Music to Your Ears
Put a Scarf on and Get Out of the House
Things can get really dark music-wise in December and January. First there's the holiday craze. Bands stop touring, and local shows are few. Following Christmas, presumably due in part to cash flow issues stemming from said holiday craze (not to mention the ongoing recession), fewer people dare to venture out into the long, cold January nights. Being one who attends events several times a week, it's painful to witness the barren interiors of venues where crowds of music fans should be rocking out. This problem—tied up in economics as well as cultural awareness, a dwindling band supply, scant support for local musicians, hostility toward Downtown as an entertainment district, absurdly rigid liquor laws, absent public transportation and taxi services, and a mess of other issues—is more complicated than could be contained within a tiny column. In any case, this message is simple. Within the next month the January/December lull dissipates, giving way to cool, interesting, exciting or otherwise music-related events around Albuquerque and Santa Fe. And they'll only increase throughout the year. If you haven't made a resolution for 2010, please resolve to go see live music. By doing so you'll be entertained in a way incomparable to any video game or sitcom rerun, while also supporting the local culture and economy, and fighting the power—be it CABQ or Old Man Winter.
The World on Fyre
The wickedest band in the area directly surrounding the 12th Street 7-11 releases an album worth at least as much as a mediocre hamburger
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Composed of the rural New Mexico-raised dirt heads from the late Unit 7 Drain (one of the most relentless Albuquerque rock bands of all time) and I is for Ida, The World on Fyre is the next phase in an enduring sonic assembly. Harry Redus-Brown, Ella Brown, Tony Sapienz and Chris Newman converge here in a noisier fashion, parting with catchy hooks to create a cacophony that should frighten some and titillate others. This week the band unleashes these new sounds in a physical form. In anticipation, we e-quizzed Harry about drinks, New Mexico music and, of course, The World on Fyre.
Flyer on the Wall
The Odd Trio
A bill made of local bands could get stranger than this. What if Death Convention Singers, The Squash Blossom Boys and Cherry Tempo played a show together? Or, say The 2bers, Kimo and Nosotros randomly team up for a night? Still, a 100.3 The Peak-presented bill containing the modern rock stylings of Soular, the slick gypsy swing of Le Chat Lunatique and the timeworn sounds of Albuquerque mainstay The Tattersaints is slightly bewildering. It also sounds like a fun Friday night at the Launchpad, so get your eclectic ass down there on Jan. 15, and mingle with your musical brethren—doors open at 8 p.m. The $5, 21-and-over show starts around 9 p.m. And if you don't like one of the bands, you can always play Simpsons pinball, Ms. Pac-Man or Galaga. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Special Extra-Descriptive Edition
Not only is World on Fyre member Chris Newman talented enough to face a fierce drum-off with Neil Peart, he’s also a composer and a student artist at UNM where he’s learning to master the piano. This week he set his phone to “party shuffle” and this is what turned up.
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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