They say there's a place down in Mexico/ Where a man can fly over mountains and hills/ And he don't need an airplane or some kind of engine/ And he never will/ Now you know it's a meaningless question/ To ask if those stories are right/ 'Cause what matters most is the feeling/ You get when you're hypnotized/ Seems like a dream/ They got me hypnotized— “Hypnotized,” a Fleetwood Mac tune written by Bob Welch, for the album Mystery to Me. Welch later left the band for a solo career, even as the rest of the ensemble lurched toward superstardom with the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
The best live rock and roll is hypnotizing. Those performances contain the engines of transcendence in their spooky ability to reach inside the minds of audience members to withdraw something essentially intense and ultimately, though ephemerally, satisfying. This week’s concerts should be like that: They will seem dreamlike, manifested on stage. More importantly they’ll give listeners the opportunity to reach places they might not otherwise encounter in the humdrum of everyday life. As Mr. Welch concludes, all that other stuff just doesn’t matter when you’re hypnotized.
Fleetwood Mac: “Hypnotized”
Courtesy of the artist, via Facebook
Besides blazing jams, some are hypnotized by the supposed power of superstition. Combining the two results is a helluva potent conceit, just ask Stevie Wonder, if you are wondering about that. Better yet, haul your superstitious, hypnosis-prone human form over to Launchpad (618 Central SW) on—you are correct, magnificent Carnac—Friday, Jan. 13, for a Friday the 13th show to rival all others. Not that there are any others in town that I'm aware of, but just sayin'. Anywho the tuneage at this particular triskaidekaphobic treat will be provided by none other than some of Dirt City's loudest, filthiest and crustiest bands ever. The fearful and frothy proceedings will be headlined by Deforme. They're a local quintet fronted by Juan Martinez whose sound varies between wanton wail and shattering scream. They'll be supported in their efforts by local crust-punkers Roñoso, who take their name from a Spanish colloquial term that can either mean “grungy,” “mean” or “stingy.” Take your pick. Also on the bill are the evocatively evil Cambodian Death Squad, Econarchy, Noctaphetamine and Left to Rot. With a line up like that, bad things—but don't get me wrong, because I really mean badass musical things and the world's already pretty fucked up as it is—are bound to happen regardless of the day or date. Tickets to this 21+ excursion to the outer limits of sanity and sonic redemption are only $5; that's a damn good price to pay for damnation, folks. The believing in things that you don't understand begins at 9pm.
On Saturday night, Jan. 14, 2017, one of Burque's best, most brutally beatific and wholly hypnotic bands will perform one last time over at Burt's Tiki Lounge (515 Central NW). I am talking about Beard. Formed five years ago out of a mountain of ultra-hot ashes, twisted guitar strings, mad memories of what prog-rock could've been—as well as a dash of post-rock punkishness that continues to set them apart from other rocanrol ensembles in this town—Beard is a band that is elusively hard-hitting, spaced-out and psychedelic, yet also formidably and fearsomely fragile in their one-of-a-kind presentation. If such descriptors don't suit you—or you think I'm just being my usual verbosely puffed-up rock rapscallion—then check out their bandcamp page and chillax to tunes like “Castles on Fire,” from their 2012 effort, Black Unicorn, the titular “The Twin And The Beast,” from their sophomore recording or the closer, “I Am Just,” from their latest recording The Quiet Few. Their oeuvre is some of the best instrumental work this town has heard, so do me a solid and go tell them so at their fan-friendly farewell gig. It begins at 9pm and is, like, totally free for those 21+.
Fast Heart Mart: Martin Stamper and Roblyn Crawford
Courtesy of the artist
A gazillion years ago—more precisely during that formative year right before the millennium, dearest millennials—a dude named Martin Stamper made his name here in the Duke City by hypnotizing folks with his quirky conglomeration of rocanrol music, bluegrass, rap and raga. His multi-methodical project, Fast Heart Mart was the talk of the town. Stamper, diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and consequently the recipient of a defibrillator buried deep in his chest, went on to escape the heavy gravitational pull of Burque and the Land of Entrapment, touring New Zealand and most of central Europe, recording music for films and television and brilliantly busking in sunny San Diego, where the dude is practically a household name. Additionally, Stamper gained heaps of rocanrol cred by opening for acts like our dear friends The Handsome Family, Calexico, Bob Log III and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Fast Heart Mart returns to his roots here in Burque with sidekick, multi-instrumentalist Roblyn Crawford on Sunday Jan. 15. The two will be playing a show at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). In a further addendum to the profundity and hypnotic potential of this $5, 21+ show, Jessica Billey and the Rib Wrenchers follow Stamper and company at 10pm, whilst Dave Payne and Saltcedar play at 9pm. But Fast Heart Mart takes the stage at 8pm, and damn it you all better go to this one because those stories are, indeed, right. But what matters most is the feeling you'll get: hypnotized.