BY M. BRIANNA STALLINGS
Sometimes creative folks must forsake that which they most love in order to keep being creative. Musician Jenn Wasner, best known as half of Baltimore/Portland indie-rock duo Wye Oak, said in 2009 that she couldn’t imagine life without her beloved guitar.
Coming on the heels of Wye Oak’s exhaustive 2011 “Civilian” tour, diligently dexterous performer Wasner found herself mired in creative drought. Her response? In addition to launching two side projects (Dungeonesse and Flock of Dimes), Wasner began playing bass and shifting Wye Oak’s sound from less indie to more electro.
Along with band member Andy Stack (drums, keyboards), Wasner expanded Wye Oak’s sound on 2014’s “Shriek.” The group’s latest, “Tween,” collects outtakes from the transition between “Civilian” and “Shriek” and shows Wasner in confident form, with prominent vocals and bass playing that rivals her passion for guitar.
Check out Wye Oak in Albuquerque on Thursday, July 7, at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). Tuskha, the new electro-pop project from Bowerbirds’ Phil Moore, opens. Doors are at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 9 p.m.
Presale tickets for this 21-plus show are $12 via holdmyticket.com; they jump to $14 at the door.
Unearth your Lindy Hop shoes and head to Sister (407 Central NW) on Sunday, July 10, for the Big Band Spectacular featuring Albuquerque’s own Jordan Fredrick Jazz Orchestra. Popular during the swing era (1930s and ’40s), big bands typically consist of anywhere from 12 to 25 musicians.
Some of big band’s big names include Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Les Brown. The Jordan Fredrick Jazz Orchestra has 19 members, including five trumpeters, five sax players, four trombonists and two vocalists.
Each and every week, JFJO revives big band music for guests of the Hyatt Regency Hotel Downtown, reprising work by Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and many more.
Doors to this 21-and-up gig are at 6:30 p.m., and the show goes full swing (pun intended) at 7:30 p.m. Presale tickets $10 via holdmyticket.com
How better to unwind from an overlong, scorching week than with soothing strings and dulcet harmonies near dusk while surrounded by botanical beauty? The City of Albuquerque’s Summer Nights concert series presents Celtic group Runa on Thursday, July 14, at the BioPark Botanic Garden (2601 Central NW). The (garden) gates open at 6 p.m., and the music starts at 7 p.m.
Since 2008, Runa has seamlessly combined traditional Irish and Scottish music (sans bagpipes) with contemporary elements from genres like folk, jazz, flamenco and bluegrass.
Hailing respectively from Ireland, Canada, and the U.S., members Shannon Lambert-Ryan, Fionán de Barra, David Curley, Maggie Estes White and Cheryl Prashker are a genuinely international ensemble.
Group members have also shared their talents with other Celtic music and dance groups, such as Solas, Riverdance, Clannad and Eileen Ivers. Runa’s latest, “Current Affairs,” draws inspiration from Appalachia and Americana, two genres influenced in turn by Celtic sounds.
Tickets for this Runa recital are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for kids ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3. For more info, call 311 or visit cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark/events/summer-nights-runa
There’s so much more Albuquerque culture worthy of global attention than just our horizon-dotting, road-clogging International Balloon Fiesta. There’s the Revolutions Theatre Festival, The Gathering of Nations Powwow, and Festival Flamenco.
There’s also the four-day Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque, presented annually in partnership with UNM, the City and the Hispano and Greater Albuquerque Chambers of Commerce.
Launched in 1991, Mariachi Spectacular is now regarded as one of our city’s most important cultural events and one of the most significant mariachi conferences internationally. The conference features workshops and classes designed to preserve the genre’s folk music traditions and pass down knowledge to future generations.
This year’s Spectacular, which runs Wednesday, July 13, through Saturday, July 16, culminates in a one-day concert showcase on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. at Sandia Casino Amphitheater (30 Rainbow Rd/I-25 and Tramway).
This year’s concert lineup features the legendary Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan; two-time Grammy Award-winning, all-female ensemble Mariachi Divas; and Califas-based Mariachi Tierra Querida De Ismael Hernandez.
Tickets range from $50 to $75 and are available at Sandia Casino’s box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and online at ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. To learn more about the Spectacular calendar of events, visit mariachispectacular.com.
M. Brianna Stallings writes so you don’t have to.
The Within Range: From Electro to Mariachi was originally published to Free ABQ Blog