Music to Your Ears
On Hos and Hip-hop—Last week in response to Oprah's two-part Hip-hop Town Hall (which was in response to Don Imus being a dipshit), poet and hip-hop artist Saul Williams wrote an open letter to Oprah. Oprah's programs dealt with misogyny, racism, marginalization and censorship and hosted guests such as Def Jam cofounder Russell Simmons, rapper Common, poet and author Maya Angelou, a record executive, an entertainment lawyer, people involved with the NAACP and a group of female students from Spelman College (who, in 2004, protested a Nelly performance for his treatment of women in his videos). While the program was positive, it wasn't in-depth. Saul Williams’ letter, on the other hand, was.
Paging Dr. Octagon
Triumphant or resistant, an innovator returns
It was your average rabies call. Dr. Octagon was paged to Room 109, unaware of his looming demise. “I’ll tell you what,” spat Dr. Dooom as Octagon entered. “Take this, motherfucker. Take two of these and call me in the morning.” And thus, the good doctor was capped. Cause of death? Multiple GSWs (gunshot wounds) from a nemesis Octagon never saw coming.
Flyer on the Wall
Go West, Young Band
Rio Rancho gets a little louder when The Pharmacy, Fiction Onehundred, Built for Dummies and Easier Said Than Done play Thursday, April 26, at Turtle Mountain Brewing Co. (21+). Bring a few dollars for cover. (LM)
The Hands and The Skeletons
Hand jives and exorcisms
Garage rock is a tricky genre. From listening to the intentionally lo-fi recordings and simple song structures, you might be tempted to think anyone can pull it off. Goodness knows a lot of bands have tried, but few have managed to stand out enough to gain more than just local recognition. Still others, such as Southern California’s The Willowz, struggle to break out of the tightly confined space the genre allows without losing what made them successful in the first place.
Brash, punkish energy, hooks that could snag a whale and sheer invigorating exuberance mark the debut recording of the Neil Cowley Trio (with pianist/composer Cowley, bassist Richard Sadler and drummer Evan Jenkins). A taut ballad, a trancelike rocker, a miniature that recalls Vince Guaraldi, a conundrum set to music, a contemplative swinger—Cowley attacks everything with breathtaking dynamic flair and a surprising, adept touch. With a sure rhythmic feel and an irrepressible and infectious spirit, Cowley and the boys gleefully roll the tunes downhill in a headlong rush—almost, but never quite, losing control every time.
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.