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 V.14 No.15 | April 14 - 20, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

It's been a tough scene for our blues guys and gals ever since Club Rhythm & Blues closed its doors for good, taking one of the best open mics in town right along with them. But if there's a silver lining to be found here, it's that artists like Michael Holt are strengthening their own scene from the roots up. Holt and his Hollywood Holt Band host a new weekly open mic just for blues and R&B performers at Ned's Downtown. The Wednesday night showcase is a step up from traditional blues jams, with a nice stage, a full sound setup and professional live mixing. Holt says his motivation springs from when he first cut his blues teeth at open mics under the tutelage of Darin Goldston, front man of the Memphis P. Tails. “They say you've got to give it away if you want to keep it, and this is my way of giving it back.”

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Blue Note

Piano Man

By the time he'd reached the ripe old age of 23, Connecticut-bred pianist Kevin Hays had already toured for a year with the Harper Brothers, worked with Joshua Redman and Benny Golson to name but a few, and waxed his first record as a leader, El Matador (Evidence). Considering that most of us spend the period of our "professional" lives between college graduation and the age of 25 spinning in the wind, Hays' comparative beeline toward the pinnacle of post-bop piano craft stands as an even more miraculous feat. And just wait until you hear him play.

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Music Magnified

The Slow Signal Fade

Wednesday, April 20; UNM Sub Mall (all ages, noon): The Slow Signal Fade's exotic and dark vocals are what make them stand out from the pack. The Los Angeles-based group formed in 2002 and in a short amount of time have managed to craft a polished sound and, from what I've heard, a stellar stage performance.

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Music Magnified

Dead Meadow

with Jennifer Gentle, The Outcrowd and Jealous Gods

Wednesday, April 20; Launchpad, 21 and over, 10 p.m.)

Paisley's not dead, it's just discreetly tucked under jackets. This isn't your childhood paisley (Prince) or your dad's (Blues Magoos), but a night of four distinctly different takes on modern psychedelic music.

Dead Meadow is cold funk, a grim and smoky version of the psychedelic experience 20 minutes before it turned narcotic. The flowers aren't still in anyone's hair at this point, although they're just as colorful in the mind.

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Sonic Reducer

Brooke Valentine Chain Letter (Virgin)

She's only 19 and she's co-written her debut CD, Chain Letter. About half of the CD sounds like any number of female R&B/pop artists on the market, but Valentine takes a few risks and rises above the countless others with some mesmerizing and distinguishing hits. Songs like "I Want U Dead" and "Blah Blah Blah" have distinctive beats, while the music is hauntingly aggressive, not blatant slap-you-in-the-face hip hop. And Valentine seems even stronger when accompanied by rappers such as the late Dirt McGirt, Lil' Jon, Big Boi and others. Valentine threads her way from lust to love to hate, and leaves a trail of men battered and beaten behind.

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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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