Minnesota-based songsmith Haley Bonar takes another stab at pretty pop-rock numbers with her newest effort, Impossible Dream, a short and sweet 30-ish-minute opus of lyrically dense and sometimes heavy numbers examining the usual suspects—love, loss, sense of self—perfect for fans of anything from Tori Amos-y piano balladry to straight-up dancey rock ’n’ roll. Bonar is prolific, to say the least, with nearly 15 releases under her belt (they’re not all full-lengths). To hear her say it, this is the tightest her band has ever been and some of the best work she’s accomplished to date. “We’re a pretty well-oiled machine,” Bonar says. “We’ve been touring this record since June and the band is really tight, the energy level is really high.” Good news indeed from someone whose writing sessions tend to be introspective her-and-a-piano affairs. Still, there’s always room for growth, and Bonar says that her songs tend to evolve as she writes them. “The natural thing for me to do is to write the sad shit, exorcise that out and figure out how to make it less drippy,” she says. “I have a lot of different kinds of music.” Dream itself displays Bonar’s self-proclaimed emphasis on meaningful lyricism, a job she’s been at for long enough to know what’s what, though she admittedly is more of a play-by-ear musician. “I’m a piano-lesson dropout,” she says with just a hint of pride. This usually means a more emotional experience, which is always a good thing, and makes for a more relatable performer. “I want to try to tell people’s stories back to them,” Bonar tells SFR. “I’m not just singing about my own life, my own drama; that, to me, is so boring. … The challenge is condensing something that could be a book into three minutes of music, and the more you can write a feeling or experience that’s not easily worded, the more people can relate to you.” Well said. (Alex De Vore)

Haley Bonar
7 pm Thursday Dec. 1. $12.
139 W San Francisco St.,

Cutting It

Courtesy the Artist
Courtesy the Artist | Courtesy the Artist

We don’t know about you, but we really dig linocut prints. They have a ton of character and require immense patience and talent on the part of the artist. Jack McCarthy’s works are no exception. “With relief printing, everything has to be done in reverse,” McCarthy tells SFR. “If you have words, you have to do them backwards for them to be printed correctly. It’s a real challenge.” McCarthy’s past work has featured themed series depicting subjects like Santa Fe architecture or stylized figures, but he says the prints in his upcoming show draw from Northern Alaskan Native American mythology. “I love their artwork and their stories,” he says. “It just inspired me.” (Maria Egolf-Romero)

Jack McCarthy: Scratching the Surface Opening and Demonstration:
5-7 pm Friday Dec. 2. Free.
Vista Grande Public Library,
14 Avenida Torreon, Eldorado,

Ethereal Improvisations

Courtesy Ghost
Courtesy Ghost | Courtesy Ghost

DIY art and music space Ghost gets into the multi-compositional game with

20 Seated, 40 Standing Only,

an eclectic show that combines improvisational music, movement and film in overlapping mediums. “The show is meant to symbolize serendipitous coincidences in the shape of overlapping compositions,” co-founder Kristen Keilman says. The main theme is “cusp,” or transitional states, which represents Keilman’s spiritual journey and loved ones born within astrological cusps. “Expect to be engaged in the piece for the entire duration, and for the experience to be immersive and excite multiple senses,” Keilman says. “As if you were experiencing life moving around.” (Kim Jones)

20 Seated, 40 Standing Only:
7 pm Saturday Dec. 3. Free.
2899 Trades West Road

Past Forward

Public Domain
Public Domain | Public Domain

Santa Fe-based archaeologist Steve Post isn’t out in the trenches as much as he once was, but he’s still got a hell of an exciting lecture coming up on an interesting find from the early-to-mid 2000s. It seems that Post discovered the remains of a circular structure behind the Palace of the Governors that he believes may have served as a shelter for Native scouts and/or interpreters during the 18th century. “If I’m right, this would be the first of its kind in the region,” Post says. “It’s the only archaeological evidence of something like this going on in the American Southwest.” (ADV)

Steve Post: "Native American Scouts at the Santa Fe Presidio in the 1700s:"
6 pm Monday Dec. 5. $12.
Hotel Santa Fe,
1501 Paseo de Peralta,