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Local music magazine promotes N.M. bands

The sixth issue of Transmission Magazine, New Mexico's exclusive free monthly music review, will be unveiled this week and its creators promise it will be the best issue yet.

"This is the kind of thing that takes time to grow," said Andrew Castellano, a graduate from the Anderson School of Management who recently joined the Transmission staff as vice president and director of sales and marketing - both impressive entry-level jobs for a student . Castellano explains that in a fledgling operation like Transmission, there's no ladder to climb.

"It's so great to be working on the ground level," he says. "I'm not looking for a corporate job and I always wanted to work in music."

Before Castellano became the driving force behind New Mexico's only local music magazine, three shareholders directed the production of Transmission. One of them was Chris Martinez of Bare Bones Printing who offered free printing services to Steve Maes, the magazine's founder and member of local band Radio Jet. The first three issues started out as a bi-monthly newsletter for Maes' band, but after he invited a few other bands to share article space and started to distribute it to local music shops, Castellano says Maes felt a buzz that couldn't be ignored.

The fourth issue launched the newsletter to magazine status, exposing local bands on glossy paper between color covers and circulating in Albuquerque at 5,000 copies every other month. It included letters to the editor and an "in the studio" musical how-to department. By the fifth issue, "editor's letter" and a classified advertising section were added. Starting with May's issue, Transmission will be monthly and will feature even more magazine characteristics such as a masthead - the list of staff usually found somewhere in the first couple of pages - and the entire back cover will be devoted to a local band classified ad section where musicians can purchase advertising space for $100 per year.

Transmission has yet to see a profit, and its officers plan to keep it a 24 to 30-page magazine for a while. As long as they can promote New Mexico's unique music scene, the creators of Transmission feel they are doing what they set out to do.

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"It's going to take work from all of us, but the time is ripe for a rebirth of the local music community," Maes said in his March/April editor's letter.

"It takes press to help a band," said Castellano, who plays in the punk band Second in Command. "We've got the Alibi where national bands get all the attention and local bands have to work extra hard just to get a shot at some publicity. Our publication is all about the local music scene. We'll leave the national acts to the Alibi."

Look for the new issue at Mark's Guitars, Sprockets, the Blue Dragon Coffee House, Bow Wow Records, In Crowd, the Launchpad and other various record shops or music-oriented establishments. Or check out the Web site at www.transmissionmagazine.com.

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