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Spankin’ Saturday Night

Spankin’ Saturday Night

The Big Spank puts on a phenomenal show, some of the best Albuquerque have to offer. As opposed to the typical head-bobbing monotony, fans actually dance and whoop at these gigs.


The Big Spank: Spankin’ Saturday Night


Iconic local outfit The Big Spank is back, and they’re hosting a release party for their latest, final album “Ese Gallo” on Saturday, Jan. 30, at Launchpad (618 Central SW).

While supplies last, the group will give out their new and last album to anyone who walks in. This is a sign of gratitude to the fans who’ve supported The Big Spank throughout 17 years together.

Since the group’s conception, members Mike Garcia, Javier Sandoval, Chris Tickner, Retzen and Bert Lujan have worked up an entirely new sound compared to their early days of ska and skanking; see their first two albums, “Waiting for Retzen” and “Random Acts of Spank.”

The band amassed a massive local following in the aughts. Their shows were some of the best Albuquerque had to offer. As opposed to the typical head-bobbing monotony, fans actually danced and whooped at these gigs. The Big Spank puts on a phenomenal show.

In contrast to The Big Spank’s three previous albums, their new sound is an amalgam of the soundtrack to Spanish-language drinking and dancing, newer influences and their ska heritage. It sounds like an affectionate ode to New Mexico.

Accordions, horns and acoustic drums populate their new tracks. Suggestions of genres like flamenco, gypsy punk and música norteña result in a fun, upbeat album. On hiatus for the past several years with shows once in a blue moon frontman Mike Garcia couldn’t resist his Burqueño roots and moved back to town to focus on music. “We love our Burque fans,” Garcia says. “They are the best out of everywhere we’ve been.”

Garcia only used an acoustic nylon-stringed guitar on the new album, but the usual lighthearted love verses, clever quips and evocative beats will tempt anyone within hearing range to dance. The distinct cover art for “Ese Gallo,” which translates as “that rooster,” is courtesy of “El Machete” comic artist Eric J. Garcia; his boldly rendered bleeding corazons, Zia symbols and sultry bombshells ostensibly rep Garcia’s Southwestern and Hispanic culture.

Come hear their long-awaited final and comeback album live. While this is The Big Spank’s final album, the band will still play local shows and nearby tour dates, but Garcia says he personally hopes the band will make it to their 20-year anniversary.

This all-ages show starts at 8 p.m., and admission is $8 at the door. Other bands on the evening’s lineup include Mondo Vibrations, Burque Sol and Pawn Shop Poster Boys. After midnight, the venue goes ages 21-plus with The Dirty Shades. For more deets, visit launchpadrocks.com.


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Rene Thompson is a staff reporter at ABQ Free Press. Email her at rene@freeabq.com.

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M. Brianna Stallings makes words work.

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