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 V.16 No.50 | December 13 - 19, 2007 

Music to Your Ears

Fat Ladies in Helmets

Peter Gelb has transformed New York's Metropolitan Opera since becoming general manager in the summer of 2006. His goal is broadening the opera house's audience, trimming down opera's overstuffed pomp and replacing it with populist circumstance. Basically, he wants regular people like us to enjoy opera again.

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Leah Black is amped about unplugging.

On the Scene

Leah Black and Friends

Acoustic jams from electric performers

As someone whose music is sometimes not taken seriously because of her day job, it makes sense that 93.3 KOB FM DJ Leah Black wants people's hidden talents to shine. Black has gathered up four musicians who made names for themselves with amplified guitars and asked them to strip it down for an evening. From her experiences in her rock/soul pop band, Black has seen the highs and lows of being an acoustic performer, who thrives on the vulnerability of being without electricity. Black talked to the Alibi about being naked on stage.

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Greg Ruggiero and his guitar

Jazzed

Greg Ruggiero’s Balance

Albuquerque native returns to celebrate release of new CD

Warm and liquid, the music of jazz guitarist Greg Ruggiero slides into the ear so easily, you don’t notice until it’s already had its way with you. The first signs include a slowing of the breath, a relaxed attentiveness and a heightened awareness of one’s blessings.

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Flyer on the Wall

Let It Show

So the weather outside is frightful? Caustic Lye, Mechanism of Eve, Someday and Scarless are delightful this Sunday at the Launchpad. $7 (all-ages), $5 (21+). (LM)

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Thanks for the Jewel Case

Down With Christmas

A selection of the Christmas albums we received this year, all of which fill us with urges to stab each other with sharpened candy canes

Michael Bolton A Swingin' Christmas (Concord Records)

Whether you're having problems with money, family, food, Jesus or Christmas in general, those minor issues will all be eclipsed if you happen upon this agonizing Michael Bolton album. Not only are these songs awful, they're crooned by one of the most horrid musical demons of our time. This Christmas, your troubles are of a Michael Bolton nature. (JCC)

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Sonic Reducer

Rat Wakes Red Energy Garage · Gray Beast The Album That Killed Its Parents · Various Artists Tango Around The World

If a band releases an EP slightly longer than a commercial break, each song had better be pretty spectacular. Unfortunately, indie-pop group Rat Wakes Red only hits it out of the park once in four tries. The title track is a murky, slow but satisfying folk tune that thrives on layered melodies and graceful melancholy. The other three lack the refinements of Energy Garage and come off as whiney, ho-hum attempts at catchy alt.pop. It's worth a trip to the iTunes store to grab the record's one success, but anything further is ill-advised. (SM)

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Chevelle
Courtesy Epic Records

EVENT HORIZON (Tuesday, Jan 24)

Not Just Red

Chevelle • alternative • Black Map • Dinosaur Pile-Up • rock

Chevelle, an indie band from the Midwest, portrays their hard sound—expressed with exasperated vocals, a muscular rhythms and chunky guitar riffs that repeatedly drift off into tangential melodies—as an artful thing, comparable to '90s peers like Tool…
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Courtesy of Mono/Poly Facebook Page

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Jan 26)

Open Your Lungs, Wash Your Countenance, Exercise Your Eyes and Soften Your Temper

Mono/Poly • electronic, experimental, alternative hip hop, glitch • Tsuruda • trap, grime, dubstep • 1960sfe • chill wave

Charles E. Dickerson, aka, Mono/Poly will be breaking down beats hard at Sister Bar, on Thursday, Jan. 26. Mono/Poly is known for adroit techniques playing everything from ambient break beats to glitch hip-hop. He's has worked with Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, and has tracks set to be released with Erykah Badu, Kali Uchis and Kamasi Washington—just by that short significant list, you can tell he's fucking superb at what he does. Joining Mono/Poly will be Tsuruda, who excellently blends trap, hip-hop and house sounds, as well as local heavyweight DJ, 1960sfe (formerly known as 1960 Sci Fi Era), who creates beautiful chill wave beats. The 21+ show begins at 9pm and is $8.
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Squash Blossom Boys
Photo by Wes Naman

EVENT HORIZON (Friday, Jan 27)

Go Like the River

Silver String Band • Americana, blues • Squash Blossom Boys • bluegrass, folk

The Albuquerque Folk Festival has ebbed and flowed over the years, presumably in a fashion similar to the mythically winding rivers often rhapsodized about in American folk lore, literature and music. The ascension of the late, great Gary Libman to the presidency of the festival's board of directors provided structure and growth that has practically guaranteed the source of all the good ole music will never run dry. Still, given the economic realities in our great nation and the costs of producing such a successful regional music fest, a benefit concert is often in order, to keep things flowing, as it were. With that metaphor in mind, check out the concert featuring two of Burque's authentic Americana units, the Silver String Band and The Squash Blossom Boys when they perform on Friday, Jan. 27. A portion of the proceeds from this 21+ holy hootenanny beginning at 9pm will benefit the festival before it's 2017 iteration comes around on June 3, 2017. Tickets are $5.  
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