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V.25 No.37 | 09/15/2016

Event Horizon

Ukulele University

Friday, Sep 23: Albuquerque Ukekopelli Festival

A three-day celebration of the ukulele, featuring eight instructors and two island dance workshops.
V.25 No.36 | 09/08/2016

Event Horizon

I Wish I Was the Tune Tonight

Saturday, Sep 17: Neko Case

Live performance by the American singer-songwriter.
V.25 No.37 | 9/15/2016
Michael Gira
Cyrille Choupas

Music Interview

A Man Who Glows, a Sound that Grows

Swans founder Gira discusses dissolution, chaos and the now

Swans founder Michael Gira speaks with August March about music and airplanes.
V.25 No.36 | 09/08/2016

Event Horizon

Fiesta de la Salsa

Saturday, Sep 10: 12th Annual Salsa Fiesta

Watch contestants make homemade salsa on site, taste the delicious results and vote for the best recipe. Live salsa music by Albuquerque All-Stars and Frankie Morales.
V.25 No.36 | 9/8/2016
Mac Sabbath in concert
SKIBZ777 via Wikimedia

Music Interview

Mac, Not Black

Sabbath parody band sizzles with special sauce

August March talks burgers and badassery with Mike Odd, manager of Mac Sabbath.
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Zoltán Székely
Courtesy of the artist

Aural Fixation

Zoltán’s Fortune

A new album and a cheese fest

Geoffrey Plant investigates the musical phenomenon known locally as Zoltán Székely.
V.25 No.35 | 09/01/2016

Event Horizon

Get Lit

Friday, Sep 9: Umbrella Week

Kickoff Umbrella Week with ten-minute performances by musicians, comedians, dancers and poets.
Galen Weston Band at El Rey, 9/3
Photographed by Robin Babb

Galen Weston Band review: El Rey Theatre, 9/3/16

Jazz dudes from Toronto on tour with the Gipsy Kings

Last Saturday night (9/3), the Galen Weston Band opened for the Gipsy Kings at El Rey Theatre. Weston, the Toronto-based jazz guitarist, is currently touring for his debut album, Plugged In. His tour with the Gipsy Kings goes through several US and Canadian cities to promote the new record, and finishes at the Beacon Theatre in New York on September 10.

Plugged in features 10 new songs written by Weston, along with covers of Keith Jarrett’s “Country” and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Like Someone in Love.” Weston, who's received glowing reviews from Downbeat Magazine and The Midwest Record, claims guitar influences such as Carlos Santana, Eric Johnson, and Pat Metheny.

Galen and crew laid down some solid tunes Saturday night, with serious shredding from Galen and Richard Underhill's masterful saxophone solos. The Galen Weston Band has come a long way from being a local Toronto band—now that they've earned their national touring stripes, I look forward to hearing what they've got in store for the future.

Here's hoping the dudes come through our humble city again one day.

Daye Jack got the music flowin'

music

You Could've Been Part of the Crowd

Watsky Shone at Sunshine

This past rainy weekend, Sunshine Theater was rocked by WATSKY, Witt Lowry, Daye Jack and Chuckwudi Hodge. If you missed out, here are a few snapshots to give you a taste of the energy that was bouncing off the walls and running through the crowd.

Also, this is a gem if you're all about that old sound.

V.25 No.34 | 08/25/2016

Music

Puccini and Barber End Opera Season on High Note

A glimpse of La Fanciulla and Vanessa

The final week of the 60th Season of the Santa Fe Opera included two operas by two great opera composers, Samuel Barber and Giocomo Puccini. Both works have the significance of originally being commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

The fact that I had never seen either opera piqued my curiosity and interest and I truly enjoyed both operas and got wrapped up in the stories told and the spectacle of the grandest theatrical stage in the state of New Mexico.

The Gold Rush of 1849-50 is one of the great American stories where many present day westerners, including myself, have ancestors that got caught up in that frenzy.

It is a suitable subject for an opera with much potential of triumph and tragedy, heroic tales of loss and gain, life and death, loneliness and romance. All of this is in the opera, but what I missed from La Fanciulla del West was the stand-alone aria–it was an expectation that was never fulfilled.

I can understand that modernity has moved operas further away from actual songs, but with Puccini you kind of expect it. Perhaps it is my own realist mindset that prevented me from accepting the banjo sound coming from he harp; if the harp had been played nearer the sounding board it would have achieved a better banjo quality, but that is not in the score.

Indeed I was immersed by the orchestration and rich harmonies, the moving passages and cumulative build up of emotions that overflow into an overall gorgeous musical experience, but, even with all that–the melodies did not last. As for the production, my only confusion was the use of what appeared to be neon light that outlined the set of the first act, which seemed more modern than the rest of the production’s more historic setting.

