The alt music scene here in the 1990s was a diverse and fertile workshop for sounds that varied from sludgy proto-grunge and pure punk-rock to melodic, danceable and jazzy reggae and ska. Perhaps the local band that best personified the latter description in this burg's old-school narrative was Giant Steps.
A ska band active in Burque from 1993 to 1999, Otto Barthel, Rob Kerley, Tom Siegel and company have made it a matter of habit to regularly schedule reunion shows here in town, much to the delight of lingering fans and plain old folks who just wanna dance the night away. The eight-piece Giant Steps return with their “in your face” horn section and their “rude” rhythm section for their latest reunion concert tomorrow at Launchpad (618 Central SW). CrazyFool and The Reagan Motels open the show. Doors for this 21-plus show open at 8pm, and tickets are available through holdmyticket.com. Launchpad • Sat Apr 5 • 9:30pm • View on Alibi calendar
Masters of time, space and alt-hip-hop Deltron 3030 will soon materialize at Sunshine to jam the fuck out and possibly prepare Burque for colonization from beyond the stars. The supergroup features genre-defying aural astronauts Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala. Unlike other purveyors of hip-hop, Deltron 3030 doesn’t spend much time reflecting on the complexities of urban life or ruminating on romantic success and its consequences. Instead these dudes wanna take us to the future—to the stars, through the void.
Besides having imperial cred with hip-hop and rock and roll audiences through work with artists as diverse as the Wu-Tang Clan, ska-punk outfit The Dirty Heads, alt-rock OG Dinosaur Jr. and meta-fictive cartoon band Gorillaz, Del’s work with frequent collaborators and producers Dan and Kid led to a renaissance of interest in complex, techno-sci-fi-laced raps generated by trans-dimensional entity Deltron 3030. Admission to this age 13-plus show at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) tomorrow is 24 simoleons at the door, a nominal price for a guaranteed journey into the depths of the æther. Transmission begins at 7pm. Sunshine Theater • Sun Mar 23 • 7pm • $24 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Sister (407 Central NW) features a night of the newest sounds in the musical genre loosely referred to as “rock and roll” tomorrow night when it hosts regional psychedelic/shoegaze-leaning acts Ballets and Train Conductor. These two Gold House Records recording artists (and former members of Small Flightless Birds) appear in support of their latest, eponymous 12-inch split. In a heady rush of pre-SXSW traffic, they also happen to be performing in close temporal proximity to Boston pop experimentalist Krill and unofficial headliner Ava Luna.
Fronted by Julian Feder and Carlos Hernandez, Ava Luna’s mind-bending electro-funk has been compared to the noisy explorations of Captain Beefheart stirred well with remnants of Aphex Twin. Feder and Hernandez were also involved in producing Krill's latest effort, the effectively jangly Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts into Tears. (Scope a review of Ava Luna’s newest in this week’s Sonic Reducer.) The doors into this trip beyond the yellow brick road swing wide at 8pm, and 5 clams gets you inside. Sister • Sat Mar 8 • 9pm • $5 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
Reggae legend Derrick “Duckie” Simpson brings the latest incarnation of Black Uhuru to the Duke City tomorrow. The band, featuring Duckie, Andrew Bees and Kay Starr, will wrap up their tour of the western US when they drop a million pounds of groovy, luscious, high-grade reggae goodness on the Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) tomorrow night.
In one configuration or another, the band has purveyed a defining sound in reggae since the early '70s. With collaborators like Keith Richards and a few Grammy nominations under his belt, Simpson remains a contender. This Black Uhuru tour also showcases the artist’s willingness to joyfully acknowledge the next generation.
Opening the show on a highly transformative set of notes, rootstronica (an eclectic mix of roots reggae, dancehall, prog-rock and electronica) act Indubious features brothers Evton B and Skip Wicked Burton. This could very likely be one hell of a smokin’ concert … I'm just sayin'. Tickets to this all-ages affair are $20. The music starts at 8pm. Sunshine Theater • Sun Feb 16 • 8pm • $20 • View on Alibi calendar
Power trio The Ground Beneath brings their complex and foreboding brand of southern metal to Launchpad (618 Central SW) tomorrow for a 21-and-over album release party featuring a midnight rendition of their new eponymous CD. Headbangers Questionable Fate, Illumina, Requiem Mass and Beard will join these local masters of metal onstage for a dark ceremony the likes of which this burg rarely sees. With up-and-coming local fashion models selling band merch and all-stars from Burque’s metal community wandering loomingly through the evening's proceedings, this promises to be an epic event.
