Alibi V.18 No.14 • April 2-8, 2009 ››
Best Punk Band: Vertigo Venus
Steward of copious Downtown booty dancing, DJ Justin Case knows how to get this party started ... this party being one that's cloaked in small pieces of skintight fabric and boots with the fur.
2) Kentifyr, 3) DJ Eve
Best Reggae Band
Mystic Vision drinks life by the gallon. The mighty heartbeat that cradles the band’s songs pulses with such vibrancy that it instantly brightens your day or energizes your night. The band’s members strive to make the world a little sweeter for themselves and their fans through their music. Mystic Vision’s supporters returned the love and crowned the group king of the reggae scene.
2) One Foundation, 3) Native Roots
Best Hip-Hop/Rap MC
Darbstar has a low-key sort of flow that’s propelled by funky, soulful beats; when he gets to glide out his rhymes, this MC delivers hip-hop that’s kinetic and smooth at the same time.
2) Lady SayWut!, 3) Jeff and Jerry from Unusual Content
Best Rock Band
For the second year in a row! While we're at it, we'd like to nominate this heavy, cosmos-inclined four-piece as the Burque Band Most Likely to Be Turned into a Guitar Hero or Rock Band Character Set. We'd pay good money to virtual-shred SuperGiant songs like "Luna."
2) Diverje, 3) Tie: Missing Stateside, Ryan McGarvey
Best Punk Band
It has the quick chord changes, rapid tempo and antiestablishment attitude of a punk band, but there’s more to Vertigo Venus. The band could also be considered an industrial act or an electronic outfit. Punk is a genre that embraces change and encourages the defiance of convention. That’s exactly what Vertigo Venus has done with synthesizers and metal riffs.
2) Tie: Icky and the Yuks, The Gracchi, 3) The Rum Fits
Best Country/Folk/Americana Band
Americana is big these days, and Albuquerque’s got no shortage of bands ready to offer their bows and banjos to please your ears. This year you picked Charmed as your favorite source for all things twangy and stringed. Alicia Ultan and Bambi Jackson formed Charmed in 2001 and cite as influences Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos. Lovely and lilting, Charmed has, well, you know ... do we have to say it? OK, they’ve charmed you. Dammit.
2) Fast Heart Mart, 3) The Porter Draw
Best Latin/Traditional New Mexico Band
Son Como Son gets salsa dancers moving and tied for second in this category last year. Now the eight-piece Cuban-style salsa band has cha cha cha-ed all the way to numero uno.
2) Nosotros, 3) Al Hurricane
Best Blues Act
Ryan McGarvey knows how to give our city the blues. And he's quite handsome.
2) Chris Dracup (with Tommy Elskes), 3) Hillary Smith & Hip Pocket
Best Jazz Act
Muni Kulasinghe, John Sandlin, Jared Putnam and Fernando Garavito are worth mentioning by name. Each is expert enough to make your heels shake and your hips quake; together they equal a force nearly unrivaled in our burg. Do yourself a favor and catch them at their next show, and order a Scotch on the side.
2) Tie: Resonance (Patti Littlefield and Mark Weaver), Zoltan Orkestar, 3) Stu MacAskie Trio
Best Metal Band
While some readers cast interesting votes for the likes of "Rock of Love 4: Al Hurricane's Tour Bus," the lively ladies of legitimate metal band Suspended win the title this year.
2) Torture Victim, 3) Anesthesia
Best Electronic Act
This guy can compose a symphony with a synthesizer. Sometimes you feel like you’re inside a video game or a George W. Bush re-education camp; but Brian Botkiller’s ability to transport you into a different realm is a gift. His evil-sounding voice, danceable beats and frightful keyboard create a beautiful nightmare of strange sounds.
2) Tie: Black Guys, Vertigo Venus, 3) Tie: Diverje, Leiahdorus
We're never quite sure what qualifies as "avant-garde," but obviously Alchemical Burn's experimental knob-twiddling floats your boat. Angaym k. Oss and his rotating band of contributors rarely play live, but you can catch all of the group's dark mood music online.
2) Eva Ave. and Carlosaur, 3) Yoda's House
Singer-songwriter Martin Stamper’s kryptonite must be monotony because he avoids it at all costs. His breed of punkish folk stays grounded with forceful guitar strumming as its anchor. Whether you see Stamper’s band Fast Heart Mart at a bar, a park or a street corner, do yourself a favor and stop to listen.
2) Ryan McGarvey, 3) Rod Lacy from The Old Main
"The Guitar Guy," they called him at Eldorado High School, and a few years later, all of Albuquerque agrees. Young McGarvey knows his way around his instrument. What sets him apart is his sensitivity and taste. The young bluesman's debut CD, Forward in Reverse, became one of the top 20 big sellers at CD Baby, a national distribution site used by independent musicians everywhere. That's no small feat.
2) Chris Cannon, 3) Chris Dracup
Beside banging the skins with the greatest of ease, Brian Botkiller is a regular Svengali at pulling for BoB votes through the Internet's many spidery arms of networking. Way to drum/organize, Botkiller!
2) Dax Lujan from Requiem Mass, 3) Tie: Gary Chavez from SuperGiant, Sam Blankenship from Good as Dead
The bass player is an underappreciated musician. Unless it’s Queen and Bowie’s “Under Pressure,” a bass line often goes unnoticed, blending into a song’s soundscape. But BoB bassist pick Ken Cornell injects the "vroom" in Vertigo Venus’ driving punk, stealthily switching on your brain’s dance-and-thrash setting.
2) Tie: Danny Garcia (aka Danny the Harp), Kyle Erickson from SuperGiant, 3) Tie: Aaron "Ziggy" Bustamante from Anesthesia, Berto Lujan from The Ground Beneath, Terry George from Spin Dry Kittens, Todd "Skinnyfat" Lovato from Felonious Groove Foundation
Jeffie Cannon growls, sings falsetto and generally makes ’80s-inspired synth-rock vocals seem like second nature. When Cannon and Vertigo Venus took on the role of glam punk rockers The Angry Inch in The Vortex Theatre’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, theater and music lovers took notice.
2) Hillary Smith, 3) Joel Rogers from SuperGiant
Best Music Equipment Store
Grandma’s Music & Sound
9310 Coors NW • 292-0341 • grandmas.com
Grandma’s Music & Sound has been around for more than 25 years, and its following is so loyal that not even a move from the Northeast Heights to the Westside could keep Burque’s burgeoning rock stars away. You love it for the best guitar selection in the state, with a range of Flying Vs that C.C. Deville would give all of his neon pants to own. But you also know that if there’s a hole in your drum circle, Grandma’s has the bongo to fill it. Locally owned, this place understands the need for you desert dwellers to rock. Or sway. Whatever.
2) Music Go Round, 3) Guitar Center
Best Local Music Store
What can local record stores give you that iTunes and Amazon cannot? Good taste. Personality. A connection with your city. Two more things we love about Natural Sound: local show flyers in the storefront facing Nob Hill, safely behind glass where no one can tear them down; and an ever-evolving rack of just-in discs near the front door.
2) Charley's 33s and CDs, 3) Hastings