“Take me out tonight/ Where there's music and there's people/ Who’re young and alive/ Driving in your car/ I never, never want to go home/ Because I haven't got one anymore/ Take me out tonight/ Because I want to see people/ And I want to see life/ Driving in your car/ Oh, please don't drop me home/ Because it's not my home, it's their home/ And I'm welcome no more/ And if a double-decker bus/ Crashes into us/ To die by your side/ Is such a heavenly way to die/ And if a 10-ton truck/ Kills the both of us/ To die by your side/ Well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine.”—“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths from the album The Queen Is Dead
I’m in agreement with Morrissey’s sentiment about wanting to go out where there’s music and therefore life, but I decline to endorse the Pope of Mope’s affected rejection of home or his moribund dedication to Thanatos. For me, the pleasure and privilege of writing about music is all I need. So here’s a closer look at the events comprising this week’s reasons to keep on jumping and jiving around this mortal coil.
Randy Castillo of yesteryear
All photos courtesy of artists
It’s not a concert and it’s like, totally sold out, but the filmic tribute to local music legend Randy Castillo at KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW) on Thursday, March 26, sounds like a most excellent event. Castillo—now 13 years gone from cruel cancer—began his storied career here in Burque.
Coming straight outta West Mesa High, Castillo literally tripped his way up to Española with his first band The Wumblies before going west to the City of Angels. There, he landed a gig with fellow Burqueño and awesome bassist Michael Goodroe in a new wave outfit called The Motels. Castillo’s furious, fantastic work on tour with The Motels led to work with Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne and Mötley Crüe. The Life, Blood and Rhythm of Randy Castillo screens at 7pm.
One supposes that drummer Kris Kerby’s erotic indulgences result in production of a pulsing plethora of percussive elements. Then again, maybe the name of his solo project is merely a symbolic reference to an all-encompassing, essential dedication to his art. In any case ICUMDRUMS is a noisy, metallic effort that’s proving itself both provocative and profound. Kerby and company perform on Friday, March 27, at DIY venue Iron Haus (804 Iron SW) to celebrate the release of ICUMDRUMS’ latest recording The Girdle.
While ICUMDRUMS’ output is deliriously dark and deconstructed, special guests Leeches of Lore provide an interesting contrast to that methodology—what with their rapt attention to groovy genre-hopping tendencies and melodic phrasing. Italian Rats and DJ Rygar start the evening’s procession to postmodern, post-metal mirth-making at 9pm.
Politically engaged and socially conscious hip-hop artists Immortal Technique (aka Felipe Andres Coronel) and Talib Kweli make an appearance at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) on Saturday, March 28. A native of Peru, Immortal Technique has built a career exploring and exposing urban injustice with a finely tuned sense of poetic flow that’s aided by a beatifically hardcore East Coast style.
Meanwhile, Kweli hails from Brooklyn, and his collaborations with Mos Def at century’s end set the standard for deeply reflective, culturally aware urban jams. Kweli continues to evolve and give voice to important issues overlooked by the mainstream media. The titles of his two most recent releases, Prisoner of Conscious and Gravitas,sum up a solid sound nuanced by thick beats and daring experimentation. Tickets for this all-ages (13-plus) trip to the for-real hip-hop nation cost $25, and the recital starts at 7pm.
Launchpad (618 Central SW) welcomes mysterious Fat Wreck Chords recording artists Masked Intruder on Monday, March 30, for a show piled high with pop, punk and powerfully playful costume conceits. Masked Intruder, a rock unit from Madison, Wis., makes a type of music that (while certainly reliant on gimmickry) also rocks pretty danged righteously; see easily digestible pop nuggets like “Crime Spree,” “Weirdo” and “25 to Life.” Masked Intruder is part Weezer with a calculated Pussy Riot inflection. Mostly just a hoot to listen in on, the members purportedly met in jail, and they do a killer cover of the Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat.”
Seattle pop-punk quintet Success’ members wear birth-control glasses, and four of the fine young lads also sport huge beards. This rugged crew provides supersonic support to the Intruder’s takeover. Besides churning out speedy, hook-laden, original tuneage, Success also does a damn decent version of Spin Doctors’ corporate-rock masterpiece “Two Princes.” Of course it’s an ironic gesture. Local punk demiurge Russian Girlfriends opens this night of Descendents-inspired rocanrol. This 13-plus gig starts early at 7:30pm. Launchpad’s airlock opens at 7pm, and eight bucks gets you in.
Contrariwise, if your social and cultural engagement, hipster and/or mask fetish quota has been overfull of late, trip on over to the historic El Rey Theater (622 Central SW) on Tuesday, March 31. Once there, you can turn on, tune in and freak out (all apologies to Dr. Leary) while being serenaded by Portlandia’s LoveBomb Go-Go Marching Band.
An ensemble of silvery uniformed freaks with prodigious musical talent—as well as a stellar take on performance art informed by band-geek cool—this marching band transforms a bombastically traditional genre into an expression of metaphysical musicality with DIY culture and free love thrown in for Sriracha sauce. Their horn section is absolutely brilliant in its arrangement and execution on tunes like “Emotional Vampire” and “Synaptic Vortex.” This 18-plus trip to the West Coast of your mind will run you $5, and the concert marches to infinity at 7pm.
If you go to any of these shows and happen upon an underpass, your chance may have come at last. Don’t blow it by letting a strange fear grip you; keep on driving until you get there, and then rock the fuck out. And keep an eye out for double-decker buses on the way home.