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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.