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Ryan McGarvey
Ryan McGarvey
4.18.2014
Phantongram
Phantongram
4.19.2014
Let It Grow
Let It Grow
4.19.2014
OM
OM
4.19.2014
OM
OM
4.19.2014
CUNNINLYNGUIST
CUNNINLYNGUIST
4.20.2014
Mogwai
Mogwai
4.21.2014
Jimmy Thackery
Jimmy Thackery
4.21.2014
WAXAHATCHEE
WAXAHATCHEE
4.21.2014
Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant
4.22.2014
The Black Lillies
The Black Lillies
4.23.2014
Trampled By Turtles
Trampled By Turtles
4.24.2014
YOU (ALBUM RELEASE)
YOU (ALBUM RELEASE)
4.24.2014
The Lymbs
The Lymbs
4.25.2014
Natty Vibes
Natty Vibes
4.26.2014
REGGAE AT THE LAUNCHPAD
REGGAE AT THE LAUNCHPAD
4.26.2014
Dillinger Escape Plan
Dillinger Escape Plan
4.28.2014
Sons of Fathers
Sons of Fathers
4.28.2014
Old Man Markley
Old Man Markley
4.29.2014
KADAVAR
KADAVAR
4.30.2014
 
 
rocksquawk

The Fascinating History of Vertigo Venus, plus the Albuquerque Music Scene, featuring Ken Cornell, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Launchpad, Alchemical Burn, Unnatural Element, Cobra//Group, Ya Ya Boom, The Hollis Wake, Creepshow ...

... The Dirty Novels, The Foxx, The Gracchi, RAM, Brian Botkiller, Noiseseer, Manias, Abbaddon, Echoes of the Fallen, Victamas, Word Salad, Logical Nonsense, Veil Of Miscreation, Steve Eiland, Beefcake In Chains, Gordy Anderson, Black Maria, Jerry’s Kids, The Generics ...

Play Youtube Video
Trailer for Glocal Scene , a documentary about global music scenes, including Albuquerque’s. (But that’s not really what this post is about.)

I had totally forgotten about this. A few years ago, a music journalist from Detroit (my ancestral homeland) rolled into town. His name was Ryan Bartek, and he was staying with Chris and Jeffy MacCannon from Vertigo Venus, also from Detroit, while working on this giant book about underground music in the U.S. It was going to be his Great American Novel, in every sense.

Bartek had an enormous appreciation for Chris and Jeffy’s band in Michigan, enough to convince him that there must be something good happening in Albuquerque if this is where they ended up. So this is where he came. It was just another stop on his yearlong U.S. tour. Only Bartek wasn’t playing music; he was documenting the little communities that musicians fabricate—the places where underground music comes from. And the only way to do that is pure legwork, and osmosis, talking to musicians and going to shows from one end of the country to another. I wasn’t sure he’d see it all the way through.

Well, now. Here it is. The Big Shiny Prison (History of a Year 12.20.06-10.13.07). He spent quality time in the Duke City, where he was able to ferret out some great sources. Jeff and Chris are priceless, and it’s actually well worth your time to know more about where they’ve come from and what they do. Your band might be mentioned in there. One of mine is. He also talked to the excellent lads of Chestnut Productions, who interviewed me for their documentary Glocal Scene—similar in conceit to Bartek’s book, but filmed on a global scale. You might be in there, too. (Find it here: glocalscene.com.) And since Bartek is giving his book away for free as a PDF, you can do searches for the passages about Albuquerque.

Yep. He put his book out as public domain. “File sharing is approved and encouraged by its author, Ryan Bartek,” he says in the forward. “Having spent a Herculean effort on this project, his only wish is that it be circulated. “

And it turns out, Albuquerque stacks up pretty well. After traveling all over the U.S., he concludes in the epilogue that “the best relocation spot in the Southwest is a definite toss-up between Austin (TX)/Albuquerque (NM).” And “the greatest punk hangouts are the unholy trinity of Burt’s Tiki Lounge (ABQ), The Funhouse (Seattle), and the [now defunct] 2500 Club (Detroit).” That’s a superlative superlative.

So there you go: Download The Big Shiny Prison for free.

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Devildriver / Whitechapel
Devildriver / Whitechapel5.18.2014