Show Up!: I’m Music Play Me

Local Scene Strikes A Chord

August March
8 min read
IÕm Music Play Me
Quaker City Night Hawks (courtesy of the artist)
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“Just like a rollin’ stone/ I’m outside lookin’ in/ But if your chance came would you take it?/ Where on Earth do I begin … The world was spinning like a ball/ And then it wasn’t there at all.”—song fragments from track four of the album How Dare You! by seminal yachty, art popsters 10cc.

Hello, we’re calling you from the month of February where it’s just like spring but without all the greenery. Hopefully the growing of longer days will suffice. And so now that you’ve got that hibernation protocol mapped out, engaged and now—owing to a change of scenery perhaps—put away with the accouterments of Xmas, a show might be just the thing.

To lift your spirits, to lift spirits into the air with music, to play music that lifts like a bird or jet aeroplane—and to listen with airy awe—those are some potential outcomes here. But they may happen if you Show up!

And while we’re in the midst of urging action, I’m reminded that you all need a reminder about our yearly music readers’ poll,
Best of Burque Music. Well, in case you wanna know, you can vote for all that shizz right now at We’re in the nominating phase until Feb. 8, yo.

Show Up!: Thursday

Sleepspent courtesy of the artist
I am going to bet that Sleepspent gets their name from a song by Death Cab for Cutie from an album called Something About Airplanes. And it turns out, damn, I’m right, which happens to be quite a neat subtext about Gibbard’s band—who got their name from a song by The Bonzo Dog Band who made it big(ish) playing their song in a strip club whilst Ringo and John looked on. Sleepspent’s sound has a certain wistful sadness to it as well; just like Death Cab For Cutie, these new avatars of what was once loosely called emo have a tight handle grip on the pronunciation and musical expression that derives from painful personal insight and they’ll be gigging at Moonlight Lounge (120 Central Ave. SW) on Thursday, Jan. 31.

The driving yet diffuse experiences played out on their indie hit “California” are by turns jangly, propulsive and searching, while “Come Smile With Me” their next single, is a surprising musical narrative, complete with stunning bridges, minor key drones and ironic lyrics.

And those’re just the headliners. Local pop-punk heroes
Arcade Rivals are also on the bill. It’s clear from listening to this quartet that the term pop-punk—which refers to a much maligned yet still redeemable genre with dual foci in the OC and in Dayton, Ohio, has moments of rocked out glory too. How else would you categorize teary-teen rock epics like “Vanquished.” When emo met pop-punk, it got all cray, kids! Ceremonies open. All three of these sonic units require your direct observation to continue to exist in a quantum universe, so you had better go. 9pm • $5 • 21+.

Show Up!: Friday

If you heard that there was a band called the Quaker City Night Hawks, would you go see them? Vaguely familiar with the latest developments in the larger musical sub-universe known as Texas-style rocanrol, the construction of these seemingly disparate terms into a super-intriguing band name led us here at Alibi HQ to do some much needed research—lest we be cudgeled by letters discounting our very instrumentality as a critic.

Well, folks, it turns out the aforementioned is a band of three fellows from Ft. Worth who rock the fuck out all grits and garage-funk style,
como ZZ Top or the Edgar Winter Band. It’s a swaggering long-form jam sorta thing with an unrelenting back beat that is hard to master, but you just gotta hear it, ya hear? QCNH will be playing at The Cooperage (7220 Lomas Blvd. NE) on Friday, Feb. 1 and we suppose that’s appropriate because you can have a steak if you want while chewing on songs like “Mockingbird” or pondering the deeper blues references scattered throughout El Astronauta. Hot Club of Cowtown opens. 8pm • $17 in advance, $22 day of show • 21+.

Show Up!: Saturday

Dust City Opera courtesy of the artist
Just the name of this new band—a sort of supergroup of previously incarnate Albuquerque Americana outfits—should give listeners hope for a brighter, more twangy future in Burque now that giants like the Saltine Ramblers and The Porter Draw have all but vanished from the scene, whilst others like the Handsome Family and Pawn Drive, have gone big or been drawn large. In any case there’s aways new directions being forged in this estimable genre.

Anywho the band is called
Dust City Opera; do drop in and see what they have to offer the scene (which we think is a lot) when they throw a hootenanny of sorts at Tractor Brewing Wells Park (1800 Fourth Street NW) on Saturday, Feb. 2. It’s a place where one can evidently “get plowed” but not in the same sense or with the same equipment displayed at other Americana outlets, like Hee Haw, for example.

The ensemble project of local singer-songwriter Paul Hunton—and featuring the talents of Travis Rourk (trombone, trumpet, vocals), Clara Byom (accordion, clarinet keyboard), Jared Putnam ( guitar), Greg Williams (drums) and Justin McCauchlin (bass)—Dust City Opera’s sound is reminiscent of turn of the century Western America twisted into postmodernism by Putnams’s singular style and vision. Complimented with excellent playing and sometimes outrageously interesting arrangements, this could well be an indicator of progress for a burgeoning genre trapped behind the banjo and mandolin. This event marks the band’s first anniversary, so dang it, Show up! 8pm • FREE • 21+.

Show Up!: Monday

Vince Staples Andy Witchger
Can the world be a better place, can dogs stop barking ferociously and will the unborn chicken voices in my head finally disappear due to Vince Staples? I highly doubt it, but take into account the modifier being used.

No matter the perspective it’s true enough that Staples represents the forefront in Cali-made contemporary hip-hop and no you don’t need to listen to “Norf Norf” over and over to prove that to me or your peers back at the polyamorous love shack where such discourse inevitably leads. We’re comfortable admitting that Staples has it going on and
Big Fish Theory was just an ascendant prelude to the gorgeously art-damaged casual causality of FM!

If anything, Staples represents a lineage that has so potently and poetically evolved during the past 25 years as to be almost unrecognizable to its own progenitors. I can’t imagine how anyone in NWA could relate to this stuff, but see clearly how it couldn’t be if not for Snoop D-o-double-g. If you feel that then feel this. Vince Staples at
Sunshine Theater (120 Central Ave. SW) on Monday, Feb. 4. Hmm … feels like summer or a brand new tiger. 7pm • $31.50 to $131.50 • All-ages (13+).

Show Up!: Wednesday

Source courtesy of the artist
Here’s the hard rock update you have been waiting for, dear, rocked out, deaf to higher frequencies and happy to listen to anything with sizzling guitar solos readers. Okay toss complex instrumental passages and mythic sometimes Jungian imagery—via concisely pedantic lyrics—into that mix and I guarantee it will serve as an adequate preview of the show happening at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

This simmering prog-rock as granite gig features
Source, a stunning trio with incisive math-rock aesthetics cleverly buried in a blistering presentation that has more to do with Tool or A Perfect Circle than with just about anything else one might encounter on Pluto or any of the other metallic rocks floating around our sun. I happen to go for works like “Memories of Yesterday” where the finger work goes on and on forever against orchestral bulkheads built on the bass and drums.

Plus, they’ll be getting it on for the rock gods with local avatars of all that is contained outside this world,
Ashes of Jupiter. Weekly Alibi interviewed the dudes at Ashes last year and what has followed is certainly solid, as the band has grokked a form that is explosively contemplative, all about the rage and silence of the stars as expressed through searching vocals and sick licks. Post-prog purveyors Patema and Walls Within provide sanguine support. 9pm • $5 in advance, $8 at the door • 21+.


courtesy of the artist

Dust City Opera

courtesy of the artist

Vince Staples

Andy Witchger


courtesy of the artist

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