Carefully avoiding the loaded term “unplugged,” the latest in a six-year-old series originally known as The Acoustic Showcase takes place at Low Spirits this Friday. Bands, and varying configurations thereof, perform songs from their respective catalogs as well as selected covers that don’t fit into regular repertoires. Don’t expect old favorites and regurgitated hits. Do expect obscure covers from limited-edition blue-vinyl releases that would make any record-collecting fanboy swoon.
DIY patron of the arts Derek Caterwaul on Albuquerque's SWxØFest
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Like so many of the world’s great ideas, the Southwest by No Fest began as a joke. It eventually manifested on some flyers last year, and in 2010 SWxØFest has morphed into something resembling a full-fledged festival. Events, which began last week, the convergence of a handful of atypical venues and the bounty of touring bands passing through town this month. KUNM 89.9 FM DJ and longtime promoter of local music and arts events Derek Caterwaul is among those at the helm of the endeavor. He says this month's fest is not so much a spin-off of the music industry spectacle that is SXSW but more a spinout inspired by a concentration of creative energy and counter-SXSW Austin events like Fuck by Fuck You and GAYbiGAYGAY.
The hues that appear in mid-century color photography tend to create a delicate, airy quality, as if the sands of time are causing the image to melt away before our eyes. Here we see a western view of Route 66 at I-25 and ghostly Zia images hovering in the sky during what seems to be the late ’50s. Once a humble postcard, this photo now advertises Songs for Boys & Girls with Sugar Wings at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Nick Brown is a musician who likes to make weird songs late at night in the shed behind his house. He’s also the Alibi’s puppet master, a prolific blogger and a jokesmith. Here are five jazzy, new wave-y, psychedelic, random selections from his collections.
Where to begin—her craft? Her freedom? Her depth? Her joy? It’s all here on vocalist Kate McGarry’s latest. She opens with a slow, dark “Let’s Face the Music” in a breathtaking arrangement by guitarist Keith Ganz, profoundly re-imagining Irving Berlin’s song for our fractured time. McGarry’s mesmerizing arrangement of The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” captures the vulnerable hypersensitivity of crazy love, and her own “Man of God” reveals a gifted songwriter with a spiritual bent. Not every track rises to the elevated level of these three, but McGarry’s warmth, her willingness to jump off musical cliffs, and her ability to richly and precisely render complex emotional life make it all worth hearing. She is very ably supported by Ganz, Gary Versace (piano, organ, accordion), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Clarence Penn (drums). (MM)
Ugly Sweater Party • DJ Young Native • electronica, hip-hop
By Maggie Grimason
Don your finest ugly holiday sweater, or show up ready to purchase one this Thursday, Dec. 21, at Marble's Westside Tap Room. There are very few times during the calendar year where we can reasonably embrace bells, snowmen, glitter and bows on our clothing. Don't miss out on the Ugly Sweater Party of all things tacky—it's as easy as showing up at the bar off Unser anytime after 7pm. DJ Young Native will be playing all your favorite `80s and holiday tunes, and the whole shebang is free.
I love the '90s. Well, not as much as I love the '80s. Then there's the '70s to reckon with. I sorta remember the '60s, those were pretty exciting too, especially the end bits, after the summer of love, yo. But, if you're like me, music of the '90s is totally worth listening to over and over, particularly the grand cultural treasure trove of tuneage that came into being after the elfin guitar god from the north woods passed into enternity in April 1994. The music that was made to dance to back then, guess what? You can still dance to it; the stuff's been miraculously preserved in some kinda digital medium and you can shake you booty to exactly that on the evening Friday, Dec. 22. Prepare yourself for an aural onslaught featuring the likes of Tone-Loc, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and Vanilla Ice. They'll all be righteously represented at the I Love the '90s Video Music Dance Party happening Downtown at the Sunshine Theater, so dig out some Funky Cold Medina and leave your cell phone at home (because, they didn't like really have those until1998, amirite?) for a night of reflection on what the past 27 years have wrought. $10 for entry and 18+ to dance, 21+ to drink and dance.
MIXXD • Ana M • house, g-house, tech house, techno, UK garage, minimal • BadCats
By August March
MIXXD is a loosely organized yet totally groovy collective of electro-wizards, multiverse mixers and tuned-in turntableists. They occasionally get together in Albuquerque clubs in order to toss glittery music dust, cray incantations and heady, extravehicular space explorations via vinyl and tape into a world that absolutely needs rhythm in order to survive the mundane purity of everyday life. This iteration of a trance and/or dance inducing solution to your holiday tribulations, a bright bauble of a thing called NM LOVE MIX WINTER is available for consumption on Saturday, Dec. 23, and features the following DJs: BadCat (Jennifer Highfield Castro), Ana M (Ana Martinez), Liminal Spaces (Máté Fischer) and H.P. Dubcraft (Hank Padilla) at Sister. Being there will mean giving in to your highest holiday hankerings, so what the heck, live a little! Free before 10pm, $5 after 10pm. 21+.