“Show me where you are/ You and I will spend this day/ Driving in my car/ Through the ruins of Santa Fe …” —a line from “King of the World,” the last track on Countdown to Ecstasy, an album by Steely Dan.
Usually during this time of the year, I’d be all about getting readers to go out to shows despite the cold weather, snow and arctic winds that usually blow straight through Tijeras Canyon and down Central Avenue as old man winter frolics frostily through our Januarys and Februarys.
But the weather ain’t cooperating this year. Daytime temperatures in the 60s and night times that are just damn pleasant and not cold at all may be an indication of global weather changes that could make this portion of the earth parched and uninhabitable. Hence the apocalyptic reference in paragraph one, kids. It’s an admonition of sorts that can be temporarily yet joyfully mixed into any of the following aural experiences. Or you can ignore the obvious, even as the music swirls ’round and ’round. In either case, the desert beckons, so follow on.
Steely Dan: “King of the World
The Octopus Project
There was a point in the past when I was adamant about not covering shows up in Santa. There were several reasons for this editorial course, but mostly it’s because I am a big fan of the telegraphic expositions on music made by Santa Fe Reporter culture editor Alex De Vore and I don’t want to get in the way of his way, as it were.
But when some of the biggest, most badass rock outfits in the world keep getting booked at Meow Wolf (1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe) while Burque sees a normative but still annoying lack of early January concerts, then I must do what is best for my readers and fellow concert-goers.
That said, The Octopus Project is a definitive representative of the indie, electronic-based psychedelic music that has subtly influenced the entire pop universe for nearly 50 years. They’ll be gigging at the immersive art exhibit on Friday, Jan. 19.
Members Josh Lambert, Toto Miranda, Yvonne Lambert and Laurne Gurgiolo are deeply influenced by outfits like DEVO, Man or Astroman? and even show traces of the sound of the enigmatic and awesome Explosions in the Sky. Their music is fun and floridly formidable, but don’t forget you can dance to this stuff, too, as the only gravitas invoked by the quartet is winsome and accessible. Their new album, Memory Mirror, doesn’t break any new ground, but it sure the hell rocks out in a way that’s almost guaranteed to lift your wintertime spirits. Opening acts include New Fumes and Cole Bee Wilson. $13 to $15 • 8pm • 15+
Local rocanrol gets a night out all on its own when SuperGiant, The Talking Hours and newcomers Lead & Coal humbly but heartily invade Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Saturday, Jan. 20.
SuperGiant is one of this town’s legendary rock acts. Featuring the deeper cut guitar antics of former Alibi webmonkey Jeremy McCollum, SuperGiant makes music that is epic in scale and astronomic in theme. With album titles like On to the Stars and Antares, listeners should expect a melodic yet heart-thumpin ride through the heavens at warp speed.
The Talking Hours is a duo that makes no-nonsense, grit-hard rock that is inflected towards darkness but still shines brightly due to the instrumental prowess of members Maurico and Karie Paez. The couple’s new album is called Golden and it totally is: Last year I called this work “One of this town’s best and bad-ass examples of brutal sonic bombardment to come along this year.” I stand by my words.
Lead & Coal and Fad Vandals are relatively new bands here in the Duke City. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard either of them play yet. I do know that Fad Vandals has roots in Nueva York and recently relocated to Duke City, N.M. But since both are on a bill with two of this town’s most totally and awesomely rocked out ensembles, they must be pretty damn good too. If you play in Lead & Coal or Fad Vandals, make sure to give me a bell ahead of this gig, so I know what to expect on Saturday, especially if you like audiences that bang their heads and rock the devil’s horn with their waving hands. $5 • 9pm • 21+
There is a band in Albuquerque called TheTimewreckers. They play cosmic country music, twitchy, transcendent twang, or something cool like that. I’m pretty sure Gusher guitarist Austin Morrell, as well as local rock stalwarts Lynn Ambrosino, Alec Wilkes, Zach Leyba and Dustin Foster are involved with this band, which is really cool. But even if my sources are wrong and I end up sounding like a misinformed aging hipster with one too many pretensions, you still still go check out this show on Monday night, Jan. 22 at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW).
The reasons are multitudinous—new music by local rock bands that have been killing it at their first ever shows is not only a rarity these days in Burque, but it is also a damn good blessing. Everyone wants to say the local rocanrol scene is thriving, but having evidence of it makes me and everyone else in El Duque—those that like to rock, that is—very happy indeed. Opening acts for this night of pleasantly distracting tuneage include way underground, lo-fi surf-psychedelic duo Planet What (I dig “Ludwig 67”) from Tulsa, and a band with similar inclinations from the city with Big Shoulders. They are named Viet Rahm and their new album is called Take Food With Drugs. Okay. $3 to $5 • 9pm • 21+