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 V.21 No.52 | December 27 - January 2, 2013 

Sonic Reducer

Unwound Live Leaves (Kill Rock Stars)

We’ve all had this conversation. It’s a familiar script. Setting? Public forum. Characters? Two acquaintances. “Holy shit, I haven’t heard from you in ages! Where you been?” Response: “Well, it’s great to hear from you.” This imaginary confab took place between me and now-defunct noise rock trio Unwound when I discovered this just-released live album, Live Leaves. Its title refers to 2001’s Leaves Turn Inside You, the band's magnum opus. Front-loaded with those songs and dusted with some back-catalog cuts (Yay! “Corpse Pose”!), it’s billed as a compilation from that tour, but the editing makes it sound like one seamless, epic set. Still pining for Shellac? Missing the days when Sonic Youth was still good? Get acquainted with Unwound. (M. Brianna Stallings)

Bassist Andy Lyman has described playing in Fort Hobo as akin to a terrible relationship wherein you have great sex. Michael, the group’s first full-length album, was recorded live by Chris Mason at the Train Yard in Las Cruces. From the rocanrol of “Power Wulf” to the soy Burqueño lounge-thrash of “Steve Stucker (He Hardly Knew Her)” to the faintly metallic “The Guy from Phantasm,” this release is a hot mess. It’s available as a name-your-price download on Bandcamp. The lyrics are pretty awful in places: “We got that show Breaking Bad, it’s mostly about drugs/ Steve Stucker’s on the corner, he’s handing out free hugs.” But the band itself rocks. Serio. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)

It’s difficult to talk about Death Convention Singers without describing the collective itself. It’s the biggest band in Burque. I don’t have space to name all its members. If you’re a local music fan, you’ve probably seen several of them perform. This self-titled work was recorded in 2010 by 18 members of the group. It’s what some critics would call difficult. Ten bass guitars, one violin, two drum kits, a clarinet, a turntable toy and a banjo were jacked into a huge mixer and deejayed with the board’s mute function. From “I Wish They All Could Be Jemez Pueblo Gurlsss” to “Beso de Ese,” this triad of massive compositions comprise a sick Southwest soundtrack. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)


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