Friday, August 28, 2009


Tonights post comes from Sean McCullough, guitarist and pedal guru of the the Oktober People .   Sean gives the low down on what he thinks of the venues he plays.

How do you feel about house parties?

I love, love playing house parties.  The intimacy of playing in a living room with 30 people standing 2 feet away is so much fun.  It has been far too long since I have played a house show.  I want to play one right now.

Outdoor shows?

Also fun, probably mostly because it is different, makes you feel like you are a some huge band when you get to play outside.  Though my few outside show experiences have been to pretty small groups of people.


Theaters are weird because people are sitting.  People should not be sitting for rock bands, a least most of them shouldn't.


I like to play at bars, especially now that you can't smoke in them.  I like to have a couple of beers when I play and hang out with friends that are having a good time.  Obnoxious drunk people that are not there to see you can be a real drag though.  I like to play in bars in states or cities where people of any age can come.  New Mexico is pretty dumb that way.

Battles of the bands?

Thinking of music as a competition is sooooo depressing to me.  Bands I have been in have taken part in battle of the bands (I was out-voted) and it was a pretty terrible experience.

Art spaces?

Art spaces can be fun.  If someone comes to an art space for a show you generally know they showed up for the show and not just cause they were bored and wanted to drink.  They are all ages as well which is great.

and fianlly Festivals?

Getting to play SXSW was one of the highlights of my music career and such a huge bonus that you get to see all the other bands for free.  Non stop awesome music for 4 days, can't beat that.

You can see The Oktober People live at the launchpad with As Tall as Lions on September 2nd


Today's post I  caught up with local art rocker Joe Annabi of Yoda's House.  In this segment I ask musicians thier opinions on shows, the likes and dislikes of playing or attending that peticular Venue.  Here's what Joe had to say. 

What are your Thoughts on House Parties?

are good chillin' fun.  it's nice to be under the radar a little bit when getting your freak on.

 Coffee shops?

are my livelihood.  not sure what it'd be like at a shop other than Winning, as we have access & control over so much there as employees.  


are fun, but it seems like a less preferred location for our crowd.  we definitely notice diminished attendance.  


attract a high concentration of drunk assholes.  i'm not anti drinking or anything, but i'm not really much of a bar goer in general.

i do get into a bar show now, and then if it's with the right touring act, or something special, but in general i like to keep our shows all ages. which works out for all the under agers we attract.

bars are a good way to make some cash, but yoda's house is pretty much a pro bono community arts project.  we exist to support touring artists in the capacity of setting up, promoting, and playing shows.  it's allowed us to host some really amazing talents that may have otherwise not played our fine city.

maybe someday we'll set up shows for the sake of getting out there and making some money, but even when we toured last fall we were mainly raising money to pay for the expenses of the trip.  free vacation, and good times with a new group of kids in every city.

did i mention we're a bunch of dirty hippy kids?  

Battles of the bands?

the only one i've ever seen was in Bill & Ted's Bogus Jouney.  it was awesome as i recall.

Art spaces?

are where we shine.  cirq is currently my favorite place to play.  that giant shoebox really does wonders with our reverby sound.  doesn't work for alot of bands though.
R I P stove.  

Record Shops?

played a zine shop / community center in Milwaukee.  it was the worst attended show i've ever played.  maybe we'll play a record shop when we have a record for sale in a shop.  can't put the cart before the horse.  


are best if you camp.  

Open Mics?

never played one.  i intend to give it a shot once i get the new songs i've been working on polished up.  i'm trying to compose some beat driven pop noise songs, and i think some of it could work as a one man act.   Winning has a pretty bangin' open mic on thursdays, but you don't see much experimental stuff, so i want to bring that to the table.


Maury is the drummer/vocalist for the Giranimals.  I first met Maury when I first moved to Albuquerque five years ago at the golden west.  The Giranimals lineup has changed a lot in the past years,  but it's always been Maury and Connies songwriting that have kept me coming back.  Currently working an new album and keeping the shows to a minimun,  there is definatly some anticipation on their next move.

