I've got a kind of crazy idea here, but hear me out all the way before you skim a few sentences and then decide I’m worse than 10 Super Hitlers: Let’s get some fucking music venues going in this town in existing spaces! I mean, I can’t be the only one who hears whispers on the breeze about how new venues must be built and thinks, “Yeah, that’s financially possible…on opposite day!”
So consider this a plea to any sort of wealthy trust-funders who actually want to do something besides cocaine, skeezy business developers who might otherwise be strangling the life force out of our town, show promoters looking into ways of working with the city or even the city itself (after all, Javier, you did say that thing about "existing assets" in the totally amazing SFR Local Music Issue). I want any of you in any combination to think about the following spaces and about how it may just be easier to start small and save your money versus any attempt to construct something and then contend with insane overhead.
Tanti Luce 221
Whilst sitting on the second story balcony of this restaurant's fully bitchin' courtyard, a thought occurred to me—why the hell don't they open this thing up at night and have DJs or something? I've since heard that this does happen from time to time, but if this place threw together a few drink specials and started consistently booking events, I'd probably go all sorts, and there's no way I'm alone on this.
Back in the days of actual punk rock in Santa Fe, this was always a great venue for a change of pace/affordability. These days, I'm not even so sure they do much of anything at all. OK, so the alien décor is behind the times and people don't usually think of this as a great music space, but some years ago when Dead Dub Society's Isaiah Rodriguez partnered with Santa Fe Brewing for a night of dance jams, roller skating and awesome beers (thanks, picnic liquor license!), it proved that Rockin' Rollers is actually viable.
The Greyhound Station
Who owns this thing, and why didn't I look into who owns this thing? Both questions are shrouded in mystery, but the point remains the same: This could be a totally sweet space for one-off parties. Maybe some intrepid young DJs should just break in and put something together totally secret and off the books? I'm totally kidding (seriously, don't do that), but if those dumbass vodka commercials that feature a bunch of Stoli-swilling' electronic music fans who throw raves in abandoned subway tunnels proved one thing, it's that people will go anywhere to dance so long as there's booze and good music…in that order.
The Old Borders Building
It pisses me off that those awesome people who ran the Lucky Bean coffee shop were shut down for their willingness to throw shows in the cavernous waste of space that once housed Borders. Even the Bollywood Club Invasion party ditched Sanbusco, so maybe the powers that be (lookin' at you, aforementioned skeezy businessmen) over there ought to see how they might drum up a little interest via music events. Hell, y'all could probably make a buck or two while you're at it.
To be fair, I only list this one because I've heard some fairly reliable rumors that it will indeed be reopening. I advise the new mystery owners to look into improving sound, and I advise potential future guests to chill the fuck out on the violence and let people have a nice place to go hang and listen to music and/or grab a drink. Seriously, you guys, don't ruin this all over again.
That One Bowling Alley Above Flying Star
So does anyone know if this thing is for real? And if so, does anyone know why it's just sitting there collecting dust and spiders and lloronas instead of being an awesome venue?
This is also really sad, because what the hell kinda town doesn't have a bowling alley? Karaoke at Silva Lanes was always amazingly fun, and it would probably be pretty easy to book amazing shows here.
The Kokoman Circus Building
You know the one that's kind of downtown and housed the snooty grocery store ages ago? The roof of that building would be the coolest place for some patio-show action, don't cha think?