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 V.17 No.22 | May 29 - June 4, 2008 

Music to Your Ears

Worming Out the Early Birds

They're two to three times pricier than a show at the Sunshine, but don't let sticker shock keep you from experiencing New Mexico's independent music festivals. You can get passes to two of the best in the West at an attractive discount—but you've got to buy them within the next two weeks.

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Fallen Figure straps in on Thursday, May 29

Show Up!

Gathering of the Sick

More than 30 bands for hundreds of hungry metal-heads

You might want to take it easy on your first few trips to the pit. The eighth Gathering of the Sick Festival is going to be a long ride.

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[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Lucky No. 7

Star Tattoo blows out the candles on seven years in the pain-for-pleasure biz this Saturday, May 31. Starting at 3 p.m., there'll be free cheese from Little Anita's, crawfish from Copeland's and beer-soaked rawk from eight bands at Elliot's (Alameda and Coors Bypass). It's the Star kids' way of saying, "You could have picked any of Albuquerque's 373 tattoo parlors to give you ass antlers, but you chose us. Thank you." No, Star Tattoo. Thank you. (LM)

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Beirut’s Paul Collins is front-and-center, beckoning to the crowd. Ringleader Zach Condon is to his immediate right.
Jenn Perutka

Music Interview

Beirut

A band on the verge of adulthood comes home for a backyard fundraiser

He was barely out of his teen years, but Beirut's Paul Collins recognized a budding star. "The first time I heard Zach [Condon] sing, I knew he was going to be more than just a local musician," Collins says. "I've never seen someone play where I just knew they were going to be something amazing."

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Sonic Reducer

Islands Arm's Way · From First To Last From First To Last · Flobots Fight With Tools

Arm's Way only fails when compared to Islands' debut. Return to the Sea was a multi-genre fever dream of bright melodies juxtaposed with death-themed lyrics. Arm's Way is a stellar record in its own right. Singer-songwriter and Unicorns founder Nick Thorburn is still able to conceive precise guitar rock interrupted at just the right times with string interludes or steel drum jam-outs. But Arm's Way is darker and almost gothic compared to Return, and most of its tracks follow a simpler path to where they're going. Islands' directionally obscure endeavors are few and far between on the new release, and that was part of the band's initial charm. (SM)

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T-Rextasy
Andrew Piccone

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Mar 23)

Surf In Burt's

T-Rextasy • garage, punk • Mount Ivy • space rock • Emma Lee Toyoda

Surf-style, fuzzed out and formidably feminist pop-punkers T-Rextasy make an appearance in Albuquerque, at the new home of all things fearsome and fashionable, Burt's Tiki Lounge, on Thursday, March 23. The New York City band—singer Lyris Faron, guitarists Lena Abraham and Vera Kahn, under the rhythmic influences of bassist Annie Fidoten and drummer Ebun Nazon-Power—is known for its arch approach to the genre, generating pure pop nuggets like last year's “Gap Yr Boiz” to deconstruct and decimate a culture they find to be placid and painstakingly pointless. They'll be joined on stage by space rock quartet Mount Ivy and self-described “Seattle-based sadgirlrock” adherents Emma Lee Toyoda. Hmm, the more I think about it while considering this show, the more I imagine that rocanrol is still alive and has a chance against the forces of the future. Find out for yourself if all of that fashion-future-forward stuff is la neta by jaunting on over to Burt's for this 21+ gig, where its always free to go in and have a listen to what will most certainly be.
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EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Mar 25)

Kurt Travis Will Save Your Soul

Kurt Travis • alternative rock • Eidola • Amarrionette

I love Kurt Travis ... I said it! I don't regret it, either! (Well, I actually hardly know the man—i.e. not at all—I just love his music.) I know you won't regret seeing him at The Co-Op alongside the phenomenal bands Eidola and Amarrionette this Saturday, March 25, for only $10. Travis was the lead clean vocalist for notable post-hardcore bands Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds. He has expanded his act as a solo musician producing the dazzlingly lovely EPs Wha Happen? (2012), Kurt Travis (2013), Everything Is Beautiful (2014) and the Kurt Travis/Paul Travis Split (2016). Travis creates an acoustic, atmospheric pop sound combined with wailing, lonesome bluegrass-esque vocals. In the newest split EP that he made with his brother, the two have created a delicate mix of Americana, pop and indie rock which is sure to translate well into this incredible performer's repertoire. Be sure not to miss this all-ages show, doors open at 7pm.
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Jenna Dunlap
Amanda Kirk

EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Mar 25)

Local Rocks

Jenna Dunlap • singer-songwriter • Keith Sanchez & the Moon Thieves • folk

I read a recent review that said Jenna Dunlap's debut recording was “sweet,” with “wistful vocals.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Dunlap—who was recorded by Cinder Cone Media's wizard of an engineer Howard Wulkan for her first studio outing, Out of My Head—is dynamic and thoughtful, with a rumbling, tumbling vocal nuance and muscular musical style that is equal parts Sheryl Crow and Regina Spektor, mixed in with the sometimes plaintive but always hopeful observations of youth transitioning into adulthood. Her voice resonates and she has a great finger-picking style too, knowingly finding chords and arrangements that complement her intense and intelligent vocal treatments. Jenna Dunlap will be having a free CD release party for Out of My Head on Saturday, March 25, so you can hear all of that for yourself and thereby help discourage the use of meaningless musical phrases like "sweet" and "wistful" while supporting the awesome thing—called local music—itself. Keith Sanchez & the Moon Theives will provide folk-appropriate support.
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