“If you're listening to this song/ You may think the chords are going wrong/ But they're not/ We just wrote them like that/ If you're listening late at night/ You may think the band are not quite right/ But they are/ They just play it like that/ And it doesn't really matter what chords I play/ What words I say/ Or time of day it is/ As it's only a Northern song/ It doesn't really matter what clothes I wear/ What words I pair/ Or if my hair is brown/ 'Cause it's only a Northern song/ If you think the harmony/ Is a little dull and out of key/ You're correct/ 'Cause there's nobody there.”—Georgie One on what rocanrol really means.
My birthday fell on the past weekend—I’m well past 50 if you want to know—and I spent at least some of the time, when I wasn’t wailing about progressive politics in the Democratic party or how we must remain hopeful despite what some see as clear signs of the coming apocalypse, thinking about the music that has shaped by life.
Of course, as noted above, The Beatles were very important. In particular, George Harrison’s smoking, sometimes bitterly badass guitar solos, detached attitude and affinity for Eastern philosophy struck a chord that continues to be a symbol for what I’d like rocanrol to look and sound like even now as its presence wanes in my life and is taken up by jazz and hip-hop. Besides that, I point friends and readers to my encounter with the Supertramp ditty “The Logical Song” as an example of tuneage that saved my teenage arse from a life of compliance and complicity with the man.
Of course none of that compares to what happened in the summer of 1991 when a new and bejeweled British friend tossed all of my Cure, Smiths and Bolshoi albums into the rubbish bin before declaring, “You’ve got to fight for your right to party, Rudy!”
And so forth and so on. Now as I complete another trip around the sun, I’m listening to The Replacements and Wu-Tang Clan as I zestfully plot out this latest column. It’s designed to transmit the joy summarized above in such a fashion as to be hopefully and effervescently transformed into a concrete desire to spend your hard-earned feria on live music shows that you too can write about as your hair grows long and your memories more precious. Let’s go, rockers!
Glitter Vomit begins their summer tour at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) on Thursday, July 11. The project of Jazmyn Crosby, Glitter Vomit makes unspeakably personal industrial and technological sound sources into forms of music with a plangent sparseness that drifts through dreams and real life locations with haunting vocals providing mysterious, ghostly accompaniment. Crosby’s latest recording Tangling is full of wandering ideas exposed as moments of realization and compressed conclusiveness. Sometimes the music mimics the action of water, dripping and flowing slowly from a lunar source; other times it’s about what’s inside a world of melodic fragments picked out on a sliding, echoing guitar. In fact Crosby’s guitar playing is mesmerizing in and of itself. The addition of vocals and percussion makes her intimate visions read as vast landscapes, empty yet full of tangled promises and squeaking wheels. It’s absolutely awesome to see Glitter Vomit yakking itself all over the Western states and even more awesome that Sister continues to support Burque’s musical avant garde with shows that speak to a real revolution going on in pop music, 21st century style. Tom Foe, Big Hen and Lady XY provide sonic support. 8pm • $5 • 21+.
What Up Friday is a rap-tastic thing happening at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Thursday, July 11, and man oh man, are we psyched over here at Alibi HQ! This jamfest makes note of some of the more styling and profiling DJs, mixmasters and MCs in the village known as Albuquerque. Included in the brain-bustin’ foot-stompin’ bill is none other than Skata Jay. Dude’s mixtape, Smoke Break, has been in constant rotation over at the music editor’s chante since it dropped more than six years ago. You can’t lose with epic tuneage like “How U Doin That” or “Free Your Mind,” carnales. Besides that, concertgoers can look forward to sets by Bobo & Linde, Eddie G, Judah of Lions, Bayse + Lazarus, Kee and Mo Money G. In case you wanna know, Lazarus has a hardcore rap called “Indigoade” that may very likely blow up your speakers and your mind; Bayse’s “All On Me” matches that ferocity with drop dead OG flow that moves. So, let me know if you wanna go; this show’s gonna kill. 8pm • $5 to $10 • 21+.
