If you, Mr. 12- to 17-year-old, consider yourself a true metalhead, then your valuable services are required. Gerald Chavez, longtime local musician, martial artist, vegetarian and doctoral student of clinical psychology for the past 23 years, is conducting a pilot study for his dissertation, and needs your help. The study consists of a simple survey that takes about five minutes to complete, focusing on the connection or lack thereof between music, mood and aggression in males aged 12 to 17. As most people are aware, when an adolescent does something aggressive or bizarre, usually one of the first questions asked is, "What are his/her media interests?”—a question that's rarely, if ever, asked when an adult commits a crime or bizarre act. Along with looking at the effect music may have on mood and aggression, Chavez hopes to introduce hard science into the debate, instead of simply basing everything on nonempirical belief systems which is so often the case. Chavez says he believes it's time for the music appreciated by teens (and adults), be it metal, punk, goth, etc., to be looked at in a nonbiased way in an attempt to discover what, if anything, is going on. I, for one, would love to see a scientific end to the debate, and would be more than proud if one of our own turned out to be the guy with the answers. If you're interested in filling out the survey, contact Gerald Chavez at (505) 489-4109 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Parent signature required.
Lolita move over. Your jaw may drop when you hear "Summertime," the first of 12 tracks on this disc of standards and classics sung by the sensational Renée Olstead. The woman has every sexy insinuation, every purr and coo, every jazz riff and Broadway belt under the sun on the tip of her tongue.
Wednesday, Sept. 15; Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, all-ages, 7:30 p.m.): Since the late '50s, the Neville name has been synonymous with New Orleans-style R&B. The four brothers who share the name—Art, Charles, Aaron and Cyril—have worked together over the years in pairs, as a trio and as solo artists, but there's something infinitely special about the Neville Brothers working as a quartet; something that can't quite be matched.
Friday, Sept. 10; Kiva Auditorium (Convention Center, all ages, 8 p.m.): Prior to their ubiquitous single, “Touche,” taken from The Other Side EP, I considered Godsmack with the same degree of seriousness I generally reserve for most of the food-court rock bands I hear on the radio and see (briefly—it's all I can take) on televised music awards shows. But there's something about the earnestness of that song that sucked me in and didn't let go the first 600,000 times I heard it. It even got to the point where I went out and bought a copy of the EP which, to my surprise and delight, was just as solid as the single.
The quasi-ska “Shootin' Dice” is an unfortunate misstep (especially with regard to the vocals), but the rest of Hit By a Bus' debut reveals an impressive blend of hardcore rock and borderline techno beats, punk and metal guitar figures, and a whole host of juicy pop elements that, taken as a whole, offer multiple moments of sheer delight. The record's harder side is expertly performed (“Pumpkin,” “Tarot's Tale”), while the more ambient material (“Unfazed,” “Speed Limit 42”) is equally as effective in its subtleties. Vocals could be better overall, but the songs are rock solid.