Welcome to RockSquawk.com, magical web portal to Albuquerque’s local music scene. Come here to find out when local shows are happening, post your own shows, look for a new band member, discuss your amp, trade equipment or gossip with other musicians.
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The Alibi’s throwing a steampunk ball on 11.11.11
By Marisa Demarco [ Wed Nov 9 2011 4:05 PM ]
Captain Lionel Gearpunk’s Steam-Powered Ball
A spectacle spectacular at Launchpad on Friday! Doors at 8 p.m. $5
Circus burlesque act September Smith will rise above the audience.
Godiva Bleu will also perform a steampunk-themed tease.
Bianca Lily and Strong Man Sam will dance for you.
Plus, the Ladies’ Society of Grenadiers formed especially for this event (featuring members of The Gracchi and Ya Ya Boom).
Small Game, too!
DJ Caterwaul will spin all night.
And shore up some cash for steampunk jewelry and crafts by Sheley.
In 15 minutes, everybody will be famous
By Marisa Demarco [ Thu Sep 8 2011 2:12 PM ]
We tinfoiled up the Launchpad at the end of August and asked this town’s randiest bands to take the stage. Basement Films projected weirdo footage onto several ethereal screens, and 111 Media Collective screen-printed limited-edition Alibi shirts live.
Autumn Chacon shot and edited this video for us. First up, The Scrams, an impressively raw and sweaty mess. Then Manby’s Head, whose performance was so good, our music editor was seized by it. Next in the vid is Low on High, my new favorite band. And last, Chacon gave us a full song from The Dirty Novels during one of the group’s very last shows ever.
Andy Warhol once said he’d be happy to watch every party he’s invited to from a monitor in his bedroom. Little did he know, with the advent of everyman cheap tech and cell phone cams, he could be doing that—just about—these days.
If you didn’t make it to the show, pull up a pillow.
The Dirty Novels’ last show is Saturday
By Marisa Demarco [ Fri Aug 26 2011 1:42 PM ]
Stalwarts of the scene, The Dirty Novels would have turned a decade old next year. But Pablo Novelas is moving on, selling off his vintage gear and rolling out of the Dirt City. The band will reunite for one last show on Saturday night at Launchpad during the Alibi’s Factory Party. I caught up with Novelas over email to talk memories.
How did The Dirty Novels get together?
It started as a group with an old friend of mine named Ernie Culver who had moved out here from Boston. We met and started writing songs based on our similar taste for ’60s, ’70s and ’80s alternative rock ‘n’ roll. At the time, we were called The Couture and had Ben Adams on makeshift drums and Scott Meyers on bass.
Later it evolved into The Dirty Novels after meeting Joey Gonzales. We talked about how we both wanted to tour and get our music out there. We eventually became a strong songwriting team and went on to be successful in accomplishing what we wanted out of music.
Strongest Dirty Novels memory?
There many great memories, and many of them are tour-related. I can say that some of those were bad memories only because when living and working with friends for so long and so close, things change and ideas cross in hard ways. I honestly can’t recall the bad ones in detail, but the best ones are from being in Joey's van driving to Lexington, Ky., to record out last album (Pack Your Pistols) with friend and co-producer Duane Lundy. On that trip we came up with many great ideas as to how to take a simple band and turn it into a business to help each other and others like us. One great idea that came from this was The Blackbird Buvette.
What's the best song The Dirty Novels wrote?
I dig them all because they were written with fun in mind. The ones that get me the most when playing are “My Love Is Electric” and “Pack Your Pistols.”
Best and worst things about the Albuquerque?
Worst thing is the lack of a music industry. Best thing is the closeness and support from fans, friends and family.
What about this town informed your sound?
I'm Latino and find that my guitar playing and sound is an irregular, rhythmic and percussive style, almost like Flamenco. I'm a gear head, too. Also, the crazy people in our lives helped with finding our sound.
Was it hard to say goodbye to some of your vintage gear?
YES IT WAS!
What did you choose to keep?
The only vintage piece I'm keeping is my ’64 Gretsch Single Anniversary electric. I’m also keeping my red glitter 335 style Italia electric and my ’65 Reissue Fender Reverb Deluxe amp (it's a classic sound). That's all I need really. Oh and my Tech 12s and five crates of records. :-):-)
You're moving to Philly, right?
Well, I have a few places in mind that have offered me something. It's between Philly, Portland or Austin—all of which are affordable and have a true music industry.
What will you do next musically?
I want an R&B/Soul garage band, but I’m also open to play in someone else's trip till I find a my new thing, wherever that might be.
***The Alibi's Factory Party***
Low on High (with famed auteur Jon Moritsugu)
The Dirty Novels (a reunion and farewell)
Manby's Head (ex-DMZ, Lyres, Customs)
The Scrams (Burque warehouse rock)
DJ Cassyle (our very own music editor)
With video projections by Basement Films and live screen-printing from 111 Media Collective (BYOShirt $3, or buy one for $5)
RSVP on FaceSpace
Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011
21+ Launchpad $5
Doors at 8 p.m.
David Lynch dreams up electronic pop album—and it might be bad
By Marisa Demarco [ Tue Aug 16 2011 12:00 PM ]
The man who wrote my favorite book on creativity, Catching the Big Fish, is putting out a pop disc, and the teaser track strikes me as ... incidental?
Weird. Music is a huge part of Lynch’s movies. The soundtrack often provides that seeping doom and anxiety you pick up while watching his flicks. And Lynch has a hand in creating some of that music, giving the composer scenarios to react to and selecting the best phrases. “The Love Theme” from Twin Peaks was created that way, and it’s fantastic. Angelo Badalamenti talks about the process of writing that song with Lynch sitting right next to him here.
