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Now Hear This, Vol. III

Consumers of my dancing-about-architecture reportage are probably aware of my frequent use of the adjectival "blackety-black." It's really just an overly precious synonym for: atramentous, ebony, jet, obsidian, onyx, pitch, slate, sloe and the like. But thanks to British scientists at Surrey NanoSystems, there's now an honest-to-goodness blackety-black. It's called Vantablack (or super black), and it's record-breaking darkness absorbs all but .035 percent of light. It's so damn black that the human eye has difficulty discerning its dimensions. Like a freaking black hole. Its primary intended applications are terrestrial, space and air-borne optical instrumentation. But now hear this: The Little Black Dress will never be the same.

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Blouse - "Into Black"

The Daily Mail reports that it's created using carbon nanotubes"which are 10,000 thinner than human hair and so miniscule that light cannot get in but can pass into the gaps in between"and if that isn't enough, it's 10 times stronger than steel and conducts heat seven-and-a-half times more effectively than copper. Yeah. Owing to my obsessive-compulsive nature, themes prove irresistably attractive, so here are my favorite songs that pay tribute to blackety-black, er, Vantablack. Share your favorite black-centric tracks in the comments, fellow darklings.

Dead Can Dance - "Black Sun"

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Beat Happening - "Black Candy"

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Cosmetics - "Black Leather Gloves"

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Nick Drake - "Black Eyed Dog"

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Nina Simone - "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair"

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Pictureplane - "Black Nails"

The Sandwitches - "Black Rider"

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Timber Timbre - "Black Water"

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The Velvet Underground & Nico - "Black Angel's Death Song"

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music

Now Hear This, Vol. II

Samantha Anne Carrillo

Are you properly caring for your inner goth? My years of rockin' an all-black wardrobe, a Wite-Out complexion and panda eyes may be over, but I take care to nourish my blackety-black heart and sonic sensibility. If you're feeling the urge to chainsmoke clove cigs, brood and write bad poetry, I recommend channeling that energy into a celebration of Dark Entries Records' fifth anniversary.

Stream a mix Cheon brewed up for Dark Entries' fifth anniversary above.

DJ Josh Cheon founded the label in July 2009 with the intention of releasing out-of-print and unreleased underground '80s treasures. Named for the first 7-inch released by goth icon Bauhaus, Dark Entries' focus is curation, preserving sound quality and respecting its artists' aural aesthetic . And, yes, the label's output is strictly vinyl.

Preview Dark Entries' reissue of '80s Italo disco group Helen's early maxi singles as a four-song EP.

Dark Entries' lifeblood is the excavation, quality reproduction and distribution of largely unknown pleasures, but it also showcases contemporary acts whose sound harkens back to the heyday of minimal synth, coldwave, dark wave, electro, Italo disco and post-punk. Highlights of the Dark Entries catalog include work by Dark Day, Jeff and Jane Hudson, Starter, Linea Aspera, Kitchen & the Plastic Spoons, Algebra Suicide, Los Microwaves, Patrick Cowley, Victrola, Lè Travo, Crash Course in Science, Lassigue Bendthaus, Cute Heels and Helen.

Sample the debut LP by Cute Heels, the solo project of Belgian artist and Black Leather Records manager Victor Lenis.

"If only for the old times," reminisce and peer into the future by exposing your dark side to Dark Entries.

Stream "Nightcrawler" from Dark Entries' 2xLP Patrick Cowley retrospective, School Daze.

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music

Now Hear This, Vol. I

Zola Jesus' new track "Dangerous Days" is a modern-sounding electro-pop banger.

Welcome to the first installment of "Now Hear This," a column to chronicle my obsessive-compulsive sonic studies, archaelogical and futurist alike. And while here with me, expect everything from old and alt.country to rocanrol to dark wave to Italo disco to queercore to punk to riot grrrl to noise to minimal synth and everywhere in between ... Except smooth jazz, (most) contemporary country and reggae. They just don't do it for me. As they saywho are they, anyway?there's no accounting for taste.

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The other day Mark asked what my favorite Steely Dan song is. It's "Your Gold Teeth." Steely Dan's Jamalot tour hits Legends Theater on Wednesday, July 16, y'all. Check out i28 for all the deets.

