Show Up!: Secretly, A Cool Place To Live

Diverse Scene Makes The Case

August March
6 min read
Secretly, a Cool Place to Live
Thollem/Nakatani/Doneda/Weaver (Courtesy of the artists)
Share ::

“Got me on the porch, I’m in the front row/ Says "shit’s for real man" like I don’t know/ Get your punk ass back to the dog show/ Makin’ time breakin’ ground/ Sail brown bay to chocolate town/ A new breath, I feel the grip releasin’/ Scraping my guts off of the ceiling/ I’ve got that sunny bunny feeling/ Makin’ time, breakin’ ground/ Sail brown bay to chocolate town/ Makin’ time, breakin’ ground/ Greyhound bus to chocolate town” – “Chocolate Town” by
Ween, from the album Quebec.

Last month,
Huffington Post named Albuquerque one of “5 secretly cool cities where you can get in on the ground floor,” summarizing that choice by referring to “authentic Southwest culture by the bucketful” as one of the enduring and alluring aspects of the Duke City. Well folks, what’s true in the macrocosm is often repeated at smaller but no less intricate levels of cultural geometry. The music scene here is indeed a diverse assemblage of sounds and influences all with an underlying Southwest flavor that can by measures be piquant, powerful and provocative. This week’s concert preview choices are squarely aimed at the proposition; so follow on and learn the cool secrets seemingly sought here, under the cottonwoods, by the mountains, at the river’s edge.

Show Up!: Friday

Located in the historic East San Jose neighborhood, Tortuga Gallery (901 Edith SE) has played an integral part in shaping the recent (like within the past four years) ascendance of independent arts and music communities within the city. Along with venues like Tannex and Small Engine Gallery, Tortuga gives great outlet to the burgeoning (they must be graduating a lot of MFAs at UNM lately) avant-garde of Albuquerque. Friday, Nov. 20, the joint hosts a concert by the Michel Doneda-Tatsuya Nakatani Duo. Saxophonist Doneda and percussionist Nakatani combine to create cacophonies of sonic utterance, chaotic glimpses of the space around us.

Thollem Electric and Mark Weaver will provide support for this trans-spatial performance, each playing a set of music from their current work. Thollem McDonas, the visionary pianist at the heart of Thollem Electric, makes his home in Alcalde, N.M. He began his dialogue with the piano as an interpreter of the classical repertoire but evolved through jazz into intense experimentalism. That fearless aesthetic now includes performances involving the electrification of the piano and subsequent studies into the percussive and melodic possibilities contained therein. Weaver, meanwhile continues to bring the darkly resonant tones of the tuba to the fore of local musical experience, using jazz inflections and postmodern sensibilities as a guide. This recital begins at 8pm and admission is $10 at the door.

Show Up!: Saturday

Orquesta Tejana is a folk sound that came out of southwest Texas in the 1930s. When la Onda Chicana conquered the Southwest, bands like Little Joe y la Familia were on the front lines of the revolution. Adding a fair measure of ranchero stylings and country-rock flourishes to the mix, bandleader Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez is responsible for developing a genre that became muy popular in these parts, influencing and encouraging locals such as Tiny Morrie and Al Hurricane to take their hybridized yet traditional tuneage to the next level. Little Joe y La Familia will be playing at the Showroom at Isleta Casino (11000 Broadway SE) on Saturday, Nov. 21. Tex-Mex influences aside, Hernandez’ time in the Bay Area and consequent exposure to that toothsome musical scene continues to shape a sound that surprises with complex rhythms and bluesy electric guitar flourishes that only add to La Familia’s deliriously danceable concoctions. This is a 21+ concert with general admission seating that costs $30. Little Joe y La Familia take the stage at 7pm.

Show Up!: Sunday

Hyperlocal, with plans for global domination being formulated as this preview goes to press, Ocotillo Records, fronted by Joe Cardillo (The Scrams, Terri Shiavo Dance Party) and designer Gina Pomponio, partner with Tractor Brewing Wells Park (1800 Fourth Street NW) on Sunday, Nov. 22, for an evening meant to illuminate a nascent label and the awesome recording artists in its coterie. Star Canyon, the experimental solo project turned post-goth/ambient ensemble of Cecilia McKinnon and company shares the bill with dark folklorist and guitar-master AJ Woods and the blues-driven, rattling declamations of Italian Rats, a post-rock outfit that features ex-Fort Hobo guitarist Adrian Toto. Like the desert that surrounds this humble burg, expect spare, stark and sometimes plangent musical excursions into a windswept landscape of sound dominated by acoustic formality and lyrical yearning from these three formidable local outfits. This show is free for those 21+ and the trip out to dry but beckoning land begins at 6pm.

Show Up!: Monday

Grindcore. Post-black metal. Doom. Blackened progressive metal. These pulsating, Plutonic and sometimes suppurative subgenres will be available for your perusal—through the kind folks over at Launchpad (618 Central SW)—on Monday, Nov. 23, when Maruta brings their Road Remains Dystopian Tour to the midst of the desert desolation known to headbangers and heshers as Albuquerque, N.M. Maruta, a quartet of lads outta Miami, Fla. is committed to destroying millions of eardrums with their growling, war-like epiphanies, while those supporting their latest efforts—namely New Hampshire’s premier post-metal adherents Vattnet Viskar—plan to fill their audiences with a frenzied sense of dread borne out in epic, brain-stunning songs like “Intention Oblivion” and “Barren Earth.” Dense, dark, avant-thrash Santa Fe minions of Old Scratch Torn Between Worlds are also featured. Check out “The Chasm of Rejection” for indications of how dangerously deep metal can sink into the earth.

Albuquerque’s own evil and icily chopped out
Iceolus, including members of Roñoso and Fukrot open the show. Here, the doors to the underworld fall back at 8pm; an encounter with doom occurs at 9pm. This is a 21+ gig and tickets to the dark carnival cost $10.

Show Up!:

Albuquerque is secretly cool, according to media experts. It’s a helluva lot better than Chocolate Town, that’s for sure. And going to any of these shows, or the ones mentioned in our fantastic music calendar for that matter, makes for no secret at all; Burque’s got more than enough sound to go around, for real.

Courtesy of the Artists

1 2 3 316