“And if you feel that you can't go on/ And your will's sinkin' low/ Just believe and you can't go wrong/ In the light you will find the road” … So saith at least three members of the mighty, mighty Led Zeppelin, whose wintry reflections form a basis for this week’s immersion into the scene.
I’ll tell you—though you ought to already know about this particular set of circumstances that happen to come with living in El Burque. Early January comes around and there aren’t a helluva lot of shows to choose from. What there are though, reflect both a local community of musicians dedicated to playing out as well as national acts dragging themselves through a sometimes formidable winter in this or that van, just so you can hear them play.
There’s money involved too, but don’t let the fact of capitalism distract from the opportunity to get out of the house and jam out in the dark and damnably, desirably loud venue of your choice.
Led Zeppelin: “In the Light”
Dave Payne used to play in one of the most deliriously quirky yet musically informed rocanrol-cum-country outfits in this burg, an ensemble known as The Saltine Ramblers. As likely to toss out a rendition of a track from The Mollusk as to engage in a banjo and fiddle showdown the likes of which this town rarely sees, The Saltine Ramblers were one of our town’s more beloved—and brilliant—multi-genre, yet American-voiced ensembles. When the Ramblers disbanded a couple of years ago, Payne already had a critically-acclaimed solo record under his belt. Now, backed by a band called Salt Cedar, one of our town’s truly epic talents is playing out again. Dave Payne & Salt Cedar have a gig at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Friday, Jan. 5. Go have a listen if you’d like to know exactly what the term Awesome Americana means. High on the Hog and Squash Blossom Boys open. $5 • 9pm • 21+
The Bachelors of Science make liquid funk, but don’t tell the dudes over at The Mighty Boosh about that, because Vince Noir might want to steal it and use it to improve the duo’s crimping style. Just kidding … dang it, all this electro has me diving at once into a plethora of weird words, analogies and sounds! But the drum and bass sonics made by a trio from Califas (Phil Collis, Lukeino Argilla and Chris Doe) is shaking venues with a shockingly danceable combination of minimalist yet soulful samples layered over an intricate, sometimes ambient melodicism. A punchy bass line and rhythmic mastery only adds to the party in such situations and The Bachelors of Science cover that rumbling ground with bitching confidence as well, using a Latin influence soaked in old school funk and soca to make their point. The trio will perform at Sister (417 Central Ave. NW) on Saturday, Jan. 6, so be there a ponemos chancla, gentle ravers and rockers! $5 • 9pm • 21+.
I took one look at the promo poster for Colt Ford in concert at the Sunshine Theater (120 Central Ave. SW) on Sunday, Jan. 7, and thought to myself, how in the hell does a fellow who looks like he ought to be riding a horse around the high sierra whilst whistling Roy Rogers tunes (and with a name like Colt Ford, to boot) end up being a hip-hop artist? Well, perhaps even more fantastically—or in the process of myth-making, which is something rappers like to do, see Slim Shady for details—the dude used to be a professional golfer named Jason Ferris Brown. In the mid-aughts he came up with the idea of combining C/W and rap, created a new moniker and released an album called Ride Through The Country, which featured hybrid-twang raps like “No Trash in My Trailer” and the ever evocative “Waffle House.” Ford’s touring his latest effort, Love Hope Faith around the country and you know you have Sunday free to finally jam out to the strains of “Dirt Road Disco” or “My Truck.” So get on Downtown, cowpoke, there’s another world waiting for you in the world where fancy flow and 10 gallon hats go just fine together. $22 • 8pm • 13+
So … classes at the University of New Mexico resume on Monday, Jan. 15 with the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester. My, how time flies. Wanna bet there’ll be a reggae concert Downtown in the week preceeding this auspicious event? It’ll have to be a concert capable of bringing groove, hope and the smell of burning rope back to a motley crew of undergrads—who without pacifying Caribbean rhythms would otherwise be doomed to an initial six weeks of the term locked in a terminal battle with cold weather, bad food, untrustworthy roommates and unforgiving faculty! You’re right to bet on all the above, because on Wed. Jan. 10, Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) will be the site of something spectacular, in the way Jah himself is someone spectacular. How’s this for a lineup: Denver’s award-wining Tatanka, rootsy reggae folkster E.N Young, PosiTrax and Burque’s own fantastic jugglers of the multi-genre reggae-based sounds kids these days just positively dig, ¡Revíva! Boom. $12 • 8pm • 13+.