Band Profiles

Alibi Fall Crawl 2004 Highlights

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Past attempts to summarize the sound of every single band participating in the Crawl in one sentence proved a dismal failure. Some bands inevitably felt slighted, others were pissed that our descriptions didn't match their own delusions of adequacy. So what follows are short, highly subjective profiles of performers we consider to be just a few of the many highlights of this year's Alibi Fall Crawl. The reality, though, is that there are something like 100 different artists playing, and we encourage you to discover new favorite bands using your own intuition. If you or your band are profiled herein and are still unhappy with the description, buy an ad, you malcontent, and tell us all what you think you sound like. Call John Hankinson at 346-0660 ext. 265 to reserve your ad space today!

12 Step Rebels

Albuquerque's punkabilly kings recently signed an album deal and were scheduled to make their South By Southwest debut last month until pneumonia overtook one of the 12 Steppers. In a relatively short period of time, these guys have gone from virtual nobodies to one of the hottest live bands in town. Their debut is to be released very shortly. (MH)


Tween bands generally sound their age. Not this particular group of tweens. ATG (a.k.a. Against the Grain) won both the New Mexico Showcase and 103.3 The Zone's battle of the bands in 2003 and released their first proper album just a few months ago. Call them metal prodigies if you must, but ATG perform more like veterans. One of the best metal bands in the city. (MH)

Nels Andrews

Winner of the Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk Award in 2002, Nels Andrews has quickly established himself as one of the finest songwriters in the region, as evidenced by the tunes on his just-released album, Sunday Shoes. His sweet solo acoustic tunes and amazing grasp on lyrical content, make him one of the top singer-songwriter acts in Albuquerque, but he's recently been more focused on his rock band, El Paso Eyepatch, that also features phenomenal electric guitarist Jeffrey Richards. (MH)

Breaker 19

The Breaker boys have taken a slight detour from their tongue-in-cheek trucker rock roots. These days, they're less about Ashton Kucher caps and more about serious outlaw country. They've even added a banjo player who can sing those high harmonies. Ray Wylie Hubbard, Steve Earle, Johnny Paycheck and Merle Haggard would be proud. They've also spent considerable time and money in the studio recently—some of it with Nelly!, according to one source—so look for a release soon. Finally. (MH)


Charmed is Alicia Ultan on viola, guitar and vocals and Bambi Jackson on keyboard, guitar and vocals in a sound that they like to call “twisted folk.” Since 2001 they have been charming Albuquerque with their unique instrumentation, and twisted, sad, funny, sassy, sarcastic, sweet songs. They've recorded their first CD at Wall of Sound studios … look forward to the CD release! (band provided)

Concepto Tambor

Got drums? Concepto Tambor do … hundreds of them. OK, not hundreds in the literal sense, but damned if these guys don't sound like a hundred drummers perfectly synched with one another. They're a longtime Crawl favorite, and are known for taking the party to the street after they've lit up the stage. (MH)

The Dirty Novels

To quote myself: “The Dirty Novels offer straightforward garage pop that strikes an almost perfect balance of Stooges-esque trashiness and the sugar pop simplicity of the Archies, all bathed in a vat full of classic Stones and even a little Zombies.”(MH)

Fast Heart Mart

The first time I heard Fast Heart Mart I remember thinking that I was hearing a non-Albuquerque-based band. I'd never really seen any other locals throw off the shackles of straight-up rock, punk, blues, etc. and go with the music that is truly original, even if it is not the norm in anyone else's eyes. Frontman Martin Stamper's originality in flow, lyrical timing and beat make other bands look as if they're standing still. Innovation deserves applause. (RH)

Feels Like Sunday

With two full-length CDs and a third about to be released, and a tour or two under their belts, Feels Like Sunday are well on their way to becoming a cornerstone on the local music scene. Led by the passionate vocals, intricate lyrics and frenetic stage presence of Joni Rhodes-Orie, Feels Like Sunday have become adept at switching back and forth between genres without ever missing a beat or losing their audience. Now a five-piece, FLS have expanded their sound beyond what's available on their CDs, and fleshed it out to the point that they sound like an entirely confident unit. (MH)

