Friday, January 27, 2017

Dirt City Chronicles podcast episode 49

"Mission to Albuquerque"

“Nothing could be finer than a 49er, start a fire with an old spare tire and a few pieces of coal....” Here's the skinny on Episode #49, Dirt City Chronicles, the podcast. Brought to you by the fine folks at Dirt City Chronicles, who's motto is: “If it ain't from New Mexico, it ain't shit” Forty nine episodes in and the irrepressible Henry's Dress make their Dirt City debut. My bad. Also, Pilot to Bombardier checks in with a nifty version of The Cars “Just What I Needed” Pilot to Bombardier, in my opinion (and that of others, just ask Brett Maverick a.k.a. Capt. America) was one of the best Albuquerque bands ever. They're reuniting on Jan. 28th. 2017 at the Launchpad. (w/Leeches of Lore Holy Glories & Nuzzzle) If you missed them the first time around, here's a chance to atone for that mistake.

Pilot to Bombardier evolved from Roman Candle Choir and Fever Hot (one of their songs is included on Socyrmom's “Ouch! Welcome to Albuquerque “ compilation) The core of the group consisted of Travis Williams, Sean McCullough and Miguel Villareal “Migs” augmented by a rotating roster of bass players (Rhian Batson, Liam Kimball, Forest Agee) Two former members of Fever Hot (Jack Sparacino & Rhian ) moved to Chicago and formed the South of No North (don't mistake them for the darkwave band from Greece or the band from Brussels that go by the same name) Rhian eventually returned to 'Burque, teaming up with Sean McCullough, Chris Moffatt & Nate Santa Maria in The Oktober People. Described by the Dallas Morning News as “a well-oiled Albuquerque outfit"

Pilot  To Bombardier's discography begins in 2000 with the five song demo ep otherwise known as “The Pilot demo” (Sean, Travis, Migs w/Liam Kimball) That was followed by a split 7” with a Chicago based band, the South of No North, a band that took its name from South of No North a collection of short stories by Charles Bukowski, the so-called "Poet Laureate of Skid Row", originally published in 1973. (“Valentine” featuring Migs on bass being Pilot to Bombardier's contribution) Between 2002-03 Pilot to Bombardier recorded three tracks for a Science Project Records compilation album. On the previously mentioned Cars cover “Just What I Needed” (recorded in 2003,w/Migs on bass) they worked with the Santa Fe wunderkind, Alex Rose, who handled the basic tracking.

A demo version of “Moving Day” was recorded at Stepbridge Studios in Santa Fe in March, 2003. To my knowledge, Pilot to Bombardier never released a full length album and unlike so many other local bands of yore, they're not available on Bandcamp or Soundcloud. Thankfully, the band does have a website that's still active, complete with audio tracks
Can I get a woot woot? Beside The Oktober People, Sean McCullough is or has been a member of Sad Baby Wolf and The Bellmont. Not sure what became of the other members of Pilot to Bombardier, though their web page does make mention of Travis moving to Dallas to pursue his medical degree and Miguel traveling to Bolivia “to witness firsthand the production of coca plants.

I'll wait til the weekend saves us all

Lucia Garcia in her own words is a “singer, songwriter and inter-dimentional super deva” as opposed to “diva” an operatic term used to describe a distinguished female singer i.e. prima donna. Deva is a divine being or god in Buddhism. A member of a class of divine beings in the Vedic period, which in Indian religion are benevolent and in Zoroastrianism are evil. Lucia is described as a renaissance woman, a creator and traveler from the mysterious mesas of New Mexico. A musician on a mission with a passion for creation. Ms. Garcia, Electric Grandma if you please, explains her pseudonym: "I'm very like a grandmother. I have traits that you would think a grandmother would have. I have a very old soul." Lucia's recipe for creating music is firmly planted in the thoroughly modern electric rave culture of today's millennials, with a tip of the hat to the glittery disco divas of yesterday.