The lead role of Minnie, superbly sung by Patricia Racette, captured the hearts of the audience. Minnie is like many of Puccini’s strong, larger than life characters. The story revolves around her and her passion ... and falling in love with someone who is the enemy of the people.

The Opera Orchestra was joyfully conducted by Emmanuel Villaume with great energy and enthusiasm. The direction of the action distracted me at times; most notably a “campy” series of miners with guns running through the climatic scene that culminates in the capture of Minnie’s lover Dick Johnson.

Very little can be done to cover the weaknesses of the libretto and score, but a production can help tell the story more clearly and focus the audience on the story line. However, some basic questions still arise: why is this American story presented in Italian? And no one could have predicted the unfortunate character named Dick Johnson, and by the rippling snickers in the audience just proves that everyone has a dirty mind.

Overall I am glad that I attended this opera, and would see it again, maybe just to clarify some of those things that I missed the first time.

Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, has a strong modern sound associated with Barber’s serious scores, although those most familiar with the celebrated Adagio for String, will find little of that here.

The story is about a very dysfunctional family following a huge 20-year gap and the expected arrival of a former lover, but the lover who arrives is not the one who is expected. This score won Barber a Pulitzer Prize in 1958 and the Santa Fe Opera presented it as the refined work of art that it is.

The production values of Vanessa were unified throughout, every detail fit perfectly with every other creative aspect. High praise to all involved: Scenic Designer Allen Moyer, Costume Designer James Schuette, Lighting Designer Christopher Akerlind, Choreographer Seán Curran and Chorus Master Susanne Sheston.

The musical score and orchestration culminate in some of the most beautiful of music of the modern 20th Century. The grand ball is choreographed with the dancers briefly spilling over onto the stage like we are missing the party because our focus is behind the scenes–unraveling the story of Erika (Virginie Verrez), Vanessa (Erin Wall), and Anatol (Zach Borichesky). Now, many days later I feel as though I am still in the musical world of Barber’s Vanessa.

The Orchestra was meticulously conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and I very impressed and surprised by the wonderful libretto was by Gian-Carlo Menotti, a composer as well as a friend of Samuel Barber.

The Santa Fe Opera is the premiere opera house of our region and attracts audiences from around the world. Its reputation is built on quality work and I look forward to many more years of attending productions at this grand opera company.

As a composer, Daniel Davis explores melodic, linear and contrapuntal textures that incorporate elements of disparate forms including folk music, minimalism, micro-compositional techniques and tonality all wrapped up in an accessible style. His works draw from a deep well of his spiritual life and frequently depict his personal experiences and dreams. He makes his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he is a teacher of introductory courses in music at UNM and CNM. He grew up in Wenatchee, Washington, receiving his music education at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Weekend in Review

Doom, sci-fi and fantasy

Wherein fantasy and metal combine, but not actually as fantasy metal.
V.25 No.34 | 8/25/2016
Rubi Ate The Fig
Courtesy of the artist

Music Interview

Rubi Ate The Fig and It Rocked

Band moves through music and into space

August March strongly implies that Rubi Ate The Fig rocks.
V.25 No.33 | 08/18/2016

The Daily Word in Bees, Instagram and Italy

The Daily Word

A 6.2 earthquake hit central Italy last night.

Not sure if you're depressed? Check your Instagram.

Business owners have already started to take proactive action against the negative affects of ART.

A spontaneous block party was filmed for a music video for the musician Jandro on Sunday.

#LetEmployeesVent or #NoRespect

France exploited three women who just wanted to enjoy the beach for an afternoon.

A project called Holobiont Urbanism is tracking microbes with bees and mapping the results.

V.25 No.31 | 08/04/2016

Event Horizon

Caffeine Craze

Saturday, Aug 13: Humble Coffee Company's 2nd Annual Birthday Bash

Enjoy a beer garden, food trucks, artist vendors, games and local bands like Red Light Cameras. Bring a t-shirt to be screen printed or purchase a shirt on site.
V.25 No.32 | 8/11/2016
The vocalists behind Exquisite Power
Robert Reck

Music Interview

Exquisite Power!

Women’s Voices concert brings community together

Women’s Voices concert brings community together

Today's Events

Shift Dance Festival at VSA North 4th Art Center

Kelsey Paschich
Francois Achan

Unique choreographic voices, points of views and movement styles from dancers Allie Hankins, Jacqueline Stewart, Jacqueline M. García, Lisa Nevada and Kelsey Paschich.

The Crookes • Step Rockets • alternative, pop • Five Mile Float • indie at Co-Op

Cerrillos Station Farmers Market at Cerrillos Station

More Recommended Events ››
 

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    Salsa Dance Party!!!
    Salsa Dance Party!!!10.1.2016