Music to Your Ears
There are so many new CDs being released by local bands that it's becoming difficult to keep track of them all. But that's a good thing. And speaking of new CDs, Belen-based band Conspiracy will host their CD release party for their debut, Cannot be Tamed, Friday, June 4, at the Launchpad with special guests ATG, Anesthesia and Stimulus. ... In more CD release news, local eclectic quartet Alpha Blue have put the finishing touches on their new platter, titled Agave Summer, and plan to celebrate its release with drink specials on Friday night, June 18, at the Range Café in Bernalillo. In the meantime, you can get your copy of Agave Summer by e-mailing email@example.com or visiting Natural Sound in Nob Hill. ... Our very own Atomic Love Medicine (whose guitartist/vocalist/Neal Ambrose-Smith happens to be a top Alibi designer) have been chosen to represent the rock genre in Cliff Castle Casino's “Spotlight on Native American Music” to be held Sunday, June 6 at the casino in Flagstaff, Ariz. ATM will play from 6 to 9 p.m. for the chance to win $1,000 and entry into the Native American Music Awards. The other three finalists representing various genres will appear at the Cliff Castle Casino consecutive Sundays throughout June. All showcases are hosted by award-winning Native American recording artist Micki Free. Congratulations to Atomic Love Medicine, and good luck!
Klezmer denotes a class of celebratory Jewish dance music played at weddings, parties or festivals. Solomon & Socalled catapult klezmer into the 21st century with spirit-soaring results.
The Plea for Peace Tour
featuring Cursive, Saul Williams, Planes Mistaken for Stars and Mike Park
Saturday, June 5; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m., advance tickets at Natural Sound): There was no rock record released in all of 2003 that was more compelling than Cursive's blistering tomé to conceptual effort, The Ugly Organ (Saddle Creek). Sexually, emotionally and sonically intense, it's a record just about any rock band would be proud to stand behind. Marking the arrival of cellist Gretta Cohn to the Cursive fold (a revolving door that's seen no less than 20 band members arrive and leave), The Ugly Organ finds the band reaching new heights—from wildly dissonant to wondrously gentle—making them the band to watch if you haven't already.
The Helio Sequence Love and Distance (Sub Pop)
Rock duos are nearly a dime a dozen these days, but none—and I do mean none—are as compelling as Beaverton, Ore.'s Helio Sequence. Three years after releasing their Beatles-meet-My Bloody Valentine masterpiece, Young Effectuals (Cavity Search), guitarist/smooth-as-silk vocalist Brandon Summers and Benjamin "I Play Live with Modest Mouse, Too" Weikel have evolved a more blues-drenched aesthetic that's also dipped in psychedelica and bristling grooves. Love and Distance is an all-occasion indie rock record: not too sad, not too happy and, most importantly, not too melodramatic or Stooge-rivative. Easy like a Sunday morning yet deeper than the deepest ocean.
Rage Against Martin Sheen
Friday, May 28; Atomic Cantina: How could I miss a chance to rage on Rage Against Martin Sheen after our little e-mail exchange of the past couple of week. Problem is, there's very little to rage about. The band began their set with perhaps more original songs than I'd ever heard them play previously in a single set. And said songs were surprisingly tight and punchy. The parodies eventually came, of course, and even those came off tighter than they do on record and have in the past in the live setting. All in all, the three-quarters of the Rage set I saw left me with a different perspective on the band, and I'm not even kissing ass here: I still think they're whiny babies, but at least they're rock is improving.