In a perfect world, I'd write a post about a different local band here every week. I've had an active interest in the Albuquerque local music scene since the first week of August, 1993, when I became a resident of the Duke City. Actually, I think the first live music show I remember going to here was not a local act, but John Waite, at the Sunshine Theatre, in the Fall of '93.

"Missing you... since you been gone.. oh-ay"...

A quick list of Albuquerque venues, most of which have come and gone, that I saw local and touring acts perform at, would look like this (with sample memorable shows in parenthesis, for the benefit of memory jogging for you old-timers)...

From 1993-Present:

Fat Chance- (Olivia Tremor Control, Apricot Jam)
Dingo Bar- (Jessamine, Stereolab, Archers of Loaf, Bad Touch Uncle, Hovercraft, Crash Worship, G. Love & Special Sauce, Flake Music, Naomi, The Ant Farmers, Jonathan Richman)
Beyond Ordinary (or was it U.N. by that time?)- (Rabbit in the Moon, DJ Sneak)
Time Out- (Southern Culture on the Skids, Giant Steps)
Golden West- (Boss Hog, Ben Folds, Soul Coughing, John Spencer Blues Explosion, Will Oldham, Bovine)
El Rey- (Pavement, Yo La Tengo, The Drags, The Cramps, Starsky- version 1, Bo Diddley, Iron & Wine)
Launchpad- (Nashville Pussy, Versus, June of 44, Fatso, R.L. Burnside, The Shins, The Eyeliners, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, The Rondelles, Gluey Brothers, The Concentrators, Luxo-Champ, Elephant)
Burt's Tiki Lounge- (Starsky- version 2, 500, Black Maria)
Five Points Hall- (NOFX)
Atomic Cantina- (The Cherry Tempo)
AMC (Albuquerque Mining Company)- (The KLF)
Sonny's- (Guitar Wolf)
Tingley Coliseum/NM State Fair- (Smashing Pumpkins, Cake, Willie Nelson)
Journal Pavilion- (Bob Dylan, Poison, Def Leppard, Willie Nelson)
ABQ Convention Center/Kiva Auditorium- (Cypress Hill, Pharcyde, Beck, MGMT)
Sunshine Theatre- (Los Lobos, Cheap Trick, The Shins, Of Montreal, Built To Spill, Insane Clown Posse, The Roots, Ween, Rev. Horton Heat)
University Stadium- (The Rolling Stones)
Fred's Bread & Bagels- (Death Cab for Cutie)
Bow Wow Records- (Ben Lee, Atom & His Package)
Popejoy Hall- (Johnny Cash, Corey Harris, Keb' Mo, The Shins)

Well, that's all I can think of in my 20 minute drill, but I think you see my point. Albuquerque has been an overachieving locale of sorts for live shows, in my opinion, throughout the years. This is especially true when one considers that we have no "college radio" to speak of. There is no constant presence for new music on the radio dial, and that has always been the case since I arrived. The only thing close that we have had in the recent past was the "Over the Edge" shows on Clear Channel Radio's "The Edge"- Sunday nights in the mid-late 90's, along with an earlier Sunday night show on KUNM, called "Ear to the Ground", which highlighted mostly local new music.

When I was going to college (1989-1993) in tiny Lewiston, ME, we had at least 20 hours a week of "New Music" in our programming schedule at WRBC. This is where I heard (and played), for the first time, bands like Nirvana, Ween, Galaxie 500, Soundgarden, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Charlatans U.K., Stone Roses, Replacements, Phish...

In my days here in the Duke City, in my opinion, we have never had such a luxury on our airwaves.

Despite all the challenges, local music in Albuquerque is still something to be proud of. We have a grip of great bands playing their guts out each and every week. Recently, I came across a video of one such band. I was blown away by their polished exterior, their energy, their sensibility. They recently had their "Record Release Party" at the Launchpad, and their album is now available online and locally at Natural Sound records. They have a second video coming out any day now, for their second single, Ray of Light (NOT a Madonna cover).

In the meantime, I present to you, Monster Paws' recent masterpiece, "Champagne Bike Ride":

Watch 'til the end, it's a true gem (CAUTION- some adult themes, but SFW-- and no, Benny, OBTS, Ayax, etc.- I'm not advocating drinking while bicycling :-)).



