Here at Weekly Alibi, we love the sweet leaf and everyone who makes access possible. That’s why we’re hosting the very first Southern New Mexico Cannabis Expo presented by Rich Global Hemp Company in Las Cruces, NM. Educate yourself on the medical cannabis and hemp industry. Meet the faces behind the business on Friday, November 1st at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Visit over 30 vendors from New Mexico and west Texas from 12:00PM to 5:00PM and learn all about the benefits of medical marijuana and industrial hemp.
As we stood on the sidewalk off Central, well after I had stopped recording our interview, Jessica Mills turned to me and said, “You know, for a mediocre musician, I've had really good luck.” Whether you chock it up to luck or talent, Mills is an affable powerhouse, a Renaissance woman whose resume includes a book—My Mother Wears Combat Boots—published by AK Press in 2007, over a decade of work with the ultimate punk fanzine, Maximum RocknRoll and her own long-running zine, Yard Wide Yarns.
Let me be clear. Al Hurricane rocks. He's the father—officially the Godfather—of a brand of New Mexican music that blends diffuse influences, intense intuition and massive chops into a formidable music expression that has become the stuff of legend as the years have passed. He's also the father of a cohort of talented children, including son Al Jr.—who's worked as his primary collaborator, arranger and producer since the late 1970s.
2015 was rough, y’all. Between the attacks in Paris, the death and terror that the Islamic State has inflicted in the Middle East, the countless mass shootings, police shootings and rampant xenophobia in our own country, it has been a truly bad news year. Amidst all this violence and political turmoil, though, we learned to seek comfort in solidarity—and some of that solidarity came in the form of new music.
This year was “The Return of the Protest Song” according to The Atlantic, and a highly necessary return it was. Musicians stepped up to make their voices and their politics heard in the debates on police brutality, gun control and immigration, led by Janelle Monáe, Killer Mike, Kendrick Lamar and the ever-political M.I.A. In September, Monáe (who led a Black Lives Matter march in San Francisco earlier this year) and several other artists from Wondaland Records recorded “Hell You Talmbout,” a simplistically powerful drumline-march which included a chant of the names of the many people of color killed by police in the past several years. “Freddie Gray, say his name, Sandra Bland, say her name” shouts Monáe—citing the phrase used by protesters of Sandra Bland’s arrest and suspicious jail cell death in July. The phrase “say her name” is a plea to stop thinking of the deaths of people of color as mere statistics, but as the loss of real people with names, faces and families. Blood Orange (the musical project of Dev Hynes) released a song about Bland in October called “Sandra’s Smile.” In a series of lyric annotations to the song on Genius, Hynes said, “I had a somewhat delayed depression upon Sandra’s death. I was hurt and upset and mad instantly, of course … a few days later it hit me and I was unconsolable [sic].”