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Not Rock Stars

There seems to be some confusion. You guys are pop stars.

Rhianna is not missing only a black guitar. She is missing the experience of shitty gear and heavy amps, of being paid $50 for a show and feeling like it was a pretty good take.

A sample by actual badass Prince does not a rockstar make, Prima J.

R. Kelly? Now we’re just being silly, right?

Hannah motherfarking Montana?

Not you either, Pink. You were just mad about your divorce. Although starting a fight is getitng warmer. As is working with Linda Perry.

And hey, energy drink, when’s the last time you went out of tune six times in a single show?

Oh, wait. Maybe I’m just confused.

Because the d-bags in Nickelwack are not rock stars.

Maybe it’s the belt-buckle holding Poison?

So far there’s been a lot of talk of hot tubs and limos.

Did you all see the Ladies of the ’80s Barbies? Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper.

I propose a local band Barbie. She comes with a staple gun, a stack of handbills, a mega-heavy bag of pedals and cables, a soldering iron, and a beer in her jacket pocket.

At least we’ll always have Jem and the Holograms.

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Oh man. Oh man oh man. I've listened to this a lot in the last 12 hours, because it makes me laugh and laugh. Maybe you already heard all about it on SNL.

Favorite lines:

"Plant a little seed and nature grows"

"Fuckin' rainbows"

"Music is all magic. You can't even hold it. It's just there in the air."

Also, something a pelican stealing this clown's cell phone?

"Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?"

"Magic is everywhere in this bitch."

Thank YOU, Insane Clown Posse.


Free New Good Music Online: The New Pornographers, M.I.A., Josh Ritter, Kris Kristofferson

NPR Music beams to you three albums before they’re released on Tuesday, May 4. Starting today, you can gorge on them in their entirety for free.

The New Pornographers Together

Josh Ritter So Runs the World Away

Kris Kristofferson Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends: The Publishing Demos 1968-72

Going 100 mph—M.I.A.’s mega NSFW and brutal video for “Born Free” debuted today. She’s infiltrated Pitchfork’s Twitter account.

Do y’all keep tabs on Pause and Play? The site maintains a roster of what’s coming out each week in national acts, and you can submit releases, too.


Look Out Handbillers!

In a memo today, Chief Public Safety Officer Darren White says the city’s going to crack down on handbills.

The purpose of this memorandum is to bring to your attention the following City Ordinance which will be strictly enforced:


No person shall throw, post or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public places within the city. Nor shall any person hand out, post or distribute or sell any commercial or noncommercial handbill in any public place provided, however it shall not be a violation of this article for any person to hand out or distribute without charge to the receiver thereof any noncommercial handbill to any person willing to accept it in such public places.

It may be rebuttably presumed that the owner, manager, distributor, provider or responsible party of any business, product or service which is the subject of an illegally posted, thrown or deposited commercial handbill has caused the commercial handbill to be posted, thrown or deposited.

(74 Code, § 6-15-14) (Ord. 4-1992; Am. Ord. 25-2005)

According to the memo, it makes a mess when the handbills or pamphlets are thrown on the ground in Downtown Albuquerque. Read the ordinance closely though; there’s more in there than just putting fliers on windshields.

Mike Doughty’s Lost Interview

A couple of weeks ago before the former Soul Coughing frontman came to town, I sent him some e-mail questions, hoping to do an article for the music section. I never heard back—or so I thought. I put together this little number at the last minute, blowing deadline and annoying my coworkers. (They were actually quite nice about it, but still ... )

Then, what should I fish out of my voracious spamtrap but the lost Doughty interview. Magical.

What did you do today? Where are you?

I had a cup of coffee and sat down to type out this interview. I'm in Austin, TX.

How has your live show evolved on this tour?

The song selection changes from night to night—I don't use a set list. I just have a clock onstage to make sure I don't go on too long. I figure out the songs as I go along.

What do you hope people take away from your live show?

A fantabulous, life-changing experience!

Have you ever hit the road alone? Is it weird to tour as a solo artist?

Yeah, I've toured a lot by myself. Besides the obvious challenge of loneliness, it's pretty liberating to be out there by yourself.

The lyrics for your later work deliver meaning, stories and scenes more directly than your Soul Coughing material. How has your process changed over time?

My process has mostly stayed the same—it's me that's changed.

You're known for making killer word choices. How do you find your words? What makes a word or phrase appealing to you?

I listen for the sound of the word as much for the meaning.

Do you also write other things, or mostly lyrics?

I write some prose. Working on a book, but it's been tough going.

Do you ever get sick of talking about your lyrics?

Nah, not really.

Who's your favorite lyricist?

Stephin Merritt.

Favorite MC?

Probably Jay-Z.

I was surprised, when I listened to your latest release, that your guitar instincts are so bluesy. Do you listen to a lot of music that sounds like that?

No, I'm a huge John Lee Hooker fan. He's a big influence on me as a guy playing guitar and singing alone.

What else do you play?

A little bass, and really crude keyboards. I play with two fingers, like a techno producer.

What's the last album you bought?

Love Power Peace, Live in Paris 1972 by James Brown.

