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(It's A) Monster's Holiday


It's a Monster's Holiday!

We all know what Halloween in Burque's like ... and can only imagine what the holiday sounds like in Bakersfield. Hmm, I wonder if David Lowery knows about this?

courtesy of the artist

Event Horizon

Twilight of the Decapod Crustaceans

Friday, Oct 30: Shrimp Night • Reighnbeau • Alexxs Garza • BK Beats • 1960 Sci-Fi Era

An opportunity to indulge your craving for deep dance music, black clothes, gloriously glowing body jewelry and maybe even a tube or two of Vicks Vapo-Rub.

Creative Non-Fiction

Locochon Viente Tres

I am at my breakfast early, making a crude sort of magic which, when properly performed, causes a plate full of huevos rancheros to disappear. As I prepare to initiate the penultimate sacrifice, involving a quarter of a tortilla and the heated albumin and yolk sac of an animal that can only fly short distances, three taggers walk into the restaurant.

An acrid aerosol afterglow is trailing right behind them, molecular and ghostly. Their fingertips are stained with dark colors, greens and greys—the colors of forests and buildings. One of them has a faint golden outline painted around his nose and mouth. It is shaped like a flower or a crude drawing of a heart.

Refugio, also known as El Jefe, does most of the talking. Tilting his head in my general direction, they shuffle over to my table. Furtive glances are exchanged. The three sit, smelling of burnt rope, giving me the once over twice.

Procopio, the oldest one, has big bruised hands. They hang by his side wearily. The tagger with the huffed facial halo calls himself Locochon Viente Tres. He takes a black plastic comb from his back pocket and starts running it through his hair. He does this with flair, a fair amount of compulsion and until his friends look at him narrowly in a fashion that suggests wonder and thirst. Locochon puts the comb away. Embarrassed and slightly dazed, he covers his head with an Albuquerque Dukes baseball cap.

El Jefe addresses me in an ornate vernacular filled with slang and profanity—suggesting formality and deference. He is almost whispering, but not quite. He nods warily and with his palms turned out toward the sky and heaven, tells me about last night. After drinking a grip of forties they realized I wasn't la jura after all—porque Five-O don't wear gaffas like I do, except on the teevee shows their abuelitas watched twenty thousand years ago. Procopio thought those Ray-Bans were some old school mierda and besides his mom looked me up on Facebook. It's all good.

El Jefe nods at Locochon Viente Tres who retrieves an iPhone 6s from under his waistband. He laughs waxenly at my surprised expression. I did not see the phone before, I say, before telling how my phone isn't all that. It is like a relic from the astronaut days—something Gene Roddenberry dreamed up one night after a cocktail party at Trader Vic's.

The three taggers look at me as if I am from another world. I am from another world, I begin to think as they start thumbing through images of their work. The waitress comes by to refill my cup of coffee—a dark elixir with stimulating extra-solar properties I briefly imagine while glancing at their bright and brazen oeuvre.

There are pictures of rusted boxcars transformed by raw color and the acute geometry of experience. The railroad company usually paints the stuff over in a few days El Jefe says. In one of the photos Locochon Viente Tres is standing on top of a newly painted locomotive, frajo dangling from his mouth. He is giving everyone the finger and his eyes are glassy but triumphantly aware.

There is a second set of photos, taken throughout the labyrinthine network of concrete-lined flood control channels criss-crossing the city. The paintings left behind in this forbidden zone of abandoned shopping carts, dead dogs and crumbling tumble-weeds are like cartoons. A bravado of optimism pours out of the tangled letters. It's just like Saturday morning in 1972 but without the Tang, I remark, . El Jefe nods blankly. He continues to flip through that collection with trembling hands, big brown eyes darting around and around the room.

I ask have they heard of Banksy. They think I am putting them on. What kind of fucking artist is that, the one with hands like wooden mallets hisses. No one would have a name like that and if they did, they'd better change it, like soon bro. El Jefe tells me he took a couple of drawing classes at West Mesa High School. Locochon Viente Tres looks out the window of the diner while untranslatable combinations of sans-serif letters tumble out of his mouth as tiny flecks of paint.

When I am done with my fifth cup of coffee, having thereby completed the ritual I previously told you about, I tell the three I gotta go but ask can I write about them this week. That is ATM, that is chido, El Jefe gravely intones. Can I come out and watch them work, one day when the autumn sun is fading into winter, when the hot air balloons are at their height of popularity, I wonder aloud.

