Music to Your Ears
By Michael Henningsen
It's going to be one of those weeks. In addition to loads of live local music ongoing at the New Mexico State Fair (see last week's “State Fair Music Special” at www.alibi.com for the schedule), there is a plethora of live music opportunities in Burque clubs. A few highlights: The Ron Helman Jazz Ensemble will celebrate the release of their new CD on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Railyard in Santa Fe (530 South Guadalupe, 505-989-8363) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and the following night, Friday, Sept. 17, at Vanessie's (434 West San Francisco, 505-982-9966) in the City Different from 8 to 11 p.m. Reservations are recommended for both performances. ... As far as I'm concerned, there simply can't be too many anti-Bush gatherings between now and Election Day. And on Friday, Sept. 17, a fresh contingent of local bands will join together in fervent disapproval of America's moron-in-chief at an event called “Rock Against W” at historic El Rey Theater. Featuring performances by Church Camp, the Handsome Family, Foma, the Gingerbread Patriots, The Friendly, Rivet Gang, Boris McCutcheon, Bernadette Seacrest and her Yes Men, and Treble Hook, “Rock Against W” should be a memorable event even if the little shithead manages to get himself reselected. In addition to local music, Genesis for the Arts will present multimedia exhibits, Manifesto Films will present eye-popping 16 mm political reels and Judge Linda Vanzi and other local politicians and leaders will preach fire and brimstone against Bush II. The objective here is to register at least 200 new voters to help push regime change forward in the United States. All proceeds from the event—presumably in the form of donations since “Rock Against W” is a free show—will benefit The Media Fund and Musicofamerica.org. ... The very same night and two doors east at the Launchpad, Tabula Rasa will celebrate the release of their new CD with special guests Felonious Groove Foundation and Skinny Fat. ... The College of Santa Fe will present “World Music Day” on Saturday, Sept. 18, an all-day outdoor celebration of world music featuring instrument making demonstrations, instruments for sale, live performances (of course), food vendors and other activities (call 505-473-6196 for more information). ... Former Teenbeat recording artist Tracy Shedd brings her new record, Louder Than You Can Hear (Devil in the Woods) and rock band to the Atomic Cantina on Sunday, Sept. 19, with Badman artists and one of my current favorite slo-core bands, Ill Lit. ... This past spring, Dallas-based garage quartet Max Cady played at Atomic, and they're back on Monday, Sept. 20, this time touring on the enormous strength of their debut album, Tonight Alive (Sidearm), released just last month. In case you need a reminder, think Detroit's Supagroup-meets-the Motor City Madman. ... On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Denver's Plastic Parachute bring their Denver Westword Top Pop Band of 2004 Award-winning rock to Burt's. ... Rounding out the week are Bomp! recording artists The Coffin Lids at the Atomic with The Foxx and Elevator Division, and a free chamber music performance by violinist Willy Sucre & Friends (string quartet) at New Mexico Tech's Macey Center in Socorro at 7:30 p.m. ... Check our Naked City Club Calendar for even more live music haps.
By Michael Henningsen
Saturday, Sept. 18; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over, 9 p.m.): It's been two years since Seattle's premier feminist pop-punk band, Ms. Led, released their debut full-length, the incomparable Afternoon in Central Park (Fish the Cat), but it still sounds as fresh as the day it was brewed. Far removed from the whiny-ass, folk-inflected, spoken word-driven “plight of the woman” tomes that litter record store shelves, Afternoon in Central Park is all about fearsome feminism with, for lack of a better word, the “balls” to back it up.
with The James Douglas Show
By Michael Henningsen
Thursday, Sept. 23; Ned's Downtown (21 and over, 9:30 p.m.): Of the more than 100 original songs in his repertoire, Reed Easterwood, who performs under the moniker Junky Southern, sent me three to listen to. And that's all it took. Could there really be a better, more interesting combination than Roky Erickson's crazed, psychedelic irony and Flaming Lips-style pop irony? Add to that a roots rock twist, and you've got yourself a Junky Southern.
By Stephanie Garcia
Styx Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology (A & M Records)
Styx is theatrical rock at its greatest, similar to the complexity and intricacy of Yes and the theatrical melodies and harmonies of Queen. This anthology is the most complete of Styx greatest hits compilations featuring their early, more obscure works and some recent tunes. Styx was a power force in the glory days of front man Dennis De Young (admit, even “Mr. Roboto” was pretty damn cool for its time). Often times considered a guilty pleasure, Styx is a lot more intricate than modern bands that dominate the airwaves. Revisit the magic or experience it for the first time.
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—swords of righteous terror and beauty which melt the 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.
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 wowwing the pants off of us at Sister Bar (which is indoors, unfortunately) starting at 9pm. Wear your clean undies.
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 but sorry kids, only ages 21+ for this one.
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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Erika Wennerstrom • singer-