They're two to three times pricier than a show at the Sunshine, but don't let sticker shock keep you from experiencing New Mexico's independent music festivals. You can get passes to two of the best in the West at an attractive discount—but you've got to buy them within the next two weeks.
You might want to take it easy on your first few trips to the pit. The eighth Gathering of the Sick Festival is going to be a long ride.
Star Tattoo blows out the candles on seven years in the pain-for-pleasure biz this Saturday, May 31. Starting at 3 p.m., there'll be free cheese from Little Anita's, crawfish from Copeland's and beer-soaked rawk from eight bands at Elliot's (Alameda and Coors Bypass). It's the Star kids' way of saying, "You could have picked any of Albuquerque's 373 tattoo parlors to give you ass antlers, but you chose us. Thank you." No, Star Tattoo. Thank you. (LM)
He was barely out of his teen years, but Beirut's Paul Collins recognized a budding star. "The first time I heard Zach [Condon] sing, I knew he was going to be more than just a local musician," Collins says. "I've never seen someone play where I just knew they were going to be something amazing."
Arm's Way only fails when compared to Islands' debut. Return to the Sea was a multi-genre fever dream of bright melodies juxtaposed with death-themed lyrics. Arm's Way is a stellar record in its own right. Singer-songwriter and Unicorns founder Nick Thorburn is still able to conceive precise guitar rock interrupted at just the right times with string interludes or steel drum jam-outs. But Arm's Way is darker and almost gothic compared to Return, and most of its tracks follow a simpler path to where they're going. Islands' directionally obscure endeavors are few and far between on the new release, and that was part of the band's initial charm. (SM)