Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Brian May Is an Astrophysicist
It shocks the rock and scientific communities to no end, but it's true. Besides originating the butter-smooth guitar licks that were as central to Queen's success as Freddie Mercury's vocal cords and unitards, Brian May is an astrophysicist. He had graduated with a bachelor of science (with honors) in physics at Imperial College London and was halfway through a PhD program (area of concentration: the velocity of space dust) when Queen blasted into a solar system all its own. May put down his thesis in favor of a guitar and didn't return to science for another three decades. He finally picked up that doctorate in May 2008. Wikipedia says an asteroid was promptly named after him: 52665 Brianmay.
The Bellemah Bus
Next stop: CD release party
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
A year ago this month, Billy Bellmont—namesake and auteur of defunct rock band The Bellmont—and Dan Dinning formed the loungy, acoustic, indie operation known as Bellemah. Like barnacles on a ship (or perhaps goatheads on a shoe), the band amassed seven members, then lost four, due mostly to time constraints. Now only Billy, Dan and Noelan Ramirez remain. Some days ago over coffee, Billy, Dan and I sat down for a chat. We laughed. We cried. We talked about Tom Waits. Below is a sample of our time together.
John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet
Composer’s genre-blind music gently breaks new ground
By Mel Minter
Drummer/composer John Hollenbeck admits to being a “mixtape guy.” As a kid, he’d raid his brother’s record collection to create tapes featuring a wide range of music—from symphonic works to jazz to R&B and back again.
Keane Perfect Symmetry · The Sound of Animals Fighting The Ocean and the Sun · Eagles of Death Metal Heart On
Whether Perfect Symmetry provides instant glee or a splitting headache depends on how much you like alt.piano rock with a glob of synthesizer. If that sounds even remotely enjoyable, Perfect Symmetry is a surefire cure for the weepies. Keane is able to write lengthy ballads that don’t wear on your patience as easily as quick, punchy morning-starters. Piano is always the main course, and you never get more than a taste of drums or a sliver of guitar. Perfect Symmetry is more new-wave obsessed than Keane’s previous two releases, but it doesn’t slip into sulkiness. The group has become comfortable with its epic yet scaled-back songsmanship, and the water’s perfect if you feel like a swim. (SM)
Flyer on the Wall
Pale Young Gentlemen (Madison, Wis.), Small Flightless Birds and Back by October are cooler than cool this Thursday, Nov. 6, at Amped Performance Center (4200 Lomas NE). The 7 p.m. show is $5 and all-ages. (LM)
Vaudeville Open Mic
By Devin D. O'Leary
Cabaret Audacity presents a Vaudeville Open Mic at Sidewinders Bar Cabaret Theater. This brand new monthly showcase will take place every third Wednesday of 2017. Dancers, singers, comedians, musicians, performance artists, jugglers, magicians, sideshow acts, burlesque performers and more are invited to hone their talents and debut brand new material on stage at VOM. Shows are hosted by Julian Addams-Wolf and other members of Cabaret Audacity, including Eddi Fication and Arcane. A suggested donation of $5 gets you in the door beginning at 7:30pm. This is a 21+ event.
Rugby is a Drag • Truly Scrumptious Coxx
By Robin Babb
This Saturday, Jan. 21, drag your ass to Sidewinders by 9pm for the fundraiser, Rubgy is a Drag, presented by Brujos Rugby and Casa Q. That’s right, the strapping young Brujos Rugby Team players will be performing in drag for a one-night-only event with guest MC Truly Scrumptious Coxx—you don’t want to miss this one. Remember to bring singles to shower upon your favorite performers. Funds go towards The Brujos and Casa Q, the only safe transitional house for LGBTQ+ youths in New Mexico. Tickets are $10. Ages 21+.
Courtesy Epic Records
Chevelle • alternative • Black Map • Dinosaur Pile-Up • rock
By August March
Chevelle, an indie band from the Midwest, portrays their hard sound—expressed with exasperated vocals, a muscular rhythms and chunky guitar riffs that repeatedly drift off into tangential melodies—as an artful thing, comparable to '90s peers like Tool. And they do sound like Tool—if their latest single “Door to Door Cannibals” is any indication—when that band was at its peak at the end of the last millennium. Whether this particular vernacular is still credible in a rocanrol world that is rapidly evolving away from rocanrol remains to be seen, yet Chevelle does provide solid affirmation that such beefy sounds are still commercially, if not aesthetically viable. Currently a familial unit comprised of brothers Pete and Sam Loeffler as well as their brother-in-law Dean Bernardini, Chevelle continues to use themes of darkness and domination to draw radio-friendly audiences worldwide. Burqueños can get a taste of their rockingly reserved rampage when the trio visit our town on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Black Map and Dinosaur Pile-Up open this 13+ show at the El Rey that costs between $25-$45.
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Vaudeville Open Mic at Sidewinders
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