Who are these children/ Who scheme and run wild?/ Who speak with their wings/ And the way that they smile/ What are the secrets/ They trace in the sky?/ And why do you tremble/ Each time they ride by?/ Throw out your gold teeth/ And see how they roll/ The answer they reveal/ Life is unreal. —”Your Gold Teeth II,” by Steely Dan, from the album Katy Lied.
If Katy lied, you can’t really blame her; she is—like many of the characters populating Steely Dan tunes—a classic example of the unreliable narrator. One thing is for certain though: plenty of folks who go out to music performances in this town might be characterized as speaking with their wings and the way that they smile. These aural angels make the scene what it is; without them, life really would be unreal. Anywho, throw out those gold teeth, those life-changing dice and see where they lead you. Hopefully you’ll end up at one of the glorious shows whose preview follows this preamble.
Steely Dan: “Your Gold Teeth II”
Tears of Silver
As far as PoMo supergroups go, you don’t get much more super than what follows. On Thursday, Sept. 21, Albuquerque alternative art space, the Sanitary Tortilla Factory (401 Second Street SW) welcomes Tears of Silver. In case you wanna know, that’s an awesome ensemble comprised of some of the most kick-ass, legendary, profoundly experimental and influential rockers to ever set foot on planet Earth. Who are Tears of Silver? Ahem. Well. The group includes Jesse Chandler, Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper, straight outta Mercury Rev. Donahue, readers may recall, did a stint in the Flaming Lips before leaving in 1992 to form Mercury Rev with Sean Thomas Mackowiak (Grasshopper the guitarist!). In addition, Ken Stringfellow, founder of Pacific Northwest forest power poppers The Posies adds salt to the tears. Stringfellow has also gigged as a bona fide member of Big Star (Damn!) and the dude played in the touring version of R.E.M. in the late ’90s and early aughts. The new collective has quickly gained the notice of the rock press, as well as growing adulation from a host of millennials who’ve been exposed to the band through coverage this summer in Diffuser and Brooklyn Vegan. The band and the tour have taken a decidedly unorthodox and underground identity, playing small acoustic shows in alternative spaces and recording an EP that features tunes by Al Cooper, Big Star and Bread. Their 7pm gig in Burque is an all-ages affair; tickets range in price from $20-$100 and are available at eventbrite.com.
The 13th awesomely earthly iteration of ¡Globalquerque! happens on Friday Sept. 22 and Saturday Sept. 23 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW). A celebration of world music, global culture and universal values such as kindness, forward-future-thinking and musical unity in the face of cultural crisis, ¡Globalquerque! has a heap of activities associated with its yearly coming, from a film series to lectures and workshops, a crafts fair and musical presentations from bands that span the big blue marble we all live and die upon. This year’s event is going to be ambitious and epic. According to founder Tom Frouge, “¡Globalquerque has always been about entertainment and enlightenment. We’ve always been interested in creating a dialogue that notes our similarities while celebrating our diversity as musicians, artists and human beings.” Friday night, witness performances by Trio Da Kali a group of hereditary musicians from Mali, Trad.Attack!, musicians from Estonia who reshape traditional forms with an ear toward contemporary musical expression, south African kora guitarist Derek Gripper and Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. On Saturday evening, there’ll be astounding sets by Venezuela’s Betsayda Machado and her band La Parranda El Clavo, African-style hip-hop from Senegal featuring Bideew Bou Bess and a performance by New Mexico’s own DDAT, a native hip-hop trio whose complex flow is created by Def-i under the musical influence of jazzers Delbert Anderson, Nicholas Lucero, Chris Bidtah and Mike McCluhan. In advance, a one day pass to all this global goodness costs but $37, and a two-day pass costs only $59. Day of event prices are $42 and $69, respectively. Evening musical performances begin at 6:20pm on Friday and 6pm on Saturday. For a full schedule of all ¡Globalquerque! activities and to purchase tickets, visit globalquerque.org.
SOMOS ABQ 2017, a multidiscipline event aimed at illuminating all the good our great city has to offer, has a musical aspect to it that I am sure you want to know all about. Besides producing a festival that features fine examples of local culture—including large scale art installations, a food courtyard, a beer garden sponsored by the New Mexico Brewers Guild and wondrous examples of technological advances that have had their development and fruition occur under our high desert skies—SOMOS will also feature four outdoor stages along the Central corridor between Fourth and Sixth Streets, near Gold.. The music at these stages is more than top-notch and in some cases, highlights legendary musicians and performers. The main stage features a performance by El Lay electro-wiz Dillon Francis, whose work mainly centers on a fusion of house music and reggaeton known as moombahton. The hip-hop stage will feature a set by the legendary Deltron 3030, which should be enough for anyone reading this on Saturday night to immediately put down what they’re doing and head the fuck Downtown for some serious jamming by Del the Funky Homosapien, Kid Koala and Dan the Automator. The indie stage, meanwhile, is no lightweight tangle of wires and amps and lights as Jet City stalwarts Minus the Bear are scheduled to appear. Country singer-songwriter Jackie Lee—whose string of recent string hit singles, including last year’s “Getting Over You” has taken Nashville (and New Mexico, too) by storm—will make an appearance on the SOMOS country stage. Tickets range in price from $10-$25 and the all-ages concerts begin at 4pm.
Put this in your pipe and smoke it. Deerhoof is playing at Launchpad (618 Central NW) on Sunday, Sept. 24. This noisy, experimental and consistently challenging quartet is comprised of visionary musicians Greg Saunier on sticks, bassist and vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, and guitar-masters John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez. Dieterich lives in Burque by the way. Though the outfit has sometimes been referred to as a noise ensemble, the truth is that Deerhoof exists in the esoteric underground created by a confluence of pop aesthetics, relentlessly rocking performances, improvisational tactics that resemble four-way sonic warfare and a taste for electronica that surpasses a mere dalliance with the genre in favor of surrealistic pronouncements made by metronomic monsters. And really all those words mean nothing because its much easier to understand Deerhoof by listening to their oeuvre, through recordings or in person. The life and vitality that signals the end of postmodernism in music can be heard in the disparate, yet somehow cohesive works contained on such epic albums as their debut The Man, the King, the Girl, 2011’s Deerhoof vs. Evil and their very recent release, Mountain Moves, which features totally awesome and evocative tuneage like “Your Dystopic Creation Doesn’t Fear You” and “Palace of the Governors.” Deerhoof is a singular force on the rocanrol scene, leading this reporter to honestly believe that there is hope within their discursive, deliriously driven world for an otherwise moribund genre. And for only $12 admission, that’s pretty damn good for a Sunday night. Serio. 8pm. 21+.