Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Let the Spring Crawl Countdown Begin—Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 29, this year ... less than one month away! Clear your schedule and prepare for 100 music acts (give or take a few), including nationally touring bands Guttermouth, Bullet For My Valentine and Attractive at the Sunshine Theater and Stereotyperider at Launchpad. This is all subject to change, of course. Now, for those of you who are still trying to figure out how to apply for a slot: Er ... you can't. You cannot audition, submit yourselves for review or put a bug in someone's ear about playing any of the Crawls. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way. What does work is playing live gigs Downtown as much as humanly possible, bringing in a good draw (people who come specifically to see you) and being polite, punctual and easy to work with—because it's the venues who decide, not us. See, after working with you guys for the past six months or more, each participating venue submits a “wish list” of bands they'd like to have play their respective rooms during the Crawl. We just do our best to schedule it all smoothly. Make sense? I sure hope so ... now get gigging!
Flyer on the Wall
Revelation recording artists Shook Ones and Sinking Ships perform a monster set with local newbs Outlaw and Excruciation. $5 show starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at Sol Arts (all-ages, 712 Central SE). (LM)
Four Shillings Short
By Amy Dalness
The thing about Four Shillings Short is that they're so unique, writers who attempt to explain their sound have gone to great lengths to describe them in likewise original ways. Sure, they're amazing folk musicians who travel around the world in a white van stuffed with an array of instruments. Sure, both Aodh “g” Tuama and Christy Martin are talented, well-educated musical entrepreneurs. Their traditional Celtic yet Indian-influenced bluesy American folk is just so undeniably good, and they're obviously far from "short" on anything—where'd "Four Shillings Short" come from?
El Aviador Dro
By Simon McCormack
Monday, April 10, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: For over 25 years, El Aviador Dro has been a fixture of the synth pop community of Spain and other parts of Latin America. In their native land, they are as important to the scene as groups like Devo and Front 42. But, as with so many non-English speaking, semi-noncommercial bands, Aviador Dro have remained largely unnoticed by the American underground music community and non-Spanish synth poppers alike. That has changed, however, since Omega Point, an electropunk indie label in the United States, released an Aviador Dro compilation that spans the group's entire musical history and also includes a few bonus tracks for those already in the know. The band's earlier work can loosely be compared to Duran Duran and is especially similar to Devo, while their more current material is in-style enough to win the hearts of today's modern synth pop devotees. So don't let the Español scare you, come on out to Burt's for the best synth pop you've never heard.
with Edith Frost and The Zincs
By Simon McCormack
Sunday, April 9, Launchpad (21-and-over), Free: Like Johnny Cash with throat cancer or Flogging Molly's Dave King on a whiskey binge, Two Gallants' lead singer Adam Stephens belts out dust-covered vignettes over muted guitar and flower-petal-soft symbol crashes. This is the windswept landscape of Two Gallants' “Nothing to You” off of the band's debut release The Throes. Stephens and Tyson Vogel borrow the unmistakable intimacy of Bright Eyes mastermind and Two Gallants' mentor, Conor Oberst, and take it to a murky, half-chaotic place that's uninhabited by most but oddly familiar to many.
Trilobite Debut CD Party
Folk-country with a story to tell
By Simon McCormack
Singer, songwriter, fictionist and former Stanford attendee Mark Ray Lewis grew up the son of a country preacher in Hannibal, Mo. Lewis' family, which included his gospel-adoring mother, Betty Jo Lewis, who released her own 8-track in the '70s, cultivated in him a profound respect and love for music as well as an irrepressible spiritual consciousness.
The Kleptones 24 Hours · nearLY reminder · The Dresden Dolls Yes, Virginia
By Marisa Demarco
The Kleptones are more than the sum of their samples. They do what's called “mashup” or "bastard pop," where super-geniuses clip moments of well-known songs, then layer vocals and parts of other famous tracks on top. The further away the genres are from one another, the better the result. For instance, Simon and Garfunkel get down with The Cure. Peter Gabriel sings “Land of Confusion” with Edwin Starr's “War,” (you know, “What is it good for?”) in the background to create stunning results. The best part is how well these things line up, like they were meant for each other. The other best part is this brilliant double disc is free if you go to www.kleptones.com.
Alan Jackson • country
By Joshua Lee
As Ludwig von Beethoven once said, “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” Those words still carry weight, even now: a thousand years later. And you'll find no better example than the incomparable Alan Jackson, whose voice and countenance rival those of the gods, as though he were hewn from the heart of the sun itself. His honky tonk tunes are swords of righteous terror and beauty which melt the eardrums of devotees, lost in reverie as they bathe in the glorious golden ambiance of his mustache. He'll be playing live at the Sandia Resort & Casino on Friday, Sept. 30. Take a gander.
Chrome Sparks • electronic, indie pop
By Joshua Lee
So Chrome Sparks apparently has a few hours open in his schedule to visit ABQ—somewhere in between juggling his gajillion other projects and fulfilling his role as busiest spacey electro-pop composer on the planet. New Mexico seems like the perfect place for those wide-open, expansive tunes of his. Maybe someone can talk him into posting up in the middle of the desert next time. Sound carries further at night and can have a a really spooky resonance. Just saying. This Friday, Sept. 30, he'll be wowing the pants off of us at Sister Bar (which is indoors, unfortunately) starting at 9pm. Wear your clean undies.
Miike Snow • indie, electro-pop
By Monica Schmitt
"I change shapes just to hide in this place, but I'm sure not going to hide from this concert." Ladies and gents, I am happy to report that Miike Snow, the Swedish electro-pop band of your dreams, will be performing at our very own Historic El Rey Theater. Imagine Alt-J and Dan Black created a musically inclined love child. The result would be something like Miike Snow. If that's too foreign an analogy, you'll just have to listen for yourself at 7pm on Monday, Oct. 3. Tickets are just $25-$40 for all ages. The Mezzanine bar will be open for folks 21+.
Andrew Jackson Jihad • folk-punk • Diners • surf, indie rock • Kepi Ghoulie • punk folk
By Peter Karlsen
Once upon a time, back in 2004, in the distant land of Arizona, there was born a folk-punk band by the name of Andrew Jackson Jihad. It was a mouthful, so they decided to go by the acronym AJJ. Then they decided to formally change their name to that. Soon they'll be at the Launchpad. People in this town like to shit on the folk-punkers, but fuck those jerks. I already bought a ticket to this Launchpad show and I bet I'll be buying band merch, too, at this kick-ass show starting at 8pm on Oct. 5.
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Erika Wennerstrom • singer-