We have the space to build something new. Albuquerque is the biggest city in New Mexico, but I think it’s pretty obvious to the people who live here that we’re no Los Angeles or New York. As a result, a lot of what we have here isn’t world-class, but I like it that way. We have ownership over our culture and our projects because they can’t happen and don’t happen without us. There is a level of participation we have with our organizations and cultural events that I don’t often see in other places. If we don’t build the kinds of things we want to see in Albuquerque, they don’t happen because there are not a million other people to take our place.
The tiny, spiky, troublesome little seeds known as goatheads can be found almost anywhere in the city but are most concentrated at Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery. Their Latin name is Tribulus terrestris, which translates to “spiky weapon of the Earth,” and it is certainly a name they live up to—as anyone who has stepped on one in the dark with bare feet can attest to. The cemetery has so many of these terrible hell-seeds that even a brief walk through the dustier areas of Fairview will leave the soles of both of your shoes so entirely covered with thorns that your shoes will no longer be in contact with the sidewalk on your walk home. The cemetery park also makes for a nice place for a nighttime walk for the morbidly adventurous.
The music scene here isn’t just populated with fantastic bands and enthusiastic show-goers, it’s expanding and surprisingly healthy. While not large, the local music scene has some musical gems from every genre. In mid-March, Goathead Record Collective hosted a 3-day festival, Mountain Blood Fest, featuring 15 out-of-state bands and almost 20 local acts. The same organization is providing access to recording equipment and sound engineers free of charge to local bands. We have a thriving house show community where folks can enjoy some of the local flavor for free in the sort of intimate setting that only a house show can provide. Best of all, the community that has arisen in Albuquerque is inclusive of people of all ages, allowing older and younger people to learn from one another and inspire each other. Please check out my personal favorites—The Leaky Faces, The Vassar Bastards, Saugwa, Pepper Griswald, Arroyo Deathmatch, YOU, Weird A, Colour Me Once, The Penniless Sneeches, Crushed!?, A Prophecy Misread, Supreme Verdict, The Ill Motion and Manuka Piglet—for a taste of local music.