Aaron Lewis

Classical Guitar In The Digital Age


I’m sitting in my bed, it’s sort of rainy outside. I need something to eat, but I’m too apathetic to get up. What should I listen to? Aaron Lewis. This guitarist/composer has been writing some of the most beautiful mood music for various ensembles around Albuquerque for a while now.

His song “Candlelight” is brilliantly layered. This is great because if somebody specifically calls themselves a “composer” they better deliver. He does all the way from the rain at the beginning of the track and crickets at the end. I can imagine that this is the music that would float through my ears if I were living in a cave and looking longingly out the window into endless fields.

Lo-fi beats and filtered keys fill the duration “Wondering When The Rain Will Come”. This classical guitarist really gets out of the comfortable element of most of his peers, and it pays off. He reveals his thoughts on inclement weather on this track and then later creates the beautiful feeling of soaking up the sun on a Friday afternoon on a track by just that name.

Aaron Lewis doesn’t look like a guy you would find in a regular club or a bar jamming out tunes on a weekend, but I think he has quite a bit to offer to that crowd. Most of these songs are totally worth playing and slowly taking in. If you want to check out some new and interesting music, head on over to his Reverb Nation page, and give him a listen.

Sad Baby Wolf - '8th Level'

This Albuquerque quintet does a nice '90s-inspired psych rock, drawing upon the likes of Jesus and Mary Chain, Archers of Loaf, and Adorable, with a vocal delivery reminiscent of The Long Winters. Their debut single released earlier this month is a promising start already. And I've got to say, they wear one of the better band names I've stumbled upon in a while.

WasteLand InKorporated

"The band claims joint origins in Albuquerque and Los Angeles"

WasteLand InKorporated describes themselves as Punk/Psychedelic/Hip-Hop/Rock, and it’s easy to see what happens when you combine all of those genres in the songs on their Myspace.


The band claims joint origins in Albuquerque and Los Angeles, stating that they originally met and formed on the world famous boardwalk of Venice Beach. They seem to tour quote a bit, claiming “all over” as their current location. Stating their interests as “all things art, sex, booze, and debauchery,” their tours are probably about as wild as you’d expect from a band called WasteLand InKorporated.

“Pack Of Gum” begins with “I live in a dump. All I’ve got is junk.” Its continual repetition of the main phrase, pack of gum, seems to be an attempt to emphasize the poor position in life the author finds himself. As it transitions into “pack a gun” the focus becomes apparent, and with his final phrase Sam Moore lets you know that things are evidently much more optimistic than he described.

“Pinocchio Love” begins with sparse keys, bass, and drums and then progresses to tell the well known story of Pinocchio the puppet as he turns into a donkey, is swallowed by a whale, and constantly asks desperately for help.

“Sensitive Guy” starts with a pretty dry, classical piano riff. Drums and bass come in after a few measures followed by vocals chanting that an unnamed character is a sensitive guy. Moore contrasts himself greatly with the following lines, which actually aren’t sensitive at all. I’ll leave them for you to explore rather than spell them out here. 


Garage Metal Band Review: Tenderizor

Album “Touch The Sword” includes five tracks of desert thrash noise.

Do you like garage metal? If you do, then you should definitely check out Tenderizor’s album “Touch The Sword” for eight tracks of desert thrash noise. It’s great when a band calls itself something you can’t help but immediately agree with.

Tenderizor’s first track begins with 8-bit guitar arpeggios, and when you think there couldn’t possibly be more lead guitar parts, swoops in with droning whole notes. After almost a minute and a half of suspense, chords blare and “Hellucination” begins in earnest. Vocals begin well after the three minute mark, as does a pounding bass drum. This is indeed desert thrash noise.

The cover of their album is a large red eagle carrying a white sword with a skull on the end of the handle. The photos on their Facebook page suggest they don’t take themselves too seriously though and instead have an awesome time playing shows in houses. There are too many sweaty crowd members for their shows to not be fun.

Their second track, “Rockweiler”, begins immediately at full force. After a short break down, chants of “Rockweiler” take over. The rest of the album continues as desired, thrashy and noisy.

Tenderizor consists of Pat Day, Mike Day, Raven Cacon, Kris Kerby, and Steve Hammond. Steve, the vocalist for the band, prefers to be called ‘Steed Handlor’. Each player lists “noise” as one of their instruments on the band’s Facebook page. Check out Tenderizor and find out what desert thrash rock is all about. You will surely agree that this band is one of the noisiest around.

The Shins

"This band is legendary."

The Shins are one of the biggest bands in the history of the Albuquerque music scene. They are one of my absolute personal favorites as well, and they’re going to be making a new album in 2012. You can be sure that I will review it in detail the week that it is released.

The Shins released their previous albums on Sub Pop, but they plan to work under James Mercer’s own label, Aural Apothecary for the next one.

The Shins first album Oh, Inverted World and second album Chutes Too Narrow are nothing less than heartfelt early 2000s classics. Their third album Wincing The Night Away was a step in a more creative direction sonically, and James Mercer’s work on Broken Bells continued the trend. It seems logical that their new album will feature loads of interesting keyboard and guitar tones to match Mercer’s brilliant lyrics.

