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 May 26 - Jun 1, 2005 

Music to Your Ears

Honky Tonk Hero

By Michael Henningsen

Anyone hoping for an in-depth page-turner of Texas country legend Billy Joe Shaver be warned: you're not going to find it here. Considering the life Shaver has led, the accomplishments he's achieved through raw perseverance, deep-seated faith and good ol' West Texas gumption, Honky Tonk Hero's 191 pages seems a paltry sum. Only 72 of those pages, however, contain any narrative, while the rest are dedicated to reprints of all Shaver's song lyrics.

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Blue Note

Billy Joe Shaver

By Michael Henningsen

Waco-born, Corsicana-raised Billy Joe Shaver is the quintessential unsung hero of American music; a sorely overlooked contributor to its formidable canon. Even though artists from Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe to Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers have enjoyed success on the coattails of the songs he began writing some four decades ago, Shaver remains on the periphery. In 1993, his luck began to change with the release of his first solo foray in several years, Tramp On Your Street (Zoo). The release two years later of Unshaven: Shaver Live at Smith's Olde Bar (Zoo) very nearly catapulted him to the forefront of country music, Texas-style. But, arguably, it was the stunning guitar work of his only son Eddy that made the elder Shaver remarkable to the ears of listeners, despite the fact that his gritty songwriting over the past 50 years or so makes him eligible for any Hall of Fame in existence.

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Music Magnified

Stereo Total

By Laura Marrich

Monday, May 30; The Launchpad (21 and older): Combining equal parts French chanson, German electro-pop and good old American trash rock, Stereo Total is the most beguiling musical duo to rocket out of Europe in the last decade. Frontwoman Françoise Cactus bangs away on her drum set, singing everything from Serge Gainsbourg ballads to old school cheese balls like "Push It Real Good" with the brazen enthusiasm (and at times, fragility) of an eight-year old girl. Brezel Güring also does double-duty as a keyboardist and crooner, exhaling German-swathed lyrics as languidly as smoke pulled from a Gaulois cigarette. You might find yourself lighting up, too. Now touring in support of their seventh album, Do the Bambi, the Euro-trash wonder twins are taking American audiences to dizzying new heights of pop mulitilingualism. And, thanks to the support of Downtown's Mecca Records, we'll be one of the lucky ones to hear them live. Oh, how the accents will fly!

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Sonic Reducer

By W.P. Malandra

Spanish for 100 Metric (SPF)

Here's a band who loves straight-ahead rock tunes as much as their effects pedals. Spaced out music and melodies float around the standard rock progression to create a pleasant and easily digestable sound. Think Cave-In doing a bunch of Wilco covers. The last track was recorded live at the Crocodile in Seattle, and it shows Spanish for 100's music translates a lot better live than in the studio. "Metric" is a decent attempt, but they could benefit enormously from a bigger studio budget and a better producer.

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48th & Pixel, Phoenix

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Shake, Shimmy and Support Sexy Stripping

Mayo Lua de Frenchie's Golden Legends Variety Show • burlesque, comedy

By Rini Grammer
Tap your way over to the local Downtown tavern Sister this Sunday, July 30, to support Albuquerque's very own nationally renowned burlesque dancer, Mayo Lua de Frenchie. For just $10 (and tips for the performers!), you can watch the best of the best local entertainers perform in Mayo Lua de Frenchie's Golden Legends Variety Show Fundraiser to support of Frenchie, who is a top contender for the Golden Legends Champion Challenge. Come for the sideshows, stay for the stripping … and comedians, live music, dancing, drag and more!
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Looney for Rooney

Rooney • indie • Run River North • folk rock

By Adam Wood
There is a striking absence of good rock music on the airwaves today. We have passed the glory days when kids and adults alike bonded over a couple of guitars and a drumset, as new heads try their hand at the more accessible sounds of electronic music and rap. There are those of us, however, who have not forgotten the thrill of playing air guitar and belting along to your favorite song. In his efforts to reaccess this primal energy, Robert Schwartzman—the mastermind behind the once-upon-a-time inescapable worm of a tune “Where Did Your Heart Go Missing”—has reformed his band Rooney. Armed with the upbeat verve of power pop and teeming with inspiration from British Invasion rock, Rooney will be bringing their revival efforts to Launchpad this Tuesday, Aug. 1. The opening performance at this 13+ show will be provided by the somehow simultaneously buoyant and melancholy indie jams of Run River North. The cost to share in the spirit and enthusiasm of revitalized musicians will be a mere $17, so don’t miss out!
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