Now it’s March. On Sunday, while this column was being written, it was about 62 degrees outside. By the time you read this, in print or online, it will have grown warmer in these parts. During the approaching weekend, the highs will be in the low 70s.
Additionally, Daylight Savings Time commences on Sunday morning when 1am magically becomes 2am. That night-shortening spell will last until just after Halloween.
Those are both good reasons to go see a show this week. but here’s another. You have nothing to fear from the COVID-19 virus. As long as you don’t touch your face compulsively (like most humans do at least 3,000 times per day), wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with hot water and pure castile soap from Dr. Bronner’s and stay vigilant of the symptoms of those around you, everything should turn out just fine.
Also, warm weather tends to slow the transmission of many viruses and scientists hope that this is the case with mankind’s existential threat du jour. In the meantime, here are some public places you should visit joyfully as springtime approaches.
Thollem McDonas qualifies as a New Mexican cultural treasure because of what All About Jazz Magazine calls his “immense technique, boundless inspiration and highly focused artistic vision.” But, in a practical sense, such appellations don’t require repeated pronouncement: Hear this artist for yourself and you will know that the above is abundantly true. The man’s work speaks for itself. A frequent recitalist on both the Santa Fe and Albuquerque jazz scenes, McDonas performs at the Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale Blvd. SE)—solo and in a trio comprised of the pianist as well as bassist Carlos Santistevan and drummer Dave Wayne—on Thursday, March 5. Destined to be one of the premier jazz events in the Burque of 2020, this concert is bound to be both slyly sublime and beautifully brutal. 7:30pm • $10 to $15 • All-ages.
Def-i—a singularly artistically and musically significant hip-hop artist on the Albuquerque scene in the year 2020—hosts an album release party for his latest recorded work, an EP titled “Deserted Oceans,” at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) on Friday, March 6. Renowned for his active involvement in the local community as well as a fast-as-fire flow that will not stop its groovy interaction with multidimensional musical stylings no matter what, Def-i continues to spread a message of peace and love in a world that is increasingly complex and filled with tragedy. His rap sets out to confront all of that with hope and heavy beats. It succeeds to such a degree that you are bound to be dancing to his sound even as the world gets better and better. Special guests include Vel The Wonder, DDAT, T.R.3 and Endz. 8pm • $10 • 21+.
Despite it having been literally decades since the genre’s introduction into New Mexico popular music culture (sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s), reggae and ska are still very popular in the Duke City. For evidence of that, just think back to the last Big Spank show that went down here in El Duque. Or, for that matter, any number of recent Revíva gigs. And now, apparently, it’s all about that SharkSuit. That’s right, those up beat-playing maniacs in the shark masks (aka Alex Wilhite, Beau Kneaus, Matt Whitley and Nick Anderson) are back on the prowl with a new EP titled “Saturn’s Return.” They’ll be celebrating the release with one heck of a hootenanny at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Friday, March 6. Joining them live and onstage will be some of this town’s top rockers, like Crazyfool, Shrewd,Good Green and DJ Buddhafunk. Out of the water, now, swimmers! 8pm • $10-$15 • 21+.
There’s yet more tasty, tested and true local rock music to be had on Saturday, March 7. That’s when Full Speed Veronica (a stalwart of both Burque and Santa’s rock scenes, a rare combination, to be sure) plays a farewell gig at Moonlight Lounge (120 Central Ave. SW). The night before, they’re doing a combination farewell show and album release party for their latest EP up en el Norte. We’re not sure what’s up, but this band has certainly earned more than a casual listen. Their music combines dreamy indie currents with torrents of rocked-out angst and melodic mastery, too. You can catch them one more time with The Ordinary Things, Sweet Nothin’ and Sunbender. 8pm • $8 • 21+.
Robyn Hitchcock makes an appearance and plays some of his more interesting work on Sunday, March 8 at Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale Blvd. SE)—where you started out this week’s listening session, if you’ve followed along with our preview column suggestions. Hitchcock, one of the invaluable progenitors of the entire phenomenon known as alt.rock, has made a life in music telling plangent tales in an authentic vernacular that some have compared to Dylan. Hitchcock also likes to rock, is as dark as a winter night on the bottom of the Atlantic and digs psychedelia, too, man. Be there or be square. 7:30pm • $38-$43 • All-ages.