We Will, We Will Rocku--Since the first time I laid eyes on This Is Spinal Tap by Christopher Guest, I've derived way too much pleasure from watching musicians in their meteoric rise to fame and inevitable, cataclysmic fall from grace. Mock or not, rockumentaries rule. This weekend, the Santa Fe Film Festival will screen nine original films (some made right here in New Mexico!) that shine a spotlight on music. We Like to Drink: We Like to Play Rock 'n' Roll follows The Unband, three alcoholic men-children who like to play loud, lewd rock music, as shot by Tesuque-based documentary filmmaker Lexie Shabel. Dangerous Highway gives voice to the "greatest unknown musician you've never heard," guitarist Eddie Hinton. Fellini-esque Russian filmmaker Rustam Khamdamov does a study of his country's stunning operatic talent in Vocal Parallels. Novem is an honest-to-god mockumentary about a confederacy of college songwriters in the ’70s (it won the Jury Prize for best indie film in Sonoma). Bob Dylan's hometown of Hibbing, Minn., gets rifled through by Natalie Goldberg and filmmaker Mary Feidt in Tangled Up in Bob, whilenative musicians from northern New Mexico are the partial focus of Native Spirits: Forgotten Warriors. Finally, Life in G-Chord is the bittersweet account of Hisao Shinagawa, a Los Angeles street musician who still dreams of the stardom he chased upon first entering America in 1974. Log on to www.santafefilmfestival.com for a complete schedule of the films.
Trumpeter’s trio builds music on fearless trust and intuition
By Mel Minter
Trumpeter Cuong Vu attacks his instrument with a ferocious intensity usually reserved for rock guitars, and he uses many of the same electronic processors favored by adventurous guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Bill Frisell.
One fall day in Santa Fe, Zia Cross had just finished with her volunteer shift at the High Mayhem music festival and ran across the street to Alegria Liquor. Cross found herself chatting with George Rivera, the shop's owner. She pressed him about what he was doing with the beautiful club space, empty for three years, that’s attached to his store. Nothing, she remembers him saying. You do something.
He's a surly man, this Mr. Kornfield. No matter: On this disc, it's working for him. The country-fried singer/songwriter smothers typical twang with killer lyrics, the perfect balance of heartfelt and cynical. Like only the best bards can, this guy strings you pleasantly along only to turn on you with a suckerpunch of melancholy. Drummond's been in this town for a while, a part of acts like Saddlesores, Speed Queens, Jet Girls and Dueling Keiths. Maybe that history's got something to do with my favorite track on Invalid Love, "Rock-n-Roll Sucks." Check out www.kingoftheworldmusic.com or head to Natural Sound for a copy.
Ugly Sweater Party • DJ Young Native • electronica, hip-hop
By Maggie Grimason
Don your finest ugly holiday sweater, or show up ready to purchase one this Thursday, Dec. 21, at Marble's Westside Tap Room. There are very few times during the calendar year where we can reasonably embrace bells, snowmen, glitter and bows on our clothing. Don't miss out on the Ugly Sweater Party of all things tacky—it's as easy as showing up at the bar off Unser anytime after 7pm. DJ Young Native will be playing all your favorite `80s and holiday tunes, and the whole shebang is free.
I love the '90s. Well, not as much as I love the '80s. Then there's the '70s to reckon with. I sorta remember the '60s, those were pretty exciting too, especially the end bits, after the summer of love, yo. But, if you're like me, music of the '90s is totally worth listening to over and over, particularly the grand cultural treasure trove of tuneage that came into being after the elfin guitar god from the north woods passed into enternity in April 1994. The music that was made to dance to back then, guess what? You can still dance to it; the stuff's been miraculously preserved in some kinda digital medium and you can shake you booty to exactly that on the evening Friday, Dec. 22. Prepare yourself for an aural onslaught featuring the likes of Tone-Loc, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and Vanilla Ice. They'll all be righteously represented at the I Love the '90s Video Music Dance Party happening Downtown at the Sunshine Theater, so dig out some Funky Cold Medina and leave your cell phone at home (because, they didn't like really have those until1998, amirite?) for a night of reflection on what the past 27 years have wrought. $10 for entry and 18+ to dance, 21+ to drink and dance.
MIXXD • Ana M • house, g-house, tech house, techno, UK garage, minimal • BadCats
By August March
MIXXD is a loosely organized yet totally groovy collective of electro-wizards, multiverse mixers and tuned-in turntableists. They occasionally get together in Albuquerque clubs in order to toss glittery music dust, cray incantations and heady, extravehicular space explorations via vinyl and tape into a world that absolutely needs rhythm in order to survive the mundane purity of everyday life. This iteration of a trance and/or dance inducing solution to your holiday tribulations, a bright bauble of a thing called NM LOVE MIX WINTER is available for consumption on Saturday, Dec. 23, and features the following DJs: BadCat (Jennifer Highfield Castro), Ana M (Ana Martinez), Liminal Spaces (Máté Fischer) and H.P. Dubcraft (Hank Padilla) at Sister. Being there will mean giving in to your highest holiday hankerings, so what the heck, live a little! Free before 10pm, $5 after 10pm. 21+.