Friday, September 28, 2007

Props 'n' Apologies

To quote Smokey Robinson, I second that emotion about High Mayhem. I also want to give props (and links) to The Cleveland Trio, CK Barlow & David Felberg, and the GK Duo.

I'd also like to sincerely apologize to the girl who was working the check-in booth on Sunday night:

I'm so, so, so, so sorry my dog bit you in the face. I should've taken her elsewhere during the performance by those Colorado noise-freaks from Page 27.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Festivus for the weird in us

Between Gabe "Ruckus" Gomez, Emilano Garcia-Sarnoff, our friendly neighborhood film reviewer, staff writer Dave Maass, myself (Patricia Sauthoff) and former/sometimes writer Peter Breslin we got nearly every minute of the High Mayhem festival covered. A few of us, Peter and myself, even got in on the action for a bit (I helped Ross Hamlin adjust his installation a bit, so my contribution was tearing bits of black duct tape up, but damnit, I was helping). Peter drummed into the night in Rrake, one of the highlights of last and this year's fest, Friday night and with TRAPS, a group of seven drummers banging away at their kits in an improvisational set. I thought it might be a racket but, as I told Mike Rowland and Al Faeet (two of the drummers) later, there were moments when it was ambient and if the music hadn't been right there I wouldn't have believed it was made on drums.

In many ways the festival is as much an endurance test as it about music. You don't want to miss anything, but life beckons and there are always things that you just don't understand. The music bounces from avant garde jazz to electronics and back; casting off a coherent theme, which allows each act to stand on its own, with nothing to compare it too.

My favorite act was the Re-Wired set on Saturday. The group, a reworking of The Late Severa Wires with Dino and Molly Sturges as guests, is one that I've liked since the first time I saw them. But the addition of Dino, a musician who has been making electronic music since before it was cool, and Molly, who twists her voice around with incoherent words, like a woman possessed, added an element that I didn't expect. The band is normally loud, very loud but they turned it down, let Molly take the lead and followed her on a beautiful, and very intellectual, musical path. UV (Sean O'Neil), the band's DJ, played more guitar than I've seen in the past and added beautiful melodies to the mix.

The festival is also a nice reminder that there are young people, college kids, late 20s in Santa Fe. So often people of this, my, age group travel in cliques and we forget to branch out from our circles into the wider world.