By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
When Albert Hammond Jr. was booked to play the Crescent Ballroom’s Flying Burrito Music and Food Festival, The Strokes’ guitarist/keyboardist got an earful.
“I have a bunch of (social media) comments about how amazing those combos are,” he says with a laugh. “I’m on the Carne Asada stage. How can you not be excited about playing music and eating a burrito?”
The festival will serve as a release party for Hammond’s album Francis Trouble, which becomes available March 9.
Francis Trouble explores the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects it had in his life and music. In November 1979, Hammond Jr.’s mother, Claudia, miscarried. Although they rushed to the hospital, Claudia and Albert Hammond Sr. were told that the baby was far too premature to live. Albert continued to grow inside of his mother undetected until she was nearly six months pregnant.
He knew about the tragedy, but hadn’t heard, until he was 36, that part of Francis remained behind in the womb and was born alongside him – a fingernail. Working within this mentality, Hammond Jr. created Francis Trouble. Hammond is excited for the world to hear it on Friday, March 9.
“I am speechless about my album coming out,” he says. “I opened for the Killers and played four or five of the new ones. The reaction from a crowd who didn’t know me or my new songs was amazing. It’s going to be a narrative-changing record.”
He’s referring to his job description. For years, his name was paired with “guitarist from The Strokes.” Now, he’s taking on a new role as lead singer/frontman of his solo run, a prospect he’s enjoying. But Hammond’s true mission is to share Francis’ story.
“The loss is sad, but I knew about the loss since I was younger,” Hammond says. “What was so fascinating was how it tied in with the work I had already been doing. My show will be a good time, though. I have a gaggle of great songs and I’m entertaining. Giving this away is like when they play the preview nd you feel like you saw the whole movie.
“It’s nothing like that. You will have a great time and hope you leave with something touching you in some way—hopefully it’s not the person next to you.”
Flying Burrito Festival, Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, crescentphx.com, 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12, $12-$27
Flying Burrito Festival Info
Second Avenue and the Crescent Ballroom will be transformed into a live music and burrito haven with four stages housing 25 bands. Samples and full burritos will be available from vendors like Ladera Taverna Y Cocina, AXA-MEX, Mi Salsa, Hummus Xpress, Elote Man, Left Coast Burrito Co., Different Smoke Barbecue, Frijolitos Mobile Coffee, Two Fat Guys Grilled Cheese, Cocina 10, Flaying Hawaiian, and others.
Carne Asada Stage
– Albert Hammond Jr.
– The Frights
– No Age
– La Luz
– The Buttertones
– De Lux
– Haunted Summer
Bean & Cheese Stage
– U.S. Girls
– Current Joy
– Bear State
Al Pastor Stage
– Vox Urbana
– Courtney Marie Andrews
– Son Led
– Las Chollas Peligrosas
– Flamenco por la Vida
For more events around town, visit our events page.