedicated to the development of sound works throughout the Bay Area. Sound works are artistic endeavors centered around sound, without necessarily being considered "music" by normal standards. These can take the form of radio transmissions, sound sculpture, site-specific public art, performances, and recordings. Since 1993, 23five has quietly promoted shows, CDs, and festivals that bridge the gap between the street ethics of "noise artists" and the academia of "experimental musicians" while working with young people through various Bay Area cultural centers. Now, 23five has its sights set on a studio space in Potrero Hill, where it hopes to archive various sound projects as well as provide professional recording equipment for local artists and offer on-site workshops for young people -- cheap. "We plan on giving out grants," says Jenerik. "We'll record their CDs, press them, and release them." 23five has the equipment and the space, but it needs cash to build the actual studio. As can be expected, it didn't take much to convince local artists to make some public noise. Behaviormusik developer Michael Peppe, Hoverdrum's Timothy North, Crash Worship's Simon Cheffins, soundscape creator Thomas Dimuzio, filmmaker Craig Baldwin, machinartist Kal Seemen, Nervous Laughter's Kurt Weitzmann, and others will be on hand at the benefit performance to be held at the Lab on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 9 p.m. (S.T.)

Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Karl D. Esturbense (K.D.E.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), Heather Wisner (H.W.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly.

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