“Listen,” said the viejito as he reached into his bag of records while the rest of us stood on an anonymous Downtown corner waiting for some direction. “Here is one that’s full of fine licks, stunning piano moments and enough sophomore snark to drive your own creative projects for the rest of time ... or until hip-hop truly takes over and you find yourself fumbling in the dark for that Vince Staples disc you hid under the bed.”
With that, the old master laughed as he proceeded to launch an app to a song by pub rock-cum-new wave Eastenders Squeeze. It was a song about the stress incurred by a band on tour or vacation and the wonderful misadventures they faced in a certain seaside town. It went something like this:
“You wish you had a motor boat/ To pose around the harbor bar/ And when the sun goes off to bed/ You hook it up behind the car/ But behind the chalet/ My holiday's complete/ And I feel like William Tell/ Maid Marian on her tiptoed feet/ Pulling mussels from a shell.”
“That’s exactly what it feels like,” he roared as he waddled off toward this or that venue, looking for the latest in hip local live music to either investigate or ignore. We decided to follow along, but not before realizing that he must be at least 1,000 years old.
In a city full of heshers—heck, even the Mayor blasts Slayer and Metallica before his speeches for crissakes—there’s no doubt a band like Michigan’s Mobile Deathcamp will do well at the box office when they invade Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Thursday, Jan. 16. Nonetheless, here’s the heads-up on what is sure to be one heck of a headbangers’ ball. Encyclopedia Metallum refers to the music made by this trio as the “Holy Grail of thrash” and tuneage like “Offensive Release” and “The Buffalo Song” proves that “sweet, rippin’ jams” are still a thing. That plus guitarist and lead singer Todd Evans portrayed Gwar’s Beefcake the Mighty until 2008. Of course the dude uses Orange amps and cabinets. Duh. Metal maniacs Holocaustic, Destroy to Create and Undying Evil provide support for this trip into the abyss. Be there or burn up in the inferno whilst trying. 9pm • $8 advance, $10 door • 21+.
Casey Donahew is from Texas, often sings about Texas and is part of the Texas Country music movement. But now the dude’s gone worldwide, garnering two Top Ten albums in the past four years with recordings titled All Night Party and and One Light Town. You can catch this rising star—albeit for only a couple of hours, but hey stars are hot, you don’t wanna hang on for that long anyway—when he gigs at The Dirty Bourbon Dance Hall and Saloon (9800 Montgomery Blvd. NE Ste. 4) on Friday Jan. 17. As for Donahew’s work, let’s just say that it hews to traditional country tropes while employing that peculiar and persuasive big, jangly Tejas guitar sound that even fans en el Norte go crazy to hear. The Abe Mac Band opens. 7pm • $20 advance, $25 door • 21+.
The rapper Nelly, who in real life is known as Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., has a gig on Saturday night, Jan. 18 at the Showroom at Isleta Resort and Casino (11000 Broadway Blvd. SE). What’s notable about this Midwest hip-hop artist who came up in St. Louis at millennium's end lies in the rapper’s commitment to bringing a “Midwestern twang” to hip-hop nation. Records like Country Grammar and Nellyville certainly opened the field up to an expansive new patois emanating from mid-continent American cities and Nelly’s work with Tim McGraw in the aughts cemented his place as an American musical innovator. 8pm • $35 to $55 • 21+.
Nascar Aloe is from El Lay. He’s at Moonlight Lounge (120 Central Ave. SW) on Sunday, Jan. 19 with K Beach, Bob Vylan, Kids Next Door and Death Tour. Suffice to say he wears his hair in huge spikes, sometimes wears an MTV “Jackass” T-shirt and sings songs like “American Wasteland.” Oh, and the OG anarchy symbol is featured prominently on dude’s website. But this cat doesn’t play hardcore punk rock. His sound is more like glitchy trap or mildly atonal folk-rap accompanied by mind-blowing bass and a flow that is as crusty as it gets. I think he must also like Death Grips. A lot. Show up for this one, cabrones; if you’re old, it will blow your head up and if you’re young it’s yet another great grip of skate tunes for one to consider pre-ditch. 7:30pm • $12 • 13+.