“Outside there's a box car waiting/ Outside the family stew/ Out by the’ fire breathing/ Outside we wait ’til face turns blue/ I know the nervous walking/ I know the dirty beard hangs/ Out by the box car waiting/ Take me away to nowhere plains/ There is a wait so long/ You'll never wait so long/ Here comes your man” … An example of the cryptic lyricism of Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV, otherwise known as Black Francis. He had a band called Pixies.
In the before time I worked at the Guild Cinema as a projectionist. The joint had a sister theater, called Don Pancho’s Art Cinema, near the corner of Central and Buena Vista. There was a laundromat next door to Don Pancho’s, it was called Saint Germaine’s Violent Flame. Serio. Next door to the Guild was a Chinese Restaurant called China Garden, where they served a muy classico combination of Mexican and Chinese food. As it turned out, a few of the folks who worked at these movie theaters went on to work at Weekly Alibi. One of them was the fellow who introduced me to a band called Pixies via a cassette tape he played incessantly between shows on the house PA.
I mention this because the phenomenon I describe here helped changed things up in Burque. A new sound in town followed in its wake, as more and more people heard the mixtapes being played from the projection booths at the Guild and Don Pancho’s. Thus, for realz indie rock came into its own in Burque at the end of the ’80s, as the cover band/yacht rock scene propagated by Joe Bufalino and John Cline came to its end and young folks started forming bands with names like Gargantuans and Ant Farmers in their stead.
Thursday and Friday
What would a Thursday or Friday night be without some horrorcore or horrific metal music to remind one of the noisy futility of life?
El Diablo Fest 5 happens on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25. The Thursday night event is all about hardcore and horrorcore hip-hop, featuring acts like The Warlock and Animaliztic. And damned if Friday night doesn’t roll just as darkly as the river whose journey to the underworld it mimicks, too. Look forward to metallic rocanrol performances by Warlike Wolves, Skeletons in the Closet and Demogorgon. Leo’s Nightclub (1119 Candelaria NW) is the site for this yearly trip down the Styx. You have my permission to hum the chorus from N.I.B. as you proceed to rock the fuck out. $8 to $14; $15 at the door • Doors 5pm (Both days) • Re-Entry allowed • BBQ 5:30pm (Both days) • $2 (Per plate) • 21+.
Mano, are you going to have trouble keeping up with the plethora of local, legacy-worthy music unloading itself on the scene here on this Friday, May 25. But give it a shot anyway. You have nothing to lose and music to gain, after all.
The Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) features a concert by MountainHead, a very interesting duo whose output hinges on an experimentalism based in absorbing, destroying, reconfiguring and jamming out to various musical tropes, some very exotic indeed. MountainHead’s new recording is called Act Natural. It totally rocks and it’s reviewed in this issue, so check it out homies! But please note that this is the last gig for the aforementioned sonic wizards, so your attendance is damn important. Fad Vandals, Voodoo Kid and Treehouse Basement open. 9pm • No Cover • 21+.
Meanwhile, just up the road at Moonlight Lounge (120 Central Ave. SW), a grip of garage-born indie pop-rockers with cred to burn and chops that compare to first generation progenitors like say, The Drags, perform rock and roll rituals on Friday, May 25.
Get Action!, the project of long-time Burque rock-master Ashley Floyd (winner of the 2018 Editor’s Choice prize in our vaunted Best of Burque Music reader’s poll) will be joined on stage for a rollicking recital that also features Shitty and the Terribles and Full Speed Veronica. That’s some bill for a Lincoln, kids. 8pm • $5 • 21+.
If you are feeling a bit heavy after all that action you got on Thursday and Friday, then here is an opportunity to kick back, relax and praise Jah down by the cool banks of el Rio Grande. The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs presents Reggae by the River on Saturday, May 26.
This relaxingly jammed out event happens at the Coronado Historic Site (485 Kuaua Rd., Bernalillo, N.M.) and features two very decent local world beat influenced ensembles, Mala Maña and Native Roots.
The former groupo musical features Alyson Steinman, Chava, Lydia Garcia, Lupe Mendoza, Teresa Guevara, Carolina Acuña and Joseph General performing cumbia, reggaeton and merengue-laced tunes. The latter, headlining conjunto is dedicated to the sound and spirit invoked when Native American and reggae music are magically and musically mixed. Musician/composer John Williams and vocalist/lyricist Shkeme Garcia are the souls behind that effort. This mini music fiesta by the river also includes arts and crafts booths, food trucks and a beer garden. 2pm doors • $7 in advance; $10 at the door • All-ages