“We're aware that you cut your hair/ In the style that our drummer wore/ In the video/ But with fame came a mounting claim for the evermore/ You know/ So when your bridal processional/ Is a televised confessional/ To the benefits of Axe shampoo/ You know we did it for you/ We did it all for you/ Cause we know, we know/ We belong to you/ We know you built your life around us.”—“The Singer Addresses His Audience” by The Decemberists
Whether or not there’s irony involved in Colin Meloy’s cloying pronouncement, it ain’t without precedent, as taking a look and listen to 1967’s The Who Sell Out amply demonstrates. In any case, one could easily spend the week trying to understand the emotional relationship you have with any number of Duke City-bound bands and performers this week, sussing out their cultural affiliations and making determinations about how that affects their presentation. And so on and so forth. Or you could just go out and have a listen. The week’s lineup is just that good, and it does indeed belong to you.
Leeches of Lore
Courtesy of artist
On Friday, Jan. 23, begin your tuned-up or transient sonic explorations with a trip to Sister (407 Central NW) for mad musical manifestations by Leeches of Lore, ICUMDRUMS and Pancho! Though it’s possible to paint Leeches of Lore with the broad brush known as heavy rocanrol experimentalism, all that theoretical mierda goes out the window with a live encounter. Leeches’ Steve Hammond, Andy Lutz and Noah Wolters will dissolve your brain with their complex, cross-genre-informed metal as your expectations about rock music burn away.
Kris Kerby’s propulsively provocative percussion project ICUMDRUMS takes the middle position for the night while Pancho!, featuring brassy local badass David Schripsema, opens. All of this 21-plus, avant-garde rockadelia can be added to your cumulative human experience for just five bucks; doors are at 8pm, and the show starts at 9pm.
If you didn’t get a chance to experience The Grateful Dead in this lifetime, you may have a chance this year. I saw them a whole bunch (probably too much), and I have to say they’re pretty darn good. Anywho, they just announced their 50th year anniversary tour. Of course head dancing bear Jerry Garcia won’t be along for this trip. So it might be something like if Paul and Ringo got together for a tour and called it The Beatles, sabes? Instead of taking a chance like that, why not experience a band that continues to preserve the music and culture of The Dead without being tied down by imitation, drug busts or death.
The Schwag presents their Grateful Dead Experience at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Friday, Jan. 23. The band’s ability to reproduce the sound of a live Dead show is practically impeccable; with eyes shut or monitor off, it’s damn easy to imagine Jerry and the gang live and only inches away. For music lovers, that in and of itself makes for a cool concert experience. And with his own storied outlaw cred and longtime association with the Jerry Garcia Band, Schwag mastermind Jimmy Tebeau has it down to an art that’s worthy of an extended listen in Burque’s North Valley. This 21-plus sacred simulacra is accessible for 10 dollars, with doors at 8pm. The wanton grooviness kicks in at 9:30pm.
Alt-country and Americana of the highest order touches down at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday night at the CD release party for Next Three Miles. Centered on the instrumental and harmonic flavorings of Joe Silva and Erin Saulsbury, Next Three Miles has evolved into an ensemble whose blithe spirit is matched with invocations of tradition nuanced by dead-on playing and just a touch of rollicking, post-millennial angst.
The evening’s program also features The Handsome Family, an infinitely deep duo whose roots stretch formidably into our town’s musical past. Brett and Rennie Sparks began their work here many years ago before successfully exploring the rock and roll realms that lie beyond the sheltering Sandias. Their oeuvre is filled with blisteringly beautiful, world-weary compositions laden with introspection and diverse influences. And they totally kick ass.
Though the two gained prominence for the theme song for “True Detective,” “Far From Any Road,” earlier pieces like “Weightless Again” demonstrate the gravitas and control at the Sparks’ command. Shimmering Americana advocates Wildewood (Meredith Wilder, Alexander McMahon and Greg Williams) open. This 21-plus gig will run you 10 bucks, but you’ll feel bound to the Earth yet able to fly when all is said and done. The doors open at 8pm, and the music commences at 9pm.
Red Lion, Pa., rockers Halestorm hit hard at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) on Monday, Jan. 26. Known for touring a nonstop rock sound that’s as poignant as it is deliriously driven, Halestorm includes the post-grunge, semi-screamo vocalizations and guitar playing of Lzzy Hale. Her brother Arejay is part of the tightly wrapped rhythm section. The siblings are supported by lead guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith.
In collaboration, these folks make music that gives a petulant pop twist to metal and emo traditions, as exemplified on such singular hit tuneage as “Mz. Hyde” and “Love Bites (So Do I).” They’re kinda like a post-postmodern hair band with attitude out to there, but sans the winsome locks or spectacular makeup. Anesthesia begins the night’s musical discourse. You may attend this all-ages rock and roll extravaganza for a mere $20; doors are at 8pm. Be prepared to rock out at 8:30pm.
West Virginia stoner-rock trio Karma to Burn has a gig at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Noted for an instrumental approach to the smoke-filled, time-traversing genre, K2B members, including guitarist William Mecum, bassist Eric Clutter and drummer Evan Devine, use their instruments to portray a universe dominated by richly distorted guitar narratives, cryptically concise drumming and dark and deft basslines. Karma to Burn is touring with Sierra, a seriously groovy, stoned-out prog-rock band from the great white north.
This event is also a prime opportunity to hear Marsupious, one of Burque’s ascendant rock outfits. Definitely desert rock in its stealthy approach and flaming execution, Marsupious relies on super-skillful musicianship and a psychedelic flair to artfully expand on a genre that can come off as ponderous in the wrong hands. Guitarist Eric Paulk sounds crunchy and confidently distorted as he leads this band of astronauts into space. Burque’s dissonantly melodic “grizzled stoner wizards” Supercabra get the action going and are first in line. Eight bones gets you in. The airlocks will be in open mode beginning at 8pm. Liftoff is at 9:30pm.
Wow! This week’s musical potential is so mighty and beguiling, I don’t have anything pithy to add to tie things up at the end. Except this: Support your local scene so there will be more where this came from next week.