Everyone has that friend or family member. The one who unabashedly maneuvers around trick-or-treaters to string up their Christmas lights on Halloween. The one who has been humming Christmas carols for weeks—humming only, because singing aloud can have harsh repercussions. The one who already assembled most of their Christmas presents and will soon wrap them, probably while watching their well-worn Elf DVD.
In my circles, that friend or family member is me. Loved ones recently informed me that Dec. 1 is a more reasonable time to begin decking one's halls with boughs of holly. In my defense, it seems there are more early-bird holiday hounds than ever. To wit, Starbucks released their red cup on Nov. 1, Christmas displays in big-box retailers went up the same day, and I've begun spotting Christmas trees on my Facebook news feed.
Why not engage in early Christmas merriment? Here are a triptych of ho-ho-holiday events that even the Ebenezer Scrooges of your life can dig.
Have you ridden at Uncle Cliff’s for decades, hoping there was a way to make the amusement park even more exhilarating? There is; just add Christmas. Cliff’s Amusement Park hosts Joy to the Whirled, a holiday celebration wherein they decorate the park, sell holiday snacks and invite Old St. Nick to ride the Rattler with other guests. The event begins on Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 23, from 6pm to 9pm daily. Tickets are $10.
The River of Lights tops my list of fave winter treats, along with spending time with family ... and biscochitos. The gardens abound with Christmas lights as you sip hot chocolate. This light show never fails to delight. If you’ve never been, this is a must-do; if you have, you know that walking into the Botanical Gardens this time of year is about as close as you'll ever get to the land of Oz. The River of Lights opens Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 19, from 6pm to 9pm daily. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
The New Mexico Ballet Company and the New Mexico Philharmonic inhabit Popejoy for two consecutive weekends to proffer a balletic holiday indulgence, The Nutcracker. While I've never actually seen it, the fact that it's a commonplace holiday topic and is often associated with words like “elegance” and “excellence” leads me to believe even those friends who've been grumbling about your holiday cheer may enjoy this show. The performance series begins Nov. 30 at 7pm and runs through Dec. 8 at 2pm. Tickets start at $11 for adults.
For more info on these events, visit the above-linked websites. If you know of other awesome community events—holiday-themed or otherwise—tell us about 'em via our event submission page at alibi.com/submit.
A most excellent thing to do this weekend would be visiting with and having a listen to the Adobe Brothers, one of Burque’s most listenable combos. This goal can be readily accomplished by trucking on over to Shade Tree Custom Cycles and Café (3411 Central NE) tonight. The freewheeling Nob Hill grub-and-tire joint hosts a performance by Jacoby, Moby, Pierogi and Toby Adobe, starting 'round 7pm. The Brothers describe their music as “international bluegrass” in Americana form. While that's certainly a decent description of their output, the chops on these four gentlemen relatives—plus the awesome musical cred they carry around in their gig bags—are well worth the attention of local music aficionados. With over 200 numbers in their repertoire, you're bound to find some twangy tunes to get you onto the dance floor. Shade Tree is just up the road a ways from the Guild and across the street from some joint called Flying Star. Jump on in, 'cause the bluegrass is just fine. Shade Tree Custom Cycles and Cafe • Sat Nov 30 • 7pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
California transplant David Randolph describes himself as “a sculptor painter.” Not a sculptor-slash-painter, mind you, or a painter-slash-sculptor, but as both simultaneously. A few minutes in the cubed and multifaceted world of his new show, Visual Reports From the Digital Universe, and you'll grok the distinction: Randolph fuses dimensional form with planes of light and shadow no matter what medium he's working in. Tonight, at his artist's reception at Abbate Fine Art (713 Canyon Road, Santa Fe) at 5pm, plunge into a fragmented (yet aesthetically satisfying) reality with pieces like the acrylic painting “Santa Fe Descending a Staircase” and the limited-edition print “Canyon Road Goes Digital,” which connect cubo-futurism to landscape painting by way of Wreck-It Ralph. His series of “Catwize” cast-stone sculptures shiver with gem-sharp, light-refracting planes softened by affection. Like a Rubik's Cube, Randolph's art bends the mind just enough to make a game of seeing. Abbate Fine Art, Santa Fe • Fri Nov 29 • 5pm • View on Alibi calendar
Since it has become completely bloody impossible to talk about the Friday after Thanksgiving using any other adjective than "Black" and for any sale occuring on that day to be anything other than "the one you've waited all year for" it's nice to see a few shop-local community-oriented events piggybacking onto all that Viernes Negro hype.
