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 Jan 29 - Feb 4, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

By Michael Henningsen

It's official: The New Mexico Showcase is toast. Last week, I reported that a conversation with NM Showcase mastermind Michael Feferman had revealed that the showcase was on indefinite hold while he works on his master's degree in Austin, Texas. Two days after the issue hit the stands, I got an e-mail from Feferman saying the event had been officially retired. During its three-year run, the NM Showcase hosted upward of 100 local bands at venues all over the state. Kudos to Michael Feferman and everyone else who made the event possible. ... The 16th Annual Folk Alliance Conference is scheduled for Feb. 26-29 in San Diego, Calif. Registration is now open. Folk Alliance members get the whole enchilada—concerts, workshops, panel discussions, etc.—for a cool $480. Non-members will pay $560. Visit www.folk.org to register or for more information. ... The Sweat Band have changed their name to The Foxx. Bad idea. But that's just my opinion. I've never supported band name changes unless key members leave, the music or image changes significantly and/or the new name is monumentally better than the old one. Besides, why erase all the name recognition and buzz you've worked so hard to create? ... Jazz fans rejoice! The Outpost Performance Space will kick off its 2004 spring season on Saturday, Feb. 21, with two shows by incomparable singer Cassandra Wilson at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 general, $30 Outpost members and I predict a quick sellout, so get 'em now at the Bookstop (268-8898) or the Outpost (268-0044).

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Blue Note

By Michael Henningsen

Paco de Lucia

Tuesday, Feb. 3; Popejoy Hall (all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Even the most gifted artistic genius, it is believed, will one day find his or her well run dry. The technique and desire remain, but there comes a time when all such artists must accept that their creative spark has burned out, right? Don't be so sure. Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, regarded the world over as the master of that particular art, is one of the rare ones: a brilliant musician who continues to move forward in spite of conventional thinking.

De Lucia's latest release, Cositas Buenas (Verve), is proof positive. Here, de Lucia eschews several signatures associated with previous masterworks in exchange for a more deeply personal approach that is affecting in an entirely new way. Gone is the sextet with whom de Lucia has recorded and toured for the past decade. What remains for the most part is de Lucia himself, and his guitar. His astonishing technique remains intact, as do his trademark bold explorations. But other than a couple of guest vocalists and palmas (handclaps), Cositas Buenas is a revealing musical excursion by a rare genius.

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Music Magnified

Bo Diddley

with The Cadillac Bob Band and Alex Maryol

By Michael Henningsen

Friday, Jan. 30; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 8 p.m.): When it comes to rock 'n' roll, Bo knows, well ... just about everything. In some respects, Bo Diddley is rock 'n' roll, or at least what it originally was. The 76-year-old guitar slinger from McComb, Miss., along with Chuck Berry, Little Richard and a few select others, had a big hand in developing the sound that would change the way the world listened to music. For his efforts, Diddley has maintained celebrity-hood for more than four decades and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

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Music Magnified

Camper Van Beethoven

with Cracker (or vice-versa)

By Michael Henningsen

Wednesday, Feb 4; The Paramount (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 8:30 p.m.): To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure exactly how this tour is working. I can't seem to get confirmation on whether David Lowery and the other members of Camper Van Beethoven will perform CVB songs or David Lowery and the other members of Cracker will perform CVB songs, and then perform as Cracker. Either way, you should plan to catch this show based solely on the fact that Lowery is a songwriting genius whose got more cynicism and lyrical flair in his little finger than most of us have in our entire bodies.

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Sonic Reducer

By Michael Henningsen

Robert Randolph and the Family Band Unclassified (Warner Bros)

Guitarist Robert Randolph kicks ass in a Jeff Healy kind of way. His main axe is the pedal steel, from which he's able to coax chordal passages that sound as if they're coming from a Telecaster and solos that, like Healy's ghostly slide work, are more articulate than those you've come to expect from guys with only six strings to deal with. Randolph doesn't create all his magic on the pedal steel, but what he's able to do on the instrument is otherworldly. This, his second record, is cohesive, energetic and jaw-droppingly superlative in terms of songwriting and performance.

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EVENT HORIZON (Friday, Sep 30)

'A Lot About Living'

Alan Jackson • country

By Joshua Lee
As Ludwig von Beethoven once said, “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” Those words still carry weight, even now: a thousand years later. And you'll find no better example than the incomparable Alan Jackson, whose voice and countenance rival those of the gods, as though he were hewn from the heart of the sun itself. His honky tonk tunes are swords of righteous terror and beauty which melt the eardrums of devotees, lost in reverie as they bathe in the glorious golden ambiance of his mustache. He'll be playing live at the Sandia Resort & Casino on Friday, Sept. 30. Take a gander.
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Chrome Sparks Courtesy of Landon Speers
Landon Speers

EVENT HORIZON (Friday, Sep 30)

Desert Sound

Chrome Sparks • electronic, indie pop

By Joshua Lee
So Chrome Sparks apparently has a few hours open in his schedule to visit ABQ—somewhere in between juggling his gajillion other projects and fulfilling his role as busiest spacey electro-pop composer on the planet. New Mexico seems like the perfect place for those wide-open, expansive tunes of his. Maybe someone can talk him into posting up in the middle of the desert next time. Sound carries further at night and can have a a really spooky resonance. Just saying. This Friday, Sept. 30, he'll be wowing the pants off of us at Sister Bar (which is indoors, unfortunately) starting at 9pm. Wear your clean undies.
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EVENT HORIZON (Monday, Oct 3)

Two i's Are Better Than One

Miike Snow • indie, electro-pop

By Monica Schmitt
"I change shapes just to hide in this place, but I'm sure not going to hide from this concert." Ladies and gents, I am happy to report that Miike Snow, the Swedish electro-pop band of your dreams, will be performing at our very own Historic El Rey Theater. Imagine Alt-J and Dan Black created a musically inclined love child. The result would be something like Miike Snow. If that's too foreign an analogy, you'll just have to listen for yourself at 7pm on Monday, Oct. 3. Tickets are just $25-$40 for all ages. The Mezzanine bar will be open for  folks 21+.
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EVENT HORIZON (Wednesday, Oct 5)

Tome-ate-o, Tom-ato

Andrew Jackson Jihad • folk-punk • Diners • surf, indie rock • Kepi Ghoulie • punk folk

By Peter Karlsen
Once upon a time, back in 2004, in the distant land of Arizona, there was born a folk-punk band by the name of Andrew Jackson Jihad. It was a mouthful, so they decided to go by the acronym AJJ. Then they decided to formally change their name to that. Soon they'll be at the Launchpad. People in this town like to shit on the folk-punkers, but fuck those jerks. I already bought a ticket to this Launchpad show and I bet I'll be buying band merch, too, at this kick-ass show starting at 8pm on Oct. 5.

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