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 V.19 No.11 | March 18 - 24, 2010 
The Acoustic Showcase

Spotlight

The Acoustic Showcase

This time it’s super awesome

Carefully avoiding the loaded term “unplugged,” the latest in a six-year-old series originally known as The Acoustic Showcase takes place at Low Spirits this Friday. Bands, and varying configurations thereof, perform songs from their respective catalogs as well as selected covers that don’t fit into regular repertoires. Don’t expect old favorites and regurgitated hits. Do expect obscure covers from limited-edition blue-vinyl releases that would make any record-collecting fanboy swoon.

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Show Up!

The World Is Yours

DIY patron of the arts Derek Caterwaul on Albuquerque's SWxØFest

Like so many of the world’s great ideas, the Southwest by No Fest began as a joke. It eventually manifested on some flyers last year, and in 2010 SWxØFest has morphed into something resembling a full-fledged festival. Events, which began last week, the convergence of a handful of atypical venues and the bounty of touring bands passing through town this month. KUNM 89.9 FM DJ and longtime promoter of local music and arts events Derek Caterwaul is among those at the helm of the endeavor. He says this month's fest is not so much a spin-off of the music industry spectacle that is SXSW but more a spinout inspired by a concentration of creative energy and counter-SXSW Austin events like Fuck by Fuck You and GAYbiGAYGAY.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The hues that appear in mid-century color photography tend to create a delicate, airy quality, as if the sands of time are causing the image to melt away before our eyes. Here we see a western view of Route 66 at I-25 and ghostly Zia images hovering in the sky during what seems to be the late ’50s. Once a humble postcard, this photo now advertises Songs for Boys & Girls with Sugar Wings at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Song Roulette

Nick Brown prefers the weirder ‘chamber jazz’

Nick Brown is a musician who likes to make weird songs late at night in the shed behind his house. He’s also the Alibi’s puppet master, a prolific blogger and a jokesmith. Here are five jazzy, new wave-y, psychedelic, random selections from his collections.

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Sonic Reducer

Kate McGarry If Less Is More ... Nothing Is Everything · Midlake The Courage of Others · LOW ON HIGH LOW ON HIGH

Where to begin—her craft? Her freedom? Her depth? Her joy? It’s all here on vocalist Kate McGarry’s latest. She opens with a slow, dark “Let’s Face the Music” in a breathtaking arrangement by guitarist Keith Ganz, profoundly re-imagining Irving Berlin’s song for our fractured time. McGarry’s mesmerizing arrangement of The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” captures the vulnerable hypersensitivity of crazy love, and her own “Man of God” reveals a gifted songwriter with a spiritual bent. Not every track rises to the elevated level of these three, but McGarry’s warmth, her willingness to jump off musical cliffs, and her ability to richly and precisely render complex emotional life make it all worth hearing. She is very ably supported by Ganz, Gary Versace (piano, organ, accordion), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Clarence Penn (drums). (MM)

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EVENT HORIZON (Friday, Sep 30)

'A Lot About Living'

Alan Jackson • country

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…
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Chrome Sparks Courtesy of Landon Speers
Landon Speers

EVENT HORIZON (Friday, Sep 30)

Desert Sound

Chrome Sparks • electronic, indie pop

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…
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EVENT HORIZON (Monday, Oct 3)

Two i's Are Better Than One

Miike Snow • indie, electro-pop

"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…
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EVENT HORIZON (Wednesday, Oct 5)

Tome-ate-o, Tom-ato

Andrew Jackson Jihad • folk-punk • Diners • surf, indie rock • Kepi Ghoulie • punk folk

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…
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Palisades
Courtesy of the Palisades Facebook Page

EVENT HORIZON (Sunday, Oct 9)

Hit 'em with the High and the Low

Palisades • electronicore • It Lives, It Breathes • post-hardcore • Darke Complex • metal

There is a rhythmic connection between genres dubstep and metalcore. One band that's done phenomenal in this kind of mashup (referred to as electronicore) is Palisades originating from Iselin, N.J. Having been to their last show in town, I can guarantee that they put on an equally energetic and high quality show, which makes sense because after going on over 20 tours in the last four years, they are likely to have nearly perfected their performance technique. These guys just don't quit—or take a break for that matter—and I'm glad they haven't. In addition to the supporting bands It Lives, It Breaths and Darke Complex this is going to be a good fucking time. They'll be in town on Sunday, Oct. 9, at the gem of a locale, Blu Phoenix Venue,and tickets are only $8! Doors open at 6pm, and it's likely to be packed so get there on time (or early).
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