Lounge Red Velvet at Cake’s Café holds safe space for the LGBTQ+ set—and the jamz are fire, too
While Santa Fe remains a relatively safe city for its queer citizens (”relatively” being the operative word—no city is completely safe, mind you), we’re sorely lacking when it comes to specific spaces for LGBTQ+ cuties to come together and engage with their communities in safety. We’re talking about parties, folks. Gay bars; queer nights—gatherings where people can unabashedly be themselves, and where the music’s hot and thumping and you can quaff a drink or two—or not. And though there’s no one thing that’s going to fix everything, downtown eatery Cake’s Café is at least trying to carve out that aforementioned safe space with its weekly Friday event, Lounge Red Velvet. According to organizer Coleman O’Keeffe, the ongoing party is meant to recapture some of the old Santa Fe flair from the ’90s and aughts, too.
“That there aren’t any consistent queer spaces in Santa Fe blows my mind, because this is an amazing city; so we’re happy to contribute,” he tells SFR. “There’s always dancing, sure, but this is mainly about holding space and having a place you can go to have a good time, even if it’s at 11 at night—but where you can just drink water, and participate in your community.”
At the forthcoming iteration of Lounge Red Velvet, O’Keeffe welcomes local DJ consortium Famous on the Weekend, a collective-like entity with a growing roster of talented decksmiths. Other weeks are slated to feature acoustic musicians, hip-hop acts, lounge singers and who-even-knows-what-else. The idea, O’Keeffe adds, is that the event will continue to evolve over time and in line with what its participants want.
“And people have been so happy,” he continues. “Everyone who comes in says they have that same feeling that they can’t believe things like this are so few and far-between, and it’s not just the queer space of it all, but the situation where community comes to hold space for each other.”
In addition to the dance party aspect, O’Keeffe says Lounge Red Velvet will also have pizza and beer available, and it’s a cheap cover, too.
“We’re trying to create something for everybody,” he says. “People need a place between home and work; that ‘third place’ mentality is super-important, and we need each other.”
Lounge Red Velvet parties go til 1 am. (Alex De Vore)
Lounge Red Velvet: 8 pm-1 am Friday, Oct. 20. $5. Cake’s Café, 227 Galisteo St., (505) 303-4880
Despite a brief brush with COVID-19 that pushed back opening plans, the New Mexico Actors Lab is back in fighting shape and debuting its production of playwright Jennifer Haley’s The Nether this week. A mature and nuanced sci-fi crime drama, Haley’s prescient 2013 opus is all at once a cautionary glimpse at artificial intelligence and the internet, a treatise on our deepest desires and a sprawling character study. In the not-too-distant future, the internet becomes The Nether, an omnipresent realm that blurs the lines between the real and the digital and where murder and sex are all too accessible. Given the increasingly ubiquitous nature of video gaming and AI that permeate the world, how does a constantly connected society compartmentalize its innermost thoughts and wants? The question is no longer about what we’ll do when the time of AI rises, but how we can react and evolve knowing it’s already here. (ADV)
New Mexico Actors Lab: The Nether: 7:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 18-Sat. Oct 21; 2 pm and 6 pm Sunday, Oct. 22. $15-$35. New Mexico Actors Lab, 1213 Parkway Drive, (505) 395-6576
You might think that music videos flared into existence when The Buggles hit your screen in 1981, but author and speaker Susan Delson points out that we can actually trace their lineage to some 40 years earlier and the Panoram movie machines and three-minute shorts known as soundies. Why don’t you know more about this? Likely because the progenitors of the medium were Black artists, and history sure loves burying their contributions. Now, though, with her new book Soundies and the Changing Image of Black Americans on Screen: One Dime at a Time, Delson unearths the history behind soundies and their impacts on American culture—Black and beyond. Delson visits Eldorado’s Vista Grande Public Library this week with the lowdown on what soundies were, how they worked and how they might be coming back around to a place of popularity. (ADV)
Susan Delson Soundies Talk: 1 pm Saturday, Oct. 21. Free. Vista Grande Public Library, 14 Avenida Torreon, (505) 466-7323
Johnny Get Your Guitar
Let’s talk about guitar slinger Johnny Lloyd, a guy with a passion as big as his beard and an obvious and healthy respect for the troubadour-style balladiers of yesteryear. Oh, that’s not to say Lloyd’s mired in the past or lacking variety. Heck, between his Marty Robbins-esque country storytelling action and penchant for jazzy licks, he’s actually treading into novel territory. Whether belting out a tune about his real-life busking adventures or making his way through a classic bit of countrified heartbreak lyricism, Lloyd’s almost always keeping us on our toes. It’s kinda fun, actually, to not be sure what a musician will do next. That makes ‘em worth watching, and with so many shows across town on the horizon, Lloyd is definitely one to watch. (ADV)
Johnny Lloyd: 4 pm-6 pm Tuesday, Oct. 24. Cowgirl, 319 S Guadalupe St., (505) 982-2565