It's fitting that DIY musician Georgio Valentino's nickname is "The Dove." He's a bit of a migrator himself, a sort of post-mainstream nomad who took a look around the American music world and lit off for Europe, specifically Belgium and Luxembourg, where he's lived for the last decade, self-releasing albums and essays.
"There are certain good and bad things about everywhere, I guess," Valentino says via phone from Florida, his home state and where he's just spent the holidays. "But they treat the artists better over there in general."
Sound-wise, it's not unheard of for a genre-defying musician like Valentino to toil in relative obscurity. Elements of indie rock, surf, pop, rockabilly and art rock bubble up slowly behind his Bowie-esque vocal timbre, but rather than fizzle out in a hail of two-minute bubblegum bullshit, compositions take their time in setting a tone, almost like soundtrack music or the score to a feeling. Think late-era Leonard Cohen meets the theatricality of a musical written by a pop champion like Roy Orbison.
"When I was younger, I tried to jump through all the usual hoops, and it was such a waste of time that I learned not to worry so much," Valentino continues. "I figured, if I was going to fail, I was going to fail on my own time, in my own way, and it was liberating—I've done whatever I've wanted for the past 10 years."
Such DIY ethics aren't uncommon, specifically within the world of underground music, but Valentino's move to Europe and subsequent self-publishing career is notable in that he made real a career style that most musicians angrily vent about attempting yet rarely actually do. It isn't all wine and roses, though. "Most times people are most interested in the final product and how it sounds—aesthetics over mechanics—which is sad, because I think the mechanics are very interesting and frustrating, very ugly and very beautiful," Valentino says. "Whatever opportunities I've had have been the product of being willing to go out and play anywhere I was asked, even for nothing. Then things happen."
Discover such things at Valentino's upcoming show alongside Fox White and Swords of Fatima. (Alex De Vore)
Georgio "The Dove" Valentino with Fox White and Swords of Fatima:
8 pm Saturday Jan. 13. $8.
Second Street Brewery Rufina Taproom,
2920 Rufina St.,
All That Jazz
SFR is no stranger to odd Facebook event co-hosting requests from one Daniele Spadavecchia—which we always thought was kind of funny. Right up until we actually took a moment to listen. Spadavecchia's tunes are throwback, sure, but in a glorious Django Reinhardt sort of way. Like that fun intersection between alternating bass notes and upbeat jazzy riffage that you'd probably hear in your head if you ever feasted with Italian people. It's a little bit swingin', it's a little bit technically marvelous and, best of all, you can either dance to the stuff or stuff your face. Give it a try. We did. (ADV)
7 pm Wednesday Jan. 10. Free.
213 Washington Ave.,
Sound and Fury
"When Trump got elected, I thought, 'This is gonna be good for artists,'" says curator Kristin Barendsen. "If we're all just sitting here making pretty things in our complacency, it's just not as interesting.'" Birthed of that idea is a collection of the work of 12 women and non-binary artists that explores literal and figurative assaults on the bodies of women and the Earth. The show is formidable—with paintings, photography, sculpture and installation—but it's also raw and enraging. Art in a vacuum can't effect change, but it sure can help the people who will; "The exhibition isn't going to impeach Trump," Barendsen says, "but … the one thing keeping me sane this year is to have this way to channel my frustration and fear and fury." (Charlotte Jusinski)
The Feral Howl: A Feminist Response to Our Time:
Opening Reception: 5 pm Friday Jan. 12. Free.
Performance: 6 pm Saturday Jan. 20. $5-$10.
3012 Cielo Ct.,
The Female Body
Santa Fe-based painter Helene Wilder gets one thing so incredibly, almost unbearably right that it's worth mentioning above all else: the eyes. In Wilder's newest series, Women—a sort of play on Mexican retablos and the virgin—the life that shines from behind her subjects' eyes clocks in someplace between jaw-dropping realism achieved with utter simplicity and soul-touching emotion. The pieces, it seems, stare back from their plainly adorned yet moving canvas homes. There's a beauty in the minimalism of the backgrounds and an overwhelmingly powerful energy at work. Don't miss this show, whatever you do. (ADV)
Helene Wilder: Women:
1 pm Saturday Jan. 13. Free.
BODY of Santa Fe,
333 W Cordova Road,