What are you currently listening to?

At this very moment as I type I am listening to "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" by The of the coolest breakdowns in classic pop/rock. Lately in general, Elliott Smith, Wye Oak, Love As LaughterThe Band. And not a lot of people know this but I am a closet jazz freak. Been listening to Wes Montgomery, Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Sunny Rollins, and others. I go through spurts where I listen to a lot of jazz.

If you could add one instrument to your band what would it be?

I would add a cool horn of some sort. Baritone sax would be rad. Is Jerry Mulligan available?

All ages or bar shows?

All ages shows are usually more fun, but the cool all-ages places never seem to last long in Albuquerque.

Your headlining a major music festival. Name three things you would required in your rider.

A rider? What's that? I dunno, maybe showers in the dressing room, lots of cold beverages. Oh, I got it-a babysitter for our three kids.

How often do you rehearse?

We "rehearse" (if you can call it that) once per week at most. It's exceptionally hard for us to schedule some weeks, so we miss sometimes. But, if we have a show coming up we try to maintain the one per week practice schedule in the weeks leading up to it.

Tell me the story behind one of your songs.

Our song "Bonnie and Ned" is about my grandparents, Bonnie and Ned Russell. My grandma, Bonnie, passed away in 1999, and I wrote the song several years later sort of directing it to my grandpa. The hook goes, "Don't slip away...Please don't join that fray." Seems like when one dies in an old couple, the other soon follows. But Ned battled on for almost 10 years. He passed away in May and I gave the eulogy at his funeral.

Is song writing up to the band as a whole? or an individual?

Songwriting in the giranimals is nearly always a solo thing. Connie and I write our own stuff and work on our songs individually and get an idea of how we want them to go, and then introduce them to the band. But Jav is a great songwriter and has been contributing a lot, which is really cool as none of our past members did much writing or song crafting.

Favorite local venue?

We really liked playing at Stove (rip). Launchpad is great too.

is stage fright a problem?

Stage fright is definitely still a problem at times. Connie still gets nervous quite a bit right beore we go on. But, you suck it up and play through it, right?

Name a dead musician you would like to see live.

Hmm, Otis Redding with Booker T anf the MG's backing him. Or Wilco with Jay
 because that band is definitely dead now (just kidding).

What's more important,  practice or promotion?

I guess practice is more important, because if you get a lot of people to your shows but suck, then what have you accomplished? Besides getting on TRL or something, nothing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


 Brian Ox (but will always be Brian Van Buren to me) moved to Seattle Washington in 2008.  Formally the riff man for many Albuquerque hardcore, metal and punk bands tells us the goings on in his new stomping grounds.   You can currently find him fronting his new band He whose ox is gored 

Brian was guitarist for The Bellmont, Westwood tigers, Excruciation and Van Buren  here in Albuquerque.

 Was music a part of your decision to leave? if so how much?

Definitely. I was losing my mind in Albuquerque. Music was all I wanted to do, but I couldn't seem to get people motivated. Between the show houses I was living in (Superhausen, La Casa), working two jobs, and being in multiple bands, it was starting to take a toll on me. I wanted to go somewhere that had a scene with history without being overcrowded, so I landed in Seattle.

Has your fan base Increased?

Lolz, I hope so. Originally, I jumped on to a couple different projects up here looking to get into a band that was already established, but I realized most bands still needed work. I started He Whose Ox is Gored with some friends last year. Joe from Himsa recorded a demo with us last Thanksgiving, but we didn't find a solid line-up to start playing out until March. Now, we're making plans to tour and put out an EP and a 7". 

What do you miss most about Albuquerque?

I miss the people and the house shows. After I left, someone told me about an article they found on how Albuquerque has one of the best art scenes for a city that size, and it's true. We really had a pretty cool DIY and youth supported scene. Also, Albuquerque has a fairly unique style and sound compared to most places. 

How often do you visit?

I've been back twice in almost a year and a half. Once on tour with another band, and once just to visit a couple people. I want to come back and see everyone again in the next couple months. Hopefully, bring the new band down as well.

