Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Get Your Squawk On--So the inaugural Rocksquawk.com Music Showcase kicks off this weekend with some great local bands at eight locations Downtown. It's our hope that this Saturday's shindig will resonate with local musicians and music supporters alike—you know, turning up the dialogue within our scene and generally rocking all-around. On that note, if you've got something you'd like to say about this event, your band's next gig or anything that's music-related at all, hit up rocksquawk.com and get it out there. Log on, freak out and get your Squawk on!
The Sweater Club
with Wide Awake and SPOT
By Simon McCormack
Wednesday, August 31; Atomic Cantina (21-and-older), free: Those of you that have ever been in a large-scale school band should be at least somewhat familiar with who I will refer to here as "solo hogs." These are the kids that take every opportunity to jam-out on their instrument; leaving the rest of the band members to wallow in four-note-melody hell. Oregon's own The Sweater Club is composed of six fresh-faced solo hogs that, fortunately for us, are happy to take turns wailing away on their various instruments, just so long as everybody gets a chance to strut their stuff. I'm not sure how the band's songs stay cohesive, but they do so without wasting a drop of any member's skill. Not since Reel Big Fish's Why Do They Rock So Hard? have skyrocketing brass and alt.rock guitar gotten along so well as on The Sweater Club's debut EP, The Exposition. The "Club" sounds a lot like ska/punk/reggae outfit RX Bandits (which makes sense, considering almost every band member cites the Bandits as an influence). The Sweater Club is wise enough, however, to stay away from the pretentious ambient noise that the Bandits seem to have become recently infatuated with. The boys in TSC, by contrast, are only interested in good, clean, new-school-ska fun. That's exactly what they'll bring to the Atomic Cantina this Wednesday when they'll play with Wide Awake and SPOT. Who the hell knows, maybe some fast-paced skanking will even make an appearance.
Rock, Rock and More Rock: Scenester Rocks Balls
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
After a four-year hiatus filled with masters degrees and other bands, Scenester, comprised of Leonard Apodaca on guitar, Roger Apodaca on bass (both formerly of GoMotorCar) and Luke Cordova (Blunt Society) on drums, is releasing their second album, Formula Rock EP. Leonard Apodaca (who you might remember from the Socyermom Records piece in this week's feature) tells all.
with ATG, Caustic Lye, Wisdom of the Leech, Desolate, The Ground Beneath, Suspended, Collateral Hate, Lower Than Dirt, Phalcore, Musik Labb, Aphotic Blitz
By Simon McCormack
Saturday, August 27; The Zone parking lot (2501 San Mateo), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (all-ages): Sure, Ozzfest is not without its overcommercialized charm, but it seems to me that the festival may not exactly cater to the most devout of rock fans. I mean, lets be honest—how hardcore can you be if you're willing to pay $78.50 plus a service charge for a reserved seat? Not very hardcore, would appear to be the answer. It is with this in mind that I present metal fanatics and rock enthusiasts with an alternative. ZoneFest could easily be considered the "anti-Ozzfest." The free event will feature a heaping helping of hard-rocking local ensembles, including the schizophrenically supercharged sounds of Caustic Lye, the punkish, blues-influenced metal of Wisdom of the Leech and an ass-load more. Plus, who needs $6 Journal Pavilion hot dogs when you can have made-to-order barbecue? Finally, there will be merch tents, ticket giveaways, free hookah rentals and piercing specials all day long. So tell your uppity pal who won't let you forget you missed Ozzfest, that you hope he enjoyed paying almost 80 bucks to see In Flames. Screw him! You're going to a real rock show. Hell, you might even get some sort of body part pierced while you're at it. Rock on!
The Dirty Novels CD Release Party
By Captain America
The Dirty Novels are at it again.
No, I don't mean this CD release show (with the usual suspects: raucous Romeo Goes To Hell, lovely Unit 7 Drain, and stomp 'n' roll the Gracchi, plus Cellophane Typewriters—a new one on me, but I hear they're psych/garage).
And no, not the handful of new tunes on the 11-song Stealing Kisses.
