Bridle the Wind
The celestial twang of The Grave of Nobody’s Darling
By Captain America
Jessica Billey and Bud Melvin must be the most creative couple to hit the local music scene in some time. Hailing from Chicago, each counts more than a half-dozen musical projects between them. There’s the audacious and experimental Lionhead Bunny, in which they play empty whiskey bottles, the mysterious vocaltron (which seems to be of the band’s creation) and 19 effects pedals. In the Blue Rose Ramblers, the pair champions vintage fiddle songs of the sort on which Bob Wills based his Western swing. As part of the massive Cobra//group ensemble, they push the limits of what you or I think of as music. Solo, Melvin pioneered chiptune banjo rustling (reprogramming Game Boy blips and bleeps into five-string music) and Billey has played violin for The Mekons and Smog.
Vertigo Venus’ Success or Suicide
By Captain America
Vertigo Venus is an unapologetic promo machine. Overkill Internet campaigns swathe social networking sites until you feel you’ve been waterboarded into submission. Excessive, yes, but the outcome is massive support from a rabid fan base that loves the band’s punky synthpop goodness.
W. Eugene Smith
Jazz Here and There, Then and Now
New Mexico Jazz Festival spreads out
By Mel Minter
The fifth annual New Mexico Jazz Festival has a gaggle of big names that will make jazz fans’ ears prick up in expectation—Toshiko Akiyoshi, Jimmy Cobb, Miguel Zenón, Los Pleneros de la 21, Bobby Shew and Doug Lawrence, just to name a few. That short list alone includes two NEA Jazz Masters, two National Heritage Fellows, Grammy winners and nominees, and a MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, among other honorees.
Flyer on the Wall
It’s Raining Circles
The artist behind this fanciful flyer seems to reference ’70s illustration and a certain children’s show that was filled with an ensemble cast of Muppets and really strange animated shorts. Blocky text contrasts with pale yellow watercolor, and the viewer learns that Gay Beast, XRY, The Gatherers and Discotays will play at Wunderkind (1016 Coal SW) at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 11, amidst a shower of multicolored circles. See the glam / psychedelic / new wave magic, and possibly a few unnamed acts, for only $5. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
A Hawk & A Hacksaw is about to embark on a grand tour of Europe, beginning in Austria and making more than a score of stops in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany (see ahawkandahacksaw.blogspot.com to learn more about the band’s travels). But before the noted folk act departs fair Albuquerque, Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes will play an all-ages show at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Friday, July 9, at 8 p.m. Below, find out what wonderful foreign things show up in Trost and Barnes’ shuffled songs—commented upon collectively.
Boyz II Men • R&B
By August March
On Sunday, Feb. 14, the Legends Theater at Route 66 Casino presents a concert by romantic balladeers and masters of a capella ruminations on love and life, Boyz II Men. An R&B group (now a trio, formerly and originally a quartet) with an affinity for soulful musical wanderings through the heart of human affection, Boyz II Men first made the scene in the 1990s with radio-friendly hits like “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You” and “One Sweet Day,” an epic tune to forever love they recorded with super-chanteuse Mariah Carey. In the years since they rose to the top of the pops, one member, Michael McCary departed the ensemble, leaving an essential trio comprised of tenors Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris as well as baritone Nathan Morris. Together, these three still bring the flavor of love to life as they tour around a gratefully enchanted planet of men and women. Tickets for this all-ages performance range in price from $35-$70 while romance fills the air beginning at 8pm.
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