Lord, kiss me once more/ Fill me with song/ Allah, kiss me once more/ That I may, that I may/ Wear my love like heaven.—“Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” By Donovan Leitch
Old school hippie extraordinaire Donovan came up in conversation last week. Someone asked me if he was ever relevant. Though he often lingered—very low-key and sometimes unnoticed—as the events of the late 1960s came to fruition—while contemporaries and colleagues like the Glimmer Twins and the Fab Four claimed much of the glory—he was present when it counted, whether by working with the latter on their guitar techniques or by contributing an honest sense of wonder and kindness to a counter-culture precariously balanced on the edge of an unknowable future.
Similarly, local rocanrol impresario extraordinaire Joe Anderson has had a diffuse influence of the musical culture in this town. He’s been there when it counted, bringing to life a scene that has persisted and flourished within his venues and throughout our town. This weekend, Launchpad—one of the prime spots for live music in Burque and one of Anderson’s many rocking projects—celebrates its 20th anniversary. That said, make this weekend an Anderson extravaganza by checking out the totally bitching gigs lovingly brought to us by one of the Duke City’s foremost rocking arbiters of culture.
Donovan: “Wear Your Love Like Heaven”
For serious concertgoers and Anderson acolytes, the weekend begins on Thursday, June 15, night at the Moonlight Lounge (120 Central SW) with a shindig headlined by our nasty neighbors from el norte, zombie skate thrashers Night Of The Living Shred. With tough as hell tuneage like “It’s okay to still like the Deftones, They Aren’t Even Nu-Metal Anymore” and “Hipster Holocaust,” the duo comprised of Sir Shreds Alot and Mr. Hypercans Blastoid have quite a party planned. They’ll be supported in their loathsome, brain-stomping efforts by local crust-encased messengers of disease and disaster Hanta. And if that ain’t enough to get you into the mosh pit, then please do keep in mind that German thrash masters Love Machine and Trigger open the show, which begins at 9pm. A Lincoln gets you in—if you happen to be 21+ and totally dig imaging the apocalypse in musical terms—to this after-dark aggregate of sound and spoilage.
Besides having a finger on the pulse of the ever bifurcating metal movements taking place on this fine Earth (I know that sounds ironic, given the imagery and presentation of some growly, thrashy, demon-defying bands out there), Anderson is also totally up-to-date and hep with what kids these days are listening to, are craving for at concert time. How else would you explain the presence of OZZIE at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Friday, June 16? Described by insiders as one of the top Euro-EDM producers of the moment, this 17-year-old wunderkind from Brighton in Old Blighty makes music that features “absolutely massive, bone-rattling bass” placed intuitively between calm, introspective melodic explorations. Have a listen to the tracks like “Girl” to grok his auto-tuned, glitchy grandeur, folks. This all-ages (13+) introduction to what comes next will cost the average listener a mere Hamilton. It goes off at 8pm.
All of that intuition, insight and intensity comes to a head on Saturday, June 17, at the aforementioned Launchpad (618 Central SW) when the joint—under the kind and watchful eyes and ears of Joe Anderson himself—celebrates a score of years as the premier concert venue here in Q-Town. The big beautiful birthday bash happens to feature Burque’s best and brightest rockers and rollers. In other words, there’ll be performances by a diverse ensemble of ensembles including Red Light Cameras, SuperGiant, Mondo Vibrations, Moonshine Blind, Suspended, The Riddims and DJ Buddhafunk. Active listeners who are at least 21 can join the party at 8pm, for just five bucks. And despite their divergent, genre-based differences, all of the bands participating speak to—sing about—one important theme: the idea, that given a badass venue and a daring promoter, the scene here will continue to blossom bountifully.