Has your sound/style changed since moving?

A little bit. One thing I noticed about the northwest is that bands like Queensryche and Himsa sort of dominate scene, lending a very specific metal style to most bands. I've ended up getting into heavier crust and doom instead, but there is more of a metal feel here. 
  Also, in the past, I used to be in multiple projects at once, whereas now I've finally settled on one band. There were times when I was in five completely different bands in Albuquerque and none were doing anything. Here, you kind of have to do one thing really well to make a name for yourself.

Since cost of living is relatively cheap in NM, as a musician was it hard making the transition?

Honestly, no. I thought it was going to be way harder, but it wasn't. I sold or gave away almost everything that I owned and moved up here with a guitar and a bag of clothes. I had some of my gear shipped up here and that was that. The cost of living is proportionate to the wages, and there are always cheaper pockets of housing in most neighborhoods. The spot I live in is called Capitol Hill and it's sort of the hipster area, but there are ten or so solid venues within walking distance to my apartment, and rent is pretty reasonable. 

Do you have any songs about Albuquerque/NM?

Not yet, though I just had to take over main vocal duties for our band. Soon enough, I'm sure.

Describe your last show before leaving?

Lolz, this one nearly killed me. I had just finished tracking the final guitar parts for a 7" that Excruciation was doing, and we were playing the night before I had to leave. We played with our dudes in Ruiner and some other bands at the Stove and I had the worst food poisoning of my life. In the middle of the set, I ran out the front door and hurled all over the sidewalk. Later, I almost had to go to the hospital at my going-away party, but I woke up fine and got on the bus to Seattle.

Name a band you miss from Albuquerque?

All of them. The City is the Tower, 500, Ronoso, Adobe Homes, West 44, Dead Hours, the Scarlet Ruse, Oktober People, the Coma Recovery.

Name a band you are now turned on to in your new city?

There are a few amazing band up here. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth is my new favorite local band. Requin, Achilles, the Helm, the Pranks, Rising Tides, Gladiators Eat Fire, Anhedonist, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Sword of Judgment, Book of Black Earth, By Sunlight, Enemy Camp, the Spits, the Whore Moans, Same-Sex Dictator, and Black Breath are a couple of my favorites.

Ever plan on Returning?
Probably not. I'll definitely be back to see my friends and play through on the road, but I'm glad I found this place. Never say never, though.


 Today's Jist interview comes from Levi 11 formally of Volume Volume who earlier this year started a new band called Violeta .  He runs his own Screen printing and design company called I heart machine.   You can check Violeta live locally at The Atomic Cantina  on Sept 25th

 if you weren't in a band what would you be doing with your time?

I already do it! My day job is drawing pictures, screenprinting, designing stuff, etc. I make money off all my hobbies (including the band, though not much); being in a band helps rather than getting in the way of things I'd do instead. My kid is in bed by the time I'm on a stage, so that rarely conflicts either.

do you use drink tickets? if so what do you drink?

Usually. I'm a smoker, so a bit of Grampa's cough syrup (whiskey) clears the pipes and loosens my throat up. My mouth also gets dry, I get thirsty and sweat a lot, so I like to have wet things around me. A shot before stage, a more hydrating drink on stage. Of course, when people buy drinks for me I'll drink more and it can get away from me sometimes... I get to the shows early, but try not to drink until just before the set.

is stage fright a problem?

No. I've made a fool of myself on enough occasions in the past that nothing that could go wrong now comes anywhere close to being intimidating. When you have thrown up on stage, lost your clothes, forgotten how to play, played in a punk band at a rave, been booed at/punched or had bottles thrown at you... what is left to be afraid of? I have built up a tolerance to failure. Honestly, I would not even call any of those my worst shows. Throw something at me and I can work with that: it gets me pumped up, makes me need to be quick on my feet and vital. The worst shows are the ones where you have no reason for stage fright: nobody shows up or the ones who do are low-energy. A spectacular failure is always more entertaining than a smooth and forgettable night. Fear is boring.
What's more important, practice or promotion?

