“A straight line exists between me and the good things./ I have found the line and its direction is known to me./ Absolute trust keeps me going in the right direction./ Any intrusion is met with a heart full of the good thing./ As the heart finds the good thing, the feeling is multiplied./ Add the will to the strength and it equals conviction./ As we economize, efficiency is multiplied/ To the extent I am determined, the result is the good thing.”—“The Good Thing” by Talking Heads from the album More Songs About Buildings and Food
Having heart and believing in the power of music is what this column is all about. Despite the travails of life, one must keep on truckin’. Music is key to that process. It provides a rhythm to life. A song can be a point of departure; a concert is a destination where dreams manifest—where action is a meaningful model for progress. All that positive philosophizing makes me want to go see a show. Wanna come along? If so, you’re headed in the right direction. There’s a bevy of beautiful, bright business to attend to, as this week’s live music roundup confirms. And that’s a good thing.
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KNIZ 90.1 FM is an 800-watt radio station broadcasting out of Gallup, N.M. They’re non-commercial and all about healing, community, diversity and respect. Plus which, their playlists absolutely rock. From traditional Native American sounds through heady hip-hop and pulsating punk, the station has deep cred as well as a social conscience. Sister (407 Central NW) is the site of a concert benefiting the continued broadcasting power of this independent beacon. And it all goes down on Thursday, April 16.
The featured performers are also notable, not only for their participation in the vibrant voice that KNIZ transmits, but also because, well, they’re brilliant. Kris Kerby’s metallic explosion ICUMDRUMS headlines the benefit party. Hansen Ashley and Brad Charles bring Discotays, a queercore/post-punk/no wave duo from the Navajo Nation, whose electronic output is glam yet imbued with both gravitas and good vibes, along for the ride. Along with Death/Weed and DJ Vanessa Wilde, insectoid ensemble Chicharra, which is comprised of multiple bassists and a percussionist, emits the slow and low with aplomb.
Nuevomexicano musicians and bands who attend this gig are invited to bring their recorded produce along for inclusion in the KNIZ broadcast library. This 21-plus gig guarantees a splendid time for all, and tickets only cost $5. And Frito pies will be available for just $2 per steaming bowl! Showtime is at 9pm.
Sister (407 Central NW) follows up with another good thing on Friday, April 17, when they host the CD release party for preeminent Burque stoner and space rock force of nature, SuperGiant. A longtime inhabitant of this solar system, the title of SuperGiant’s latest recording, On to the Stars, pretty much says it all. Astronauts Gary Chavez (drums), Joel Rogers (vocals), guitarist Jeremy McCollum and bassist Kyle Erickson demonstrate the heavy lifting power of their rocket ship while zooming through a plethora of sonic disturbances. Traveling effortlessly between prog-rock and heavy metal, SuperGiant renders gravity null with stunning musicianship and cosmically lyrical acceleration.
They’ll be joined in flight by scene stalwarts and proponents of extraterrestrial travel Leeches of Lore, a band that has taken metal to the hitherto unknown boundaries of our galaxy with nuanced and noisy results. Kris Kerby will be sitting in with Leeches for the evening, augmenting and practically doubling their out-of-this-world rhythm section. Heavy hitters Anesthesia and Double Plow join the celebration too. And get this—there will even be a special appearance by Jason Daniello, a legendary local musician who can trace his roots back to the halcyon ’90s when he helmed the highly influential outfit Naomi. This 21-plus excursion to the deepest quadrants of the Milky Way is only 7 federation credits. Doors are at 6:30pm and warp drive will be engaged promptly at 7:30pm.
After touching down in the desert south of here, gather your wits and climb out of your capsule. Get your handlers to drive you back up to Burque for the 420 Funk Fest at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Saturday, April 18. Presented by Jams of Enchantment, this smokin’ annual love-in features work by a hellacious host of musicians who are intent on blowing your mind and setting your spirit free.
GrooveSession, a Califas-based trio of lads (Manny Sanchez, Steve Manguiat and Ronnie Sanchez), dig the blues but aren’t afraid of turbo-charged innovation and magical melody. They’re part of a stellar bill that also includes Felix y los Gatos. Felix and his feline friends play a brand of party rock that blends a bounty of genres into a highly listenable discourse on dance. They’re capable of bounding cat-like from rancheras to zydeco and Americana, and must be heard to be believed.
Experimental electronic bassist James Whiton adds spice to the evening’s smoke-flavored musicality along with Moonhat, a funk/booty jazz/ska band from our neck of the woods. Topping off the night’s bowlful of green, sparkly goodness is Pherkad. Pherkad is a couple of stoners from these parts, and the duo’s experiments began in a local living room and subsequently moved to a garage; their output has since blossomed into a thing of rocked-out, righteous glory. In Pherkad, Jason Bowers’ gritty guitar playing is augmented by the crazy rhythms of his 420-friendly drummer Cheese. The duo may well cause you to dance while simultaneously, joyfully contemplating the very nature of life itself.
This full day of getting right with Bob commences at 4:30pm and continues past 1:30am, well past the bedtime for squares. Doors are at 4:20pm, natch. Get in on the action for the mere cost of a dime bag; I wouldn’t really know—because I’m totally straight edge—but I think that’s around $10.
That’s it for this week. I wish I had room to write about a gazillion other great concerts happening this week in our town. Since I’ve already filled this page, do me a solid and head out to see one of these shows or any other concert in town. And check out this week’s Alibi music calendar to find the line or the direction of your own brand of joy. I am determined that you know the result will be a good thing.