The Russian rockabilly surf rock band, The Red Elvises, have been coming to Albuquerque for years and at one point had a pretty massive local following when they would roll into town at the very least once a year. Those that have gone to their shows become nostalgic for their showmanship and inventive sounds. One cannot help but want to dance to and join in on their audience immersive gigs.
These days though, there is only one original member left in the band that was founded in 1995. They’ve changed their name to Igor and The Red Elvises, maybe because it just isn’t quite the same show or band with different members.
It was unfortunate to see that only a small number of people came to the show on Tuesday. This may be part of a larger issue; many millennials out and about downtown are no longer going to see bands play anymore, but seem more interested in hip hop and EDM.
The newer members of The Red Elvises play the same songs as the other incarnations of the bad did, and have even added a few new ones to their repertoire, but the show itself is different. The new singer does not have a Russian accent, that is an aspect that made the band what it used to be. The fervor was gone and replaced with a younger and not as lively group.
I must admit I hadn’t seen them play in years, and don’t get me wrong, every single one of the new band members are talented in their own right, especially their new horn player—she is a badass—but also their formerly infamous red balalaika bass was not being twirled about and used as a show prop as it once was. Essentially the show didn’t have the flair it once had. This could be due to Bernov, the previous bassist, quitting the band in 2009 to join the circus as a clown with a group called Slava's Snowshow.
But things do happen. Something that was made notable by Russian accents, grandiloquence and sheer soul to play had been changed and ended up sort of lost on a younger audience. Unfortunately this gig missed the mark of their usually grandiose shows.
According to their bio, showman extraordinaire Igor Yuzov is “perpetually globetrotting, and in the process he has found scores of wildly talented, entertaining musicians to bring into the fold of this increasingly international party band,” and it’s understandable that sometimes bands need to change to keep thriving.
Maybe it’s that I was hoping to see the show I had memories of from in my youth, but sometimes bands develop into something else entirely, even though they're playing the same music. And sometimes older fans are either going to embrace it or they’re not.
The new musicians added to the group and they did put on a great show. Anyone looking to go have a great time dancing to fun and upbeat vibes will thoroughly enjoy the newly evolved Red Elvises, especially if they play Launchpad again.
Look at your new favorite animal.
A Christian group in Fla. wants to convict abortion providers and their patients with first-degree murder.
The demotion of the Fox News anchor that filed a lawsuit against the “news source” shines light on how the company views their women employees.
We all know people play games when they date but the dating-app sensation Tinder was literally designed to be like a game.
What makes balloons float the directions they do during Balloon Fiesta?
A Disney classic is about to be remade.
Modern family continues to be a 10/10 show by casting an actual trans kid as a trans kid.
A Moment from day two at Globalquerque 2016,final set:
Those of us on the farthest right side edge of the audience in the Albuquerque Journal Theater last night witnessed a notable and magical "behind the scenes" glimpse of the international flavor and inter-generational composition of the ¡Globalquerque! performers community.
During the majority of the set of the remarkable Inner Mongolian group Anda Union, a five year old Mongolian girl, costumed in a regal, royal blue outfit, danced backstage in the wings, gently performing her careful footwork, body swaying and arms in motions while the adult members of the band masterfully entranced the room. For nearly an hour, we got to see this poised child practicing her craft, cradled by her extended artistic clan, while we took in the hypnotic and classically arranged musical pieces of Anda Union.
Just being in the presence of their instruments was transportative. Hand crafted modern versions of traditional Mongolian instruments that resembled cellos, stand up basses, flutes and violins were just a portion of the exotic instruments on display. Additionally, most of the players wore traditional Mongol plains costumes.
Their music ranged from full orchestral pieces to voice and throat-singing solos, to flute and throat-singing numbers. The packed auditorium was filled with an enthusiastic audiences treated to best that ¡Globalquerque! has to offer–a world assembly in a beautiful setting in the South Valley of Albuquerque.
Globalquerque is a community in the disguise of an international music festival. One enters and wanders the grounds, running into old friends and warmly welcomed by vendors in the eclectic bazaar and food cart area. Such quality purveyors as Jambo Café, the East African restaurant from Santa Fe, to the Vivac Winery, and the Santa Fe Brewing Company are but a few of the booths in The Global Village.
We got to sample a handful of the approximately 17 acts featured in this year’s fest. During dinner on Saturday evening, the Austrian brass band ensemble Federspiel was in mid-set on the main Plaza Mayor.
Federspiel is on a mission to redefine and modernize the Austrian folk tradition for current audiences. Their spirited set showcased their journey from earlier forms of Austrian folk styles into contemporary interpretations of a long standing approach to big band music. They also featured original compositions in their set packed with panache. Bravo!
Then we entered the Theater for an astounding experience, the music of Baladino from Israel. As we learned during their set, Baladino refers to the land and culture of the Sephardic Jews who populated Spain up until the 15th century, then migrated throughout Europe and the New World.
Their set was mesmerizing from the first notes. This 4 person band consists of a percussionist, a reed player, a mandolin-like instrument player and a vocalist. Early in their set, as the singer explained, they did a ballad about a bride being summoned by a wedding party to reveal herself to her groom. This atmospheric number showcased each performer to great effect, each of whom are ambassadors for Middle Eastern artistry.
this tune kicked the performance into a high gear they were to maintain for the remainder of their time onstage. At one point, the reed player was introduced as about to perform on a PVC-pipe-crafted instrument. He surprised and delighted the crowd as he hopped up and down, dancing while he played. The pulsing, and rhythmic prowess of Baladino delivered a wallop of world music while engendering admiration and enjoyment throughout the theater. Screams and yelps greeted the finale of their set.
