Sunday, March 11th | Doors at 7pm
Opening with a dark, conga-infused drum break, lead-off track ‘Velvet For Sale’ establishes a moody, distinctly mysterious feel. If Half Free (Remy’s 2015 4AD offering) trafficked in dusty, sample-based textures, Poem represents an inversion of that instrumental formula; the non-sampled rhythms are themselves eminently sample-able. The newfound grooviness speaks to a central element of the new album’s collaborative spirit. All tracks save for two were performed by The Cosmic Range, an accomplished instrumental collective from Toronto, Remy’s adoptive hometown. Assembled by Matthew Dunn in 2014, The Cosmic Range is composed of some of Canada’s most accomplished improvisers, and includes longtime U.S. Girls producer / foil Maximilian ‘Twig’ Turnbull. The Range–whose eclectic combination of improvised psych, jazz, and propulsive dance music was first recorded on their 2016 New Latitudes debut (Idée Fixe)–is put to work here on a song cycle that is typically diverse for a U.S. Girls album. Remy is not content merely to establish a new sonic palette on successive albums. Instead she approaches each song as its own encapsulation, with the effect that her oeuvre is essentially genre-agnostic. On Poem, the buffet of sounds comprises a dizzying variety: disco, employed as a protest vernacular (‘Mad As Hell’), as well as an unrelenting assault (‘Time’); Remy’s beat-driven impulse, extended via The Cosmic Range’s vamping on hip hop producer Onakabazien’s produced loops (‘Incidental Boogie’ & ‘Pearly Gates’); moody, slow-burning funk, on the Twig co-writes (‘Velvet For Sale’ & ‘L-Over’); and forming the emotional core of the album, two earnest synth anthems, written in collaboration with D.C. based instrumentalist, Rich Morel (‘Rosebud’ & ‘Poem’).Get Tickets
As hectic as the stylistic detours may sound on paper, Remy and mixer / co-producer Steve Chahley will a consistent aesthetic into being, however multi-dimensional. With a voice as assured and engaged as Remy’s, track to track, one sees that genre-partisanship, in the contemporary music landscape, represents an irrelevantly conservative approach. The artist is intent on liberation both sonically and lyrically.
Poem features dark meditations reflecting charged atmospheres that directly precede and follow acts of violence. Many of the songs are character studies of women grappling with power; how to gain and exert it spiritually, as well as desperate strategies to mitigate its infliction. In ‘Pearly Gates’ a woman ingeniously decides to seduce St. Peter to assure heavenly entrance, to mixed effect, while in ‘Incidental Boogie’, a battered woman muses ironically that her partner’s abuse leaves so little physical evidence she can continue to show up at her job. Almost all of Remy’s lyrics seem to interrogate notions of morality, and the universal consequence of its deferment. As has so long been suggested in the artist’s work, action and inaction both have broad civic consequences. There is no escaping that the personal is entrenched in a political dimension and an acknowledgement of that may be the only liberator.
In an era of heightened turmoil, artists contend with a crossroads decision on cultural content, and how we engage with it as individuals. There is no shortage of media that lends distraction and offers a balm of comforting fantasy. For those, on the other hand, craving a thoughtful and probing inquiry into the iniquity of power, In A Poem Unlimited poses a substantial question; can you dance while you think?
Saturday, March 3rd | Doors at 7pm
Dead Meadow combine 70s hard rock and 60s psychedelic rock with far out and sometimes mystically minded lyrical themes occasionally even hinting at the obscure genius H. P. Lovecraft and other far out writers of the bizarre and weird.
Black Unicorn is a new Albuquerque band featuring members of Supergiant.Get Tickets
Monday, February 19th | Doors at 7pm
The final words sung on the sixth album by WHY? are an apt place to begin: “Hold on, what’s going on?” Because while there’s much familiar about the oddly named Moh Lhean—mastermind Yoni Wolf’s sour-sweet croon, his deadpan poet’s drawl and ear for stunningly fluid psych-pop-folk-whatever arrangement—a great deal has changed in the four years that’ve passed since 2012’s Mumps, Etc., an LP that honed the band’s orchestral precision and self-deprecating swagger to a fine point. It’s significant that this is the first fully home-recorded WHY? album since the project’s 2003 debut. Made mostly in Wolf’s studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah, the result is obsessive, of course, but also intimate, and flush with warmth and looseness. But the biggest transformation is a bit subtler. After years of eying his world, in part, with a cynical squint, Wolf here learns a new mode. While Moh Lhean never stoops to outright optimism, it chronicles our hero finding peace in the unknowing, trading the wry smirk for a holy shrug, and looking past corporeal pain for something more cosmic and, rest assured, equally weird.
