Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
You Write the Songs that Make the City Sing—Ask any honest musician, no matter how prolific, and they'll be straight-up with you: It ain't easy writing original music. Even the professionals get their share of funks where the chords clash and the lyrics just aren't flowing like they used to. What happens if you've lost your inspiration? What if your knowledge of music theory is a little flat, or you can't seem to find time to get your ideas down? These are just a few of the potential pitfalls of the songwriting process that a new city-sponsored program, The Albuquerque Songwriters Series, is hoping to guide you through.
On the first Thursday of each month, the City of Albuquerque Music Office will present four featured songwriters who'll play original compositions and discuss how their songs came to be.
"This series is not about performance, nor is it about perfect voices or playing," says City Music Liaison Tom Frouge in a press release. "It is about the art of songcraft, and is not an open mic presentation. The stripped down setting, whether the songs are rock, rap, jazz, classical, folk, world, Latin or country, will showcase the compositions presented as they were written, on a single instrument.” He adds, “it will allow the Albuquerque songwriting community the opportunity to display their wares to other songwriters, perhaps learn from one another and, hopefully, help nourish that part of the music business in Albuquerque.”
The first session in the series will take place Alfredo's Coffee Shop (2104 Charlevoix NW, 244-0774) in Old Town on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. The scheduled songwriters for the evening are host Roberto Martinez, Jr. (of New Mexico's multiple award-winning Los Reyes de Albuquerque), Michelle Collins, Steve Poulton and Tom Frouge.
Local Act Lands in No Depression—Trilobite, the bastard Albuquerque love child of Mark Twain and Portishead, received a cherry debut album review in the September/October issue of No Depression. It's a small write-up, but a mighty accomplishment nonetheless, as No Depression is the foremost music magazine of “alternative country” out there. Trilobite is made up of Mark Weaver on trombone (who has played with Selsun Blue, The Rumble Trio and Th3 E1emental Orke5tra), Michael Grimes on stand-up bass (formerly of Bernadette Seacrest's Yes Men and currently with The Bitter Sermon), O. Henry and Pushcart Prize-winning fiction author Mark Lewis (who has a new Redbone Coonhound named Marvin Digby), Michelle Collins on vocals and theramin (ex-lead vocal and guitarist of the sadly defunct Shine Cherries) and cellist/pump organ player/Alibi staffer Sasha Perrin, who provided me with all of this lovely intelligence. Pick up an issue of No Depression and get it signed while you still can. Then glow like a new mother.
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Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell • singer-songwriter at Santa Fe Opera
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