By Michael Henningsen
Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.
By Michael Henningsen
Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:
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…
Courtesy of Mono/Poly Facebook Page
Mono/Poly • electronic, experimental, alternative hip hop, glitch • Tsuruda • trap, grime, dubstep • 1960sfe • chill wave
By Megan Reneau
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.
Photo by Wes Naman
Silver String Band • Americana, blues • Squash Blossom Boys • bluegrass, folk
By August March
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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