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Youth Group Skeleton Jar (Epitaph)
Let's face it, it's been a while since good rock music came out of Australia. But the glory days, like those of Men At Work, INXS and most importantly, The Church (yes, they are from Australia), can be relived with Youth Group, honestly one of my favorite new bands. Like its predecessors, Youth Group has cultivated a complex, shimmery, pulsating pop rock sound, reinterpreted to create something that sounds very new and evokes a strong sense of place. The songs, though, are still mostly about relationships, which makes the record good for diffusing fullness of heart.
Flyer on the Wall
Watch with rapt disbelief as Sean McCullough, fabled sweetheart of the Albuquerque scene, plays in two different bands at the same show! Sean will open up tonight's set with Weapons of Mass Destruction, take a quick Tecate break and then return to headline with the Oktober People. Things Fall Apart from Chicago will play somewhere in the middle. That's Tuesday, August 30, at Sol Arts. Cost is $5 and this one's all-ages! Hoot!
T-Rextasy • garage, punk • Mount Ivy • space rock • Emma Lee Toyoda
By August March
Surf-style, fuzzed out and formidably feminist pop-punkers T-Rextasy make an appearance in Albuquerque, at the new home of all things fearsome and fashionable, Burt's Tiki Lounge, on Thursday, March 23. The New York City band—singer Lyris Faron, guitarists Lena Abraham and Vera Kahn, under the rhythmic influences of bassist Annie Fidoten and drummer Ebun Nazon-Power—is known for its arch approach to the genre, generating pure pop nuggets like last year's “Gap Yr Boiz” to deconstruct and decimate a culture they find to be placid and painstakingly pointless. They'll be joined on stage by space rock quartet Mount Ivy and self-described “Seattle-based sadgirlrock” adherents Emma Lee Toyoda. Hmm, the more I think about it while considering this show, the more I imagine that rocanrol is still alive and has a chance against the forces of the future. Find out for yourself if all of that fashion-future-forward stuff is la neta by jaunting on over to Burt's for this 21+ gig, where its always free to go in and have a listen to what will most certainly be.
Kurt Travis • alternative rock • Eidola • Amarrionette
By Megan Reneau
I love Kurt Travis ... I said it! I don't regret it, either! (Well, I actually hardly know the man—i.e. not at all—I just love his music.) I know you won't regret seeing him at The Co-Op alongside the phenomenal bands Eidola and Amarrionette this Saturday, March 25, for only $10. Travis was the lead clean vocalist for notable post-hardcore bands Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds. He has expanded his act as a solo musician producing the dazzlingly lovely EPs Wha Happen? (2012), Kurt Travis (2013), Everything Is Beautiful (2014) and the Kurt Travis/Paul Travis Split (2016). Travis creates an acoustic, atmospheric pop sound combined with wailing, lonesome bluegrass-esque vocals. In the newest split EP that he made with his brother, the two have created a delicate mix of Americana, pop and indie rock which is sure to translate well into this incredible performer's repertoire. Be sure not to miss this all-ages show, doors open at 7pm.
Jenna Dunlap • singer-songwriter • Keith Sanchez & the Moon Thieves • folk
By August March
I read a recent review that said Jenna Dunlap's debut recording was “sweet,” with “wistful vocals.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Dunlap—who was recorded by Cinder Cone Media's wizard of an engineer Howard Wulkan for her first studio outing, Out of My Head—is dynamic and thoughtful, with a rumbling, tumbling vocal nuance and muscular musical style that is equal parts Sheryl Crow and Regina Spektor, mixed in with the sometimes plaintive but always hopeful observations of youth transitioning into adulthood. Her voice resonates and she has a great finger-picking style too, knowingly finding chords and arrangements that complement her intense and intelligent vocal treatments. Jenna Dunlap will be having a free CD release party for Out of My Head on Saturday, March 25, so you can hear all of that for yourself and thereby help discourage the use of meaningless musical phrases like "sweet" and "wistful" while supporting the awesome thing—called local music—itself. Keith Sanchez & the Moon Theives will provide folk-appropriate support.
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