Do you have a favorite song that's being played on mainstream FM radio right now?

I love "Bad Romance."

Have you always been into music, or is it something you picked up later in life?

I became obsessed with music at age 12, when I discovered Led Zeppelin.

If you weren't a musician, what would you do for a living?

I have no idea. I'm not much good at anything else.

Was there ever a time when you wanted to stop being a musician and a performer altogether?

Sometimes. It can be a lonely life.

Do you think of yourself as lucky?

Yes, very much so!

Educational Hip-Hop, Yo!

Happy Presidents Day

This pleases me so. (Hey, whatever. I’m not ashamed. I’ll kill you.) Kazuo raps for

44 presidents

White House residents

From the revolution

To the age of the Internet

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Queensrÿche is Coming

No joke! The lace-metal gods from Bellevue, Wash., will perform at the Route 66 Casino tomorrow.

But my real question is: With all the metal in this town, how come no one covers “Silent Lucidity”? Which leads me to this second query: Does anyone else want to see an all “Silent Lucidity” cover night? I’m not really kidding.

Here’s the first verse, to get your tear ducts warmed up:

Hush now, don't you cry

Wipe away the teardrop from your eye

You're lying safe in bed

It was all a bad dream

Spinning in your head

Your mind tricked you to feel the pain

Of someone close to you leaving the game

of life (whispered)

So here it is, another chance

Wide awake you face the day

Your dream is over

... or has it just begun?

This may be the prompt for a future collaborative blog called “Songs with Whispers.”

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El-P Turns in His Keys

Company Flow introduced me to El-Producto, a hero of mine for so long, it’s hard to remember life before his cold, abstract hip-hop banged its way through my speakers.

For 10 years, he’s been the high commander Def Jux, a label that puts out some of the best around (Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Cannibal Ox, Murs, Del the Funky Homosapien). But El-P’s stepping down. He writes:

In 2000 starting a traditional record label made a lot of sense. But now, in 2010, less so and I find myself yearning for something else to put my energy into. I also see newer, smarter, more interesting things on the horizon for the way art and commerce intersect, and as an artist and an entrepreneur, I'm eager to see them unfold. The evolution of this industry is, in my opinion, exciting, inevitable and it would be nice to see the DEFINITIVE JUX brand be a part of it. In other words, maybe we can turn this hoopty in to a hovercraft.

He always shoots straight. I got a chance to interview him in 2007 and saw him perform at South by Southwest in 2008. At that show, he said he wasn’t going to vote for president. A paraphrase from my SXSW blog:

A lot of people say, "You can't complain if you don't vote." The fucking system is rigged, I can complain. Then they go, "Well what if Obama wins? That will be something." I say if Obama wins, he's one of them.

A lot of commenters took issue with that. We were splashing around in “hope” and “change” back then. As our columnist Jerry Ortiz y Pino opined (though not in so many words), welcome to the desert.

Bluegrass stalwarts Young Edward sling a mean standup bass, spot-on clawhammer banjo playing and great three-part harmonies.

Our Haiti Benefit Ruled!

Eleven bands hit the stage on Thursday, Jan. 28, to raise money for the Red Cross relief effort on the ground in Haiti. We took in $1,050, which is fantastic.

We’re grateful to Launchpad, Eclipse Production Services and Ecco Gelato for helping us do this thing. Thanks to Jessica Billey, Minie Gonzales and Maya Malloy, who contributed art for the silent auction. Love to the Alibi family for helping out and chasing down prizes for the raffle. Further ups to all the bands who put on great shows. (Guys, if you want any pictures for your websites, I’ve got tons from that night.)

Made in Bangladesh * The Scrams * Dirty Novels * World on Fyre * Ya Ya Boom * Vertigo Venus * Five-Star Motelles * SayWut * Blue Rose Ramblers * Zack Freeman * Up the Holler * Young Edward *

Enjoy this photo recap:

Alibi’s Rock For Haiti

Free gelato!

Sometimes putting a show together involves herding inebriated cats.

This one’s been unbelievably easy, and we started working on it just a couple days ago.

All the bands are ready to play (for free). And look at this lineup:

Made in Bangladesh * The Scrams * Dirty Novels * World on Fyre * Ya Ya Boom * Vertigo Venus * Five-Star Motelles * SayWut * Blue Rose Ramblers * Zack Freeman * Up the Holler * Young Edward *

Thursday, Jan. 28 at Launchpad. $5 minimum donation. Music starts at 8 p.m.

The Launchpad was thrilled to give us a night. Eclipse Production Services happily donated amps and drums for the stage. Ecco Gelato will be serving up free scoops of gelato all night to attendees.

Jessica Billey, Minie Gonzales and Maya Malloy are contributing art for a raffle. We’re also putting up ski lift tickets, restaurant certificates and a free massage.

If anyone has anything else they’d like to donate to the raffle, call me: 346-0660 x. 245 or e-mail me:

100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Red Cross efforts on the ground in Haiti.

And if you’ve got an old cell phone laying around, we’ll have a box for them, too. Relief workers are requesting cell phones.