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30 July 2012

Things in Light Podcast #23: ∆Voltage Mix

Samantha Anne Carrillo

Things in Light is pleased to present our twenty-third podcast, ∆Voltage Mix, featuring recordings by bands from New Mexico's present Pancakes!, Deadtown Lovers, Fort Hobo, Jonny Cats, Retard Slave, Knife City, The Grave of Nobody's Darling, and The Glass Menageries. See the full track listing below.

1. Pancakes! - Lipbiter
2. Deadtown Lovers - Sinking
3. Fort Hobo - Power Wolf
4. Jonny Cats - Vic Vega
5. Retard Slave - The Creation and Subsequent Revolt of Horseborg
6. Knife City - Crazy Arms
7. The Grave of Nobody's Darling - Kentucky
8. The Glass Menageries - Foxy

29 July 2012

A Phone Call From the Future and It's For You

Rudolfo Carrillo
By Rudolfo Carrillo

I have a wall-mounted rotary telephone with an ivory color to match the surrounding environment, to complement the other electronic and mechanical appliances that define the space in mi chante used to store and process food into attractively temporary constructions for consumption.

Well, that damn thing started ringing last night about ten and besides startling my pack of ferocious, pizza-eating canine sentinels, it additionally became a dandy and perfectly logical reason for me to rise, moonlike and spherically, from my repose upon a burgundy lounger made from dreams, copper, and ethernet cables.

I reckoned answering the incoming transmission would afford me an opportunity to survey the local refrigeration unit for another Otter-Pop, which we have been loading up on for relief from the heat of summer.

The fella on the other line wanted to tell about how the election for president of the United States was only a hundred days away. Course he also wanted to know to which side I was leaning in the upcoming and gloriously democratic fray. That ought to be clear, said I to him with just the slightest Saturday night-induced vocal nuance. I am for the one that jumps heroically into the captain's chair, consults his science officer and chief engineer with the proper gravitas, and warps us all the hell out of the mess we have been navigating mournfully towards while increasingly dramatic music composed by Alexander Courage plays in the background.

Well, it took him a few ticks to figure out what I was getting at, but when my pop culture obscurantism unraveled poetically on his side of things, he laughed nervously and suggested we meet at his Nob Hill office to get to know one another and work out some strategizing. I told him I would sleep on it and did just that.

The next morning, the sun came up just like it was supposed to do; the dogs didn't wanna have anything to do with the dry kibble I offered them, unless I tossed in some warm milk and a couple of encouraging winks; meanwhile, I figured out a meaningful way to meaningfully contribute to the meaningful political discourse dancing this way and that, with great profundity and cyclical rhythm, on the airwaves and lips of my fellow Americans.

What you all have read so far is the preamble to that, which goes something like this:

According to indications available to Rudolfo Carrillo through a combination of personal experience and anecdotal electronic data-gathering missions, the author is convinced that a reordering of priorities is order. The man responsible for this particular polemic earnestly believes our world is on the edge of just about every kind of cliff the reader can meticulously and neurologically render.

The economic and cultural gap between the rich and poor in this city is heartbreaking. The experiences that led to that conclusion are easy to come by, repeatable by you or you in any city in this nation, I fear.

If you don't care to acknowledge that fact, then grab your keys, ATM card, and detachable-face car stereo thingy and drive down to the Smith's grocery store on Carlisle and Constitution. The drive there will be idyllic, composed mostly of tree-lined avenues, well-kept gardens, and good neighbors gamboling blithely from one private pool party to another, Tecate or mojito in hand. Ah, summertime!

Spend some time wandering through the formidable produce section, let the young woman with a sparkly smile serve you up some fresh sushi from the demonstration counter. Take a careful look at the humans that are coming and going, note their happiness and satisfaction, the kind attentiveness of the clerks.

Then leave that place, buoyed by hope and pride in our community. Drive about two miles south, to the Walmart that is gently nestled in the economically shattered neighborhood next to the air force base where they store thousands of thermonuclear devices and have soaked the surrounding earth with enough jet fuel to poison our enemies and our own citizens with equal relentlessness.

When you are inside that second food distribution center I told you about, take some time to count the number of young women accompanied by more than two children and with no partner or father in sight; whose shoes and shirts are slight and threadbare not out of a sense of fashion or because of a bizarre involvement with the cult of the visibly youthful human form, but because there are no words for new or beautiful in the vernacular of interminable unemployment and sullen trips to the payday loan counter next to the thrift store where mi jita found a gently used pair of flip-flops in her size.

When you take your leave, do not look up, like I did, at the gangsta rolling past the doorway. He is threatened by eye contact and will mistake your tears for weakness, for proof of the corruption of the ruling class, even as his attention is diverted by the shameful self-loathing induced by five missed child-support payments.

