Santa Fe’s Cloacas celebrates its third full-length record with anniversary show
How on Earth does one begin to classify Santa Fe act Cloacas? On the one hand, the band pulls from elements of New Orleans big band, Americana, bluegrass, folk and even soul—on the other, even vocalist and clarinetist Lenore Gusch isn’t quite sure how to label what’s going down.
“Many have tried,” she tells SFR, “but hell if I know!”
What Gusch does know is that the band is clicking perhaps like never before. This is evident on Year of the Fox, Cloacas’ third full-length release and its most cohesive work to date. Fox was actually recorded all the way back in 2018 but, according to Gusch, the band kept, “hitting...roadblocks that kept pushing the release back.” This included dark times of separation during the pandemic, which, according to Gusch, gave Cloacas’ members the space to miss the music and each other.
As such, it actually wasn’t until roughly a year ago that Cloacas’ latest opus hit listeners’ ears. The wait, however, was worth it. This, folks, is maturation. Gusch describes the band’s songwriting process as “beautiful and synchronous,” the kind of jams that are born of group improvisation over many iterations.
“It’s such a cliché,” she continues, “but I really do feel like our songs come from somewhere else.”
Wherever they come from, the tunes on Fox feel almost score-like, like mini stories captured across musical movements that wend through dark and emotive worlds and back again. Track “River Climber,” for example, cuts through soft introspective moments and a haunting bit of singing saw, and “The Widow and the Weaver” adopts an almost medieval jaunty flair between more dissonant clarinet sections. Album closer “Olympus” might be the true banger, though, with its slow trudge to wistful scatting and then full-band caterwauling.
“We have quite a bit of unrecorded material already,” Gusch says of the future. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up in the studio before too long.” (Alex De Vore)
Cloacas Album Anniversary Show: 8 pm Saturday, Jan. 21. Free. Second Street Brewery (Rufina), 2920 Rufina St., (505) 954-1068
In New Mexico, names such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Nina Otero-Warren are well-known and mentioned often. Like it or not, they’re some of the people who shaped culture as we know it around here. The lesser-known ladies who shaped our territory, however, aren’t elicited nearly as much, but an upcoming talk at the New Mexico History Museum through the School for Advanced Research aims to shine a light on their contributions. This Thursday, find Saint Louis University Associate History Professor Flannery Burke in conversation with Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez, associate professor of English and an associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. Together, they’ll touch on some of the women who made our state what it is. Our guess is that you leave uplifted. (ADV)
Women of the Lost Territory: 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 19. $15 (free for SAR members). New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave., (505) 475-5100
When thinking of Cuba’s cultural exports, photography likely isn’t the first medium to come to mind. Artes de Cuba Co-director (and native Cubano) Stuart Ashman aims to correct that blind spot. “Cuba has been a center of photographic activity since the middle of the 19th century,” he notes. “By 1910, Havana had more photography studios than Paris and New York combined.” The nine artists showcased in Foto Cuba utilize the form to drastically different effect, from the tactile archival experimentations of Jose Manuel Fors to Jennifer Rico’s surreal and watery dreamscapes. Taken together, they present a multifaceted view of an island nation too often seen through a limited lens. (Siena Sofia Bergt)
Foto Cuba (opening): 4:30-7 pm, Friday, Jan. 20. Free. Artes de Cuba, 1700 A Lena St., (505) 303-3138
Santa Feans who don’t particularly need assistance might not know that our local food bank, The Food Depot, is easily one of the best in the country, both in terms of impact and community engagement. Whatever their reasons, our citizens deserve to eat—food should be a human right. Of course, it’s not always that simple, but there is help. This Tuesday, find The Food Depot going mobile at the Santa Fe Public Library’s Southside branch. It’s a monthly affair to help Santa Feans, and though the outpost offering only runs a brief 90 minutes, it helps locals from going hungry on the regular. You can always donate to The Food Depot, too, at thefooddepot.org. Just remember a few bucks goes much further than those old canned pears you don’t want to eat. (ADV)
Food Depot Mobile Food Pantry: 10-11:30 am Tuesday, Jan. 24. Free. Santa Fe Public Library Southside. 6599 Jaguar Drive, (505) 955-2820