One of Albuquerque's longest-surviving blues bands, The Albuquerque Blues Connection, will kick off 2004 with a concert on Saturday, Jan. 10, at Pucinni's Golden West at 9 p.m. Currently promoting their CD debut, West of Texas, ABC are also hard at work in the studio recording tracks for their upcoming release, Burning It Up. ... Speaking of CDs by local bands, Fast Heart Mart have finished work on The Movie Theater, which is one of the best local releases I've heard in awhile. It'll be reviewed on these pages in the coming weeks, just as soon as I get some artwork to scan. ... Calls from bands wanting to be involved in this year's Alibi Spring Crawl are already beginning to pour in, so I offer my standard response to such queries in print with the hope that aspiring Crawl bands will heed the advice: Our Crawls are not “new band showcases.” The events are not designed to debut bands to the public. Participating bands are chosen in large part by the venues in which they are eventually booked for the Crawls, which means that club owners generally choose bands they've heard of and or have a good history with in terms of those bands that can create a reliable draw. So the best thing you can do as a new and/or fairly unknown band (especially with regard to the Downtown scene) is market yourself, book some gigs Downtown, post fliers for your shows and create your own buzz. It's not too late to get yourself a Spring Crawl slot, but you've got to be willing to do the work. Good luck!