I fell asleep and read just about every paragraph/ Read the scene where gravity is pulling me around/ Shift the swaying river’s shift/ Oceans fall and mountains drift/ It’s a Man Ray kind of sky/ Let me show you what I can do with it/ Time and distance are out of place here/ Step up, step up, step up the sky is open-armed/ When the light is mine, I felt gravity pull onto my eyes/ Holding my head straight (looking down)/ This is the easiest task I’ve ever had to do...—“Feeling Gravity's Pull,” by R.E.M. The first track on an album titled Fables of the Reconstruction.
I'm going to urge all of you out there in our broadcast area to do the Sailor a solid and get thee to a show this week.
A couple of weeks ago, I lost a dear friend and musical collaborator. And although I waxed poetic about the life and travels of the Sailor in a blog I wrote the day after this man's untimely demise, I didn't really mention the huge effect he had on my listening and concert-going habits here in Burque. Back in the dinosaur days, when bands like the Ant Farmers, Scared of Chaka, Big Damn Crazy Weight and Fatso ruled the regional roost in these parts, you could almost guarantee that Mike Ingram, as he was otherwise known, would be at this or that show standing right by the stacks, blowing his mind and destroying his ears with the best this town had to offer.
Besides rocanrol, the Sailor also dug jazz and chamber music, and I would also see him at places like the Outpost Performance Space and Keller Hall, where—although he presented a more subdued version of himself—it was still obvious he loved live music in these parts. As he aged, he shifted gears to recorded sounds and told me he always picked up Weekly Alibi to keep up with the happenings in the local music community, reading through the stuff I wrote as if it were a guide to something heavenly, awesome but just slightly out of reach.
And it's true—just like King Buzzo told me last time we visited in March of 2016—as we grow older, as the gravity of life increases all around us. It becomes harder to make it out to all the spectacular shows that come and go through Burque. Home and a decent playback system become their own kind of spectacular comfort, I agreed. But this week, in honor of a man I once saw standing backstage at the SUB Ballroom, drinking beer from a red plastic cup while trying to play hacky sack with the road crew from R.E.M., I'm going to urge all of you out there in our broadcast area to do the Sailor a solid and get thee to a show this week. Here are some he might have liked, by the way.
R.E.M.: “Feeling Gravity’s Pull”
Courtesy of the artist,via Facebook
On Friday, Feb. 3, Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) hosts a multi-genre, multi-melodic and massively mind-blowing concert event featuring local math-rock mavens CRTTRZ. The trio—comprised of guitarist Gaby Fuentes, bassist Tony Rivali and human metronome Kellam Carino—specialize in a special kind of rocanrol that focuses on intense rhythmic and time-signature experimentation, dissonance as doctrine and tapped-out minimalistic guitar melodies supported by a consummately complex rhythm section. CRTTRZ will be supported by a relatively new yet totally heavy local power trio called Ukari (Uri Lapcevic, Brett Kennedy and Ari Muñoz), while Zillaphyst and Cinematica open. $5 gets 21+ listeners in—to see and hear the latest from our town's luminous rock underground—beginning at 9pm.
Tribute bands come and go; I've been fascinated with them since high school when we all trooped down from the City of Gold to Graham Central Station to check out “Waiting For The Sun,”a Doors tribute band and consequent concert that even Gordy Andersen recalls had an heavy influence on the teens in the town, circa 1981. Flash forward just about 35 years and now CW-god/hellraiser Johnny Cash has his own sorta simulacra. Cash'd Out will be playing Burt's Tiki Lounge (515 Central NW) on Friday, Feb. 3. The folks behind this masquerade are serious in their attention to producing examples of Cash's early Sun Records and Columbia oeuvre; better yet, local heros The Chris Dracup Band and Dos Gatos provide pre-Folsom-Prison-Blues singalong support. You can't go wrong with a bill like this and I'm pretty sure the spirits of Cash and the Sailor will be swimming around the rumbling and roomy ceiling at Burt's that night, just for the hell of it. Admission to this 21+ rendition of myth, memory and music costs between $10-12. It all starts up at 8pm.
Oftentimes, come the weekend, my friend Mike would head out of town to commune with nature, to take in the great breadth and width of the American wilderness. I'm sure some of his sojourns led him up into the hills north and east of here, particularly to the town of Madrid. An old mining town with a hippie-like patina and lots of long-lost watering holes, it probably was perfect for what ailed him. The Mineshaft (2846 Hwy 14), an old-timey bar in the middle of the village, offers a wide variety of diversions, from flavorful, award-winning burgers to hand-shaken margaritas and a heap of N.M. microbrews. They've also got the market cornered on Americana this weekend, when The Porter Draw performs there on Saturday, Feb. 4. Comprised of some of Burque's best players, some of whom are veterans of our town's legendary rock ensemble Lousy Robot (which ironically happened to feature another man lost to the mists of time, Jim Phillips), The Porter Draw hews together the majesty of rock and the tragedy implicit in the American experience. Using plangent expression and wistful, fulsome harmonies underpinned by some of the most competent, boot-stompin’ instrumentalism known in these parts, the band creates an unforgettable musical experience. You can check them out for free on Saturday night when they start jamming at 7pm.
Never one to shirk his duty to find, consume and ultimately grok the constant flow of new music pouring into this world and particularly this town, I would very much like to think the Sailor would take time to attend the K.Flay concert that's gonna be happening at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) on Monday, Feb. 6. And of course, the dude would be right to haul himself Downtown for a show by an artist whose deconstruction and subsequent revisioning of hip-hop has led to a renaissance of sorts in a genre originally dominated—and in many cases still beset—by aggressive male personalities who just happen to espouse an unwholesome and unsustainable worldview that is commonly known as misogynism. K.Flay, known as Kristine Meredith Flaherty IRL, brings her vast musical knowledge, intellectual approach to pop and instrumental acumen into the hip-hop circus through subversive techniques that speak to influences including Kid Cudi, Cat Power, Liz Phair, Lauryn Hill and OutKast. Her sound is elusively excellent, taking components of alternative hip-hop and seemlessly blending the music with flows that are heartbreaking, hazy and ultimately concerned with culture, relevance and being woke. The Crush Me Tour also features appearances by Paper Route and Daye Jack. This gig is meant for humans 13+, will cost ya $15 and gets going at 8pm. I'd tell you to be there, but you oughta know the routine by now—it's the easiest task you've ever had to do.