Aug. 19, 2017
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Courtesy Ashley Raines

On a Mission from God

Ashley Raines is not a gospel singer

July 19, 2017, 12:00 am

I first saw Ashley Raines play on May 20, 2009. He was touring in support of his self-titled album and, at a loss for what to even call his sound at the time, I tweeted that it was “sexy funk-country.” (Now, I’d add bluesy Americana-ish-but-darker, with a question mark to be safe.) His voice was alternately scraping and soaring, gravel mixed with glass beads. A steel guitar came alive in his lap. Notes bent and curled in the dim bar. Since, his music is comfortable but exciting—every time, a familiar face in a foreign city.

For Raines, whose storied background is the stuff Emmett Kelly only dreamed of, life is music. His isn’t jaunty Americana for backyard barbecues; these songs have brewed for years, distilling the human condition into a batch of something that burns. His songs often reference religion (when asked why, he says: “If I was in France, I’d speak French”), but his is a deity to be jeered and questioned, not blindly praised.

For It Could Be Worse, his new record out Aug. 25, he’s “gotten the band back together” and joined up with the musicians and producers with whom he first recorded in 1998. I recently asked Raines how the zeitgeist influenced it. He scoffed at the question. “That’s a young person’s game,” he says of writing for the times. “If you’re worried about shaping up what you’re doing because of however the wheel is rolling, I think you’re just gonna get rolled over by it.”

While his sound has tightened and deepened through the years, his honesty remains the same. He has no schtick. “The songs—they’re yours when you’re working on them,” he says, “and after that they’re not yours any more. It’s just my job at that point to open up the basket and say, ‘Here they are. Take them or leave them.’” (Charlotte Jusinski)

Ashley Raines with Jake Stanton and Vanessa Aricco
8 pm Friday July 21. Free.
Mine Shaft Tavern,
2846 Hwy. 14,

4 pm Sunday July 23.
Free. Duel Brewing,
1228 Parkway Drive,

A Young Wo/Man’s Game

Thorsten Schröder
Santa Fe native Spencer Byrne-Seres marks his return to the City Different from the Pacific Northwest with a project spotlighting the youth of Santa Fe: 30 Under 30. In the same vein as Forbes’ list, Byrne-Seres and collaborator Roz Crews aim to compile a list of what young adults of Santa Fe are up to, but you don’t have to be a tech billionaire or young genius to make the list. Rather, the project, made into a documentary, is built around chance encounters and casual conversations, making the whole thing inclusive, diverse and fun. Catch the free screening this Wednesday and learn more about the young ’uns of Santa Fe. (Lauren Thompson)

30 Under 30 Screening:
6 pm Wednesday July 19. Free.
2889 Trades West Road, Ste. E.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Alan Johnson
You can thank your dark lord for the sinister appearance of Colorado Goth Fest 2017—a six-band affair scheduled to take over pretty much all of Skylight with new wave, darkwave, industrial and punk rock excellence. “We started working on this show four months ago,” promoter/DJ Sam Haozous says. “[This is] possibly the largest amount of touring bands on one ticket I’ve seen in Santa Fe in awhile.” Bands include Los Angeles’ Vain Machine, NYC’s Gold Trash, San Antonio’s Encrypted and Denver’s eHpH (in their first-ever appearance in the area). What a great excuse to break out your black clothes, get made up and tease your hair as big as it’ll go. Plus, goths are hot, so… (Alex De Vore)

Colorado Goth Fest 2017 Invasion of Skylight:
7 pm Thursday July 20. $10.
139 W San Francisco St.,

Nuclear Reaction

Courtesy Davina and the Vagabonds
The 2017 Santa Fe Bandstand series is in full swing, and if you’ve been missing out—well, that’s just not good. Rectify your mistakes and be glad you did with Banda Atómica, a radioactively good time featuring about a bazillion members playing big-band style salsa. What’s that, you ask? It’s dancey, OK? Just be there. Minnesota’s Davina and the Vagabonds headlines and is perfect for anyone who longs for the likes of Amy Winehouse or still thinks about how Betty Boop was a babe. Whatever your poison might be, this thing’s free and outside, so stop with the excuses and start with the being-the-hell-there. (ADV)

Santa Fe Bandstand: Banda Atómica with Davina and the Vagabonds:
6 pm Tuesday July 25. Free.
Santa Fe Plaza,
100 Old Santa Fe Trail.


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