Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Tunes

Looking for some great music for Halloween? (I personally need a good soundtrack while putting on my costume).
Check out the latest from the ever-awesome DJ Rocque Ranaldi: a It's The Great Funkin' Charlie Brown!. For those of you, like me, who were sad when Indie went off the air (mostly because I've long loved listening to Rocque on the radio), you can still hear him and other programming on the Web at And you can download the podcasts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shape Shifter

Sad news for New Mexico book lovers as yesterday mystery writer Tony Hillerman passed away in Albuquerque. The 83-year-old author was loved in the Southwest, an area he dedicated both his fictional imagination and his non-fiction voice on. The author of dozens of books will be missed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Know When to Hold 'em, Know When to Fold 'em.

Hopefully Paper Toy'z will make a little paper Palin with lots and lots of paper clothes in the next few days. But in the meantime, when you're bored at work and looking to waste company paper and glue, build your own Obama. The site offers up a new design nearly every day and sometimes more than one. Sweet!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Men, Women and Music

This morning in my inbox was a link from the Times Online about the differences between men's and women's musical lists. I was thinking about this just last night, as I attended a show at Albuquerque's The Stove (which needs to update its Web site. Hint, hint) by Santa Fe band The Late Severa Wires and Sunburned Hand of the Man (Sunburned plays tonight in Santa Fe at The Process, by the way 8 pm, no cover, 367 Hillside Ave.). The audience for these two psychedelic, post rock noise bands was, by far, primarily male. The members of each band was also a majority male, though Sunburned did have a female singer/sampler/electronic knob turner.

As I listened to the music I couldn't find much in the way of an answer as to why men and women listen to different music. Most of the stuff last night was more atmospheric than wordy and the angst that I felt coming from both bands seems to be a pretty common type of feeling. It's angry without being violent, dramatic without being tearful and calmly meditative despite the feedback and pounding drums. Basic, primal emotions, yet the men were by far more into it than the women.

And though the Times article points out that "you seldom see many women buying albums or attending gigs by instrumental “postrock” acts such as Tortoise or Godspeed You! Black Emperor" it's lists of "artists that women love and men hate" and "artists that men love and women hate" stick pretty squarely to the pop side of things. For the ladies it's James Blunt (wait, someone out there actually does like this? Um. Ugh.), Cat Stevens, Tori Amos and Early Genesis, while the boys get The Smiths, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young. I'd love to complain about the lists being unfair in some way but I think they're not too bad. Pop crap coupled with more pop crap, angst on both sides, etc. Two bands from each list for this girl, and a lot of shock that anyone digs the rest.

What I find most interesting about this idea though is not the idea that men and women listen to music differently, it's something that I discussed with a friend the other day. The way female creativity is accepted. (I would have loved to see where the writer felt that Sonic Youth fit on the list, a very "male" group with one of the most interesting women in rock on guitar.) Many male friends of mine who don't let their creativity out much but are of the "creative type" stereotype are automatically assumed to be creative and good at what they do. They say they write or play guitar and it's accepted, even if no one has seen the artwork. Women have to prove their skills in a different way, and even then what is seen is taken at face value and not expanded upon within the imagination. Why can a man paint and play guitar while a woman who does photography shocks everyone when she sings? Then there's the whole issue of dating. When we women date creative men our own creativity, no matter how successful we are, is outshone by the men in our lives, no matter how unsuccessful. The real issue isn't how do we process art differently, but how are we processed by art. Perhaps that's why women gravitate toward easy to digest music by men while sticking with complexity in their female musicians. We understand that complexity in ourselves, yet we deal with it so much in men we want our men simple, the way they're not in real life.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rock Out with Your Barack Out

Earlier in the week SFR reported that due to permit issues Rock for Barack may not happen. Rest assured young (and not so young) voters, the show indeed goes on. The Santa Fe Brewing Pub & Grill (27 Fire Place, 424-9637) quality control and music promotions staffer Jeff Williams confirmed this morning by e-mail that “it’s a go!”
The show takes over the Brew. Pub from 11 am-10 pm with a lineup that includes local rock band Kiss the Villain, Cuban street music performers Savor, R&B virtuoso Paul Rivers Bailey and others as well as touring funksters US Pipe (disclosure: US Pipe is lead by my very own big brother) and Jordinian oud player and percussionist Hani Naser.

Rock for Barack 11 am-10 pm Saturday, Oct. 18 $10-$15 Santa Fe Brewing Pub & Grill 27 Fire Place 505-424-9637

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ride for Dear Life

Or at least for your health. Santa Fe's own Critical Mass meets tomorrow, Thursday Oct. 16 at 5:25 at the Plaza for a mass ride.


Best Week for Books!

Just a few days ago a former New Mexico resident, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, won himself the Nobel Prize in literature. This week the National Book Award finalists have just been announced and former Santa Fean and St. John's College student Salvatore Scibona has been nominated for his novel The End. Scibona was in Santa Fe just a few weeks ago to read from the book at his alma mater. According to his Web site Scibona began the book about 10 years ago in New Mexico, though the story is set in the 1950s in Ohio.

Scibona is in good company with
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project, Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba, Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country and Marilynne Robinson, Home as his fellow finalists. The awards will be announced Nov. 19 in New York City.

Image of Scibona by
Carlos Ferguson

Update: Unfortunately Scibona lost out to Matthiessen in the awards, but lets still congratulate our Johnnie and former New Mexican on his big nomination!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obama Gets Into the Game

This little tidbit from the Washington Post brings yet another interesting political advertising strategy to the forefront. The Obama campaign has purchased a billboard in the virtual Paradise City of racing game "Burnout Paradise." Apparently advertising isn't new to this game, which features so many billboards and product placements that it mirrors real life (unlike what I remember from the few times I played one of the "Grand Theft Auto" games where the ads are all for fictional products.

It makes sense for the candidates to go into realms of entertainment other than television, but it also kind of kills the escapist point of that entertainment. Don't most players want to race around on a virtual motorcycle or in a digital sports car to get away from things like the economy, politics and other stresses? On the one hand I'm impressed with the Obama campaign for jumping into the virtual world in order to reach young people, who, for the first time I can remember, actually care about the election, but on the other, I'm not sure branding our leisure time isn't at least partly to blame for some of the economic issues we're facing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Zane's World

Zane Fischer, SFR's web editor, columnist and art critic, is profiled today by The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, in its How I Got That Storyseries. AAN is profiling first-place winners from its annual contest. Zane won first place for column writing in our circulation category (under 50,000). SFR won a total of seven awards in the competition, including awards in arts criticism for Emiliano Garcia Sarnoff, editorial layout for Larry Kohr, honorable mention for our now-defunct Bill Richardson blog, and several awards for Angela Moore in cover design and illustration.

Albuquerque Ties

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, this year's Nobel Prize winner for literature, has ties to Albuquerque. Sweet!