If you were to lasso the simple, heartfelt punk of Patti Smith, mash it together with droning guitars and send it down the Mississippi river to be peppered with soul, you might end up with Heartless Bastards. The band formed in the mid-aughts in Dayton, Ohio—hometown of Guided By Voices, The Breeders and Brainiac. Heartless Bastards is led by Erika Wennerstrom and distinguished by her voice's deep, velvety, slightly ramshackle qualities. Wennerstrom, who now makes her home in Austin, says she learned to sing by trying to emulate her idols and out popped her own voice.
It was James Hetfield who said, "There's always a new generation of angry young men who latch onto Kill 'Em All," and this was certainly true of the members of Albuquerque’s Anesthesia. The band got its beginnings in the ’90s when guitar player Jake Pacheco and drummer Steve Abeyta met in a middle school science class. Now full-grown adults, the group has been together for 14 years and working with its current lineup, which includes Aaron Bustamante on bass and Nathan Tramontina on guitar, since 2001. Playing in the technically challenging and headbanging-friendly style of traditional thrash metal—see Metallica—the band also sites Pantera and Alice in Chains as among its paramount influences.
Dear Albuquerque: It is my deepest regret to inform you that there is an excellent new record store in town, and as soon as the collectors read this they will likely go there and buy up all of the precious vinyl that could be mine.
This flyer depicts a 1924 American interpretation of 18th century Europe. The image is accented with colors and fonts that would not have been accepted in either place or time period, and notifies the public that Milch de Máquina and Then Eats Them will perform their respective avant weirdnesses on Friday, May 14, at 8 p.m. This all-ages show costs $5 and takes place at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW). Also, something about a human sacrifice ... bring popcorn! (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Kate Nash’s second offering is more complicated than 2007's Made of Bricks. Her pop songs are still centered around straightforward, pedestrian lyrics—“Barbecue food is good, you invite me out to eat it, I should go”—delivered in a clear voice, with a cute British accent. However, the music is all-around more complex and slightly grittier. Even the popular single “Do Wah Doo,” which features a chorus that is pure hook, is layered with background singers, piano, tambourines, strings and garage-y guitar riffs. Some tracks are clearly punk-influenced, some reference ’60s girl groups, some weave both together. She still has plenty to say about sex, jerks and bitches, as well as how insecure and goofy all three can make her feel. (SO)
Alex Rose grew up in Santa Fe, played in Albuquerque bands, then moved to Seattle to further his audio engineering career. Our native son has enjoyed a professional music career ever since joining prog / indie rock band Minus the Bear, which stops at the Sunshine Theater this Tuesday in support of Omni (released May 4). In anticipation of the rock that’s to come, here are random selections from his collection—this time with two bonus tracks!