Music To Your Ears: Next-Level Mayhem

Derek Caterwaul
3 min read
Black Iron Trio
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Next-level Mayhem

During the early aughts, Santa Fe arts and multimedia production collective High Mayhem hosted a yearly festival over one sprawling weekend, featuring dozens of acts from far and wide. Its organizers eventually found that level of activity counterproductive to long-term efforts but wanted to keep the music going. The Fall Series, now in its third year, maintains the spirit of those fests in a more finite manner with evening shows on consecutive weekends.

2012’s experimental, genre-blurring series begins on Friday, Nov. 2. The first weekend’s theme is “electroacoustic,” used in a broader sense here than its academic origins. Organizer Carlos Santistevan defines the term simply, as “a combination of acoustic sources and electric manipulation of those sources.”

Black Iron Trio opens the show, pitting a fully acoustic upright bass against electronically manipulated lapsteel dulcimer and drums. Audience members engaged in attentive listening will be rewarded with an experience that is both avant garde and utterly simple.

GoGo Snap Radio, a trashy quirk-pop duo, take the evening in a radically different direction with their junkyard orchestra aesthetic married to sweetly deranged female vocals. Take note, Tom Waits and Throwing Muses fans. GoGo Snap Radio just released an album and should have it with them at the show. Pray for Brain follows, jamming a polyglot mashup of world music with funky jazz and rock modalities, melding electric guitar, oud, drums and upright bass.

The Proxemics close out the night with deceptively simple art rock that combines a singer / songwriter style with composer tendencies. Alex Neville is the author of these sinuous and complex pop manifestos and performs them with a rotating cast of collaborators from the High Mayhem stable. This time around, the project is a duo with We Drew Lightning’s Michael Smith. Additionally, Neville may perform solo.

The Saturday, Nov. 10 installment is dubbed Me & My Shadow, and showcases solo sets by Santa Fe’s Johnny Bell, Burqueños Drake Hardin and Jeremy Barnes, and Denver’s Laura Goldhamer. The Saturday, Nov. 17 event is Loud<Louder<Loudest, a rock-to-noise climax featuring We Drew Lightning, Pitch & Bark, roots-rockers Young Lungs and The Late Severa Wires’ annual reunion show.

It’s nice to see some locals on this northerly roster. Sometimes, it seems like Santa Fe and Burque are separated by more than just minimal geography. Insular scene mentalities are indulged in both cities, and it’s good to know open minds are active in both as well. All three events take place at High Mayhem Emerging Arts Studio (2811 Siler Lane) at 7 p.m. The all-ages concert series has a suggested donation of 10 bucks, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more info, visit

Pray for Brain

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