“We don't have to be high to look in the sky/ And know that's a miracle opened wide/ Look at the mountains, trees, the seven seas/ And everything chilling underwater, please/ … Music is all magic/ You can't even hold it/ It's just there in the air/ Pure motherfucking magic/ Right?/ This shit'll blow your fucking mind.”—The observations of the King of Juggalos.
That there is life here is miraculous enough. That it’s thrived, building a music community as a consequence is just plain awesome, whether you consign that occurrence to evolutionary processes or the same divine intervention that prevented a 10 megaton MK 17 nuclear bomb from detonating on the outskirts of town in May of 1957.
By then there was already a helluva scene in this town and between the local Latinx musicos, an East Coast contingent that came to teach at UNM’s music school after WWII and remnants of both cowboy and railroad culture it would be easy enough to characterize the scene as rocking.
When we get down to the funky facts about what happened after, in our time—in the sorta-middle of the 21st century—the bounteous badassery of what’s been built comes out and roars as clear as any sick as fuck lick by Gordy Anderson, as any passionate narrative given wings by the voice of Al Hurricane.
That fab flava certainly comes out every weekend in the Duke City, when live music jolts this town down to the ground, reminding everyone around that the miracle repeats itself with regularity and voluminous vibrance that’s contagious.
Besides showing up to be part of that pathogenic brilliance, make yourself part of the scene by nominating musical acts and artists for this year’s Best of Burque Music reader’s poll. You can nominate your favorites until Friday, Feb. 8 at alibi.com.
Insane Clown Posse: “Miracles”
courtesy of the artist
Black Sabbath remains the go-to band for invoking authenticity in rocanrol. Yeah, Zep gets tossed into the fray, especially of late, but there’s something devilishly disturbing about the anti-swagger, working class rumble of Ozzy and company that make them and their oeuvre the ultimate in rock expressionism. By the way, this is an opportunity for listeners—who haven’t so far—to indulge their dark impulses and have a listen to the latter’s debut album. When you’re done with that, consider this: Black Sabbath remain so influential that they rate a complex coven of tribute bands. From regional rankers like Bastard of Reality to Ironmen! listener’s can plumb this black abyss for meaning until they run into the real talents—the bands that aren’t so much tribute as takeoff point.
Mac Sabbath, the fast-food-inflected iteration of the four horsemen of the apocalypse are certainly worth a gander. But if you want to see how far this branch of the rocanrol tree can extend, then you must witness Black Sabbitch. They’re gigging at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Thursday, Feb. 7 and please believe me when I say that they are bringing it. Black Sabbitch is composed of drummer Angie Scarpa, bassist Melanie Makaiwi, guitarist Emily Burton and vocalist Alice Austin. Together, they do more than just cover Sabbath, as if they are from a freaking alternate universe. Blinddryve and Full Blast open. Follow me know and you will not regret leaving the life you led before we met, amirite? 9pm • $10 in advance, $15 at the door • 21+.
Black Sabbitch: “Children of the Grave”
Cruising through a baffling variety of Sirius XM radio stations this past weekend, the missus and I stumbled onto one transmission location that ostensibly featured the work of singer-songwriter Paul Simon.
Just as this or that syrupy-sad Simon and Garfunkel tune proceeded to drip out my stereo system, I admitted that I had always been on the fence about Simon and started to change the channel. My wife reached out her hand and said, “But wait, maybe they’ll launch into something from Graceland after ‘Mrs. Robinson’ is done playing.” Well, before I had time to wish aloud for “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard,” I heard the opening strains of “The Boy in the Bubble” and breathed a huge sigh of relief. The whole thing was a star-turn I said instead, cranking the volume as we headed down Tingley Boulevard.
If you’d like to claim some of that groovy glory as your own—and with a local twist—roll on over to Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Friday, Feb. 8 for the Graceland Superjam featuring the very funky Pherkad, singer-songwriter Joe West (who has at least two albums I dig, Jamie Was a Boozer and Rodeo of the Soul ) as well as the inimitable Dave Payne & Salt Cedar. These are indeed the days of miracle and wonder, so don’t cry; Jesus loves you more than you can know! 9pm • $5 in advance, $10 at the door • 21+.
Paul Simon: “The Boy in the Bubble”
Full Speed Veronica
courtesy of the artist
There are few local or regional rocanrol bands that can bridge the ultimate gap and be simultaneously popular in Burque and in Santa. Go on, I dare you to name one. I get that El Lay’s Teenage Werewolves have a following here and in the capital city, but besides that, quien sabe?
Of course after having written that paragraph, I gotta revise it. I would get rid of it entirely except it’s kinda funny. Anywho, I’d also change it to say that Full Speed Veronica is the name of a rocking outfit from here in Dirt City that has also found a cornucopia of cool circumstances up north too. That’s for a reason, I suppose. And the reason is rocking.
These indie rockers with an affinity for both jangly baroque pop and low-fi garage goodness—listen to tuneage like “Winnacunnet” or “$30 Divorce Kit” to get a clue or two—will be releasing a new record and celebrating the occasion in high style on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Moonlight Lounge (120 Central Ave. SW). It sure enough will be party time for this toothsome trio; fellow local rock heroes and heroines Shitty and the Terribles and Constant Harmony will provide supporting sets of stunning sounds straight outta Sugar Candy Mountain. Or something vaguely, rockingly similar to that. 9pm • $5 • 21+.
courtesy of the artist
Bad news kidz. The Shoreline Mafia concert on Sunday night is sold out. But like everything else seeking balance in this chaotic world of ours, there is an alternative. And yes, in this case it involves hip-hop. The tickets for the first show were pricey anyway, home-slice.
What I’m talking about instead is the concert to be given by Project Pat at Duke City Event Center (2822 Second Street NW) on Sunday, Feb. 10 as part of the Cheeze N Dope Tour.
As listeners may know, Patrick Houston first emerged to temp hip-hop nation into a life of dissolution—and very big beats—with the album Ghetty Green, and later on, with hard core hits like “Make Dat Azz Clap,” “Good Weed” and “Everythangs High.” That stuff is at least as fly as the hyphy loops coming outta Shoreline; I guess it just depends on your style, even though “Musty” and “Nun Major” are pretty, pretty decent. For your added soulful satisfaction, Frank Hustle, Masta of Ceremoniez (of the Dezert Banditz Crew) and $Tre$ The AR-15 are also on this very ill bill. Looks like you oughta be there, unless you want your funk license to be temporarily revoked. 6:30pm • $15 general admission, $20 VIP admission • 18+.
Project Pat: Ghetty Green
If hardcore ain’t your flava then hold out until Wednesday, Feb. 13 when you can trip on down to Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) for a totally tongue-stunning, foot-slapping rap recital to be given by Clear Soul Forces, a very important and hypnotically revved up hip-hop ensemble that emanates from one of the main sources of the form, Detroit itself.
Socially conscious, poetic like the street can appear to be and mostly floating through the air like the deep fluent flow from where all such goodness ultimately resides, the sound of CSF—L.AZ., Ilajide, E-Fav and Noveliss—can best be described as rhyme-fests dominated by dreamlike clarity, big, beatific beats and sparkly shizz straight from the soul, too. These dudes grew up blasting J Dilla and Slum Village and it shows. But what is also apparent is a knowing self-referentialism that gives as hard as it gets on tunes like “Mars on Life,” “What is Rap” and my favorite, “Orange Faygo.” Go for the groove, stay for the chance to finally become a citizen in hip-hop nation. 8pm • $10 in advance, $15 at the door • 21+.