Jess Godwin. It’s not a household name around here, but it may be soon. Actually, no—it will be soon, if we have anything to say about it. After all, the Chicago-based piano-driven singer-songwriter (who embarks on her third residency at Vanessie in as many years) has an interesting way of doing things. It’s like she takes these Rob Crow/bedroom-singer/indie-rock sensibilities and fuses them with a golden-voiced pop style and plenty of introspection. Just looking at her website (godwinanthology.com), it’s clear that Godwin is an open book.

Between homemade videos shot in her apartment and in-depth, journal-like analyses of her own struggles and neuroses laid bare through lyrics and blog entries, we are allowed an intimate look into what makes her tick and how she assembles her sounds. It's only borderline voyeuristic and quite an important look into her process—like living liner notes that contain the stories that went on to become the songs.

"I think that the best thing I can do is to be transparent," Godwin tells SFR. "I'm leaning more into the scary stuff because I think it's important to do that. I have so many things to say and so many things I feel that need to come out."

This is always exciting in a songwriter, like how Rivers Cuomo once lamented, "I'm tired of having sex," or Blake Schwarzenbach announced to a former lover, "I don't think I hate you enough to commit you to me." Godwin aligns with this mentality perfectly, and her minimal style isn't about "How could you do this to me?" so much as it's "Why do I do this to myself?" There's bravery in that and an honesty that's not always easy to come by.

Of course, this might not be exactly what one thinks when they picture an evening at Vanessie, but we've gotta hand it to them for taking a chance on something a little different. Still, Godwin wants potential fans to know she came up playing jazz, standards and show tunes. "Oh, I know what to play," she muses. (Alex De Vore)


Jess Godwin:
8 pm Friday, April 15. Free.
Vanessie,
427 Water St.,
984-1193

G-G-G-Ghost Tour

Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson | Matt Wilson

You may not be “afraid of no ghost,” but that shouldn’t stop you from going on a Santa Fe Ghost tour on Saturday (they’re also on Wednesdays). “Well, there’s a lot of ghosts, here,” says ghost guide John Lorenzen. “There’s been a lot of violent deaths in Santa Fe. And whether you believe in ghosts or not, you’ll have a fun time, because we talk about the history.” We don’t know about you, but “bustin’ makes us feel good.” Bustin’ ghosts, that is. (Ben Kendall)

Santa Fe Ghost Tour:
5:30 pm Saturday, April 16. $20.
Meet at Liquid Outpost,
211 Old Santa Fe Trail.
Reservations (required): 995-0165

One Person’s Trash

Courtesy Micaela Gardner
Courtesy Micaela Gardner | Courtesy Micaela Gardner

We've all seen them: those hideous oil paintings that at one time hung up in an old burger joint that closed down 15 years ago—now deposited in the art section at your local thrift shop next to a framed poster of the New Kids on the Block. Micaela Gardner's show, Small Used Paintings, takes these works and give them new life under her hand. "She's a trained dancer, and she's making painting on reclaimed, recycled paintings," says Santa Fe Collective gallery owner Jennifer Joseph. That must be why her art has such dynamism. Just don't hurt Donny, Micaela. He's everybody's favorite. (BK)

Micaela Gardner: Small Used Paintings:
7:30 pm Friday, April 15. Free.
Santa Fe Collective,
1114 Hickox St.,
670-4088

Grass Is Bluer

Anson Stevens-Bollen
Anson Stevens-Bollen | Anson Stevens-Bollen

Do you guys remember when there used to be that bluegrass jam around town? We do, and it was cool. Plus, we know how you think, and we’re looking out for what you like—watch us prove it with information on the very same bluegrass event, now at that new restaurant Derailed. “Come check us out and find out what people have been enjoying for more than five years,” bassist Dave Dillman says. “[We have] a warm and friendly approach that involves our audience in the show.” Maybe even bring your instruments and join the party. (ADV)

Bluegrass Jam:
6 pm Tuesday, April 19. Free.
Derailed at the Sage Inn,
725 Cerrillos Road,
982-5952