Did I miss any key venues or shows in my list above (I think I was a year or two too late for shows at the UNM SUB Ballroom, alas alack)? What current local bands are you excited about?

Views: 99

Tags: Albuquerque, history, localness, music, narcissism, nostalgia, venues

Comment by Don McIver on November 17, 2010 at 9:09am
Though my music is definitely of the jam-band persuasion, thus you missed quite few bands, you hit the venues pretty thoroughly.

On the radio front: KUNM has more than just Ear to the Ground (which is actually Saturday night), Afternoon Freeform features local, touring acts all the time and Music to Soothe Savage Beast (Tuesday night) is quite good at getting new music out there.

As for local bands: ThaMuseMeant (really Santa Fe), the Withdrawals (every Tuesday at Sonny's for like 2 years), Wagogo, La Chat Lunatique, Daddy Long Loin, the Squash Blossom Boys.

Phish at the El Rey, Widespread Panic & Blues Traveler at the El Rey.

Beck, Wilco, and Widespread Panic at the Kiva.

Just a partial list.

Love "Champagne Bike Ride"...great video and catchy tune, though so wonderfully wrong in so many ways.
Comment by Masshole in Fringecrest on November 17, 2010 at 9:16am
Yeah, were it not for my friendship with Lewi Longmire, I must admit that I probably never would have seen Apricot Jam back in the day. I've seen Phish, and The Dead, mostly for the drugs, but Jam bands are not my thing, to be sure. I've seen Wagogo at the BioPark with my kids a number of times in recent years, and enjoy their music. Which reminds me that I completely forgot the following venues; Isleta Casino, Sandia Casino, The Zoo and the Botanic Gardens. of course, I've never seen shows at three of those. Does my wife seeing Styx at Sandia and Pat Benatar at Isleta count? Also, if Santa fe counted, I could include a bunch of great shows there-- David Byrne, Debbie Harry, Jonathan Richman (yes, again), T. Model Ford, and especially at Paolo Soleri (Phish, Compay Segundo, Dead can Dance, Modest Mouse)
Comment by once banned twice shy on November 17, 2010 at 9:18am
Not advocating drinking while riding a bike? Too bad. Heh.
Comment by once banned twice shy on November 17, 2010 at 9:24am
Likin' the Monster Paws. Likin' them a lot. Too bad I'm too old to stay up for any of their local shows...
Comment by once banned twice shy on November 17, 2010 at 9:46am
Oh, and speaking of the Ant Farmers, I saw a little notice on the door of the Alibi offices that they have a concert coming up.
Comment by Monica on November 17, 2010 at 10:36am
Giant Steps are having a reunion show at the Launchpad in Dec! They were one of my faves when I was in high school. Another awesome local ska band that was short lived was Half the Fat. I used to watch them at Spotlights. I'm not sure if anyone remembers that venue. It was an all ages, alcohol free venue in east Nob Hill in mid to late 90's. Some other Awesome shows I've seen:
the Launchpad-Corrosion of Conformity
Paolo Soleri-Violent Femmes
Sunshine Theater-Damian Marley, Ministry, Type O Negative
Convention Center-Pantera
Tingley- The Cure, Tool
Comment by aByX on November 17, 2010 at 1:41pm
You've seen a lot of great bands. I remember when the Withdrawls were a big local band. Lewi Longmire used to come into Birdland quite a bit back in the day when I worked there. Funnily enough, he used to hang out at my wife's house in Belen when they were kids. I'm not much of a jam band fan either, but I remember seeing RatDog sometime around 1996, but can't remember where. Naomi- now that's a blast from the past! Jason Daniello is still going strong as a solo artist, no?
Comment by Don McIver on November 17, 2010 at 1:46pm
Totally forgot about Naomi, and now that I think about it, Red Earth, Concepto Tambor, and Stoic Frame (before they moved west).
Comment by Masshole in Fringecrest on November 17, 2010 at 1:51pm
And I forgot about another venue-- Hiland Theatre! I saw both Morrissey and Ani DiFranco there (on different nights...)

And yes, Jason Daniello is in a band called the Broomstars in Asheville, NC, where he works for Moog and generally loves life, as always.
Comment by aByX on November 17, 2010 at 2:22pm
Good for Jason. He's a great guy with lots of talent.

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