Music to Your Ears
By Michael Henningsen
Man, if there's one thing El Paso's Lylah should never have done, is cover a Cure song, especially “Love Song.” But all's (mostly) forgiven, because the rest of their forthcoming album, New Religion, is solid and original. They'll be foisting said record upon the public on Saturday, May 29, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon or El Rey Theater (the press release was unclear). The record is also available at the angry teenager headquarters, Hot Topic, and Lylah will perform on the 2004 Vans Warped Tour. ... Speaking of new local records, The Mindyset (pictured above) releases theirs this week and the best band in the world called the Saddlesores have dropped their third release in 14 years on us. Titled Let it Suck, the album will be officially partied into existence on June 19 at the Atomic Cantina with Fast Heart Mart and the Rivet Gang in tow. Preview to follow in the coming weeks. ... Also on the new local album radar is Nels Andrews, who thus far has provided me with two copies of his new album that refuse to play on any CD player I own. However, if his live show is any indication, Andrews' record is one of the best local releases out there. ... Oddly, The Foxx still do not have a record deal. The world is stupid. ... Saw Dark Lotus last week (ridiculous, but funny) at the Sunshine. Also saw Unit 7 Drain (killer set plagued by early sound problems) open for the semi-acoustic New Model Army (boring!) at the Launchpad. Can't fucking wait for the Rage Against Martin Sheen show on Friday, May 28! Review forthcoming.
By Michael Henningsen
Good God Almighty!
Outpost Ends its Spring Season with Gospel and Blues
As God and just about everyone in the Western world relish the seventh day as one of rest, televised sports, worship and/or yard work, brothers Chuck and Darick Campbell of the Campbell Brothers are hard at work. With the former on pedal steel and the latter on lap steel, the Campbell Brothers (also featuring brother Phil on guitar, his son Carlton on drums and gospel vocalists Denise Brown and Katie Jenkins) turn traditional African American gospel tunes into works of divinity—combining otherworldly energy and miracle talent to achieve a degree of spirituality through music few will ever achieve by any means. This is no average blues-gospel band. The Campbell Brothers, as the deeply religious occasionally say, are touched.
By Michael Henningsen
Darkest Hour Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation (Victory)
It's too bad that most of the lyrics on Darkest Hour's latest platter are indecipherable from guttural growling and low frequency shrieking, because the band have a whole lot of social commentary to get off their collective chest. The lyrics are printed on the J-card, but you'll need LASIK to read them. On Hidden Hands ... the band have reached a new pinnacle of intelligent, melodic brutality—a perfect balance of thrash, hardcore and death metal. You'll be hard-pressed to find a tighter, more complex set of songs than the nine here.
T-Rextasy • garage, punk • Mount Ivy • space rock • Emma Lee Toyoda
By August March
Surf-style, fuzzed out and formidably feminist pop-punkers T-Rextasy make an appearance in Albuquerque, at the new home of all things fearsome and fashionable, Burt's Tiki Lounge, on Thursday, March 23. The New York City band—singer Lyris Faron, guitarists Lena Abraham and Vera Kahn, under the rhythmic influences of bassist Annie Fidoten and drummer Ebun Nazon-Power—is known for its arch approach to the genre, generating pure pop nuggets like last year's “Gap Yr Boiz” to deconstruct and decimate a culture they find to be placid and painstakingly pointless. They'll be joined on stage by space rock quartet Mount Ivy and self-described “Seattle-based sadgirlrock” adherents Emma Lee Toyoda. Hmm, the more I think about it while considering this show, the more I imagine that rocanrol is still alive and has a chance against the forces of the future. Find out for yourself if all of that fashion-future-forward stuff is la neta by jaunting on over to Burt's for this 21+ gig, where its always free to go in and have a listen to what will most certainly be.
Kurt Travis • alternative rock • Eidola • Amarrionette
By Megan Reneau
I love Kurt Travis ... I said it! I don't regret it, either! (Well, I actually hardly know the man—i.e. not at all—I just love his music.) I know you won't regret seeing him at The Co-Op alongside the phenomenal bands Eidola and Amarrionette this Saturday, March 25, for only $10. Travis was the lead clean vocalist for notable post-hardcore bands Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds. He has expanded his act as a solo musician producing the dazzlingly lovely EPs Wha Happen? (2012), Kurt Travis (2013), Everything Is Beautiful (2014) and the Kurt Travis/Paul Travis Split (2016). Travis creates an acoustic, atmospheric pop sound combined with wailing, lonesome bluegrass-esque vocals. In the newest split EP that he made with his brother, the two have created a delicate mix of Americana, pop and indie rock which is sure to translate well into this incredible performer's repertoire. Be sure not to miss this all-ages show, doors open at 7pm.
Jenna Dunlap • singer-songwriter • Keith Sanchez & the Moon Thieves • folk
By August March
I read a recent review that said Jenna Dunlap's debut recording was “sweet,” with “wistful vocals.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Dunlap—who was recorded by Cinder Cone Media's wizard of an engineer Howard Wulkan for her first studio outing, Out of My Head—is dynamic and thoughtful, with a rumbling, tumbling vocal nuance and muscular musical style that is equal parts Sheryl Crow and Regina Spektor, mixed in with the sometimes plaintive but always hopeful observations of youth transitioning into adulthood. Her voice resonates and she has a great finger-picking style too, knowingly finding chords and arrangements that complement her intense and intelligent vocal treatments. Jenna Dunlap will be having a free CD release party for Out of My Head on Saturday, March 25, so you can hear all of that for yourself and thereby help discourage the use of meaningless musical phrases like "sweet" and "wistful" while supporting the awesome thing—called local music—itself. Keith Sanchez & the Moon Theives will provide folk-appropriate support.
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