Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Down the Rabbit Hole (and Other Underground Things that Hip-hop)—Anyone who's gone looking for jackrabbits as a kid will attest: You can't really tell you're in the thick of them until your leg is halfway down a hole. And that's largely what underground hip-hop is like in this town—insular to the point of looking nonexistent to everyone on the outside. Maybe the local hip-hop community is just bad at outreach. Maybe there's an honest-to-god, concerted effort to keep this stuff buried. Whatever it is, finding the good, underground stuff on your own can be downright impossible. But it's getting easier.
The Battles Machine
Veteran musicians shed their egos in the name of math-rocky, prog goodness
By Marisa Demarco
Battles' first full-length album, Mirrored, is a good ride. Dozens of tiny moving parts engage as a motor that runs a little too hot but always manages to glide. "It sounds really chaotic and intense," says guitarist, singer and keyboardist Tyondai Braxton. "But really it's way simpler than that."
Devil Riding Shotgun
A knicker-blasting good time
By Marisa Demarco
Devil Riding Shotgun is not out to make stoner rock or a specific branch of metal or anything-core. Instead, this three-piece replaces genre with enough stage energy to sustain a set alongside any knob-cranking monorocker in town. "I do like the feeling of standing in front of your amp and having your pants billow from the sound waves," says guitarist Alan Edmonds. "You know something's happening behind you."
“You Never Know Who Might Be Making Noise at the Library”
Rio Rancho library kicks off a music-themed summer reading program for teens
By Jenny Gamble
Teenagers like music. Libraries are beginning to catch on to the idea. In fact, more and more bands are jumping on board with the concept and have scheduled tours throughout the United States that specifically focus on playing library shows. Deimosa Webber-Bey, 29, teen librarian of the Rio Rancho Library, has taken the concept even further. “I decided it was more cost effective to just book local bands for events at our library," she says. "It gives teens a chance to eventually become supporters of local bands when they're old enough to go see them at a venue that only allows 21-and-older to attend.”
Flyer on the Wall
Little Kiss Print
This poster came hand-delivered with a sweet little note: "I submit for your approval a poster myself [Heath Dauberman] and Mancle Anderson of The Tattersaints designed for our upcoming show at Burt's Tiki Lounge on Saturday, June 23. We just finished silkscreening it today at Little Kiss Print Studio ... I apologize if it seems illegible but every project is an experiment at this point. I hope you like it OK.” We certainly do! With Strawberry Zots, (The Return of) The Tattersaints and Polaroid Pornography. (LM)
Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga · Frank Black Best of Frank Black '93-'03 · Feist The Reminder
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Spoon is synonymous with that in the universe which is audibly pure and good. So thank the cosmos—as was expected, the new album is terrific due to simple pop time signatures, proficient reverberation and healthy experimentation. It's the right combination of expedition, progress and the classic, exceedingly percussive Spoon sound. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is a record for which we often long; one that improves with each go-round.
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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