The band is set to tour with Mercer includes Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse, Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls, and singer/songwriters Richard Swift and Jessica Dobson. Pitchfork reported that the tour was planned for North America.

If you haven’t heard The Shins, you absolutely must check them out. Watch Garden State. If that movie was my first exposure to The Shins, I would fall absolutely in love with them. If you have heard of The Shins, be on the lookout for their new album sometime next year. I have high hopes for it, and I doubt I will be let down. This band is legendary. 

Glowhouse - 'You Are Alone'

Side one off of Glowhouse's two-track EP Slow Tide channels whispery pop vocals into slow, thick ambient grooves. It's a weird little hybrid of a track that does nicely for itself despite its disparate sources. 

A Hawk And A Hacksaw


What does a band that is influenced by Romania, Turkey, The Kings, and Duke Ellington sound like? The answer is Albuquerque’s A Hawk And A Hacksaw. This Balkan Folk band is sure to appeal to anyone who likes horns, exoticism, or Beirut.

All of these musicians are highly skilled, from the horns to the percussion. This is necessary if you’re going to pull off this kind of sound, and they pull it off well.

A Hawk And A Hacksaw has been based out of France, England, Albuquerque, and Budapest, but they ended up coming back to Albuquerque after trying all the others out. This town certainly has the scene for Balkan Folk.

Mustaches, accordions, violins,  middle eastern percussion, and a lists of countries greet you at A Hawk And A Hacksaw’s Facebook page. They will link you to Myspace or their own website, but I could not find a Bandcamp or Soundcloud.

Their Myspace lists their genre as Classical Opera and Vocal / Freestyle / Healing & Easy Listening. This will certainly culture you and relax you at the same time.

Their blogspot is very hip, filled with paintings and pictures on a nice yellow and brown background. 

A Hawk And A Hacksaw is a very interesting band. This band is probably overshadowed by the success of Beirut, but they really deserve consideration on their own. Their music is just as complex and the final products are very worthy of admiration. If you like the Albuquerque music scene, you absolutely need to listen to this band.

Tropical Girls

"The Go And Get It remix can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp, or it can be shared or embedded elsewhere. "

“The first Tropical Girls show is tonight at Dawg Island,” declares the Facebook page of Albuquerque’s newest synth band. Gary Madrid describes his sound as “Beach Synth Lo-Fi”, listing a smoothed out remix of Go And Get It on his Bandcamp. Tropical Girls will undoubtedly have a great time tonight.

Beach Synth Lo-Fi is certainly an appropriate categorization. His artwork includes palm trees, a robot with a light saber and 80s/90s video game font styling.

There exists a Topical Girls Teaser on YouTube showing the recording of Nightmare Sounds using various midi controllers, electronic drum pads, and the mighty  Macbook pro. At about forty-three seconds, you can tell from the look on these boys faces that they are having just as much fun as you would expect.  Their label is called Chill Mega Chill Records, and Nightmare Sounds will be released on it in December.

Our generation has been called “The Remix Generation” by different recording industry and electronic media professionals around the country. Tropical Girls exemplifies the method of synthesizing sounds and idea from current and previous eras that we are known for. This is the kind of music we should applaud and promote as our own.

The Go And Get It remix can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp, or it can be shared or embedded elsewhere. Even with only one song on their Bandcamp, it is clear that Tropical Girls will be a hit at house shows and college parties. Check them out. Enjoy sound synthesis. Live while you can. 

Glowhouse - Slowtide

Go ahead and name your price for this masterpiece of melancholy from Albuquerque’s Glowhouse. Describing themselves as Dark Ambient Folk, Glowhouse has something for everyone in this age of sad reverberated guitars, electronic drum beats, and lonely lyrics.

This story of longing from Alexander Sugg, released in May 2011, is sure to resonant well with anyone who’s ever experienced gradual loss. “Are you there?” he repeats. Is a lover missing? Has a father run out? If you’ve lost someone important without good reason, this song is sure to make you cry.

Also be sure to check out Nightlight, the second track on Glowhouse’s Bandcamp front page. Yet another triumph in sorrow, fans of Slow Tide will love Nightlight. Sugg pairs beautiful strings with drawn out emotional lyrics masterfully.

This is exactly what the Albuquerque scene needs right now. There are far too many mediocre punk and metal bands and not enough emotional songwriters unafraid to speak their feelings. Excellent work, Alexander. We expect great things from you in the future.

You’ll also find some of the hippest show flyers around Albuquerque if you visit Glowhouse’s Facebook page. This is to quickly becoming a lost art in the modern age.

Turn out the lights. Grab a glass of wine. Let the waves of music wash away your worries. For someone else out there is fighting exactly the same problems as you. Follow them on Tumblr, check them out on Myspace, or pick up some music on Bandcamp, but don’t pass them up.

Lowercase Noises - Carry Us All Away

Everybody calm down right now and take a listen to this vocals-laden ambient record out of Albuquerque. It'll instantly mollify the stress bugs living in your skull, I promise.