The Shins are Bigger than Jesus—Yup, it's official. As of this writing, The Shins' brand-new album, Wincing The Night Away, is the second highest selling album on Amazon.com, beating out The Beatles' Love (No. 8) and Madonna's Confessions Tour DVD and CD set (No. 6), for the love of all that's holy. So technically, they're bigger than the-band-that's-bigger-than-Jesus and Madonna. That's an astounding number of CD players to occupy. And with big-name recognition for what once was a small-town (that would be Albuquerque) band, comes the need for a Shins FAQ. Take note, members of the foreign press.
Music for indie record heads ... and your aunt and uncle, too
By Simon McCormack
Although Chris Adolf resides in the Mile-High City, the singer, songwriter and only permanent member of neofolk project Bad Weather California prefers a small town scene. The yen for a cozier location is evident in his intimate, gruff but earnest style that’s somewhere between a warm embrace and a cold stare. Like many independent musicians, Adolf is not all that comfortable in the digital age. Whenever he thinks a song sounds too crisp or clean, he makes sure to “mush it up.” Adolf and his ever-rotating cast of backing musicians are genuinely interested in making music for the masses, but they also want to make sure their souls stay intact in the process.
It came out this summer, but The Coma Recovery’s Drown That Holy End In Wine is actually the perfect album for Valentine’s Day. “Capulet” (track No. 8) even works as both the backdrop for a satisfying makeout sesh and the anthem of your next breakup. Get it at www.failedexperimentrecords.com.
Like a hot bath with all the suds at the end of a hellish week or a bad breakup, the debut release from the nouveau pop trio The Postmarks is a soothing (if a bit melancholic) album. This collection of songs has a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel attitude in both the lyrics (delivered via soft coos by vocalist Tim Yehezkely) and the elegant melodies. There are elements of Burt Bacharach and The Smiths, and, although the instrumentation is complex, the record never comes close to sounding overproduced.
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…
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.
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?