I’ll admit I’m going out on a limb with this one mostly because I’m kinda naïve about electronica. So, okay, if you just spent the past six months re-listening to Kid A just to get a feel for the depths of reductionism that postmodernism is capable of achieving, then you might want to check out the work of Alex Langston, appearing as The Last Known Good Configuration in an event called Tetris Twerk. The gig is happening on tonight at 9pm and features Langston producing sounds that have elements of glitch, trance and 8-bit and will also feature DJ Nicolatron. I listened to her mixes on Soundcloud, and some of it sort of reminded me of Whitehouse. Also on the bill are DJ Anthony Wae Fonkey Fragua and DJ Inkbox. These sonic revelations manifest at The Chill Factory (312 Rosemont NE). Admission is 5 clams, and you can get a map to the event on Facebook at on.fb.me/17EJ9Vc. Yeah, it is near where bluebirds fly and Citizen Insane resides, or something like that. The Chill Factory • Fri Nov 22 • 9pm • $5 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Take two steps into the Festival of the Cranes Arts and Crafts Fair and you’re bound to eye something exquisite. So keep your moola handy—whether you’re in the market for stained glass or scented soap, the fair beckons with a medley of artsy/giftsy offerings from regional makers. You’re likely to appreciate the organic feel of Olaf Heintz’ deceptively simple woodwork furniture, or fall in love with the elegant, symbol-rich Acoma pottery of Caroline Lucario. Expect, also, expertly crafted jewelry from Leandro Garcia of Santo Domingo Pueblo, earthy clay vessels and décor from Cazuelas Pottery, eclectic natural imagery on A. Leon Miler’s paintings, t-shirts and cards, and plenty more. Open at the Historic Garcia Opera House (110 Abeyta Ave. West, Socorro) from 9am to 5pm tomorrow and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23, and 10am to 2pm on Sunday, Nov. 24, the arts fair is completely free and jam-packed with a full schedule of musical entertainment. And while you’re down Socorro-way for the weekend, you might want to glance up at the sky—I hear it’s a good season for bird watching. Historic Garcia Opera House, Socorro • Fri Nov 22 • 9am-5pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
The Cathedral Church of St. John (318 Silver SW) is a wonderful place to hear wondrous things Downtown. Tomorrow, Chatter performs a selection of beautifully challenging chamber music at St. John’s. The concert begins at 3pm, and highlights include the learned musicality of violinist David Felberg, cellist James Holland, flutist Jessie Tatum, percussionist Jeff Cornelius and harpist Lynn Gorman-DeVelder. Performing in a variety of configurations and as soloists, the group presents Debussy’s elusively dreamlike “Sonata for Flute, Viola, Harp”; a technically demanding and harmonically expansive solo cello sonata by Kodály; American composer Ingram Marshall’s sublimely haunting, expressivist and post-minimalist composition for violin and electronics, “September Canons”; Arvo Pärt’s contemplative, tintinnabular composition, “Spiegel im Spiegel”; and experimental composer and Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique researcher Kajia Saariaho’s intricately detailed chamber piece, “Terrestre.” Whether you're inclined to learn more about what the avant-garde really sounds like or you're an old hand at soaking up these sorts of sonic treasures, this concert promises to be subtly sublime—another set of descriptors the folks over at Chatter seem comfortable invoking. Presale tickets range from $10 to $25, and can be purchased at fcmabq.org. Cathedral Church of St. John • Sun Nov 17 • 3pm • $10-$25 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
In 2012, it may have been the only event in New Mexico to involve milk jugs, sanding discs, hot air balloon material, bike tubes and a sailboat jib, all paraded down a catwalk by smiling models—so you can only imagine what Recycle Santa Fe’s Trash Fashion and Costume Contest will bring in 2013. Luckily we’ve made so much new trash in the past year! Participants, competing for cash and prizes, transform cast-off ephemera into works of wearable art. Extracting finery from refuse, some outfits are elegant, some are funny, and all flaunt a praiseworthy creative spark. Tonight's fashion show, which gets going at 7pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center (201 W. Marcy Street), kicks off the 15th annual Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival, a gathering of over 80 artists from all over the country to sell and exhibit their artworks made with, at a minimum, 75% recycled materials. Fashion show admission runs $15 to $20 and includes entry to the festival. If you can’t make it to the show, the festival’s $5 tonight and free Saturday and Sunday, so pick up some charming tin-can earrings and feel good about doing your part for the environment. Santa Fe Convention Center, Santa Fe • Fri Nov 15 • 7pm • $15-$20 • View on Alibi calendar
Nothing says the holiday season like decorating a Christmas tree. Whether you're the type of person who uses a hefty amount of ornaments, lights, tinsel and maybe even photos of your dogs and cats (?) or the type of person that just says “fahgettaboudit,” Christmas trees are kind of sacred. So it's a privilege that our fair Burque is one of the stops on the US Capitol Christmas Tree's journey to the … you guessed it … Capitol. The tree started its journey at the beginning of November and lands in DC on Nov. 25. But you don't want to know about that, do you? You wanna know when it gets to the Duke City. Well folks, you can see this wondrous mass of timber when it lands at the National Guard Armory (600 Wyoming NE) tomorrow from 3:30 to 5:30pm. The ceremony of sorts will include some hot chocolate (yes!), luminarias and all-around Christmas cheer. Oh, and it's completely free to the public. So get the kiddos in some coats (weather permitting), and ride your sleds down to the armory to see this glorious hunk of wood before it heads to its next stop. New Mexico National Guard Armory Building • Fri Nov 15 • 3:30-5:30pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Originally billed as Nik Turner's Space Ritual, founding Hawkwind member Nik Turner finally gained the right to use the name “Nik Turner's Hawkwind,” which is a good thing since Space Ritual is actually a different band and not the one playing Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Turner was using the name as long ago as 1994, which resulted in Hawkwind co-founder Dave Brock—still of Hawkwind (just Hawkwind)—suing him for trademark infringement. Coincidentally, Dave Brock's Hawkwind—really just called Hawkwind—also had a US tour scheduled, but apparently all this trademark crap tired Brock out, and the “real” Hawkwind postponed their tour. The fact is that both versions have one aging, original member of the seminal British space-rock band and both play decent sets filled with Hawkwind standards like “D-Rider” and “Orgone Accumulator.” But only the slightly lower-rent—and therefore cooler—Nik Turner's Hawkwind (featuring UK Subs guitarist Nicky Garrett) is coming through Albuquerque. The 21-and-over gig—also starring German krautrock outfit Hedersleben and local “grunclecore” crew Gusher—kicks off at 9pm, and admission is 8 bucks. Low Spirits • Wed Nov 13 • 9pm • $8 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar