Music to Your Ears
It's the 70th anniversary of the New Mexico State Fair. If there were ever a year to eat deep-fried Twinkies, this is it (though the must-scarf junk food item for 2008 appears to be chocolate-covered bacon). And this week's free music programming makes it a can't-miss.
In German: Es ist New Mexico
Experimental electro artist Reba Hasko was lured to Albuquerque from afar.
Hasko's brothers, Josh and Jesse (who form the ambient electronic Burque band North America) eventually enticed Hasko to leave Berlin and join them in New Mexico.
"I was talking to them all the time about the adventures they've had here," Hasko recalls. "It sounds to me like there's something a little spooky about the desert."
An almost ominous sense of suspense and mystery has always been a part of Hasko's shtick. From her early acoustic days with only a piano and her voice, Hasko has branched out to include synthesizer and a bevy of computer-generated bells, horns, strings and hollow overtones. Her classically trained voice slithers and climbs, sometimes panting, often cooing and usually brushed with vibrato. More often than not, Hasko slathers her songs in static. "I'm really into distortion," she admits. "And I got addicted to strings."
Flyer on the Wall
If you heard gangsta rap is dead, you're tuning in to the wrong radio station. And if you think gangsta rappers thrive on violence and monotonous material, you're only partially correct. LAX is lyrical and beat-driven, bombing murals of street life and hard times in The Game’s L.A. Joining in some of the highlights are Nas, Common and Raekwon. Say what you will about mainstream rap and its current condition, but The Game spits in all the right directions. (JH)
On the Scene
It's the Vinyl Countdown!
Records are cool
When Albuquerque glam band The Foxx went to put out its first release in 2004, it needed a label. So, naturally, bassist Zac Webb started his own enterprise, a vinyl polymer-only affair cleverly known as Vinyl Countdown. More than four years later, he's released six albums that include his band as well as rare sonic items found during record collecting adventures. Next month he will release a double gatefold LP by one of the first L.A. punk bands, Black Randy and the Metrosquad. The album is called Pass the Dust I Think I'm Bowie. He's also soon to release an album by early '80s Kentucky power-pop band Sgt. Arms, and just last weekend signed one of Australia's first DIY punk bands, Last Words. Zac and I had a chat about the record biz over drinks.