Friday, December 30, 2011

Dirt City Chronicles: The Year in Review

July 2nd.  Gloria Trevi is a freak who has ridden waves of scandal like she's fucking Kelly Slater.  Cesar Costa is vanilla blandness  and mediocrity wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.

July 3rd. Los Rockeros,  The Mexican version of mid-fifties rock & roll (with a few exceptions) was  lame when compared to the original.

July 8th.   A mini review of "Sad Magic" by Shang-a-Lang , plus the album in its entirety and two definitive videos from The Answer Lies.  Combined these documents should secure Chris Mason's place as the angry step dad of New Mexico punk rock.

July 10th.  Brokencyde made me so now I must break them.  Added bonus:  a video by the D Numbers "Ghost Talk" very cool!  Shout Outs to Crash (Blank) and Things in Light.

July 11th. Red Light Cameras,  tongue in cheek review of the video for "Convertible" Red Light Cameras have a special ingredient that so many local bands lack: personality.

July 20th.  Brian Fejer has posted some amazing videos on  Vimeo.  Here he gives "The Past and Pending" by the Shins, the epic treatment.

July 23rd. Mourning the passing of Amy Winehouse wasn't the cool thing to do. Sometimes timing is everything, it was Amy's misfortune to die the day after some psychotic went on a killing spree in Norway.

July 28th. Both Carl Petersen and Jon Forrest Little of The Ant Farmers have continued to make music, albeit in a discreet and quiet manner.  Episode 16 of That Dirt City Sound podcast featured the best of Jon's post Farmers songs.  Episode 17 did the same for Carl Petersen.

Aug. 5th. Number Nine Dream: The Crackers, some people will stop at nothing to hold on to their dreams of rock stardom, while others give up and start delivering USA Today.

Aug. 10th. A Scream is a Noise and not Music: Rock music began as noise and has regressed back into noise.

Aug. 12th.  The Borderland has long had a love affair with radio, nothing in Albuquerque can really compare to it. El Paso's radio scene has always been highly competitive, this kept El Chuco's on-air personalities constantly looking for an advantage.  Steve Crosno thrived in that environment, he was a man constantly on the edge, re-inventing radio as he went along.  Over a period of almost fifty years, day in and day out, Steve Crosno gave it his all....God Bless the D.J. man.

Aug. 13th.  A series of videos that show Steve Crosno, the Borderland's D.J. legend at his  campy, over the top prime.  There's also  two airchecks, chock full of everything that endeared Steve to his legion of fans.

Aug. 16th.  Beirut's new album "The Rip Tide" didn't have the same impact as "The Gulag Orkestar" or  "The Flying Club Cup" which is a shame because it's Zach Condon's best effort yet.

Aug. 20th. Dirt City Chronicles, your one stop shop for everything Zach Condon. The legendary bedroom recordings, now labeled "The Joys of Losing Weight" appeared on You Tube. Also included is a video from Zach's pre- Beirut period. "Small-Time American Bats" was a collaboration between Condon and Alex Gaziano of Kid Crash, which segues into....

Aug. 24th. Kid Crash, Math isn't just for engineers, it's also the foundation for math rock, a spin off from emocore that proves once and for all that smart guys also  know how to rock.

Aug. 26th. Zagadka is homegrown emocore, smart and talented, without the whine.  We also bid adieu to The Dirty Novels. Pablo Novelas was rumored to be on his way to Philadelphia, but  he ended up in Portland instead... imagine that.

 Sept. 1st.  That Dirt City Sound podcast episode 18, the first of a two part series, showcasing bands and musicians from Santa Fe

Sept. 3rd. That Dirt City Sound podcast episode 19,  Santa Fe part two

Sept. 7th. Dirt City Graphic, I lost my trusty flash drive... damn near caused me to have a fucking panic attack. Thank God! for back-up files.

