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 Dec 29 - Jan 4, 2006 

Music to Your Ears

By Laura Marrich

Born in New Mexico, Based in Austin—Rock 'n' rollers The Dirty Hearts may not live in New Mexico any more, but that doesn't mean they can't come back for a visit every now and again. The Dirty Hearts are originally from Española (Low Rider Capital of the Free World!), where they joined forces after each member's former bands "either got jobs or pregnant" roundabouts of 2002. They've since moved on to the exponentially more fertile musical pastures of Austin, Texas, but they'll be coming back New Mexico-way on Friday, Dec. 30. Too bad the gig's in Santa Fe. Regardless, this band is worth the drive. They'll play at the Second Street Brewery (1814 Second Street, Santa Fe) sometime after 9 p.m., along with singer-songwriters Calida and Billy Bartley. Don't let the odd booking shake you—just check them out at www.myspace.com/thedirtyhearts. And note to The Dirty Hearts: Next time, come to Albuquerque instead.

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Wax Tracks

DJ Lowkey

The reigning king of the eargasm gives us one more spin before a self-imposed hiatus

By Simon McCormack

You'd be hard-pressed to find a local DJ with a musical taste as all-embracing as DJ Lowkey. After spinning for 20 years, nine of them spent in Albuquerque and five as the house DJ at Raw, Lowkey (aka Philip C. Pino) will get a chance to get back to his eclectic roots at Gulp on New Year's Eve, before taking a breather from the DJ biz.

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Music Magnified

The Reverend Horton Heat

with Jackass

By Simon McCormack

Tuesday, Jan. 3; Launchpad (21-and-over), $15: The hardest working man in Punkabilly, The Reverend Horton Heat, is making his annual appearance in Albuquerque, and he's out to prove that, as far as grimy boot-stompin' licks that you can booze to go, they don't come any better than the Rev's. 2004's Revival is a blistering reminder of the Reverend's roots and commitment to his live, loud-ass show. The album comes complete with some new licks, including a mystery track that, although its name remains unknown to the Reverend's loyal listeners, is sure to kick you in the teeth with a steel-stringed size 12.

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Flyer on the Wall

Thrills! Mystery! Cleavage!

... And that's before the "special goat dance" competition. Have a New Year's Eve bash to remember through pieced-together accounts of what your friends tell you later with Black Maria, Unit 7 Drain and Sin Serenade. It's free, over-21 and at Burt's Tiki Lounge. Balls! (LM)

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Laura Marrich

Music Magnified

Behind the Scenes with Midget Mogul Productions

By Laura Marrich

Meet Midget Mogul Productions, a mighty little music promotion team headed by a man named Peter Martin. Peter is the guy who coordinated the first successful Nob Hill bar crawl this past October, uniting every bar and restaurant in the "Haunted Hill" neighborhood under a progressive circuit with live music at each stop along the way. Peter hopes to continue that momentum at this weekend's Nob Hill New Year's Eve Crawl (see "Lucky 7" for details).

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Spotlight

Arrhythmia

Fast Heart Mart's Martin Stamper marches to the beat of a different mutant

By Jessica Cassyle Carr and Laura Marrich

Little did you know that Martin Stamper, half the guts behind enigmatic acoustic duo Fast Heart Mart, is the reluctant parent of his own record label, which will be on display at the New Year's Eve Mutant Mariachi showcase at the Blue Dragon. Bet you didn't know he has a pacemaker, either.

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Sonic Reducer

Various Artists Lagniappe · Spiritu and Village of Dead Roads Human Failures · The Caribbean Plastic Explosives

By Amy Dalness

For lovers of the Saddle Creek label and their bands (Bright Eyes, Cursive and Beep Beep, to name a few) this compilation is a must. Lagniappe was thrown together in one week, so that all proceeds would benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It's chock-full of new songs, demos and B-sides, and is, really, the perfect way to donate to the cause and be introduced to some very talented and diverse musicians. Each song on this album holds its own weight. Criteria's "Booketa" would make any rocker wary of electroclash question their disdain and "She's a Ghost" by Cocoon (a project by Jake Bellows of Neva Dinova and Todd Fink of the Faint) is as haunting as the name implies.

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Courtesy of the Artist

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Their Kindness is Charade

Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house

By August March
Remember the thing called Witch House? How about darkwave? The constant bifurcation of artistic paths in the field of electronic music can be damnably confusing and irritating, as well as rewarding and helluva lot of fun too—as long as you pick the right band. When adherents of these sorts of genres aren't busy sorting their rainbow-colored toe socks and looking for tubes of Vick's Vaporub to snatch up at the local Walmart, then it's a pretty fair bet that they are listening to the likes of Crystal Castles, a duo of Canuck electro-arhats who've made their mark in the music world with a febrile and spooky glitchiness that has outlasted any names critics might apply in favor of an honestly, intimidatingly pure exploration of sounds that make humans dance and rejoice as they swirl around the very noisy and icy maelstrom of life and death. Ethan Kath and Edith Frances, AKA Crystal Castles, perform live in Burque on Thursday, Oct. 19. Viewed as an opportunity to joyfully and ferociously embrace the void, this ought to be a damn good show, but don't blame me if you can't remember your name afterwards.
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Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Special Beat Service

The English Beat • ska

By August March
Here's a brief on a band with three names, but unlike Eliot's bunch, these dudes are not a coterie of cats. At home across the pond, they're known as the Beat. In the land down under, kindly refer to them as the British Beat. Here in 'Merica, we call them the English Beat. But no matter what you call them, this estimable ensemble that still includes founder and guitarist Dave Wakeling—but not vocalist Ranking Roger—was partially responsible for the upsurge in popularity that two-tone ska saw on both sides of the Atlantic during the '80s and '90s. With a retinue of classic, upbeat jams like “Monkey Murders,” “Spar Wid Me” and “Save It for Later,” the band's touring the states again, impressing OG ska lovers as well as the next generation of horn-crazy youth with their combination of crazy stage antics and terrific tuneage. You can catch the outfit live here at the Duke City on Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Historic El Rey Theatre, but don't worry you don't need checkerboard pants or a smart little hat to enjoy this gig—just make sure those great big feet of yours are rested and ready to dance.
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