Say what you like about Elvis—culture thief; sad, boozy drug addict; cheese sandwich—but the man had a voice that could soothe volcanoes, particularly the volcano that is my head during the 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a time when every single store in the country, from Nordstrom to 7-Eleven, feels obligated to play Christmas music. And it’s not even the good stuff. As far as I can tell, no one except little kids enjoys hearing syrupy, cutesy “Jingle Bell Rock” played ad nauseam. Last year I made an obnoxious and totally doomed pledge to not shop anywhere Christmas music was playing. I should have stocked up on groceries in October.
Old-skool in tha house! When it comes to classic grind, no one did a more Fangora-worthy job back in the day than Autopsy. There were equals, forebearers and even bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation that eclipsed the California trio both technically and stylistically, but in terms of unabashed bloody gore fests, no one pulled it off time and time again with Autopsy’s sublime dedication to good old-fashioned splatter.
The title of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane’s most recent album, Blending Times (Savoy Jazz), released in 2009, works on two levels. First, harking back to a track of the same title on his previous album, In Flux (Savoy Jazz), it refers to the simultaneous blending of time signatures in a composition. Second, it refers to two distinct time periods in both Coltrane’s personal life and the recording of Blending Times. Those periods are divided by a cataclysmic event: the death of his mother, Alice Coltrane, musician, composer and spiritual leader, on Jan. 12, 2007.
Taking a break from the T-shirts of marijuana-steeped college students, socialist icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara calls on New Mexico denizens to do their duty in service to rock music on Saturday, Nov. 27, at Hallenbrick Brewery (3817 Hawkins NE). The Dregz plays from 7 to 10 p.m. and the show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Michael Henningsen has played in many a band—Bad Touch Uncle, The Strawberry Zots, Young Edward. He now plays in the David Kurtz Band, and will soon reunite with the Ant Farmers for a reunion show at Low Spirits on Dec. 4. Henningsen was also the Alibi’s editor-in-chief and music editor for a million years. As of this month, he’s back writing about scary black metal in a column called Coffin Break (see the second edition in this week’s issue). Below are random selections from his music collection.