False spring is one of the things they call the month of February here in New Mexico. Certainly there will be sunny days and the temperatures will sometimes hover just above the 60 degree mark. There may even be a bird or two that comes chirrup to your bedroom window just before sunrise.
But it’s still winter. There will be days when one has no choice but to turn the heat up, grab another blanket from the cedar chest and take your coffee hot, thank you.
But in those last days of winter, even as March itself approaches, you can also go see a show. At the show, it’s possible to forget all about those things called seasons, false or not. All you have to do is show up.
How’s this for a supercharged, rocking hip-hop fest: The SRH Mini Fest 2020 hits the Sunshine Theater (120 Central Ave. SW) on Thursday, Feb. 27 and the place will be jumping to the “psychedelic hip-hop punk rock” sounds of Orange County’s own Kottonmouth Kings. As Saint Dog, D-Loc and Johnny Richter blow your mind with songs from records like High Society, listeners can also brace themselves for too-hot sets by G-punk, reggae-influenced all-stars (Hed) PE featuring MC Underdog. Philly’s newest raptastic singer-songwriter Whitney Peyton fills out the touring portion of the night’s entertainment and The Riddims, one of Burque’s triumphant answers to the New Mexico reggae sound, opens. 8pm • $22 • 13+.
Back in the mid to late 1970s, R&B and funk masters The Commodores, then led by some cool cat named Lionel Richie, broke out into the wider pop music of American audiences on the strength of tunes like “Brick House” and “Three Times a Lady.” In many ways, their ascent marked the first sign that rock and roll was about to be overtaken (forever) by the same forces driving hip-hop nation. Music made by African Americans has always been an important source for our national brand of music; the Commodores made sure that America knew where that place in space was. The core trio of the band, Walter "Clyde" Orange, James Dean "J.D." Nicholas, and William "Wak" King, are still on tour and will perform live at The Showroom at Isleta Casino (11000 Broadway Blvd. SE) on Friday, Feb. 28. Thank God it’s Friday! 8pm • $30 to $50 • 21+.
Saintseneca, a folk-punk band from Ohio, performs at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) on Friday, Feb. 28. They’re touring on the strength of tour de force releasePillar of Na, an aurally intensive work that makes allusions to the ancient Biblical tale of Lot but with a personal twist that examines the life and musical work of bandleader Zac Little. Little’s explorations in this case are hard-driven punk proclamations imbued with ancient musical turns of phrase and the vernacular of today’s restless, forward-moving youth. Saintseneca’s sound can be overwhelmingly beautiful and bravely brutal all at once; this show might even introduce something new and blindingly ephemeral to those who attend what is as much like a strummed seance as it is a pounding encounter with the other. 8pm • $5 • 21+.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) presents Carnaval Latino 2020. This special, highly danceable evening of the best in local and regional Latinx jams features local lords of the dance Baracutanga—check out our exclusive interview with Baracutanga from last summer—headlining a Carnaval-themed leap-night bill that also features Phoenix, Ariz. cumbia fusion experts Las Calakas and DJ Pancho A. Quiñones. In places like Albuquerque—not to mention the rest of the world—and particularly in the highly influential musical hot-spot known in today’s parlance as “Califas,” the highly infectious, solidly rhythmic and massively multi-melodic sounds of Latinx music are taking over where rock and roll left off. Get tickets to this show before it sells out to find out why. 8pm • $10 • 21+.
Adam Hooks fronts a very popular Albuquerque band known as Russian Girlfriends. They’re one of the best authentic, straight-up, Midwest American-flavored punk rock bands currently on the scene. Hooks also has a notable side project. It’s called Adam Hooks & His Hangups and they are a trio that consists of Hooks, Brad Colson and Sam Nesbitt. The group plays a gig at Steel Bender Brewyard (8305 Second Street NW) on Tuesday, March 3. Hooks’ outfit plays a sort of Americana that melds rock influences with passionate acoustic playing and an indie sensibility that has listeners rocking out until early in the morning. These dudes have it all, from Hooks’ noisy guitar noodling and tasty vocals to Nesbitt’s propulsive drumming. It’s garage-punk; it’s the purest in American music. Somewhere, most of The Replacements are smiling or just hoping to join in on a fantastic rock and roll time. 6pm • Free • 21+.