“My reflection, dirty mirror/ There's no connection to myself/ I'm your lover, I'm your zero/ I'm the face in your dreams of glass/ So save your prayers/ For when we're really gonna need'em/ Throw out your cares and fly/ Wanna go for a ride?” – “Zero” by Smashing Pumpkins.
Last night I dreamed an Alibi reader sent me the score to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and demanded I learn the piano parts. I took one look at the transcriptions for the first six tracks and thought, you’ve got to be kidding. I took the manuscript to my piano teacher and asked if she could help me learn it. She leafed through Billy Corgan’s magnum opus, looked over her bi-focals and gravely intoned, “ What’s wrong with the Bartok I sent you home with?”
Luckily reality is much more fun than glassy dreams like that; there’re plenty of shows this week, for instance, that have nothing to do with The Smashing Pumpkins. Here are four fabulous frolics with sound that most readers will never have to associate with Corgan, Iha, Wretzky and Chamberlin. So count yourself lucky dear readers and dream on. (Author’s note: If you thought I was gonna tack ‘wanna go for a ride’ onto the end, so sorry).
Friday night, Feb. 19, The Saltine Ramblers will play their farewell show at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). These guys rock a deftly twisted sub-genre of Americana that has a metafictional feel to it; it’s unbound but clear because of great playing and songwriting that slays. Rambler Kevin said he’s off to Milwaukee to build on family ties. “We've always been kinda a family band. I've known "Fiddlin'" Dave Ivey for 30 years, we grew up on the same block. I've known Cory Van Minefee and Dave Payne for damn near 20. I guess it won't really work without one of our core four members. Things will change, we'll all keep playing, but we've gotta retire The Saltine Ramblers unless we're doing a reunion show or we're all in town for Christmas or something like that.” Local heroes Pawn Drive open and all you gotta do to get in is be in possession of that coveted 21+ ID and come equipped with at least a sawbuck—tip your servers kindly. Oh, it’ll cost you $5 to get through the door.
The Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE) is the site of an annual benefit concert for Zimbabwean charity Tariro on Saturday, Feb. 20. Kubatana Marimba Southwest will provide the music for an event whose aim is to assist with funding for an organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS education among women in southern Africa. The band will also use this opportunity to record one of their highly energetic and danceable performances for posterity and for music aficionados all around town and all around the world; their bright arrangement of Musikewa Chingodza’s “Zimbaravashe” has a healthy life and energy in it’s realization that truly reflects the benefit’s underlying values and aims. The all-ages dance party costs 10 bucks (ages 12 and under are free) and commences at 7pm.
Apparently, the avant garde will heroically join forces with the future of IDM at Juxtatecture featuring Foans at Meow Wolf’s Lab Party—which is happening at Skylight in Santa Fe (139 W. San Francisco) on Saturday, Feb. 20. An enigmatic, esoteric, ambient-ready outfit whose work has been called “pre-nostalgia” and possessed of “aimless heartbreak,” Foans craftily employ minimalist yet complexly intertwined rhythms, spare instrumentation and deeply apt samples to create sonic landscapes that perch listeners on the thin line between trance and dance. There is a sort of sparse luxury in their sound which spirals in space between deeply considered bass pronouncements and synthetic melodies. A 21+ ID, hope for the coming singularity and 10 old fashioned American dollars allows one entrance to this brave new world.
Texas thrashers D.R.I. roll into town on Monday, Feb. 22. They’ll be dropping into Launchpad (618 Central SW) to bang heads, burn up the house sound system and generally raise hell with their hybrid blend of metal and punk born in the heady fires of Houston’s early ‘80s hard core scene. On the strength of tuneage like 1984’s Violent Pacification and 1987’s epic and genre-defining album Crossover, D.R.I. set the highly crunched-out standard for their contemporaries, including Cryptic Slaughter and Suicidal Tendencies. As the 34th year of their dirty rotten and imbecilic existence as a band approaches, guitarist Spike Cassidy and singer Kurt Brecht remain in charge of an ensemble that is still quite capable of making parents pee their pants in horror and astonishment while the kids twist listlessly, flashing the sign of the horns before them. Wulff and Burque’s inimitable Russian Girlfriends open. Just think, for only 13 bones and an identification card attesting to your status as an adult, you can tell your friends afterwards that you know what rock and roll used to sounded like.