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Tight Texans

Thrift Store Cowboys is a fitting name, considering the Lubbock-based group’s fondness for kitchen-sink instrumentation. Violins, a Hammond organ, an accordion, banjos, a pedal steel, lap steels (including one rare Weisenborn, a non-resonator), a Wurlitzer and a saw are some of the gear you’ll hear live at Low Spirits tonight. Beneath the equipment, there’s a sense of the Low Lights’ moody open-road Westerns mixed with Old 97’s unhinged Also on tour from Lubbock is the multitalented Amanda Shires. 8 p.m., $5, 21+.

Tonight! Exene Cervenka at the Head Shop, Low Spirits

In 15 minutes, punk rockacana queen Exene Cervenka will be at The Zone on San Mateo for an in-store signing/meet-and-greet thing. At 9, she and Dex Romweber of Flat Duo Jets are playing Low Spirits. I interviewed Exene in this week’s paper, edited down for space—if you click here, you can read the full-length she-bang.

Jefferson Middle School, my alma mater


Vote Today! Albuquerque School Bond Election

Today’s the day to vote on the February 2010 Mill Levy / School Bond Election. If you vote “yes,” you’ll be approving $617 million for APS, “most of which will be going directly to brick & mortar construction/design,” says the school district. “The remainder will be used to upgrade instructional technology.” APS maintains 143 schools. If it’s approved, property taxes will hold steady at their current rates. So, no tax increase.

“It will make an enormous difference in schools throughout the city,” wrote APS music teacher Robb Janov in an e-mailed entreaty. “Proposed construction for my school, Jefferson Middle School, includes a new track, a parent/student drop-off road (to alleviate the chaos before and after school) and ... $2.3 million dollars to renovate and expand facilities for our thriving music department!”

Janov’s voting. What about you?

• For project lists, fact sheets and other specifics of this bond, visit

• Look up your polling location here:

• Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Things I Thought Were a Dream But Actually Happened: The Swedish Grammys

As is customary, I made a snack and turned on the TV this weekend after coming home late from the bar. (This is probably the source of many Things-I-Thought-Were-a-Dream-But-Actually-Happened moments.) And then I went to bed, probably around 3:30 a.m.

Come Sunday, I’m at my parents house with the family, and “The Soup” is on in the background. And I look up and see a clip from the TITWaDBAH. Turns out, the Swedish Grammys (P3 Guld) really did happen. And, it turns out, the winner of dance artist of the year really did accept her award like this. And the crowd really did seem kind of charmed but ultimately unfazed by it. ... Hunh.

Scooped: Le Chat Lunatique Makes It Into SXSW 2010

With some lobbying from the Alibi, but mostly just superhuman amounts of their own talent and hard work, organizers of the South By Southwest music festival tell us that Le Chat Lunatique made it into the official showcase in Austin. The music portion of the festival runs March 17-21 this year. Get the festival lowdown at

Le Chat Lunat-Links

• Read an account of LCL’S recent antics during Revolutions International Theatre Festival.

• Read an interview with the band.

• Find out about guitarist John Sandlin’s New Mexico Django Fest, the state’s only jazz manouche (gypsy jazz) festival.

• Here’s the review of the band’s latest album, Under the Covers, Vol. 1.

• The album before that, Demonic Lovely, made our Best of 2008 list ...

• ... and the band made your Best of Burque 2008 list, tying for Best Local Band Overall. It got Best Jazz Act the year before.

• Finally, listen in as Alibi readers gush about LCL on our Letters page: here (scroll to the bottom) and here.

Congrats, you crazy cats!

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 ...

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: 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.

Pitchfork Music Lists the Decade With P2K

The site is laying out the decade in music with Start clicking around for The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s, The Social History of the MP3, The Decade in Pop, The Top 50 Music Videos of the 2000s and much more.

