For the Crazy Boys Crazy Girls night I organized at the Kosmos, my buddies in experimental act Then Eats Them pulled out all of the stops. You may know these guys from the constantly evolving Yoda's House. Their set began with a commentary on capitalism, starring a mystery man in a penguin costume, progressed into a cake eating party and ended with an extravagant sacrifice by singing saw, with pounding drums, steady drones and interludes with accordion and mandolin. The boys portrayed three roles; the priest, the sun and the lamb and their set was equal parts theatrics, music and shenanigans. It was impressive in all three aspects. They will be playing around in June as Yoda's House. I can't tell you what they might do next, but I can encourage you to be there. It's always an adventure.
The Kosmos and Beyond
Last weekend ruled!
As a follow up to the Kosmic Weekend blog, I would like to say that the weekend of May 7 was RAD. On Friday Panser Bjourn and Cloud Lantern played out at the Kosmos, it was the first show for both acts and the nervous excitement amplified the acoustic performances on it's own. Panser Bjourn won everyone's heart with complex and melodious mandolin riffs accompanied by his soft, windy vocals. Cloud Lantern is a new sound for Albuquerque, classically trained and unrestrained, the boys put on an impressively tight set using two percussionists, vocal looping, violin, cello and two classical guitars, that playfully dance back and forth.
I didn't make it to the show at the Kosmos on May 8, but I heard it was awesome. I was at the UNM Arts Lab, hearing from some of the experimental composing students there. It was very interesting.
On Sunday the Filthmongers rocked outside the Normal Gallery at a BBQ and skate party. It was so amazing that there is a different blog for that altogether. Later in the evening Twig Palace and Letters played Winning Coffee with local wierdos, Yoda's House. I was only able to catch Yoda's House which has had a recent change in lineup. Their set was a theatrical journey through mood and genre and felt very tribal and intimate. They will be out again in June as Yoda's House, but if you just can't wait till then, the Yoda's side project Then Eats Them will be playing Friday with Milch de la Machina at the Kosmos. Check out the Flyer on the Wall for all the info.
Get Weird Tonight
Improvisational music legend Konk Pack is on on tour from the UK and visiting The Kosmos on today. The group is made up of Tim Hodgkinson on the lap steel guitar, Thomas Lehn on the analogue synthesizer and Roger Turner playing drums. The three started touring in 1997 and have done so consistently ever since. The trio was described as "awkwardly brilliant and defiant" by the UK press.
This is a rare opportunity to see an internationally established experimental music, in the warm and cuddly atmosphere of a well-decorated coffee house. Opening is The Tubanator 5K, an integral part of the Albuquerque Jazz/improv community, as well Hedia, the solo ambient project of local virtuoso Bryce Hample. Don't miss it!
Albuquerque is being visited by the best kind of aliens—experimental musicians. Headlining tonight’s show at 1kind Studios is Peace, Loving of Boston, MA. Three members of an innovative music/art collective and record label Whitehaus are coming through with handheld tape recorders full of cricket song, homemade instruments and poetry and creative and playful antics.
Hora Flora, or Raub Roy, is a sound scientist, touring out of San Francisco. Videos show his sets as whimsical performances that couple sound and visuals for a holistic artistic experience.
The locals will be the Jeebies, who’ve made a few appearances at 1kind of late. The last time I saw them, they started the set wearing giant foam heads to appear like silly monsters and ended playing bass, creating a low and melodic tapestry of sound. They’re known to vary their routine, however-in the past they have used the missed connections as lyrics and put on puppet shows.
iNK oN pAPER is a drum, bass, electronic duo from the High Mayhem emerging arts studio in Santa Fe. You may know them from the High Mayhem performance space or the band The Late Severa Wires.
I really can't tell you what to expect from this evening but be prepared for auditory abduction.
Sunday may usually be for winding down and behaving yourself, but today I encourage you to go to a punk rock show! Hail Seizures is on tour and stopping at the Heaven and Hell show house at 400 Wellesley SE. Hail Seizures, from Olympia, Wash., is acoustic folk/punk, lo-fi, high energy. The lineup includes guitar, toy piano, cello and violin.
Also playing is Jake Trujillo from Santa Fe, who is seldom ventures out of his cave. If you see him, you will not forget it. He doesn’t sound much like anyone else, with influences as varied as the Pixies and Frank Sinatra. Butt Lumps is also of New Mexico, she plays banjo and guitar with a lot of heart. I haven’t seen her but she seems well worth a shot.
Due to recent troubles with the police, the residents of Heaven and Hell ask that there be no drugs or alcohol at the show, and if possible it is best if show-goers park on Garfield. Still, it’s good music, with good people, in a good place. So be there.
In defiance of romantic tradition, this Valentine’s Day the Albuquerque underground attended an early morning noise show at 1kind Studios. It was one of the morning shows that 1kind throws occasionally that encourages breakfast potlucking, coffee drinking and waffle eating.
When I walked into the dimly lit room around 11 a.m. I was confronted by the wafting smell of breakfast and a man smashing a guitar with what appeared to be a mallet in the corner, squeezed between the wall and a piano. The room was filled with an industrial screaming, like supersonic electric drilling or a compression hose.
The first act I saw completely was the local noise duo Baby Shampoo, playing their first show. They shared a sepia-stained 16 mm film upside down, which they had picked up from a thrift store and said was about the Tsunami. Their sounds, made by a horizontal guitar and a few pedals, made an unusual but fitting soundtrack for the film with its images of crashing waves and junkyards. They had edited the end themselves, using watercolors and sharpie for a psychedelic apex to close the set.
Rocket Parlour is a husband-wife noise team that recently moved to Albuquerque after a hiatus in Taos. They are known for their unique homemade instruments. For our show, Lorin Parker opened a box full of buttons and levers and lights, and attached to it a long piece of wood mounted with electrical fixtures. His wife Sarah Seelig is a concert pianist, and she played piano along with him. Their noise made the already dark room seem sinister and creepy; it was fun. Lorin Edwin mentioned that he will be teaching “make your own sythesizer” workshops out of 1kind in March, and possibly out of his space in the Harwood Art Center. Stay posted if you like music and science: www.electricwestern.com.
Local noise experience A Church is not a Hospital sat amid a myriad of pedals and instruments like two kids watching bugs. They were just amazing. I don't even want to get into it, come see for yourself next time.
The Wild Yaks were not like the others, being a beat-driven rock band on tour from Brooklyn. They played with a friendly and high energy; I caught them warming up by frolicking around the back of the building before they performed. If you missed them this time, or you've been missing them since, don't worry. They are due to return to New Mexico on March 12 on their way to SXSW. I will keep you informed about that.
I, unfortunately, was dragged away before the last two performances. To keep updated on breakfast shows, noise shows and breakfast/noise shows of the future, visit www.myspace.com/
Night of the Living Dead Milkmen
I spent last night watching Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen playing solo and acoustic at the independent Onekind Studio. I didn't know what to expect, seeing as the Milkmen hit their stride between the late eighties and early nineties, but I was surprised by what an excellent show he put on. His current tour is called The Huge Bicycle Tour and is named after the van. Talcum brought with him DJ Jester, Lord Grunge and The Bassturd.
Joe Jack Talcum played most of his set alone and a few songs with The Bassturd on accordion. His songs stylistically folk, but with the rawness of punk; about love, loss, societal decay and jellyfish. As an artist he was honest and charming, he spoke very little during his set, but did share with the audience a bag of watermelon twizzlers that he had with him. Talcum may not be with The Dead Milkmen anymore but he continues to rock with The Low Budgets and The Cheesies in addition to playing the spirited songs he writes alone.