Year in Review: Music
The Year 2014 in ABQ
On what we lost ... and gained
By August March
“When I was young and full of grace/ and spirited, a rattlesnake/ When I was young and fever fell/ My spirit, I will not tell/ You’re on your honor not to tell/ I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract/ Explain the change, the difference between/ What you want and what you need, there’s the key/ Your adventure for today, what do you do/ Between the horns of the day”—“I Believe” by R.E.M. from the album Lifes Rich Pageant
Now the year 2015 begins with words about music. Sounds flow through our city like a river, a thing whose nature is untamed and unstoppable. Of course covering that wily and watery entity is—and always will be—a challenge; there’s so much to hear and experience musically in Burque.
In August 2000 I pitched him a Who review. They were playing a gig at what was then known as the Mesa del Sol Amphitheatre. With the Ox and Zak Starkey comprising a thunderific rhythm section, I told him it would be one helluva show. He smiled a wan smile, did something to the chunk of Copenhagen lodged in his lower lip and said okay.
In case you wanna know, whenever the Alibi ran a music review back then, it went into a column called “Bark at the Moon,” which is also the name of Ozzy Osbourne’s third album. Anywho, the concert was great, and the review was decent; thanks to Henningsen’s oversight and insight, the experience gave me the push I needed to begin tending to my craft as a writer.
In the spirit of those halcyon moments—long gone but highly influential—here are some brief reviews of the best shows I previewed and/or saw in 2014. They’re listed chronologically, by the way, and each was as awesome as the other.
Jethro Tull isn’t an easy band to like. Gripped by ornate, flute-driven explorations of English culture, custom and geography, their work is as elusive as it is evocative. Frontman Ian Anderson, who once portrayed himself as an unbound, wild genius, has seemingly revisioned himself as a weathered intellectual elder statesman. That might come off as further pretense if the results hadn’t been so astonishingly phat and fresh. Touring in support of his solo effort Homo Erraticus at the Kiva Auditorium in mid-September, Anderson was in fine form as the knowing rascal with a dark edge to his antic delivery and sublime sense of musicality.
This week’s column is dedicated to the past, to Michael Henningsen. And to the future as well. Musically speaking, that will be glorious. Stay tuned to this channel for further details as they emerge.
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