Four Up: Boo-Wop, Gothic Ball, Blues-Rock And Electro-Punk

Boo-Wop And Twang

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Seattleite quartet La Luz emanates peerless haunted surf. The band self-released stellar debut EP Damp Face in 2012. The act’s now signed to rarefied indie label Hardly Art, and garage/pop-centric microlabel Burger Records reissued its five rays of sound on limited-edition cassette. If greatness is measured by response to adversity, La Luz lives up to their lofty moniker. On Nov. 5, 2013, Abbey Blackwell, Shana Cleveland, Marian Li Pino and Alice Sandahl’s tour van collided with a semi en route from Boise to Seattle, and all members sustained injuries and had their equipment destroyed and vehicle totalled. The band issued a statement post-crisis: “We lost a lot of things … and got pretty banged up when we were hit by a semi on our way to Seattle last night, but we’re just awfully glad to be alive, and we’ll be back on our feet in no time.” And they’re women of their word. See the light at Sister (407 Central NW) on Thursday, Jan. 30, along with surf noir stalwart Phantom Lake and pub-punk fivesome Get Action. Think 21-and-over beach blanket bingo with Musidora, Louise Brooks and Mike Watt. The eerie twang revs up at 10pm, and five bucks gets you in.

Four Up Winter Ball Gothique
Find a willing assistant to relace your favorite corset and dust off your parasol for the 10th annual Gothic Winter Ball at Sister (407 Central NW). The suggested costuming is “formal attire with a Gothic [aka Elizabethan or Victorian] aesthetic,” but semiformal or whatever your version of “fancy” is will do nicely. Pro-tip: When doing Gothic eyeliner, use the black kohl kind, and lay it on thick. Think Siouxsie Sioux or The Craft’s Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk). Alternately rock basic black, a top hat, an under-Eye of Horus swirl of kohl and a silver ankh à la Death from The Sandman, and you’re set. DJs K. Oss, Dammerung and Brad Cole will spin everything from The Sisters of Mercy to Tones on Tail to KMFDM to Echo & the Bunnymen and so on … and on. Black Widow Cabal’s Charlie Carnall and Missy Minerva bring the burlesque. Get dressed up, and rock the photo booth and dance floor on Saturday, Feb. 1, starting at 9pm. Tickets are $10 and sorry, young darklings, this one’s 21-plus.

Four Up High Desert Blues-Rock

Todd Tijerina Courtesy of artist
Todd Tijerina Band is Burqueño by way of Chicago. The award-winning blues, funk, jazz and roots-rock trio is a veteran of the who’s-who of annual music fests. Singer-songwriter, guitarist and namesake Tijerina wrote a song about voting rights, titled “Get in Line,” that won a Southwestern Chapter of the ACLU of New Mexico songwriting competition in 2012. Tijerina’s recent compositions mirror that focus on social issues. Two such songs are “Tax Breaks for the Rich” and “Who Tells the Story?” A seasoned session guitarist, Tijerina and bandmates Donnie Frank (bass, vocals) and Dave Heidt (drums, vocals) perform two free, all-ages library concerts in our burg this week. On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the band plays a noon gig at Juan Tabo Library (3407 Juan Tabo NE). And on Thursday, Feb. 6, at noon, you’ll find them jamming out at the South Valley Library (3904 Isleta SW). For more info on these Friends for the Public Library concerts, visit

Four Up Electro-Punk Improv

Crooks on Tape Courtesy of artist
Remember late-’90s/early-aughts experimental rock band Enon? From their debut full-length Believo! in 1999 to their final release Grass Geysers…Carbon Cloud in ’07, their catalog has been in heavy rotation on many a stereo. Two founding members of Enon, prime mover John Schmersal (ex-Brainiac) and Rick Lee (ex-Skeleton Key), along with a fellow named Joey Galvan—who is either an ex-Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash identity prankster or the alter ego of Joey Belladonna, and the former seems assured—comprise newish trio Crooks on Tape. The group released their debut album, Fingerprint, on Misra Records on Oct. 22, 2013. Critical response to Fingerprint has been mixed, but if you dug Enon, this outsider, improv-spirited psych-pop/electro-punk band is worth taking a chance on. Find out for yourself whether Schmersal’s third act just might be his finest on Thursday, Feb. 6, at Launchpad (618 Central SW). This 21-plus dance party starts at 9:30pm, and tickets are $7.

La Luz

Angel Ceballos

Todd Tijerina

Courtesy of artist

Crooks on Tape

Courtesy of artist

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