In Concert with a Cheshire Cat Grin
Four wondrous, reverie-inducing musical adventures
From left, Earth’s core members and Porter Robinson
Courtesy of the artists
“Just as you take my hand/ Just as you write my number down/ Just as the drinks arrive/ Just as they play your favorite song/ As your bad day disappears/ No longer wound up like a spring/ Before you’ve had too much/ Come back in focus again/ The walls are bending shape/ You got a Cheshire Cat grin/ All blurring into one/ This place is on a mission ...”—Radiohead, “Jigsaw Falling Into Place”
Comparatively speaking, Radiohead verges on the abstract when referencing the power of music and concert experiences. I could have gone with The Flaming Lips’ “Chewin the Apple of Your Eye” this week for an intro, but I’m still disappointed about the way Wayne Coyne treated Kliph Scurlock. Jeez, the dude’s even drawn folks like Miley Cyrus into his circle post-divorce. Steven Drozd is still more than awesome in my book, though I’m beginning to think Gibby Haynes was right.
Anyway google that if you need to, but in the meantime, check out these upcoming, totally wondrous and reverie-inducing musical adventures right here in Albuquerque. They’ll have you smiling like Alice’s tree-bound cat long before you can say, “Hey, what were you thinking when they were starting the show?”
The Saltine Ramblers
Courtesy of the artist
On Friday night, Sept. 12, Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) hosts The Saltine Ramblers’ 10th anniversary show. Americana-literate—with influences ranging from Ween to the Grateful Dead—the Ramblers put on shows that range from lyrically laconic to tight and tension-filled. As an ensemble they perform with an instrumental prowess that reaches far beyond the borders of genre. Kevin Strange (guitar, vocals), Cory Minefee (guitar, vocals), David Ivey (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) and Dave Payne (bass, squeeze, vocals) have been part of the local scene for nigh on a decade. Their work engages in a dust-up with everything folk-rock aspires to, leaving sparkly traces in concert hall corners; those corners may or may not be part of a parallel reality where Americana both acknowledges its antecedents and improves upon their next iteration. Wildewood, Peg Leg Joe and Pawn Drive open. Eight Washingtons get you into this 21-plus show. The doors open at 7pm, and the jam spreads at 8pm.
Sunday, Part I
Courtesy of the artist
The Roost completes its sixth annual Creative Music Series on Sunday, Sept. 14, at Spirit Abuse (1103 Fourth Street NW). The Roost and Spirit Abuse have brought some mighty, mighty programs to town this summer, hosting the legendary likes of Arnold Bodmer, Dwight Loop and Black Spirituals. The Roost ends this season in mad and meticulous style with a performance by experimentalists SHUD and bassdrumbass. SHUD, consisting of Bonnie Schmader (bass flute, flute), Katie Harlow (cello), Alicia Ultan (viola) and Rick DiZenzo (drums), relies on the jazz theoretic of American composer and coronetist Butch Morris to generate structured improvisatory soundscapes intended to create “a post-genre experience of expression.” Jeremy Bleich (electric bass), Milton Villarrubia III (drums) and Ben Wright (acoustic bass) form the trio bassdrumbass. This outfit is a heady and intuitive collaborative focused on the subtle melodic and sonic potential inherent but often overlooked in the so-called rhythm section. Entrance to this entrancement costs but five dollars, and the concert commences at 7:30pm sharp.
Sunday, Part II
From left, Earth’s Dylan Carlson and Adrienne Davies
After spending the early part of Sunday evening engaging in a jazz trance, head on over to Sister (407 Central NW) for a musical experience of a wholly different sort. On Sunday, Sept. 14, Earth, King Dude and Death Convention Singers plan to destroy whatever assumptions the listening public has about the conventions of composition. Be prepared to leave planetary orbit for another world where jazzed-out psychedelia cavorts noisily with elements of rock, blues, folk and rampantly unforgettable digressions into the void. Dylan Carlson and Adrienne Davies form the core of Earth, a group whose produce is forestlike in complexity and attention to dense detail. King Dude aka TJ Cowgill is an enigmatic folkie from Seattle who recently sold his soul to Satan to access the darker nuances of rocanrol music, with frighteningly listenable results. Opener Death Convention Singers—a large ensemble led by members of Burque’s musical vanguard including Raven Chacon, Marisa Demarco, Tahnee Udero and Geoff Escandon—provides a welcome, witchy level of unpredictability and coherent deconstruction of tropes that will surely set the tone. Climb aboard this constantly bifurcating beast for just 10 bones. It’s a 21-plus gig with doors at 8pm. Transcendence begins at 9pm.
Courtesy of the artist
Youthful electronic ace and Japanophile Porter Robinson brings his Worlds Tour to Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Influenced by PoMo video game culture, anime aesthetics, Oakenfold’s trance trip and the EDM of Skrillex, Robinson is besties with the blokes over at Radio One. A production and performance maverick of the highest order, Robinson recently began using the esoteric computer software device Vocaloid to generate and augment his output. These aural efforts bring the singularity closer to realization than most glow stick-equipped electro adherents may initially realize. After listening and grooving through Robinson’s oeuvre though, they’ll be convinced of transhumanism’s potentially danceable benefits. Tickets for this intensive interface cost but $28.50; humans aged 16 and above are welcome to indulge in it. The doors open at 7pm, and the connection completes at 8pm.
Inevitably the mission of seeing these shows and a heap of others happening around town this week—scope the Alibi music calendar for crissakes—falls upon you, dear reader. Focus if you must. After all, even if the walls of your preferred venue do begin to swish around meltingly, someone on stage might play your favorite song.