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Caleb Shomo

Caleb Shomo is Beartooth

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.

Tom Beetz

Event Horizon

Jazz Hands

George Cables Trio • jazz

One of the great living jazz pianists.
via Instagram @kovuu

Event Horizon

Anime in November

Con-Jikan Year Three

An anime, gaming and fandom convention featuring celebrity guests, a masquerade, an exhibitors hall, discussion panels, screenings and more.
The Not Quite Weekly Alibi Podcast
Robert Maestas


The RETURN of the Alibi's Not Quite Weekly Podcast

We interview author Isabel Allende

Hey! Remember how we used to have a podcast? Well, we have a podcast again! This episode, we talk about gifts, chat about upcoming events and interview author Isabel Allende!

Check it out!

The Daily Word in emojis, the flu and the future via Twitter

The Daily Word

Only a twitter bot can predict the future.

The suspected organizer of the terrorist attacks in Paris is reportedly killed.

A summation of anti-feminists to induce your daily rage.

Learn more about the history of lesbianism on the island of Nantucket.

Good Charlotte is back, thank Satan.

Morsels by Megan Foldenauer is deliciously lovely.

Where revenge porn and sex work intersect.

-laugh crying emoji-

Take-out flu shots delivered by Uber? Alright.



Todd Christensen's Observing the Withdrawn

One way to view Todd Christensen’s very personal art installation “Observing the Withdrawn” (Art.i.fact, 930 Baca St., Santa Fe) is as a psychological game of hide-and-seek. The artist’s social anxieties inform this sprawling network of vintage decommissioned library textbooks, mostly stamped as "withdrawn” and shorn of their inner pages. Confessional journal entries and offbeat self-portraits riddle every spare surface.

By withdrawing into the shadows, Christensen steps back to observe society at large. Yet his work is so intimate: a spilling of secrets. As Christensen explained to me, the exhibit consists of standalone hard covers that he calls “pathways” to the more densely constructed patches of artwork that symbolize “groupings, social interactions, and conversation,” as if to contrast solitude with community.

How must it feel for such an introvert to have his first solo show in Santa Fe teeming with fearful memories from his childhood and raw musings on his inner turmoil? He says it does not bother him. I would argue that just as he removes his mask, he is hiding in plain sight.

According to the magazine Psychology Today, those who suffer from Social phobia (also known as Social Anxiety Disorder) deal with “overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations.” What’s more, “People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions.”

For extremely shy people, every social situation is an exercise in being more of an observer than a participant. It’s daily performance anxiety. One “self-monitors” with every move taken and every word spoken like an actor on a stage. When that shy person is an artist, whose job it is to tell some sort of truth from a somewhat removed perspective, the alienation from both self and others must become even more pronounced.

Christensen’s beholder witnesses a lot of despair. In one of his self-portraits, thickets of hair cover his face to the point of self-erasure. Then, there are even more negative portrayals of him with cactus pods sprouting out of his head—drawings that he hinted deal with a period of unhappiness and illness. As for his spacemen—mummified astronauts straight out of early science fiction—they are his “social alter egos.” The spacemen are the party people.

In his work, Christensen reckons with his most intimate, lonely side. There is a lot of self-analysis. In one panel, he lists the seven deadly sins as if outlining a possible scorecard. Also on display is a lot of talk of food and body image, including a humorous self-rebuke for hankering after “a big juicy pork chop” that he displays near a book with the title Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit. He clearly battles his demons with a touch of grim lightheartedness. Two great quotes from his exhibit: “Pain is essential” and “Sink or sink.”

But just what is private and what is public? Even as he opens the curtains, Christensen disguises himself behind a more straightforward persona. For example, he scolds the viewer for feeding on his secrets. Peering up into the guts of the busier sections of his installation is like looking up a woman’s skirts. Furthermore, he has booby-trapped those interiors of his work with hidden rebukes such as: “My pain is my pain, my business is yours it seems, you peeping Tom.”

Author, actor and comedian Stephen Fry once said about his social anxiety: ‘It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”

In Christensen’s work, we are blessed with all of his mad intensities.

Visit the installation at Art.i.fact now through January 4.


Three Burque Bands

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Leeches of Lore, Youngsville and Red Light Cameras

Event Horizon

A Forgotten History

Japanese-American Prison Camps of World War II

Sam Mihara discusses his experience in a War Relocation Authority "family camp" in Wyoming. Plus period photographs, readings of diary entries from New Mexico prison camps and a Q&A session.

The Daily Word in Calvin and Hobbes, Governor Martinez, and a Zoolander sequel

The Daily Word

Thirty years ago today the first Calvin and Hobbes comic was published. Go read it and relive your childhood.

The Lobo's best season in much too long causes a surge of local pride.

Drunk girls and puppies, a match made in Buzzfeed heaven.

The third article of a four part investigative story on the examination of Governor Martinez' campaign spending.

Previous generations have screwed the current one. Let's try and break the cycle.

Zoolander returns.

Diiv releases new single "Bent (Roi's Song)"

"Is the Is Are" comes out February 5, 2016

If you’re a Spotify user, you can now stream a new single from Diiv's upcoming album Is The Is Are, out in February of next year. The new track, released November 4, is called “Bent (Roi’s Song),” and it’s the second cut from the upcoming album they’ve released.

Diiv's 2012 album Oshin was good but ultimately didn’t blow me away. Filled with glittery, new wavey guitars and some very 80’s drum machine beats, it seemed to be more a tribute to the band’s sources of inspiration than an original work. They were reminiscing along with Yuck and Silversun Pickups, trying to master an old sound. With the two new singles released this year, it seems that they’ve gotten what they can from the old genre and are now building on it.

The first single, “Dopamine,” is a lovely teaser of the new direction that they seem to be heading in, with a distinctly shoegazey sound that I’m very into. They’ve jumped forward a decade and ditched the flat-sounding drum machines, buried the vocals down in the mix like true My Bloody Valentine followers, and have put their very tasty guitar licks front and center, where they belong. “Bent (Roi’s Song)” is in the same vein, clocking in at almost six minutes of fuzzy tremolo and muttered vocal melodies that ditch the soaked-in-reverbness of Oshin. It’s a wall of sound with a heart.

Both of the new tracks touch on frontman Zachary Cole Smith’s struggles with substance abuse and attempting to find a path to sobriety. 2013 saw him and Sky Ferreira (who’s featured on the upcoming album) arrested in New York for possession of illegal substances. “Dopamine” especially feels like a hazy, drug-induced stupor, with the repeated refrain of “I got so high I finally felt like myself,” and ending with a frightening question: “Would you give your 34th year/for a glimpse of heaven, now and here?” On the day of “Bent”’s release, Cole made a statement on the band’s Tumblr in which he said that “roi’s song is about a lot of people, including myself, and our struggles along the path to clarity, sanity, and sobriety.” On the track he details the day-to-day struggles of fighting addiction, singing: “Fought my mind to keep my life, but my body’s putting up a tougher fight.”

Thankfully, things seem to be taking an upward turn for Cole both personally and musically these days. You can stream “Bent” on Spotify or on YouTube, and you can get the new album Is the Is Are on February 5 from Captured Tracks.

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