Tucson, an Arizona town that in many ways is similar to the Burkes, is home to a band known asLa Cerca, out there in the saguaro-strewn low desert. La Cerca creates a form of rocanrol that is by turns mesmerizing and danceable as well as fascinating to those listeners obsessed with the sounds that an electric guitar tuned to psychedelics naturally or electronically makes when touched just so. They’ll make an appearance at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) on Friday, July 12. Of course this is a band who digs the work of Big Star and Pure Bathing Culture, so make sure you wear a comfortable hat and shine your shoes before you head to this heady gig. Visionary bandleader Andrew Gardner puts some twang in the ensemble’s transcendence to astonishing effect. La Cerca’s latest record, Night Bloom, includes super spaced-out, tumbling through the atmosphere wonder anthems like “I Am The Song” as well as rocketship travel-influenced rockers such as “Spacedad.” It’s all very beautiful, and you can gaze at those Docs reflecting light back at you all night whilst jamming to this band, I guarantee it. 8pm • $5 • 21+.
Meanwhile over at The Showroom at Isleta Resort & Casino (11000 Broadway Blvd. SE), interested listeners can have an encounter with one of the longest-lived, most influential purveyors of música norteña ever, Los Rieleros del Norte. This cray conjunto is coming to play in Burque on Friday, July 12. Straight outta El Paso en Tejas, this group from Chihuahua came to dominate and enliven the genre by incorporating accordion and saxophone into their performance of traditional and contemporary corridos and canciones. Since 1982, these profoundly fluent and innovative musicos have produced more than 60 recordings including 1997’s El Maquinista, 2008’s Epoca Eldorado and 2015’s Corridos Y Canciones De Mi Tierra. Listen: Here’s a show that’s probably outta your comfort zone—it may well change the way you understand the music of the Western Hemisphere forever. It’s not all dazzling guitar solos, stretched-out ninth chords and aggressively poignant punk rock, after all, is it kidz? 8pm • $30 • 21+.
Or you can laugh and cry and learn about yourself and everyone around you when The Appleseed Cast, a formerly California-based emo band (they work outta Lawrence, Kan. these days) with expansive experimental and post-rock tendencies, plays a gig at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Saturday, July 13. Led by singer/guitarist Christopher Crisci, the band has seen quite a few lineup changes since their post-rock influenced work Low Level Owl Volume One. Since that early aughts recording, the band moved through a pop-sounding period that included albums like Two Conversations before returning to the more intricate pop stylings of Peregrine and Sagarmatha. The band’s latest single, “Time the Destroyer,” hums and rattles with electronic nuance, providing a glitchy path for an elliptical sort of melodicism that climbs out in front of searching vocals before erupting into a epic rocanrol battle for redemption filled with instrumental crescendos and a relentless back beat. Intense El Lay art rockers Young Jesus (check out their latest, The Whole Thing is Just There, for some rockingly artful holiness) and Burque’s own progressive post-hardcore quartet Hex Theory open this deep and contagiously cavernous look at everything and everyone. 8pm • $10 • 21+.
Finally, on Tuesday, July 16 at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) get your psychedelic gas tank filled by El Lay psych rockers Wand. This hardworking, totally touring band (they’ve dropped five bomb records in as many years while touring all over the dang US) featuring Cory Hanson, Robert Cody, Sofia Arreguin, Lee Landey and Evan Burrows recorded their first album on Ty Segall’s Drag City label before going out on a very successful tour that later begat the amazing album Golem which was produced by one of Thee Oh Sees. You see where this is going, kind concert-going audience? Well in case you haven’t gotten it, we’re all headed toward some highly tuneful, deeply enigmatic, probably drug-induced garage rock with psychedelic flavor added to enhance your listening experience. Wand’s latest, Laughing Matter, is filled with drop-dead gorgeous tuneage like “High Planes Drifter,” “Rio Grande” and “Jennifer’s Gone.” What a perfect way to end one week of constant concert interfacing; just make sure your brain hasn’t dripped out all jelly-like afterwards. 8pm • $12 • 21+.