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Reading Recommendation: Monstress

Marjorie Liu transposes real-world issues into a fantasy world

Writer Marjorie Liu wastes no time in her new comic series, Monstress.

Within the first issue alone the main character has evolved three times over from slave, to prisoner, and beyond. Not only is the character development rapid and spot-on, but the world building is immediate and visceral. We can thank Liu's collaborator, Tokyo-based Sana Takeda, for her contributions to the ornate, mystical aesthetic of Monstress.

Perhaps most importantly, Liu is taking on heavy issues in the story of the series- identity, racism, the legacy of war and the degradation that comes with drug abuse.

I highly suggest keeping up with Monstress as the story evolves. The first two issues are out now from Image Comics.

Megan Reneau

Stevie Stone Rolls into the Launchpad

Launchpad was graced with Yung Knowledge, YAK Boy Fresh, BINGX and Stevie Stone on Sunday, Nov. 22. Yung Knowledge officially began the show. The duo were exceptionally charismatic and engaging. Easily captivating the crowd, they initiated audience participation and used that as a flawless segue between songs. YAK Boy Fresh (Y.ou A.lready was backed by a band – atypical for his work – but they all had incredible chemistry. YAK Boy Fresh’s flow was effortless, rhythmic and rousing. BINGX was extraordinarily entertaining and receptive to audience members. His high energy was relentless and unmatched.

Stevie Stone took the stage after a short film showing him escaping from a mental institution looking like Hannibal Lecter. Working with DJ Picasso, he was commanding and powerful. Stone’s passion for his music was easy to see and feel. He wanted his fans at Launchpad to know he appreciated them. He performed songs primarily from Strangeulation Vol. II; the crowd was wild and reflected Stone’s enthusiasm. With all the excitement and energy he was putting into the show, Stone took small breaks at the beginning of some songs before jumping up and dancing through his set. He invited a few groups of people from the crowd to join him, his touring crew and the other musicians on stage. All who joined him were eager to do so.

Stevie Stone is an unpretentious performer with outstanding content and flow. He subtly harmonizes with the music. He can stay in tempo but change rhythms with ease. His voice is profound and authoritative. When he’s on stage, there’s no misidentifying the drive and expertise he exudes.

After the show, Stevie Stone stayed to interact with fans. While his music is aggressive and direct, Stone was very kind and gentle with his fans. I watched him talk with and take photos with at least 20 people before I left. When I talked to him he was thoughtful and was genuinely concerned that I enjoyed myself. I talked with a few of the other musicians at the show; they were the same way. I felt welcomed and very pleased to see them all.

I loved watching the crowd and their energy which reflected the performers. Being unfamiliar with all of these musicians and their work, I looked to the crowd for guidance. The group was enthusiastic, wild, blissful, and passionate. Everyone was happy to be there, perhaps most of all Stevie Stone.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a chilly rub.


The Daily Word in escalation in Syria, why Winston Brooks was under investigation by APS and a runaway anchor

The Daily Word

Local media is getting closer to finding out why, exactly, former APS Superintendent Winston Brooks was under investigation by his employer when he resigned.

A former Human Services Department worker has plead guilty to being involved in a conspiracy to defraud the SNAP/food stamps program.

Right before Thankgsgiving, New Mexico Department of Corrections is putting all 11 state prisons on a three day lockdown.

Things aren't getting better since Turkey shot down a Russian plane.

On a less serious note, here's a bestial Thanksgiving turkey story.

Here's a list of things Donald Trump believes are "true".

Trump urinal.

President Obama and French President Hollande gave a joint address this morning.

I could watch this video of a freighter losing control of its anchor over and over.

Cashmere Pawing at his decks

Cashmere Cat wins over Burque

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

The Daily Word

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?"

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

The Daily Word

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.

I can be a doctor if I say I am.


Letters From Downtown

Signs of Compassion

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

The Daily Word

Mali commandos rescue hostages from Radisson Blu Hotel attack.

Bill passed to slow refugees entering the US.

Israel spy gets released from U.S. prison.

Donald Trump gets dragged at the 2015 Latin Grammys.

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

Event Horizon

Baroque? You Can Afford This!

Chatter Sunday: Baroque Gems + Contemporary Works

Hear works from Biber, Messiaen and Burhans as well as poetry by Liza Wolff-Francis. Arrive early for espresso and goodies.
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    Dickens Christmas Village
    Dickens Christmas Village11.27.2015