Marty Crandall is the vocalist and one of three guitarists in Albuquerque shoegaze quintet Sad Baby Wolf. The band includes fellow ex-Shin Neal Langford, Marty’s brother Maury Crandall (ex-Giranimals), Sean McCullough (ex-Oktober People) and Jason Ward (ex-Starsky). On Friday, Aug. 31, Sad Baby Wolf observes its tour kickoff with a show at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). CanyonLands and The Deadtown Lovers play the opening spots at the 21-and-over event.
We asked Crandall to shuffle the songs on his newly acquired used, blue, 8-gig iPod nano, a device that he named Mr. Buxton. “Though only a small cross section of what is in my iTunes, it accurately captures its essence,” Crandall explained by telecommunique while sitting barefoot in the grass at a park in Los Ranchos at sunset. “I love Albuquerque,” he adds.
"Wow. Right out of the gates comes a trippy, 10-minute jam. This is an amazing record full of really strange psych grooves from New Zealand. The whole record is a mind scrambler and worth checking out. At about the three-minute mark of this song it unfurls into mysterious, majestic wonder and doesn't let go. The bass line alone is worth the patience of this song’s four "movements." It's like waking up alone in Atlantis and swimming with the ghosts of forgotten underwater monsters. Exotic mood modifiers are encouraged.”
2) "Longevity" • Yeasayer • Fragrant World
“This record is still very new to me. I freakin' loved Odd Blood, and this one is still taking its time to creep up on me. Great synth sounds and a nice, slow groove. Makes me think of an 8-bit zombie from "Thriller" strutting down the streets of New York in a space suit.”
3) "Cherry Coloured Funk" • Cocteau Twins • Heaven or Las Vegas
“Awesome! My favorite Cocteau Twins record and one of my all-time favorite records period. Elizabeth Fraser's vocals are unlike anything on this earth. So beautiful and yet so spooky at the same time. The guitar tone throughout this song is something I've tried to emulate on many occasions. Ethereal and organic. This song is what it must sound like to be gently lifted into a slow-moving UFO where you witness an alien wedding as the guest of honor.”
4) "Sideshow by the Seashore" • Luna • Penthouse
“One of my favorite Luna songs. Penthouse is a great record for driving or laying down and gazing into space. Playful guitar tones all weaving in and out of one another, creating a mellow melancholy that feels warm and true. The bendy guitar lead is so catchy it stays with you long after the song is over. Dean Wareham's vocals conjure up the glare of the summer sun off of dark sunglasses. And Nathan's hot dogs.”
5) "Southern Heart” • The Walkmen • Heaven
“I'm a little late to the Walkmen party. My brother Maury, our drummer, is a mega-fan. This record did get quite a few rotations, however. Really classic sounding album. Not a dud in the whole lot. It conjures up the wide, empty spaces of dusty American highways. Not the interstates, but the smaller roads you take for their long, scenic expanses. This song is a boozy, haunting number about his old Southern roots and also his current life in the big city. A really moving song. It's like listening to an old black-and-white photo of your great-grandfather telling you, ‘Everything is gonna be all right. You've got good genes.’ "