As 2010 comes to a close (thank fucking God) and as I wait for hoverboards (they’re only four short years away), I thought I’d hand out some special mentions to sum up the year.

Best New Band: experimental math/rock trio As In We. Made up of drummer Ben Durfee, guitarist Haven Willis and bassist Gunnar Lyon, this band has made a huge impression. Fusing post-rock with mathy experimentalism, As In We could easily be defined as “college metal,” yet has such a varied set of songs it’s hard to assign it a genre. Seriously, these dudes rule. Did I mention they opened for Smashing Pumpkins? Pick up the band’s demo, Chupademo, at and learn why these boys are gonna’ be famous.

Most Awkward: the time I tried to tango for an article and the ensuing backlash. I think we all learned that asking a club’s management for photo permission isn’t good enough for the tango scene. Apparently, such intense focus is required that a flash here and there (in an attempt to spread the word about the scene, no less) is among the worst acts one can perpetrate. No, I never went back, even though it would have been my one chance to actually touch a woman. Alex doesn’t play the “let’s take ourselves way too seriously” game.

Most Exciting Club: Corazón. The shows (Ayurveda, Monotonix, Ty Segal, to name a few) that promoter Tim Franke, The Process’ Red Cell, owner/new-god Mikey Baker himself and plenty of others bring in get better all the time. Even more ruling is the total decline in date-rape attempts since the awful blues bar that used to be there closed. What was that place called? Aw, who cares.

Most Improved Subculture: the DJ scene and its many amazing dance parties: Melanie Moore’s World Cup DJs series, Maynard Del Mar’s Badonkadonk, Feathericci and Bacon’s Team Tuesday, anything King George booked…the list goes on. Don’t forget Meow Wolf’s new involvement with the VFW (you can smoke in there!) and DJ Dirt Girl’s Super-Powered Dance Destroyer!

Biggest Injustice: local musician/saint Ross Hamlin’s Little Wing. The all-ages venue houses art, listening parties, workshops and more but, sadly, its future is unclear. Let’s all make a New Year’s resolution to head over there more often. That’s a lot easier than quitting smoking.

Best Album: tie between D Numbers’ complex electronic masterpiece Onda and La Junta’s live effort Always Live. Onda brings D Numbers’ game to a whole new level, thanks in part to the world-class production from the trio itself and Stepbridge Studios. La Junta’s album is totally fun. It’s like SFR Editor Julia Goldberg always reminds me: “People love anything with a horn in it,” myself included.

Weirdest Crap: The Pub & Grill at Santa Fe Brewing Company. Recently, I’ve been given plenty of conflicting “facts” from various sources, but the reality is the venue is indeed closing. Whether or not this is permanent is yet to be seen. While I completely disagree with Santa Fe Brewing Company (the beer part) owner Brian Lock’s opinion that the Pub & Grill is “the last decent music venue in the city,” I do enjoy the beautiful, outdoor summer shows. Whatever happens, rest assured, beer production won’t stop.

Biggest Misunderstanding: a response to my review of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus’ performance of Handel’s Messiah. In his letter, Allan N Pearson seems to think I’m pretty into myself. I assure you, sir, were you to spend any amount of time with me, you would quickly learn that I hate myself.

See you all on the other side!

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