Think (Really) Big
The Safes aims for nothing less than everything
By Reyan Ali
Professional success is a matter of consequence to anyone who takes his or her job seriously, and Frankie O'Malley is no exception. He wants his band, The Safes, to make it big. What comparable level of success is he ultimately working toward? “Oh, for me, The Beatles,” says the guitarist, using the faintest of pauses between question and answer. “I want to be the biggest band ever.” O'Malley makes his aspirations sound a bit more general: “I believe wholeheartedly that we can cross over into the mainstream. Without a doubt.”
Resin Junior High School Reunion
By Captain America
Long before the local clubs would demean themselves by booking punk bands (and before “punk” became a genre and not an outlook), Albuquerque had a seething, seamy musical underbelly of garage bands that actually gigged in garages, cellars and even frat houses. These shows were sometimes promoted by hand-scrawled flyers but mostly by word of mouth. There was a DIY record label (Resin). There was a record store that sold Resin releases (Bow Wow). And there were bagels, lots of bagels, and shows in a Nob Hill basement near sweltering ovens (Fred’s Bread & Bagel). There was also a man who counted a cast of characters among his friends, acted as their attorney and confidant, and hauled in mountains of crawfish from the Gulf for band parties. This Friday, friends of New Orleans native Gary Wayne Nelson (who is seriously ill) will be on deck at the Launchpad to return his many favors with a benefit show.
Flyer on the Wall
Albuquerque Is Awesome
More and more, our remote, wild Western burg is proving to be an oasis of music and art that explores new frontiers. Nay, you say? Here’s evidence: Albuquerque Experimental is a two-day festival composed of 25 performances. The lineup is largely local with notable out-of-town troubadours sprinkled throughout (NYC psych pioneer Silver Apples; John Dieterich of Deerhoof, who’s performing with New Mexico’s own Raven Chacon). This event, masterminded by KUNM music host Peter Mezensky, will take place at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m. Two-day passes go for $20, while single passes are $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. For a full lineup and more information, go to albuquerqueexperimental.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Random selections from the collection of I is for Ida’s Harry Brown
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Harry Brown is a local musician and scooter entrepreneur (downtownscooternm.com). On Monday, Oct. 18, you can find his band I is for Ida performing for the first time in more than a year. Armed with new songs, the band plays in the middle of a tangy Portlander sandwich made of psychedelic disco act Lookbook and gloomy post-punker headliner The Prids. The show happens at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) beginning at 9 p.m. A mere five ducat admission will be granted only to those of legal drinking age. Below lies a random smattering of Brown collection tracks that might provide some sonic foreshadowing for Monday’s show.
The Rebel Set Poison Arrow · Tumbledown Empty Bottle · The Bright Light Social Hour The Bright Light Social Hour
By Summer Olsson
This trio hails from Phoenix, which may be one of those secret cool cities most people don’t know about. Poison Arrow is one big tambourine-smashing dance party. Frenzied maracas rattle in the background on several tracks and surf guitar is prominent throughout, but there’s also a hefty helping of garage rock. Recording in analog increases the vintage sound. Guitarist/vocalist Joe Zimmerman has a high, sharp voice, making the lyrics sound mean and snotty—in a good way. By track 5 you might be thinking, Hey, all these songs sound kinda the same. But that’s OK—they sound awesome.
T-Rextasy • garage, punk • Mount Ivy • space rock • Emma Lee Toyoda
By August March
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.
Kurt Travis • alternative rock • Eidola • Amarrionette
By Megan Reneau
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.
Jenna Dunlap • singer-songwriter • Keith Sanchez & the Moon Thieves • folk
By August March
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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