Causes For Celebration: Five Festive Gigs That Engender Joy

Five Festive Gigs That Engender Joy

August March
6 min read
Causes for Celebration
From left, John 00 Fleming & Christopher Lawrence and Mariachi Aztlán
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“Lather was 30 years old today/ And Lather came foam from his tongue/ He looked at me, eyes wide, and plainly said/ Is it true that I’m no longer young?/ And the children call him famous/ what the old men call insane/ And sometimes he’s so nameless/ that he hardly knows which game to play/ Which words to say/ And I should have told him, ‘No, you’re not old.’”—“Lather,” the opening track from Crown of Creation by Jefferson Airplane

Readers who wonder about the relevance of this week’s lyrical introduction will be mighty pleased to know that you’re never too old to rock out … even if your peers at the bank or in the Army think you’re insane for still banging your head, cramming drumsticks into your nasal passages or otherwise deriving pleasure from the awesome musical offerings on deck this coming week in the Duke City. And you don’t need an airplane either, just a warm car and some pre-winter moxie to get you there.

Show Up! Friday

From left, John 00 Fleming & Christopher Lawrence Courtesy of the artists
Begin your trip into the scene on Friday, Dec. 12, with EDM at The Stage at Santa Ana Star Casino (54 Jemez Dam Rd., Bernalillo) with a performance by wired wizards Fleming and Lawrence. Renowned DJs John 00 Fleming, from the UK, and Christopher Lawrence, stateside, are putting the underground back in the electro realm, touring as an act that includes massive, tranced-out four-to-eight hour sets of the grooviest ghostlike emanations known on Earth.

Purveyors of progressive house, Fleming and Lawrence have toured with their new take on electronic dance music all over said planet, recently guesting at the UK’s global gathering, Canada’s Boonstock Festival and Coma in Beirut. If you care to experience their Burn-a-leño moment, you need to be at least 21. Tickets cost between $10 and $20, and the underground erupts at

Show Up! Friday

Death DTA Courtesy of artist
I totally get it if electro is not your thing. If that’s the case, you can always jet over to Launchpad (618 Central SW) for death metal and thrash at the Swamp Leper Stomp on Friday night. Technical metal outfit Death DTA features members of seminal ’80s band Death paying eternal tribute to holy metal man Chuck Schuldiner. This concert practically guarantees you the chance to forget your age, your name and any games you may have considered in lieu of attendance.

Joining the night’s plutonium-fueled circus, local blackened thrash artists
Torture Victim, Suspended and Impaled Offering share the bill. Each of these dark ensembles gives proof to the hypothesis that Burque is, after all, a heavy metallic town replete with awesome riffage, tuned-down guitars and brutal rhythm sections. This all-ages show will cost you 20 bones, but entrance to the mosh pit is free … if you dare. Doors are at 8pm, and the crushing darkness begins to envelop one just a half-hour later, at 8:30pm.

Show Up! Saturday

Mariachi Aztlán Courtesy of the artists
Burque’s very own Mariachi Christmas takes wing at Popejoy Hall (203 Cornell NE) on Saturday, Dec. 13. Now in its 16th year, this year’s iteration comprises the conspicuous talents of Texas outfits Mariachi Aztlán and Ballet Folklórico Paso del Norte.

Mariachi Aztlán has focused on the traditional yet daringly innovative genre of horn-infused, string-soaked and polka-influenced Hispanic dance music for going on 30 years; unlike Lather, they don’t need to be concerned about relevance, as their music is as timeless as it is touching and tuneful.

Ballet Folklórico Paso del Norte adds color, fecundity and gravitas to the performance with stirring, hypnotic dance accompaniments that come straight from the heart of Tejas. Tickets range in price from $20 to $39. The curtain rises at 8pm.

Show Up! Sunday

Nico Kaiser
On Sunday, Dec. 14, Chatter ABQ at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) isn’t rock, it’s Bach. But it will rock out nevertheless as the featured performers include violist Guillermo Figueroa and pianist Pamela Viktoria Pyle. Figueroa is well-known as a conductor and instrumentalist. In the former capacity he’s held the baton at NMSO as well as at orchestras in Spain and Chile. As a performer his Juilliard-developed chops give the dude a superlative command of string literature. Pyle, another product of Juilliard, is on the faculty at UNM and brings a powerful percussive prowess to the keyboard.

Figueroa will be interpreting Bach’s profound yet dream-like baroque masterpiece
Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied viola. Together, the duo tackles the work of modernist romantic Frank Bridge, a violist and composer who tutored Benjamin Britten and whose compositional harmonics were influenced by Ravel. They’ll also be performing the work of the famous Viennese violinist Fritz Kreisler. The recital begins with a poetry reading by Melisa Garcia. Tickets range in price from $5 to $15, and the concert commences at 10:30am.

Show Up! Tuesday

Cosmonauts Courtesy of artist
Califas is on my mind as I write this week’s Show Up! (see numerous Jefferson Airplane references above), and it’s only fitting that I mention Cosmonauts, a pysch-driven, jangly garage band from Fullerton. They’ll play Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Tuesday, Dec. 16. Though poptastic in a classic SoCal sense, they’re capable of some heady heaviness as well, as the tune “Wear Your Hair Like a Weapon” from their recording Persona Non Grata demonstrates. Overall their sound is reminiscent of Syd-driven Floyd bound up with the sounds and sentiments of early Camper Van Beethoven, which is, like, totally fine.

Local shoegazing angels
Holy Glories and Sun Dog open a show that may actually be a portal into another dimension wherein time, space and reason can momentarily be displaced by fantastic and sometimes frenzied visions of what would otherwise remain nameless and nocturnal. This 21-plus, wide-eyed trip into the tripped-out begins at 9:30pm, and advocates for your temporal displacement suggest a $5 donation at the door.

Show Up!

So, no, you’re not old. Or insane. All you really need is some music in your life—that and a copy of Crown of Creation. I’m pretty sure both of those items are available here in Burque, though Lather has probably moved on to other games, sabes?
Causes for Celebration

From left, John 00 Fleming & Christopher Lawrence

Courtesy of the artists

Death DTA

Courtesy of artist

Mariachi Aztlán

Courtesy of the artists


Courtesy of artist

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