Hailing from Albuquerque, Lucia is now based in Savannah, Ga. along with her fiancé and musical collaborator, Matt Duplessie- designer, songwriter and producer. A trained pianist (check out her 2013 release, Piano Compositions Vol. 1, available for streaming on Bandcamp) Lucia also plays keyboards with eight-member Savannah band Word of Mouth. Bill DeYoung writing for Connect Savannah, an arts & entertainment weekly publication describes Word of Mouth's music as “an amalgam of styles, including hip hop, electronica and straight-ahead rock” and Electric Grandma as “synthesizer-driven dance music, soundscapes created from a nuanced balance of software-crafted beats, an arsenal of keyboards, guitars and other instruments, and Garcia's airy soprano vocals”

Lucia has released a series of solo recordings on Bandcamp beginning with the aforementioned “Piano Compositions Vol. 1” and a single “Gold” in 2013. Her solo album “Electric Grandma” also released in 2013, was written, played and recorded by Garcia and Matt Duplessie. Music scribe, Bill De Young cut to the chase: “She's not nearly old enough to be anyone's grandmother, but Lucia Garcia — who calls herself Electric Grandma — certainly crackles with electric energy” "I really wanted to make it dance-y, because I feel that dance is one of the strongest forms of prayer that we can give," is how Garcia explains it. "You're just fully immersed in the feeling of the dance. And I think when you take your mind out of it, that's what really brings you closer to God."

Since the release of “Electric Grandma” Lucia has followed up with a pair of ethereal electronic dream pop singles “Living in a Dream” and “What the Wonders” Lucia continues to evolve as an artist.... "Growing up in New Mexico there were so many outdoor raves and parties. My brother is really big in the rave community out there. Electronic music was part of my upbringing. It was a dream of mine to learn these electronic programs, because they looked so alien to me, literally. It just looked so foreign. And then when I met Matt, he'd already been producing for a while. He really knew the programs. So he really helped me delve into it, and start learning the intricacies. It goes so deep, I'm barely scratching the surface of what these programs can do." 

Here's an interesting tidbit: “Born in the mysterious mesas of New Mexico, Lucía García has always been inspired by the vast and colorful textures of her homeland. Since an early age, Lucía has always had a heightened awareness to subtle energies, and through this gift has made it a mission to help raise the vibration of the planet through the sacred frequencies of music, with analogous lyrics carrying a positive message of evolution, human/god potential, and the science of spirituality.” Ain't nothing but a party ya'll.... just with an evolved consciousness and an unwavering sense of spiritual commitment. In Lucia's hands dance becomes an avenue of atonement. That being the factor that separates Lucia Garcia from the Cuylear sisters of Lindy Vision, with whom she shares a musical genre if nothing else.

Wherein (stylistically speaking) the ladies from Lindy Vision go down a hedonistic road to ruin, jaded and faded. Lucia works a similar vein seeking spiritual enlightenment. Making the world a better place with electronic music as a vehicle of change. They're both living for the weekend, but Lucia preaches that facing yourself in the mirror after tossing aside all your inhibitions and giving in to your deepest desires is easier to do if you're spiritually grounded. Either way it's all about perception and image. Both Lucia and Lindy Vision favor slick music videos, high end production adorned with glossy effects. Its an approach looked down on by those who perceive themselves as “serious artists” Not that there's anything wrong with using all the tools at your disposal. We live in the digital age, get wise bubble eyes. 

En serio homies, do yourself a favor, give this native Burqueña a listen. Lucia isn't very well known in her home state and that's a fucking shame. She's cutting edge, innovative and absolutely adorable.... how can you go wrong? Lucia Garcia is available on Bandcamp, CD Baby and YouTube (check out Lucia & Matt live on Connect Sessions, which includes an interview conducted by Bill De Young of Connect Savannah) 

Ralph Rook ~ The Scrams
Heartless Death Machine ~ Rock Jong IL
Fantasma ~ Iceolus
Five Years ~ MHTH
Selfish ~ The Dying Beds
And Remember If I Attack You (It's Nothing Personal) ~ Fukrot
Giant Green Ants ~ Black Maria
Held Whole ~ Lilith
Sugar Bowl ~ Henry's Dress
Barnstorming Sleight of Hand ~ Roñoso
Brink of Reality ~ Electric Grandma
Roll On ~ The Blackout Disciples
I Wanna Be Your Dog ~ Sweet Nothin
Just What I Needed ~ Pilot to Bombardier
Down Again ~ The Elevator Boys
Romantic Minds ~ Abandoned Mansions