Bridle the Wind
The celestial twang of The Grave of Nobody’s Darling
Jessica Billey and Bud Melvin must be the most creative couple to hit the local music scene in some time. Hailing from Chicago, each counts more than a half-dozen musical projects between them. There’s the audacious and experimental Lionhead Bunny, in which they play empty whiskey bottles, the mysterious vocaltron (which seems to be of the band’s creation) and 19 effects pedals. In the Blue Rose Ramblers, the pair champions vintage fiddle songs of the sort on which Bob Wills based his Western swing. As part of the massive Cobra//group ensemble, they push the limits of what you or I think of as music. Solo, Melvin pioneered chiptune banjo rustling (reprogramming Game Boy blips and bleeps into five-string music) and Billey has played violin for The Mekons and Smog.
Vertigo Venus’ Success or Suicide
Vertigo Venus is an unapologetic promo machine. Overkill Internet campaigns swathe social networking sites until you feel you’ve been waterboarded into submission. Excessive, yes, but the outcome is massive support from a rabid fan base that loves the band’s punky synthpop goodness.
Jazz Here and There, Then and Now
New Mexico Jazz Festival spreads out
The fifth annual New Mexico Jazz Festival has a gaggle of big names that will make jazz fans’ ears prick up in expectation—Toshiko Akiyoshi, Jimmy Cobb, Miguel Zenón, Los Pleneros de la 21, Bobby Shew and Doug Lawrence, just to name a few. That short list alone includes two NEA Jazz Masters, two National Heritage Fellows, Grammy winners and nominees, and a MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, among other honorees.
Flyer on the Wall
It’s Raining Circles
The artist behind this fanciful flyer seems to reference ’70s illustration and a certain children’s show that was filled with an ensemble cast of Muppets and really strange animated shorts. Blocky text contrasts with pale yellow watercolor, and the viewer learns that Gay Beast, XRY, The Gatherers and Discotays will play at Wunderkind (1016 Coal SW) at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 11, amidst a shower of multicolored circles. See the glam / psychedelic / new wave magic, and possibly a few unnamed acts, for only $5. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
A Hawk & A Hacksaw is about to embark on a grand tour of Europe, beginning in Austria and making more than a score of stops in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany (see ahawkandahacksaw.blogspot.com to learn more about the band’s travels). But before the noted folk act departs fair Albuquerque, Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes will play an all-ages show at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Friday, July 9, at 8 p.m. Below, find out what wonderful foreign things show up in Trost and Barnes’ shuffled songs—commented upon collectively.
The Guild Cinema Fundraiser • Sleepy Hero • variety • Searching for Summer • DJ Lunchbox
The Guild Cinema, our burg’s art house movie theater, is a local treasure—remnant of an age when Joey Abbin's grandma took tickets on summer days and Ant Farmers members and future Fred’s Bread and Weekly Alibi staffers ran the projectors and doled out endless buckets of tasty popcorn. The place is still rocking fine film experiences nearly 40 years later, but the dudes at the controls need our help. Technology has advanced so quickly over the past decade as to make hardware and software for public film presentation prohibitively expensive. But the crew is on top of it, for The Guild Fundraiser to make all our cinematic dreams eligible for local screening. They host a benefit concert featuring the best of our experimental music scene at Launchpad on Thursday, June 20 starting at 9pm. That bill boasts two new bands, Searching for Summer and Sleepy Hero, that are made up of members of Death Convention Singers, Mammal Eggs, Chicharra, Lady Uranium and Bigawatt. This 21-and-over celebration of celluloid heroes can be had for just $8.
Russian Girlfriends • rock, punk • Baphomet Beach Party
Russian Girlfriends hosts a Baphomet Beach Party to celebrate the release of their new record, In the Parlance of Our Times, at 8pm on Friday, June 21 at Launchpad—that sounds fun and we can always appreciate the jollification of Satanic urges. But the real reason for the season is the support of a local band with a superior rock record that has emerged from the ether to conquer summertime listening habits here, there and potentially everywhere. With for-realz everyman angst buoyed by propulsive playing, catchy crunchiness and all the humility of a team of draft horses dredging a 150-ton trawler up from the depths, The Day may be one of the best records to come out of this little old military outpost in the desert that we call home. Russian Girlfriends has been burning through black plastic punk power for nigh on five years but this one could be the key to the next level. Find out for yourself and sell your soul to the dark one at the same time for $8 in advance and $10 at the door plus an ID that attests you have passed the threshold of 21; it will be blissful, bright and then painless, we're sure.