Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Stayin' Alive--State Fair season is officially over, but the honors bestowed upon this year's homegrown competitors will live on, at the very least, until next September. In the midst of bake-offs and livestock auctions, the New Mexico Music Commission helped reaffirm music's rightful place as a state treasure with the Fair’s second annual talent showcase
Chop ’Til You Drop
Albuquerque’s First Annual Bobbers and Choppers show rumbles into town
By Mark Sanders
The logical response to hearing about Albuquerque’s First Annual Bobbers and Choppers show is: What the hell is it? You hear the word “chopper,” and images of helicopters landing in the jungle, or possibly TC from Magnum PI, come to mind. You hear the word “bobber,” and you think of antiquated haircuts, or maybe apples in a water-filled bucket.
Flyer on the Wall
This concert poster was designed, screen printed (on Ingres-style paper!) and hand-delivered by Heath Dauberman at the Little Kiss Records print shop. You can see the band he drums for (Inner Parlors) open for The Drams (ex-Slobberbone), this Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Launchpad. Cost is $7. We should all aspire to be more like Heath. (LM)
Is Your Refrigerator Running?
Reclaiming our culture, one prank at a time
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
You might remember the Barbie Liberation Organization, or BLO, who in the early ’90s purchased Teen Talk Barbie and talking G.I. Joe dolls, switched their voices and reshelved them. This produced hilarious and poignant results, with Barbie growling “vengeance is mine,” and G.I. Joe's bubbly “math is hard.” Sexism was not eradicated, but made fun of. Children were confused. It was funny. And as one BLO member put it, “The storekeeper makes money twice, we stimulate the economy, the consumer gets a better product and our message gets heard.”
A Different Del
Tha Homosapien defies the conventions of what an underground hip-hop hero is about
By Marisa Demarco
How do you make music that's fresh, but still accessible?
I asked Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, an MC known for 16 years for his lyrical mastery and innovative production. Del, I said, how do you keep it challenging but still easy to get into?
"You can't be uninteresting and be accessible, you feel me?" he said. "You got to be interesting. You got to be entertaining. Otherwise, nobody's going to want to listen to you. I think it's hard to be interesting."
Damn. I had it all wrong. See, I thought of Del as this semi-underground figure, an alternative hip-hop hero who made appearances on all my favorite discs, even before his familiar voice could be found on tracks like the now-famous "Clint Eastwood" by the Gorillaz. I made a list of questions with that figure in mind, and, always, Del's answers defied my expectations. How has hip-hop changed since your first release in 1991? "It hasn't really." What would you change about the music industry? "I don't think nothing's wrong with it." What are you listening to? "Whatever I could get at Target is what I usually get."
Sol.iLLaquists of Sound As If We Existed · Russian Circles Enter · Owen At Home With Owen
By Marisa Demarco
You've got to compliment Sage Francis' taste. The longtime poet/MC stumbled over this Orlando-based crew and knew it was something to write home about. Swamburger's spitfire delivery rides the bucking, ever-shifting beats with the confidence of a master. Rich production textures fresh rhythms with cellos, acoustic guitars, piano—instruments that only make cameos on even the best hip-hop albums. Infuse all that with drop-dead gorgeous diva vocals and smart, specific social messages, and these narrators have got themselves one hell of a debut. Burque's real heads shouldn't miss the S.O.S. show at the Launchpad on Saturday, Oct. 14.
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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Seth Hoffman • folk, acoustic • Temporary Tattoos • folk, acoustic rock at Kelly’s Brew Pub
Steve Kinabrew • acoustic solo at Molly's Bar
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