A week on the scene
KSYM 90.1 FM and Sam's Burger Joint join forces this weekend for the radio station's 7th annual "Alternative to Hunger" canned-food/turkey drive. The lineup includes six Texas bands, including locals Hyperbubble, Hearts Fail, Red Reverse, and Character Flaw, as well as Denton's Treewave and Austin's Black B4 Red. Cost of admission is five dollars or five cans of food. A frozen turkey gets in five people. The benefit show is scheduled for Saturday, November 20 at Sam's (330 E. Grayson). Showtime is 7 p.m.
On Saturday, November 13, Luna, the city's finest jazz venue, celebrated its first anniversary with a performance by Torch. It was a low-key commemoration in keeping with the spirit of the club, which has consistently emphasized music over glitz and spectacle. Nonetheless, it's an occasion worth celebrating by local music fans, considering the inevitable challenge of running a smoke-free venue designed for maximum comfort and sonic clarity.
Feeding the monster
One of the most fascinating things about the recent Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster is the fact that a project which began as a tool to promote a new Metallica album ended up exposing so much sensitive-guy vulnerability that it had the potential to forever scare off the band's hardline, heavy-metal base.
In fact, the film seems to have done the opposite, revivifying Metallica by making them reality-show - albeit big-screen reality show - fodder. Amazingly, given the hostility between founding members Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield seen in Monster, band relations also appear to be better than ever. The new, therapy-speak Metallica will be at SBC Center on Saturday, November 20 with Godsmack. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets range from $56.35-76.35.
In a grisly coincidence, Troy Kunkle, a San Antonian who fatally shot and robbed a man in Corpus Christi 20 years ago while chanting the Metallica song "No Remorse," is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, November 18. Kunkle's devotion to the band's dark, early work was so extreme and irrational that he reportedly once played air guitar to Metallica's Kill 'Em All album during a court hearing to determine the music's relevance to the case.
Los Angeles Azules bring their Ay, que romántico! brassy cumbia sound, tinged with those grace notes of sadness and longing, to Noche Caliente on Friday, November 19, as part of their tour in support of their recently released Nunca te Olvidaré. A little over a year ago the long running group - known for melodic, melancholic ballads like "El listón de tu pelo," "Sin ti no se vivir," and "Como te voy a olvidar" - experienced a torn-from-today's-headlines tragedy when the wife of the group's leader was kidnapped.
Although the incident had a peaceful resolution, the family-based band is still reeling from the shock (reportedly, they no longer perform at home). While this hasn't had a noticeable effect on their music (at least on the surface), in light of recent events their love songs carry a poignant twist, a reminder of how temporal our lives are.