Sept. 19, 2017
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Courtesy WheelChair Sportscamp

It’s Hard Out There for a Gimp

August 30, 2017, 12:00 am

So says Kalyn Heffernan, aka Wheelchair Sports Camp, the wheelchair-bound Denver-based MC, on her song of the same name—the song that made us fall in love. Heffernan is fire, a studied lyricist who spits rhymes one day, goes to jail for her activism the next, shoots some of the coolest and most impressive music videos roaming the internet today and crafts clever, socially relevant lyrics to the tune of “shut the fuck up, she’s music-ing.”

“I found rap music when I was 5, so it’s really been my first identity,” Heffernan tells SFR. “Before I identified with my disability or my femininity or my queerness, it’s always been my first love. … I started writing my own raps when I was 12 for a talent show.” And they’re smart, a seamless mix of live hip-hop, jazz, experimentalism and Heffernan’s undeniably smooth flow. Through music, she explores all aspects of herself and the rap game: The MC, the educator, the activist, the self-described shit-talker, Heffernan picks apart preconceived societal notions of her disability, her musical ability and beyond.

She’s grown with the music as well, putting together her own beats, sampling from anything that sounds good, working with live drums and trumpet (not to mention a pedal steel guitarist for her current tour) and collaborating with underground beatsmiths in the pursuit of original sound. “I used to make all the beats and produce it all—I started making beats in high school when I couldn’t afford to pay men to do it for me or pay for studio time to teach myself,” she says. “I’ve been trying to produce more for other people in the studio, which has been awesome; we had the late, great Ikey Owens produce [the song] ‘No Big Deal’ before he passed away, and he made it what it is.”

See, it’s more than a simple love of hip-hop that drives Heffernan—it’s in her bones. “I’ve always been drawn to it,” she explains, “since the first time I heard it scrolling through the radio stations. It’s pretty inexplicable. It’s always been my everything.”

Find out more this week as Wheelchair Sports Camp takes the stage alongside local MC Benzo III at Second Street Brewery’s brand-spanking-new Rufina Street location. (Alex De Vore)

Wheelchair Sportscamp with Benzo III
8 pm Saturday Sept. 2. $10.
Second Street Brewery (Rufina Taproom),
2920 Rufina St.,

This is Important…

Courtesy Israel Francisco Haros Lopez
If there’s a harder-working artist and coordinator than Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, we don’t know ‘em. From his Chicano Codex Coloring Book and recent solo shows at Iconik Coffee Roasters to his work tutoring youths and locking down tech and help for the school-aged set, he’s basically the best. This time out, however, Lopez brought together seven local artists like Niomi Fawn, Jared Antonio-Justo Trujillo and others to create portable murals for the Siler Yard Arts + Creativity Center, the upcoming live/work/create space in the revitalized Siler Road area. Lopez and crew reveal and dedicate the murals this Thursday along with Mayor Javier Gonzales. (Alex De Vore)

Now More Than Ever Mural Dedication:
5:30 pm Thursday Aug. 31. Free.
Siler Yard,
Siler Road and Trades West Road

Calling All Neigh-Sayers

Tanner Jensen, “Wild at Heart”
Unless a horse talked smack about you sometime, it would be really hard to dislike them. They’re beautiful, graceful, intelligent and intuitive—and they’re also often abandoned and neglected. The Horse Shelter takes care of equines in need, and this week it presents the nationally touring Equus Film Festival fundraiser. There are plenty of feel-good films and even a block especially for kids—but those interested in history, social justice or the science of genetics will also find something worthwhile. The Horse Shelter’s own story screens on Friday evening in Horse Shelter Diaries. Get descriptions and times of film blocks in our calendar (starting page 19), or check for more info. (Charlotte Jusinski)

Equus Film Festival:
Various times Thursday- Sunday, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.
$10 per block; $75 for whole weekend.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,

Basin Street Blues

Courtesy New Mexico True
You’ve felt the change in the weather and you’ve thought about tuning up your skis for the upcoming winter season—so long, summer; fall is here. But you can ease in smoothly and slowly, before the snow makes it more challenging for everyday people to scale the mountain, and you can embrace fall activities and a performance from Red River-area duo Alchemie while you’re at it. OK, they’re goofy, but they’re also fun. And with other things to do like chairlift rides, disc golf and, of course, beer, you were mostly going for the view anyway, right? (ADV)

Fall Activities:
10 am-3 pm Monday Sept. 4. Free.
Ski Santa Fe,
740 Hyde Park Road,


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