“I’m on stage/ it’s all an act, I'm really scared that I may fall back on the abstract/ It'd be exactly where I'm at/ If you're to be/ The roaming eye, well pry it open and let me tell you/ why it sees/ The harsh realities.”—“Exactly Where I’m At,” written by Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo, Jr.
For the moment, let’s forget about the harsh realities—Trump, shrill and siren-like, is still luring boaters, I mean voters, to their doom while Alabama Shakes somehow beat out Florence and the Machine at this year’s Grammy Awards—and check out the inherently abstract human construct called music. I hear tell Burque’s one of the best places to do that. Anywho, that’s where I’m at—maybe not exactly but often enough to tell the difference between Southern rock and nostalgic free-form jamming built on traditional blues scales.
Ween: “Exactly Where I’m At”
Cornhuskers with Californian ambitions, The Ataris are featured as part of the aptly named Three Headed Monstour that lumbers into the Co-Op (415 Central NW) on Thursday, Feb. 25. Though founder Kristopher Roe is the only Indiana native still with an outfit noted for defining poptastic cryptic confessionalism in the early aughts, The Ataris still handle the emo/skatepunk subgenre with good-natured glumness. Their successors to the throne of personal, rocked out sadness, Hawthorne Heights, share the bill. Mest, the mostly melodic hardcore project of Tony Lovato, fill out this monstrously pre-millenial ménage-a-trois. Tickets cost between $20-100 and the Co-Op is an all ages, drug- and alcohol-free venue. The lamentations begin at 6pm.
The Ataris: “San Dimas High School Football Rules”
Honest to goodness New Mexico country-rock badass and Billy Gibbons aficionado (just check out his guitar solos sometime to get the hang of that comparison) Kyle Martin gigs at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) along with Eryn Bent on Friday, Feb. 26. A classically trained Santa Fe songstress outta Montana that touches upon the deep folk traditions of the West, Bent’s fiery yet deftly controlled vocals have been burning up the scene in Santa. Her tough-as-nails yet plaintive narratives add to her flaming musical presentation. Contrariwise, Kyle Martin’s style has a whole different kinda heat running through its hard-charging circulatory system. His self-described “westrock” is like honky tonk from Hell—but not a bad Hell, mind you, just a hot one. Five dollars and proof that you were born on or after Feb. 26, 1995 are all it’ll cost you to help quench the flames that night, beginning at 9pm.
If you wanna have a clear look-see where some of those folk and country and rock connections come from, their roots as it were—and hear some damn fine music in the process—then check out Steve Cormier and Bayou Seco at 821 Art Center (821 Mountain NE) on Saturday, Feb. 27. Bayou Seco’s methodical focus on the Cajun, cowboy and Hispanic folk music traditions has earned the duo world-wide acclaim; their oeuvre is a combination of intense ethno-musicology and superior playing. Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie are multi-instrumentalists with nerve and verve. Steve Cormier’s authentic renditions and recollections of cowboy life and music continue to compel and entertain. The legendary singer/songwriter is currently part of the state of New Mexico Humanities Council’s much-lauded Chautauqua Program. This historic performance will run interested listeners $10-15 and is meant for all ages. And with a 3pm start time, one supposes the same listeners can still rock out that evening.
As broadly hinted at above, you can rock out at the STRFKR and Com Truise concert on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Historic El Rey Theater (622 Central SW). Otherwise known as Starfucker (which was also, briefly, the name of a killer Stones song once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away), this ultra-current trio from Portlandia make music that filters psychedelic musical concerns through synth-pop melodies and pre-Ibiza electronica. They’ll be joined on stage by Seth Haley—who happens to have an awesomely alluring project sorta named after that dude from Eyes Wide Shut who is nearly made to undress with disastrous results. Haley’s excursions as Com Truise into the ornate mansions built by ‘80s synthpop stylists are far from a disaster though; they’re evocative, sometimes propulsive and nearly flawless in their attention to rhythmic detail. His second album In Decay dispenses with organic formality and digs into a synthetic wonderland of tension and release. General admission to this 18+ fantastic fete begins at $22 with an upgrade to El Rey’s mezzanine available for $5 more.