Local newbies Chokecherry Ranch will play this week at Ralli's Fourth Street Pub and Grill (see "Flyer on the Wall" for the poster). The band's lead man, Jason Darensburg, is a mellow fellow with an easy, open sort of voice. He's notable for some good, if smalltime, productions around town over the years. But what makes this project especially interesting, for me anyhow, is that he says our former Alibi news editor Tim McGivern is playing drums in the project. Tim always swore up and down that he played drums with Archers of Loaf ... and truth be told, I still don't totally believe him. But at least he's proving he can actually play, which certainly helps his story. Get an earful of Jason's homegrown Albuquerque jam (to say nothing of Tim's fabulous storytelling) this Thursday, July 19. There's no mention of cover, but bring a few bills just to be safe.
The County of Bernalillo is hosting its first battle of the bands, and the deadline for application is looming: You've got until Wednesday, July 25, to get squared away. The battle, which is co-sponsored by the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners and Parks and Recreation, will be held Aug. 10 at Downtown's gorgeous KiMo Theatre. The competition is worth entering just to say you played there. It doesn't look like there's an age limit or an entry fee—so what are you waiting for? Applications for the showcase are sprinkled all over town, including Lesmen’s Music, Studio-D, CR Music and Entertainment, Grandma’s Music and Sound, the KiMo Theatre, YDI (6301 Central NW or 1223 Fourth Street NW), South Broadway Cultural Center and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
For more information, call 314-0475 or 877-1884, or try www.bernco.gov (though I don't think it's terribly helpful).
All right, kiddies, it's time to unplug the Wii and get outside while it's still summertime. And what’s this? One of this weekend's best options is a park concert put together by one of my awesome music interns, Justin Hood. His "Summer of Love" show is going down this Saturday, July 21, at High Desert Park (Academy east of Tramway, between Cortaderia and Imperata). Besides a sand volleyball court and peerless mountain views, Justin tells me the park has a sweet outdoor amphitheater. He's stuffed it with upcoming local music from his own band, The Kranks (formerly Suns of Delos), plus Soul Collectibles, Drama St., KT Trujillo and Cellar Door. It's free and it starts at noon. See you there!