Music to Your Ears
By Rachel Heisler
If you've been paying attention you already know that Club Rhythm and Blues (3523 Central NE) is reopening on March 4. This is a huge and wonderful announcement for local performers and music connoisseurs alike. Along with a regular line-up of great acts and open mic nights, Club R&B will feature its New Artist Series, hosted by yours truly.
By Michael Henningsen
Her Own Medicine; Jessica Williams Heals Herself at the Piano
Although she's been considered a significant presence on the jazz scene for decades, Jessica Williams doesn't enjoy the name recognition she deserves. Following years spent playing piano with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet and sharing stages with such luminaries as Bill Evans, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Sarah Vaughn, McCoy Tyner and a host of others, not to mention her extensive discography, Williams remains largely under-recognized outside of critics and rabid fans of classic bop-influenced keyboard work.
With chops that invoke the playing of Thelonious Monk and an incredible command of the keyboard, Williams based herself in San Francisco in the late '70s, where she established herself as a powerful musical force. Inexplicably, she disappeared from record for a short time, only to re-emerge in the '80s as an acoustic soloist. And while generally identified within the bop idiom, Williams' latest album, the demure, hauntingly lovely Plays for Lovers (Red and Blue Records), is a quiet tribute to relaxing at home either with a lover or with a lover on the mind. Nine of the album's 11 tracks are jazz standards (the exceptions are John Lennon's "Love is Real" and her own "Flamenco Sketches), and all of them feature Williams alone at her piano, performing the music as though she were at home.
The Dolly Ranchers
By Rachel Heisler
Sunday, March 7; AMP House Concert (all ages, 6:30 p.m.): Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, welcome to one of the craziest shows on Earth. Feast your eyes on four ladies who know what putting on a captivating show is all about ... the Dolly Ranchers have all their bases covered when it comes to rockin' a crowd and getting a rip-roarin' hoe-down started.
By Michael Henningsen
Jesse Cook Nomad (Narada World)
It would be easy to write "noveau" flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook off as the acoustic guitar world's Kenny G—a Paco de Lucia for soccer moms. But Cook's versatility, polished technique and visceral command of Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish and Moorish music make him far more intriguing than your average cracker with an instrument and the ability to make middle-aged white women swoon as if they're having some kind of cross-cultural epiphany. That's not to say that Cook doesn't employ a certain degree of the cheese factor, just that his music is worthwhile even as far as audiophiles are concerned.
Rugby is a Drag • Truly Scrumptious Coxx
By Robin Babb
This Saturday, Jan. 21, drag your ass to Sidewinders by 9pm for the fundraiser, Rubgy is a Drag, presented by Brujos Rugby and Casa Q. That’s right, the strapping young Brujos Rugby Team players will be performing in drag for a one-night-only event with guest MC Truly Scrumptious Coxx—you don’t want to miss this one. Remember to bring singles to shower upon your favorite performers. Funds go towards The Brujos and Casa Q, the only safe transitional house for LGBTQ+ youths in New Mexico. Tickets are $10. Ages 21+.
Courtesy Epic Records
Chevelle • alternative • Black Map • Dinosaur Pile-Up • rock
By August March
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. And they do sound like Tool—if their latest single “Door to Door Cannibals” is any indication—when that band was at its peak at the end of the last millennium. Whether this particular vernacular is still credible in a rocanrol world that is rapidly evolving away from rocanrol remains to be seen, yet Chevelle does provide solid affirmation that such beefy sounds are still commercially, if not aesthetically viable. Currently a familial unit comprised of brothers Pete and Sam Loeffler as well as their brother-in-law Dean Bernardini, Chevelle continues to use themes of darkness and domination to draw radio-friendly audiences worldwide. Burqueños can get a taste of their rockingly reserved rampage when the trio visit our town on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Black Map and Dinosaur Pile-Up open this 13+ show at the El Rey that costs between $25-$45.
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