Best of Burque Music 2019: Best of the Best
 Alibi V.28 No.13 • March 28-April 3, 2019 

Best of Burque Music 2019

Best of the Best

Best Band of 2018


What happens when you combine the music of Peru and Ecuador and inflect it with an Afro-Cuban attitude mixed up with Arabic timing and lush instrumentation, both traditional and electronic? Well, you get Baracutanga, a collective of Latinx musicians who are this year’s Best Band of 2018. With propulsive tunes that touch on serious social issues and a groove that is as deep as any river in the southlands, Baracutanga has what it takes to keep you dancing all night while you think about how to make this world a better place. Thanks, Jackie Zamora, Kilko Paz, Carlos Noboa—the heart of the band—for bringing Baracutanga to Burque!

2) Sweet Nothin

3) Ashes of Jupiter

Best Musician of 2018

Paul Gonzales

Paul Gonzales is a trumpeter who has been active in the Albuquerque music community since the early ’80s, when he landed in the UNM Music Department on scholarship after holding the first trumpet chair in the New Mexico All-State Symphonic Band. After touring with the US Army Band, Gonzales took the time to study with jazz notables like Bobby Shew. In the ’90s, Gonzales fronted Tetragon, a notable local jazz ensemble. For the past 14 years, he’s been an indispensable member of Son Como Son, Burque’s Cuban salsa band.

2) Kyle Martin

3) Myles Chavez

Best Performance of 2018

Entourage Jazz

I’ve seen Entourage Jazz perform twice, both times to sold out audiences. Their rewarding, immersive performances, led by singer Emerson Corley and pianist Roger Baker are entertaining and deeply reflective a trad jazz aesthetic that can be traced to the big bands of the ’30s and ’40s. The band is thoroughly modern though, composed of for-real hipsters that have paid their dues. Innovative arrangements, killer chops, soloists with no mercy and fun-filled concert environments add to the reasons that EJazz is an Alibi reader favorite.

2) Severo y Grupo Fuego

3) Ashes of Jupiter

Best Stage Presence

Blow Up the Neighborhood

Blow Up the Neighborhood, an exciting new pop-punk outfit with an explosively rocking live show that features elements of metal “geetar,” propulsive drumming and droning bass mixed with the OC-inflected vocals of Dylan Ferrell, is this year’s local band with the Best Stage Presence. Given the high energy level and devoted fan base of these rockers, listeners can expect much more from a quintet that sometimes opens with a heat-blasted version of the “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme song.

2) Kyle Martin

3) Ashes of Jupiter

Most Dynamic Frontman/Frontwoman

Emerson Corley

Ah, there’s some real song-interpreting genius coming outta Emerson Corley, the leader of Entourage Jazz. With a dynamic range and an affinity for the work of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin, Corley nails every performance and recording with panache, humor and a touch of old-school maximalism that makes each musical outing seem fresh and finely tuned. If you haven’t had a chance to experience Emerson’s innate sense of cool then you’ve had fair warning, dear readers. The summer music season is coming up and Corley’s smoove vocalizing is bound to be a respite.

2) Adam Liston

3) Dylan Ferrell

Best Band We Wish Was Still Together


Dudes. I was there when Skumbaag erupted from the bowels of the Fine Arts Center at the University of New Mexico and onto the local music scene. Back then the local music scene was centered around a club called Fat Chance, which was directly across from UNM on Central. It’s a pizza shop now. Anyway. It was the late ’80s (or was it the early ’90s) when this motley collection of undergraduate music students—followers of Shultis and Cage and probably Zappa and Captain Beefheart as well—garnered the most attention. I remember kilts, lots of percussion and time signatures that Mick Fleetwood only dreams about when he’s not obsessing over Lindsey Buckingham and that one album he did with Stevie Nicks. Rarr.

2) Morbid Machine

3) Leeches of Lore

Band with the Best Hair

Sweet Nothin

I looked at pictures of this band to find out whether or not they have rock and roll hair. It’s better that way because then I feel a certain distance that allows me to make better critical decisions. In person, hair is you know, so hot. I’m like talking about that Cowsills’ song hot. You know, “give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair/ Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen/ Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer/ Here, baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy/ Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.” Anywho, lead guitarist and vocalist Aaron Anderson and drummer Matthew Anderson more than pass muster. Bassist Jess Martinez is in just for his groovy soul patch.

2) Blow Up the Neighborhood

3) Ugly Girl

Band Most Likely to Get Arrested

Moonshine Blind

Readers’ voted this legendary local rockabilly band as the sound ensemble most likely to have an unfortunate encounter with law enforcement. They’ll never get nicked for their music, it’s too dang good.

2) The Riddims

3) Manhigh

Band Most Likely to Make It Big in Japan

Prism Bitch

Prism Bitch
Prism Bitch

This band is going to make it in Japan because this band is going to make it, period. You know that feeling you get when you can feel rocanrol success just bubbling out of a band’s shows, records and media interactions? Well, Weekly Alibi gets that warm and fuzzy set of feels for Prism Bitch. By the time they finish up with SXSW, they’ll be well on their way through a tour that may bring them widespread popular success. Keep an eye on this ensemble and check them out before they break outta Burque and warp away to El Lay or Portlandia.

2) Sweet Nothin

3) Crushed?!

Band with the Most Former Members


Baracutanga is a band, but it is also a social force, a collective of musical and otherwise artistic individuals. They draw on the strength of the community to educate, create and radiate a wide-ranging world-conscious aesthetic to the rest of this town. No wonder they’ve had so many members; any one of us could aspire to join their groovy ranks.

2) The Porter Draw

3) Gunsafe