In case you are interested, I was gonna interview some middle-class folks in an earnest attempt at balancing the foreboding tone contained herein, but they were so worried about losing their jobs, their delinquent student loan payments, and about how they were still working towards getting three co-payments together this month so that the family could get to see a doctor who is so overwhelmed with patients and looming insurance companies that his corporate backers only give him fifteen minutes per patient, not a one of them had time to chat.

And if all that descriptive stuff seems more than a little unsettling to you, you are damn right, it is. It is my hope, however, that these words will invoke progression, actions designed to walk all of us away from the precipice, back to the center of things. Taken all together, that should give you all some idea of who my vote is going to, come November.

25 July 2012

Things in Light Podcast #22: Impression Mix

Samantha Anne Carrillo
Things in Light is pleased to present our twenty-second podcast, Impression Mix, featuring recordings by bands from New Mexico's recent and long-ago past Luxo Champ, The Drags, The Scrams, The Strawberry Zots, Era of Sound, The Kreeg, Saddlesores, and The Rondelles. See the full track listing below.

1. Luxo Champ - Block Mover
2. The Drags - Dirty Little Bird
3. The Scrams - BHJ
4. The Strawberry Zots - Little Latin Lupe Lu
5. Era of Sound - Girl in the Mini Skirt
6. The Kreeg - Impressin'
7. Saddlesores - Me and Raul Julia Down By The Graveyard
8. The Rondelles - Pay Attention to Me

16 July 2012

Things in Light Podcast #21: Transmission Mix

Samantha Anne Carrillo
Things in Light is pleased to present our twenty-first podcast, Transmission Mix, featuring recordings by The Glass Menageries, Bigawatt, Cloud Lantern, Fort Hobo, Post War Germany, Javelina, J. Angelo, and Eva Ave and Carlosaur. See the full track listing below.

1. The Glass Menageries - Fine Fine
2. Bigawatt - Fight Me Then
3. Cloud Lantern - Post Up in Phonebooths
4. Fort Hobo - Two-Step Revolution
5. Post War Germany - You Know No One
6. Javelina - No Mail Sunday
7. J. Angelo - Sagebrush and Mesquite
8. Eva Ave & Carlosaur - Ain't No Grave

08 July 2012

Bada Boom

Rudolfo Carrillo

With TiL Editor Samantha Anne Carrillo, at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Photograph by Rudolfo Carrillo

05 July 2012

TiL Arts Pick: Funny Farm Reception at Small Engine

Samantha Anne Carrillo

In the market for a non-bougie art opening to check out this weekend? TiL recommends attending the Funny Farm opening reception on Friday evening. Funny Farm features new painting work by locals Mark Beyer, Roman Lopez, and Luke Hussack. The reception starts at 6 p.m. at Small Engine Gallery (1413 Fourth SW) and the show runs through August 2, 2012. RSVP here.

Outsider comic artist Mark Beyer was the only artist other than RAW magazine founder/legendary cartoonist Art Spiegelman to be featured in every issue of '80s alt.comic publication RAW. Beyer produced cover art for John Zorn and the characters in Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation were loosely inspired by Beyer's Amy and Jordan. Beyer pairs his distinctive style with existentialist pathos and the resulting work is worth your consideration.

We're not familiar with Roman Lopez's work, but a Google search turned up this image, a cell phone pic of a painting of a sad-looking horse, a shining cross, and a scrolling message informing us that "Sometimes, a pony gets depressed."

Luke Hussack, a/k/a Brapola!, has consistently created work that impresses us. Hussack's done illustrations for local alt.weekly Alibi, made a slew of great fliers, and TiL editor Samantha Anne Carrillo's second-favorite t-shirt is a Brapola! print. Hussack serves as a member of the curation collective at Small Engine.

The opening will feature the aural accompaniment of Drake Hardin's Kayfabe Quartet. Hardin explained the project to TiL:

"There is a lot of live multi-instrumentalism, but I also use 4-track tape, a drum machine, and loops. It started as a recording project limited to four parts, but when I play live, I cut live samples of various personal favorite quartet musics: classic Coletrane, Ornette Coleman, Bartok string quartets, Crumb's Black Angels, Messiaen's Quatour pour le fin du temps, the Beatles, etc. If you hear it called a 'one-person quartet' or something like that, then those are not my words; it's more of a limiting factor for the project as a whole, which is based on the four-part layout of Tarot trump XXI, Le Monde, which represents the structure of the entire Tarot. Kayfabe Quartet is serially releasing 22 pieces, one for each Major Arcanum. With all that said, I do play live drums, guitar, clarinet, and electronics, often simultaneously in two's/three's, rarely four. Sometimes I switch the keys for guitar, maintaining four sections."

04 July 2012

sixty seven years

Rudolfo Carrillo

By Rudolfo Carrillo

Certainly, due consideration was taken.

Course I am talking about the images displayed above. As an ensemble they are meant to represent something that is perhaps unattainable except through the magic distilled and distributed by the research and engineering department at the Adobe Corporation.

If you are wondering what I am getting at in that previous and elusive statement, well let me tell you.