Sunday, December 31st | 11am to 3pm
Downtempo Jazzy Brunch Vibes
w/ All Vinyl DJ Set By EshOne
Chicken & Waffles ($8) – (GF) chicken wings served over a homemade waffle with house sauce and pure maple syrup
Ricotta Pancakes ($7) – (VG, GF) three homemade pancakes layered with lemon curd, topped with Greek yogurt whipped cream, finished with strawberry coulis and blueberries
Brunch Burger ($10) – 1/4 lb. sausage and beef patty on English muffin with grilled jalapeno, cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg. Served with tater tots
Full Spanglish ($10) – (GF) breakfast platter with bacon, sausage links, two eggs, red or green chile, beans, green chile hash, grilled tomato, grilled jalapeno, and a flour tortilla (tortilla not gluten free)
Avocado Toasts ($7) – (VG, GF) two slices of toast with avocado. One with cheddar, salsa, onion and cilantro; the other with balsamic dressed greens, radish and goat cheese
Huevos Rancheros ($8) – (VG, GF) fried corn tortillas topped with borracho beans, green chile potato hash, red or green chile, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and two fried eggs
Breakfast Burrito ($7) – (VG) eggs, cheddar, and our green chile hash rolled into a flour tortilla and smothered in your choice of red or green chile (Add bacon or sausage $2)
Daily Local Pastry ($5) – Bootstrap Baking. limited quantities
Irish Coffee ($8) – ZENDO moka sidamo, whiskey, sugar cube, heavy cream
Ho Chi Minh Coffee ($8) – DEEP SPACE COFFEE cold brew, condensed sweetened coconut milk, bourbon
Monday, December 11th | Doors at 7pm
with Bad Gateway / Echoes of Fallen
Gatecreeper was formed in September of 2013 with members originating from both Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. After a debut 4-song EP a series of splits, the band signed to Relapse Records which resulted in the release of their debut full-length Sonoran Depravation on October 7th 2016. The band has since toured with Nails, Pallbearer, Code Orange, Skeletonwitch and more. Gatecreeper play crusty, doom-soaked death metal at its most infectious and uncompromising, with a massive sound that calls to mind the classic Swedish buzz-saw attack of Dismember and Grave mixed with the impeccable groove of Obituary and Bolt Thrower.Get Tickets
Friday, December 8th | Doors at 8pm
Album Release Party
As unpredictable, fearless, and entertaining as their namesake, Le Chat Lunatique purveys an addictive genre they call “filthy, mangy jazz,” a signature sound that makes you want to smoke and drink too much—if only you could get off the dance floor. Le jazz hot of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli is their north star, but they use that beacon to navigate through a wide range of genres, blending Western swing, classical, reggae, d00-wop, and “anything else we damn well please” into strikingly original compositions and audaciously reworked standards alike.
Le Chat Lunatique is Muni Kulasinghe’s theatrical vocals, his violin skittering across the music like beads of water on a hot skillet—inspired as much by a legless Polish gypsy he encountered on his vagabond travels as by the great Grappelli. It’s the axe of guitarist John Sandlin, the classicist who fell under the sway of Reinhardt, felling bar after bar of music with ferocious dexterity. It’s the slap-happy bass and slyly sweet vocals of Jared Putnam, the sinisterly innocent one whose dark past embraces both death metal and Western swing. It’s Greg.
The group began prowling the nightspots of Albuquerque -that secret haven of hot jazz – back in 2005, spontaneously impregnating the ears of unsuspecting audience members, who found themselves unable to stop listening or dancing or making merry. From their earliest gigs, Le Chat Lunatique has offered swinging originals with ear-snagging hooks and stories to tell—well-constructed little gems that propagate earworms for ongoing pleasure. Devilishly clever lyrics offer insight into l’amour (“falling in love is like eating tacos”), a louche paean to a doting millionairess (“Buy me a Cadillac, buy me a yacht / Buy me everything that I haven’t got”), minatory observations on fate (“the bus of God will run you
over”), and the inevitable bitterness of a broken heart (“Miss Lady . . . please do me the courtesy of drinking in some other gin joint”).
