Six o'clock, T.V. hour, don't get caught in foreign tower/ Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn/ Lock him in uniform, book burning, bloodletting/ Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate/ Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down/ Watch your heel crush, crush, uh oh/ This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear/ A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies/ Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.—“It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” a tune from R.E.M.’s last IRS Records release, Document.
I waited to write this week’s edition of the ultimate local concert guide until Sunday afternoon. I was gonna say something like “go see these essential artists live and in-person before the missiles start flying and the fallout shelters start filling.” But by Sunday morning that eschatological snark had vanished. The events in Charlottesville, Va. demanded that I take a closer look at my beliefs and motivations—and not leave it to literary devices like sarcasm and irony to suggest or symbolize my opinions. That said, Weekly Alibi will always be a supporter of the American way: truth, justice and freedom and all that.
So yeah, go out this weekend unafraid, witness one of the greatest live music scenes here on Earth—given the proper amount of restraint and reserve, one hopes Burque’s concert culture will persist for innumerable weekends to come. But if you’re a Nazi, Nazi sympathizer or a White Supremacist, get the hell out of our town. We don’t want you here, and you don’t deserve to participate in what we’ve worked so hard to create. On the other hand, if you are committed to progress, equality and diversity, come on in ... or in this case, at least Show Up!
R.E.M.: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”
As the summer inevitably rolls toward an autumn-tinged end, venues face a fecundity of concerts with aplomb, ice-cold drinks and damn good times at the ready. It’s like, totally the beginning of gig harvest time, dudes! This Thursday, Aug. 17, listeners have many choices to make, but these are the two rock recitals I find compelling. I’ll probably end up flipping a coin, but go ahead and feel free to make your choice based on whether you dig local rock made by los mujeres de la vangardia or rock-radio-friendly tuneage made for cray, corporate-conscious consumers.
Launchpad (618 Central SW) has an event called “Thursday Night Girl Fight,” featuring some of this town’s most influential female musicians. As a third-wave feminist, I’d potentially be ostracized from my discourse community for using the term girl, but I get it. It’s 2017 and the rejection of certain identity descriptors has been replaced by efforts to ensure their reclamation. Despite these doctrinal differences this one’s guaranteed to kick ass, as it features bands like Chicharra (Monica and Marisa Demarco, Mauro Woody, et al) and Cat Teeth (Jenny Sillery from Constant Harmony and Becki from Weedrat). Year of the Cobra and The Timewreckers are also on the bill. $5 and a 21+ ID will ensure your entry to this 9pm rockers’ cotillion.
Meanwhile over at Expo New Mexico’s Villa Hispana (300 San Pedro NE), the opposite end of the rocanrol spectrum will be on exposition, when Young The Giant, Cold War Kids and Joywave make with forms of music that range from plaintive pop to bluesy bromides and eclectic electronica. They’re all pretty big with kids these days (or were, five years ago) but it’s important to remember that this tour represents types of indie rock that are still alluring audiences and air-wave tuners, even as hip-hop and deathcore continue to claim young lives. Joywave is the unit to check out I say; their early mixtapes and first couple of albums, especially 2013’s 88888, have an eccentric, syncopated crunch that still resonates with cranky old lizards like me. All-ages, $43, 6pm.
Friday night, Aug. 18, offers two choices that, if presented together, would yield some sort of unholy combination of all that is sonically sacred and profane. Separately, in two distinct doses, they might just make for an excellent, even auspicious official beginning to the weekend.
First, go check out Cactus Tractor at Hotel Andaluz (125 Second Street NW). This group of intensely trained, perplexing perceptive and languorously lighthearted players (led by notorious Burqueño music professor David Bashwiner) produce music to soothe the savage rock-enthusiast, filling their songs with contemplative lyricism, hot-jazz aesthetics and hippie-rock know-how. They tread on and trade out genres with casual confidence and smiling snarkiness; enjoy this 21+ exhibition of the excitingly eccentric for free beginning at 7pm.
