Music to Your Ears
Down the Rabbit Hole (and Other Underground Things that Hip-hop)—Anyone who's gone looking for jackrabbits as a kid will attest: You can't really tell you're in the thick of them until your leg is halfway down a hole. And that's largely what underground hip-hop is like in this town—insular to the point of looking nonexistent to everyone on the outside. Maybe the local hip-hop community is just bad at outreach. Maybe there's an honest-to-god, concerted effort to keep this stuff buried. Whatever it is, finding the good, underground stuff on your own can be downright impossible. But it's getting easier.
The Battles Machine
Veteran musicians shed their egos in the name of math-rocky, prog goodness
Battles' first full-length album, Mirrored, is a good ride. Dozens of tiny moving parts engage as a motor that runs a little too hot but always manages to glide. "It sounds really chaotic and intense," says guitarist, singer and keyboardist Tyondai Braxton. "But really it's way simpler than that."
Devil Riding Shotgun
A knicker-blasting good time
Devil Riding Shotgun is not out to make stoner rock or a specific branch of metal or anything-core. Instead, this three-piece replaces genre with enough stage energy to sustain a set alongside any knob-cranking monorocker in town. "I do like the feeling of standing in front of your amp and having your pants billow from the sound waves," says guitarist Alan Edmonds. "You know something's happening behind you."
“You Never Know Who Might Be Making Noise at the Library”
Rio Rancho library kicks off a music-themed summer reading program for teens
Teenagers like music. Libraries are beginning to catch on to the idea. In fact, more and more bands are jumping on board with the concept and have scheduled tours throughout the United States that specifically focus on playing library shows. Deimosa Webber-Bey, 29, teen librarian of the Rio Rancho Library, has taken the concept even further. “I decided it was more cost effective to just book local bands for events at our library," she says. "It gives teens a chance to eventually become supporters of local bands when they're old enough to go see them at a venue that only allows 21-and-older to attend.”
Flyer on the Wall
Little Kiss Print
This poster came hand-delivered with a sweet little note: "I submit for your approval a poster myself [Heath Dauberman] and Mancle Anderson of The Tattersaints designed for our upcoming show at Burt's Tiki Lounge on Saturday, June 23. We just finished silkscreening it today at Little Kiss Print Studio ... I apologize if it seems illegible but every project is an experiment at this point. I hope you like it OK.” We certainly do! With Strawberry Zots, (The Return of) The Tattersaints and Polaroid Pornography. (LM)
Spoon is synonymous with that in the universe which is audibly pure and good. So thank the cosmos—as was expected, the new album is terrific due to simple pop time signatures, proficient reverberation and healthy experimentation. It's the right combination of expedition, progress and the classic, exceedingly percussive Spoon sound. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is a record for which we often long; one that improves with each go-round.