“Ridin’ down the highway/ Goin’ to a show/ Stop in all the byways/ Playin’ rock ‘n’ roll/ Gettin’ robbed/ Gettin’ stoned/ Gettin’ beat up/ Broken boned/ Gettin’ had/ Gettin’ took/ I tell you folks/ It’s harder than it looks/ It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll/ If you think it’s easy doin’ one night stands/ Try playin’ in a rock ‘n’ roll band.”—“It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)” by AC/DC
If reaching for rock’s loftiest levels seems an arduous task, then imagine doing it in the midst of winter when it’s dark most of the time, the temperature hovers around 20 degrees, and it might snow at any moment (but it probably won’t). That’s how it is in Burque lately, and the music keeps comin’ despite seasonal hardships. This week in concertland is testimony to those circumstances—to the overarching idea that rock ‘n’ roll is kind of unstoppable. Here’s what’s up with that.
Launchpad (618 Central SW) plays host to a plethora of distinctly divergent yet intrinsically awesome rocanrol directionality on Thursday, Jan. 8, with a show by notable local and touring outfits. Burque will be well represented by math-rock/mathcore proponents CRTTRZ (Tony Rivali, Dustin Foster-Valencia, Gaby Fuentes and Tristan Garwood). Their crunchy start-stop stylings complete with expansive instrumental time signature explorations will be interestingly juxtaposed with the indie rock emanations of Ugly Robot, a self-described “cheese rock” outfit that’s especially groovy, given their keyboard and percussion expressions on such tunes like “H #, In G.”
Repping the larger rock world, big-shouldered, punk-math derivative creators The Howl—see 7-inch Things I’ve Learned While Swallowing S Words for a verification of that long-winded description—add an epic tone to the evening’s events along with outlandishly gritty Oregon power-pop duo Soccer Babes. The mad variety available that night costs only $5 and is intended for humans aged 21 and over. Doors are at 8pm, and the varied musical visions begin their progression around 9:30pm. (August March)
On Friday, Jan. 9, Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) is the site of a benefit concert for local working-class hero Charles Ranalli. Ranalli was seriously injured during a violent robbery while working at the 7-Eleven on 12th and Lomas in early December of last year. Proceeds from this show are meant to help support Ranalli’s recovery, offset his medical expenses and help make up for his lost wages.
The fundraising lineup includes rowdy country-esque rockers Youngsville, whose tune “Son of a Bitch” is burning up my speakers as I write this. Also on the benefit bill are local fluidic funksters Merican Slang featuring far-out saxophone sensation Romeo Alonzo. The sometimes heavy but somehow lilting and darkly complex guitar-driven sounds of Albuquerque indie adherents Port Alice add spice to the evening’s program, which also includes rockers Lights Out!! and the even spicier actions of Burlesque Noir. Tickets for this awesome combination of community action and total rock experience are only $5. The doors to our city’s heart open at 8pm, and the music flows outward at 9pm. (August March)
On Saturday, Jan. 10, there’s almost too much rock to handle. But too much is never enough, right? Oh! To be in three places at once! Launchpad (618 Central SW) has Chicks That Rock, an event that’s sponsored by Dirty Deeds Burlesque and features performers going by salacious stage names like Lizzie Dangerously, Gabby O and Siren Saintsin. Indie garage artisans Red Light Cameras, fronted by mellifluous songstress Amanda Machon, and the hard rock realizations of Hounds Low provide musical distraction throughout the night. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door, which opens at 8pm. The show starts at 9pm. (August March)
Meanwhile, Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) hosts a benefit for the Women of the World Poetry Slam series that includes the jazzed-out, rock-inflected and informed grooves of Le Chat Lunatique. Burque bass maestro James Whiton continues his mountainous musical bass and electronic explorations, and local rocking bluesman Keith Sanchez and DJ Buddhafunk open. And there will be some glorious spoken word too. It’s 10 bucks to gain admittance to this essential expression of words and sounds. It begins at 8pm. (August March)
If that ain’t enough to get your blood boiling, you can always get your rockabilly rave-up run-in by checking out Cowboys & Indian at Sister (407 Central NW). This column has often covered the smashed-up hillbilly excellence of the group. They’re definitely worth a hard listen if you can manage to sit still throughout their raucous sets. Rabid Childs opens. This 21-plus gig is only five bucks to witness, brothers and sisters. The doors to rockabilly heaven open at 7pm, while the preaching commences at 8pm. (August March)
On Tuesday, Jan. 13, Mic Check Musicpresents The Smokin’ Aces Tour starring Consider Me Dead, The Animal in Me and Caramel Carmela at The Jam Spot (239 San Pedro NE). Consider Me Dead is a desert-like, electronic rock entity out of Arizona whose output features smooth vocalizations, heavy beats and ethereal keyboards.
The Animal in Me is a melodic Bay Area rock band with an elusive late-career Fleetwood Mac sound to their latest recorded work, while Caramel Carmela does a mashup of EDM and hardcore punk that’s perplexing and intriguing. Not surprisingly, this is an all-ages concert where attendance can be secured by paying $12 for a ticket landing one near paradise if not directly in its midst. Doors are at 6:30pm, and the show starts at about 7pm. (August March)
That’s a lot of rock for one week. If my predictive nature is in tune, I’m going to guess it’s barely enough to sate the typical Burque concert hound, but that’s just how it goes, as Bon Scott may have said while tuning up his bag pipes before the big show. (August March)