Pumpkintown brings the magic
"The trunk was found by our friend Silas in his great aunt's attic after she died," Tim Eriksen tells SFR. "He'd been looking for a trunk his great uncle had made for him called the Family Trunk—he found, in fact, the wrong trunk, but it did contain a few things …"
Inside, Eriksen's pal found an old hymnal, a magic lantern (like an early projector that works with painted slides changed by hand), some sheet music and some musical instruments.
"So we decided to do what we could, to make it a work in progress,"
Eriksen continues. "If we couldn't figure out what the story was, we'd come up with our own."
Pumpkintown was born.
Eriksen is a Boston-based ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist. With Pumpkintown, he takes the contents of his friend's aunt's trunk and crafts a
story of a New England village based in both truth and myth. It's a far cry from his early days playing in Boston rock and punk bands. Pumpkintown instead requires no small amount of historical research and recreation; the songs and stories wind up like a mix of Americana, wistfully dark acoustic indie and ancient singing harp. Elsewhere in the show, the magic lantern is put to use by
collaborator Susan Brearey, who hand-paints the slides that illustrate the tales, and Eriksen recites facts, fictions and histories culled from the trunk's items. But as he says, it's a work in progress and expanding all the time.
"Because the story is not of musical genres, I can bring all these things into focus without having to make it about style," Eriksen says. "It's a story about us in the broadest sense—us as a nation with this mythical idea of New England as the birthplace of America which, of course, you in New Mexico would understand is a myth."
An album/book combo is currently in the works, but for our money, the live version seems something more special and worth experiencing.
"I've done a lot of work to let people know [Pumpkintown] exists," Eriksen says, "and they've found something within it that resonates."
(Alex De Vore)
Tim Eriksen and Susan Brearey: Music from Pumpkintown
8 pm Thursday May 30. $18.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,
The best kind of niche snacks are the ones that don't taste niche. You know, healthy that doesn't taste healthy; all-natural that foregoes the
granola-crunch stereotype; something vegan that pleases omnivores too. Thank Gaia, then, for local businesses that specialize in alt-protein snacks, chocolates and ice cream that even the staunchest cattle rancher would eat with glee. Gluten-free goods from local favorite bakers Drift & Porter, creative sweets from Chamisa Chocolate and the cakey creations of Danielle's Donuts are available this weekend at a pop-up at Sunset Swirl, Santa Fe's newest (and only?) vegan ice cream parlor. Save room, folks. (Charlotte Jusinski)
The Sweetest Treat Pop-Up:
Noon-3 pm Saturday June 1. Free (pay for snacks).
Lena Street Lofts,
1708 Lena St., Ste. 101
Los Angeles musician gnash feels a lot of feelings. That's not a bad thing, nor is that anything he hasn't said himself. In fact, it's kind of his whole thing. With songs like "T-Shirt" and "Happy Never After" off his we album from earlier this year, gnash merges hip-hop elements and indie-pop acoustic jams dripping with emo sensibilities by way of Sacramento spoken word/music weirdo Hobo Johnson. Perhaps this is a movement—gnash says it is—of those who feel feelings getting out there which, while nothing new (because, like, Get Up Kids still exist), is plenty welcome in an industry that seems to plumb the same old boring depths often. In other words, gnash has a lot of heart, and he's willing to share that. Are you willing to accept? (ADV)
gnash with Ana Clendening:
8 pm Sunday June 2. $20-$25.
1352 Rufina Circle,
Return of the Boom Bap
One can hardly throw a rock around Santa Fe without hitting a musician who has something to say about how African drumming changed their music forever. And though some local heroes like Luke Carr and Brothers Brothers have gone so far as to travel to Guinea and beyond in search of the source, many others don't have to: Drumming master Soriba Fofana lives right here, and he's offering lessons in djembe and dundun. Fofana takes over Warehouse 21 on Tuesdays for classes in West African drumming. If what we've been told about the man is even a little true, more than your music might wind up changed. (ADV)
West African Drumming with Soriba Fofana:
6 pm Tuesday June 4. $10-$20.
1614 Paseo de Peralta,