Practice. Not for flashy technical skill (my reach always exceeds my grasp anyway) but to get a handle on who I play with: to get an ear for the band I'm in, polish it and be solid. I'm not about making some quantum leap into ability, because I don't often listen to music that is "impressive," but music that is catchy- I listen to generally simple music. But you need to practice to be consistent, anticipate, not over think. I rock at promotion; I am probably better at promotion than at playing! But it does not mean anything if they walk out during a set. I'd rather pull it off then trick them in. if you don't disappoint, then word of mouth brings crowds. Promotion has become harder here in town recently- fewer flyers or opportunities for guerrilla promotion, fewer places to get all the eyes what with so many social network sites. If you are good and reliable then you get good slots at good venues, and that does half the promo work already.

What are you currently listening to?

According to my ipod: Pretenders, Arab Strap, Matt and Kim, Silversun Pickups, ...Trail of Dead, Nitzer Ebb, Jace Everett. I have to admit to rarely listening to whole albums much anymore. A couple times through and I strip out what I like. My ipod is all mix-tapes and isolated tracks and swings widely through hundreds of bands. It's sacrilege to many, but I have owned over 10,000 releases over the years, and just don't see the reason to force myself to listen to songs out of obligation/tradition/"artistic visions" full of filler when I could hear anything I want to.

All ages or bar shows?

I'd like to do more all-ages, but don't very often. We get offered more bar shows and they fit our schedules better. That's just the way it generally works out- I do not have a strong preference or opinion honestly, so I'm kinda splitting hairs here, but: Drunk crowds can be more enthusiastic or at least more forgiving. And I generally know the staff and crowd better. Even if I have not played the bar before, there is a kind of typical way to work that sort of thing. A lot of people say that bar shows are about drinking and not about the bands, which is often true. But I think they are kidding themselves about the integrity of all-ages shows, which are as much about flirting and fashion and being seen. The music I write and play is more targeted to my peers anyway: people 25 to 35 who are losers. And they go to bars.

If you could add one instrument to your band what would it be?

I would not. Mostly because that would mean adding an instrument player. The chemistry of a band is delicate, the scheduling even more so. I often imagine piano/keyboards, strings, theremin, bells, etc. to infinity when I write, but in my experience more people means turning down/cancelling shows, having people not show to practice, having people not get along, having people feel left out, taking forever to write or record a song. Negative space is important in songs, and many musicians want to play all the time. No musician wants to be the triangle player, just standing there waiting for their one note every twenty measures. Give and take are really important, and each new thing requires sacrifice of something else and an exponential headache. Who gets to put in a word in an interview, who gets to stand where in a photo shoot, who's songs get played at each show... One example I think of is Oingo Boingo- they have albums and songs where you can tell they were writing unnecessary horn parts just to justify having a horn section. You can see the alienation in a band like Talking Heads, where "the band" ultimately becomes a backup band to a huge stage of people. Too many cooks can quickly lead to lack of focus, clutter, ego and politics. If it ain't broke...

any plans on touring anytime soon?

Always musings. Playing the same places over and over seems rote after a while, and it's a slipperly slope into losing momentum and no longer "bringing it." It's not like many here in town can rest on their laurels, be put out to pasture in a cushy headlining slot. But as to "plans," like the kind of thing we can put on a calendar in ink: nothing we have quite nailed down yet. We are pretty new, just over a dozen shows, and don't have an album or much to sell.

What about releasing a record?

I'd like to record at the soonest opportunity. Music is so ephemeral and transient- It's always gratifying to have something real you can put your hands on, that shows that the work all came to something. Something less fleeting than a show, that does work for you when you are not immediately playing. You get to wrap up all your ideas into a neat little package. Plus, I get to make an album cover.
You're headlining a major music festival. Name three things you would required in your rider.

