The Acoustic Showcase
This time it’s super awesome
By Captain America
Carefully avoiding the loaded term “unplugged,” the latest in a six-year-old series originally known as The Acoustic Showcase takes place at Low Spirits this Friday. Bands, and varying configurations thereof, perform songs from their respective catalogs as well as selected covers that don’t fit into regular repertoires. Don’t expect old favorites and regurgitated hits. Do expect obscure covers from limited-edition blue-vinyl releases that would make any record-collecting fanboy swoon.
The World Is Yours
DIY patron of the arts Derek Caterwaul on Albuquerque's SWxØFest
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Like so many of the world’s great ideas, the Southwest by No Fest began as a joke. It eventually manifested on some flyers last year, and in 2010 SWxØFest has morphed into something resembling a full-fledged festival. Events, which began last week, the convergence of a handful of atypical venues and the bounty of touring bands passing through town this month. KUNM 89.9 FM DJ and longtime promoter of local music and arts events Derek Caterwaul is among those at the helm of the endeavor. He says this month's fest is not so much a spin-off of the music industry spectacle that is SXSW but more a spinout inspired by a concentration of creative energy and counter-SXSW Austin events like Fuck by Fuck You and GAYbiGAYGAY.
Flyer on the Wall
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The hues that appear in mid-century color photography tend to create a delicate, airy quality, as if the sands of time are causing the image to melt away before our eyes. Here we see a western view of Route 66 at I-25 and ghostly Zia images hovering in the sky during what seems to be the late ’50s. Once a humble postcard, this photo now advertises Songs for Boys & Girls with Sugar Wings at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Nick Brown prefers the weirder ‘chamber jazz’
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Nick Brown is a musician who likes to make weird songs late at night in the shed behind his house. He’s also the Alibi’s puppet master, a prolific blogger and a jokesmith. Here are five jazzy, new wave-y, psychedelic, random selections from his collections.
Kate McGarry If Less Is More ... Nothing Is Everything · Midlake The Courage of Others · LOW ON HIGH LOW ON HIGH
Where to begin—her craft? Her freedom? Her depth? Her joy? It’s all here on vocalist Kate McGarry’s latest. She opens with a slow, dark “Let’s Face the Music” in a breathtaking arrangement by guitarist Keith Ganz, profoundly re-imagining Irving Berlin’s song for our fractured time. McGarry’s mesmerizing arrangement of The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” captures the vulnerable hypersensitivity of crazy love, and her own “Man of God” reveals a gifted songwriter with a spiritual bent. Not every track rises to the elevated level of these three, but McGarry’s warmth, her willingness to jump off musical cliffs, and her ability to richly and precisely render complex emotional life make it all worth hearing. She is very ably supported by Ganz, Gary Versace (piano, organ, accordion), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Clarence Penn (drums). (MM)
Yule Logs and Jingle Balls • Holly Rebelle • Mena Domina • burlesque
By Devin D. O'Leary
Gilded Cage Burlesk and Varieté is definitely getting on Santa's Naughty list with Yule Logs and Jingle Balls: A Very Risqué, Very Glittery, Very Burlesque Ode to the Holidays. Burlesque dancers, sideshow performers, drag acts and more join forces to celebrate this most sparkly of holidays in grand style…
Big Holiday Bash • First Annual Toy Drive • Native Remedies • rap • 2 Evil • Seenloc • Illnickell & Badshit
By Megan Reneau
Envision a happy Christmas morning: Kids waking up across the world and running with wide eyes to a collection of presents just for them. Here's the catch: Some kids can't have that. Not just the presents, but even just being home could be impossible. Pleasantly Offensive Productions is hosting the Big Holiday Bash: First Annual Toy Drive at The Jam Spot this Saturday, Dec. 17. Native Remedies, 2 Evil, Seenloc, IllNickell & Badshit, Acetone Boogie & Izzo, Big Jubes and many more local musicians will be performing to raise funds for kids who can't make it home because they're in the hospital. This all-ages show begins at 7:30pm, and entry is free with a donation of a toy.
Ugly Sweater Dance Party • Gabriel Jaureguiberry • funk • David Hartshorne
By Desiree Garcia
The best time to wear an ugly sweater is this Saturday, Dec. 17, at Boese Brothers Brewery from 6pm to 1am. Show off that bad boy with a Christmas tree made from macaroni or even that ugly sweater you’ve had stuffed away somewhere that you got as a gift from that relative you only see once a year. Make sure to strut your stuff and capture the moment in the taproom and use the hashtag #veryboesechristmas on Facebook or Instagram to win some prizes. If that doesn’t sound like enough of a good time, there will also be live entertainment by Gabriel Jaureuiberry and David Hartshorne along with catering by Karue’s Mexican Food!
Pinball Tournament • arcade games • Food Drive
By Maggie Grimason
As my friends in Rudest Priest say, “I may not get the high score, but then again I might/ I just wanna play a little pinball tonight.” And this Sunday, Dec. 18, it doesn't really matter if you get the high score, everybody wins because at this Pinball Tournament—sponsored by and held at Sister—is also a food drive. All pinball machines on site will be set to free to play from 4pm onward, so get there early and warm up your fingers. There's a $10 buy-in for the tournament, and while non-perishable food donations aren't required, I'm just going to say this: Don't be an asshole. You're not going to eat that canned corn.
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