Here’s the scene: It was 2004, and a newly 21-year-old me was so incredibly hungover I was scared. But ’twas no matter, for it was a special day—Quadstock at the College of Santa Fe! What was then a loosely affiliated and underpromoted day of music featured on the clamshell located in the heart of campus had been on my calendar for months because indie act The Stereo was playing, and my god-awful “punk” band had an opening slot. The other two dudes in the band were phenomenally sick as well, but it was agreed upon that we were totally good enough as musicians to make it happen right. We were so wrong. My guitar wouldn’t tune, The Stereo was angry because we were hotheads and swore too goddamn much and the organizers repeatedly and faux-politely told us that we’d played enough. Abysmal.
Cut to 10 years later and Quadstock is still a thing, a better thing. It’s as if to answer recent prayers for some sort of community, uh, togetherness kind of thing, Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s upcoming annual music festival is on the horizon, and it’s going to be a good one. Acts like Balkan quartet Rumelia, rock champs Venus and the Lion, Americana duo Round Mountain, jam rockers Catnip Tea, Mi, indie/emo trio To Build a Fire and many more will be on hand rockin’ out for two whole days, and y’all need to get hip. After all, Quadstock is 100 percent open to the community and 100 percent free, so the bitching stops here (temporarily).
“[Quadstock] was an informal event, mainly a way to get outdoors and play some music once the weather got predictable in May,” head of SFUAD’s contemporary music program Steven Paxton, says. “It lapsed for a couple years, and then Caitlin Brothers took the lead in revitalizing and integrating it with the alumni reunion on the same weekend.”
Brothers, a SFUAD student herself, has poured so much of herself into the two-day event, which features both local and touring musical acts alongside spoken word, comedy arts and, we assume, all kinds of dancing.
“I had help from Steven Paxton, and I tried to make it a collective effort and worked with alumni coordinators, but it was supposed to be just a part of the alumni weekend,” Brothers says. “I wanted to go for a lot more, since I talk a lot about wanting more from the Santa Fe music scene—the arts scene in general. So if I talk about something, I think I should probably work to make that happen.”
Authors’ note: I get the feeling she’s being modest but probably really worked her ass off.
“The Santa Fe scene is starting to move into this sort of ripeness when it comes to artistic change, and I want to get in on that,” she goes on to say. “I think anyone who doesn’t is fucking crazy.”
Brothers has been promoting heavily over the past year both on campus and off at her super-secret house show location, and her dedication to ushering in change and excellent musicians of all creeds and styles is absolutely without question.
At only 19, Brothers has quietly bettered the scene from behind the scenes, both as a promoter and musician herself. Perhaps you know her better as a member of bands like her own project, Bedlambs, or Luke Carr’s sci-fi superband Storming the Beaches with Logos in Hand. And though Brothers says that she “can’t pick a single thing that stands out as more important than another” when it comes to Quadstock, it’s important to support the event for several reasons.
First of all, it’s time to show these SFUAD student bands/musicians like Ruder and the Shockwaves and Angelo Harmsworth that we want them out in the community at large more often. It’s weird as hell that so many students insist on a campus-most-of-the-time lifestyle, so maybe we should go to them. Cool? Cool.
Secondly, we’re talking about two whole days of free music here. If we don’t all start actually coming together for things like this, local music factions will continue working at odds with one another but toward the same end—and that’s just stupid.