Americana is the new punk rock. Like the early ’80s when any yob with a snarl and electric guitar called themselves punk, anyone today that has a thrift store banjo and name drops the Carter Family thinks they are folk musicians, deserving of serious listening and dollar-per-song downloads. Wrong.
At a concert this Friday evening at the South Broadway Cultural Center, Blaine Sprouse, Peter Feldmann and Wayne Shrubsall will explore the origins of bluegrass, a genre that hasn’t been around that long, but that’s deeply linked to the ancient, weird, anonymous music sometimes called folk. The idea behind the show is to explore how old-time traditional music from Appalachia, along with elements from gospel and jazz, evolved into the musical form pioneered by Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys in the mid-’40s.
When she started working on her new album, Green, vocalist and activist Barbara Bentree just wanted to do an album of songs she loves. Then, while considering the purchase of a hybrid auto, she began to ruminate on the effort required to go green—from separating your trash to retrofitting a house with solar panels. Suddenly, Kermit’s song “Bein’ Green” took on new meaning, and Bentree decided to “look at traditional songs through an environmental lens.” With a lovely, clear, well-pitched voice that has a charming girlishness in the upper registers and a pleasing touch of sweetness throughout, Bentree walks a line between wonder and warning. With pop, jazz, Brazilian and new age touches in sterling arrangements by John Rangel, who appears on piano and synth, the nine tracks feature fine work by Marcos Cavalcante (guitar) and Joel Fadness (drums). Drummer Dave Libman guests on “The Planet Song,” an intriguing anthem by Wen Mull that’s full of synth magic. The album—nominated for six New Mexico Music Awards—entertains while raising awareness, with all revenues from CD sales going to the Natural Resources Defense Council, PETA, GreenPeace, the Sierra Club and Bioneers. The album release concert, appropriately scheduled for Earth Day, will feature Rangel, Cavalcante and Fadness, along with the Rio Grande School choir.
Acid King, SuperGiant, Anesthesia, Shadow and Ash, Torture Victim, Skulldron, The Conjuring, and Jah Branch converge at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, April 21. The all-ages, metal-heavy fest—hosted by Burque smoke shop / tattoo and piercing salon / gift emporium The Zone—starts at 6 p.m. Tenderizor joins in for a 21-and-over after-show. Tickets are $10. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
The Facebook event posting for the event featuring Japanese hard rock duo Mugen Hoso—as well as two of Burque's most shredded out, burning with black fire and tasty chops into noisy oblivion bands, Constant Harmony and Shrewd—says that the show will destroy the venue, Zullos on Wednesday, Sept. 19 beginning at 8pm. I certainly hope not, because many Downtown-going, music-craving peeps in town have discovered cool jams emanating from this relatively new joint and frankly it would be nice to see much more. Anyway, you can count on the Sillery siblings to rock the heck out as Constant Harmony while Shrewd is about as sonically screwed as it gets here in the high desert. To top it all off the headliners implore listeners who visit their website that they “must shout and dance when they see our show.” “Let's rock together!” the band further intones. And why not; for the price of a $10 cover and an ID that says you are 21+, you can't get closer to the rocanrol truth than this.
It's been 20 years since Lauryn Hill's ground-breaking neo-soul inflected hip-hop recording, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill dropped. Since then, Hill's once for-sure-going-to-be-hot career has moved in fits and jumps as the artist behind such megahits like her rendition of “Killing Me Softly,” “Doo-Wop” and “Ex-Factor” wrestled with fame, responsibility and fans that blew both hot and cold as she faced media attention for erratic behavior and prison for tax evasion. This year's tour has been good to Hill though, and proves she's still able to pack big houses with her big sound. Lauryn Hill appears at Isleta Amphitheater on Monday, Sept. 24 at 6:30pm. Hip soul artist Talib Kweli and rapper Tierra Whack are also on the bill. Tickets range in price from $20 to $131 and this is an all-ages (13+) event.