“I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad/ I got sunshine in a bag/ I'm useless but not for long/ The future is coming on/ It's coming on/ It's coming on/ It’s coming on/ Finally someone let me out of my cage/ Now, time for me is nothing ’cause I'm counting no age/ Now I couldn't be there/ Now you shouldn't be scared/ I'm good at repairs/ And I'm under each snare/ Intangible/ Bet you didn't think so I command you to/ Panoramic view/ Look I'll make it all manageable/ Pick and choose/ Sit and lose/ All you different crews/ Chicks and dudes/ Who you think is really kickin' tunes?/ Picture you gettin' down in a picture tube/ Like you lit the fuse/ You think it's fictional?/ Mystical?/ Maybe.—“Clint Eastwood” by the Gorillaz. I’m pretty sure Del the Funky Homosapien was responsible for this song.
Prediction: In the future everyone will be a musician. And all the different crews will meld into a ginormous ensemble that plays the unmentionably obscure works of Zappa with the same grace and dignity with which they interpret Mozart or Iggy Azalea. Picture getting down to that jam! If such a musically unified scenario seems far out and fictional, there are other options available—all meant to establish or restore a panoramic and/or mystical perspective to one’s life in Burque. Those options for embracing what will be are discussed in detail in the paragraphs that follow.
An opportunity to find futuristic facility bound up in musical joy will most certainly arise on Thursday, June 25, at the Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE). As part of the 20th annual Summer Thursday Night Jazz Series, Outpost presents two remarkably prescient groups comprised of local and regional jazzers. The work of Mark Weaver’s Do Tell Trio and Milton Villarrubia’s MV3 Project—while sometimes explosively complex—also reveals the simply singular beauty of jazz made in the high desert.
Weaver’s virtuosic tuba playing provides a deep blue foundation for trumpeter Dan Clucas’ sometimes-stark yet languidly brassy emanations. Percussionist Dave Wayne keeps an insistent beat, punctuated with plenty of snare flair. Villarrubia, fronting MV3, actively advocates for the appreciation and expansion of Nuevo Mexicano versions of jazz. He’s achieved this through a variety of musical projects including MV3, a quartet that incorporates elements of chamber jazz as well as its untamed, experimental relatives. The MV3 project is Villarrubia on drums, guitarist Sean Buckley, keyboardist Robert Muller and Jeremy Bleich handling the bass. This all-ages jazz odyssey begins at 7:30pm; tickets range in price from $10 to $15, and the doors open at 7pm.
Future is now on Friday, June 26, at the Historic El Rey Theater (622 Central SW) when the ironically named venue welcomes self-described makers of future pop Small Skies. Benjamin Tyler, the electronic agent at the center of this sheltering, cloud-covered (from Portland, natch) conglomeration, has evolved from processor to progenitor, giving life to slithering constructions filled up with enigmatic progressions and pop pronunciations. This daring contrast between the spirit and the flesh imbues Small Skies with a sound that defies easy categorization. Like much in postmodernism, it’s both fun and frightening.
Local indie rockers Post War Germany (Antonio Marquez, guitar; Weston Archuleta, bass; Ben Martinez, keys/trumpet and Gilead McGahee, drums)—whose tune “Chlorine” features some mighty fine guitar playing and vocals that seem luxuriously lost in time—complement the night’s bill. Santa Fe’s Thieves & Gypsys open. For only $5, this 21+ trip to the horizon’s edge should be a starry one indeed. Showtime is at 8pm.
While the future’s fantastic, the past is often profound. Jim Phillips, a formidable contributor to this music section, a former employee of NuCity Publications, perished recently. A longtime fixture in Burque’s music community, Phillips fronted power pop purists Lousy Robot. That outfit rocked with the best of them, rock star types included—Jim collaborated with John Dufilho (The Deathray Davies, The Apples in Stereo) on Lousy Robot’s initial recordings. Phillips’ life will be celebrated while his legacy is ensured for posterity at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Friday, June 26.
Phillips won’t be forgotten; his influence was wide and his friendships deep. Lousy Robot’s third record Hail the Conquering Fool will always be timelessly insouciant yet cryptically caustic. Rocking in remembrance and reaching out to the next age, performers include comrades and collaborators like Kimo Licious, Shoulder Voices, Leiahdorus, Erin Saulsbury and a cohort of many others touched by the dude’s musical mythos. A five dollar donation at the door is destined to defray the Phillips family’s medical debts. Plan to arrive at 7pm, and rock on beginning at 8pm.
Future becomes past becomes wow on Saturday, June 27. The Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater (2000 Mountain NW) is responsible for this peculiarly satisfying temporal phenomenon. They’ll make it possible by welcoming seminal art-rock/world music merrymakers Animal Opera and astute Americana adherents The Porter Draw to their stunning environs.
Part of a series of summer concerts sponsored by the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, this iteration belongs to Animal Opera, a group of superlative musical agents led by Manny Rettinger. Rettinger’s one of the dudes historically responsible for the intricate intensity of our local music scene. In collaboration with Chris Altenbach (guitar), Terry Bluhm (bass), Zoom Crespin (drums), Jefferson Voorhees (percussion/vocals), Teles Sanchez (vocals), and Debo Orlofsky (vocals), Rettinger’s “Animal Operators” clearly demonstrate how polyrhythmic postmodernism will always be groovy-cool.
The Porter Draw, meanwhile, are a fine, fine example of how the deep desert winds and darkly sunny summers in these parts have supplanted the ascendance of a homegrown variant of Americana that is tasty whether fresh or fried up in a pan. Dandee Fleming’s and Joey Gonzales’ deft handling of time has a helluva lot to do with a grand and expansive sound that is augmented by the sublime string work of Ben Wood, Russell James Pyle and Joshua Gingerich.
This heady version of “Something New Under the Stars,” a recital of sorts, begins at 7pm, drawing down the light of the late afternoon—depositing it almost magically as music to those who await the onset of a warm summer night. Admission prices range from $14 to $16.
After considering the options, one may well ask, “Is it ever the future here in the land of mañana, chicks and dudes?” It does seem rather intangible at times, after all. The only way to answer that question—and for that matter any question ever asked on this page—is to step out your front door heroically, Clint Eastwood-style, and find out for yourself.