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 Apr 1 - 7, 2004 

Blue Note

By Michael Henningsen

Chris Smither

Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.

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Tim Henningsen

Aural Fixation

By Michael Henningsen

Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:

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The Cat's in the Cradle

Miss May I • Ice Nine Kills • metal • Capsize • alternative, melodic hardcore • Lorna Shore • emocore • Westwind

By August March
If you still haven't had your fill of melodic hardcore, emocore and/or emo with no chaser—and lord knows who hasn't; I still dream of Hawthorne Heights every night before jumping up from my La-Z-Boy recliner and toddling off to bed—then do yourself a solid and visit Albuquerque's home for rock…
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Courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Are You Ready Kids?

TOKiMONSTA • electronic, hip-hop

By August March
Electronic experimentalist and heady hip-hop instrumentalist Jennifer Lee, better known as TOKiMONSTA, makes an appearance at the Historic El Rey Theater on Thursday, Sept. 28. An astral entity whose work with Project Blowed and Flying Lotus landed her squarely within the realm of El Lay’s underground hip-hop movement, Lee also happens to be a classically trained pianist. She is well known for deconstructing the work of luminaries like Justin Timberlake and Yacht through remixes that absolutely come apart in your head as the beat drops—sometimes delicately, sometimes like thunder, but always with a focus that speaks volumes about her musical prowess and wonky tendency to digress upon subtle rhythms and beatific bits of melody. $15 is all it will cost the average 18+ listener to engage in the elusive what-comes-next nature of West-Coast grooviness. The curtain rises on TokiMonsta at 9pm.
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Courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Sorry, Not Sorry

Sorry Guero! • American death groove • Moonshine Blind • rock, country • The Lords of Wilmoore • punk rock • Cobra Vs. Mongoose

By August March
Hard rock is a thing that occasionally raises it's grizzled, drug-addled head in this dusty desert. It's a damn good thing the dude can play the guitar like ringing a bell. It also helps that the thing can sing. If not for these two crowd-pleasing aspects, Dirty City denizens would have booted Hard rock and his ilk outta this town ages ago. If you still haven't been exposed to this phenomena, may I suggest you haul your hipster ass down to Launchpad on Saturday, Sept. 30, for the album release party hosted by Burque groove-metal stalwarts Sorry Guero! The entirety of the diamond tough, blue-jean-clad, head-banging subculture who worship hard rock will be there, solidly represented by bands like hillbilly-heshers Moonshine Blind and pure punk provocateurs such the Lords of Wilmoore (eh, I lived on that street too, as an undergrad) and Cobra vs. Mongoose. So be there or be obtuse; it's only ten bones, okay?
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