The abundance (and variety) of musical talent that Albuquerque has to offer never ceases to amaze me. When I first moved here from the Philadelphia area, I couldn't believe how many local bands there were. What's more, I couldn't believe how many good local bands there were. Sometimes Albuquerque feels like a mini-Seattle or Little Austin; and it's just a matter of time before our favorite local bands are swept up to some other place for bigger and more profitable things. Don't we miss the days when bands like The Shins, Stoic Frame or Eric McFadden (to name a few) played here every weekend? Sure we do. But let's dry our eyes and look to the future. This Saturday, three of Albuquerque's hottest homegrown talents will take to the Launchpad stage for a night of pure local magic.
Call him Transformer Man. It's not very likely that Neil Young had Austin-transplant Guy Forsyth in mind when he wrote the song of the same title, but hey—if the sentiment fits. ...
Saturday, May 21; Winning Coffee Co. (all-ages): As what has to be the unlikeliest of new rock venues, coffee shop/Sunday morning hangover hangout Winning has stepped up to the plate as an all-ages rock 'n' roll space. This is ever-more important in light of Mayor Marty's latest assault on teen fun. Last weekend, Winning hosted the Dirty Novels. This week, it's a Unit 7 Drain CD release show, supported by the punk rockers that renewed my faith in punk rock, Romeo Goes To Hell, as well as Goodbye Cody and Someday. Start time is slated for the most un-rocklike time of 7 p.m. Unit 7 Drain leaves trails of CDs in their wake the way you or I leave crumpled Frontier breakfast burrito wrappers. Their recordings shine and their live shows are brilliant, so you can't go wrong with either; or, as is the case here, both. The music is updated alternative rock with heart-rending melodies and ache-of-the-soul lyrics that leave you wuth contented melancholy. It ought to be noted that this all-ages show is The Unit's gift to their small-ages fans who couldn't attend last weekend's over-21 CD-release bash. Aww, how sweet..! Anyway, what else can you do that promises to be as much fun and allows you to get home at an early hour? That is, unless you're too amped by the music you just heard to even think of sleep. Or maybe it's just all that java you sucked down during the show.
QOTSA's newest album, Lullabies to Paralyze, necessarily begs comparison to their preceding mainstream darling, Songs for the Deaf. Yet while the subtraction of Grohl, Oliveri, and, for the most part, Lanegan, does account for a shift in the band's sound, this is still the rock of Gibraltar. Passionate, intense and skilled instrumentation, along with Joshua Homme's lush vocals, coupled with guest appearances by Billy Gibbons, Shirley Manson and Brodie Dahl make this album worth its weight in indie-rock gold. This is gorgeous, heavy, diverse and unrelenting rock 'n' roll.