Guitarist and vocalist Steve Civerolo describes TGB as “the greatest fat-guy metal band on the planet.” He says their music is melodic but heavy, admitting, “It’s all about the riffs. Everything is written around the groove.” This heavy metal ritual begins at 9pm, and tickets are seven clams: That’s a blessing—if such is possible in the deep underworld that spawned the brutal rock and roll forces that will emanate from the Launchpad on tomorrow night. Launchpad • Fri Jan 17 • 9pm • $7 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
Space Needle-adjacent garage and R&B-infused sextet Pickwick's tour hits Burque this week. Pickwick toured in support of household names Black Joe Lewis and Neko Case this past fall, but the soulful alt.rock six-piece gets top billing on this tour. The band self-released their debut full-length, Can't Talk Medicine, last March, and the 13 tracks produced—including Richard Swift cover “Lady Luck,” which features powerhouse Sharon Van Etten on vox—pay respect to '60s and '70s soul, funk and rock while maintaining an upbeat, you-can-dance-to-it vibe.
I know I've said this before, but you can tell a lot about a band by their web presence, and pickwickmusic.com even lays bare their original lyrics—which are pretty darn impressive. Scope the group's cover of The Primitives' “The Ostrich” at bit.ly/ostrichredux to get a sense of front man Galen Disston's impressive vocal range. Experience Pickwick and Canuck “death country/frontier rock” trio Elliott BROOD at Launchpad (618 Central SW) tomorrow night. This 21-and-over show revs up at 9:30pm, and admission is $8. Launchpad • Wed Jan 15 • 9:30pm • $8 • View on Alibi calendar
You know Burque is a metal town, right? It’s not just this burg, either. From New Mexico to Norway, travel a few hundred miles in any direction, and you’ll probably run into a gang of long-haired youths banging their heads and grinding axes in community centers and rural roadhouses—growling portentously over the calamity that awaits us in this life or the next. This stark brand of rock and roll deviltry favors extreme climates and grows abundantly out here in the Southwest.
When the Under the Mountain Tour crashes into Launchpad (618 Central SW) tonight at 9pm, a new crop of regionally grown metal explodes onstage in seizure-inducing quantities. OKC death metal legend Dischordia headlines the aural onslaught, with local heavies End to End and Echoes of Fallen adding thunderous support. Laguna, N.M.-based rock heroes Defleshment open the proceedings. Tickets are only five clams, and if you survive, you can tell folks at work what “headbangers ball” really means, if they don't already know. Launchpad • Thu Jan 2 • 9pm • $5 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
Originally billed as Nik Turner's Space Ritual, founding Hawkwind member Nik Turner finally gained the right to use the name “Nik Turner's Hawkwind,” which is a good thing since Space Ritual is actually a different band and not the one playing Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Turner was using the name as long ago as 1994, which resulted in Hawkwind co-founder Dave Brock—still of Hawkwind (just Hawkwind)—suing him for trademark infringement. Coincidentally, Dave Brock's Hawkwind—really just called Hawkwind—also had a US tour scheduled, but apparently all this trademark crap tired Brock out, and the “real” Hawkwind postponed their tour. The fact is that both versions have one aging, original member of the seminal British space-rock band and both play decent sets filled with Hawkwind standards like “D-Rider” and “Orgone Accumulator.” But only the slightly lower-rent—and therefore cooler—Nik Turner's Hawkwind (featuring UK Subs guitarist Nicky Garrett) is coming through Albuquerque. The 21-and-over gig—also starring German krautrock outfit Hedersleben and local “grunclecore” crew Gusher—kicks off at 9pm, and admission is 8 bucks. Low Spirits • Wed Nov 13 • 9pm • $8 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
Rocanrol/pop experimentalist outfit Deerhoof plays a much-anticipated concert at Sister (407 Central NW) tonight. The show is being advertised as an “early show,” so plan to get there just after dark. The 21-and-over house starts rocking at 6pm, and admission is 10 bucks. And in case you wanna know, Deerhoof ain’t a bunch of phonies either. Next in line to hold the key to the kingdom of the rock avant-garde, Deerhoof has the temporal cred and musical sense of wonder necessary to do something really cool with the same door-opening implement previously held up by folks like The Velvet Underground, The Plastic Ono Band, David Bowie, Sonic Youth, Radiohead and The Flaming Lips. Impossible to describe as well as to forget, an evening in the company of Satomi Matsuzaki, John Dieterich, Ed Rodriquez and Greg Saunier is sure to open up whatever doors of perception still block your transcendence, dear reader. Well-dressed Varsovian duo LXMP and local act Teetotum opens. So, yeah. Deerhoof. Sister. Tonight. Early. Dayum. Sister • Mon Nov 11 • 6pm • $10 • View on Alibi calendar
