Upon arriving home from a brief trip to San Diego last week, I was informed via e-mail that Brewster's Pub, the longstanding watering hole Downtown on Central between Third and Fourth streets, Malarky's and Rebar (formerly Sprockets and Fat Chance) had rather unceremoniously closed up shop. No further information was available at press time and attempts to reach Steve Brewster at his Brewster's establishment in Amarillo, Texas, were unsuccessful (that location remains open), but it does appear that all three local venues have gone home to be with our Lord. Additionally, McGilveray's is said to be closed for remodeling, but their phones are disconnected. Hmm. ... Burt's Tiki Lounge will host one of four billion garage bands on Saturday, July 31, in the form of Las Vegas, Nev. quartet The Black Jetts. Thankfully, they're better than about three billion of their brethren. ... Ani DiFranco will perform at Santa Fe's Paolo Soleri amphitheater on Sunday, Aug. 1, with Andrew Bird. Considering the performers we're talking about here, $29.50 is pretty damn cheap for what is likely to be one of best concerts of the summer. Call 883-7800 for more information. ... If you're looking for some horror punk on Wednesday, Aug. 4, head to the Atomic Cantina for a dose of Day of the Sick from Oklahoma, whose CD is so lo-fi it's almost unlistenable. But I could still hear the passion and anger, so I predict a hell of a live show.
Listening to Magic Slim's latest Blind Pig release, Blue Magic, it's hard to believe that one of the greatest living exponents of the Chicago blues (by way of Torrence, Miss.) once left Chicago after deeming himself not skilled enough to compete with Chi Town's big boys in the mid-'50s. For nearly 10 years, the story goes, Slim hunkered down back in Mississippi to hone his chops before reintroducing himself to a roundly stunned Chicago blue community in 1965. Granted, a lot can happen in a decade, but in Slim's case, the evolution was, well, magical to say the least.
Thursday, Aug. 5; Club Rhythm & Blues (21 and over, 8 p.m.): If it weren't for Putnay Thomas, host of KUNM's “The Blues Show” and the man behind the Blues Bizness production company, Albuquerque wouldn't have enjoyed half the legendary blues artists it has over the years. Now, following a brief sabbatical, Putnay's back, and this time he's got Louisiana bluesman Larry Garner in tow.
Thursday, July 29; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): These days, former Toadies singer and guitarist Todd Lewis is calling himself Vaden Lewis and is busy fronting what amounts to the greatest rock supergroup you've never heard of: The Burden Brothers. Featuring former Reverend Horton Heat and Tenderloin drummer Taz Bently, GWAR's Casey Orr and elite Dallas guitarists Corey Rozzoni and Casey Hess, The Burden Brothers released their debut last November to critical acclaim and almost no airplay whatsoever until recently, when stations with a clue (read: none in Albuquerque) began playing “Beautiful Night.”
Wednesday, Aug. 4; Launchpad (all ages, 7 p.m.): Among the significant number of things David Bazan (a.k.a. Pedro the Lion) does well, it's the ability to keep his audience guessing that seems to best serve him. Where his last two records, particularly 2002's Control, made screeching turns into the cynical and conceptual, the latest Pedro the Lion release, Achilles' Heel (Jade Tree) echoes Bazan's earliest days as a recording artist. He's still quite at home crafting lyrical barbs and carefully implanting them within lo-fi song structures, but on Achilles' Heel, he seems downright pleased to be doing it, which is something of a departure for the often glum-sounding Washingtonian.
He's been called the Paul McCartney to Will Cullen Hart's John Lennon, but, as a Wings fan and unashamed McCartney-ite, I have to say that I'd much rather listen to Bill Doss' post-Olivia Tremor Control output (The Sunshine Fix) than Hart's (Circulatory System). But, frankly, I'm about as bored as I can get with the Elephant 6 collective and their overly saccharine pop of late. TSF's second release is more palatable than their previous, and significantly less campy, but it's got no teeth. Nice melodies, pretty arrangements and nothing else to keep me interested.