Every day's another dawning/ Give the morning winds a chance/ Always catch your thunder yawning/ Lift your mind into the dance/ Sweep the shadows from your awning/ Shrink the fourfold circumstance/ That lies outside this house/ Don't pass it by. “Slip Inside This House,” by the 13th Floor Elevators, from the album Easter Everywhere.
Now, spring erupts evocatively and everywhere en el norte. El rio returns to almost navigable levels. So the music and lyrics of Texan rockers Roky Erickson and Tommy Hall are of some significance as fresh flowers blossom and giddy guitars get going. Another week of superlative sounds passes through our town by the river. Don’t pass them by; slip inside, sonic sojourners. Show up.
13th Floor Elevators: “Slip Inside This House”
Miami rappers Pouya and Fat Nick have rushed to the headwaters of the flowing river at the heart of hip-hop nation to proclaim their ascendance. They’re doing that while going on and on about the important stuff some rappers find particularly provocative. You know, relationships tinged with dark compulsions, how their rhymes are the most bestest ever, party time being perpetually around the next bend and so forth and so on. The thing is they do it with a raw DIY intensity—from performance through lifestyle—that departs from obvious influences like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and lands squarely in the mid-twenty-first century with vulgar aplomb. Join this gentleman Pouya at Launchpad (618 Central SW) Thursday, March 17, when he’ll appear alongside cohorts Fat Nick and the Buffet Boys, $uicide Boy$ and Mickey the Magician as part of the South Side Suicide Tour. All-ages (13+) are welcome at this show that begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20-40.
Sister (407 Central NW) will be the scene of something spectacular that only happens when heavy metal sludge gets stirred up with punk rock prowess. On Friday, March 18, Grungy Liverpudlian doom metal experts Conan share the bill with Seattle’s Serial Hawk, a trio known for using words like “punishing,” “destructive” and “crushing” to describe their output, which basically functions as an outgrowth of their habitat—their 2011 demo included the starkly lugubrious paean “Fuck the Sun”—expressed though screaming guitar licks pasted lovingly over a deadly rhythm section. Not unlike another trio from the north woods that came and went before them, Serial Hawk plays a brand of music that is compelling for its dark yet tuneful representation of what life becomes when exposed to loud, grinding discourses from the pits of hell (or Aberdeen). Sandia Man, a local and literate trio of cave dwellers composed of John Knutson (drums), Alan Edmonds (guitar and vocals) and bassist Ramon open the night’s fearsome frolic. It’s a free, 21+ gig that gets going around 9pm.
Late last year, legendary Burque music master and magician Manny Rettinger produced a local event called Wolf Tones to showcase the deep channel carved in our city by multiple generations of electro-wizards and sonic experimentalists. Rettinger’s vision continues to blossom in a series of concerts—presented in collaboration with UNM’s College of Fine Arts and Spirit Abuse—that take musical expression and experience to the edge. The latest iteration of Wolf Tones will be presented at the CFA Downtown Studio (113 Fourth Street NW) on Saturday, March 19, with a night of improvised music featuring two distinctively avant-garde duos. The winding, discursive work of composer/bassist Kyle Motl and cellist T.J. Borden will be contrasted with the perversely percussive, deeply resonant declamations of pianist Thollem McDonas and tubist Mark Weaver. Ranging from abrasively compelling to thunderously expansive, the music of these artists demonstrates how far and floridly experimental art music has grown from its roots in the bleep and bloop days of John Donald Robb’s UNM studio in the 1960s. This recital is free (donations gratefully accepted), meant for all ages and commences at 8pm.
When you’ve had your fill of all that is lofty or sludgified or raptastic, go grab a bottle of Faygo from out the fridge, paint your face all crazy like you mean it and saunter, Juggalo-style down to Launchpad (618 Central SW) for a date with Violent J. Yes, indeed. That’s correct. One half of the notorious Insane Clown Posse brings his bad self and an entourage of intense and altogether outrageous sidemen to town on Sunday March 20, as part of a mini-tour directed at procuring fundage for St. John’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill. If you think such a charitable endeavor is impossible, coming as it is from a chap who made his reputation on tuneage like 1994’s “Chicken Huntin’,” then perhaps you need to have a listen to the spiritual transformation alluded to in later ICP recordings such as “Miracles.” And forget all about that organized gang stuff. Violent J just wants redemption, damn it. His latest blog post at the ICP website is titled “Caring is Fresh, Bitch!” in case you are interested. J’s guests on this once-in-a-lifetime solo tour include Nova Rockafeller, Lil Eazy-E, and DJ Stigmata. Tickets for this 13+ extravaganza of kindness and Boogie Woogie Wu are a mere $20; a small price to pay for access to an event sure to freak the hell out of you and yours. This rocanrol circus rolls out at 7pm.
Tannex (1417 Fourth Street SW) continues to bring some damnably badass bands to town for Burque’s listening, dancing and rocking pleasure. The multi-genre, ultra-hep venue presents a concert by two very, very interesting Chicago outfits, Absolutely Not and The Baby Magic, on Monday, March 21. The former—Donnie Moore, Madison Moore and Santiago Guerrero—engage in a sort of deconstructed garage rock that tosses out quick and quirky anthems to existential angst, haunted houses and pizza parties with an infectious attention to stunning hooks that have the potential to leave listeners twitching on the floor, dance-like. The Baby Magic, contrariwise, focus their musical energies elsewhere. The band creates a heavily synthetic sound that rocks a no-wave sensibility which grasps the beautifully destructive capability of Theoretical Girls, Lydia Lunch and early Sonic Youth—without the artistic affectations common to the genre. Rudest Priest, a local set of punkers who owe some of their inspiration to The Dead Milkmen—as well as a front man known as Billy the Bunny—open things up quite literally with an oeuvre that includes songs like “Too Busy Getting Fucked” and “Fancy Schmancy Motherfucker.” $5 gets one in to an all-ages scene that goes off precisely at 7pm and ends decisively at 9:30pm.