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 V.13 No.7 | February 12 - 18, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

In yet another boneheaded decision by a local band, the formerly brilliantly named Mr. Spectacular have officially and rather unfortunately changed their name to Fivehundred, which, in my opinion, is meaningless and utterly forgetable, quite unlike the band formerly known as Mr. Spectacular. For their sake, let's hope they make their upcoming South By Southwset appearance as Mr. Spectacular, the band the SXSW folks are expecting. Congratulations, guys. And shame on you. ... The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, who are not considering a name change, will host their first-ever media auction on Thursday, Feb. 12, at the NMSO offices at 4407 Menaul NE. Attendees will have the opportunity to cast their bids on more than 50 lots, including valuable advertising packages from many of Albuquerque's top media outlets. KKOB-AM afternoon windbag Jim Villanucci will provide stand-up comedy, while members of the NMSO will provide music during the event. All proceeds from the auction will benefit NMSO's youth education programs. Tickets are $20. Call 881-8999 for more information. ... If I don't mention the following this week, Mary B will hunt me down and kill me: Mary B and her parent company, 89.9-FM KUNM, will present Texas polka legends Brave Combo for the 713th time on Friday, Feb. 27, at the Paramount in Santa Fe, and for the 714th time on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Sunshine Theater. Stay tuned to future issues for a full preview of these Polish-friendly events.

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Blue Note

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1: Arcadi Volodos, Piano with Berliner Philharmoniker (Sony Classical)

Thanks to its unforgettable opening melody, which invariably insinuates its way into the heart, Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto has earned a deservedly permanent place in the repertoire. Arcadi Volodos' rendition of the concerto is the third to arrive from a major label in the past few months. As with the other two, the first featuring Lang Lang backed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim (Universal Classics), the other showcasing 2001's Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winner Olga Kern and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (Harmonia Mundi), the recording is available as an SACD-hybrid multi-channel disc.

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Music Magnified

Hot Water Music

with Bouncing Souls, Longshot and Let It Burn

Thursday, Feb. 19; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): Somewhere between Quicksand's post-hardcore fury, Social Distortion's three-chord Californicated version of the Ramones' classic sound and At the Drive In's clear-cut emo, you'll find the Hot Water Music sound. Sure, tons of other comparisons can be drawn (Burning Airlines, late-era Helmet, the entire stable of Dischord bands circa 1989, and so on), but the only thing you really need to know is that of all the bands currently treading emo's ever quaking, never-quite-solid ground, Hot Water Music tread the lightest and with the biggest stick. Their various and wide range of influences are pressure cooked within the confines of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard's twin guitar/lead vocal blast furnace, then simmered into thick post-punk riffs and near-anthemic choruses.

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Music Magnified

Deep Purple

with Thin Lizzy

Tuesday, Feb. 17; Kiva Auditorium (Albuquerque Convention Center, all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Laugh out loud all you want, but Albuquerque is nothing if not a classic rock town. At one time in the not-so-distant past, our city boasted the most classic rock radio stations in the entire Western United States. And they all thrived, right up until those two companies bought up all the radio stations in the Western United States.

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Music Magnified

The Dark Star Orchestra

with the spirit of Jerry Garcia

Tuesday, Feb. 17; Stella Blue (21 and over, 9 p.m.): In the spirit of not letting dead Garcias lie, the Dark Star Orchestra tour the country presenting excruciatingly detailed reenactments of Grateful Dead shows, set list for set list, song for song, concert for concert. Going far beyond the realm of most "tribute" bands, the Dark Star Orchestra recreate specific Dead shows given on specific dates, which they keep secret until the encore of each show. They even go so far as to present the shows using replicas of the instruments the Dead used for the original performances. The audience, some of whom may have seen the Dead show to be played out once again, can get clues as to the date of the original show by checking mic number and placement, keyboard setup, guitar and bass varieties, etc., assuming that attending Grateful Dead shows has been their life's work. A Dark Star Orchestra show is just like being dead all over again.

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Sonic Reducer

Puddle of Mudd Life on Display (Flawless/Geffen)

Puddle of Mudd are like the book-learners you went to high school with: They studied Nirvana and the grunge movement with precision only to come away with a sterile knowledge of the music but no feel for its underlying soul. They're moderately effective emulators, but there's nary an original idea in their collective head. Life on Display is a bland, repetitive exercise in music that meant something a dozen years ago. Bereft of hooks or exemplary songwriting, it falls flat on its face in its first seconds and doesn't bother to struggle to its feet. Frat dicks will love it.

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Chevelle
Courtesy Epic Records

EVENT HORIZON (Tuesday, Jan 24)

Not Just Red

Chevelle • alternative • Black Map • Dinosaur Pile-Up • rock

Chevelle, an indie band from the Midwest, portrays their hard sound—expressed with exasperated vocals, a muscular rhythms and chunky guitar riffs that repeatedly drift off into tangential melodies—as an artful thing, comparable to '90s peers like Tool…
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Courtesy of Mono/Poly Facebook Page

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Jan 26)

Open Your Lungs, Wash Your Countenance, Exercise Your Eyes and Soften Your Temper

Mono/Poly • electronic, experimental, alternative hip hop, glitch • Tsuruda • trap, grime, dubstep • 1960sfe • chill wave

Charles E. Dickerson, aka, Mono/Poly will be breaking down beats hard at Sister Bar, on Thursday, Jan. 26. Mono/Poly is known for adroit techniques playing everything from ambient break beats to glitch hip-hop. He's has worked with Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, and has tracks set to be released with Erykah Badu, Kali Uchis and Kamasi Washington—just by that short significant list, you can tell he's fucking superb at what he does. Joining Mono/Poly will be Tsuruda, who excellently blends trap, hip-hop and house sounds, as well as local heavyweight DJ, 1960sfe (formerly known as 1960 Sci Fi Era), who creates beautiful chill wave beats. The 21+ show begins at 9pm and is $8.
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Squash Blossom Boys
Photo by Wes Naman

EVENT HORIZON (Friday, Jan 27)

Go Like the River

Silver String Band • Americana, blues • Squash Blossom Boys • bluegrass, folk

The Albuquerque Folk Festival has ebbed and flowed over the years, presumably in a fashion similar to the mythically winding rivers often rhapsodized about in American folk lore, literature and music. The ascension of the late, great Gary Libman to the presidency of the festival's board of directors provided structure and growth that has practically guaranteed the source of all the good ole music will never run dry. Still, given the economic realities in our great nation and the costs of producing such a successful regional music fest, a benefit concert is often in order, to keep things flowing, as it were. With that metaphor in mind, check out the concert featuring two of Burque's authentic Americana units, the Silver String Band and The Squash Blossom Boys when they perform on Friday, Jan. 27. A portion of the proceeds from this 21+ holy hootenanny beginning at 9pm will benefit the festival before it's 2017 iteration comes around on June 3, 2017. Tickets are $5.  
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