Synthesize This

The sequel we've been dying for

Fear not, zombie-puppet-musical enthusiasts; while the premiere for this long-awaited sequel sold out, more showings are slated for this week. In the first installment of The Love That Would Not Die, which debuted approximately two years ago, humanity's preoccupation with positive thinking, pharmaceuticals and technology led, inevitably, to a zombie apocalypse in which people didn't just become zombies—they also became rock stars.

In the sequel Synthesize Me, alkie hero Stan returns (along with the most adorable sock puppet in the history of sock puppets, Sock Dog) and fights to save the world, while providing important (maybe?) back story (no spoilers here). The sequel introduces new characters and many new songs and continues mining questions of contemporary society with humor.

While the first installment was shot on iPhones, Synthesize Me was created with equipment from the now-defunct Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where local puppet masters Devon Hawkes Ludlow, Brandee Caoba, Damon Griffith and Sabrina Griffith, along with a team of artists and creators, hunkered down to produce a film whose higher production value happily shows off the artistry of the sets and puppets. But the movie is not just visually delightful—once again, the script and songs are gleefully sardonic about the ways in which people are destroying the world. "The first rule of science," Stan notes as he discusses his role in the current calamity, "is even if we fail and die, at least we contributed valuable data." The movie also expands its cast with the happy addition of local musician Jessie Deluxe as Stan's long-lost love, punk rock diva Lydia, and Space Lady, playing herself.

Hawkes Ludlow acknowledges the sequel is "a massive leap forward." Following the success of the first installment, this time "we had a lot more tools in our storytelling chest," but are nonetheless "still taking aim at apocalyptic thinking, Big Pharma, obsession with positive thinking, alcoholism …" He trails off. "There are too many targets in the target-rich environment we live in." While future showings and perhaps another exhibition of the puppets and sets may happen down the line, catch this home-grown masterpiece while you can. (Julia Goldberg)

The Love That Would Not Die, Part 2: Synthesize Me
7:30 pm Wednesday and Thursday Oct. 3 and 4; Noon Sunday Oct. 7. $9-$11.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
318 Montezuma Ave.,
466-5528; tickets here.

Woah-oh-oh, it’s Magic

Courtesty Francis Menotti

We at SFR love magicians, and always find ourselves blown away by a good sleight-of-hand artist or mentalist. Francis Menotti has 30 years in the biz and has performed anywhere from the Magic Castle (a big deal) and Obama's second-term inaugural ball (a bigger deal)—plus he stumped Penn and Teller on their show Fool Us (the biggest deal of all). Yeah, Menotti's got the goods. So when he comes to a theater like the Jean Cocteau with his bag of tricks and illustrious career, fans of the dark arts (jay kay, we know it's all in good fun) oughta take notice and pop on by. Menotti has a couple shows and a workshop (bring a deck of cards), so plan accordingly. (Alex De Vore)

Magic and Whimsy with Franis Menotti
7:30 pm Friday Oct. 5 and 2 pm Saturday Oct. 6. $10-$20.

The Magic of Adulting (18+ show)
7:30 pm Saturday Oct. 6. $20-$25.

Close-Up Magic Workshop with Francis Menotti
Noon-1 pm Saturday Oct. 6. $10.

Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,


Monique Nuijten

Y'all know Susan Hyde-Holmes, right? She's that celebrated local bassist for acts like Alpha Cats and the Santa Fe All-Stars? Well, it turns out that when you've had an illustrious Santa Fe music career, you make friends, and when you decide you want to put together an outdoor festival featuring said friends during the waning days of warm-ish weather, it's pretty easy. Thus, meet Susapalooza, a gathering of Hyde-Holmes' musical buds and the kind of thing that makes local music fans go, "Oh, damn. That's a lot of musical buds." Find performances from TK, TK, TK and MORE TK and, if you know Susan, give her a big thanks. (ADV)

3 pm Sunday Oct. 7. Free.
Mine Shaft Tavern,
2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid,

Alone Forever

Jordan Magee

OK OK OK OK OK—we'll admit to being a little torn. See, we've been asking our friends about Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers following their explosively popular NPR Tiny Desk Concert Performance from earlier this year, and nobody can tell us one way or another if the band is good, bad, weird, problematic, emotionally unhinged or otherwise worth listening to. Front man Frank Lopes Jr. has a definite style, one of obsession and intensely open emotions, but for every moment we find ourselves annoyed, another moment feels redeeming; for every lyric that makes us cringe, another makes us think. We're beginning to think there's no easy answer, but those who wish to know more can find the band at The Bridge this week. (ADV)

Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers
6:30 pm Monday Oct. 8. $22.50.
The Bridge @ Santa Fe Brewing Co.,
37 Fire Place,