Sept. 8th. Venus Bogardus (James Reich & Hannah Levbarg) "The music scenes in Albuquerque & Santa Fe (such as they are) have constantly renewed themselves through the influx of ideas and talent from outside the state. So, who better than a Brit and a Texan to set us straight when it comes to no wave, post punk music and literature. "

Sept. 13th. Down with the Clowns, "Insane Clown Posse (Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope) set out to produce shocking, blatantly over-exaggerated fantasies that fed on the myth of the white ghetto gangster. Ultimately, their cartoon-like narratives are just silly and boring." 
Sept 14th.  Tom Green's "Gathering of the Juggalos" video (that was the year Tila Tequila was bombarded with excrement and bottles while on stage) and ICP's dumb it down for the dummies "Juggalo Island" video. 

Sept. 19th. If I ground my axe as much as some  imply, I would have no axe left.

Sept. 24th. (The SoCal Chicano rap scene is) America's Least Wanted, "The music  is a soundtrack of old school beats lifted from 50's oldies, 60's soul music or early 90's gangsta rap. It's an indoctrination for the phony tough, a "Sesame Street" primer for pee wees wishing to become cogs in La Vida Loca."

Sept. 25th.  Albucrazy rappers show love for the Duke City. Juan Gambino is not fooling anyone in a diss video aimed at Hi Power.

Sept. 30th. The Cult of the Purple Drank, down Texas way (Houston to be specific) they drink that barre. Prometh-Codeine cough syrup cut with Mountain Dew, Sprite or Orange Crush, with Jolly Rancher candies dissolved into the mix. D.J. Screw invented a style of mixing & production, tailor made for the sizzurp sippers.

Oct. 2nd. That Dirt City Sound podcast Episode 20, a showcase of Albucrazy rap artists and their music. " If you look past the gang posturing, it becomes apparent that these artists have a great love for Albuquerque and New Mexico."

Oct. 4th. Never Drink With the Raggies,  from roach coaches to the murdered women of Juarez, The Raggies don't hold back. "Perhaps this mob of Mesilla Valley zanies has always been too unserious, dirty, rude and politically uncool to give a fuck that the odds are against them. The Raggies can be a lowbrow hoot, but they also strike a balance between tomfoolery and sharp social commentary."

Oct. 5th. Videos and more from the Raggies, I included Charles Honeywell's hilarious article from Texas Gun Monthly and Chet Smith's report of his encounter with the band while writing for DIY magazine.

Oct. 13th. Felonious Groove Foundation, the chronicles of Santa Fe's last true funk band. "Damned if people don't categorize you as Latin, if you incorporate reggeton and contemporary Latin jazz rythyms into your music. For ten years it seemed to suit them just fine."

Oct. 14th. Doth Protest Too Much!  that whole Occupy Wall Street movement rubs me the wrong way, Foster the People on the other hand... I like.

Oct. 16th. Felonious Groove Foundation videos and music tracks

Oct. 20th. Benefit for Kenta Henmi, article reprinted from Wig Wam Bam, authored by Capt. America.  A benefit held to help out Kenta Henmi, a true rocker in every sense of the word. 

Oct. 21st. The Graphic, album reviews... Ryan McGarvey- Forward in Reverse, Country Blues Revue- Blues for too Long and Jennifer Robin- The Bird and the Beatles.

Oct. 22nd. The Graphic, album reviews... Flow Nice- Listen Closely, The Alumni- Perfect Man, Sticky Pistil- Hi Fi Superfly

Oct. 23rd. Graphic Videos... images and music to go with the preceding album reviews

Nov. 3rd. Brujeria, the "Mexican" grindcore band is actually made up of three Brits, including Napalm Death's Shane Embury. However, Juan Brujo the strangulated lead singer is Mexican. Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys was involved in an early version of the band.

Nov. 10th. High Tech Adventurer, Bob Forbes of Deming beside having an extensive recording catalog of his own, also collaborates with German synth artist Syntopia Music.

Nov. 11th. A short profile of guitarist Sylvan Albertus, one of New Mexico's best kept secrets. Added bonus: a review of "Kill to Ruth" an album by Seven Albatross (which is Sylvan) 

Nov. 14. That Dirt City Sound podcast Episode 21.... odds and sods, a wide mix of blues, jazzy female vocals, live takes and studio recordings  (Ryan McGarvey, The Memphis P Tails, Bernadette Seacrest, C.W. Ayon, Lincoln St. Exit etc.)