After you get a load of how the bohemians in Burque do it, then head on over to Launchpad (618 Central SW) for a glimpse of headbanging heaven; the Dave Brockie Tribute Show is a tribute to the timeless influence of GWAR—and one of it’s progenitors—upon the Albuquerque metal scene and beyond. Featuring members of thunder-masters Baked performing in costumes that emulate Brockie’s terrifying and turgid taste in music and mood, this concert will feature local support, admiration and remembrance via local banger bands Anesthesia, Sorry Guero, Echoes of Fallen and Laughing Dog. Get your GWAR on—and forget all about those hippies from earlier in the evening—for only $5 in advance and $7 at the door. This evil iteration of Slave Pit, Inc., starts at 9pm. (21+).
Well, what will it be, on Saturday, Aug. 19: Bandwidth No Name or Slayer. Let me say that again. Bandwidth No Name or Slayer? One’s funky, the other’s thrashy. You gotta figure out this one yourself, I sure as hell am going to have trouble splitting myself in half for these unforgettable shows, but maybe I can send my twin brother to one whilst I attend the other.
Bandwidth No Name is at Sister (407 Central NW) on Saturday. BNN is a local outfit that’s been part of the funk and hip-hop scene in these parts for many years. The septet vibrantly and voluminously combine soulful funk and hip-hop into a listenable, danceable and a very much “woke” vision of on-point musicality. The band’s community-conscious lyrical flow is augmented by some of the best players in town, including MCs Nick FuriouStylz and Epic Beats colluding with vocalist Mary Stockton, bassist Sean Smock, multi-instrumentalist Kookie Jones, drummer Charis Hurst and saxophonist Jonathan Grimes. Their latest recording, Hijack The Static, is both celebratory and challenging, reflecting a commitment to both badass chops and raising political awareness in listeners worldwide. Prism Bitch,Concepto Tambor and the 2bers provide sumptuous, sonic support. Tickets are $7 in advance and the party begins at 9pm.
Or you can head over to Isleta Amphitheater (5601 University SE) for something called Slayer. I kinda knew these guys killed (Get it, Slayer killed, ha ha) but that was confirmed a couple summers back when I had the priviledge of interviewing their totally with it, but none the less thrashed out drummer, Paul Bostaph. Dude rocks. Anyway, fucking Slayer will be joined live and on stage by fellow heavy metal legends Lamb of God and Behemoth. Premium box seat tickets ($125) for this all-ages, 7pm ballroom blitz are still available but going fast. Go to livenation.com for more deets.
On Sunday, Aug. 20, I give you a choice between mystical and mysterious psych rock or local, long-lasting, old school metal and prog.
Sister (407 Central NW) presents a gig to be given by heavy-duty stoners Ruby The Hatchet. Their latest record is called Planetary Space Child and features a killer opening track called “KILLER.” They’re also known for slithery sludgy work like 2015’s Valley of the Snake, which includes the epic tune, “Tomorrow Never Comes.” They’re on tour with Topeka, Kan. super-stony blues-inflected behemoths Youngblood Supercult and Burque desert rockers Red Mesa, a power trio with tuneage like “Low & Slow,” “Revolution Coming” and “Poontang Shake” (whatever that is). Five bucks and a 21+ ID get you inside Sister, but remember to stop by the dispensary before this 7pm trip to town.
Meanwhile over at Launchpad (618 Central SW) local metal-head, guitar god and hell-raiser Steve Beneath will be performing with The Ground Beneath. Joining Mr. Beneath for this night of instrumentally intricate yet loud as heck rocanrol will be prog-rockers Patema as well as the multi-talented, guitar-focused aural antics of Deceitful. Join the expedition pre-show for an in-house guitar lesson given by Steve himself. This all-ages affair with long hair is only $7 and goes off at 7pm.
Youngblood Supercult performs at the Doomed & Stoned Festival, 2016