Friday, March 3, 2017

What Are You Listening To?

So you were listening to the Mael brothers as a ninth grader?... that's cool. I'll see your Sparks and raise you 10cc. Remember how cool they sounded when they first came out? “Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets. I love to hear those convicts squeal; It's a shame these slugs ain't real” just switch out convicts with water protectors or protesters and you have a song that's a perfect fit for these politically charged times. Lists were so trendy on FB this past summer. I like this game, it's fun to see what everyone listens to, especially musicians and music writers. I'll see your list and raise it with a list of my own. Obviously and by the very nature of this blog, I favor music produced by musicians native to or based in Albuquerque or anywhere else that falls within the boundaries of New Mexico.

The amount of local music available is staggering. It's a pursuit that requires countless hours of searching, listening, recording and curating. This translates into about 80% of what I listen to being local. It takes a train to get me off this track. When I do branch out, I tend to favor non-commercial music that somehow still manages to sound commercial. I'll see your Skyhooks and raise you Split Enz. Funny how music once deemed radical and daring now sounds so ordinary. I dig experimentation but it's the familiar that keeps me coming back. What am I listening to right now besides local music?.... plenty of doom metal for one. I've rediscovered my love of metal music. The hair farmer arena rock metal bands of the 1980s almost killed it for me, but metal is back and in a big way.

I stumbled upon Stoned Meadow of Doom, a YouTube channel dedicated to doom of every sort. It's so heavy that just listening puts you in danger of gravitational collapse. Stone Meadow of Doom draws you into a world of spiraling bone grinding heaviness. Name yer poison: traditional, stoner, funeral, epic, sludge, drone, death and black.... plenty of doom to go around. Myself, I prefer the comfort food of doom sub-genres: Stoner Doom, which lacking the claustrophobic and suffocating sense of malice that envelopes death or black metal, administers a pleasant narcotic effect. It's a hypnotic lullaby that puts you on the nod. A style inspired in part by San Francisco proto-metal pioneers, Blue Cheer. It's nature's Oxycontin soothingly delivered via electricity and amplification.

  1. Lee Van Cleef ~ Holy Smoke.
    This is not the spaghetti western film star but rather the stoner/psych/doom band from Naples, Italy. Stoned Meadow of Doom calls their latest album “Holy Smoke” “Forty minutes of pure and sacred fascination that dilates the conscientious borders and gives off lucidity to the marrow of narcosis” Marco Adamo on guitar, Guido Minervini drummer and Pietro La Tegola on bass.... heavy psych without annoying vocals, showcasing a heavily distorted guitar that sounds like Adamo is dragging the bottom of a lake in search of bodies.

  2. Hey Satan ~ Hey Satan
    Has anyone else noticed that power trios sound much bigger than they used to? How many riffs could Satan riff if Satan riffed riffs? Hey Satan, a Swiss trio answers that question with their eponymous new release “Hey Satan” Riffs upon riffs upon riffs. A wall of doom constructed around a foundation of classic cock rock swagger and sludgy stoner ooze, seemingly inspired by Nine Inch Nails and the first wave Seattle grunge bands more than the heavy metal most Stoner doom outfits favor. Hey Satan is the Stoner version of Mudhoney.
  3. Thou at Hellfest
    Hailing from Baton Rouge, La. Thou's line-up has remained consistent throughout the years. Formed in 2005, a prolific sludge metal band, sporting a hefty discography. Thou gives off an evil vibe that runs counter to the band's true nature. Sure Bryan Funck sounds evil as fuck, but these fellers are as safe as mother's milk. Thou has a tenuous connection to the local scene having recorded a split “Dwell in the Darkness of Thought and Drink the Poison of Life” with 'Burque's own The City is the Tower.

  4. Acid King at Hoverfest
    A stoner metal band from San Francisco, Acid King has been around since 1993. The band revolves around founding members: Lori S., guitarist/vocalist and Joey Osbourne, drummer. The band's name was inspired by the highly publicized murder case of Ricky Kasso, an acid head who murdered one of his friends. He was known as the “Acid King” due to his chronic hallucinogenic drug use. Lori S. who according to Wikipedia “is known for her hypnotic vocals and heavy, low ended guitar sound” was formerly married to Melvins drummer Dale Crover.

  5. Witch Mountain at Hoverfest
    Captures the next to last appearance with Witch Mountain for mesmerizing lead vocalist Uta Plotkin. Witch Mountain is a doom metal band from Portland, Or. “When we started Witch Mountain in 1997, doom metal was one of the most uncool styles of music you could play. We were absolutely ignored by the local press in those days” New singer Kayla Dixon has a theatrical background and a really soulful voice but her over the top showboating style is so gauche when compared to the majestic stage presence of Ms. Plotkin.
  1. Manic Hispanic ~ The Menudo Incident
    Revolving around the recently departed Mike “Gabby” Gaborno, Manic Hispanic was a SoCal punk parody supergroup made up of former or current members of The Adolescents, Agent Orange, Death by Stereo and The Cadillac Tramps. All the members were Mexican-American or part Mexican,, "we're not cholos or gangsters, but we come from that heritage and we're proud of it." thus the band's penchant for covering punk rock standards with a Chicano twist. Gabby Gaborno, proof positive that all true Chicanos from El Lay sound just like Cheech Marin, passed away in January of this year after a long hard battle with liver cancer.

  1. Karen Dalton ~ Pine Street Recording
    Recorded on a reel-to-reel in Karen's Colorado home in 1963. Karen on vocals, long neck banjo and 12 string guitar. A beautifully recorded and preserved intimate document of one of the period's most enigmatic, heartbreaking and wonderfully talented musicians. “Dalton could sound like Billie Holiday, and she had the striking beauty of a Walker Evans dustbowl portrait. Bob Dylan called her his favorite singer from the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s”
  1. The Kossoy Sisters ~ Bowling Green
    Ellen and Irene Kossoy, identical twins with a knack for close harmony. Their quintessential version of “I'll Fly Away” was featured in the Coen Bros. movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou," only to be replaced on the soundtrack album with a version by Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch. According to Ellen, the use of two different versions of "I'll Fly Away" is still a bit of a mystery. "As far as we know, (Krauss' and Welch's version) had been recorded before the movie came out and using us in the movie was a later decision. We think it's (director/writer) Ethan Coen who made the decision to use us, but we're not absolutely sure about that."

  1. Le Butcherettes ~ Sin Sin Sin
    Formed in Guadalajara by American ex-pat Teri Gender Bender i.e. Teresa Suárez. Le Butcherettes has evolved into a vehicle for Teresa to showcase her prodigious talents as a guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. “Sin Sin Sin” introduced her to a new legion of fans north of the border that Trump loathes so much. Fuck him. Jettison your hateful ideas about lines of demarcation and such, embrace the difference. Teresa is proof that two cultures can not only coexist but thrive by soaking in the best influences of both.
  1. Jenny and the Mexicats ~ 'Ome'
          Formed in Madrid, Spain, a multicultural band made up of musicians from Mexico, Spain and
          the U.K., the Mexicats a.k.a. “Pachucos y la Princesa” have relentlessly toured Mexico and
          now have their sights set on cracking the U.S. market. Jenny Ball began playing the trumpet
          at age 7 and began singing at 15, alongside teaching herself to play the guitar. Jenny sings in
          English but also has a soulful command of the Spanish language, making her a dual threat.
          Capable of tugging at your heartstrings in two languages.