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In any new year, I usually have to wait until the end of February before a fresh-tasting album by a New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S).  group or performer finds its way to my desk. But 2009

has started out with a few surprises.

Felix Peralta of the Albuquerque-based ensemble

Felix y Los Gatos Los Gatos (lôs gä`tōs, lŏs, găt`əs), city (1990 pop. 27,357), Santa Clara co., W Calif.; inc. 1887. It is an affluent residential community and health resort.  called me to share some very good news for the band and for New Mexico music lovers.

At 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30, Felix and his zydeco/Tejano/Gypsy-swing band celebrate the release of a spankin' new album with a performance at the Cowgirl BBQ BBQ barbecue  (319 S. Guadalupe St., 982-2565). The band plays frequently at the Cowgirl, and much like the way a chef intuitively assembles a pot of kick-ass gumbo or red

chile-pork posole po·so·le  
1. Kernels of corn that have been soaked in lime water, hulled, and dried.

2. A stew or soup made with posole, pork, chili, and other seasonings.
, Felix y Los Gatos relies heavily on improvisation to create its signature melting-pot sound.

Recorded live at Frogville Studios in Santa Fe Santa Fe, city, Argentina
Santa Fe, city (1991 pop. 341,000), capital of Santa Fe prov., NE Argentina, a river port near the Paraná, with which it is connected by canal.

a single uninterrupted 12-hour session, Zydeco zydeco (zī`dĭkō'), American musical form originating among the African-American Creoles of Louisiana. Drawing on elements of traditional Cajun music as well as jazz, country and western, and blues, it is characterized by French lyrics,  Tonight

is an 11-song trek through the sounds of U.S.-Mexico border towns, New Orleans, New Mexico, and the swamp-kissed porches of Delta blues territory.

The core band is the main attraction at the CD-release show, but a second drummer was brought in for the marathon recording session. Felix y Los Gatos recently signed with John Treadwell's Frogville Records label, but Peralta and the band released the new tracks on their own

to satisfy hungry fans. According to Treadwell,

"Frogville has invited Felix y Los Gatos to come up for some more sessions to work on an actual studio album for international release"on the Frogville imprint.

Zydeco Tonight opens with pumping squeezebox squeeze·box  
An accordion.

and loping rhythms ("The Wolves") and covers similar turf on song two, the title track. A Gypsy jazz-tinged instrumental interlude ("Fantazma") gives your ears a slow-tempo cool-off before diving into other, less identifiable musical waters; every track contributes to the album's

finger-lickin' end result, but the zydeco tracks are by

far the strongest offerings. Tickets for the concert at the Cowgirl, which includes a performance by bluegrass bluegrass, any species of the large and widely distributed genus Poa, chiefly range and pasture grasses of economic importance in temperate and cool regions. In general, bluegrasses are perennial with fine-leaved foliage that is bluish green in some species.  belle Sharon Gilchrist, are $5. Freshly pressed CDs will also

be available -- just in time for Mardi Gras!

Flow on and on and on

Santa Fe underground hip-hop collective Flow Nice brought the sick beats and dope rhymes back in 2005 with the album Listen Closely (World Records Music), which found the group's main MC

and turntablist getting some live-music backup from local band La Junta. On a new EP, Flow Nice and Friends (World Records Music/Seamless Sound), the group broadens its songwriting scope and invites a new

stable of musicians into its funky fold.

MCs represented on the 12-track release

include Davi J (David Silva), Context

(Chris Pacheco), Jus [Latin, right; justice; law; the whole body of law; also a right.] The term is used in two meanings:

Jus means law, considered in the abstract; that is, as distinguished from any specific enactment, which we call, in a general sense, the law.
 B (Brian Sanchez), Funkshin (Luke Herrera), and DJ Seeda Seamless (Matt Carrasco-Trujillo).

Musicians include Tony C'de Baca

(guitar, bass), David Fishback (guitar), Gilbert Urioste (bass), and Matt Carrasco-Trujillo (keyboards, turntables, production, arrangements). Yes, it's a big family, but it's

a tight, homegrown, and talented one that

has nothing to do with entourages, pimps, gats, gold, or bitches. It's called "intelligent hip-hop" for a reason, and these guys seem

to get it right every time. Fans of A Tribe Called Quest A Tribe Called Quest is a critically acclaimed and highly-influential American hip-hop group, formed in 1988. The group is composed of rapper/producer Q-Tip (Kamal Fareed), rapper Phife Dawg (Malik Taylor), and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. , Sage Francis, and Company Flow: you want this album right now, and

you can find it on as a CD --

or at iTunes and as a

digital download.

-- Rob DeWalt
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Title Annotation:Pasatiempo
Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Jan 30, 2009

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