All I want for Christ­mas ...

Pasatiempo - - Restaurant Review -

to find that per­fect Christ­mas gift for the mu­sic lover in your life, so I’m go­ing to throw a few sug­ges­tions your way. But be­fore I dip into the grab bag, I’d like to make my strong­est rec­om­men­da­tion.

If you haven’t heard the news al­ready, two mar­velous lo­cal, live-mu­sic venues are clos­ing in­def­i­nitely this week­end. Shut­ter­ing af­ter a Sun­day, Dec. 19, per­for­mance by Jono Man­son and Don­ald Ru­bin­stein,

in El­do­rado (7 Caliente Road, 466-2782, www.mikesmu­sicex­change.com) has been liq­ui­dat­ing the in­ven­tory in its mu­sic shop. Ac­cord­ing to the venue’s web­site, the busi­ness hopes to re­struc­ture as a non­profit and re­open the per­for­mance space soon.

The be­came a bea­con for live-mu­sic lovers af­ter the Para­mount night­club closed in 2005. Now, at least for a lit­tle while, it’s go­ing dark. Ac­cord­ing to Ja­son Reed, who mans the open-mic nights at the Pub & Grill, the mu­sic venue/res­tau­rant will close af­ter a Fri­day, Dec. 17, per­for­mance by Boris McCutcheon & The Salt Licks.

In light of these closings, I need to stress (again) the im­por­tance of sup­port­ing lo­cal mu­sic venues. Bar and club own­ers, if you don’t of­fer tick­ets for con­certs that can be pur­chased in ad­vance, you should. And mu­sic lovers, you need to buy them. And then go see the show. If you don’t like the acts be­ing brought in, com­plain. Loudly. But com­plain to the bar owner — not to each other. Now for some choice hol­i­day booty.

I had seen him per­form be­fore, but when I saw Mis­ter Kali slay the mic dur­ing a Pato Ban­ton show in April 2009 at Corazón, I knew for sure that this cat had no stylis­tic com­peti­tor in the state. Mas­tered at Step­bridge Stu­dios in Santa Fe by An­drew Click, is the New Mex­ico-based dance­hall-reg­gae al­bum you’ve al­ways wanted to hear but could never find — be­cause it didn’t ex­ist. Pro­duc­tion value is high, Kali is a tongue-twist­ing lyrical mas­ter, and his backup mu­si­cians are solid-state. If you like dance­hall, you’ll love this al­bum. It’s avail­able through www.cd­baby.com and Ernie B’s Reg­gae Dis­tri­bu­tion at www.ebreg­gae.com. You can also down­load it from iTunes.

The lat­est from McCutcheon and com­pany serves up a smokin’ slab of coun­tri­fied tuneage, from the up-tempo honky-tonk of “What Ails You” to the twangy, cry-in-yer-beer cover of the Townes Van Zandt bal­lad “No Place to Fall.” isn’t as bouncy as ear­lier ef­forts, like 2008’s but it’s still a fine piece of home­grown Amer­i­cana.

For the hip-hop en­thu­si­ast, you can’t go wrong with these two books, one se­ri­ous, the other hi­lar­i­ous.

(Yale Uni­ver­sity Press) is a col­lec­tion of more than 100 rap lyrics writ­ten be­tween 1978 and 2010, with a fore­word by lit­er­ary critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. and af­ter­words by rapper Com­mon and Pub­lic En­emy’s Chuck D.

Book editors Adam Bradley and An­drew DuBois present hip-hop as it should be re­garded: as a se­ri­ous art form that has res­cued rhyming from po­etic ob­scu­rity. The other book is

by Wil­liam Buck­holz (Abrams Im­age). It’s sim­ple: read rap lyrics, and then read Buck­holz’s trans­la­tions. For ex­am­ple, 50 Cent might rap, “Get­tin’ what you get for a brick to talk greasy.” That means, ac­cord­ing to the author, “I eas­ily make a lot of money rap­ping, as lyrics quickly come to mind and flow out of my mouth smoothly, and the amount of time it has taken me to earn this quan­tity is much shorter than the long hours you work sell­ing the con­stituent parts of a large pack­age of co­caine in many small trans­ac­tions, which is dif­fi­cult work for you.” Word.

—Rob DeWalt

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