Lyrics Born Freebie

AKA, Lyrics Born Rang Your Doorbell, Left This Flaming Sack of Shit on Your Stoop

Hey, this new single is fucking awful, categorically proving that you do really get what you pay for!

The brand-new video for Lyrics Born's "Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart," is out now, thanks to a premiere with! The video, directed and edited by Raphael LaMotta from ApSci, features cameos by Joyo Velarde, Zion I, Pigeon John, Trackademicks, Kat Ouano, DJ D-Sharp and ApSci.

The track is available as a free mp3 download at and also appears on The Lyrics Born Variety Show Season Pho. The mixtape, which came out digitally last month, is also available in stores and at The physical version includes an exclusive bonus track.

"Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart" will also be found on the Bay Area MCs upcoming album, As U Were.

You can download the mp3 for "Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart" (as a capella, instrumental, clean version, dirty version and DJ versions!) here.

“Host a workshop by The Master of Krump in your city” ...   and   he’s available for birthday parties.

Snoop Dogg Gets With Tommy the Clown

I somehow ended up on Tommy the Clown’s PR list. He’s the “hip-hop clown” originator of crumping, and the subject of David LaChapelle’s 2005 documentary Rize.

Snoop Dogg recently announced his partnership with famed entertainer Tommy the Clown to create an organization called the C.L.O.U.T. (Changing Lives One Youth at a Time) Foundation. The foundation will aim to provide a creative and social outlet for at-risk youth in order to help avoid the misplaced creative energy which too often results in gang violence, crime, and abuse.

The first event organized by C.L.O.U.T. is a monthly Battle Night. Battle Night, held at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College's Grand Theater and hosted and emceed by Tommy the Clown, allows young people to compete and showcase their individual talents before an audience of their peers.  Youth are encouraged to express themselves through drama, dance, song, poetry or comedy.

Geared toward youngsters from middle to high school from the Los Angeles area (with a focus on the underserved communities), Battle Night promotes a positive and self-affirming lifestyle for kids by developing and showcasing their diverse artistic talents. The partnership has a personal meaning to Snoop.

He says, "As a youth I had one teacher who really pushed me to be the best and gave me an outlet to really feel like I could be somebody, and I became successful partly because of his belief in me.  I want to give that to the kids so they know there is more to life than the street hustle or crime.  I have been friends with Tommy the Clown for years and see what he has done for so many people; this partnership is very important to me."

Tommy the Clown agrees, "I am honored to partner with Snoop and establish an opportunity for the kids in our community.  When you have clout, you have strong influence.  I believe the clout both Snoop and I have will help influence these kids to make some positive decisions about their future."

In addition to C.L.O.U.T., Tommy the Clown is preparing for his first National workshop tour. The tour will give both children and adults the rare opportunity to study with the master of Krump and experience his incredibly positive presence and impeccable technique.

The timing for the workshop tour could not be better, as this once little-known dance form has quickly captured the dance world's spotlight and, more importantly, the hearts of people across the country from all walks of life. To learn more about or make a tax deductible donation to C.L.O.U.T. or to book a workshop with Tommy the Clown in your city, please contact Grit PR & Management at 503/887.2644 or email: For more information about Tommy the Clown, please visit:

Monotonix: New Album, Free Song

We’ve enthused about these guys before (here, with video, and here, with video, and here, with photos). On Sept. 8, the mad Israelis in Monotonix release Where Were You When It Happened?, the band’s first full-length album—which is sort of unbelievable in light of all the grade-A festival booty it’s been hitting in the last year. But no, this is the official “debut.”

Monotonix’s people over at Drag City Records say the new album, on the heels of last year’s “Body Language” EP, “roils and rocks with frenetic glee, shows a lot of skin, and is over before you know it.” Which fits the live show Monotonix puts on to a shredded-T.

“When everything is going wrong,” they say, “remember that the world is not so bad. Monotonix can release you from the sickness of this world through the prowess of rock and roll.”

Download the MP3 here.