It was also a treat to see all the members of Baladino hanging out on the grounds, visiting with people and attending other performances throughout the evening after they were done playing. Such is the spirit of ¡Globalquerque!
As luck would have it, we were able to stay in the Theater, in our front row of the main section for the next act. My wife and I were so happy to discover that the original, quirky and topical Jill Sobule was booked for !Globalquerque! as the sole representative of the American singer-songwriter genre.
We both knew her from earlier periods of her long, 11 album career. Sobule is a kick and a character from the moment she is at the mic.
She builds her sets in a somewhat democratic fashion by either asking the audience if she should play a certain type or song on her mind, or by giving a multiple-choice outcry of songs or song-styles, to the crowd and listening for the response. Of course in true contemporary folk music style, she tells little stories to introduce all her numbers.
Jill Sobule presents as both a self-aware and social-activist modern American, navigating troubles and life-stages via her uncanny, of the moment songwriting abilities.
Early in her set she played "A Good Life" and described it as a "Love song for the Apocalypse." As a nod to her audience and a request, she did her New Mexico song, a beautiful ballad of a road trip and a relationship story all rolled into one.
After telling us about losing her beloved mother this year, she played the first song she wrote for her. "Death in Venice Beach" is about hoping her mom would come to her in her dreams. It is a poignant, lovely and tribute-worthy song which portrayed her bond with her mother and her journey forward, going on without her.
True to her style of crafting numbers from life experience she played "San Francisco." a song about a "massage gone bad." She told the crowd a story of going to get a massage with a friend and feeling a bit of an off vibe in the establishment.
Turns out the masseuse was a dominatrix in another alt-universe of her life. And so Jill was treated to "too much information" about the fetish world. And that story finds its way into the song. As was said at the outset, this performer is a highly original artist and an outsized entertainer. Bring her on for more!
Back out in the Plaza Mayor afterwards was the Brazilian singer Dona Onette. She has quite of life story. She was discovered as a performer later in life after her career as a history professor and Secretary of Culture for a Brazilian state.
This soulful woman holds her audience in a hypnotic state as she traverses from traditional, regional tunes into carimba at the root of the famous lambada style. Dona Onette has the commanding presence of–as my old teachers used to say–a big self. She is worth seeking out musically and I highly suggest listeners look for her recorded work.
¡Globalquerque! delivers a diverse and extremely well curated array of music and culture. During the day Saturday, was a free fest within a festival. there were participative workshops, demonstrations and performances in the main plaza of the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Between those events and the two nights of major programming, its no wonder ¡Globalquerque! is now a draw not only for Albuquerque visitors, but for a great many international music festival fans who travel from other cities and states to attend.
Not surprisingly, it is already on our Calendar for next year. So, check the dates for next year, then, don your ethnic garb, and we’ll see you next time in the global village.
Speaking of debates, here's one way to settle them.
Have a strong opinion about the presidential candidates? Today is National Voter Registration day, so make sure you register and go vote on Nov. 8!
Say hello to recycled polyester, otherwise known as Bionic Yarn, a clothing material made from used plastics. Optimistically speaking, this could make a huge positive impact on the atrocious amount of plastics currently floating in the oceans.
To be happy is to be healthy. And it's contagious.
Nearly 300 tech firms across the country are declaring Nov. 8, election day, a paid company holiday.
Elon Musk speaks at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico about his plan to colonize Mars. Watch the talk live here.
In an analysis of revolutionaries vs reactionaries in modern American history, opinion writer David Brooks states, “It doesn't matter how much living standards rise or the poverty rate falls, it makes you seem smart and woke to be alarmed and hypercritical.” Read the article for more thoughtful insights about our strange yearning for an idealized past, and why “it's stupid and impossible to turn back the clock.”
Tonight is the presidential debate between nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It should be quality entertainment, but it's unlikely the debate will actually change the outcome of the election.
The star pitcher for the Marlins, Jose Fernandez, was tragically killed in a boating accident over the weekend. He was 24.
Apparently, the form of the 'visual album' is the future of pop music. Earlier this morning, Drake released his Apple Music-exclusive short film Please Forgive Me, which provides visuals for several of the songs from his latest album Views.
Legendary golfer (and creator of the eponymous drink) Arnold Palmer died over the weekend. He was 87.
In Syracuse, NY, the Onondaga County Justice Center has come under fire for putting children in solitary confinement -- in the case of teenage Charnasha, for the crime of talking too loudly in public. This week, the New York Civil Liberties Union is filing suit against the Justice Center.
Want to see a real life Transformer? A Turkish company converted a BMW into one. Watch the video, bro.
A report from Applied Animal Behaviour Science says that horses understand symbols and are apparently self aware. Within 14 days, 23 horses learned how to express if they were cold and wanted a blanket by touching a series of three symbols held by researchers.
So, back in the '90s there was this dude offering breast enlargement through hypnosis. Results were mixed.
It's been driving you crazy for years: Why do some monkeys have blue balls?
This sounds like a great idea: Asteria, the wearable virtual assistant who will actually have a conversation with you. It records all the things you do, and then uses that data to relate with you on a more personal level. Because feeding a machine your most private information is way better than making friends with real people.
Linguist Benjamin Bergen just released his book What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves, which discusses why cuss words are awesome, and why saying them feels good. Fuck, yeah, it does!