Bianca’s Borderland Beat: Shows Worth Catching

A live performance by MAAJR breeds a crowd of pop rockers and indie headbangers alike, dancing to the sounds of an experimental child produced by a one night stand between rock and EDM.

The duo, comprised of lead singer/guitarist/producer Austinite Michael Anaya and drummer Joshuah Lutes of Oklahoma City, will jam out with El Pasoans at Lowbrow this weekend for a sneak peek of their upcoming Debut EP.

MAAJR’s sound is a far cry from the frontman’s former reggae-rock fusion, Subrosa Union, that originated in El Paso in the early 2000’s. The band garnered a national fan base upon relocating to Austin, Texas but after just over a decade-long stretch, Subrosa members flew from their early music nest to explore new options.

During a 2014 national tour with the Grammy-nominated Alien Ant Farm assisting with keys, vocals and some percussion, Anaya began experimenting under new influences and tools on his downtime. With each passing tour stop, a folder named after his initials (Michael Anthony Anaya Jr.) began filling up with new compositions and lyrics that would soon be the makings of his first solo project as MAAJR’s first Debut EP.

“What I wanted to do was take those influences and give it that rock twist, that rock in your face,” Anaya said.  “You know, dirty it up, make it more rock and roll.”

The EP boasts the magic touch of The Austin Chronicle’s 2015-16 Producer of the year, AJ Vallejo, with mastery by Nick Landis.

Anaya kicked off early performances as a one-man-band at national venue hallmarks including The Roxy in Los Angeles and Mohawk in Austin. Lutes then came in to add the much needed live dynamic from the drumset.

“That rock element and the drums just made it more human,” Anaya said. “I still wanted to do guitar solos, I still wanted to have some feedback, go crazy and rock out on stage and mix these two worlds together.”

MAAJR will grace Lowbrow with its first El Paso performance Saturday, January 30. ‘No Cover’ doors open at 9pm with openers Villain’s Kiss and Ghetto Tactix. The pair will then embark on a tour following their February 26 Debut EP release at Stubb’s in Austin, Texas. For more information on MAAJR, visit

Details for Saturday’s show: