“Papa says that I'm a dreamer/ Says them ‘squitas bit me one too many times/ Oh, but I never get lonesome living on the river/ Watching old Lily leave the world behind ...” “Dixie Lily,” a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin, fromthe album Caribou.
Writing this week’s rendition of “Show Up!” coincides with an announcement by rocanrol god Elton John that the dude is retiring from the touring business after 50 years of making music—both totally awesome and totally terrible—in the space between those years.
Personally, I gotta say that, as a child, adolescent and well into my college years I was particularly smitten with Reg’s oeuvre; listening to his early work made me want to learn the piano and Bernie Taupin’s always dead-on lyrics started me writing my own poetry back in the sixth grade. Well, as Taupin once wrote, “Now it’s all over, the birds can nest again.”
I miss checking out new albums by those two, but am reminded by the duo’s prolific output that there is always new music coming down the pike; some of it is gonna be hella good and at least the horrible stuff makes for a good laugh.
It’s with those sentimental yet measured words that this week’s “Show Up!” takes a look at what’s coming up in Albuquerque this week. Follow on, please, and mind the gap, it’s awful deep.
Elton John/Bernie Taupin: “Dixie Lily”
Courtesy of the artist
Turntablelist and mix tape master Tony Touch visits Albuquerque’s favorite hipster hangout, Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) on Friday, Feb. 2. A member of the generation of break dancers and B-boys that first brought hip-hop nation to the American masses (Touch says his big influences remain peers like Grandmaster Flash and Jam Master J), Touch is widely known for popularizing the mixtape in rap music; the results have included such artists as Big Daddy Kane, Mos Def and KRS One. As the 21st century advanced, Touch became known as the “Mixtape King,” with the release of products like 2000’s aptly titled The Piece Maker. Recently, Touch has been spinning for Eminem, and Tony’s new solo show promises deep grooves, deadly bass drops and a fine, fine selection of samples that will blow your motherfucking mind. Whether you like straight ahead hip-hop, reggaeton or deep house, this dude’s in touch with it all. $10 • 9pm • 21+.
Tony Touch: The PieceMaker 3: Return of the 50 MCs
Back in the ’70s and ’80s Joan Jett gave a female face to rocanrol. By turns commanding, precious, prescient and vulnerable in her demonstration of mastery of the genre, Jett and her band have made a career of innovation; her Blackheart Records was one of our culture’s first indie record companies and still goes to great lengths to find, promote and support artists that the folks over at corporate rock headquarters just totally hate. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts bring their leather-clad, El Lay born vision of what pure punk rock really sounds like (John Doe reprtedly sat in on the sessions where Jett picked out players to be in the Blackhearts, how much more cred do you want?). They’ll be gigging at the Route 66 Casino Legends Theater (14500 Central Ave. SW) on Saturday, Feb. 3. Hopefully they’ll remind the audience of their greatest hits, such as “I Love Rock ’n Roll” while also touching on deeper cuts like “Coney Island Whitefish.” So, yeah go ahead and check out this delightful dinosaur display: You have my permission to indulge in the glorious results of a misspent youth. $40 to $79 • 8pm • All-ages.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)”
The big damn crazy weight of local rocanrol manifests itself on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Albuquerque’s best venue ever, Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) when local metalurgists, shoegazers and hardcore maniacs Crushed!? present a CD release show to coincide with their new record, Sins of the Father. The new album deftly defies genre, racing through insane licks and profound power chords with one title tracks that have names like “Girly” and “Bonestorm.” There are also like, totally burnt cuts such as “Japanese Style” and “Testament To My Twenties” to reckon with on this album, so make sure to take some earplugs along for the ride you get at said Launchpad. A full night of local punk rock prowess is on display this evening; SHREWD, Nitekidz, Supreme Verdict and Subtle Knife are also on the bill, so you probably should eat lightly and shine up your Docs before the show, too. $5 • 8pm • 21+.
Walk the Moon is the name of a quartet of dudes from Cincinnati, Ohio, (which is in the the same mysterious universe Leeches of Lore main man Steve Hammond disappeared into last year) who make a sort of rocanrol that can be best catagorized as electronic-pop-new wave stuff inflected with a danceable indie attitude. That’s right, the kids love them. And you are correct sir, the band won a category called “Best Party Song” at 2015’s Teen Choice Awards. And the accolades have just kept coming; I hear iheartradio and Billboard magazine love them as much as one can love a band of youngish rock rapscallions. Does TigerBeat know about these dudes? Anywho, members Nicolas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman and Eli Maiman have built a seven- or eight-year career making rollicking, rootin’, tootin’ rocanrol. You can see them do their thing at Sunshine Theater (120 Central Ave. SW) on Monday, Feb. 5. But G_d help you if you make it out alive. Just kidding. Rock on. $30 to $199 • 8pm • 13+.