I usually don't care about any of that shit even when things are offered. Pay me fairly, communicate, and don't look at me like I'm stuck to your shoe and I'm fine. But if I got three wishes they would be: convenient parking, a secure and quiet backstage area and being able to cut in line at the bar.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009



 Joaquin moved to Tucson Arizona earlier this year,  A super down guy who writes some the sickest riffs of anyone I know.  freshly back from a US tour he took some time to answer a survey.  you can listen to his band Dead Hours here, and his other band Excruciation here

 Was music a part of your decision to leave? if so how much?
Not necessarily. I didn't move to some city with a huge music market so that my "talent" could be recognized. And I didn't move with the sole intention of starting a band. I mean, knew I was gonna start other bands, but I didn't move to for that reason.

Has your fan base Increased?
I have been asked to join 189723987329732 bands since before I even got here, so in a way, yes.

What do you miss most about Albuquerque?
My family. Fei's veggie nuggets.

How often do you visit?
I was gone for like a week before my band from back home decided to book a tour so I visited after about a month. I plan on going back for Christmas if not Thanksgiving.
Has your sound/style changed since moving?
I'm trying to pursue things that I have always wanted to rather than what I think I'm good at. It's tough, but I know I can do it. I just need to focus.

Since cost of living is relatively cheap in NM, as a musician was it hard making the transition?
Other than the fact that job market is shit right now, it's not so bad. I don't pay rent yet 'cause I don't have my own bedroom so it's not so bad right now and I don't drive so I don't spend money on anything other than utilities and burritos.

Do you have any songs about Albuquerque/NM?
I'm not a singer/songwriter. I only bring the hotness on the music tip, although if I ever decide to stop being so weird about writing lyrics, I might write a song about how much I love the North Valley, pre-gentrification, of course.

Describe your last show before leaving?
In a living room. Violent. One of my cables stopped working that night from what I remember.

Name a band you miss from Albuquerque?
Scared of Chaka.

Name a band you are now turned on to in your new city?
There are a lot of sweet bands from here actually. I knew about most of them before I moved out here, but there are a couple of sweet power pop bands from the 90's that I was turned on to.

Ever plan on Returning?
Absolutely. I love Albuquerque. I didn't move to "make it" or because I hated the city. I moved because I am an idiot and I think doing things like moving without telling anyone are funny. That, and I wanted to live with my soul mate Andy Puig.


 Here is another segment called "I Moved" . John Brophy left for Portland Oregon a couple of years ago.    I miss him and his band Gingerbread Patriots.  You can listen to his band on their myspace.

Was music a part of your decision to leave? if so how much?
yes. 31%

Has your fan base Increased?
yes. i met this guy and he was all "hey, good stuff" and i was all "nice. thank you. do you wanna be a fan?" and he said "okay" and i said "thank you for increasing my base!" 

What do you miss most about Albuquerque?
well of course there is the green chili, the sun, the people, but most of all, i miss when people used to ask me where i lived and i would say  "albuquerque" and then they would be really funny and say "you mean that place where bugs bunny made the wrong turn?"  haha, i am rotflolcimptwuswsffaiartua just thinking about it. 

How often do you visit?
i remember that i think i visited there before.
Has your sound/style changed since moving?
well i think i sound squeakier but my style is way better and hella fresh.  

Since cost of living is relatively cheap in NM, as a musician was it hard making the transition?
no, not really. i just had to make some cut backs. less going out to shows and movies and driving and texting and drinking and using air conditioning and deodorant and drugs and eating food.  more working.  it was basically a lateral move.  
Do you have any songs about Albuquerque/NM?
well there is this one song that i haven't released yet. it goes..
"hot dog, jumping frog, albuquerque
hot dog, jumping frog, albuquerque
hot dog, jumping frog, albuquerque
hot dog, jumping frog, albuquerque"

i just keep singing that over and over again till i start crying.  it probably doesn't sound cool to you cause you can't see the face that i am making while i am singing it.  i think that a prefab-ricated idea for that song was planted in my head by an extraterrestrial and when it sprout-ed, i plucked it and made myself a nice musical dinner.

