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.
The Church • rock, indie
Check this out. Every band you have ever loved—well except for The Beatles, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Hole and the Wu-Tang Clan—is inevitably going to get back together, go on tour and appear in your hometown like the rightful, powerful magicians of the age that they proclaimed when you were collecting their albums and dancing like mad to everything they recorded. That goes for minor league rock gods from the '80s onward, so in the future, be prepared for amazing visits to the graves of outfits like Echo & the Bunnymen, Candlebox and Thompson Twins in search of relevance and cool merch. The Church, a gothy, psych-rock band from Down Under, notable for a couple of respectable hits, performs from their extensive oeuvre—they have 17 albums!—at Meow Wolf on Wednesday, May 1 at 8pm. Tickets for this 21 plus rockfest are $27 in advance and $30 the day of the show.VIP and Meetand Greet tickets cost $109.