“Well alright, something’s got you goin' tonight/ Doin' all she can, it's alright/ Come on can't you see/ that when we all let go/ We get high on rock 'n' roll/ Journey to the stars, rock 'n' roll guitars, yeah/ I like to rock/ Some like it hot, baby/ I like it, you like it/ I like to rock, I like to rock/ I can sing, that's the kind of life for me/ Want it loose and fancy free/ Come on then let's go/ And it'll be alright/ We can rock 'n' roll all night.”—“I Like to Rock” by April Wine, from the album Harder ... Faster
Well, alright, I finally got to the April Wine lyrics. They're certainly straightforward enough, except for the “journey to the stars” bit, but whatever ... The sentiments expressed therein are damn near universal if you're a music fan. And it turns out these lyrics are particularly salient this week. If you wanna know why, read on for details about the “hot and fancy free” bevy of concerts available for your consumption this week.
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There’s a reggae party at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Thursday, Feb. 26. So assemble those natty dreads upon your head, and dance on down to the North Valley; get up and stand up, as they say! The jam session features Beantown-based rockin' reggae pioneers Spiritual Rez. The septet is touring in support of their latest recording Apocalypse Whenever, an album that features the engineering efforts of Howie Weinberg, a dude who’s previously lent his storied ear to works by Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Produced by Rez bassist Jesse Shaternick, Apocalypse Whenever is a testament to the progressive possibilities of reggae. It’s thoughtful, deeply rhythmic and totally groovy, with dance instructions cleverly hidden within the upbeat of every measure of music these fellas create.
Joining in on the celebratory circumstances of that evening are high desert reggae/stoner rockers Jah Branch, an eclectic outfit comprised of Tuff Lion (guitar/vocals), Ruben Castillo (drums), Stephen Portillo (bass/vocals), Big Steve Schmidlapp (guitar), Thomas Dewers (keys), Steve Thomas (percussion) and Josh Vigil (guitars/percussion). Opening act Fools & Fanatics, who hail from Lake Tahoe, will put you in the mood to praise Jah all night long. Tickets for this 21-plus, smoking scene cost five bucks. Doors are at 7pm, and the uplifting action begins at 8pm.
Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, in NYC circa 1980s
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Meanwhile, a daydream nation awaits on Friday, Feb. 27, at Launchpad (618 Central SW) at the Expressway to Yr Skull tribute concert. Be forewarned that this all-star event may cause a teenage riot, as it highlights the work of a band called Sonic Youth. The seminal post-punk/no wave oeuvre of Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley will be interpreted by notable, local acts like Hounds Low, Death Convention Singers, Rabid Childs, Shitty and the Terribles, The Huron Valley Listening Club, Holy Glories and Wildewood.
These diverse sonic superstars come together in advance of a public conversation with goo-ey great guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Kim Gordon; that event is being held at the UNM Student Union Building on Sunday, March 1, at 7pm. The convo and Q&A session with Gordon will be moderated by Alibi Managing Editor Samantha Anne Carrillo. Before that kool thing, get your boots all dirty at Launchpad for only five American dollars. Entrance to this experimental jet set begins at 8pm, and the show starts at 9pm. Scope this week’s Get Lit column for all the deets on Gordon’s university appearance.
If the wordplay in the preceding paragraphs is foreign, you may be a prime candidate for exploring the ancient and arcane assemblage of baby boomer-based rock on offer on the outskirts of both Santa Fe and Albuquerque on Saturday, Feb. 28. Although Saturday’s Blue Öyster Cult and April Wineconcert at Buffalo Thunder Casino is sold out at press time,you can still catch Gordon Lightfoot at Route 66 Casino Legends Theater (14500 Central SW) on Saturday night. Both gigs are sure to trigger memories and revive your dormant rocanrol tendencies as we transit into spring.
Led by fearless rock reaper Buck Dharma Roeser, Blue Öyster Cult still gets loads of airplay on classic rock channels, as their hook-heavy hard rock history tags brightly behind them. But their best tuneage is pretty obscure; the group's work with sci-fi author Michael Moorcock (“Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” “Black Blade”) still kills. Plus BÖC now features Kasim Sulton (Utopia) on bass; that's reason enough to go regardless of your generational inclinations.
And now for the April Wine part. It’s, like, totally hard rock, dude. The band is from Canada, eh. Over the years, founding member Myles Goodwyn has shared the stage with all sorts of bandmates; the resulting music has always been a purely simple, straightforward and effective approach to rock music with emphasis on soaring vocals and sizzling guitars.
Gordon Lightfoot - “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
If you prefer to explore the sounds of the '70s in a more laconic fashion—say, through darker but romantically tinted lenses—check out singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot at Legends Theater. Lightfoot, composer of folk-rock masterpiece “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and elegiac ballad “If You Could Read My Mind,” appears on the casino’s main stage as part of his ironically titled 50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour. Tickets will run you between $25 and $55, and Lightfoot trods on stage at 8pm.
Closer to home yet infinitely further out in space, the Back from the Dead 2015 Tour lands at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) on Sunday, March 1. This tour shines a light and pours an ice-cold bottle of Faygo on the talents of Michigan-born rapper and longtime juggalo Chris Rouleau. Rouleau is better known as Blaze Ya Dead Homie. In this fictional guise, Roleau channels the reincarnated essence of a hip-hop gangster buried in blazingly brutal beats. A former member of the Psychopathic Records crew, Roleau churns out his obvious ICP and horrorcore (Three 6 Mafia) influences with knowing nods to '80s West Coast gangsta rap and costume rockers KISS.
David Hutto, who goes by the stage name Boondox, shares headlining duties. Hutto began his career as a heavy metal bassist in his home state of Georgia before evolving a sound that—while also heavily influenced by the insane sonic shenanigans of ICP—borrows brilliantly from country rappers like Bubba Sparxxx and Moonshine Bandits. Special guests Trilogy and DJ Stigmata get the party going. Tickets for this 13-plus trip to the Northern Peninsula via the Deep South are $20, and they're available via zanytickets.com and holdmyticket.com. The madness begins at 7pm.
I like to rock. If curiosity led you to read this far, I'm willing to bet that you do too. Therefore, gentle reader, pick a show or two (or all of them if you’re that into it), and let’s go. Of course it will be all right—wait a second, here it comes—we can rock and roll all night ... or something like that.