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 V.14 No.15 | April 14 - 20, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

It's been a tough scene for our blues guys and gals ever since Club Rhythm & Blues closed its doors for good, taking one of the best open mics in town right along with them. But if there's a silver lining to be found here, it's that artists like Michael Holt are strengthening their own scene from the roots up. Holt and his Hollywood Holt Band host a new weekly open mic just for blues and R&B performers at Ned's Downtown. The Wednesday night showcase is a step up from traditional blues jams, with a nice stage, a full sound setup and professional live mixing. Holt says his motivation springs from when he first cut his blues teeth at open mics under the tutelage of Darin Goldston, front man of the Memphis P. Tails. “They say you've got to give it away if you want to keep it, and this is my way of giving it back.”

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Blue Note

Piano Man

By the time he'd reached the ripe old age of 23, Connecticut-bred pianist Kevin Hays had already toured for a year with the Harper Brothers, worked with Joshua Redman and Benny Golson to name but a few, and waxed his first record as a leader, El Matador (Evidence). Considering that most of us spend the period of our "professional" lives between college graduation and the age of 25 spinning in the wind, Hays' comparative beeline toward the pinnacle of post-bop piano craft stands as an even more miraculous feat. And just wait until you hear him play.

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Music Magnified

The Slow Signal Fade

Wednesday, April 20; UNM Sub Mall (all ages, noon): The Slow Signal Fade's exotic and dark vocals are what make them stand out from the pack. The Los Angeles-based group formed in 2002 and in a short amount of time have managed to craft a polished sound and, from what I've heard, a stellar stage performance.

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Music Magnified

Dead Meadow

with Jennifer Gentle, The Outcrowd and Jealous Gods

Wednesday, April 20; Launchpad, 21 and over, 10 p.m.)

Paisley's not dead, it's just discreetly tucked under jackets. This isn't your childhood paisley (Prince) or your dad's (Blues Magoos), but a night of four distinctly different takes on modern psychedelic music.

Dead Meadow is cold funk, a grim and smoky version of the psychedelic experience 20 minutes before it turned narcotic. The flowers aren't still in anyone's hair at this point, although they're just as colorful in the mind.

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Sonic Reducer

Brooke Valentine Chain Letter (Virgin)

She's only 19 and she's co-written her debut CD, Chain Letter. About half of the CD sounds like any number of female R&B/pop artists on the market, but Valentine takes a few risks and rises above the countless others with some mesmerizing and distinguishing hits. Songs like "I Want U Dead" and "Blah Blah Blah" have distinctive beats, while the music is hauntingly aggressive, not blatant slap-you-in-the-face hip hop. And Valentine seems even stronger when accompanied by rappers such as the late Dirt McGirt, Lil' Jon, Big Boi and others. Valentine threads her way from lust to love to hate, and leaves a trail of men battered and beaten behind.

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via morguefile

EVENT HORIZON (Friday, May 6)

Floating on Cloud Nine

Infrequency • trance • Graeme Byous • electronica, progressive • AnthonyMarx 9 • house

As a society we can agree that we're ready for a heightened consciousness. In my experience, that is achieved through music–specifically trance. On Friday, May 6 at 9pm you can be lifted up physically by climbing the stairs up to the Mezzanine at the Historic El Rey Theater and mentally after listening to the rhythms and noises from AnthonyMarx, Graeme Byous,and Infrequency at Elevated: A Night of Trance and Progressive. For just $5, these DJs from the desert are ready to assist with their beautiful repetitive melodies and their ambient echos.
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via Rock Jong Il's Facebook Page

EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, May 7)

Rock Jong Il Rocks Out

Rock Jong Il • punk • Suspended • metal • Russian Girlfriends • rock • Get Action • punk

On Saturday, May 7, put down that Communist Manifesto you've been perusing and take a stroll downtown to Launchpad for the album release party of Rock Jong Il. The quintet of local rockers and stalwart party members are having an album release party to celebrate the recording Dictators of Rock. Longtime members of the anti-capitalist forces seeking a rock and roll revolution in this city, Rock Jong Il have a sound that reviewers have rightly compared to seminal bands like Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Though the comrades in Rock Jong Il wear their influences heart-like on their tattered, war-weary sleeves, they're anything but derivative. With a list of songs that explore the miasma of postmodern culture through the use of hardcore aesthetics balanced with a casual mastery of their instruments (these guys can actually play their guitars, basses and drum-kits, unlike some of the DIY punk outfits in these parts) Rock Jong Il is a band whose steadfast dedication to form and function result in a rocking and rousing output. Members: Jeff Cohen, Johnny Huchmala, Jay Collins. Bob Beckley and Brandon Davis have got what it takes to move past insurgency and toward world domination. Get Action, Suspended and Russian Girlfriends will provide support for a night of rampage and revolt. Tickets for this introduction to what punk rock should probably sound like cost $5.
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