— Rob DeWalt
Not the zombie apocalypse, but close. Welcome back a barrage of holiday music, which emanates from every P.A. system and overly cheery retailer’s pumpkin piehole until Dec. 26.
It didn’t dawn on me that the jingle-barf onslaught had fully materialized until last week when I heard a familiar voice at my favorite local carnicería. While jabbing my fingers pensively into the side of a plastic bag filled with jiggling chunks of beef tripe, I perked my ears up when I heard, “¿Mamacita, donde está Santa Claus?”
Signaling the start of my personal aural-torture parade this year was former child actor Augie Rios, who recorded “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?” with the Mark Jeffrey Orchestra in 1958 for MGM Records (the B-side was “Ol’ Fatso”). The song was later recorded by flamenco guitarist/comedienne Charo, as well as indie-rock band Guster and Elvis impersonator/rock singer El Vez. But Augie’s version reigns supreme as the holiday song I can hear just once and then have stuck in my head long after New Year’s Eve.
You know that theory about playing a song to get it of your head? It doesn’t work with lil’ Augie. It just makes things worse. The only cure is to cram your eardrums with as much extraneous non-holiday music as possible. If you were masochistic or dense enough to Google this song and now need some relief of your own, I can suggest a couple of things that may keep you from repeatedly jabbing a candy cane into the side of your cranium to make the voices stop.
I have a sweet spot for the music of local singer-songwriter Zach Maloof, who has tackled everything from punk to power pop, indie rock, and acoustic folk over the past five years. Now Maloof, together with Taylor Osborn and Nick Pfeil, has gone silly-strange and strictly hip-hop à la The Bloodhound Gang. The trio’s new project, State of the Mingo, finds band members assuming new identities. Maloof is MC O.G. Willikers, Osborn is Professor Cornelius, and Pfiel is Papa Squat, and together they’re on a mission to freak your pants off and make you boogie down and dirty. (There are other band members with aliases, like drummer JD Gilliland, aka DJ B.P.M. 120, and bassist Cody Drouin, aka Docta G.)
Maloof and the gang recently released a sixsong EP mastered by guitarist Jesse Albright at Albright’s DMBD Audio Productions in Santa Fe. The album’s standout track, “Dreams Come True,” is an auto-tuned, sitar-and tabla-soaked psychedelic ode to fulfilling weird, weed-fueled fantasies, such as hopping “on a magic carpet through the Serengeti, riding in a bathtub full of spaghetti.” Furthermore, the trio asks, “have you ever wanted to make love to Bigfoot, while the two of you were being watched by lady Bigfoot?” Catch live with local alt-country foursome they perform at
at the (370 Montezuma Ave., 984-2691). Admission for the 21-and-over show is $5. Head over to www. mingo.bandcamp.com for some free downloads. If you want to hear “Dreams Come True,” be a sport, support local music, and buy the album at the show.
Speaking of noisemaker Albright, he and his eardrum-crushing death-metal companions in perform an all-ages, alcohol-free show along with
and at at the teen and young-adult arts center (1614 Paseo de Peralta, 989-4423, www.warehouse21.org). If anything can scare Augie’s voice out of your sugarplum-dented noggin, it’s this gathering of shredders. If that doesn’t work, at least you won’t be able to hear anything else for weeks to come. Tickets are $5.