Charley’s 33s and CDs, one of a handful of record shops in Dirt City, won this year’s competition. They have a totally awesome selection of recorded music, from local releases to exotic imports and heavy gauge vinyl monstrosities; they’re really cool people too. For instance, in 2002 one of our writers went there and found a rare Radiohead CD single. As they checked out, the owner made fun of their Thrasher hoodie, which had flames on the sleeves. Humiliated, they never skated vert again, saving thousands of dollars in medical bills—which of course they used to buy heaps of records.
2) Nob Hill Music
3) Mecca Music & Books
Best Local Music Festival
¡Globalquerque!, an event whose name makes us think of hot air balloons for some reason, is in reality one of our city’s premier musical events; it’s number one on our list this year. Displaying the wide range of musical expression which humans from diverse cultures make as they transcend the normative in order to jam out, ¡Globalquerque! features music from sources as far-ranging as Argentina, Mongolia and Zanzibar. The festival also features demonstrations of traditional dance, theater, crafts-making and cuisine.
2) Albuquerque Folk Festival
Best Live Music Venue
Launchpad wins. Recall, they are a venue that’s hosted the hottest in live rocanrol music for nigh on 20 years. From legends like Meat Puppets and Stereolab to local luminaries like Leeches of Lore and Cryogenik, Launchpad is indeed the preferred method of Burqueños reaching out to the heavens for love, light and loud tuneage. Even a fire, now eight years past, could not prevent success for this center of the Albuquerque music community.
3) Sunshine Theater
Best Local Rock Band
Red Light Cameras
Vocalist Amanda Machon figures prominently in Red Light Cameras, the winner of this year’s best local rock band award. Her soulful vocals propel an ensemble (Barney Lopez, bass; Chris Walsh, guitar; Joe Gonzales, Drums) that devises intricate and tasty pop around Machon’s searching and searing stylings. With a new recording called Shiver making headway, Red Light Cameras is poised to stop traffic on a rocanrol road known for speed.
2) The Noms
3) Russian Girlfriends/Ryan McGarvey Band
Best Local Country/Alt Country Band
The Handsome Family/Dirty Brown Jug Band
This year is a tie for twangy-ness, as the award for coming close to the country in all of us belongs both to The Handsome Family (Brett and Rennie Sparks) and the Dirty Brown Jug Band (vocalist/guitarist Jer Killinger, bassist Justin Roque and drummer Jason Flory). Both of these ensembles share the category but they’re very different sounding. The Handsome Family’s roots are firmly planted in darkish, Post-Civil War, American folk traditions while DBJG rocks a concrete version of that tasty west Texas country sound made popular by ZZ Top and fellow New Mexican, Kyle Martin.
2) Youngsville/The Tumbleweeds
Best Local Americana Band
So Americana is different from country Western, alt.country, folk, neo-folk or punk-folk. If you can tell what distinguishes one from the other, then write it down and send it to Weekly Alibi. If we like your answer, then we’ll buy you a slice of pizza. Anyway, Porter Draw, a band that is excellent no matter how they’re characterized, got the most votes. They’re one of the best bands in town period with their easy-going yet subtly complex melodicism, badass use of harmony, fine chops and killer performance style. The Porter Draw is: Ben Wood (banjo), Russell James Pyle (guitar, vocals), Joshua Gingerich (guitar, harmonica, mandolin, vocals), Dandee Fleming (bass) and Joey Gonzales (drums, percussion). Notably three of these guys also played in Lousy Robot with Jim Phillips
2) Cactus Tractor
Best Local Alternative Band
Red Light Cameras
Red Light Cameras also won the award for Best Rock Band. That’s pretty cool, being the thing itself as well as the alternative to the thing too. How damn postmodern; it also allows us to say something about the number two and three bands. Le Chat Lunatique, a group of longtime local jazzers self-describes their work as “filthy, mangy jazz.” Charismatic singer Muni Kulasinghe and classical guitarist gone the way of Django, John Sandlin, lead them. Wildewood, at number three are self-described American folk rockers. Folks, that means it’s only rock and roll. But we like it.
2) Le Chat Lunatique
Best Local Musician
Bluesy ax man Ryan McGarvey takes the slot for number one local musician for a second year. Authentic and innovative, McGarvey recently added to his lordliness in the realm of stringed instruments, rocking a 1956 Gibson Century 6 Lap Steel in a video directed at fans and admirers. McGarvey’s prowess continues to evolve in part due to his ferocious approach to his instrument of choice but also because he works so damn hard; his spring/summer 2016 tour, beginning at the end of April will cover most of Europe in the dude’s riffing blues.
2) Hillary Smith
3) Keith Sanchez/Billy Bellmont
Best Live DJ
Another statistical situation wherein two entries share the number, if not the personages responsible for the number of votes given. Cutmaster Music—a commercial outfit led by Chris Romero and tasked with providing the finest grooves available in reality to humans stationed at weddings, Quinceañeras and schools—tied with REIGHNBEAU, the exquisitely art-damaged sonic and visual project extraordinaire of Bryce Hample. Hmm. Cutmaster’s music has been featured at a heap of weddings held at Sandia Casino; Hample’s work was just previewed at vaunted music mag Stereogum.
Best Recording Studio
No Clear Winner
There was no clear winner for this category. If it were up to us, we’d say Keller Hall—but only if Manny Rettinger was going to be the engineer/producer of the recording we always wanted to do.