Americana is the new punk rock. Like the early ’80s when any yob with a snarl and electric guitar called themselves punk, anyone today that has a thrift store banjo and name drops the Carter Family thinks they are folk musicians, deserving of serious listening and dollar-per-song downloads. Wrong.
At a concert this Friday evening at the South Broadway Cultural Center, Blaine Sprouse, Peter Feldmann and Wayne Shrubsall will explore the origins of bluegrass, a genre that hasn’t been around that long, but that’s deeply linked to the ancient, weird, anonymous music sometimes called folk. The idea behind the show is to explore how old-time traditional music from Appalachia, along with elements from gospel and jazz, evolved into the musical form pioneered by Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys in the mid-’40s.
When she started working on her new album, Green, vocalist and activist Barbara Bentree just wanted to do an album of songs she loves. Then, while considering the purchase of a hybrid auto, she began to ruminate on the effort required to go green—from separating your trash to retrofitting a house with solar panels. Suddenly, Kermit’s song “Bein’ Green” took on new meaning, and Bentree decided to “look at traditional songs through an environmental lens.” With a lovely, clear, well-pitched voice that has a charming girlishness in the upper registers and a pleasing touch of sweetness throughout, Bentree walks a line between wonder and warning. With pop, jazz, Brazilian and new age touches in sterling arrangements by John Rangel, who appears on piano and synth, the nine tracks feature fine work by Marcos Cavalcante (guitar) and Joel Fadness (drums). Drummer Dave Libman guests on “The Planet Song,” an intriguing anthem by Wen Mull that’s full of synth magic. The album—nominated for six New Mexico Music Awards—entertains while raising awareness, with all revenues from CD sales going to the Natural Resources Defense Council, PETA, GreenPeace, the Sierra Club and Bioneers. The album release concert, appropriately scheduled for Earth Day, will feature Rangel, Cavalcante and Fadness, along with the Rio Grande School choir.
Acid King, SuperGiant, Anesthesia, Shadow and Ash, Torture Victim, Skulldron, The Conjuring, and Jah Branch converge at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, April 21. The all-ages, metal-heavy fest—hosted by Burque smoke shop / tattoo and piercing salon / gift emporium The Zone—starts at 6 p.m. Tenderizor joins in for a 21-and-over after-show. Tickets are $10. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Why? • indie rock, alt.hip-hop, alt.rock, pop, folk • Go Dark • experimental
By August March
If you want a reminder—and not from Radiohead—that hip-hop is everywhere, even in the indie rock that millennials are sorta into (but only after they listen to every goddamn thing they can find by Kendrick Lamar) then trip, trip, trip on down to Sister on Monday, Feb. 19 at 8pm for a recital of sorts by Cincinnati alt-rappers cum indie rock stars, WHY? Founded by a dude named Yoni in the distant and unremembered aughts, WHY? has gained traction among rockish young audiences with their pop-nuanced mash-up of rocanrol and hip-hop. They got all kinda crazy rhythms, jams and flows going on betwixt rock references and may do some drugs; their latest effort is called Moh Lhean, after all. Additionally, the critics at Allmusic have judged their music as “quirky” which oughta count for something, amirite? They do have some pretty righteous tuneage, including works like “George Washington,” “White English” and “Into the Shadows of My Embrace.” Seriously, this one's worth the price of admission and if you're into skinny jeans and man buns, then damn, get out there, girl! The cover is $15 to $18, 21+.
Love Bites • Vampire Ball • goth, electro, industrial, '80s
By The Intern
If putting on something dressy and all black is your forte, boy do we have an event for you. Effex Night Club's Alchemy Presents: Love Bites, A Vampire Ball is happening on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 9pm. Prepare for a gory good time for just $2! Enter the raffle for $1 to sink your claws into a set of Kustom Fitted Fangs, Vampyre Tea Company's organic tea and more. Accompany your fellow vampires and goths for a night of '80s electro and EDM music. Show off your best goth looks in the costume contest to win sickening prizes, attract eager victims and dance the night away. 21+
The Open Bra • Mayo Lua de Frenchie • Miss Behavin • Burlesque improv competition • DJ CS Rucker • dance, house
By Maggie Grimason
Work up your courage or down a few beers this Saturday, Feb. 24 at Duel Brewing and take the stage for the The Open Bra, a bi-monthly burlesque improv competition. Performers are assigned a song at the beginning of the evening, and then hit the stage to enchant the audience and judges Miss Behavin, Mayo Lua de Frenchie and Annie O'Roar. And hey, if you're too nervous to take a turn dancing, you still get to weigh in on runner-up and winner slots as a member of the kowtowing crowd. This free, 21+ doors at 8pm and the event begins at 9pm. Plan on staying late for a dance party afterwards.