When there's lightning, you know it always brings me down/ 'Cause it's free and I see that it's me/ Who's lost and never found/ I cry out for magic, I feel it dancing in the light/ It was cold, I lost my hold/ To the shadows of the night ... — “Rainbow in the Dark,” by Ronnie James Dio.
According to sign of the horns popularizer and heavy metal icon Ronnie James Dio—whom legendary Alibi music editor Michael Henningsen told me resembled a manic elf with a three octave range after seeing the man perform at Midnight Rodeo here in Burque back in the day—it’s pretty damn easy to get lost in the shade that surrounds the brightly focused light of rocanrol.
Of course that doesn’t mean misadventure is inevitable. With the proper resources, attitude and resilience, anyone can survive the vibrance of the scene as well as it’s murky backwaters. Here’s a guide for that bright and dark encounter, now happening—all lovingly and musically—in and around Burque.
Roinnie James Dio: “Rainbow in the Dark”
Since he broke out of the orbit of planet Albuquerque about seven years ago, guitarist Ryan McGarvey has definitely carved out a niche for himself in the music world. McGarvey is a frequent and popular performer on both coasts and in Europe, where he successfully tours year after year, drawing appreciative audiences and selling heaps of records. Back in 2005, aforementioned legendary Alibi music editor Michael Henningsen noted, “With a little more vocal seasoning, just a tad more experience and a few additional original tunes, this kid's gonna be as jaw-dropping a performer as Alex Maryol.” That stunning understatement can be experienced with the proper joy and gravitas this Friday, July, 21, when perennial Best of Burque winner McGarvey returns to his hometown for a gig at the ABQ BioPark Zoo (903 Tenth Street SW). McGarvey’s fiery, chop-laden electric blues style will be in full effect that night beginning at 6pm. With tickets ranging in price from $3-10, this just may be your best opportunity to see what the stars beyond Burque look, sound and feel like when properly positioned in front of one of our city’s celebratory summer stages.
Beefcake in Chains is playing their 20th anniversary show at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, July, 22, in what promises to be a show for the ages. Serio. Check out the lineup, which includes some legendary players, rarefied heavyweights like Icky and the Yuks as well as Black Maria, Rock Jong Il, Cobra vs. Mongoose and Electric Carlos. I was so awed at the prospect for this show’s ability to help me transcend my annual case of midsummer blues, that I was temporarily struck dumb. But that’s okay because before I went into a jazz trance, I asked Beefcake in Chains mastermind Steve Eiland to tell me all about it. This is what he said: “Beefcake In Chains are the Lords of Burque smut rock and have had a revolving door of amazing, talented members over the years. We are fronted by the always bombastic Stephen "Cap'n Orgasm" Eiland, Vinny Testostoroni Jr. (axe-master Dominic Cagliostro) on guitar, Stephen "Hardcock" Hodock on bass, "Lascivious" Ben Levine on drums and Vladmira & Sister Strange on backing vocals. Spooky Spanky of the infamous Spanky Sisters will be making a special guest appearance. We have played with the likes of the Impotent Sea Snakes, Nashville Pussy, The Meatmen, FEAR and Punk Bunny. We've put out recordings on Transparent Records. We will also be paying tribute to our fallen Beefcake brothers and sister: Ben "Ben Bendovervich" Hathorn, Ryan "Craven Morehead" King and Suzanne "Suki Spanky" Falbo.”
Well, that sounds damn good! From what Eiland said, it sounds like you oughta set your sights on this here gig on Saturday night. And you can, too, for only $5 and a 21+ ID. The whole fucking thing goes off at 7pm.
Despite my deep love and appreciation of pop-rock, power-pop, pop-punk, indie rock and their antecedents, I’ve usually drawn the line at the fragile yet flaccid boundary drawn up necessarily by the advent of sounds that called themselves emo, post-hardcore, et cetera, et cetera. So while Big Star, Lousy Robot, Green Day, Weezer and the Descendents strike my fancy, I get nauseous even thinking about bands like Good Charlotte and Hawthorne Heights. For some hitherto unexplored reasons—probably having to do with my age and inclination to put albums by Ween and Saint-Saëns on repeat when I’m at home, off the job—I thought Rozwell Kid were one of the latter. I was wrong! After spending the weekend listening to their oeuvre—only after my wife threatened to take away my bong if I didn’t take momentary leave of Boognish—I must say I’m mightily impressed. I hear all sorts of germane yet totally rocking sonic tangents pouring out of their upbeat, intricately fashioned pop tunes. Some of their stuff even reminded of things that Carl Petersen wrote when he was young, songs like “Shower Curtain” and “Crashing Airplane.” Anywho, Rozwell Kid has ultra-cool, rocked out tuneage like “Wendy’s Trash Can” and “Kangaroo Pocket.” The video for their new single, “UHF on DVD” is absolutely the most: The riffage and the underlying synthy-foundation could easily have been Blue Album antics. Go see this band, lead by nerdtastic Jordan Hudkins, when they invade Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Sunday, July 23. They’ll be supported by indie truthsayers Vundabar and Great Grandpa, but most interestingly, Crime Lab, the fab indie outfit that features Petersen progeny Oskar, opens the night’s rockfest. Tickets for this 13+ show that starts at 7:30pm are but a Hamilton, so you better be there.