Locochon Viente Tres smirks. Using a filthy napkin and a Sharpie, he draws a detailed map, complete with snake-like roads, forlorn rose gardens and remodeled freeway overpasses.

We all get up to leave. El Jefe says to make sure and come by during the day; they think I'm cool, but who knows what their homies will think if I show up after the sun's gone down. Those dudes are hardcore chingones, he reminds me as he lays a Washington on the table and slinks toward the door.

courtesy of the artist

Event Horizon

Delights of a Musical Garden

Sunday, Oct 25: Chatter Sunday: Gardening at Gropius House

A Chatter Sunday event featuring "Gardening at Gropius House" by Neil Rolnick.

Flash Fiction

The Preparations

Youngish, red-haired, but on the surface grizzled, as was common among his folk, Luther scraped up enough feria every month to pay his rent by working odd jobs around the student ghetto. Luther mastered projects like fixing swamp coolers and painting porches. Once in a while he scored a big job, like the time he took care of Royal Eddie, the punk rock pig while the swine's owners were following FIDLAR around on their tour of the Southwest. He got two Benjamins for that gig.

All of that meant he could keep his pantry stocked with Spam and canned beans plus Alpo brand dog food, which his hound dog, Han Solo, craved. The dog would howl hellishly when the stuff was being laid out for din din.

Luther spent his days off sitting in the Frontier Restaurant, looking at the art work, imagining what it might be like to live in the old west. He figured he'd be doing sort of the same thing, except he'd have a horse and would have to heat up his tinned goods with the heat from a campfire. Han Solo would subsist entirely on wild rabbits.

One day, Luther got to looking through the Daily Lobo. That was the name of the college paper in those parts, and man did it have some fancy writing. He really liked the column written by the eccentric classical history professor from back east; that fellow sure knew how to give it to the kooks that ran the place. But what really caught his eye was an advertisement on the back page.

The ad had been placed by a local construction-tool rental company. They were looking for someone to be in charge of maintaining the equipment folks borrowed. Luther knew a hell of a lot about tools. He clipped out the announcement with the scissors in his Swiss Army knife, stuffed the scrap of paper in his front jeans pocket and took the back exit where his old Ford F-100 was waiting. Han Solo was sprawled out, asleep on the wide bench seat.

Luther got the job, did damn fine at it. His boss Ernie was impressed with his attention to detail and seemingly endless knowledge of construction materials. But he did not care for Luther's man bun, skinny jeans or the way he sometimes smelled of burnt rope.

About a year later, Luther took over for Ernie, who moved on to Sausalito to look after a boat. Luther had saved up enough money to rent a house by then, too. He was plumb tired of living between Central and Garfield, so he went driving north of there and stumbled on a big old run down ranch style by Hidden Park. Sure enough there was a for rent sign in front and an oaken swing on the shabby porch, to boot.

The dude that answered the phone was named Mel. He said he wanted 1500 dollars a month, plus a deposit of 1000 Washingtons. He told Luther he liked dogs alright, as long as they didn't shit the house. After a quick meeting the two struck a deal. Luther started hauling his worldly possessions over to his new home.

It was a dark, musty place with a big back bedroom that had a walk-in closet. Smack in the middle of that room within a room was a cellar door that went down to a shallow crawl space. Luther thought it would make a perfect location to start building a secret hideout.

For that mission, Luther got some of his friends to help out. They could pretend they were in an episode of "Doomsday Preppers" or something like that. They'd drink Thunderbird wine, light up and get that burnt rope smell going while listening to this or that version of "Me and My Uncle", or "Sugar Magnolia". They would dig and dig, dragging four by fours and sheets of three quarter inch plywood into and through the house before the summer sun came back early and the authorities caught on.

Soon enough, there was a cavern under the master bedroom. Luther even trained Han Solo to crawl around down there. The walls were lined with cans of Ranch Style beans, rectangular tins of Spam and about a thousand units of Alpo brand dog food. It was wired with electricity too; if you went down there, you could read or jam out or just wait for the coming apocalypse—making sure all the while tools and weapons were properly prepared and organized.

