Music to Your Ears
Honky Tonk Hero
By Michael Henningsen
Anyone hoping for an in-depth page-turner of Texas country legend Billy Joe Shaver be warned: you're not going to find it here. Considering the life Shaver has led, the accomplishments he's achieved through raw perseverance, deep-seated faith and good ol' West Texas gumption, Honky Tonk Hero's 191 pages seems a paltry sum. Only 72 of those pages, however, contain any narrative, while the rest are dedicated to reprints of all Shaver's song lyrics.
Billy Joe Shaver
By Michael Henningsen
Waco-born, Corsicana-raised Billy Joe Shaver is the quintessential unsung hero of American music; a sorely overlooked contributor to its formidable canon. Even though artists from Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe to Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers have enjoyed success on the coattails of the songs he began writing some four decades ago, Shaver remains on the periphery. In 1993, his luck began to change with the release of his first solo foray in several years, Tramp On Your Street (Zoo). The release two years later of Unshaven: Shaver Live at Smith's Olde Bar (Zoo) very nearly catapulted him to the forefront of country music, Texas-style. But, arguably, it was the stunning guitar work of his only son Eddy that made the elder Shaver remarkable to the ears of listeners, despite the fact that his gritty songwriting over the past 50 years or so makes him eligible for any Hall of Fame in existence.
By Laura Marrich
Monday, May 30; The Launchpad (21 and older): Combining equal parts French chanson, German electro-pop and good old American trash rock, Stereo Total is the most beguiling musical duo to rocket out of Europe in the last decade. Frontwoman Françoise Cactus bangs away on her drum set, singing everything from Serge Gainsbourg ballads to old school cheese balls like "Push It Real Good" with the brazen enthusiasm (and at times, fragility) of an eight-year old girl. Brezel Güring also does double-duty as a keyboardist and crooner, exhaling German-swathed lyrics as languidly as smoke pulled from a Gaulois cigarette. You might find yourself lighting up, too. Now touring in support of their seventh album, Do the Bambi, the Euro-trash wonder twins are taking American audiences to dizzying new heights of pop mulitilingualism. And, thanks to the support of Downtown's Mecca Records, we'll be one of the lucky ones to hear them live. Oh, how the accents will fly!
By W.P. Malandra
Spanish for 100 Metric (SPF)
Here's a band who loves straight-ahead rock tunes as much as their effects pedals. Spaced out music and melodies float around the standard rock progression to create a pleasant and easily digestable sound. Think Cave-In doing a bunch of Wilco covers. The last track was recorded live at the Crocodile in Seattle, and it shows Spanish for 100's music translates a lot better live than in the studio. "Metric" is a decent attempt, but they could benefit enormously from a bigger studio budget and a better producer.
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…
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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Rugby is a Drag • Truly Scrumptious Coxx at Sidewinders
The Big Spank • ska • The Riddims • roots, rock, reggae • Marujah • Good Green • blues, rock, reggae at Launchpad
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