Wednesday, June 7, Launchpad (all-ages, 7 p.m.); $8 in advance, $10 at the door: They're Angel City Outcasts—not politicos.
This self-described street punk/rock 'n' roll crew figured that out shortly after 9/11. Los Angeles’ Outcasts wrote a soldier's song, “Popeye in Afghanistan,” that had bloggers and online chatter pegging them as a right-wing band. “We never intended to use the song as a political vehicle,” says Tak Boroyan, guitarist and backup vocalist. “I wanted it to be like an old-school war song.”
When the track appeared on 2005's Let It Ride, it came with a disclaimer in the liner notes: “This song is aimed at those who attacked us on 9/11/01. Nothing more, nothing less.” Boroyan says he's not a fan of political agendas wrapped in music. “I don't like it when bands sneak in messages in their lyrics, and I don't want to do that to our fans. I don't want to preach. Everybody reads the news, it's up to them to decide.”
The punk anthem “I'm an Angel City Outcast” kicks the disc off with lyrics like, “I don't fit no stereotype ... I'm a punk or a skin, I'm a regular kid.” Though the Outcasts have moved on to cover more genre ground than just punk, they're still operating from a DIY ethic, Boroyan says. These days, an audience member at their favorite kind of show (an all-ages one) is likely to see the Outcasts as hard rock with classic '50s sound edging in.
Tuesday, June 6, sees the Los Angeles release of their latest full-length effort, Deadrose Junction, on Sailors Grave Records. The next day they kick off their tour with the Whiskey Rebels with a stop at the Launchpad. Boroyan says the Outcasts have swung through Albuquerque three or four times, always finding a small and loyal scene awaiting them.