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Cashmere Cat wins over Burque
By Megan Reneau [ Mon Nov 23 2015 3:45 PM ]
As I settled into my cushioned corner and zipped up my jacket further in hopes of staying warm on a cold November night, Alxxs Garza started to play. The familiar green and purple lights of Stereo Bar illuminated the early patrons of the event. Alxxs played universally liked electro house, and had beautiful transitions as usual. The crowds in Stereo came and went as groups of friends passed through trying to get their last nicotine fix before retreating to El Rey to stay warm and listen to BK Beats and The 1960 Sci-Fi Era and eventually the headliner, Cashmere Cat.
Yielding to the cold, I retreated as well to the innards of El Rey and was greeted by the heavy beats and tender, uplifting chords that I associate with BK Beats’ live performances. The crowd in front of the stage was more condensed than the rest of the audience, but people were dancing all over. I went to the bar to get a beer, watching the social workings of the mass of fans from afar before diving in myself.
The venue slowly got more crowded as The 1960 Sci-Fi Era joined BK Beats on stage. The two work together seamlessly to create an intricate and energetic tropical/trap set. As more people joined the audience, more people started dancing. I figured I should make my way to the front of the crowd before it got too much for me. I followed the flow of the audience; ultimately arriving to the duo’s left. Not too long after that, their smooth and bubbly set was complete and the stage went dark.
After a few minutes of double checking that the tables were working, Cashmere Cat came onto the stage. The entire crowd applauded and cheered. He began his set with no introduction, as if he needed one, but it added to the atmosphere of humbleness that he radiated.
I’ve never seen so many people cat-themed; I think I’m going to call his fans Cutie Catz. I saw many cat-ear headbands, cat shirts, furry vests with hoods and rounded ears, and even a hooded Cheshire Cat onsie. The crowd reflected Cashmere’s lovable reserve. Distinctly different from most crowds I’ve dealt with at large venues, everyone was friendly and excited to share the experience.
I never thought I–not to mention a huge crowd of EDM and pop enthusiasts –could truly enjoy and get down to a playful vibraphone and harp synth drop. I suppose the springy beats and elastic vocals contribute; overall Cashmere’s style is gentle, which is truly an extension of him. While he may have not spoken to us, he was very active and engaging in other ways.
He was there to bring his followers joy, but not at the cost of his own. He was consistently more energetic than the crowd; when the crowd would recover after dancing to a particularly hard drop, he remained lively and bouncy. He only stopped dancing to focus on important transitions (which were flawless) and to throw kawaii peace signs at the audience.
Cashmere relied heavily on vocal samples, which makes sense, given that he’s worked with the music of some notable artists like Lana Del Rey and 2 Chainz (as remixes/edits), Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West and was a featured producer of Ariana Grande’s album My Everything. Unlike many DJs I’ve seen, Cashmere was able to truly weave the vocals through the music as transitions or as an instrument rather than for self-promotion or using them as a message to the youths in the crowd to get turnt. As a person, I found him adorable, and as a musician, I found him exceedingly excellent.
Cashmere created an environment of pure, innocent, romantic joy in his electronic dreamscape. His performance is the top tier of electronic shows. The entire crowd enjoyed the active and energetic set by Cashmere; I can only hope he enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed him.
The Daily Word in pictures of cats, NM food banks and designer genes
By Taylor Grabowsky [ Mon Nov 23 2015 12:06 PM ]
Brussels lockdown results in Belgians tweeting out pictures of cats for a good cause.
San Diego Zoo put down their northern white rhino, now only three remain in the world.
New Mexico's milkshake (weak child porn law) brings all the sex offenders to our yard.
New Mexico scientists working on a spaceship that could reach Mars in days.
Donate, donate, donate! NM food banks need your help this Thanksgiving!
Santa Fe girl helps the homeless by raising money to buy materials to make scarves and hats.
Forget designer handbags, designer babies may become the latest accessory.
How to quell those pesky family arguments this Thanksgiving.
Technology and Its Discontents
Deus Est Machina
He turned to face the machine. "Is there a God?"
By Kyle Silfer [ Sun Nov 22 2015 8:00 AM ]
The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.
The Daily Word in Republicans, dry-cleaning spills and Islamic State Fighters
By Peter Karlsen [ Sat Nov 21 2015 1:20 PM ]
UNM is not alone with difficulties providing students resources to report sexual assault.
Growing Marijuana on tribal land is especially sticky—legally speaking.
The dry-cleaning chemical spill Downtown is large enough to warrant vapor testing in area homes.
Theocon Damon Linker continues to be increasingly alienated by his former conservative colleagues.
The Nation's Lydia Wilson interviews an imprisoned ISIS fighter.
