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 V.20 No.26 | June 30 - July 6, 2011 


Rockabilly Blowout

The Alibi’s Group Hug greases up

This month, Alibi Group Hug is celebrating that rebellious marriage of early rhythm and blues with country and Western music. Despite being a nascent form of rock and roll, rockabilly, and its wild, raw, reverberating energy, has endured for six decades. On Saturday, an assembly of New Mexico’s most rockabilly-est citizens will provide their sonic services at the Launchpad. DJ Lucky (ex-“Lucky’s Belvedere Lounge” on Radio Free Santa Fe), The .357s, The Hi-Lo Tones (ex-Long Gone Trio), Cowboys and Indian (ex-Swingin’ Meat) and Jakob Insane (12 Step Rebels) comprise the stellar, slicked-back bill. (For more on Jakob Insane and Cowboys and Indian, read the interviews below.)

In addition to the music, we have a variety of sundries and swinging accouterments planned. Dark Flash Photography will be set up to do on-the-spot pinup photos complete with a backdrop. Afterward, participants can download their photos for free or order prints. Free Radicals and 66 Pin-Ups will both be there selling clothes, and Duke City Darlins will be selling flowers for your or your lady’s hair, as well as other Darlins merch. Snacks Viva of the Gilded Cage Burlesk & Varieté will be creating pinup hairstyles. The Alibi also has some surprises up its sleeve, and it’s not just a pack of Lucky Strikes.

The Rockabilly Blowout is in conjunction with the Hot Rod Hop, brought to you by Burque Burlesque, KiMo Theatre and Weekly Alibi. This crazy event involves a pre-’78 car show. The chariots will be parked at Central and Fourth Street from 3 to 6 p.m. The accompanying burlesque show happens at the KiMo Theatre at 6 p.m., and a screening of Robert Mitchum’s 1958 classic Thunder Road starts at 7 p.m. (The car show is free, and the titillating KiMo festivities are $10.)

All and all, that’s 10 hours of cars, fast women and hot licks in Downtown Albuquerque—make the scene!

Jakob Insane
Jakob Insane

An interview with Jakob Insane of the 12 Step Rebels

Jakob Insane is the singer and guitarist for longtime local favorite 12 Step Rebels. He’s now also playing solo, and will perform at Saturday night’s Rockabilly Blowout. Below, we ask him a few questions via e-communication.

How long has your band been together?

I have been playing in 12 Step Rebels for 11 years. However, because Nate (stand-up bassist) is in Philly I have begun to play solo, just me and the geetar. I have been playing solo now since March 24, 2011, which was kind of a new beginning for me—a lot in my life has changed since that day, for the better.

What drew you to rockabilly?

I have been listening to rockabilly since high school (’96) in Hawaii where my "greaser gang" the Cougars introduced me to the greaser culture. We were punk rockers who listened to Rocket from the Crypt, Elvis, the Stray Cats, etc. But I started to find old rockabilly, and read rockabilly magazines to find out more about it. I loved how wild and untamed it was, and I loved the aesthetic that went along with it. Plus, it was different—we could be in the punk scene but still stand out.

Do you have any other description for your sound besides "rockabilly"?

I would not call 12 Step Rebels or my solo stuff rockabilly. It is definitely influenced by rockabilly but also by other roots music, blues, bluegrass, country, hillbilly, cowboy, honky-tonk, old jazz, and also by punk rock. If I had to say—I call our music Punk Rock Americana; kind of like Bruce Springsteen or CCR (I wish) mixed with punk rock. Our sound has always been desolate and slightly sad.

Anything you want people to know about you or your band?

12 Step Rebels is still going strong and we just put out a split with the Koffin Kats in May of this year. My solo stuff is just taking off and I want to thank everyone who has shared kind words and offered encouragement. Albuquerque has been extremely kind to 12 Step Rebels and Jakob Insane (did I just use third person), and I want to thank the city, and the Launchpad (which let me play my first show acoustically and has always been supportive).

Cowboys and Indian—Matthew Ezzard is pictured at right.
Cowboys and Indian—Matthew Ezzard is pictured at right.

Matthew Ezzard is the bass player for Cowboys and Indian, which performs at Saturday’s Rockabilly Blowout. Below he answers some questions over the web.

How long has your band been together?

Cowboys and Indian have only been around for 2 months, but I've been playing with Gerome Fragua (lead guitar/vocals) and Jeff Cooper (drums) in various different bands for a couple years now. My dream band had always been to have Jeff on drums and Gerome playing guitar and one day it just happened. We all had some free time, were in-between bands, and thought it would be fun to have a few beers and mess around; the result was incredible.

What drew you to rockabilly?

What really drew me to rockabilly was that it combined a lot of the genres that I was interested in. It has the energy of punk, but depending on the group it can lean towards pretty much any style of music. The whole history of rockabilly music is interesting, I could go on for hours, but the rockabilly pioneers were essentially the original punk rockers. Think about it: crazy hair, pissing off authority figures, poppin' pills and getting loud—those guys were renegades.

One of my favorite things that separates the spirit of rockabilly from a lot of different genres is that, on the whole, it is largely apolitical. Some musicians, Anti-Flag or Toby Keith, for example, have such extreme political viewpoints that it would be almost impossible to enjoy their music if you didn't at least somewhat agree with the message behind it. Rockabilly, on the other hand, really only preaches going out, grabbing a beer, and having a good time, and I think that regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum that's something everyone can get behind.

Do you have any other description for your sound besides "rockabilly"?

If I were to describe our sound as anything besides rockabilly I would describe it as hillbilly. Before rockabilly became it's own genre of music, most people categorized it as being a type of hillbilly music. I have always been interested in country music, Hank Williams being one of my favorites, and its connections to rockabilly. A lot of hillbilly musicians walked a fine line between being straight country and being a boppin' hillbilly band, to the point where you couldn't call them country, but they weren't quite what we think of today as being rockabilly. I really try to bring that into the music I play, something about that hillbilly sound is so raw to me.

Anything you want people to know about you or your band?

I don't think anybody really gets seriously into playing rockabilly for the money. If you're extremely dedicated it is possible to make a living playing rockabilly music, but this ain't Memphis and it's not 1953. I've seen a lot of incredible rockabilly musicians on tour who were just breaking even, but they weren't doing it for the dough. They were out to see the country and give people something to remember. As for Cowboys and Indian, we're out to be the best that we can be, have a good time doing it, and make people dance. I'd rather see a dance floor packed with people and make enough to cover my bar tab than be background noise in a stuffy bar for a couple hundred bucks.

Alibi Group Hug presents
Rockabilly Blowout

Saturday, July 2, 8:30 p.m.
618 Central SW
Tickets: $5, 21-and-over

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