Stan Hirsch

Hirsch is known to many as the forefather of every guitarist in town between his protégé Eric McFadden and the slightly smaller Kimo (in stature, that is), as well as the best acoustic blues player in New Mexico. It's just that, in my opinion, he remains underappreciated in his hometown. You really have to hear him live to believe it. And even then, there's no guarantee. (MH)

Icky And The Yuks

I've been hollering the praises of this band for years and I refuse to stop. Richard Trott, Jay Collins, Shawn Avery, Bob Beckley and Gil Sanchez rock out so hard in their old schooly punk rawk way—a way that is inspired not only by their predecessors but also whiskey, vodka and lots of beer. Whether they're dressing in Catholic schoolgirl outfits or stripping down to a thong, there's always something interesting to watch and hear. Icky and the boys kick ass at every single show. (RH)


Albuquerque's answer to Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls. Folk rock with an attitude and surprising longevity. Kimo's not quite as active a performer these days as she once was, but her songs stand the test of time and her voice just gets better and better. (MH)

Memphis P-Tails

The P-Tails are arguably (but just barely) Albuquerque's hardest-working band. And, as you might expect from a group of guys who make their living playing music, they're virtually unmatched when it comes to stage presence and seasoned sound. Their decidedly bluesy brand of rock contains equal parts Texas roadhouse and Southern rock comfort, all hinged on guitarist Darin Goldston's fleet-fingered Stratocaster work and the tightest (not even arguably) traditional rhythm section in the state. I feel particularly lucky and honored every time these guys make themselves available to play the Crawls. You should, too. (MH)

Oktober People

Emo, indie, experimental, ambient … no single label accurately describes the musical alchemy created by Oktober People. Their live shows ebb and swell with miraculous unpredictability—one minute you're swooning in melodic bliss, the next you're blindsided by sheets of razor-sharp guitar and bombastic rhythmic acidity. Oktober People may well be the best-kept secret on the local music scene. (MH)

Rage Against Martin Sheen

Rage don't play covers, they play parodies. If you can handle having the words of some of your favorite songs turned into hippie-bashing anthems or odes to diarrhea, then Rage is your band. They recently released their debut full-length, establishing them as one of the least pretentious and funniest bands in the city. (MH)

The Rivet Gang

Country rock, but quite a bit more country than rock, The Rivet Gang have recently expanded to a five-piece format that includes a full-time mandolinist, multi-instrumentalist Dave Gutierrez and banjoist Daryl Sparks playing songs penned in large part by guitarist/singer Eric Johnson (Ant Farmers, Mumble). The lyrics are clever, the tunes melodic and full of just enough twang to make you believe you're in a Texas roadhouse regardless of where the Rivets are actually performing. (MH)

Unit 7 Drain

They continue to be one of my favorite bands in Albuquerque, with equal nods to classic new wave and modern alt.rock. Singer/guitarist Harry Redus-Brown still has the best voice of any rock singer in Burque, and their recently released CD, Devices (Socyermom) finds the band in peak form—mature songwriting and more simmering energy than on any of their previous releases. (MH)

Danny Winn & Earthlings

The ska revival's third and fourth waves pretty much wiped out any trace of the original excitement and feel of the music, in the process turning bands like Goldfinger into household names for about 13 minutes, and thereby nearly destroying ska's integrity forever. But bands like Danny Winn and the Earthlings have managed to keep the traditional spirit alive by expertly crafting songs that will not be coopted by the Gap to shove this year's fall fashions down our throats. What you get instead is skankin', bass and drum-driven ska with all the flavors of old and none of the silly posturing. (MH)

Young Edward

One of the few bluegrass quartets in Albuquerque that plays live regularly at clubs not necessarily known to host bluegrass or old-timey music. A solid mix of traditional numbers, Americana and a few choice covers make Young Edward one of a few bands in town that appeal to a wide audience that includes rock kids and crusty, cynical aficinados who pine for the days of Uncle Tupelo. (RH)

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