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Within Range: From Trap and Blues to Gothic Rap

Forty New Mexico musicians, including Chris Dracup, Todd Tijerina, Hillary Smith and JD Sipe, will play a four-hour jam session at the Madrid Jazz Festival


The nuevomexicano music scene is vast – a limitless expanse for fans and scholars to explore. From Pueblo work songs and traditional corridos to Norman Petty Studios in the ’50s and beyond, one could spend a lifetime immersed in the diverse sounds of New Mexico.

Our state has a storied history of such attention and inquiry. Indigenous and Hispanic folk music archivist John Donald Robb comes to mind, as does UNM Professor Emeritus Peter White’s work preserving musical heritage. Seeking to understand the past is a worthy endeavor but don’t forget that the here and now is equally worthwhile.

Forthcoming hot tickets include an electronic/experimental hoedown and a blues fest honoring the father figure. On Saturday, June 20, local art collective Nothng Forevr and Sister (407 Central NW) debut bimonthly dark electro party Shrimp Night. This twerk-friendly premiere features live performances by BK Beats, The 1960 Sci-Fi Era and soulwave act LeDouix, and a DJ set by homegrown swervegaze icon Bryce Hample of REIGHNBEAU. The 21-plus electro/bass bash starts at 10 p.m., and there’s no cover.

Want to get (literally) higher? Make the 45-minute pilgrimage to higher (708 feet, to be precise) elevations in Madrid for the Father’s Day Blues Festival. Forty New Mexico musicians, including Chris Dracup, Todd Tijerina, Hillary Smith and JD Sipe, will play this four-hour jam session. New Mexico Jazz Workshop organized the fest, which tunes up at 2 p.m. at Oscar Huber Memorial Ball Park (State Road 14, Madrid). Arts & crafts and food vendors will be on hand. Twenty bucks gets you in, which works out to 50 cents per act. Talk about value.

Here in town the following weekend, a concert at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) celebrates the life of local musician and writer Jim Phillips. We met as colleagues, and I instantly recognized the soul of an artist and the manners of a true Southern gentleman. Jim wrote about love and loss. The forms varied: lyrics for his band Lousy Robot, journalism, parables, allegories, stories. There was a compulsive honesty in his work. He had many friends, and they gather to pay tribute and help his wife Elisa raise funds for his medical bills. Starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 26, Merma & Roberta, Becca Garcia, Kimo and others rock in Jim’s honor. Friends and fans should bring a $5 donation. As Jim and Hunter S. Thompson might have said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

On Saturday, June 27, Songs that Make You Laugh, Love and Cry brings a slew of talented local musicians together at Launchpad (618 Central SW). A friend hipped me to the shredfest that is Mother Death Queen. I believe he said they rocked his face off. MDQ drummer Cara Tolino (The Hopefuls) tells me that bandmate Ella Brown (Edith) mused about campfire songs, sung in the carefree, trusting way friends can. Tolino, Brown and vocalist/guitarist Amy Clinkscales will all play solo and as Mother Death Queen. It’s the first time in 20 years that professional badass Jen Sincero has landed on a lineup with former bandmate Clinkscales. Other performers playing their favorite cover songs include Darrell Sparks (Pawn Drive), Kimo, Mauro Woody (Lady Uranium), Marty Crandall (Sad Baby Wolf), The Lymbs and at least eight other acts. This 21-plus gig is five bucks. Arrive by 9 p.m.

A Geto Boys concert is a serious shouldn’t-miss for all Gen X-ers, especially OG gangsta rap fans. I spent my teen years near Houston and grokking Dirty South was as vital to one’s cred as getting the importance of BBQ. It’s been a decade since they released an album, but Geto Boys (presently Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill) are together again and crowdfunding the release of latest “Habeas Corpus.” Kickstarter rewards range from fan club membership on the low end to barhopping with Bushwick Bill (who’s an ordained minister), golfing with Scarface (who posts hilarious tour photos on Instagram) or having Willie D host your party on the higher end. The most absurd perk on offer is a custom-designed Geto Boys coffin. (Of course I want it.) The original Southern gothic/horrorcore crew graces Sister (407 Central NW) on Monday, June 29. This 21-plus hip-hop shouldn’t-miss will run you $20, and the show starts at 9 p.m. Your mind is not playing tricks on you, and yes, it does feel damn good to be a gangsta.

— Samantha Anne Carrillo

Samantha is an associate editor at ABQ Free Press. Contact her at (505) 345-4080, Ext. 804

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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