Luther was proud of his creation, so it was a goddamn shame when he got evicted after drunkenly hinting about his secret mission to a neighbor. It turned out the guy next door was a magistrate judge who did not cotton to hearing first hand that a gaggle of hipsters was digging holes and getting ready for the end times right next door. Who the fuck knew what else was going on at that decrepit old house, the judge thought to himself as he dialed up Mel to complain.

Mel sent Luther a letter to let him know the jig was up. Luther waited a couple of days and pulled up stakes. He nailed the door to the hideout shut and drove off toward the setting sun with a truckload of canned goods, bottled water and a hound named after a character from a galaxy far, far away.

Luther thought about being a cowboy again, how the wilderness could be his for the taking. He hoped he could find another place where he could prepare, where he could dig. "Fuck the tool shop" he yelled out the window of the Ford. Maybe Eugene or Arcata, he imagined as the old truck crested a western hill and kept on rolling like the sea; towards its edge.

courtesy of the artist

Event Horizon

Snowy Egret Has Landed

Myra Melford's Snowy Egret • piano, jazz, composer

They'll transport listeners to a world without sonic boundaries.

Event Horizon

Catch Khachaturian

Sunday, Oct 11: Khachaturian and Finnish Songs

Chatter Sunday
courtesy of the artist

Event Horizon

Children of the Dawn

DJ Cyberkid • EDM, house

EDM continues to proliferate, turning concert venues across America into late night/early morning electro-ritual centers where almost anything is possible...
David Thayer

Alibi Picks

Something Shines Past Dots and Loops

Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) • Deradoorian • Reignbeau

One of the singular and sublime voices in modern music.
Badd Fish
Sharon LaCava


A band called Badd Fish

In Burque, rock bands come and go. Some start out as basement projects and bloom into national headliners. Others rise up from the night only to fade at dawn like a summertime cactus flower.

Though it's generally difficult to tell what path this or that rockin' musical outfit will take as they proceed through rehearsals and toward performance, it's easy enough to listen. Through that experience one might discern qualities that qualify a particular rocanrol ensemble for admission to the next level.

Such is the case with Badd Fish, a band I chanced upon while visiting friends and walking through the hood.

Badd Fish is a quartet, young and old, featuring veteran Albuquerque guitarist Mark LaCava, singer Gil Garcia and a rhythm section consisting of Vic Maese and his son (also named Vic).

They're puro Burque and wear their affiliation with this town and its music scene proudly upon their sleeves and in their hearts.

Vocalist Garcia has been playing around town for at least twenty years, fronting projects Jazz One, Latin Passion and the System. He brings a blue and bold tone to LaCava's intensely intricate picking style. LaCava worked the rounds about town as a formidable singer-songwriter who also lent his talent to Spellbinder, a long lost jam band popular at joints like Sonny's back in the day.

Little Vic Maese, a technically savvy drummer, learned the ropes from his father, who plays bass. A native of El Paso, the elder Maese played bass in a West Texas metal formation known as Lethal Tricks. After coming up north, Vic the bassman was part of Good Green among many other locally popular acts.

Badd Fish is a new band, yet their passion and history reflect an expansive staying power that augments their down-to-earth attitudes and supplements their ability to rock out, grandly and formidably in our present-day music scene.

As a combo, they're tight like sprung steel, melodic like a summer evening on the bosque and as solid as the Sandia mountains. It's garage rock in a grand sense.

After months of rehearsal, Badd Fish will play out this weekend, in a series of concerts destined to demonstrate the goodness and grace of a music community loaded with homegrown talent.

Friday night, August 21, they gig at Sidelines Sports Bar and Grille (9211 Coors NW) from 8-12 pm. Badd Fish follows up their premiere engagement with a set at Neds (2509 San Mateo NE). They'll jam on the afternoon of Saturday August 22, from 3-6 pm before pulling out all the stops at their show at the Barley Room (5200 Eubank NE) that night from 8-12 pm.

Listen: I hear and see a heap of local bands as part of the job I love. Some of those bands are good, are okay. But Badd Fish is badass, yo. If you cherish the local scene as much as I do, then do yourself a solid and check these guys out. I really believe Badd Fish is at the beginning of a journey that will see them reach great heights while providing local audiences with a sound that is groovy, groovy fun filled with acute musicianship and knowing nuance.

Today's Events

Mansgiving at Altitude Sports Grill

Eat turkey legs, ham, baby back ribs and more while watching football on 11 massive TVs.

Her at University of New Mexico

Thanksgiving Celebration at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

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