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)
Here's an interesting bit of rock history for you to think about before you head on over to one of the best and most badass shows to come our town's way in a little while. Shonen Knife doesn't make J-Pop and were never really part of that tentacled arm of Pacific Rim rock…
Drug Church • alternative, hardcore punk • The Coma Recovery • metal • Boyfriend Armada
By August March
Hey man, do you, like, wanna go to drug church? How's does coma recovery suit you after a night out and is there a Boyfriend Armada waiting you you in the stormy waters of the Rio Grande? Ask yourself these and other relevant questions on Thursday, May 25, when the fine folks over at ye olde Launchpad bring some of the bestest rocanrol music—made by some of the most archly named musical units in Satan's legion—to our humble, though not quite innocent little town by the river. Get ready to mosh until you melt down when the aforementioned Drug Church, a hardcore quintet from Nueva York, hit the stage. They'll be joined in brutal, sonic ritual by two of this town's loudest and louchest acts, Coma Recovery and Boyfriend Armada, of course. It'll be fun and maybe you'll even have a bruise or broken bone to show off afterwards … you know after your parents trundle off to bed and Snapchat is getting hot. This 13+ show is only $18; that should hopefully help the dark lord's recruitment efforts for the evening—it begins at 7pm, by the way.
Wiggle on over to the parking lot across from El Rey this Friday, May 26, to see the extraordinary, world-class electro house musician, record producer, DJ, and music executive, Steve Aoki at Downtown's Memorial Day Weekend Block Party. The booty bumpin' party will be held in the parking lot across from the Historic El Rey Theater (technically at Park It Place) and festivities get goin' at 6pm and will end at 11pm and general admission costs $49 and VIP tickets (which includes a commemorative lanyard, express entr, and access to the VIP area the best view) cost $83. Supporting the grammy nominated DJ are notable musicians in their own right, Slushii, Ookay and K?D.