Starting Some Shows
A primer on performance
“Hey what were ya thinking/ When they were starting the show/ Yeah, I was there/ But I didn't care at all/ I was trying to find you/ When you got lost in the crowd/ Cause I'm drunk all the time/ I like your helium voice/ There was a guy in the seat next to mine/ Watching the girls when the cops made us stand in line/ Yeah, so if it’s sad/Well you still gotta live till ya die/ Man, everyone's chewing the apple you got in your eye.”—“Chewin’ the Apple of Your Eye” by The Flaming Lips from the Album Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
In September 2014, August March threatened to use the lyrics by a once obscure Oklahoma City rock band as an introduction to what he considered noteworthy musical expeditions. He waited nearly a year before actually making good on the boast. And so he went on and on, throwing adverbs and alliterations around the page in an effort to bring readers to the same conclusion he had reached about live music. He really believed that if you had to live until you died, you might as well jam out with as much frequency as possible. He then proceeded to write—with great joy and awesome anticipation—the latest edition of Show Up!
Barnaby Bright, a duo comprised of Nathan and Rebecca Bliss, bring their beatific brand of indie rock-inflected folk music to the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden (2601 Central NW) on Thursday, Aug. 6. Multi-instrumentalists with a penchant for continuous touring, Barnaby Bright has impacted the industry with carefully crafted songs delicately laced with haunting harmonies and complex melodic phrasing. They’re touring in support of their latest recording, The Longest Day, an album as sublime as summer itself. Tracks such as “Castle Rock” and “Highway 9” demonstrate a range that includes traditional Celtic and Appalachian influences as well as a contemporary approach to dense instrumentation and rhythmic detail. Troubadours in the truest sense of the term, the duo performs nearly 200 shows per year, each one evocatively in tune with a deep emotional center and a vast vision of life, love, death and renewal. Tickets range in price from $3 to $10, and the all-ages concert begins at 7pm.
A night of reggae and related roots music will be featured at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Friday, Aug. 7. The celebration of Jah and all of his sonic and smoking accoutrements features a variety of homegrown bands. Headliners Innastate, an outfit outta Santa Fe, proudly manifests this nation’s indigenous aesthetics. The members of Innastate have ties to the Chippewa nation, Jemez, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo and Hopi Pueblos, as well as the Jicarilla Apache tribe. Front man Adrian Wall plays some very groovy guitar, designed with ringing tones to engender a sense of good vibrations. New Mexico Music Awards nominee Rebecca Arscott and her band One Heart Fyah join them on stage as part of a bill designed with diggable danceability in mind. Arscott’s work combines soul, Latin pop and roots reggae for a sound as inimitably New Mexican as it is global. Her recent single “Let Love Take Over” commits to earthy vocalizations, solid songwriting skills, high-desert atmospherics and a sense of musicality that is at once formidable yet entirely relaxed. The Riddims and DJ Garronteed open. This 21+ summertime party gets going at 9:30 at night, though the doors to Launchpad open at 8pm. Admission is only $5, a fine price to pay for a Friday night frolic amidst the greenery.
Homegirls Records presents a celebration of Burque’s top-flight female DJs on Saturday, Aug. 8, at Tractor Brewing Wells Park (1800 Fourth Street NW). This mellifluous manifestation—titled In The Mix—is produced by Gatas y Vatas, a local collective committed to showcasing the experimental, musical and turntablist talents of women who rock. Though the previous iterations of the associated music fest have taken place exclusively in our humble burg, this year’s version envisions events taking place in the left coast villages of Seattle and Oakland too. Gatas y Vatas is famous for pushing musical boundaries; this year’s version continues on that path with a winsome glimpse of what the future holds in store. DJs Nicolatron, Bea, Jill and Tahnee plan to spin sounds out of their complex electronic sound reproduction devices, evoking a sense of otherworldly audacity and beat-crazy, footloose frenzy. The event also features a plethora of art and craft work made by human entities associated with GyV. It’s all for a great cause too; engendering an inclusive arts community that flows, full of cacophony and elegance, out from the Rio Grande and toward the rolling sea, far away. Beginning at 9pm, In The Mix is free too. Just be at least 21 and ready to get down to the sound if you wanna go.
This year’s Roost Creative Music Series takes place at the Tricklock Performance Laboratory (110 Gold SW). The brainchild of local tubist and arch experimentalist Mark Weaver, the series is noted for bringing the latest and greatest in avant-garde music to Albuquerque. On Sunday, Aug. 9, the series presents a concert featuring two highly regarded deconstruction units. The first set of the night will be performed by Thollem Electric, a peripatetic pianist who makes his home in Northern New Mexico. Thollem, a piano man by trade and an electrician in his heart, has worked with everyone from members of Wilco to Burqueño composer Raven Chacon. He produces music that is elusively ardent, perplexingly passionate and compelling in execution and attention to harmonic detail. The second set of the evening comprises the music of Ligeia Mare. An ensemble that includes Farrell Lowe (guitar), Dave Willey (accordion), Elaine di Falco (keyboard/vocals) and Mark Harris (saxophones), they’ve been described as producers and transmitters of "electro-acoustic intuitive sound art." The artists in this particular programme are renowned as experienced improvisers. Their work ultimately resembles the pluralism of postmodernism mashed together masterfully with the nuance of nocturnal noise. It’s sorta like the sound of the universe unwinding after a long day of expansion. Admission to this evocative event cost $7. All ages are permitted, and the doors of perception swing wide beginning at 7:30pm.
Courtesy of the artist
As the show began, August March was thinking that getting lost in the crowd was not a bad idea after all. That way he could retain his anonymity whilst enjoying a drink, engaging his favorite helium-voiced tuneage and wondering if there really was more to life than the show. If he cared about anything at all, that was contained in his ebullient hope that you, dear reader, would be there too.