Year In Review: Music

Lo Que Fue En Burque

August March
8 min read
What Was With All the Music?
Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips (George Salisbury)
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In the year 2018, in the area where the Rio Grande swells into a broad swath of brown water, constantly cascading toward the holy southern lands—music events floated through the town. In a year marked by the ascension of newish forms and genres as well as the resurgence of Latinx sounds all around the Duke City—by which I mean Downtown in particular—there were all sorts of instances of greatness oozing out the speakers of the clubs of this town.

With so much to listen to
en el Burque, I thought I’d use this column to reminisce about a scene whose fecundity is matched by its vigorous variety. This year, by the way has been glorious. Weekly Alibi’s Best of Burque Music celebration was an amazing night, and I still look back tenderly to some of the totally truckin’ (you know, kidz, think of the Grateful Dead lyrics, sabes?) touchstones of that night.

This process will now be engaged using the best in 21st century electronic technology, mixed lovingly together with a deep commitment to keeping the scene here among the grooviest on the planet.


Colt Ford played here in January. How cool is that, cowpokes? If you don’t dig the twang you could always have gone up to Santa to see The Octopus Project at Meow Wolf. Oh and 24hrs hit it hard at the Jam Spot as the month rolled into another. Don’t worry. These notes grow longer as the year advances.


Crushed!? dropped a crusher of an album called
Sins of the Father. I had a very interesting chat with Scott Ian of Anthrax. Manhigh started gigging around town in earnest. And I had anther cool talk; this one with Steve Aoki. By the end of our chat, I was convinced Aoki somehow had access to the sounds of the future. In concert he, like, totally glitched out my brain.


Popular events produced by Mariposa Music began manifesting at local clubs, bringing a world beat to a beating heart. Los Metamorfos rocked it with their surrealist circus sound and vision. The Silver String Band, meanwhile, demonstrated awesomely roots-revealing American sounds at an album release party that also featured another authentic outfit, Dave Payne and Salt Cedar. Notably, a new rocking rockabilly outfit, The Despots won many major categories in our yearly readers’ poll.


In the middle of the month, less than a month into spring, Sonido Cachimbo, Baracutanga and Kiko Villamizar dug a deep groove all the way around Sister and laid down some seeds that are still sprouting every time I stop by this hep hangout. At the end of the month, I got to hang with Kelley Deal, who lives in Dayton and has a twin named Kim. I have a twin named Al that lives in Dayton, so we had an awesome time chatting. Also: the Gathering of MCs—featuring Def-i—at the Launchpad. Too freaking much!


I went to a Rappin’ in the ’90s show at Posh on May 4. I got to jam to Geto Boys, Rasheed, Rappin’ 4-Tay and Bone Thugs. How cool is that? Well how about the fact that Suspended and Kendrick Lamar had shows here in the Burkes the week after that? I’m serious. Okay, the Sun Dog show at Sister on May 18 was super decent too. I’m talking to myself. That’s what too much excellent rocanrol will do. The Get Action show the next weekend at the Moonlight Lounge was super-sparky, come to think of it. Finally, at this past year’s ABQ Folk Festival, it was all about Lone Piñon and Steve Cormier, in my opinion.


During one week in June, just as the heat of summer came barreling in windy bursts over the Sandia mountains, both Sleep and Ufomammut played gigs in this town, destroying much of my ability to process reality in conveniently sunny tid bits. Then, Red Mesa released a monster called
The Devil and the Desert, blowing everyone’s minds who came out to see them in action at Launchpad. And then summer hit. Ashes of Jupiter dropped a new rolling record that fucking perpetually rocks. Meanwhile in the virtual world of the studio and thence the interwebz, fuguers cove began dropping albums that changed my life. Serio.


I got a year older. ARISE rose up in downtown Burque. Ian Moore came back to the Duke City for a visit, but by then Rachel Heisler had moved on. Rapwise, Peanut Butter Wolf proved his freshness at Sister and then the joint got all experimental with crazy cool shows by Julianna Barwick and Mary Lattimore. At month’s end, Ryan McGarvey visited the zoo and The Grouch and Eligh brought Burque a thing called the Summa Thrilla. Thrilling.


World Beat Spectacular became a thing—thanks to Christi Sanchez and Alex Paramo of Mariposa Music. I found new respect for the work of Godsmack, after chatting with Tony Rombola, their guitarist.
Weekly Alibi sent our super rocanrol powered intern, Adam Wood to the Taos Vortex (Bwaa ha ha!) and a long, much delayed conversation I had with old punk rock pal Wayne Coyne changed my life for the better. The next week, I was even more blown away by local jazzer, the eminent Emerson Corley of Entourage Jazz. Sometime during all of that summertime frenzy, I had a chance to sit down with CCR’s Cosmo Clifford, a real honor while at the Range, puro Burqueño studio rager Ron Crowder released his first disc, Liberty.


As fall became apparent and cooler temperatures too, I had found an opportunity to chat with Mike Scheidt of YOB, one of the darkest yet hopeful doom outfits on planet Earth. Damn good stuff there. By some sort of divine circumstance I also got to preview a concert by Ms. Judy Collins by talking right to the legend herself. She was how I sorta remember my mom: kind, mindful, a genius of description and melody. As the autumn eclipsed the summer, Madstock in Madrid provided some damn fine music as well, including a super-rare performance of the legendary pych-rock outfit The Family Lotus. Damn Good.

But get this: at the end of the month, Ozzy Osbourne told me he wrote “No More Tears” while in Albuquerque, whilst thinking about Randy Castillo. When I met him before the show he was royal. I’m not worthy, dude.


Then it was time for bands like Frankie & the Witch Fingers, who did it darkly yet deliciously at Sister on Oct. 7. The next week, I had a blast getting high and chatting with a member of the Wavves, the illustrious Stephen Pope, who rocked our reader’s world with a candid interview ahead of the band’s Launchpad gig. Oh and local pop favorites Five Mile Float returned to gigging whilst I had a mind-altering engagement with Edgar Winter, ahead of his gig at Legends Theater.

That talk pretty much proved that the dude from Beaumont,
Tejas is a national treasure. My conversation with Winter, turned into the week’s music feature, was poignant and pure, one of the best we’ve ever run, in my opinion.


Weekly Alibi began the month with a super duper interview with Evan Rachel Wood, who has a rock thing going on with guitar wizard Zane Carney. Of course they played at Meow Wolf! After that the month flashed by: An interview and concert with Todd Rundgren was somehow balanced on a very rare local performance by half of Deerhoof at a gallery that featured work by—wait for it—Raven Chacon and Jeremy Barnes. Man that was all so tasty, like Thanksgiving when it rains turkey and tamales at the same time, bro. Local psych unit Train Conductor released a new record called Warm Adobe Brain mid-month, further adding to the idea that I was and continue to live a rocanrol fantasy of the highest order. In other nerdy news, local cover band Badd Fish got back together.


The month began with a Cool Yule Concert, thanks to Emerson, E Jazz and their amazing arranger and pianist Roger Baker. Then, in a nod to a festive season that will apparently rock and roll like all get out, Cobra Vs Mongoose dropped a new EP,
66 Guns as did Burque’s official electro-wizard REIGHNBEAU, a bright, precious danceable dream called SLIGHT. As Christmas approached Spendtime Palace showed off their rocanrol prowess at Sister and Manhigh played one goddamn good gig after another.

So now as the the end of the month approaches, please do look forward to a miraculous musical encounter with a dude named Violent J.
Serio. I talked to him today. He’ll be here for New Year’s Eve. He is very, very chill.
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