Who Says There's Nothing to Do in Rio Rancho?—Well, pretty much everyone. Especially the people who actually live there. Of course, there's Slate Street Billiards and Sports Bar and the shiny new sportsplex, which both make Rio Rancho a happening place for ... sports spectatorship. But as far as live music goes, you're on your own.
Howard Alden, Eddie Daniels, Doug Lawrence and more combine for a multimedia send-off
By Mel Minter
The jazz community was stunned to learn of the unexpected demise of clarinetist Kenny Davern, born John Kenneth O’Davorin, who died of a heart attack on Dec. 12, 2006, at the age of 71. This Sunday, that community is coming together to celebrate the life of a man whom drummer John Trentacosta, one of the event’s organizers, calls “a true master.”
Over her decade-long career in music, 28-year-old singer/songwriter Erin McKeown has earned distinction for her wryly upbeat lyrics and a vocal style that isn’t as much about virtuosity as it is honesty. But, ironically, McKeown’s originality shines through best on her newest album, Sing You Sinners, which offers up 13 tracks of music standards from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s.
Mercy showcases a band that has matured into their definite sound, but it’s a sound that is undeniably a conglomerate of hundred influences and emotions slithering into one amorphous shape. PMFS are like a long shot of a thousand random lost airwaves churning into coherence, equal parts The Melvins, Jesus Lizard and maybe even a tad of Pink Floyd. The rock and roll aspect is the most predominant, with bursts that fly across the board yet coherently flow. Honestly, there isn’t a bad track on this record and I curse myself for not giving them a whirl sooner.
Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house
By August March
Remember the thing called Witch House? How about darkwave? The constant bifurcation of artistic paths in the field of electronic music can be damnably confusing and irritating, as well as rewarding and helluva lot of fun too—as long as you pick the right band. When adherents of these sorts of genres aren't busy sorting their rainbow-colored toe socks and looking for tubes of Vick's Vaporub to snatch up at the local Walmart, then it's a pretty fair bet that they are listening to the likes of Crystal Castles, a duo of Canuck electro-arhats who've made their mark in the music world with a febrile and spooky glitchiness that has outlasted any names critics might apply in favor of an honestly, intimidatingly pure exploration of sounds that make humans dance and rejoice as they swirl around the very noisy and icy maelstrom of life and death. Ethan Kath and Edith Frances, AKA Crystal Castles, perform live in Burque on Thursday, Oct. 19. Viewed as an opportunity to joyfully and ferociously embrace the void, this ought to be a damn good show, but don't blame me if you can't remember your name afterwards.
Here's a brief on a band with three names, but unlike Eliot's bunch, these dudes are not a coterie of cats. At home across the pond, they're known as the Beat. In the land down under, kindly refer to them as the British Beat. Here in 'Merica, we call them the English Beat. But no matter what you call them, this estimable ensemble that still includes founder and guitarist Dave Wakeling—but not vocalist Ranking Roger—was partially responsible for the upsurge in popularity that two-tone ska saw on both sides of the Atlantic during the '80s and '90s. With a retinue of classic, upbeat jams like “Monkey Murders,” “Spar Wid Me” and “Save It for Later”, the band's touring the states again, impressing OG ska lovers as well as the next generation of horn-crazy youth with their combination of crazy stage antics and terrific tuneage. You can catch the outfit live here the the Duke City on Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Historic El Rey Theatre, but don't worry you don't need checkerboard pants or a smart little hat to enjoy this gig—just make sure those great big feet of yours are rested and ready to dance.