Mark Friday, June 26, on your calendars as the night Stoic Frame return from the wilds of Los Angeles for an increasingly rare “hometown” show at the Launchpad with Concepto Tambor, Tabula Rasa and simple. The rock begins at 9 p.m., and if you're under 21—as is often the case in el Burque—you're shit out of luck. ... Which brings me to my next item: I saw quite a bit of killer local music last Friday night at, of all places, the Mountainside YMCA. Being back at the place where I learned to swim to see a rock show titled “Band-It Together” started out on the surreal side, but I was quickly distracted by some damn fine young bands, especially the emo-minded One For Hope, who possess more depth than most bands twice their age and are polished enough to get signed tomorrow. And they don't even realize it. Someday, Whatsoever and, of course, Unit 7 Drain, all gave outstanding performances as well. Kudos to Jordy Gailard, Jade Wright and all of the other teenage YMCA organizers for putting together a great local music event, and to the folks at Music Go Round for providing backline free of charge. ... Sausage Hang (pictured above) will provide live, play-by-play coverage of the Fourth Annual Star Tattoo Party at Elliot's in Corrales on Sunday night, June 27. Bands on-hand include New Weapons, Church Camp, Black Maria and at least one other to be announced. Beware of Joe Anderson.
Though many, shall we say less-than-intelligent, Americans cannot or refuse to see the advantage of using the sun as a source of energy in lieu of sources that produce pollution, some New Mexicans can and do. Since the '70s, residents of Taos, N.M., (a.k.a. the “Solar Capital of the World”), have been putting the giant, burning ball in the sky to work in their homes, businesses and community.
Apparently, God has a record deal. Israeli Hewbrew teacher Uri Harel has taken a page from Michael Drosnin's book, The Bible Codes, and come up with a formula by which he assigns each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet to a musical note, then “composes” boring classical-based pieces of music to select Psalms and chapters of Exodus supposedly according to the naturally occuring patterns of letters in the Hebrew Bible. If the result is what music sounds like in Heaven, I'd rather burn in Hell. Thanks for the jewel case.
Tuesday, June 29-Friday, July 2; Various Albuquerque Public Library Locations (all ages, 11 a.m., see below for times and branch locations): It's summer. School's out. And by now, your kids are likely driving you up the wall. When was the last time you took them to a public library? And when was the last time you took them there not just to check out books, but to check out some great children's music as well? If you're sick of hearing junior repeat the “Barney Theme” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” over and over again, children's music maestro extraordinaire (and University of New Mexico grad) Jim Cosgrove could save your life.
Thursday, July 1; Former Dinosaur Jr. leader and indie rock guitar wizard J Mascis is giving his ears—and ours—a break this tour. Instead of bringing Mike Watt and four full Marshall stacks to the Launchpad stage and playing so freaking loud some people actually get nauseated, he's playing all by his lonesome. Having seen little bits and pieces of Mascis' solo act previously in Austin, I can say with confidence that just because he's playing acoustic guitar, you shouldn't immediately assume he's not going to rock. In fact, with the help of a distortion pedal and various other effects, you won't really be able to tell the difference at times between Mascis' hollowbodied instrument from an electric guitar.
While his hippie-trip sets certainly have that singer-songwriter air to them, there's something rebellious and (gasp!) alternative about just knowing that it's J Mascis up there, still giving it up for the people in his own, uncompromising way.
Friday, June 25; The Paramount (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 9 p.m.): Co-founded by Molly Sturges (vocals, accordion) and Chris Jonas (saxophones), Bing is essentially a groove collective, borrowing rhythmic and melodic components from a host of musical genres and using them to create transient soundscapes that are as reliant on improvisation as they are on carefully calculated unison passages and solo figures. Add to that soulful vocals from Sturges and the musical contributions of Mark Weaver (trombone, tuba), Tim Gagan (guitars), Nina Hart (bass) and Dave Wayne (drums, percussion), and you've got yourself some pretty mind-bending dance music.
Nels Andrews' most recent release finds him fronting El Paso Eyepatch, his live band that features multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Richards. Like Crazy Horse, EPE can be incendiary and legendarily powerful when it comes to extended jamming and/or solo sections that swell and recede in ocean-like waves of sonic resolve. But the 'Patch's work on this batch of Andrews' songs is more restrained for the most part, showing yet another side of this fine collective of talent and passion. Andrews' melodic structures recall Lyle Lovett, while he's vocally on-par with guys like Josh Ritter. Nice!