I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day.—The main thesis of “Rock and Roll All Nite,” by KISS.
I guess you can imagine how such sentiments went over in middle school. Interestingly and sometimes ironically, reactions varied. While some of my generational cohorts—like Michael Henningsen, who immediately used the clip-out coupon in Creem Magazine to join the nascent KISS ARMY—jumped right on the bandwagon, some of use were initially nonplussed. But then we became irritated because the whole “KISS” deal was damned distracting. There was plenty of great stuff going on in the world of music back in 1978 after all. That conceit allowed us to get on with our lives, listening as we went; here I hope it serves to do the same for you. So, listen: Ignore the mess that rocanrol is making of postmodernism by checking out these out-of-orbit occurrences in the Albuquerque area, okay?
KISS: “Rock And Roll All Nite”
Rachel Couch via Big Beat Press
Have your neighbors ever knocked on your door late at night to tell you that the music emanating from therein was a tad too loud? That’s only happened a couple of times at mi chante; the dude that was primarily responsible for initiating such discourse—the nefarious retired middle school shop teacher named Bruce—has since gone on to better things, sabes? Anywho, I’m glad I’m not the only musico who’s had that experiencia. Nueva York electro wizards The Knocks (B-Roc and Mr. JPatt) have been there too. After suffering the onslaught of ungrateful vecinos for years, the duo has found success on the strength of a sound that careens between EDM and disco with big beats and broad strokes. Their pop sensibility, commercial as it is—hey they’ve actively promoted the iPhone 6 in their work and have collaborated with the likes of Wyclef Jean—is acute and hypnotically danceable. They’ll be gigging at the Historic El Rey Theater (622 Central SW) on Friday, June 9, in an all-ages concert that costs $15 and begins at 7pm. It’ll be a banger so bring lots of kandi!
Using a chamber music setting to explore the musical structures of American composers who veered toward modernism using a jazz taxonomy to establish new sonic boundaries could be a heady if not downright daunting task. But leave it up to the awesomely cerebral yet downright musical folks over at the New Mexico Jazz Workshop and Chatter ABQ to make such into an enjoyable diversion from the musically normative. On Saturday, June 10, Chatter Founder and local cultural arbiter David Felberg will lead listeners on a quest to better understand the context, content and form of works by three Americans whose work was blacklisted during the Second Red Scare of the ‘40s and ‘50s. The recital takes place at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater (2000 Mountain NW). In the work of Americans Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Artie Shaw, listeners are exposed to a rapidly evolving, intensely unpredictable form of art music. Joining Felberg on stage for these esoteric yet highly listenable encounters will be a variety of this town’s best jazz and classical players. Guitarist Michael Anthony, saxophonist Arlen Asher, trumpeter Paul Gonzales, bassist Rob Jaramillo and drummer Andy Poling will perform tunes by Shaw for the recital’s first half. The second half, featuring the music of Copland and Bernstein, includes violinists David Felberg and Elizabeth Young, violist Shanti Randall, cellist Dana Winograd, James Shields on the clarinet and pianist Judith Gordon. Tickets for this all-ages reflection in red range in price from $15-18. The righteous recital gets under way at 7pm.
Artie Shaw: Four Star Favorites
The Isley Brothers
Courtesy of the artist
Being in possession of the funk means never having to compromise for the sake of other genres, including rocanrol. Just ask the Isley Brothers about that. These dudes have been arbiters of all that is sublimely syncopated since before the rise of the rock and roll machine in the late 1950s. Beginning with a soulful and sexy iteration of “Twist and Shout” and continuing through the next five decades—while enunciating, describing, influencing and manifesting the very definitions of soul, R&B and funk—the Isley Brothers are the epitome of American music: innovative yet respectful of tradition in their search for sounds that will cause delirious, delightful dancing at the drop of a hat. Currently a duo comprised of vocalist Ronald and multi-instrumentalist Ernie, these progenitors of American pop will perform work from their considerable oeuvre at Sandia Casino and Resort Amphitheater (30 Rainbow Road NE) on Sunday, June 11, beginning at 7pm. The Commodores, whose hits include the ever popular paean to our national building aesthetics, “Brick House,” and featuring founding funkmeister William “Wak” King, open these pulsating proceedings. Tickets for this groovy good time range in price from $30-45.