They say that good deals and great ideas happen over food, which is why a professional lunch can have many opportunities. FemCity Albuquerque will host author Jessica Eaves Mathews at a connection luncheon tomorrow at Savoy Bar and Grill (10601 Montgomery). At the event, Matthews will discuss her book, Wonder Women: How Western Women will Save the World, with the public and, true to the book’s mission, aims to empower and motivate local women. The book frankly discusses politics, the national debt and economic issues rooted in the customary approach to business. After a drawn out government shutdown and an only increasing national debt problem, maybe some practical local solutions and a change of mind would do the community a little good. The connection lunch begins at 11:30am. FemCity Albuquerque members can buy tickets for $45 and others can purchase them for $55. Tickets include an elegant lunch—complete with a glass of wine—and a raffle. For more information on the event or Femfessionals Albuquerque, visit femfessionals.com or FemCity Albuquerque's Facebook page. Savoy Bar and Grill • Fri Nov 1 • 11:30am • $45 for FemCity members, $55 for non-members • View on Alibi calendar
I saw They Might be Giants perform at a small, crowded college bar in Tempe, Arizona in 1992. Before it began, it had already been a long night; two of the grad students I was with were vomiting uncontrollably before we even got to the venue. That was back when the two Johns had a canned band supporting them and Dial-A-Song was at the forefront of electronic music sharing technology. While my primos drifted in and out of a tequila-troubled consciousness, I sat back with a pack of Camel squares and an iced tea and listened. Despite technical limitations, multi-intrumentalists Linnell and Flansburgh put on a hell of a show. Their set was plaintive and frenetic, all at once, with songs that veered from pastiche to ponderous to pure pop without the brutality of Ween or the swagger of Zappa. Twenty years later, TMBG have added backing musicians, recorded a voluminous catalogue of crazy, beautiful music, grown and maintained a loyal fan base and continue to tour on the strength of their new work. TMBG will be supporting their latest Nanobots—and likely digging merrily into the past, too—when they play the Sunshine on tonight at 8pm. I’ll probably be up in the balcony, nursing a soda pop—well away from the distractions of my previous encounter with these gentlemen. Sunshine Theater • Thu Oct 24 • 8pm • $22 • View on Alibi calendar
London-based stoner metal stalwart Orange Goblin has been wrecking necks for 18 years. In its first year, the band went by the moniker Our Haunted Kingdom, but since '95, the name Orange Goblin has been synonymous with oh-so-heavy. Check out some of the group's seven full-lengths—Frequencies from Planet Ten, Time Travelling Blues, Coup de Grace and Healing Through Fire are personal faves—and experience the fearsome foursome live at Sister (407 Central NW) tonight. Admittance to the 21-and-over gig—also featuring Holy Grail and Lazer/Wulf—is 10 bones. Pop in your earplugs and start drooling over OG vocalist Ben Ward's luscious locks at 9pm. Sister • Tue Oct 1 • 9pm • $10 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
The wizened VP of our company joins our table at the bar. He claims to be up to no good. I offer that he must have some legitimate pursuits. He shakes his head no and asks me if I want to pursue this line of questioning.
Percussion-heavy, girl-centric supergroup Mala Maña gets audiences moving whenever they play. By virtue of her membership in this band, Alibi delivery driver Alyson Steinman gets nods wherever she drops off the current issue of Albuquerque's free weekly. A veteran musician in the Albuquerque worldbeat scene, every fifth or so time I speak to Alyson, someone else inevitably approaches her asking, “Aren't you in that girl group that plays drums?” Indisputably popular live, Mala Mana now officially offers a recording to accompany your drive to the CNM Westside campus, clean the house by, pull weeds with, dance or sing along to, whatever—and you are hereby invited to their CD release party at Bandito Hideout (2128 Central SE) tonight. There will be dancing. A paltry three clams gets one into this all-ages event beginning at 8 p.m., so most budgets will be able to handle Mexican food and drink as well as some nifty band merch; for the ladies, Mala Maña panties are this season's must-have item. Talented Afropop musicians one and all, these girls play well together, and they do it with a Chicana sensibility that is muy Nuevo Mexico. Bandido Hideout • Sat Aug 10 • 8 pm • $3 • View on Alibi calendar