Letters From Downtown
Signs of Compassion
By Ty Bannerman [ Fri Nov 20 2015 1:58 PM ]
When you work Downtown, when you're here day after day, you deaden a bit to some of the things you see. A couple huddled in a doorway on a cold November morning, a worn-out blanket barely covering them; cops on bikes pulling a homeless man up off of the sidewalk, a puddle of vomit at his feet; an elderly gentleman in suit and tie, stalking down the street and shouting curses at the demons leaking from his head; none of these things provoke a second glance after a while. There's a lot of suffering here for sure and very little that one person can do. A dollar here, a dollar there, maybe that helps a bit, but the overall feeling is one of powerlessness, and slowly you become hardened to it.
Today, though, I noticed this sign in the window of Lindy's Diner, and that numbness thawed just a little bit. No, Lindy's isn't going to solve the problems of homelessness and hunger. And one single meal on one single day isn't "enough." But it is something, a reminder that hardness isn't the answer, that compassion is. And that even if we can never do enough, we can, and should, still try.
The Daily Word In JLaw, Latin Grammys and Black Friday
By Desiree Garcia [ Fri Nov 20 2015 1:17 PM ]
Now I kind of want to be broken up with through text message on my wedding day because this looks pretty fun and I’m slightly jealous.
Let’s talk about how awkwardly cute JLaw is. I mean, who gets super drunk to get through filming a sex scene?
Retailers just really want you to remember what’s important on Thanksgiving -- Black Friday Sales.
Wikimedia commons, photographer unknown
Baroque? You Can Afford This!
Chatter Sunday: Baroque Gems + Contemporary Works
By August March [ Fri Nov 20 2015 12:00 PM ]
Hear works from Biber, Messiaen and Burhans as well as poetry by Liza Wolff-Francis. Arrive early for espresso and goodies.
Storytellers of New Mexico
Once Upon a Time in Burque
By Cerridwen Stucky [ Fri Nov 20 2015 4:00 AM ]
Albuquerque's annual celebration of storytelling featuring Ramona King, Ben Nurry, Kimberly Gotches, Liz Mangual and emcee Bob Kanegis.
Caleb Shomo is Beartooth
By Megan Reneau [ Thu Nov 19 2015 2:35 PM ]
Shane Told of Silverstein has created a podcast called Lead Singer Syndrome. The show is about lead singers in the alternative music scene and their life and struggles as told by themselves. The first episode is an interview with Caleb Shomo of Beartooth, formerly Attack! Attack!, and was recorded during Warped Tour 2015. As a huge fan of Beartooth, I was excited to listen to Shomo's first hand account of his career and the path he's taken.
Shomo started touring when he was 15 as a keyboardist with the band Attack! Attack!, eventually making his way to lead singer. I never was really into A!A! and after listening to the interview, I realize I wasn't the only one (it seems comparable to how people feel about Black Veil Brides, you love them or hate them). Shomo talks about the depression and ADHD that he dealt with prior to being a musician and those same health issues coupled with eating disorders and alcoholism that surfaced fully while working in A!A!
I found Shomo very relatable. While I may not be a professional musician, I'm also in my early 20s and have dealt with many of these things, too: depression, ADHD, eating disorders, alcoholism, being with people who aren't good for me, etc. And to hear one of my favorite musicians talk about their personal experiences and considering how that translates to their music is almost cathartic. I feel like I really connect to Beartooth on a deeper level than before.
I was surprised to learn that all the recording for Beartooth's album was done by Shomo. He wrote all the lyrics and recorded all the instruments for the album Sick. The four other members are featured for touring and live music in general. Beartooth has been astonishingly well received and for that all to be based on the experiences and the talent of one person is incredible. Sick comes straight from Shomo's heart and is his truth. While musing over being a highly metaphorical writer, Shomo says in his songs he alludes to his struggles with Attack! Attack! and his depression and suicidal thoughts that come from them. The day after he wrote the song "I Have a Problem" he quit A!A!
Most people that have listened to the album would assume that he wrote a lot about alcoholism and substance abuse issues, but that was all metaphorical, although he has dealt with alcoholism. He says it's easier for people to understand and accept that musicians deal with substance abuse issues rather than mental issues such as depression, which can be argued about most people with mental health issues.
The primary focus in this podcast is Shomo's journey with Attack! Attack! which Shomo hasn't spoken very much about, so it's very illuminating for folks that have been following him for the last seven years. Originally Shomo was the keyboardist and transitioned to guitar then to lead (clean and unclean) vocalist. After being signed to Rise Records via myspace, A!A! began recording their first album shortly after. Someday Came Suddenly, A!A!'s first recorded album after being signed, sold approximately 150,000 in the first year of sales which came as a huge surprise to most people considering the amount of criticism they received.
Told is an excellent interviewer, and is able to ask very perceptive questions because he's been an active musician for well over a decade. He's able to relate to his guest on a very personal level. Told is very astute and able to draw out some wonderfully insightful observations and stories. New episodes are released every Monday for the foreseeable future and I plan on listening to every single one.
George Cables Trio • jazz
By August March [ Thu Nov 19 2015 12:30 PM ]
One of the great living jazz pianists.
Social Determinants of Healthy Aging at UNM Domenici Center
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