Music to Your Ears
This Week's Super-Gay Music Section
When it rains it pours. And sometimes it rains men. (Hallelujah!) You might notice this week's section is a little gayer than usual and that's partially because both Venus DeMars and Hunx are gracing Albuquerque with their fabulous presences this week. On top of that, I was introduced to a mind-blowing hip-hop jam genre: sissy bounce (see more in Sonic Reducer). Bounce music—a filthy, dirty New Orleans-born rap style that's heavy on call-and-response—has been around since the early '90s and many of its faces happen to be gay. Top underground acts include transsexual rapper Katey Red, as well as Sissy Nobby and Big Freedia. This is not to say that bounce isn't hetero—Juvenile's "Back That Ass Up" is the genre's big hit, for example. For all things bounce, go to nolabounce.com. For all things gay and hip-hop take a spin around gayhiphop.com.
Spend the Night With Venus
Venus DeMars and All The Pretty Horses complete a trio of Venuses
Motoring around the country in a vinyl-packed 1984 Chevy art van called "The Black Pearl," between shows in Wichita and Phoenix, Minneapolis' Venus DeMars and All the Pretty Horses passed through Albuquerque. Luckily, the travelers made a stop at Alibi headquarters. For 15 years DeMars has been performing in the theatrical style of '70s Bowie-esque glam merged with early '80s Batcave—a combination otherwise deemed "dark glam.” A commanding, leather-clad transgender singer, guitar player, artist, DJ and opera fan, DeMars and her band (completed by LeFreak on bass and T-Rev on drums) are in the midst of a 14-day, six-show vacation and spiritual journey.
Jazz Giants—Every 4th Friday
Friday Night Jazz gets a makeover at Scalo Il Bar
Nature abhors a vacuum, as the maxim says, and so apparently does the stage at Scalo Il Bar. Every Friday night for several years now, you could depend on finding pianist Stu MacAskie’s trio, with bassist Michael Glynn and drummer Cal Haines, swinging away, house band to the bubbling conviviality. With MacAskie’s departure for points Far East last month, several jazz groups have been sucked into the void he left and will rotate through on Friday nights.
Hunx + The Punkettes
If you happen to watch the Style Network, there’s a chance you might have caught an episode of the reality show “Split Ends.” The show’s premise is that two hair stylists with opposite aesthetics do a salon switcheroo for a week. On one episode, Seth Bogart, owner of Down at Lulu’s—an Oakland salon and vintage store—is sent to the affluent Florida town of Cocoa Beach, a place crawling with vapid people and conspicuous consumption. Meanwhile, a flamboyant Latin homo named Martin Ormaza is forced to exist amongst Oakland hipsters. The episode, while silly, is excellent watching due to Bogart’s fun persona. To the horror of the snooty Florida salon staff, Bogart shows up looking freaky in clown bows and gold lamé. I won’t spoil the rest of the show in case you want to watch.
Flyer on the Wall
How hard is it to look at this flyer without an 8-bit tune manifesting in your head like it’s the ’80s and a younger you is in the midst of a restless, Nintendo dream-pestered slumber? Must. Save. The Princess.
Jazz harp? Yeah, right. Yeah, right. Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda brings an original voice burning with creative joy to a most unusual instrument for jazz. Backed by trombonist Marshall Gilkes and drummer Dave Silliman, Castaneda attacks the instrument as if it were the size of a guitar, drawing a breathtaking range of sound and nuance, not to mention impossible counter-rhythms and kick-ass bass lines, from this near–piano-size assemblage of wood and steel. After you get over your astonishment at his technique—can one person really do all that on a harp?—you can begin to savor his compositional skills. Supportive cameos from guitarist John Scofield and vibist Joe Locke. (MM)