Albuquerque's own YOU released this limited-edition CD in April, though it isn't clear what it's limited to, and I guess the download will remain available—which is wonderful news because Phase is another tidy little bundle of YOU's “party prog-rock” that carries listeners nicely downstream through scenery filled with meandering psychedelia and booty-shakin' beats. In fact, the drums are one of my favorite things about this recording: The drummer avoids the pitfall of many jam-oriented bands and keeps it tight and not overly busy. The effects-laden guitars are reminiscent of Joy Division, Bauhaus, and even early Funkadelic; the vocals contribute to the songs in an occasionally Damo Suzuki manner. Nice production overall distinguishes this from many local releases. Check these guys out live too. Fans of drug music won't be disappointed.
I guess it's fair to say The Beaumonts (“America's #1 Porno Honky Tonk Band”) had me at opening lines “cheap weed and pretty women, I swear I must be dreamin'; Is this heaven or San Antonio.” Not knowing what to expect from this rather slick CD with more beards and shades than I can count and some pretty nifty, matching Western wear, I admit I was counting on some bad, David Allan Coe wannabes. Even with their generally anti-drug message, the David Allan Coe part wasn't too far off. The bayou-tinged Texas country music on Hey Y'all is a little Waylon, a little Willie, and does call to mind the Rhinestone Cowboy's X-rated albums. In addition to some right-on country playing, this record is filled with great country music quotes like “baby I'm no picnic, but baby you ain't one too” or “have you ever been to Lubbock in the springtime ... all I can tell you is it smells just like shit” or “if you ever get arrested by the Lubbock Sheriff's Department, you'll notice their initials are LSD.” I just found my summer music. God I hope these boys visit Albuquerque.
It's fair to say that one of the last things I expected to be reviewing was a jazz album from Albuquerque, but hey, Burque has a fairly large jazz scene, and the Alibi has been thinking we need to ramp up our coverage a bit. Entourage Jazz, led by the talented vocalist Emerson Susan Corley—who is also a snappy, snappy dresser and, judging by her singing, possesses both wit and intelligence—perform in a range of styles from blue period Miles (“Waltz For Geraldus”) and the ’60s-sounding “Firm Roots” to the big band sound of “Things are Looking Up.” Overall, the arrangements are meticulous and well done, but not in an overly careful way for the most part, making Things Are Looking Up! a respectable jazz album that doesn't suffer from preening emulation of a particular jazz style, era or band. Listen especially for the great guitar work of Dimi DiSanti throughout, as well as both Lee Taylor's flute contribution to “Summer Knows” and sax solo on “Waltz for Geraldus.” Kudos.