Describe your last show before leaving?
riddled with tears, tech issues, and tenderness.  my laptop broke into breaked and when the bleeps and blips that were supposed to happen didn't, all of the people's mouths made them instead.  this filled me with lotsa love.  

Name a band you miss from Albuquerque?
this kinda obscure band that this guy noelan plays drums for..i think they were called
"i is for dirtyfoxxylousyhacksawweaponmistlegiranapeoplewith
shinecherrytemposstallingallovertheirlove.inwinter" oh yeah, and foma.

Name a band you are now turned on to in your new city?
um starfucker is pretty great. i like to listen to them. nurses are also pretty great. oh did i mention musee mecanique?  they are great too.  i will stop now cuz you were all "name a band" and i was all "blah blah blah."

Ever plan on Returning?
i will see you in two weeks.  ... and you will know me by the duck tail on my head.


Jenny fronts her band of the same name.   I don't know much about her but I met her once, and she was very friendly.  I really like her voice.  you can find her on  myspace, facebook, and her website

What are you currently listening to?  The thoughts in my head

If you could add one instrument to your band what would it be?  A thermin

All ages or bar shows?  All ages shows, but slightly drunk

Your headlining a major music festival. Name three things you would required in your rider.  Golf cart, sun hat, red vines

How often do you rehearse?  Every gig I play I'm rehearsing, at home I'm playing

 Tell me the story behind one of your songs.  I wrote a song for 2 friends getting married called future talk show. It was about a couple crazy in love and moving fast on the family track instead of taking their time. My 2 friends ended up basically doing exactly what I wrote about and getting divorced 3 years later. The morale of this story...don't ask me to play your wedding.

Favorite local venue?  My living room is my most favorite, and other than that if you are supporting live music I love you too.

Is stage fright a problem?  Not for me. Ironically I'm less scared on stage and more so in real life.

Name a dead musician you would like to see liveBilly Holiday or Django Reinhardt

What's more important, practice or promotion? It depends on what you are trying to do. There is a big difference between promotion and marketing yourself and your product. Sometimes you need to practice promiting awhile before you get it right.


Terry Burch was bassist for The Bellmont, Bellemah, Guitarist for Weapons of mass destruction.  Terry recently moved to Portland Oregon  in 2008.

Was music a part of your decision to leave? if so how much? 

I moved because my girlfriend got a job here.  I moved to Portland, though, so I'm not complaining about the lack of good live music or things to do these days.  However, I have to say the scene here is completely over saturated.  There's a hundred bands playing on any given night, yet I still rarely attend shows.  I think it's because I'm getting old.

 Has your fan base Increased?  

If you're counting the people I've worked with whom I've given a cd too, then yes.  Of course, getting high school teachers out to bar shows is not always so easy.
What do you miss most about Albuquerque?  I miss the camaraderie of some of the people I knew in the music scene.  Some really talented and cool people are on it and I wish I'd never left.  I also miss the sunshine. 
How often do you visit? 

Once or twice a year.

Has your sound/style changed since moving?

I'm writing and recording a lot more of my own ideas.  That's been really fun.  Not having a band at this time, I have to work a bit harder to make myself somewhat musically satisfied. All-in-all it's good to have to re-evaluate why and how you go about accomplishing things. 

Since cost of living is relatively cheap in NM, as a musician was it hard making the transition?

  I've had a pretty rough first year.  Things are more expensive and jobs are hard to come by.  This is a very competitive city, both professionally and musically.

Do you have any songs about Albuquerque/NM? 

Not specifically.  But I do have a special place in my heart for it.

 Describe your last show before leaving? 

Man do I miss playing live shows.  I don't necessarily miss playing out a lot, but I haven't done it in over a year.  I miss the rush.  Some would say I have an addictive personality. 

Name a band you miss from Albuquerque?  

bellmont, bellemah, the build, oktober people, rip torn

Name a band you are now turned on to in your new city?

Menomena.  They were on heavy rotation during the overcast, winter months.

 Ever plan on Returning?

It's been discussed.  Ideally, yes.  I miss my friends and I miss making what I consider to be good music.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to move back in a year or two.