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.
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)...
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?