A big Alibi bear hug to everyone who came Downtown last weekend for Spring Crawl 2005! Local bands played to packed houses and crowds were enthusiastic without getting too obnoxious. I thought the addition of a third all-ages venue was a nice touch and a definite step in the right direction. Thanks to the bands, clubs and crawlers for all your support. We'll see you in the Fall! ... Congratulations to ex-Burqueños Stoic Frame for hitting number one on the national Spanish rock alternative charts. "Demonios del Asfalto" has enjoyed three weeks at the top, along with a video in heavy rotation on MTV Español, which was filmed right here in New Mexico. Request more airtime by e-mailing email@example.com. ... Dandee from Lousy Robot was nice enough to swing by the Alibi offices with the group's new CD, The Strange and True Story of Your Life. The first couple of listens already smack of classic Albuquerque indie pop—quirky, mid-tempo tunes flushed out by keyboards and catchy hooks. Songwriter/vocalist Jim Phillips stylistically conjures up Frank Black and Blondie, but with less caffeine and a whole lot more self-deprecation. The album was produced by John Dufilho of The Deathray Davies way down in Texas. All the more reason to order your copy today at www.cdbaby.com. ... A Hawk and a Hacksaw will debut their second album, Darkness at Noon (The Leaf Label) on April 30 at Sol Arts, 8 p.m. AHAAH is comprised of Jeremy Barnes(Neutral Milk Hotel) and Heather Trost (FOMA), and backed by the Rumble Trio. This is going to be one of those rare nights to catch another creative force from Albuquerque before they get hugely popular and move to Seattle. From the snippets of MP3s I've managed to piece together, Darkness at Noon feels like a slightly off-kilter ballet, or the wordless, crackling score to some strange and archaic French film. The arrangements are stormy and raw-to-the-nerve, with a percussive wash of twinkling bell tones. Spirals of tinny piano and klezmer-heavy accordion and violin make for an intense meditation on the past. It's all very Old World Jewish. If you can't secure a seat at this Friday's show, at least check out their website (www.ahawkandahacksaw.co.uk). It's like a wine-soaked fin de siecle arcade, complete with screeching electronic whirligigs and an interactive gallery of "tumescent bulbs." Fabulous!
Monday, May 2; Launchpad (21 and over): Part of me wants to believe Outrageous Cherry was the only modern band Hunter S. Thompson would let into his CD collection. The same part of me wants to hack into Clear Channel's "oldies" database and add Outrageous Cherry's Wide Awake In the Spirit World to it, just to see if anyone would notice.
Dear Spoon, I fell in love with you when I heard 2000's Girls Can Tell, but lost the feeling with Kill The Moonlight. It's not that it was a bad album; it just wasn't the same Spoon that I thought I knew. Now that you've put out Gimme Fiction, with its pulsating and sometimes explosive percussion, cleverly orchestrated guitars and exquisite lyricism, I love you more than ever.
With all the variety of a big city but far less sonic schlock, Albuquerque's heavy rock community really shouldn't be taken for granted. Our outstanding metalcore scene is a great example. Engulfing the planet with frenetic aggression and emo-infused melodies, metalcore hits home with fans of punk, metal and everything between, and Albuquerque's Caustic Lye and Sincerely are two contenders ready for larger recognition. Both groups have adeptly morphed in recent years to take up the metalcore flag with pride and volume, and displayed command and confidence at their recent locals-only Launchpad pairing. Sincerely, who began as Destined To Fall, has come a long way. Several years of stylistic maturation saw the departure of three-fifths of the original band, but founding members Chris Chapman (guitar) and Josh Trujillo (drums) have secured the missing pieces. Rounded out with guitarist Dave Phillips, singer Gino Noriega and new bassist Eric Gerey (ex-Left Unsaid), Sincerely is a tight and relentless mix of soaring melodies and high-speed frenzy that perfectly defines why metalcore is a great outlet for teen (or older) angst. Caustic Lye has undergone similar lineup changes and stylistic shifts, most notably the addition of drummer/singer/co-writer Jeremy Ferguson, who joined with the caveat that frontman Jespah Torres start utilizing his full vocal range. It was a wise move, as the pair's pristine harmonies come off beautifully live, and offset the rawness of Caustic's angular, driving riffs. All in all, a chance to see just one of these bands is worth showing up for, and a night with both demolishing the stage should damn well not be missed.