Music to Your Ears
A reliable source has reported that local band Fivehundred (formerly Mr. Spectacular and three-fourths of Fatso, not to mention Smoothie) have thrown in the proverbial towel, unfortunately before making a record and without any official farewell show. Just another sad day in an endlessly long line of sad days. ... On a happier note, two local bands who remain active as of this writing appear to be getting better and better. Unit 7 Drain are back with a revamped lineup and a boatload of new songs they plan to record for forthcoming albums. They played two Saturday's ago at the Launchpad with Oktober People, who, presumably as part of their effort to spit-polish their set before heading to South By Southwest next month, sounded tighter and more majestic than usual, which is pretty fucking tight and majestic. ... Black Maria's Gordon Andersen made himself a special guest on Jim Villanucci's afternoon radio program last week on 770 KKOB AM, where the topic happened to be the giant new, $10,000-apeice concrete decorative pots that appeared early last week on the I-40 median just west of Carlisle. While most callers agreed that the artistic additions were pleasing, Andersen, true to form, went a step further, telling Villanucci and his listeners, “I'm pro-pot ... and I also like this public art.” Nothing like a little drive-time humor to quell the road rage.
Winter Blues Festival featuring Phil Guy
with Albuquerque Blues Connection, Alex Maryol (Santa Fe only), The Easy Street Blues Band and Paul Brodsky Acoustics, and food by Powdrell's BBQ
Friday, Feb. 25; Willee's Blues Club (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 9 p.m.)/Saturday, Feb. 26; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 9 p.m.): Sometimes, it's difficult to be a brother. My own brother and I both know that from experience. But imagine being "little brother" to Buddy Guy, constantly overshadowed by your elder sibling's brilliance and status as a superstar. On the other hand, it doesn't necessarily hurt to be billed as "brother of Buddy Guy."
Former Albuquerquean Jenny Farrell could be country music's next hotshot
To say I grew up with Jenny Farrell wouldn't be altogether accurate. Indeed, we did attend the same elementary, junior and high schools (John Baker, Hoover and Eldorado), and resided in the same basic neighborhood. But, she's a few years younger than I, which makes her my brother's age. So he grew up with her, while I simply grew up in her presence. My good friend, Albuquerque Journal contributor and all-around punk-ass Kevin Hopper even managed to take her to prom. All that matters now, though, is that our fair city is about to be represented by the all-grown-up Ms. Farrell on the third season of USA Network's reality smash, "Nashville Star." And she's got what it takes to win big.
The Decemberists Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars)
Even for a band whose trademark is its penchant for musical re-enactments of historical events and Victorian literary references, Picaresque is an amazing feat of unapologetic chamber pop so full of hooks the average indie drama queen could easily find him- or herself mortally jigged. Colin Meloy, The Decemberists' Arch Duke, has outdone even his usual borderline overdone lyrical self here, and the rest of his five-piece indie orchestra provide the perfect accompaniment to his archetypal exercises. This is as close as you'll get to musical theater sans shitty acting and with elaborate sets that create themselves in your mind.
Lil Jon • crunk, hip-hop, DJ set
Jonathan Smith, aka Lil Jon, is a master of the hip-hop sound. Lil Jon comes straight outta Atlanta, conquering mainstream pop with tuneage like “Goodies,” “Move Bitch” and the seminal crunk gem “Who U Wit.” In fact, the artist is known as one of the progenitors of crunk, a subgenre of rap derived from Southern hip-hop and marked by a crafty, layered keyboard groove with built-in bass and call and response lyrics meant to get audiences out onto the dance floor…
Chubby Checker • rock, oldies
Legendary rocker Chubby Checker plays a matinee concert at The Showroom at Isleta Resort & Casino on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3pm. Checker, as readers may recall, popularized many new dance styles in the late 1950s and early '60s with hits like “The Twist,” “Pony Time” and “Limbo Rock.” During the 1970s he recorded a psychedelic album and toured as a disco act, too, finally scoring an all-time Number One on Billboard dance chart hit with “The Twist” in 2008. Checker continues to thrill audiences with his silky vocal skills and groovy dance performances. Admission to this 21-plus blast from the past is priced at $25.
A Very Selena Thanksgiving • Amanda Machon y Los Metamorfos • Latin
Revisit the beloved body of work produced by Selena Quintanilla-Pérez and pay tribute to an artist who was lost to her fans far too young at A Very Selena Thanksgiving at Launchpad on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 9pm. Shining local star Amanda Machon of Red Light Cameras joins genre-hopping psychedelic world fusion outfit Los Metamorfos in performing their Selena tribute set. Tickets for this 21-plus concert are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.