It is the Fourth of July, two thousand and twelve. Sixty-seven years ago, this same date fell on a Tuesday. I am just guessing here, but it probably was a beautiful day in Albuquerque, back there in nineteen hundred and forty-five.

I'd like to believe that a minor variation of the slow-to-gather but remarkably triumphant monsoon clouds building themselves up on the horizon visited the inhabitants of that military outpost, that railroad crossing, that widely expansive bosque and adjacent farm land, with the same grace and sudden transformative effect water always has an elusive and perhaps eternally temporary phenomenon still observable among the tribe of humans gathered in concrete shelters around the edges of el rio.

Anywho, back in that dimly lit yet shadowy (because you'd figure that dim lighting would beget weak shadows, but that's the past for you, always surprising) other summer, folks probably got ready for barbeques, looked lovingly at photographs of their children and husbands and wives at war, headed out for parades and fireworks displays. I am almost willing to bet that city commissioner Clyde Tingley bought a new tie especially for that parade and that his wife Carrie had a new and properly floral hat delivered to the mayor's home that morning, in anticipation of the same.

Besides all that hullabuloo, there was probably a small group of humans stationed at the airbase on the edge of town who were wondering about something amazing that was going to happen two weeks into the future. Maybe there were just one or two, maybe a dozen. I don't know for sure. Maybe they were concerned that the atmosphere might catch fire, that the night's patriotic fireworks display would just be an ironic harbinger of what was to come. Maybe some of them had faith in science though and firmly believed that what was about to happen was right, would save lives and ultimately add some sparkle to all the patriotic fireworks displays yet to come.

The soldiers and sailors and airmen and airwomen who had no idea what was really going on at that military outpost in the desert were probably scared. Most of them were going to be sent to Japan in September, as part of a massive invasion force. Most likely the mysterious activities being played out between Los Alamos and Albuquerque and into la jornada del muerto raised the level of disquiet. That summer, that Fourth of July must have seemed like the last hurrah to them. I would not be surprised if some of them drove down to the river and waded in the muddy and cool water, admiring the cottonwood forest that wound out, apparently endless, all around them. That musta been one hell of a stress buster.

Meanwhile other cars came and went from the Alvarado Hotel to the base and then out into the southern desert, carrying men who smoked pipes and wore big-brimmed hats. The summer wind kicked up, the sun climbed mercilessly into the air and the elm trees the mayor had advocated for started doing their shady jobs.

Now it is sixty-seven years later. The elm trees for Albuquerque part of Tingley's legacy has been noticably and (warning, humourous neologism ahead) enviro-properly dealt with. The Alvarado was destroyed but then gloriously re-imagined by another visionary mayor. Most of the folks I wrote about have disappeared back into the earth.

On the southern edge of town the mystery our mothers and fathers left for us in 1945 has become a legacy, a thing to symbolize and protect, despite the heat, just like the summertime. Of course, we can never really make all of that run backwards, as I have imagined. The way the universe is built, we can only hope that it never runs forward, again.

It's warm out. Birds are singing everywhere, hardly anyone is wearing real shoes and maybe it will rain tonight. Somebody down the road already has the grill going and I know this because I can smell the igniter fluid and charcoal wafting in the background.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

03 July 2012

NM Snaps: Kimm Wiens

Samantha Anne Carrillo

TiL is especially pleased to present the third installment of NM Snaps, featuring the work of photographer and artist Kimm Wiens. Wiens was the first photographer to contribute to Things in Light and has created a couple of wonderful photographic slideshows for us in the past. Enjoy Wiens' exploration of mushroom magic in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains here and her photographic ode to winter in Nuevo Mexico here. Wiens captured the above photo of the Needle rock formation in the Sandia Mountains. Scroll on to read the artist's statement Wiens sent to TiL and see more of her sublime work.

"New Mexico's abundant open space, volcanoes and mountain ranges are generally quiet still places where the sound of birds and leaves quaking are all you're likely to hear.  My photographs are journal entries of my meditations in these quiet places. Aside from occasional cattle fences or trail markers, there is nothing man-made here; a world overflowing with mysterious beauty, scents and sounds.  I spend most spring and summer weekends meandering up in the high mountains with my camera focused on trees, rocks, mushrooms, flowers, bugs, birds and other critters.  After the first snows, I switch to the foothills and otherworldly beauty of NM's many badlands.

Originally from Northern California, I've lived happily in New Mexico (Santa Fe, Abiquiu, Taos and Albuquerque) for most of the last 22 years.  After a brief jaunt in Washington state in the last decade I'm back in the Land of Enchantment with new knowledge that New Mexico is Home."

See more of Wiens' photos here and check out her drawing and video art here.

Half-frozen pine tree at the crest of Mount Taylor (Tsoodzil)

Moth and Butterfly on a Sneezeweed in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Mushroom hunting: Porcini and hand-forged mushrooming blade. (Blade by Raven Rob)

Wild grasses on the Rio Grande

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