Music to Your Ears
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On droppin’ the mic
The 505 hip-hop scene will flourish thunderifically on Thursday, Aug. 28, when Launchpad (618 Central SW) hosts Mic Club 22, a competition featuring the deepest grooves in the high desert. Gathered gods of funky, flowing turntablist wizardry include Santa Fean Sublmnl Rnsons (Cas Uno, Mr. UnXnown and AdrenalineTruth) and Diné superstar MC/poet/rapper Def-i and collaborator Taylor “Precept” Scott. Hosted by local rap impresarios XXII Letter and DJ X-Man, Mic Club has the potential to permanently reconfigure the human neo-cortex through audacity, energetic rhythm and the lasting effects of a damn good time. A battle of sorts commences the evening’s ascent with sets by up-and-comers Lady MC, Fat Lee, Benny Browncoat, Suede School, Yella Don and Cynical among a host of others. Everyone performing at this hellacious head-on is worth experiencing, but keep your ears tuned for Def-i, an Albuquerque homeboy whose deep cred is based in his seven-year tenure as host of Vinyl and Verses; associations with KRS-ONE, Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5; and a sound deep enough to sink a battleship. Tickets for this 21-plus show are $10, and the stage blows up at 9pm.
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Old Town zoo sounds
Next time you're at Keller Hall listening to lofty musical enterprises generated therein, take a moment to consider the recording processes that are an essential component of the performances at that storied recital venue. Chances are Manny Rettinger, the College of Fine Arts recording engineer, is responsible for them. The thing is, Rettinger’s commitment to Burque’s musical culture goes well beyond involvement with precise digital documentation of art music. He’s not only the man behind the mixer at the Music Department; he also founded seminal local label UBIK Records and has elaborated on a solid sense of the postmodern polyrhythmic through his band Animal Opera. A collaborative ensemble, which has featured some of Burque's most fantastic and far-out players over the years, Animal Opera recently reformed after a 20-year hiatus. The outfit appears at the Summertime in Old Town series on Friday, Aug. 29, at 6pm. Playing the gazebo in the plaza (303 Romero NW), original “Animal Operators” Rettinger (guitar), Chris Altenbach (guitar), Terry Bluhm (bass), Zoom Crespin (drums), Jefferson Voorhees (percussion/vocals), Teles Sanchez (vocals) and Debo Orlofsky (vocals) chase the late-summer doldrums away with their eclectic, electrifying take on world beat and African dance music. This free concert has historic and contemporary overtones, so being there isn’t optional so much as it is essential.
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Songs for Elder Gods
Sludgified Bay Area heshers Black Cobra bring their entirely plausible doomscape to Sister (407 Central NW) late on Friday, Aug. 29. A duo consisting of drummer Rafa Martinez and guitarist/vocalist Jason Landrian, Black Cobra has been blasting ravenous riffage since the early aughts. This summer they're turning out tunes from their deadly releases on Southern Lord Records, including blindingly bright Invernal and storm-seeking ode to electricity Chronomega. Visceral and rotten to the molten core—of a previously unknown planet of dark shadows and screaming recrimination—Black Cobra entrances with its burning eyes before falling fangs first on your throbbing skull. Opening are Ohio metal maniacs Lo-Pan, whose new recording Colossus is an attempt to conquer the world with aural alchemy available only to the Elder Gods and their winsome, doomed followers. Car Thief and The Please Help open one of the more deadly metal encounters this city has seen this year. It’s $5 to get into this headbangers' ball. This 21-plus war against somnolence commences at 9pm.
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