Alibi V.14 No.15 • April 14-20, 2005 
Gwyneth Doland

Music to Your Ears

It's been a tough scene for our blues guys and gals ever since Club Rhythm & Blues closed its doors for good, taking one of the best open mics in town right along with them. But if there's a silver lining to be found here, it's that artists like Michael Holt are strengthening their own scene from the roots up. Holt and his Hollywood Holt Band host a new weekly open mic just for blues and R&B performers at Ned's Downtown. The Wednesday night showcase is a step up from traditional blues jams, with a nice stage, a full sound setup and professional live mixing. Holt says his motivation springs from when he first cut his blues teeth at open mics under the tutelage of Darin Goldston, front man of the Memphis P. Tails. “They say you've got to give it away if you want to keep it, and this is my way of giving it back.”

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Blue Note

Piano Man

By the time he'd reached the ripe old age of 23, Connecticut-bred pianist Kevin Hays had already toured for a year with the Harper Brothers, worked with Joshua Redman and Benny Golson to name but a few, and waxed his first record as a leader, El Matador (Evidence). Considering that most of us spend the period of our "professional" lives between college graduation and the age of 25 spinning in the wind, Hays' comparative beeline toward the pinnacle of post-bop piano craft stands as an even more miraculous feat. And just wait until you hear him play.

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Music Magnified

The Slow Signal Fade

Wednesday, April 20; UNM Sub Mall (all ages, noon): The Slow Signal Fade's exotic and dark vocals are what make them stand out from the pack. The Los Angeles-based group formed in 2002 and in a short amount of time have managed to craft a polished sound and, from what I've heard, a stellar stage performance.

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Music Magnified

Dead Meadow

with Jennifer Gentle, The Outcrowd and Jealous Gods

Wednesday, April 20; Launchpad, 21 and over, 10 p.m.)

Paisley's not dead, it's just discreetly tucked under jackets. This isn't your childhood paisley (Prince) or your dad's (Blues Magoos), but a night of four distinctly different takes on modern psychedelic music.

Dead Meadow is cold funk, a grim and smoky version of the psychedelic experience 20 minutes before it turned narcotic. The flowers aren't still in anyone's hair at this point, although they're just as colorful in the mind.

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Sonic Reducer

Brooke Valentine Chain Letter (Virgin)

She's only 19 and she's co-written her debut CD, Chain Letter. About half of the CD sounds like any number of female R&B/pop artists on the market, but Valentine takes a few risks and rises above the countless others with some mesmerizing and distinguishing hits. Songs like "I Want U Dead" and "Blah Blah Blah" have distinctive beats, while the music is hauntingly aggressive, not blatant slap-you-in-the-face hip hop. And Valentine seems even stronger when accompanied by rappers such as the late Dirt McGirt, Lil' Jon, Big Boi and others. Valentine threads her way from lust to love to hate, and leaves a trail of men battered and beaten behind.

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EVENT HORIZON ()

Fleece Navidad

Ugly Sweater Party • DJ Young Native • electronica, hip-hop

Don your finest ugly holiday sweater, or show up ready to purchase one this Thursday, Dec. 21, at Marble's Westside Tap Room. There are very few times during the calendar year where we can reasonably embrace bells, snowmen, glitter and bows on our clothing. Don't miss out on the Ugly Sweater Party of all things tacky—it's as easy as showing up at the bar off Unser anytime after 7pm. DJ Young Native will be playing all your favorite `80s and holiday tunes, and the whole shebang is free.
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Courtesy 1990s rave archives, 6AM Group

EVENT HORIZON ()

I scratched 'til I Bled

I Love the 90's • dance party

I love the '90s. Well, not as much as I love the '80s. Then there's the '70s to reckon with. I sorta remember the '60s, those were pretty exciting too, especially the end bits, after the summer of love, yo. But, if you're like me, music of the '90s is totally worth listening to over and over, particularly the grand cultural treasure trove of tuneage that came into being after the elfin guitar god from the north woods passed into enternity in April 1994. The music that was made to dance to back then, guess what? You can still dance to it; the stuff's been miraculously preserved in some kinda digital medium and you can shake you booty to exactly that on the evening Friday, Dec. 22. Prepare yourself for an aural onslaught featuring the likes of Tone-Loc, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and Vanilla Ice. They'll all be righteously represented at the I Love the '90s Video Music Dance Party happening Downtown at the Sunshine Theater, so dig out some Funky Cold Medina and leave your cell phone at home (because, they didn't like really have those until1998, amirite?) for a night of reflection on what the past 27 years have wrought. $10 for entry and 18+ to dance, 21+ to drink and dance.
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Photo on VisualHunt / Public Domain Dedication
, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

EVENT HORIZON ()

Mix it up a little

MIXXD • Ana M • house, g-house, tech house, techno, UK garage, minimal • BadCats

MIXXD is a loosely organized yet totally groovy collective of electro-wizards, multiverse mixers and tuned-in turntableists. They occasionally get together in Albuquerque clubs in order to toss glittery music dust, cray incantations and heady, extravehicular space explorations via vinyl and tape into a world that absolutely needs rhythm in order to survive the mundane purity of everyday life. This iteration of a trance and/or dance inducing solution to your holiday tribulations, a bright bauble of a thing called NM LOVE MIX WINTER is available for consumption on Saturday, Dec. 23, and features the following DJs: BadCat (Jennifer Highfield Castro), Ana M (Ana Martinez), Liminal Spaces (Máté Fischer) and H.P. Dubcraft (Hank Padilla) at Sister. Being there will mean giving in to your highest holiday hankerings, so what the heck, live a little! Free before 10pm, $5 after 10pm. 21+.
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