I don't know, maybe it was the rain/ Another gray day, I thought maybe/ The real test was finding a bucket with enough holes to let it out/ One of those days, when the corn dries up/ And your nose turns red/ The ground crackles as the crystals break/ Day by day, the sun sets/ Back up, back up to the warm brew/ God is laying across your bed talking backwards. —“God in My Bed,” by Z-Rock Hawaii.
Just a couple of quick rocanrol history notes before I send you to some of the cool concert time evenings that the summer in the high desert produces.
Z-Rock was the collective name of a group of very popular heavy metal radio stations that dotted the USA during the 1990s. There was a Z-Rock Albuquerque, a Z-Rock Los Angeles, et cetera, et cetera. I dunno what happened to them; they probably got swallowed up by Clearchannel or I Heart Radio or something American like that.
I don’t think there really was a Z-Rock Hawaii, but the name—and all it symbolized in the way of metal ranging from hair to sludge—made a perfect appellation for the collaboration between Japanese noise rockers Boredoms and our friends from Pennsylvania, the brothers Ween. They had one great album together and then ran away from each other screaming.
Now that you have those awesomely relevant revelations under control, check out their album, melt your brain indoors for once (It’s hot out there during the day, eh, ese?) and let the sun set with summery flair. Then, before you’re reduced to just a puddle of steaming, viscous fluid, head out to one of these locally available, universally jamming shows and rock the hell out!
Z-Rock Hawaii: “God In My Bed”
Guitar Wolf, circa 1995
Photo by Goro Memo
Guitar Wolf is also a band from Japan. They also came from the 1980s. They’ve got that noise rock thing going on, too, except that, in their case, it’s heavily augmented by a swinging rockabilly attitude and the estimable work of American guitarist Link Wray. Legend has it that Seiji, the founder and guitarist of Guitar Wolf, had just about given up on learning the instrument’s finer points until he stumbled on a copy of a record by Wray that he found at good old Tower Records. The rest was history, of course, with a terrible trio founding a band based on the premise that good rocanrol sounds just like jet engines. The progenitors of “jet-rock” will be performing their rumbling, soaring, screaming oeuvre at Launchpad (618 Central SW) this Thursday, July 6, just in time for my 1037th birthday. They’ll be appearing with the always odd yet always on-key, devilish goth garage schitck band, Isaac Rother & The Phantoms. In case you wanna know, this trio of cray Californios have been influenced by the sounds of Dick Dale and The Misfits and make music to rouse the dead including big campy bandcamp hits such as “Five Hits From Hell,” “Gators in the Pool” and “Hitman.” Local punks The Dying Beds open, so it should be a helluva noisy night. Tickets for this 21+ discourse on droning and the devil cost but $12, and the sonic sorcery begins at 9pm. See you there, rockers!
On the other side of the rock and roll circus that’s often highlighted on this page and within this column, there lies a lovely land of serious singer-songwriters who really couldn’t give a fuck if Satan is listening as long as heaps of humans buy their beautifully crafted, soulfully sung records. If you have a hankering to get a handle on such heady phenomena, then head on over to Sandia Casino Amphitheater (30 Rainbow NE) on Friday, July 7, for a performance by Nuevo York singing sensation Prince Royce. Geoffrey Royce Rojas, as he was known in the before time (before he sold a platinum record, signed with Sony and worked with Snoop Dogg) is famous for mixing bachata (a type of Dominican pop music) with larger Latin-American, hip-hop and R&B themes. The result has been a string of hits worthy of Al Hurricane himself, including tuneage like “Back it Up,” a joint he did with Pitbull in 2015 and the sentimental yet sonically sumptuous single “Culpa al Corazón.” Joining Royce on stage for his Five Tour will be Tucson native Luis Coronel, another Sony artist whose specialty lies within the wide-ranging genre known as banda. Coronel, a freshly minted yet very popular regional musico, sings corridos, rancheras and baladas that reflect his life coming up in the hot yet fertile valleys of southern Arizona. You can be party to this all-ages exclamation of la alma Latino by purchasing tickets for between $35-57. A VIP upgrade with a meet and greet package is only $125. El concierto comienza al las 7pm, carnales.
Luis Colonel: “Dime Que Se Siente”
ONE OK ROCK
The next generation of Japanese rockers—this time sadly yet affirmatively influenced by the scream-a-delic, post-hardcore, emo lamentations of bands like Good Charlotte, Sleeping with Sirens and 5 Seconds of Summer—hits Burque’s Historic El Rey Theater (622 Central SW) on Saturday, July 8. I am talking about ONE OK ROCK, a quartet of lads from Tokyo who took off on the Fueled by Ramen record label after experimenting with hip-hop in high school and deciding that the sights and sounds of Lucifer’s music would provide a more glorious path forward. That road to rock and roll recognition has been marked by American-accessible hits like “Taking Off,” a jangly, anthemic tune that’s featured on their latest album, Ambitions, along with self-referential, insta-hit nuggets like “I Was King” and “We Are.” Post-everything pop ensembles Set It Off and Palisades fill up this super intense, musically enlightening night of Warped Tour reflections and recriminations; you can get a load of it for only $24.50 and a 13+ ID.
Gunsafe is a band that started in Burque, ended up in Arcata, Calif., but has now returned to the good old Duke City. They’ll be launching their summer tour of the Western Lands (Hmm … do I see a pattern here?) on Sunday, July 9, at everybody’s favorite hole-in-the-wall corner bar, Moonlight Lounge (120 Central SW). A quintet of seriously raw, intensely informed, stomped out, come-at-you-swinging purveyors of authentic Americana, Gunsafe features enough washboard, accordion, plangent banjo, fiddle, cello, groovy guitar and urgent salt-of-the-earth vocals to keep even the most rustic of you all dancing and careening across the club—in a mad yet humble countenance of music’s true allure—until the early morning. Afterwards, you can sleep a couple of hours, shower off and grab another bottle of Pabst from the fridge before following the outfit on tour as they hit renegade outposts like The Skillet in Las Vegas, N.M. Oh, btw, their album, No Sure Bets, totally kills. I have a particular fondness for songs with titles like, “Yer Ring,” “Teeth” and the mammoth, “Ya Don’t Give a Damn”, if you wanna know how I feel about the sounds coming outta Arcata. Best of Burque Music winners Moonshine Blind open. This here 21+ show begins at 8pm and will cost you a Lincoln.