The band’s repertoire also features original arrangements of tunes that stretch from kindergarten favorites (“Frère Jacques”) to pop hits (“Straight Up”) to swing anthems (“Minnie the Moocher”) to Reinhardt classics (“Blue Drag”). Every single tune is more than covered—it’s completely “Le-Chat-ified.” First, it’s dunked in the group’s collective musical subconscious, and then they play the hell out of it. Take, for example, Sandlin’s inspired gypsy jazz arrangement of Eric Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 – over a reggae rhythm (say what?). Then there’s the medieval liturgical intro to “House of the Rising Sun,” which ultimately descends into transcendent desperation.
Riding the popularity of their acclaimed first CD, Demonic Lovely, which featured all original tunes, and their follow-up collection of covers, Under the Covers (Vol.1), Le Chat Lunatique has been inducing musical mania in an ever-widening circle—from the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, to the clubs of England, to the boards of the national theater in Novi Sad, Serbia, where they performed their commissioned score for Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental’s ground breaking theatrical production Flamingo/Winnebago. In their home state of New Mexico, they’ve won award after award annually for best band, best jazz act, and best song.
Their irreverent humor, their intensity, and their expert musicianship will soon win them your acclamation as the best time you’ve ever had in public with your clothes on.
Get a copy of the new album with entry!
Monday, December 4th | Doors at 7pm
with The BellRays / The Bombpops
Supersuckers are an American rock band. Following the relative success of their 1997 foray into country music with the release of Must’ve Been High, they have also been known to play country shows under various names, including, of course, the Supersuckers.Get Tickets
Wednesday, November 22nd | Doors at 8pm
4 Year Anniversary
Leftover Soul is a vinyl only soul night happening in Albuquerque and on Thanksgiving eve it will celebrate 4 years of soul music in downtown Albuquerque! DJ Leftovers spins the best soul records he can get his hands on and you shake your booty in return. Plus “Soul Train” episodes are projected for your viewing pleasureNO COVER
Saturday, November 18th | Doors at 8pm
Nobody cared about their old heads, because the new ones work just fine now, don’t they?…. they have the same size mouth and eyes.
The song “Old Heads” is a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. It’s also a jangly pop gem, a trip through the fantastical that is ultimately warm and relatable. This remarkable coexistence is one of many achievements of Chad VanGaalen’s Light Information, his sixth record on Sub Pop, due September 8th.Get Tickets
For an album that’s about “not feeling comfortable with really anything,” as VanGaalen says, Light Information is nonetheless a vivid, welcoming journey through future worlds and relentless memories. The rich soundscapes and sometimes jarring imagery (“I’ll be the host body, yes, for the parasitic demons. They can eat me from the inside out, I already hear them chewing.”) could only come from the mind of a creative polymath–an accomplished visual artist, animator, director, and producer, VanGaalen has scored television shows, designed puppet characters for Adult Swim, directed videos for Shabazz Palaces, Strand of Oaks, METZ, Dan Deacon, and The Head and the Heart, and produced records for Women, Alvvays, and others.
While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom–and anxiety–gained as he watches his kids growing up. “Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that’s happening through the internet,” he says. “I didn’t have that growing up, and I’m maybe trying to preserve a little bit of that selfishly for my kids.”
As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on Light Information (save Ryan Bourne’s bass part on “Mystery Elementals” and vocals on “Static Shape” from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art. The product of six years’ work, going back even before 2014’s Shrink Dust, Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill VanGaalen’s Calgary garage studio. Among them is a beloved Korg 770 monosynth, which VanGaalen coveted for years before fixing one up and devoting a lot of recent energy to recording “duets” with it. One of these, “Prep Piano and 770,” is the lone instrumental on Light Information, more atmosphere and chord bursts than the rest of the album’s hooky rock narrative.
“If I was going to go out and buy a record, I would probably want it to sound only like that,” says VanGaalen. “That one’s for me.”
Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation–but there’s also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy. “I sit and do a drawing, a portrait of my dad,” sings VanGaalen on “Broken Bell.” “I should really visit him before he is dead. Cuz we are getting old. Our cells just won’t divide like they told us. But I’m not really good at this kind of thing.”
But VanGaalen is good at a lot of things–and he’s trying to pursue them for the right reasons. “I’m just trying to get over the weight of feeling like I have to be making something of my time constantly,” he says. “Especially with kids, you get these small breaks where you get to make stuff, and now I try to say ‘you know what, I’m going to make something for me.’”
And if he could make anything for himself, it would be without constraint. “I would love to build a living structure from scratch,” he says. “I’ve slowly been ripping my studio apart and building additions, but you’re always kind of down to this box. I’d love to explore more open forms of architecture, with an endless supply of materials to use, even garbage. Building codes keep us in these boxes–You can’t just build a giant hand made out of wood that’s the size of a house to live in. But we really should be able to do that.”