Bells of St. Mary’s
The next week shapes up as a big one for the White Rabbit. In addition to hosting the odious but extremely popular Chris “Don’t Call Me Vin” Daughtry on February 27, they’ll bring in alt-rock heroes Sparta the following night.
Sparta formed when El Paso’s At the Drive-In disintegrated in 2001 and split into two factions. The other faction, the Mars Volta, has earned more critical praise (and more venom), but Sparta has weathered personal and musical crises to record three studio albums, an EP, and a live album recorded at Austin’s La Zona Rosa. They’re currently plugging Threes, an album released last October on Hollywood Records.
Up the street from the Sparta show, on that same night, the Godfather of Soul will get a proper, if slightly belated, SA sendoff when Suzy & the Soul Revue dedicate their Limelight show to playing the music of James Brown. The gig will be christened with a turntable set from DJ JJ Lopez, one of the city’s foremost champions of brilliant, obscure soul vinyl. Lopez’s set at Limelight’s February 10 soul blowout with Gonsemble was a model of groove manipulation. Expect the same on February 28.
Fans of former San Antonio (and current SoCal) artist Vincent Valdez will want to check out My Name is Buddy, the latest album by slide-guitar legend — and Buena Vista Social Club star — Ry Cooder. Valdez designed the concept album’s feline cover and illustrated its elaborate booklet, and the results will be instantly familiar to locals conversant with Valdez’s previous work. My Name is Buddy will be available on Nonesuch/
Perro Verde Records on March 6.
— Gilbert Garcia