I embrace that motto and am wholly dependent on my musical addiction to transcend the banality of everyday life. Don't get me wrong. I really dig my life. Getting to collaborate with and work alongside an uber-talented editorial staff and freelancers every day is, like, the dream. But sometimes you simply have to hear something new or unfamiliar that excites and challenges you. This column will serve as complement to my colleague Mark Lopez' wide-ranging Rooster Roundabout series.

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Mike put Iris Dement's "Let the Mystery Be" on a mixtape, and it was love at first listen.

My soundscape and its population, past and present, have benefited from the hive mind of many wonderful humans, ranging from my vinyl historian pal Mike Harper in Huntsville, Tex., who first exposed me to the music nerd bug;

I might never have heard Starter's "Victim" if not for Frankie. And that, my friends, would be a tragedy.

to synth/post-punk/ industrial maven and Systems of Romance curator Frankie Teardrop, also of cold wave/post-punk band The Harrow;

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On one of the first Caterwaul radio shows I heard, I was comforted to recognize a fellow Culturcide fan.

to Dirt City denizen Derek Caterwaul, notably of KUNM Radio and Low Life at Blackbird Buvette, who remains one of my favorite DJs after more than a decade of listening to his Music to Soothe the Savage Beast and Overnight Freeform shows;

Listen to TAHNZZ' "Her Strange Dwellings" above.

to Burqueña Tahnee Udero aka DJ Tahnee, whose massive knowledge base is supplanted by exquisite taste, and her solo project TAHNZZ garnered serious listmas praise in 2013;

Stream DJ Mello's "Sprinkles," a nonpareil mix of funk, jazz, R&B and soul, above.

to Mello Sanchez aka DJ Mello, an uber-talented DJ and pastry chef and one of my best friends;

I will not return your records #252 by I Will Not Return Your Records on Mixcloud

Stream I Will Not Return Your Records #252, feat. tracks by Bardo Pond, Circuit des Yeux, Love, Low and Swans, above.

to northerly neighbor Lorrie Edmonds, curator of I Will Not Return Your Records, which I can safely say is one of the best radio shows on the planet.

Stream or download Pictureplane's second Check Yo' Ponytail mix above.

So this is a shout-out to all y'all strange, kindred music nerds, both the ones I know and the ones I haven't met yet.

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V.23 No.27 | 7/3/2014
Wynonna Judd
Courtesy of artist

Music to Your Ears

Wy brings the Big Noise

From fiery country to Afro-Colombian folk to dream-pop revival, Music to Your Ears delivers deets on the hottests concerts of the week.

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Music

"Count Me In"

311 kicks off summer tour in Albuquerque

Get ready for a night to remember: The multi-platinum rock band 311 comes to Albuquerque tonight. In fact, this will be their first stop for a seven-week North America summer tour. With influences from hip-hop to funk to ska, there’s plenty to take away from their show.

Stereolithic, their most recent album, has debuted in the top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart and features 15 new songs. It originally dropped on March 11get it, 3/11?making it 311 Day, which consisted of the band playing a 66-song, 5-hour set in New Orleans. Definitely a tough show, but by all reports, they held their own.

After more than 25 years, the band has been able to keep and grow its fan base. According to a 2012 interview with 311 vocalist and DJ SA Martinez, "There’s always a younger generation that may not be privy to a lot of musical styles, but I find our audiences constantly changing. ... When we came out in the ’90s, we had a different sound and radio wasn’t initially ready for us."

With that being said, “Count me in” for 311’s Goodwill benefit concert tonight at the Sandia Resort and Casino Amphitheater (30 Rainbow Rd.). Doors open at 7pm and the show kicks off at 8. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or at the Sandia Casino and Resort box office or by calling (800) 745-3000.

V.23 No.26 | 6/26/2014

Sonic Reducer

Death Grips niggas on the moon · White Lung Deep Fantasy · The Soft Pink Truth Why Do the Heathen Rage?

This week, we listened to new releases from Death Grips, White Lung and The Soft Pink Truth. Now with A/V!

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Today's Events

Josh Blue at The Stage @ Santa Ana Star

Josh Blue likes to defy expectations.

A night of stand-up comedy from the "Last Comic Standing" champion.

Gizmo Garage at North Valley Public Library

Party on the Patio: The Memphis P. Tails • blues at Pueblo Harvest Café

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    Oct 12th @ The Launchpad
    Oct 12th @ The Launchpad10.12.2014