Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock
If there is but one truth within the annals of rock 'n' roll, it is this: Queen is awesome. Voyageur Press understands this truth. The publisher released a handful of excellent coffee table titles this year, including one on The Velvet Underground and another on Neil Diamond (very cleverly named Neil Diamond Is Forever), and has now added to its catalog an extensive volume that chronicles Queen's mighty quintessence. With the help of hundreds of photos, record covers and other ephemera, rock journalist Phil Sutcliffe recounts Queen's story from a tiny twinkle in Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon's eyes, to arena-rocking audiences throughout the '70s and '80s, to Mercury's death of AIDS in 1991, to present. The book is supplemented by guest writers on topics like the band's equipment and effects, and how it persists with only two remaining original members. There's also commentary—Slash on Brian May, Rob Halford on Freddie Mercury, et cetera. Even comics about the band are included. It's a worthy package of Queen's regal, majestic, glamourous glory.
Could this be the coming of ska’s fourth wave? To find out, put on your bowler and finely tailored pants on Saturday, Dec. 12, and skank down to Amped Performance Center (4200 Lomas NE). The $5, all-ages show begins at 7 p.m. and includes the jams of Drop Steady Rockers, The Blue Hornets and Martial Law. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
With a voice that promises everything, including maybe 20 years in the pen, vocalist/co-producer Bernadette Seacrest conjures a noir underbelly of a world on The Filthy South Sessions, with help from co-producers Charles Williams (guitars), who wrote all 12 tunes, Kris Dale (double bass, pedal steel) and guests. Williams’ steamy tangos, blues and rumbas don’t so much tell stories as sideswipe them (“I love you, but put down that gun”). “Babylon” recalls Leonard Cohen’s lyrical enigmas, and Seacrest delivers it with a seductive, Billie Holiday–esque plangency. Clearly, Seacrest knows what’s what and, deliciously, she’s in no hurry to explain it. (MM)
As talent-buyer and manager for not one, not two, but three venues—Launchpad, Low Spirits and Sunshine Theater—Luis Mota is constantly surrounded by music and/or music-related things. Below are the first five shuffled tracks that were floating around his music library.
Ugly Sweater Party • DJ Young Native • electronica, hip-hop
By Maggie Grimason
Don your finest ugly holiday sweater, or show up ready to purchase one this Thursday, Dec. 21, at Marble's Westside Tap Room. There are very few times during the calendar year where we can reasonably embrace bells, snowmen, glitter and bows on our clothing. Don't miss out on the Ugly Sweater Party of all things tacky—it's as easy as showing up at the bar off Unser anytime after 7pm. DJ Young Native will be playing all your favorite `80s and holiday tunes, and the whole shebang is free.
I love the '90s. Well, not as much as I love the '80s. Then there's the '70s to reckon with. I sorta remember the '60s, those were pretty exciting too, especially the end bits, after the summer of love, yo. But, if you're like me, music of the '90s is totally worth listening to over and over, particularly the grand cultural treasure trove of tuneage that came into being after the elfin guitar god from the north woods passed into enternity in April 1994. The music that was made to dance to back then, guess what? You can still dance to it; the stuff's been miraculously preserved in some kinda digital medium and you can shake you booty to exactly that on the evening Friday, Dec. 22. Prepare yourself for an aural onslaught featuring the likes of Tone-Loc, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and Vanilla Ice. They'll all be righteously represented at the I Love the '90s Video Music Dance Party happening Downtown at the Sunshine Theater, so dig out some Funky Cold Medina and leave your cell phone at home (because, they didn't like really have those until1998, amirite?) for a night of reflection on what the past 27 years have wrought. $10 for entry and 18+ to dance, 21+ to drink and dance.
MIXXD • Ana M • house, g-house, tech house, techno, UK garage, minimal • BadCats
By August March
MIXXD is a loosely organized yet totally groovy collective of electro-wizards, multiverse mixers and tuned-in turntableists. They occasionally get together in Albuquerque clubs in order to toss glittery music dust, cray incantations and heady, extravehicular space explorations via vinyl and tape into a world that absolutely needs rhythm in order to survive the mundane purity of everyday life. This iteration of a trance and/or dance inducing solution to your holiday tribulations, a bright bauble of a thing called NM LOVE MIX WINTER is available for consumption on Saturday, Dec. 23, and features the following DJs: BadCat (Jennifer Highfield Castro), Ana M (Ana Martinez), Liminal Spaces (Máté Fischer) and H.P. Dubcraft (Hank Padilla) at Sister. Being there will mean giving in to your highest holiday hankerings, so what the heck, live a little! Free before 10pm, $5 after 10pm. 21+.