Self-described “cyberdelic pop,” Albuquerque’s latest synthbeat group The Gatherers has rapidly—and deservedly—become a local favorite. Dreamy female/male vocals are tidily mixed with the sublime instrumentation of live (yes!) bass and drums, keys, loops and lots of knob twisting on little black boxes. A few tracks off this debut CD (especially “Dark Triangle”) have a great Ladytron feel, and that’s as high a compliment as can be given to any synthpop band. As good as Kurt Russell is, it barely hints at the brilliant live shows of The Gatherers. There’s more recordings to come soon. Expect major things.
Two of Albuquerque’s best and hardest working musicians live in Rio Rancho but always find time to wade the river and play delightful tunes of yore in a sweet swing style. The Blue Rose Ramblers—Jessica Billey (fiddle) and Bud Melvin (banjo)—are pure pleasure with a repertoire your grandma could two-step to: Bob Wills’ “Sugar Moon,” Cowboy Copas’ “Tennessee Waltz,” Webb Pierce’s “There Stands the Glass,” Gershwin’s “Embraceable You.” The lilting original “Marfa Waltz” is a classic in its own right and will be covered 50 years from now by bands mining the musical treasures of the 2010s.
Boom ChickShow Pony(Boom Chick Records)
Just because Boom Chick is a slide-guitar-playing male (Frank Hoier) and an inexperienced female drummer (Moselle Spiller) doesn’t mean the Brooklyn duo has anything to do with The White Stripes. I hate to even bring it up, but figured I better before you do. The pair fills out that overrated stripped-down blues sound with reverb surf riffs and a taste for ‘60s girl group songs such as a live cover of The Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman.” The eight-song record Show Pony is all about the blues but is a mere hint of the wild and multifaceted swingin’ Bo Diddley sounds Boom Chick displays onstage.