When someone awesome makes something dumb, I wonder if I’m not old enough to understand it yet. In high school, Lynch movies kind of made me mad. A decade later, I went on a monthslong Lynch bender. PJ Harvey was like that, too. Even Björk, during my adolescence, sounded like she wasn’t singing along with the music. After weeks of listening to Debut on cassette, that impression evaporated.
Actually, the holy trinity of Davids—Lynch, Byrne and Bowie—all took me a while to fathom.
Lynch’s solo album comes out on Nov. 8. It’s called Crazy Clown Time, and it features Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Maybe I’ll like it better in its entirety. Or maybe it’ll sink in at age 40. Or maybe, just maybe, it’ll always seem like cliché electronica. Hell, I still haven’t found my way to Harvey’s White Chalk.
Mike Watt’s in town tonight
By Marisa Demarco [ Mon Mar 14 2011 4:58 PM ]
I got to interview him. He’s great.
Some musicians seem to hate the press, and it makes for distracted or antagonistic conversations. Later, I have to re-live the awkwardness as I listen to the recording. I guess I understand. Maybe it gets old talking to idiot reporters who misquote you or contort your answers, and the musicians start to assume that’s always the case.
Watt’s probably given hundreds of interviews, yet he seemed genuine and thoughtful. His voice is gruff, just like it is when he sings on his records. There’s nothing fake or put-on about him. It was fascinating to talk to him about the bass and improvisation, and where he is in his life right now.
As a side note, he also got his own record label off the ground this year. He’ll be putting out albums every two months or so.
Mike Watt and the Missingmen
with Jenny Invert
Monday, March 14, 9 p.m.
618 Central SW
Tickets: $10, 21-and-over
More Mike Watt at hootpage.com
Who made out in the photo booth?
By Marisa Demarco [ Thu Mar 10 2011 12:16 PM ]
Were you at the Alibi’s Mardi Gras party on Saturday? These people were! And so was Photo Booth Rentals of New Mexico. As part of the deal, they give customers a post-party DVD with all the photos their friends took. Here are some of my favorites.
We’re throwing a big ol’ party, eh
By Marisa Demarco [ Fri Mar 4 2011 1:25 PM ]
Music Editor Jessica Cassyle Carr is from Louisiana, and she usually orders a king cake for the office around Fat Tuesday. She’s frequently visits her home state and brings back party stories for the ages. This year, Alibi Group Hug is spreading the hedonism.
DJ Cassyle will be spinning New Orleans funky soul at Launchpad tomorrow. Also taking the stage: Le Chat Lunatique, Mondo Vibrations and Felix y los Gatos. (That’s a vibration sandwich with cat bread in two languages.)
There will be free food from Pepper’s Ole Fashion BBQ. And New Mexico Photo Booth Rentals is bringing down its rig along with Mardi Gras props from New Orleans. Yes, there will be king cake (!) from Swiss Alps Bakery. All of that comes free with the price of admission, which is $5.
Doors at 8 p.m. Launchpad. 21+.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
So much free music. Be badder than bad.
By Marisa Demarco [ Mon Jan 3 2011 10:23 AM ]
Like a bumbling discoverer from centuries past, last week I stumbled on a populated continent: netlabels.org, a catalog of labels offering free mp3 downloads. You can shovel through the heap of costless audio by genre. There are 500 categories, each housing anywhere from one to 100+ labels. Those labels harbor scores of musicians and release their cuts on the web, no charge.
Now you can get intimate with even more bands than your compatriots, which is vital to reproductive success.
The Pixies are on the road—and they're blowing right by us
By Marisa Demarco [ Sat Sep 4 2010 10:46 AM ]
Did you all see loudQUIETloud, the Pixies documentary? Frank Black, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Lovering seemed mostly sad and disconnected from one another. But they still roll out those old Pixies hits. A bajillion people are ready to dump 30 or 40 nostalgic dollars out of their wallets to see them do it.
Suck on those sour grapes, 505ers as the Pixies travel from Austin, Texas, to Mesa, Az., without a stop in our fair state. For ambitious road-trippers, remember: Austin is 12 or 13 hours away, and Mesa's only seven. But Mesa's in, you know, Arizona.
By Marisa Demarco [ Fri Jul 9 2010 12:00 PM ]
An egg sucked away my sense of time.
My bandmates and I have been building a giant piñata for many hours (or days, by the time your read this). It will be a black egg, lowered from a warehouse ceiling, full of light and gifts. It’s really fucking big.
After parasitizing my love, attention, sleep, energy, the big black egg can only hatch something out of Eraserhead. It’s doomy that way. Doom piñata. Drying under my AC, awaiting yet another layer. Always another layer.
I dreamed about this thing all night. There was a real yolk in it when we smashed it open. It burned the skin.
There is paper mache in my hair as I type this.
I will cart the egg and some local musicians to Denver today. We are going to DIY, feminist, outsider music festival Titwrench. I went last year, and it’s maybe the most “fun” I’ve had in a minute. Fun is a dumb word—I returned to Albuquerque in July 2009 with many new friends and at least a year’s worth of inspiration.
Sometimes Nick Brown complains that when we go on trips and blog, it’s like a horrible vacation recap over dinner at your couple friends’ house. Except there’s not even any fondu. Also, such blogs may have the air of “I went somewhere neat, while you were stuck in your life. Let me tell you about my good time.”
But I’m pretty sure Titwrench is a great, big deal. As big as the egg. As conscientiously sculpted. As full of light.
And the point of the coming blogs, friends, is that you may not have heard of the women performing there. You may need to.
I’ll tell you more when I get back. You can come over for slide night.
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