Best Of Burque Music 2017: Rock Stars

Best Band Of All Time

August March
4 min read
Rock Stars
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According to
Alibi readers and as far as the city of Albuquerque is concerned, The Big Spank is the Best Band of All Time. Rocking a sound that distills its smoky and swinging essence from a variety of sources including funk, punk, ska and Norteño, members Mike Garcia, Benito Bachicha, Chris Tickner, Retzen and Bert Lujan perform an antic sort of music that drives audiences to the dance floor in a soulful frenzy. That, plus the fact the the group lives in a converted school bus and tours relentlessly in search of converts and the quintessential funkiness that drives their whole schmear—kinda like the Partridge Family, except those dudes had a suburban chanti to jam at too—have endeared them to local listeners.

2) Red Light Cameras

3) The Riddims

Best Of Burque Music 2017 Best Band Of 2016

Even as rocanrol sought to redefine itself in 2016—locally and worldwide—under an aesthetic assault by the forces of hip-hop, EDM and Americana, some rockers rose to the occasion by, well, rocking out. Red Light Cameras, fronted by Chicana chanteuse Amanda Machon, roared ahead of the pack this year. And so readers have deemed their heroic rise to the forefront of what rock has to offer as worthy of mention: The mult-talented, tight-as-hell quartet (Machon, guitarist Chris Walsh, bassist Barney Lopez and drummer Joe Gonzales) was named Best Band of 2016 by Alibi readers. Whether or not such saves rocanrol has yet to be determined, although having Machon on board is definitely a reason for hope.

2) The Riddims

3) Russian Girlfriends

Best Of Burque Music 2017 Best Musician Of 2016

Myles Chavez, the winner of the Best Musician category, is the vocalist and lead guitarist of The Riddims. Chavez inflects the upbeat reggae of the band with a guitar style that is clear and languid, well enunciated. It’s phrased in such a way as to amorously (read: lovingly but I can’t resist alliteration) ameliorate the frank frenzy of his bandmate’s playing but really extends the reach of the ensemble by invoking Santana’s similar sonic strategies; Chavez’ resulting intros, midsections and solos are solid, sinuously weaving themselves through the fabric of tunes like “Marijuano.” Meanwhile Chavez’ voice is smooth and silky, too; his quick and quirky turns of phrase about local experience enhances the buzz, yo.

2) Steve Hammond

3) Adam Hooks

Best Of Burque Music 2017 Best Performance Of 2016

Our readers are sure that Red Light Cameras gave the best performance of 2016. I am just wondering which one, though. There were so goddamn many; each filled, no doubt (I’ll be honest, I only saw two last year and both of them fucking rocked) with the same sense of authority and credibility that comes from being one of the most visible advocates of rocanol in Dirt City.

2) The Riddims

3) Russian Girlfriends

Best Of Burque Music 2017 Best New Band

“High desert reggae” is a term that conjures at least two interpretations. The first involves something you could hear après bong hits here in town, in the middle of the Gobi or at Burning Man, sabes? The more likely meaning though involves a kind of music specifically made for and about the local environment—which happens to exist at 5,300 feet above sea level and is dry as hell, hence a high desert. The band that gets to be the decider here is The Riddims (Myles Chavez on vocals and lead guitar, drummer Chris Cruz, rhythm guitarist Donovan Ortiz, Petey Gabaldon on keys/percussion and bassist Tony Gallegos). They’re Burque’s best new band according to our reader’s poll.

2) Prism Bitch

3) Moonshine Blind

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