“Oak tree, you’re in my way.” A line from “That Smell” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I had a friend in art school that was fairly well off. He was a gun-toting, bronze pouring hipster from Chicago who always muttered this phrase as we were about to depart for any number of shows in Burque, back in the day. He ended up being an executive at Disney (goes to show what’s possible with an art degree) so go figure. That said, don’t let anything—except the cold, oaken specter of death—hold you back from checking out these shows this week here in our town.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: “That Smell”
Okay, so there’s a show at Sister (417 Central NW) that you should definitely show up for on Thursday, Jan. 7. The gig features some of Burque’s baddest rock and pop outfits plus a band called Adult Beverage outta Califas. I listened to some of their output before the gig, especially for you, dear reader and will report that their gravelly yet ringing guitar sound, enhanced by dreamy, echo-laden vocals and drifting rhythmics might just be the ticket to a lo-fi pop paradise. They’ll be joined on stage by Train Conductor, a local band that hews to a traditional interpretation of psychedelic rock while embuing the genre with a masterful use of instrumentation and production techniques. Lilah Rose, a multi-instrumentalist who favors a ghostly form of electro-pop that emphasizes vocals, poetic narratives and synthesizers shares the bill with Tear Pressure, an up and coming energy rock ensemble. Three dollars in galactic credits will get 21+ listeners through the portal at Sister; the show starts at 8pm.
New York punk is a thing. For those of us who came up with a pronounced left coast and/or Middle America inclination, the form can seem a bit louche. That is, until further inspection reveals a sound that embraces many of the same political values and people fancied by the comrades in the Bay City, Inland Empire or Orange County. Such is the case with Leftöver Crack. The rock group is at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Friday, Jan. 8. The quintet lives the hardcore aesthetic authentically, being proponents of a form of crust-inspired radical leftism that calls into question authority, religion and capitalism through tuneage that is riotously intense and provocatively propulsive. Interestingly, their guitarist, Brad Logan is a notable member of the Cali punk and ska scene, made famous in a song by Rancid as well as being a roadie for NOFX and Dance Hall Crashers. Leftöver Crack front man STZA (Scott Sturgeon) got his stage moniker employing the same quasi-mystical process used by members of the Wu-Tang Clan; he’s serious as fuck. With bassist Alec Baillie—whose formative work in third wave ska outfit Agent 99 continues to be overlooked—and a revolving lineup of sidemen, Leftöver Crack is essential listening. This 13+ punk rock powerhouse can be witnessed for a mere 15 bones. It all begins at 8:30pm.
Tune in on Saturday, Jan. 9, at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) for a show by Meganoke AKA Meagan Jacobsen. She’s a multi-media artist with musical output that combines trip-hop beats, lofty lyricism and brain-whacking visuals into an experience that is elusively postmodern yet plangently primal in execution. Jacobsen’s output as Meganoke has much to do with her collaboration with enigmatic underground rap demigod and producer Riddlore; he’s produced three of her albums and his influence is felt as a time-keeper of sorts, organizing and setting boundaries for Meganoke’s wide-ranging, oceanic flow. Works such as 2013’s “Lord of Dawn” touch the industrial as well as the ethereal with fierce efficiency. The Winter Warrior Tour also features Albuquerque-style hip hop from trio Mic Deli, the blues and funk informed rap of Caid and the inimitable underground sound of Nick FuriousStyle. Five Washingtons to get in, a fab 21+ crowd and a 9pm curtain; what more can you ask for?
If the precision, post-metal peculiarities of prog, technical and death metal (including but not limited to wanton experimentation with complex time-signatures, bottomless tuning strategies and scatological references to beat the band) are what you crave, then saunter on over to the Co-Op (415 Central NW) for this town’s iteration of the Tech Slam Tour 2016. Headliners Aethere incorporate a plethora of deconstuctive devices in the production of their signature sound: guitarist Garrett Wasson plays a nine-string axe, tuned A E A E A D G B E; his cohort Chris Tognetti handles a guitar that only has eight strings. Parasitic Ejaculation, a brutal death metal quintet outta Santa Cruz, Calif.—whose 2013 full length Rationing the Sacred Human Remains features a post-apocalyptic zombie theme—and El Paso’s Triumph Over Shipwreck open the evening’s dark and damnably dystopian discourse that begins at 6pm. Tickets cost $10; the Co-Op is an all-ages, drug- and alcohol-free concert environment.