Nov. 16th. Death by Misadventure: Nicholas Blossom, stupidity has its consequences, Blossom the drummer for New York City band  Alaska Alaska, was lucky to survive a gruesome accident.

Nov. 20th.  "Life is not worth living unless there is beauty and love within it" quote from Brandon Bethancourt (Alaska in Winter)  Few break loose from the tenacious grip of addiction long enough to rebuild their lives.  

Nov. 21st. Videos from Alaska in Winter

Nov. 27th. Album review, A.R. and The Ramblin' Rats- Going to Kansasquerque. The music is a rhapsodic mix of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs & John Lennon injected with a heavy dose of folk,rock & blues from the 1960's. Telling a story comes natural to a story teller, AR's mastery of that form is apparent on every song.

Nov. 28th. Down the Rabbit Hole,  Thom Parrott has been called "Albuquerque's Bob Dylan." the Duke City's link to the "folk boom" of the 1960's.  They're all here,  Illegal Aliens, Cabin Lance, Caleb Miles, Los Flaming Cool Arrows... 

Nov. 29th. Thom Parrott videos, According to the liner notes from Thom Parrott's album "Everything is Fine" his mother said he was using complete sentences at nine months and began singing soon after that.

Dec. 2nd. That Dirt City Sound podcast Episode 22...  country blues, folk , banjos, zias and ristras (Thom Parrott, Fast Heart Mart, Country Blues Revue, Caleb Miles, Watermelon Mountain Jug Band etc.)

Dec. 3rd. Death by Misadventure: Les Harvey,  a microphone, an electric guitar or electric bass guitar can kill you if not properly grounded (or as the British like to say, earthed) Les Harvey, Keith Relf and John Rostill were some noteable musicians who fell victim to Redi Kilowatt.

Dec. 6th. A Thousand Guitar Pickers in Guyville, Rolling Stone released another Top 100 best guitarist list (David Fricke's picks had preceded this one) Here's their top twenty followed by mine.

Dec. 8th.   TJ Trout, brought the hi-jinks and shenanigans of the Morning Zoo format to Albuquerque at a time when the local airwaves were stagnant. Trout and his co-horts stayed true to the general template for zany morning shows across the country. Although, we didn't know that, since there had never been anything like it in Albuquerque.

Dec. 16th.  The Graphic, a few ideas for Christmas stocking stuffers, Fast Heart Mart, SuperGiant, Alaska in Winter and Sicksicksick Distro. Venus Bogardus (James Reich and Hannah Levbarg) have graced us with a cool ep release just in time for Christmas.  "Music from The Endless Possibility of Sky" is four instrumental tracks,  that includes two yule classics and two Venus Bogardus originals.

Dec. 18th. A Thousand Miles from Guitar Town,  Originally this was part of a previous post (1000 Guitar Pickers in Guyville)  Being a completest, I couldn't stop at just one list. The first list is of my personal favorites.   The second list is made up of  famous and obscure guitarists that snobs may frown upon, but I love them dearly.

Dec. 23rd. That Dirt City Sound podcast Episode 23,  I set out to make this a "rock" episode, which it is to a certain degree. Times are changing and what we once knew as rock music is slowly evolving into something else. More and more, we have less rock and more music. (Spellbox, Simon Widdowson, Angola Farms, SuperGiant, Tenderizor etc.)

Dec. 26th. The Last Radio Show, I recorded T.J. Trout's last show on KZRR, 94-Rock (all four hours) for posterity and archiving. Here's my take on the proceedings. 

Dec. 27th. Dirt City Chronicles: The Year in Review.. part one (Jan. to June)

Dec. 30th. Dirt City Chronicles: The Year in Review.. part two (July to Dec.)

I know nothing which of course qualifies me as an expert on all things pertaining to New Mexico and Albuquerque music. I'm not a journalist, so I can flaunt all conventional rules and customs of the staid old fourth estate. 

I'm a blogger, I copy & paste, download, create, bootleg, pirate, snatch, jack, lift and steal everything I need.  Dirt City Chronicles is a labor of love and a fruitless pursuit to chronicle the vast and endless amount of music produced within the state of New Mexico.

Read it now and you can thank me later!