“The mountain is high, the valley is low/ And you're confused on which way to go/ So I've come here to give you a hand/ And lead you into the promised land/ So come on and sit here by my side/ Come on and take a free ride/ All over the country, I'm seeing it the same/ Nobody's winning at this kind of game/ We gotta do better, it's time to begin/ You know all the answers must come from within ...” “Free Ride” as performed by The Edgar Winter Band.
There are so many super-decent concerts coming up this weekend and into the next semana that I knew I had to write an episode of Show Up! to let you all in on the goodness that will be emanating from Burque’s clubs and venues over the next seven days.
I thought about what sort of music I’d like to use to begin such a heady discourse and came up with some Dave Mustaine-era Metallica but didn’t have the heart to imply that one should seek out and destroy anything, especially given the ultra-serious tone of my editorial on page 9 of this issue.
Then I remembered Edgar Winter. He was one of the best interviews I ever had because he was hopeful, insightful and all about the joy and satisfaction—physical and spiritual—that good old live rocanrol can engender.
With that in mind, let’s go for a ride, home piece. It will be free trip through the land where rock reigns. And whatever you pay for a concert, remember that—as those Lincolns and Hamiltons fly out of your pocket—you’ll be repaid in fun times forever.
Start your rocanrol weekend right with a trip to the fabled Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Friday, May 31 for an evening with emo pop-punk purveyors The Maine, a band straight outta Tempe, Ariz. that has mastered the OC sound through repeated exposure to the Western desert, the roaring ocean and all the pain and happiness being in either of those locations engenders. They’re like total veterans of the psychic war called Warped Tour; the latest album for the quintet (John O’Callaghan, Kennedy Brock, Jared Monaco, Garrett Nickelsen and Pat Kirch) is called You Are OK; the single—which dropped last winter after the holidays—“Numb Without You” has a neato lyric, by the way, which succinctly summarizes this outfit’s raison d’etre. It goes like this: “You are my glitter and my gloom.” That’s, like, so emo! Grayscale, a pop-punk group from Philly that has albums with names like End of the World opens this rockingly emotional night. 8pm • $20 • All-ages (13+).
In case you wanna know, the big thing now, the au courant thing among the hip and the young are these things called breweries. Local craft breweries are creating culture all over Burque and transforming the very notion of what a rocanrol club really is and/or can be. Take for instance Tractor Brewing Wells Park (1800 Fourth Street NW). It’s a helluva fun place to hang plus the music that the venue brings to its hearty collection of artisanal barley pop enthusiasts is absolutely the most. The bands tend to follow the same dictum. For example Prism Bitch is jamming there unplugged on Saturday, June 1. You may recall that this is one of the most tasty, glittery and down with the funk bands to come outta the Burkes. They’ve recently been to SXSW and are in the process of conquering the world and now you can catch Lauren Poole, Lilah Rose, Teresa Esguerra, Trish Walsh and Nelson Crane in this outrageous, track-suit uniformed pursuit. An unplugged performance of this band will probably be deadly, so make sure you make proper arrangements in advance, rockers. 8pm • $5 • 21+.
Saturday Part II
However if you are in the mood for hip-hop music on Saturday night, June 1, then by all means head on down to Sister (407 Central Ave. NW). They’ll be presenting a concert by BLU & EXILE. These two fresh fellows, Johnson Barnes III and Aleksander Manfredi, have been mixing it up for at least 12 years and in that time have produced masterworks of alternative hip-hop like 2012’s Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them. That reference to life over death fairly flows in contrast to other West Coast rap outfits who spent much of their creative time portraying the gangsta life as glorious and preferable. Tunes like “More Out of Life” and the heavily syncopated, righteously sampled and totally twisted “The Great Escape” speak to a life beyond the normative, a world beyond the struggle. For the casual listener, this translates to complex and uplifting raps with lush production values and plenty of def and danceable moments. If you go see this show, we can talk about Dirty Science or Analogtronics afterwards, over a blunt and a big 40. 9pm • $12 to $15 • 21+.
Heavy metal continues its reign in this fleshy realm and its devilish ascent in Albuquerque on Sunday (darkly appropriate, eh kids?), June 2 when Earth visits Sister (407 Central Ave. NW). A duo of doomsters from the great north woods, the band was formed by drone master Dylan Carlson, a close associate and roommate of the elfin guitar god himself. I’m pretty sure that it would be worth it to see this show just to say that you heard the holy noise made by an acolyte of the temple himself. Carlson’s a for real innovator and wizard, too. His band is responsible for the recording called Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version, a Sub Pop album from 1993 that was a milestone in the development of drone metal. After an initial period of grindingly gone metallic minimalist work, Carlson took a break after the untimely death of the elfin god Kurt Cobain. When Earth returned in 2001, it was with a twangy and darkly melodic aftertaste influenced by guitarists like Roy Buchanan and Merle Haggard. Throw in some Brit folk-prog like Pentangle and Fairport Convention and you have a new and shiny—like a musical black widow spider that is now spreading itself like a black pudding all over the planet. Nativity in black, indeed. 8pm • $13 • 21+.
Hey, Mr. Spaceman, have you had your fill of experimental, art-damaged electronic post-punk this week? If not and even if you spent the week listening to nothing but recordings produced by Sicksicksick Distro, I highly suggest you wander out on a school night to viddy this gig at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) on Monday, June 3. It’s difficult to describe exactly what Xiu Xiu really sounds like, stands for or what massively hot, tortured K-pop fever dreams led to their tightly twisted oeuvre, but this ensemble (Jamie Stewart, Angela Seo and Jordan Geiger; a quartet when Swans percussionist Thor Harris is on tour with the other three) is certainly worth a few hours indulgence. Also, I feel like their recorded work and their performances are two separate things, artistically speaking. That said, put this one in your pipe and smoke it, kids, but not before listening to their latest, Girl with Basket of Fruit, a work that one critic noted was “imbued with the agitation, tension, sorrow and anger that has permeated the daily lives of so many over the last few years.” Damn good and please take me along, I haven’t done anything wrong. 8pm • $10 • 21+.
By the time you get to midweek, you will be sorely in need of some deeply rooted, pure punk rock tuneage and the Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW)—as usual—has just what Doctor Rock ordered. On Wednesday, June 5 Kid Congo Powersand his band The Pink Monkey Birds are playing a show. Powers is a veteran of legendary bands such as The Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, for Chrissakes. A tried and true Californio, dude was influenced by Latinx rock outta LA as well s the stuff happening on the other coast, namely the Ramones. His version of rocanrol music, primal, pulsating and derived from the teardrops of Elvis and the blood of los Chicanos will burn your boots and loosen your nalgas, primos. Oh and readers, if you can tell me the name of the song that inspired the name of his band, then I’ll go out and get you a two dollar bill to use as you please. How’s that for rocking? 9pm • $12 • 21+.