Contemporary Camaraderie

Come for the tunes, stay for the friendship

Guster fans can be pretty intense. Not only do they fiercely love the band's music (which is hard to classify; it's maybe some hybrid of indie, pop, rock, classic rock and new-age, with plenty of gags thrown in), but they fiercely love each other. As a result, Guster shows are festival-style affairs, with tons of love spread between audience and band alike, inside jokes galore and, on at least one occasion, a cake shared among attendees.

When we ask frontman Ryan Miller what it is that makes everyone so amicable at their concerts, he says, "I think that part of it is that we've always tried to be very sincere, and tried to trade in verisimilitude. We try not to condescend. I think that ethos of our band, where you make fun of yourself, or you call yourself out if you miss something, or you're gracious—I think that kind of thing creates an environment and a fan base that appreciates that."

Beyond just the kindness of the folks in attendance, of course the music is the basis of what brings everyone together. Since the debut record Parachute in 1994, momentum has only built and their sound has only evolved; and the band's latest release, Look Alive, which was recorded during a frigid winter in a keyboard museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a slight departure for the quartet.

It appropriately has a "icy, cold" sound, as opposed to the vintage-style warmth of the band's previous records. A chilly digital vibe pervades the record, and Miller says it was just what he was looking for in this political climate (no pun intended); "something that felt more contemporary and zeitgeisty."

Don't miss Guster's first-ever Santa Fe show this week, and be sure to wear something with rainbows or cactuses. Don't miss our extended interview with Miller, only on our website. (Charlotte Jusinski)

Guster with Kolars
8 pm Tuesday July 9. $32.50-$38.50.
Meow Wolf,
1352 Rufina St.,
395-6369.

Explosions in the Sky

This is the Fourth of July, dammit, and it's one of those holidays America clings to like a barnacle on the good ship Freedom … or something. Look, if you have the day off, you could do a lot worse than hitting up some public events. Do these instead of terrorizing the pets in your own neighborhood, OK? USA! USA! USA!
(Alex De Vore)

Fourth of July Celebration: 
6 pm Thursday July 4. Free.
Santa Fe Place Mall,
4250 Cerrillos Road,
473-4253.

July 4th BBQ: 
9 am-4 pm Thursday July 4. Free.
Iconik Coffee Roasters (Lupe),
314 S Guadalupe St.,
428-0996.

Jemez Springs Fourth of July Celebration: 
10 am-9 pm Thursday July 4. Free.
Town of Jemez Springs,
Highway 4.

Madrid Fourth of July Celebration: 
11 am Thursday July 4. Free.
Town of Madrid,
Highway 14.

Don’t Look Away

Robert Wilson

Photojournalists catch the most vital moments of our time, but even the most striking and painful images can lose their punch. The horrors of war may not fade, but the sucker-punch served by Vietnam War photos may not smart as much for Gen X'ers or millennials. Enter Living in History, a contemporary exhibition breathtaking in every sense of the word: beautiful, poignant, often relentlessly sad, and impossibly relevant. These photos, all taken since Sept. 11, 2001, represent what photojournalists are revealing about our current times, from the Syrian refugee crisis to Standing Rock. Add to the soup that journalists are under worse attack every day by our president, and these young photogs' work becomes more important than we ever could have imagined. (CJ)

Living in History:
5 pm July 5. Free.
Through Sept. 22.
Monroe Gallery of Photography,
112 Don Gaspar Ave.,
992-0800

Billions

Keith Langerman

After musician/producer Bill Palmer left Frogville Studios last year, his newfound mobile recording and production business exploded with acts both local and from afar. He's since built up quite a roster of musicians, so when he wanted to showcase the array of acts he'd been recording, a would-be small concert at Tumbleroot took on a life of its own and evolved organically into Billfest—a title started as a joke by participating musicians, and one that stuck. Palmer's set to repeat the process with a bigger lineup and two stages at Billfest 2, which features bands like his own TV Killers, Austin's Pike & Sutton and locals like Simon Lee-Plunket, Dust City Opera and more. Says Palmer, "This is a small but mighty representation of the world class talent that I'm fortunate to work with." Mighty, indeed. (ADV)

Billfest 2: 
1-10 pm Sunday July 7. Free.
Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery,
2791 Agua Fría St.,
225-1600