with Spitalfield, Down to Earth Approach and The Forecast
By John Hult
Sunday, July 3; Launchpad (All-ages): You like synth-pop. Don't lie about it. Even if you were a teenager in the '80s (when the stuff was almost too popular to be hip), it's hard to deny that there is something singularly stellar about the material decade's signature sound. You like Tears for Fears. You like the Cars. You really like Depeche Mode. If this is true for you, Action Action should be your new favorite band. Spit in the wind these days and you'll hit some sort of revivalist, but Action Action is one of the few who actually get the feeling right and expand on it. Don't Cut Your Fabric to This Year's Fashion, their February debut, is great for a lot of reasons—dark songs so catchy you might never notice the darkness, for starters—but the production work stands out. William Wittman, Cyndi Lauper's exclusive producer, turned the nobs and gave guts and depth to songs a lesser producer would have turned into indie mush. Check out "Eighth-Grade Summer Romance" to hear what I mean. Wittman can't take credit for the songs, though. That goes to former Reunion Show vocalist and songwriter Mark Thomas Kluepfel, Action Action's prolific principal songwriter. He already brought his new band to Albuquerque once this year, opening for the All American Rejects at the Sunshine Theater. This time they get the fat time slot all to themselves, headlining Sunday at the Launchpad. Check it out and fill up your senses with all the plastic zen your '80s-loving ass can handle.
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Bassist Zimbabwe Nkenya won't tell me what kind of jazz he plays. He says most jazz categories are superficial, and that only two really exist: good and bad. This invalidates my need to define what he does with genre placement, but oh well—with my petite knowledge of the original American music, perhaps I would have only been confused if he'd told me his style was a fusion of avant-garde and hard bop (it's not). Besides, he doesn't really like the word "fusion" and neither do I.
Concepto Tambor Tour Kickoff Show
with Mystic Vision, One Foundation, La Junta and Zac Freeman
By Jenny Gamble
Friday, July 1; Launchpad (21 and over): What better place to launch a California tour than at the "official" Launchpad? Christian Orellana, Concepto Tambor's front man and last original member, promises a going away party that Albuquerque music fans will talk about long after their van pulls out of town. Concepto's third generation lineup is bigger and better than ever before, complete with high energy rhythms and sultry vocals. They round out their South American percussion style with traditional Spanish and English lyrics that invite even the most hard-pressed critic to get up and shake a cheek. But wait, there's more; a rocking roster of the best musicians our fair city has to offer: Mystic Vision, One Foundation, beat box enthusiast Zac Freeman and newcomers La Junta. This is it folks, after this performance, you won't see Concepto until fall, and a lineup like this is a rare and exceptional occasion.
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Teenage Fanclub Man-Made (Merge)
After 14 years and eight full-lengths, Glaswegians Teenage Fanclub give us Man-Made, which can be best described with the adjective most commonly applied to them: melodic. Perhaps it's the '60s pop song structures blended with the guitar tones, synthesizers and layering of '70s Big Star-esque rock. Or maybe it's the three-vocalist combination which creates an effect reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" (don't laugh, BOC rules). Whatever it is, Man-Made comes off with a beautiful and bittersweet, somewhat tragic feel which I recommend for long trips by road or plane, sitting alone by water and general introspection.
Dada Life Press Photo
Dada Life • electronic, house
By Joshua Lee
This is not a DJ duo from Sweden. Wait. No. Actually, it is. Sorry, I got carried away. Dada Life is one of the biggest DJ acts in the world. I don't really know what that entails, though, to be honest. It involves dancing, I think. And auto-tune. But I don't really care, because these guys are hilarious. Their logo is a champagne bottle flanked by two peeled bananas. They have press photos involving pastel suits and Sears family photo-style ambiguous cloudy backgrounds, and one showing member Stefan Engblom shoving an oversized piece of meat into member Olle Cornéer's straining face while giving words of encouragement. That's funny. And anyone that funny deserves a show of your support, which you will have a chance to display when they come to The Stage this Friday, Sept. 2 at 9pm. If you're over 21, get your ass down there and let these boys know how appreciative you are of their comic genius. Oh. And let them know you like their music (even if you're old and don't get it, like me).
Kid Dinosaur • indie rock • St. Petersburg • Cry Steve Cry • psychedelic, surf Americana • Sweet Nothin' • punk rock
By Desiree Garcia
Is a Burqeño actually a Burqeño if they don't support their local artists? If you're unsure, indie rock band Kid Dinosaur will be headlining a show at the Launchpad this Friday Sept. 2. Doors open at 8PM. It's a 21+ show, because what's a show without a liquid courage (just for dancing, though)? Tickets are only $5 . Performances will also include St. Petersburg, Cry Steve Cry and Sweet Nothin'
Courtesy of Watsky Instagram
Watsky • Witt Lowry • hip-hop • Daye Jack • rap • Chukwudi Hodge
By Renée Chavez
In search of rap that's about more than hoes and getting turnt at the club? Cruise over to Sunshine Theater on Saturday, Sept. 3, to experience WATSKY, Witt Lowry, Daye Jack and Chuckwudi Hodge. George Watsky is a spoken word artist, rapper, poet and author who has just released his fourth studio album, X Infinity, and let me tell ya, he's rad. Don't believe me? Check out his performance as Shakespeare in “Epic Rap Battles of History,” the flaming-hot “Whoa Whoa Whoa” from All You Can Do, or the fact that he won the Brave New Voices National Poetry Slam in 2006. He tackles complex issues like school shootings, politics, immigration, social media and the bizarreness of the modern human experience with wit and a badass beat. Tickets are $20 for general admission to this all-ages show and doors open at 7pm.
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