Alibi V.23 No.40 • Oct 2-8, 2014 

Show Up!

Music Yields Meaning

Four grand gigs to believe in

“Can you come down with us?/ Can you believe with us?/ When the warm air comes/ We'll drink the ocean tonight./ No time to fuss, no time to fight./ All those people need a place to go.” “Can You Come Down with Us?”—The Olivia Tremor Control

Believing in music and meteorology are integral to starting this show-saturated semana. If you have faith in human ability to predict the weather, it will be warmish with a cool breeze drifting by now and then. But be warned: There is no ocean to drink in these parts, and the Rio Grande makes for muddy libations. It’s true there is no time to fight, but I don’t know about fussing. A little resistance can be a proper hoot. With that in mind, here are some places to go and believe this week.

Thursday

KRS-One
KRS-One
Courtesy of artist

Prolific political resister and high lord of hip-hop Lawrence Krisna Parker performs at Sister (407 Central NW) on Thursday, Oct. 2. Even if you haven’t heard of Parker, you may be familiar with his stage name, KRS-One (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone). He’s pretty much it, you know? The dude’s credits include the first notable iteration of East Coast gangsta rap on Boogie Down Productions’ debut album Criminal Minded—as well as strongly voicing his disillusion with the genre after the violent death of BDP member Scott La Rock—and the subsequent creation of 21 solo and collaborative rock-crushing albums.

Known for a masterful, eloquent, sometimes pedantic style, KRS-One mixes maximum-strength rhymes with melodic and percussive influences drawn from hard rock, Jamaican aural tradition, American gospel and the badass urban sounds of human industry permeating New York City. KRS-One has jammed or had beefs with just about every superhero in hip-hop nation while maintaining a provocatively anti-mainstream persona. His performances reflect his status as a cultural treasure, and he’s still the best damn emcee alive. RoQ’y TyRaiD, Jordan Miles and DJ Foundation open for the “conscience of hip-hop.” All this can be temporarily but truly yours for $20. This 21-plus concert starts at 8pm; the doors swing wide at 7pm.

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Friday

Saintseneca
Saintseneca
Courtesy of artist

My poet friend visits from Ohio and says he digs the Columbus scene. He talks about the lyrical union of folk and psychedelic, the drawing up of the American experience through midcontinent American rock and roll. One band name that keeps coming up in our conversations is Saintseneca. As it happens the folk quintet is slated to play Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Friday, Oct. 3.

Much like my visitor, these Buckeye brethren from the broad green land northeast will be here to be heard. Led by singer-songwriter Zac Little, the second incarnation of Saintseneca includes Steve Ciolek, Maryn Jones, Jon Meador and Matt O’Conke. As an ensemble Saintseneca’s dynamic rests upon competent, wide-ranging embrace of folk instrumentation—including the balalaika—with electro conceits and a knowing pop sensibility. Bloomington, Ind., intricate folk-popster outfit Busman’s Holiday features brothers Lewis and Addison Rogers and adds to the Midwestern flavor dripping from the house system on Friday. Post-punk, lo-fi power trio Plain Jane Glory opens. And they have a deconstructed rendition of “Karma Police” streaming on Soundcloud that kills. It’s only $8 to get in. Doors open at 8pm for this 21-plus event, and the soundtrack cranks up at 9pm.

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Saturday/Sunday

The Cookers
The Cookers
Courtesy of artist

On the evenings of Saturday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct. 5, hard-bop sextet The Cookers boils over at Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE). This two-night gig series is guaranteed to promote acquisition of the notorious “jazz trance” state mentioned on these pages in previous musical discourses.

Composed of some of the jazz genre’s most funky and foundational players, The Cookers engage in a form of expression that derives from bebop but joyously makes use of influences from rhythm and blues to gospel music; think Art Blakely. The current lineup includes at least one veteran of Blakey’s seminal hard-bop band The Jazz Messengers, tenor saxophonist Billy Harper.

The Cookers was founded and is led by trumpeter David Weiss, and the band includes the deffest rhythm section imaginable: composer and pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart. The newest member is alto-saxophonist Donald Harrison aka the “king of Nouveau Swing.” Tickets to these all-ages recitals range from $25 to $30. Doors open at 7pm; the jazz entrances at 7:30pm.

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Tuesday/Wednesday

Foulane Bouhssine performing in Ribab Fusion
Foulane Bouhssine performing in Ribab Fusion

Morrocan Amazigh funk artist Foulane Bouhssine brings Berber Afropop and American country-inflected jam band Ribab Fusion to the Dirty Bourbon Dance Hall and Saloon (9800 Montgomery NE) on Wednesday, Oct. 8. This multilingual, multicultural pop band dominates the North African scene. Bouhssine and his cohorts embrace southwestern Moroccan musical traditions while finding new modes of expression through postmodern tropes and genres.

Intensely polyrhythmic with elements of drone, dance and gritty outbursts of jazz, Ribab Fusion is presented as part of the AMP Concerts Center Stage series. These guys are touring the USA on the dime and good graces of the State Department and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation among other big American cultural exchange advocates. Admission is a pay-what-you-wish affair, a fact that adds the phrase “mighty compelling” to this paragraph. The doors for this 21-plus cultural interface with a groove open at 6:30pm, and the concert begins an hour later. Ribab Fusion will also play a free show (RSVP required, visit bit.ly/ribababq) at N4th Theater (4904 Fourth Street NW) on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 12:30pm.

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These are just some of the places where music resides. It’s carried in the warm air on October winds, from the nearby river or the far-off sea. The stuff can also be found at your longtime favorite venue or one you’re merely curious about. One might add that all this happens on a continuous, regular basis. And of course the music also lives in all of us. So come on down ... and believe.