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 V.17 No.3 | January 17 - 23, 2008 

Music to Your Ears

The Craft

Does your guitar have a person's name? Do you sometimes fall asleep with it in your arms? Are your pants pockets stuffed with lyrics scrawled on little bits of paper? If so, you might be one of the millions of Americans who are aspiring singer-songwriters.

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Mac Lethal’s bringing rice krispie treats to the party.

Wax Tracks

Mac Lethal

On paranoia and talking to strangers

New Rhymesayers label artist and former Scribble Jam champion Mac Lethal is hitting the industry with a lethal dose of acid-tongued lyricsm. He hits The Stove in Albuquerque this Sunday. The Alibi got a hold of Mac to talk about his Always Talk To Strangers Tour (co-headlined by MCs Grieves and Type) as he was sitting down on the same green couch he raps about in his new album, 11:11.

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Flutist/composer James Newton

Jazzed

Newton & Jang

Flutist James Newton and pianist Jon Jang forge a musical brotherhood

Brothers typically come to their sibling relationship without choice, riding shared DNA from common parents. Flutist/composer James Newton and pianist/composer Jon Jang, however, were drawn into brotherhood nearly 25 years ago by a common musical DNA and a shared appetite for justice.

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The Knew

Show Up!

The Knew

Writing the songs The Knew would like to hear

In 2006, Jacob Hansen and Patrick Bowden of Denver’s The Knew became a two-piece after guitarist Tyler Breuer left to teach overseas. They were vulnerable in a live setting and were limited musically. The only thing they could do was quit or adopt an underdog mentality, to play as though each song was their only shot. The duo did more than survive.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Bananas

Get all ape shit when Suffrajet (Chicago), The Dollyrots (L.A.), Volume Volume and Pan!c increase the Launchpad’s decibels this Tuesday, Jan. 22. $5, 21+. (LM)

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Sonic Reducer

Chris Walla Field Manual · Donny McCaslin In Pursuit · Chloe Day Sugar

Death Cab For Cutie Guitarist Chris Walla may not have the pipes of his bandmate Ben Gibbard, but DCFC’s deep outer space atmosphere and sugar-pop melodies are all over Walla's first solo album, Field Manual. It can be sickly sweet at times, but there's no doubting Walla's songwriting gifts, which allow him to draw in unsuspecting ears like a tractor beam. It's airy, enthusiastic and, aside from some politically charged lyrics, doesn't take itself too seriously. Death Cab fans should gobble this one up. (SM)

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T-Rextasy
Andrew Piccone

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Mar 23)

Surf In Burt's

T-Rextasy • garage, punk • Mount Ivy • space rock • Emma Lee Toyoda

Surf-style, fuzzed out and formidably feminist pop-punkers T-Rextasy make an appearance in Albuquerque, at the new home of all things fearsome and fashionable, Burt's Tiki Lounge, on Thursday, March 23. The New York City band—singer Lyris Faron, guitarists Lena Abraham and Vera Kahn, under the rhythmic influences of bassist Annie Fidoten and drummer Ebun Nazon-Power—is known for its arch approach to the genre, generating pure pop nuggets like last year's “Gap Yr Boiz” to deconstruct and decimate a culture they find to be placid and painstakingly pointless. They'll be joined on stage by space rock quartet Mount Ivy and self-described “Seattle-based sadgirlrock” adherents Emma Lee Toyoda. Hmm, the more I think about it while considering this show, the more I imagine that rocanrol is still alive and has a chance against the forces of the future. Find out for yourself if all of that fashion-future-forward stuff is la neta by jaunting on over to Burt's for this 21+ gig, where its always free to go in and have a listen to what will most certainly be.
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EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Mar 25)

Kurt Travis Will Save Your Soul

Kurt Travis • alternative rock • Eidola • Amarrionette

I love Kurt Travis ... I said it! I don't regret it, either! (Well, I actually hardly know the man—i.e. not at all—I just love his music.) I know you won't regret seeing him at The Co-Op alongside the phenomenal bands Eidola and Amarrionette this Saturday, March 25, for only $10. Travis was the lead clean vocalist for notable post-hardcore bands Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds. He has expanded his act as a solo musician producing the dazzlingly lovely EPs Wha Happen? (2012), Kurt Travis (2013), Everything Is Beautiful (2014) and the Kurt Travis/Paul Travis Split (2016). Travis creates an acoustic, atmospheric pop sound combined with wailing, lonesome bluegrass-esque vocals. In the newest split EP that he made with his brother, the two have created a delicate mix of Americana, pop and indie rock which is sure to translate well into this incredible performer's repertoire. Be sure not to miss this all-ages show, doors open at 7pm.
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Jenna Dunlap
Amanda Kirk

EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Mar 25)

Local Rocks

Jenna Dunlap • singer-songwriter • Keith Sanchez & the Moon Thieves • folk

I read a recent review that said Jenna Dunlap's debut recording was “sweet,” with “wistful vocals.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Dunlap—who was recorded by Cinder Cone Media's wizard of an engineer Howard Wulkan for her first studio outing, Out of My Head—is dynamic and thoughtful, with a rumbling, tumbling vocal nuance and muscular musical style that is equal parts Sheryl Crow and Regina Spektor, mixed in with the sometimes plaintive but always hopeful observations of youth transitioning into adulthood. Her voice resonates and she has a great finger-picking style too, knowingly finding chords and arrangements that complement her intense and intelligent vocal treatments. Jenna Dunlap will be having a free CD release party for Out of My Head on Saturday, March 25, so you can hear all of that for yourself and thereby help discourage the use of meaningless musical phrases like "sweet" and "wistful" while supporting the awesome thing—called local music—itself. Keith Sanchez & the Moon Theives will provide folk-appropriate support.
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