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 Apr 1 - 7, 2004 

Blue Note

By Michael Henningsen

Chris Smither

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.

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Tim Henningsen

Aural Fixation

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:

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EVENT HORIZON ()

Fleece Navidad

Ugly Sweater Party • DJ Young Native • electronica, hip-hop

By Maggie Grimason
Don your finest ugly holiday sweater, or show up ready to purchase one this Thursday, Dec. 21, at Marble's Westside Tap Room. There are very few times during the calendar year where we can reasonably embrace bells, snowmen, glitter and bows on our clothing. Don't miss out on the Ugly Sweater Party of all things tacky—it's as easy as showing up at the bar off Unser anytime after 7pm. DJ Young Native will be playing all your favorite `80s and holiday tunes, and the whole shebang is free.
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Courtesy 1990s rave archives, 6AM Group

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I scratched 'til I Bled

I Love the 90's • dance party

By August March
I love the '90s. Well, not as much as I love the '80s. Then there's the '70s to reckon with. I sorta remember the '60s, those were pretty exciting too, especially the end bits, after the summer of love, yo. But, if you're like me, music of the '90s is totally worth listening to over and over, particularly the grand cultural treasure trove of tuneage that came into being after the elfin guitar god from the north woods passed into enternity in April 1994. The music that was made to dance to back then, guess what? You can still dance to it; the stuff's been miraculously preserved in some kinda digital medium and you can shake you booty to exactly that on the evening Friday, Dec. 22. Prepare yourself for an aural onslaught featuring the likes of Tone-Loc, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and Vanilla Ice. They'll all be righteously represented at the I Love the '90s Video Music Dance Party happening Downtown at the Sunshine Theater, so dig out some Funky Cold Medina and leave your cell phone at home (because, they didn't like really have those until1998, amirite?) for a night of reflection on what the past 27 years have wrought. $10 for entry and 18+ to dance, 21+ to drink and dance.
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Photo on VisualHunt / Public Domain Dedication
, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

EVENT HORIZON ()

Mix it up a little

MIXXD • Ana M • house, g-house, tech house, techno, UK garage, minimal • BadCats

By August March
MIXXD is a loosely organized yet totally groovy collective of electro-wizards, multiverse mixers and tuned-in turntableists. They occasionally get together in Albuquerque clubs in order to toss glittery music dust, cray incantations and heady, extravehicular space explorations via vinyl and tape into a world that absolutely needs rhythm in order to survive the mundane purity of everyday life. This iteration of a trance and/or dance inducing solution to your holiday tribulations, a bright bauble of a thing called NM LOVE MIX WINTER is available for consumption on Saturday, Dec. 23, and features the following DJs: BadCat (Jennifer Highfield Castro), Ana M (Ana Martinez), Liminal Spaces (Máté Fischer) and H.P. Dubcraft (Hank Padilla) at Sister. Being there will mean giving in to your highest holiday hankerings, so what the heck, live a little! Free before 10pm, $5 after 10pm. 21+.
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