So I’m sitting in the classroom/ I’m looking like a zombie/ I’m a-waiting for the bell to ring/ I’ve got John Wayne stances/ I’ve got Erroll Flynn advances/ And it doesn’t mean a doggone thing.—“Teacher I Need You,” a song written by Elton John after Bernie Taupin left him the lyrics in a brown paper envelope on top of EJ’s piano.
Or something like that. Anywho, it’s the second track on the album, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, which is quite a rocking album. I mention that because I really enjoy sitting at home and listening to rocanrol through my Audio-Technica M-series studio headphones. It’s almost as much fun as checking out gigs around town, especially when I run into something really decent. And that reminds me, there are some damn decent musical events to be had this weekend; here are my “choose your own adventure” choices for the week. Each has a different, gloriously musical outcome of course. But it’s still up to you to make the scene, sabes?
Elton John: “Teacher I Need You”
Courtesy of the artist
What are you going to do when you’ve got three cray conciertos to choose from on a Friday night, near the end of summer, for Crissakes? Well, obviously, being human, you can’t take the divine approach, and besides, I can’t envision a Burqueño version of the God the Father traipsing around casinos or clubs, for some blessed reason. Your best bet here and my recommendation: Use some kind of game of chance to make the determination. Whether you draw straws or throw bones, I sincerely believe each of the following will be rocking.
On Friday, Aug. ll, Eric McFadden is playing at Launchpad (618 Central SW). He’s from here. He made the warp speed jump to Califas and ended up with words like “renowned” attached to his work. And he can play the guitar just like ringing a bell. $10, 21+, 8pm.
At Route 66 Casino Legends Theater (14500 Central SW) it’s something called Queensrÿche—minus original front man Geoff Tate, but still equipped to belt out, courtesy of newcomer Todd La Torre, a screaming version of “Jet City Woman.” Skid Row (damn good!) opens this all-ages night of ‘90s nostalgia with tickets priced between $29-65, and the curtain rises at 8pm.
Or you can just head for the hills and hear this town’s best Americana act, live and in person at Madrid’s Mine Shaft Tavern (2846 North Highway 14). The Porter Draw draws upon multiple influences—including, dare I say, the holy spirit of Jim Phillips and his Lousy Robot—to produce a twangy, deeply resonating sound that evokes the struggle and triumph of the American soul. This show is free, meant for all ages and begins at 8pm.
Saturday, Aug. 12, provides a choice between devilish doings and angelic antics. Which will it be for you, dear reader?
At Launchpad (618 Central SW), EYEHATEGOD, one of NOLA’s premier (and storied) sludge outfits, will be filling the venue with a thick, dark goo that rumbles and screams when touched. This outfit has albums with titles like Take As Needed for Pain, Dopesick and Confederacy of Ruined Lives—Oh, Baphomet, please let them play “Inferior and Full of Anxiety”—so keep that in mind as you pass through the doors and enter their murky realm. Primitive Man, Dysphotic and maybe even Black Maria open this 21+, 8pm encounter with the sum total of the universe.
Nearly on the other side of Downtown, at Sister (407 Central NW) to be precise, it will be a whole other world. Madam X, a fixture of the Manchester, UK club scene, and consequently a very influential Euro-DJ, will also be jamming out on Saturday night, Aug. 12. Known for building percussive dance strategies around colossal crescendos, spooky samples and breathy interludes (Check out Kaizen Movements Vol 1), Madam X does her danceable discourse dazzlingly; for $5 and a 21+ ID, you can shake a beatific leg too, beginning at 8pm.
No choice here. It’s a day of rest, after all. So how about a story instead? Back in the before time—let’s say the late ‘80s or early ‘90s in Burque for the sake of spatial temporal detail—and especially during the hot, hot summer, nothing soothed the scorched soul better than an evening of reggae music, like, maybe some Mystic Vision, yo. Well guess what, kids? Reggae-influenced music is still a popular diversion among local concert-goers. Maybe the genre never really disappeared—it’s still drawing cannabis-craving, dance-divining, rhythm-worshipping acolytes all over the damn USA as it evolves with the influence of jam band music, dub and electronica trailing smokily behind. You can get a load of this generation’s take on Jah’s bounty when Tatanka gives it a go at Launchpad (618 Central NW) on Sunday, Aug. 13. They’re from Denver; Westword says Tatanka is one of the best reggae bands in el norte, in case you want to know. I know you can get with some of their easygoing tuneage; their new self-titled album is both positive and playful. Best of Burque Music winners The Riddims—their single “Marijuano” kills me everytime, you know what I mean—as well as White Glove Service and DJ Jetti Nasty open this smokin’ summertime sueno. $10, 13+, 7pm.