“This place has everything” is the way one of the lines of poetry went, one of the proto-rap lyrics that Jim Morrison wrote about his brief stay in Albuquerque. Now it’s a phrase that meanders into a vast allatonceness much like the surrounding desert—winding its way through the American pop culture landscape, slithering as it passes. That vast environment is home to a mighty, multi-tentacled musical culture too. Here we have all the flavors and just everyone on the scene is one step away from a past, present or future that is about making music in this town damn good. I could be in your band. You could be in mine. I’ll come to your show if you come to mine. Or any variation thereof. Any way you look at it, these songs are the story of Albuquerque, a thing you can also hear at night by the light of the moon, here and there—near to the river far from it where mountains loom.
Show Up!: Friday Part I
Random notes on popular music, late summer, 2018: If you have to ask me about Eclair Fifi one more goddamned time, then no trip to the starry black infinity after show party for you, bucko. She’ll be in concert on Friday, Aug. 24 at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW). More precisely, the type of music generated by Clair Stirling—under the aegis of an arhat ardently using turntables, samplers and more modern equipment like Audio Technica ATH-M60x monitor headphones and a lot of virtually positioned twisty nobs—is by turns haunted and haunting. With roots in the Chicago variety of house buried deep in her brain, you’ll come away pulsating like a bad ghost too. There may be small tubular containers of bass drifting through the air. Let them pass through you. 8pm • $10 • 21+.
Show Up!: Friday Part Ii
Ron Crowdercourtesy of the artist
Burque’s music scene is fluid and travels a myriad of channels looking for an outlet to the sea. From rock clubs to jazz or chamber music-centered auditoriums and amphitheaters to simple and elaborate recording studios scattered here and there along the Rio Grande, all sorts of musicians make all sorts of livings practicing and playing—producing one of the most varied scenes in the US. Among those who dwell mostly in the studio, a certain subculture is devoted to disseminating pop culture tropes on demand. Ron Crowder, unpuro local, from the city of gold, no less—Addy award-winning composer of music for TV, radio and film, will be celebrating the release of his first CD, Liberty at The Range Café (925 S. Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo) on Friday, Aug. 24. Crowder creates witty, craft-anchored rock with informed, cross-genre flourishes, á la Newman or Zevon. Definitely worth a trip to Burn-a-leño for something totally different than what you’d expect to hear in the high desert. 7pm • FREE • All-ages.
Show Up!: Saturday
The myth of rock music coming into glorious focus and triumph—the source of much satisfaction, on Saturday nights—is not just a myth propagated by Bob Dylan, Elton John, KISS and the Bay City Rollers. The rocanrol gets totally serious—if I’m to judge by the insouciant skeletons inhabiting poster I just saw—on Saturday night, Aug. 25 when Crushed!? hosts a record release and tour kickoff party at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW). As the hard rock scene in Burque has shifted into high gear these last three years, Crushed!? have been part of a new wave that have been crushing it, here and abroad. Thanks Orange Whip Records! Joining them for the fun—besides you, okay?—are local hard-charging, heartfelt heroes Rock Jong Il,Sleepy Hero and Shitty and the Terribles—who are really just the opposite, if you really think about it—open. 9pm • $5 • 21+.
Show Up!: Sunday
Rooneycourtesy of the artist
Note to self: Meow Wolf is getting better at booking shows by the maximalist pop-flavored electro-rock ensembles that are au currant with the 15 to 25 demographic. The Flaming Lips, a bunch of dudes my age and from my neck of the woods—i.e. the ancient Southwest punk rock road stretching from OKC to ABQ and thence to PHX and the fabled coast, where giants dwelt in the north woods, it was believed—seemed to hit it off well with the young ones, with their sparkles, bells, balloons and stuffed animals, up in Taos a couple of weeks ago. Next on the list, Rooney at Meow Wolf (1352 Rufina Circle) in Santa Fe on Sunday, Aug. 26. Robert Schwartzman, the brains behind Rooney is some type of visionary, that’s for sure. Just ask Ric Ocasek or Rivers Cuomo. The multi-instrumentalist has been working musical magic as at least part of the band for almost 20 years, so he’s not a young thing—but like the Lips, the exuberance and optimistically psych-stained tone of his work appeals to the young ones. There’s a recent album, Washed Away, that is delirious but sometimes deep, by the way. 7pm • $15 to $85 • All-ages.
Show Up!: Tuesday
Blackaliciouscourtesy of the artist
If I threw all of August’s show into a churning cauldron and then drew one out without melting my flesh away so that it would become part of that melodious soup, I am pretty damn sure this is the one I would draw out. Blackalicious, that is Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel, are making an appearance and giving a concert at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Tuesday, Aug. 28. This may not be your last opportunity to grok the febrile fruit of rocanrol’s successor, but it will surely be one to rock your world into something blazingly hot and bright, in coicidence with the end of summer itself. Get this: It’s the next logical progression! Blackalicious is one of the funked out flavors where alt.hip-hop began, all jazzy, bumped out, multisyllabic and mysterious. Disclosure: I totally dig this shit. Check out “Make You Feel That Way” or “40oz for Breakfast.” Or better yet, Show up! Def-I, Saywut!? and Speed One open. 9pm • $15 • 21+.