“We can all thank Doctor B/ Who stepped across the line/ With lots of watts he took control/ The first one of its kind/ So listen to your radio/ Most each and every night/ ’cause if you don't I'm sure you won't/ Get to feeling right/ Anywhere, y'all/ Everywhere, y'all/ I heard it, I heard it/ I heard it on the X.”—A song about Mexican-American radio in the ’70s, by ZZ Top.
The diffuse swath of totally terrific tuneage contained within the signal boundaries for X-Rock 80 (XEROK-AM) was a huge source of inspiration for future rockers growing up in southwestern part of this nation in the ’60s and ’70s. Its power can’t be underestimated. The Juarez beacon of all things rocanrol—manifested when long-time Tejano radio engineer Willam Branch, Doctor B in the above ZZ Top tune—moved his operations south of the border and began broadcasting an AM signal of 150,000 watts; an output strong enough to reach as far north as Denver, west to Phoenix and east to Nola.
The result: by 1970, the thing called rock and roll literally rolled over and through a part of the country that had been previously filled with radio markets dominated by country western and talk. By the time I came of age, scanning the AM dial for rock superstations like X Rock 80 was part of the rite of passage for long-haired kids looking for the starry connection to the heavenly dynamo in the machinery of the night. Or something like that.
I reckon Burque’s music scene is like that radio station of old: Diffuse, indominatable and full of opportunities to hear something awesomely new or powerfully singular. Put that in your hat and swish it around as you head for some of the best jams ever, right here in Duke City, N.M., a place formerly and infamously referred to as the Q.
ZZ Top: “I Heard It On The X”
Da Terra Miega
Couirtesy of the artist
Local community activist-oriented events producer Mariposa Music has got it going on this coming Friday, March 9, at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW). They are presenting the Mariposa WorldBeat Spectacular II at that estimable venue, and hijos, is it ever gonna rock. Featured performers include some of the biggest names in non-normative pop music available here in El Burque. Check this out, carnales: Nosotros, a nine-piece Latin fusion outfit—with cred as dank as your homie’s abuelito who can blast out “War Pigs” on his accordion while his rucca sings along en Español—are paired with groups like the floridly flamenco, Celtic-influenced incantations of Da Terra Meiga, the oft-times revolutionary alt.Latino EDM stylings of Tesuque Revolt (Matias Pizzaro and Michael Garcia) and Wagogo, long known as a progenitor of the multi-genre, post-reggae sound so popular with Burqueños since the ’80s. 8pm • $8 to $10 • 21+.
Tesque Revolt: “Tres Palomas”
Courtesy of the artist
The American folk music tradition birthed a tangled, multi-tentacled geneology that includes bluegrass, country-western music—and ultimately—Americana. Thought the term “Americana” was originally a thing that floated into our culture’s consciousness because of ideas in West Coast radio marketing, the term still represents the evolution of a traditional form, from sub-cultural phenomenon to big-money, pop-culture presence. Loyal listeners interested in how this lively brand of music went from one end of the spectrum to the other ought to visit The Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale Blvd. SE) when Bayou Seco—one of this region’s most important voices in the field—present a concert of their work on Saturday, March 10. The duo, comprised of traditionalist—yet totally innovative—players Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie have been defining and re-defining New Mexico and Louisiana folk music since 1980, hence their name. For this show, they’ll be accompanied by a full band and treasured Nueva Mexicana accordionist Antonia Apodaca will make a special appearance, making this concert a rare opportunity to see and hear the extensive roots of a very large, very beautiful tree. 7:30pm • $20 to $25 • All-ages.
Antonia Apodaca performs at the Albuquerque Folk Festival
Courtesy of the artist
I think I’ve been here before. You know, the place where I tell you all about how the Canucks have one up on us in regards to popular music. Well here we go again. In another ironic twist, this gig also happens to be at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) home of the hepest gigs in the middle Rio Grande Valley. Serio. And on Sunday March 11, here comes U.S. Girls to give gravity to my planet-sized amount of praise for the great white north. Actually, the brain behind the project, Megan Remy, is outta the good ole USA, she just moved to Toronto a couple of years ago. After getting her permanant residency in the icy part of the commonwealth, her work has significantly evolved from gritty, scrape-your-guts-off-the-ceiling DIY noise epics—with minimalist pop moments protruding awkwardly if effectively—into tuneage that you may soon hear over and over on pop radio stations all over the world. Remy controls the intersections of two usually discrete systems (pop and noise) with daring confidence, like she’s flying a danged Globemaster onto a thin landing strip dangling at the edge of the world while looking directly into your eyes. 8pm • $10 • 21+.
U.S. Girls: “Rosebud”
Egrets on Ergot
Courtesy of the artist
Dear rock and roll enthusiasts: Would you like an idea or two about what the heck is going on about 900 miles west of here? You know, in Califas! Aren’t you curious about what’s happening out there on that golden coast-ed expanse of happiness and prosperity? Well, then hurry down to Sister (407 Central Ave. NW)—because they’re always hurrying in Califas, sabes?—for a concert on Wednesday, March 14, featuring some rockers from El Lay and some serious alpha females from the city by the bay. Experimental punk conjurers Egrets on Ergot—they have tunes like “Plastic Shaman” and “Spit of Liaison” for Crissakes!—share the bill with San Fran’s fanciest feminist darkwave ensemble, MANE. To top it all off, Albuquerque’s most cryptic psych-punk cowboys, Puppets of the Warlords, open. If you haven’t heard that local band, I’m going to go easy on you and recommend you start with a tune called “Gobble.” I did, and now for some reason, all I can think of is the golden state. 8pm • $5 • 21+