“And Tommy doesn't know what day it is/ He doesn't know who Jesus was/ Or what praying is/ How can he be saved/ From the eternal grave?/ Surrounded by his friends/ He sits so silently/ And unaware of anything” … a few random lines drawn from the song, “Christmas,” by The Who, from the rock opera, Tommy.
C’mon dude get with it, it’s the holiday season, after all. You can start by removing those awful earplugs and sleep-goggles so that you can pipe some music into that brain of yours. Also, knock it off with pinball and presumptive Presbyterianism; go out and see some shows, for Chrissakes; it’s more than heaven’s generosity on offer here in El Duque, after all.
The Who: “Christmas”
Thursday Part I
In the course of a couple of years, Thursday Night Girl Fight, a concert series that features local human rockers who happen to be female, has grown into an intensely timely arbiter of aesthetics and values, forever altering and advancing the scene here in the Burkes.
This week’s iteration at Launchpad (607 Central Ave. SW) on Thursday, Dec. 13 is certainly no exception to the rule as the series continues to ascend on the wings of kick-ass players and a growing, appreciative audience. Additionally, there is substantive seasonal flair too: Proceeds from this show will benefit the Albuquerque Indian Center, whose mission is to “empower the Albuquerque urban Native American community through the provision of wrap-around services designed to promote wellness, education, self-sufficiency and tradition.”
That’s damn good and should be added to a list called “why this is an important show,” by the way. The other thing on the list should be about this week’s performance: It features the hard rocking sounds of Nizhóní Girls as well as the raptastic flows of K. Benally and Letsjusb (Violetta Bennett), the experimental sonic folk output of of Liz Howdy and artist Shandiin Yazzie too.
Besides the awesome musical discourse, poet Jessica Helen Lopez is also on the bill. 9pm • $5 to $10 • 21+.
Thursday Part II
On Thursday night, Dec. 13 Sister (407 Central Ave. SW) will be the site of some sustained psychedelic sooth-saying, suffering and shuffling, when YOU, one of the progenitors of that scene’s resurgence in the Duke City triumphantly returns to town—they’re left-coasters now, dudes—for a show that will undoubtedly kill any sense of the normative lingering in the vicinity of Downtown. YOU, in case you want to know la neta, is a self-proclaimed “party-wave power trio” consisting of Austin Morrell, Eric Lisausky and Hiram Camp. Their new record, Retro-Mantric Transmissions drops on Dec. 12, so this may indeed be prime time to spock out these dudes as they cruise through interstellar, post prog jams like “Seam Ripper,” “Rectangular Mind Thief” or “Hairbrush.” But besides YOU—and that’s a lot—this is bound to be a ripper because a couple of noteworthy local bands are worming their way out of the studio just to jam at an event that may quickly become trans-dimensional and possibly louder than heck, too. They include noisy shoegaze saints Pacenotes and electro-pop mysterians Gerunding. Fly now, land later, lovers. 8pm • $5 cash only • 21+.
Friday Part I
courtesy of the artist
My wife—who was music editor before I was—has a running joke that involves guessing how many times the other one has covered Mexican heavy metal masters Metalachi … and why such reiterations are the essence of how the bigger picture appears to readers of Weekly Alibi’s music section. They’ll be back at it, this time gigging at Sister (407 Central Ave. SW) on Friday, Dec. 14. It comes down to this: certain bands play this town with such regularity that we wish—for all their greatness and grandeur—that they were ours, that their home was here in Burque. Certainly some local notables have escaped our gravity and now circle brighter distant suns like the one seen and felt in El Lay, but how about outfits like Melvins or Metalachi, for that matter? They might as well be from the Burkes, que no?
History tells us that Metalachi—an ensemble that performs selections from the heavy metal repertoire with conjunto clarity and bitchin’ banda badassery—was formed in Veracruz after a night of snorting horse tranquilizers with the village jai alai team. That’s cool, but not as def as their jams—which resonate with a powerful horn section and violinistas that kill. After you hear this band, you’ll never go back to mere guitars, basses and drums. Your tequila and enchilada intake may grow too, but you’ll get used to it. I did, compadres. 9pm • $13 • 21+.
