“When you are out there on the road/ For several weeks of shows/ And when you scan the radio/ I hope this song will guide you home/ They will see us waving from such great heights/ ‘Come down now,’ they'll say/ But everything looks perfect from far away/ ‘Come down now,’ but we'll stay …”—from “Such Great Heights,” by The Postal Service.
Briefly stated: Los Beatles made a film called Magical Mystery Tour, in which our favorite drug-addled moptops drive all over Britain in a magic bus. The bus stops here and there and hilarity ensues. One time it makes a detour so that John and George can go see a burlesque show. A band called the Bonzo Dog Band is playing a song called “Death Cab for Cutie” at that concert-within-a-concert part of the film. Meanwhile in reality, somewhere in the future, another beloved moptop, this one named Ben Gibbard, seizes on that moment and decides that he’s a gonna call his band Death Cab For Cutie. They practically re-invent a thing called emo, with their startling, from the heart tuneage. Then Ben splits for a while and really does re-invent emo with another project he fancies. They’re called The Postal Service. They write beautiful, art-damaged songs like the one I quoted above. Put that in your pipe and smoke it as you journey out into our local music scene this weekend, all the while thinking about life on the road, great heights and most importantly, never coming down because of a thing called music.
The Postal Service: “Such Great Heights”
The Jir Project
Courtesy of the artist
Straight outta Diné Bikéyah, Levi Platero emerged as an important interpreter of the electrified blues—through the guitar—while still an adolescent. He and his family left the Rez and toured practically everywhere to prove that contention; a little later in his young life, Levi played mostly rock guitar before recently returning to New Mexico and a solo career that kicks ass. His 2017 single, “Take Me Back” won awards and re-established the guitarist as a regional force to be reckoned with. Platero and his band have a gig at big ole Burt’s Tiki Lounge (515 Central Ave. NW) on Friday, Feb. 16 and damn it if you shouldn’t go to hear some of the sweetest, saddest most rocked out axe-handling this side of the river Pecos. That’s right, it’s Tejano blues-rock and Platero kills it better than you could slay an armadillo on the road to Lubbock. On top of that smoldering pile of sweet Texas fire, local rockin’ bluesmen The Jir Project—guitarist Jir Anderson, percussionist Kendall Bell and bassist Douglas Bellen—perform a set that may include hard-rockin’ epics from their latest record, The Pueblo, like “Hummingbird or “Diamond Ring.” One can only hope. The openers are that funky Duke City-brand pop duo you’ve seen all over the teevee news but still haven’t heard yet, ALCHEMIE. 9pm • $5 • 21+.
Levi Platero: “Take Me Back”
Courtesy of the artist
When I asked my partner if I should cover the Dwight Yoakum concert at Route 66 Casino Legends Theater (14500 Central Ave. SW) on Saturday, Feb. 17, she said, “Fuck yeah, he’s a real dude!” And indeed he is. It’s totally sick how Yoakum steered Country Western music away from a shiny plastic replica of itself and back towards a rich redneck reality in the ’80s with hilariously hep honky tonk tunes about cars and guitars. That punk rock attitude mixed up with the keen Bakersfield-bent aesthetics of Buck Owens himself gave country back its soul and sold millions and millions of records in the process. If you haven’t ever listened to Hillbilly Deluxe or Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room—and even if you have—haul your ass out to the casino just west of here, on the highway to Califas, to get a load of one of the most amazing countrified crooner-guitarists to come outta the woods since Elvis Presley marched outta there with Hank Williams’ head on a stick. Serio. Give it a listen, carnales! 8pm • $40 to $79 • All-ages.
Dwight Yoakum: “Johnson’s Love”
Courtesy of the Manhigh project
Dearest Show Up! readers: If you would like to kindly rock the fuck out this weekend, please hold it all in until Sunday night and then freak out in a Moonage Daydream on Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Moonlight Lounge (120 Central Ave. SW). That’s when for realz punk rockers Jason Paul and the Know It Alls crash land in our town to perform arcane sonic rituals designed to turn your brain into a type of quantuum goo that can defy space and time. Fronted by a dude that actually gets to hang out with Mike Watt in beautiful San Pedro, Calif., this acclaimed yet seriously thrashed out ensemble will be joined in their cacophonous endeavors by some real local heros. I don’t know much about openers Fad Vandals and Arcade Rivals—unless they ring me back before press time and the clocks ticking, dudes—but that’s okay because I can tell you plenty about Manhigh. That’s the name of a new outfit that includes Ray Gutierrez. You remember him don’t you? He and his peers were pretty much responsible for invigorating Burque’s punk scene in the early ’90s with a thing called Resin Records. Gutierrez was in one of the label’s star vehicles, a heady, sludgy, deliriously intense ensemble known as allucaneat. Now he’s back and jamming with Gabriel Gambino on vocals and guitar and Gambino’s wife Gabrielle on bass. They totally rock! Of course, Ray is still blowing things up with his drum sticks and Gambino’s guitar playing is explosively tight and tasty. And you can go boom too, faithful Alibi reader, but you have to get thee to this gig first. Keep that in mind before you get torched on Saturday night at the Doctor Jeep show. 8pm • $5 • 21+