Bands to Watch from Santa Fe

While much of New Mexico's live music scene revolves around songwriters and roots bands, Albuquerque has its own underground scene, and a few of its bands have earned some mainstream success. Playing a kind of post-punk power pop, Lousy Robot have released three albums and had their music featured on MTV, the Travel Channel, Bravo and Animal Planet. Another band, the two-piece Elevator Boys, play a bashing style of garage-psych.

The James Douglas Show, an outlandishly costumed, six-piece "funk-n-soul-n-rock-n-roll" band, has shared stages with Tom Petty, Keith Urban and Sammy Hagar, and they are the house band for the syndicated TV show The After After Party, hosted by Breaking Bad alum Steven Michael Quezada.

Santa Fe's the Strange play their own brand of original "desert rock," fashioning themselves as young outlaws and touring throughout the West. Based out of Taos, the Art of Flying, composed of former San Franciscans Dave and Anne Costanza, play a kind of modern freak-folk, an acoustic-based music layered with reverb and distinctive touches including a bicycle bell. Another musical couple, Las Cruces' Far Corners (originally from Boston), play a noisier, electric style of minimalism.

For the last few years, the state's Music Awards have been dominated by hONEyhoUSe, a trio of female songwriters – Hillary Smith, Yvonne Perea and Mandy Buchanan – who draw from blues, gospel, soul and Americana to form a unique blend that is distinctly regional. This year, the group won the Norman Petty Producer's Award for their album Medicine Lodge. Local favorite Wild Frontier have been compared to "Joni Mitchell's long-lost sister backed by a haunting Western band." Their recent album Americana Motel features the spaghetti Western-style title track and a New Mexico-centric reworking of Bruce Springsteen's "State Trooper."