Jul 8 - 14, 2004 
Jason & The Argonauts; apppearing Friday, July 9, at Atomic Cantina with Pistols at Dawn and special guests.

Music to Your Ears

By Michael Henningsen

Two R.I.P.s begin this week's column. After decades in business—I can't say exactly how many years because the phone has already been disconnected—Midnight Rodeo closed its doors for good last Tuesday. Word on the street is that ownership simply grew tired of the nightclub business and retired. Who could blame them? More than just a country bar in the Heights, Midnight Rodeo played host to just about every '80s metal washout band I can think of, and was also home to Gotham, the dance club for folks with a closet full of black clothing and a penchant for the occasional wet T-shirt contest. Midnight Rodeo's was a niche that isn't easily replaced. ... Nonsequitur, the organization that for many years has presented some of the finest quality experimental music in the Southwest has, sadly, ceased to exist in New Mexico. Nonsequitur's driving force, Steve Peters, has moved to Seattle, Wash. where he's taken a job as Arts Program Manager at Jack Straw Productions. Peters will continue to present Nonsequitur events in Seattle, and those interested in keeping tabs can e-mail him at nonseq@drizzle.com to remain on the listserve. ... Singer-songwriter and former Albuquerque resident Jason Riggs will be back in town for the first time in many moons on Saturday, July 10, for a CD release concert at Winning's Coffee at 8 p.m. The CD, titled Pawn Shop Special, contains a track or two locals might recognize from Riggs' debut released back in the Dingo days, but it's full of new material that's quite refreshing. Visit www.jasonriggs.com to get a copy of the new record or pick one up at the show.

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Hit & Run Bluegrass Band

Blue Note

By Michael Henningsen

Wildlife West Bluegrass 2004

Featuring Cadillac Sky, the Hit & Run Bluegrass Band and Higher Ground

Wildlife West's annual bluegrass shindig is, in my opinion, one of the best live music gatherings in New Mexico. This year, a traditional chuckwagon supper will be served on Saturday evening, July 10, at 7 p.m., followed by Colorado-based group, Hit & Run Bluegrass, winners at Rockygrass in 2002 and Telluride in 2003. Hailed as one of the finest up-and-coming bluegrass bands in America, Hit & Run keep a tight grip on traditional bluegrass, which is not to be confused with the jam-infused stuff that tends more toward the Dead than dead banjo pickers. Their debut album, Beauty Fades, should do much to help listeners make the distinction.

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MC5

Music Magnified

DKT/MC5

with Suffrajett and The Dirty Novels

By Michael Henningsen

Saturday, July 10; Launchpad (21 and over, 9p.m.): Sadly, it's only now—now that bands like the White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Darkness, etc. are flavors of the month—that Detroit's most influential rock band are getting their just desserts. Together just three years, their hellfire and brimstone mixture of blue collar rock, Motown and avant garde jazz left an indelible mark on American music that echoes today through the amplifiers of just about every band in existence that can justly have “garage” tagged to their name.

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Ellipsis

Music Magnified

Ellipsis

By Michael Henningsen

Most of them are barely old enough to be hanging out in bars, but the members of Ellipsis come across like ultra-seasoned veterans of that golden age of rock that predates the emergence of shitheads like Fred Durst. And while there's certainly a “jam” element at work on Ellipsis' new record, But a Breath, there are a wide variety of influences apparent that prevent the whole affair from disintegrating into meaningless extended solos or monstrously complex time signature shifts just for the sake of them.

Ellipsis' lyrics tend to be a little wonky, not exactly melody-friendly in some cases, which can get annoying in huge doses, but most all can be forgiven in light of the abundance of edgy, precise playing. Think Jane's Addiction-meet-Gov't Mule.

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Music Magnified

Concert for the Grand Canyon

featuring Bill Oliver and Peter Neils

By Michael Henningsen

Wednesday, July 14; Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice (212 Harvard SE, all ages, 7 p.m.): Damn that Glen Canyon dam! Since the 1963 completion of this giant concrete plug just upstream of the Grand Canyon, four of the eight fish species native to the Colorado River have become extinct, while two others are struggling for survival. And that's just the beginning. Both the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River that carved it are very different from their relatively pristine states of just 39 years ago. Living Rivers, a Utah-based organization, hopes to bring attention to the plight of the delicate ecosystem we've managed to virtually destroy—just as Teddy Roosevelt predicted 100 years ago—in the hope of turning back the clock to the degree that some of what's been lost can be restored.

Join Living Rivers, Austin folksinger Bill Oliver and Burque's own Peter Neils at the annual Concert for the Grand Canyon. A donation of $8 is requested, and all proceeds will directly benefit Living Rivers and their efforts to reclaim the Grand Canyon wilderness.

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Music Magnified

Cephalic Carnage

with Victimas, Noisear and Nekronemisis

By Michael Henningsen

Friday, July 9; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Forget John Denver, John Elway aspen trees and all that “Rocky Mountain High” crap. Denver's finest export, in my opinion, will always be Cephalic Carnage. Their new record, Lucid Interval, will prove unlistenable even to some of the most dedicated grind fans with its hellish mixture of jazz stylings and death metal, but those who are still able to open their THC-bound eyelids wide enough to see the future of grindcore will rejoice and perhaps even leave their beanbag chairs in jubilation. The Mahavishnu Orchestra have nothing on these guys, who careen from 4/4 blastbeats to 7/8 segues with the precision of brain surgeons. If extreme is what you ’re looking for, look no further. And you don't have to be 21 to enjoy this pummelling.

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Sonic Reducer

By Michael Henningsen

simple. In Perfect Disarray (self-released)

Statement of disclosure: simple. bassist Joe Anderson is my best friend. That said, I find the band's debut entirely inoffensive, although not as awe-inspiring as I expected from such a dynamic live act. Production is incredibly crisp and precise, and Stacy Parrish and Dan Prevett provide some of the best textural guitar playing I've heard recently. Likewise, the rhythm section is spot-on. Parrish's lyrics and vocal style have always struck me as just a little too precious, but he meshes both respectably here, particularly on the tunes co-written by the rest of his bandmates.

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Spotlight

By Michael Henningsen

Beastie Boys To the 5 Boroughs (Capitol)

Frankly, the last two things I want from a Beastie Boys record are political proselytization and "Up with People"-style inspirational messages about everyone just getting along, working together and all that other utopian bullshit that's nice to think about, but about as removed from the reality of our current world-state as is possible. And, lyrically speaking, the Beastie's first new album in six years, disappointingly offers those two components and not much else, with the exception of an abundance of awkward "motherfucker" shoutouts and other out-of-place language that earned To the 5 Boroughs its parental advisory sticker.

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