Music to Your Ears
Funkmeister and reportedly rehabilitated misogynist/crackhead Rick James died last Friday, Aug. 6, at his California home of what were still being called at press time, “natural causes.” Given the 56-year-old's history of drug abuse and fast living, however, the likelihood of the coroner's report not undergoing any revisions before all is said and done seems pretty slim. So as not to sound like a completely insensitive asshole, James' 1981 hit “Super Freak” is my favorite song to perform at bowling alley karaoke. ... The bad news is that Santa Fe's premier bluegrass trio, Mary & Mars have broken up. The good news is that former M&M mandolinist/vocalist Sharon Gilchrist will appear Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Adobe Bar in the Taos Inn with Chipper Thompson from 7 to 10 p.m. as part of Zoukfest 2004. Call (505) 751-3512 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. ... With the recent demise of several local clubs, it warms my ever-blackening heart to report news of a new club slated to open in Burque next month geared especially for the under-21 set. The Light Club (2518 Eubank NE) is scheduled to open Saturday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., and the third Saturday of every month thereafter. The drug- and alcohol-free club will feature live DJs, exceptional laser and light shows, an Internet café, video arcade featuring Xbox, Playstation 2 and GameCube play and plenty of food, snacks, soft drinks and coffee. Opening night DJs include Santa Fe's Flobug spinning techno and electro, along with Albuquerque DJs Sebastian (hard techno) and Bowra (tech trance). For more details, contact DJ Lorraine at 298-5636.
A Monk's Dream
Thelonious Monk Monk 'Round the World (Hyena/Monk)
Just less than a year ago, legendary jazz producer Joel Dorn joined forces with T.S. Monk, the only son of peerless pianist Thelonious Monk, to embark on an incredible and most satisfying journey: to present to the public—for the first time in most cases—“lost,” out-of-print and otherwise unheralded recordings featuring the elder Monk, including bootlegs and other intimacies. Their first release together was Monk in Paris: Live at the Olympia, a wondrous single-strand concert affair.
with Il Niño
Wednesday, Aug. 18; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): Prophecy is not my favorite Soulfly album, but no one can deny that Max Cavalera continues to push the boundaries of metal as hard and as relentlessly as any other artist in the game. Cavalera, who established himself as a powerful musical force with Sepultura before creating Soulfly, is an expert in harnessing the spiritual thunder of tribal music and Latin influences, and shackling them to knee-weakening metal arrangements. The results are complex—classic thrash giving way to hardcore, tinged with everything from flamenco and Moroccan aesthetics to, in the case of Prophecy, Serbian folk music. But regardless of the different sounds he chooses to use in a given song, Cavalera always makes a point of pouring down your throat in molten form. You always know what you're going to get from Soulfly—stunning unpredictability.
with The Bellmont and Tanuki
Sunday, Aug. 15; Atomic Cantina (21 and over, 9 p.m.): Not to be confused with Philly-based alt.rockers Graze, The Graze is Seattle songwriter and Rosyvelt member Louis O'Callaghan's solo project. His debut, Iowa Anvil (J-shirt Records) is one of the most promising indie rock releases since Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and one of the most inspired since Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Whether or not O'Callaghan will make his Albuquerque appearance with a band in-tow (as on the record) or as a lone gunman isn't made clear by the press release, but it's not of much consequence, either. O'Callaghan's songs speak for themselves and are likely to send chills crawling up your spine regardless of personnel or instrumentation. Between the Nirvana-like smolder of his melodies and Modest Mouse-like guitar figures, O'Callaghan—who counts among his influences The Shins—is primed to pick up right where Elliott Smith left off.
David Byrne Grown Backwards (Nonesuch)
For a record that's being roundly heralded as his most brilliant work yet, David Byrne sounds, well, supremely bored on Grown Backwards. Even more string-heavy than Look Into the Eyeball, there are some gorgeous moments here and the sort of genius-level lyricism we've come to expect. The problem is his handling of the material. Instead of inspired-if-morose delivery a la Magnetic Fields' Stephen Merritt, we're left with a sort of “Hmm, maybe I'll record something today ... after morning tea” tone that, with a few notable exceptions (“Dialog Box,” “Tiny Apocalypse”), does little to convince us to keep listening to him.