“You’ll be riding by, bareback on your armadillo/ You’ll be grooving high or relaxing at Camarillo/ Suddenly the music hits you/ It’s a bird in flight that just can’t quit you/ You’ve got to come on, man, and take a piece of Mr. Parker’s band.”—“Parker’s Band,” Steely Dan
Charlie Parker ain’t playin’ the Duke City this week. He’s busy swooping ’round the boundless universe, impressing various forms of deity with the sounds emanating from his mighty, fluttering and angelically winged horn. Back here on Earth though—and more precisely in Burque—the concert-going possibilities remain top-flight, dig? Whether you walk, bike or drive to the gig of your choice, this week’s musical offerings are guaranteed to provide lift. Maybe you’ll even wanna fly afterward.
On the evening of Friday, Sept. 26, prodigal Burque bassist James Whiton plays a homecoming concert at Sister (407 Central NW). Whiton spent the past 17 years far from here—relentlessly touring, jamming with George Clinton, recording a Grammy-nominated album with Tom Waits and searching for a place to land. With cred that stretches back to his stint with local legends Apricot Jam and parents noted for their substantive contributions to our city’s musical culture, Albuquerque seems the perfect place for Whiton’s continued sonic sojourn.
His new project Solo Loop Bass Madness focuses on the intersection of electronic manipulation, monster chops and the upright bass. Whiton’s known for his sublime sense of melody, a rarity among members of the so-called rhythm section and a force that propels his output past tradition and into innovation.
Le Chat Lunatique, a gruff, gooey hot jazz quartet known for hanging tunefully around our moonlit alleyways since the early aughts, contributes to the welcome home bash. Local burlesque troupe La Cage aux Folles provides sensual visual accompaniment throughout. All this can be part of your Friday flight plan for just $7. Buckle up at 8pm, and prepare for takeoff at 9pm.
Set the controls for the heart of the sun by visiting Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, Sept. 27. SuperGiant and Black Maria will be there, playing music that will make you forget all about the avian diversity of jazz, leaving a piquantly sludgy and riotously rocking-tasting space beverage in its stead. Beguiling yet brutal in presentation—like the star we currently orbit—SuperGiantpossesses a soulful aspect that puts the band parsecs ahead of the homogenous brigade of stoner-rock bands lumbering toward Andromeda.
With SuperGiant on deck, leaving the solar system is easy, but prepare to have your soul disassembled and your skull crushed by the immense gravitational forces of Black Maria upon arrival. Gordy Andersen, Brian Banks and the rest of this crew of urban spacemen have existed for years in the light-eating realms just past an awesome, churning event horizon, so be ready, earthlings.
Black Maria’s sound really is like the thick smoke from an unquenchable, planet-devouring fire. Andersen’s guitar sensibilities reside somewhere between Mars and Jupiter, and the rest of the combo is no less extraplanetary in execution and cohesion. Doomsayer Hounds Low begins the night’s journey to the edge of the universe. Entry will run you $7, and the thrusters activate at 9:30pm.
Starships, electric guitars and mind-altering chemicals aren’t always necessary ingredients for flight—earthly, interstellar or otherwise. You can test this hypothesis yourself on Sunday, Sept. 28, at The Tannex(1417 Fourth Street SW) with a sliver of the moon serving as a guiding light. Experimentally witchy collaborative duo JAHA+LOU consists of Jenstar and Lou LaMotte and incorporates textile making, installation-art aesthetics and resonant vocalization to engender healing and self-actualization.
With all its cosmic appeal, space can still be a lonely place. And reentry can be a bitch. Thank goodness for pop-punk. The genre’s glammy, grounding groove may yet prove a balm to those overexposed to the void surrounding us. Torrance, Calif., pop-punk band Joyce Manor touches down at The Gasworks (2429 Quincy NE) on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Emo-inflected with hints of early Weezer buoying their floating capsule, Joyce Manor tours in support of their major label debut on Epitaph Records, Never Hungover Again.
Joyce Manor’s growing repertoire of tunes focuses on strictly human concerns, punctuated with plaintive singing and ringing riffage; the group represents the flip side of fellow Califas rockers FIDLAR and Wavves. Even though Manor’s sound ain’t heavy, their attention to emotion and melody has a decidedly interesting effect on the youth of this nation. They’re kinda like Descendents without the snark. Joyce Manor writes songs you can sing triumphantly while they wheel the astronauts away to temporary quarantine. This all-ages show begins at 7pm, and admission is a cool $10.
Now it’s really autumn, and there are birds everywhere. Some of them are winging their way homeward. Others have loosed their earthly bonds in search of other worlds, trading wings for rockets. A couple of them drift ritualistically by the waxing moon, while a fourth flock carries the youthful emotive energy of the ocean as they make their way across the continent. Make like a bird—whether the swift in your dreams or the crazy roadrunner that perches on those dusty Marshall stacks haunting your back porch—and follow the music.