Metalachi: “Hot for Teacher”
Friday Part II
courtesy of the artist
Here’s a secret that I am finally ready to share: Albuquerque has this weird rocanrol power that sometimes lures very interesting bands and musicians to town to gig beneath the shadows of the Sandias and within view of the rolling Rio Grande. Whether this force is magic or just a remnant of the extensive nuclear testing that has taken place in this place for over 75 years may never be known, but amigos, I tell you it’s out there.
As a point of reference and a sort of proof I offer the following: On Friday, Dec. 14 Moonlight Lounge (120 Central Ave. SW) hosts not one but three fantastically rocking bands from Asia. These awesome ensembles include two from Japan, including the post-rock yet pop-inflected quintet Yucca, the abrasively seductive alternative shoegaze Tokyo-somethings The Silhouette of Nude and the hardcore post-emo group Tides. Ch-check it out! 9pm • $5 • 21+.
Friday Part III
courtesy of the artist
Meanwhile over at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Friday, Dec. 14 there will certainly be dancing and maybe some clapping on two and four as well, for the First Annual Holiday Book Drive Show. Revíva, Wagogo and The Lonn Calanca Band will be playing a very, very affirmative gig at the home of local rocket trips to the stars—that very night.
As you may recall, Wagogo has some helluva history in the Duke City. Fronted and run by one of the lads from one of this town’s storied rocking rhythm and blues units—Armando Ortega from Los Broadway Elks—the band has evolved over the past 20 years to become really descriptive of this town’s Latin and world-beat influence. They’ve released six CDs in that time including the Burqueño classic, 2001’s Familia y Amor. Their new album, Wagogo Dance Banda de Albukwerkwe, Nuevo Mexigogo also hits it hard with a melange of local, Indigenous and African influences worn and played brightly and brilliantly.
Rocking reggae artists Revíva have also made a mark on this burg with their casually creative and causally cool blend of globe-gathered sounds. With an emphasis on the upbeat—musically and metaphorically—here is a band you can really jam with while floating through the after effects of strains like Cookie Tech or Hammerhead. Trust me, you’ll dig this gig. 8pm • $10; $7 with book purchase • 21+.
Wagogo: “Sungura Chiko”
courtesy of the artist
Sinistarr, eh? That’s a bitchin’ name for an electro-wizard and the work of Jeremy Howard comes straight outta Detroit—a place on the psychogeographic model of the Earth that includes appellations like “rock city” as well as being the home of masters like J Dilla and Eminem. With the sorts of assumed expectations that follow such a musically-inclined framework, it’s no wonder that the work of said Sinistarr has come to the fore of pop culture. Find out first hand on Saturday, Dec. 15, when dude gigs at Sister (407 Central Ave. SW).
An important arbiter in the legendary attempt to develop drum and bass music into a form that is provocatively augmented by house aesthetics as well as glitchy interludes first given life by the likes of MCA and Thom Yorke—separately, yo—Sinistarr weaves together sounds that are infused with danceability yet also include animalistic rhythms that are beyond grimy. Each of the artists’ works can be traced in terms of sonic evolution; Sinistarr’s latest record, the EP Void/Corruption displays a sense of timing and depth that is indeed both sacred and profane. So, yeah, you should be dancing: Go dancing in the jungle Saturday night and let the sounds of Sinistarr be your guide. 9pm • $10 • 21+.
Dave Payne and Salt Cedar
courtesy of the artist
On Sunday Dec. 16—after all that rocking and rolling and hip-hopping and dancing—you all are going to need some relaxing times with the feet up and the music turned down a notch in order to get ready for the week and a half before Santy Claws comes to town. May I suggest you take a trip on over to the indusrial part of the lower Northeast Heights to the Canteen Brewhouse (2381 Aztec Rd. NE) to have a listen to Dave Payne and Salt Cedar, one of the truest, most authentic Americana bands in this town. Payne and his crew do more than just sing American music, the singer-songwriter and his estimable ensemble play a quirky, deeply groovy and sorta stepped-up honky tonk that verges on rock and electric folk simultaneously. His new band includes some super-decent players as well, including Cory Minefee from the Saltine Ramblers on bass, Cheese, formerly of Pherkad on drums and Dave Devlin from Higher Ground handling the pedal steel & telecaster electric guitar. Have a listen and a cold one while you chillax, party people. 4pm • FREE • 21+.