You could make the 13-hour drive to Austin for SXSW, struggle through pressing crowds, spend tons of money and only dream of reaching the bar in any given venue. Or you could drive a measly 45 minutes to Santa Fe and see many of the same bands as they make their pilgrimage to Texas. The SxSF Transit Music Festival, organized for the second year by Corazón, runs from March 9 to 24 and features dozens of artists spread over six venues. Electro cuties Starfucker, of Portland, Ore; Paper Bird, sweet Americana from Denver, Colo.; and San Francisco, Calif. indie rockers The Dodos are just a few. Check corazonsantafe.com for details.
If you didn’t get your fill of Southern-style music and food on Mardi Gras, head up to the second annual Santa Fe Blues festival. Southwest Roots Music—the team behind the Thirsty Ear Festival—is presenting a steaming buffet of blues, brews and barbecue as part of SxSF. New Mexico native Ken Valdez opens the night with a blues-rock acoustic set. On his heels is the Hazel Miller Band, with Kentucky-born Miller belting out blues, jazz and gospel. Around the time you’re warmed—and liquored—up enough to dance, Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe will take stage. Louisianan Du (Troy Carrier) assembled his band members from all over the Deep South, and together they cook up funk-influenced zydeco. Info at thirstyearfestival.com.
Although less official this year, Southwest by No Fest—a loosely connected smattering of touring and local bands—is happening in Albuquerque venues, both mainstream and lesser known. From A Hawk & A Hacksaw’s CD release at the Outpost Performance Space (Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12), to a punk/emo-core blast led by Red City Radio at the Heights Community Center (Tuesday, March 15), the second half of this month holds plenty of options for music lovers of all persuasions. The best place to sleuth out the shows is nmbands.com.