The Funktastic Messers Fox
Todd and the Fox returns—this time for the kids
It’s not as if Todd Lovato and Erik Sawyer of Todd and the Fox stopped making music on purpose over the last however many years, but more that life, the universe and everything got in the way. Pre-pandemic, the dynamic duo last mounted shows in Colorado, sure, but for any New Mexicans who’ve followed the band (or Lovato’s long and illustrious career as a Santa Fe musician), their upcoming performance at the Queen Bee Music Association’s Honeypot Hootenanny might technically be called a reunion. And even as band newcomer Brian Nelson joins in, longtime fans will still recognize the T&TF sound.
“This is what I’d call a combination of the vintage Todd and the Fox songs,” Lovato tells SFR, “and a series of kids’ songs.”
Unexpected though it may be, Lovato’s new songs-for-children bent aligns well with Queen Bee’s mission to spread music far and wide, particularly for young, developing folks. For his part, Lovato, a father himself, came to creating the stuff naturally during what he calls “the dark times; when we were all cloistered.” He worked with his kids on the sound and style, and together they circumvented the worst tropes of the genre—those that seemingly talk down to kids.
“I’ve always been a fan of good kids’ music; like, Harry Nilsson’s The Point, some of the songs by Barenaked Ladies—and I don’t even like that band—or They Might Be Giants,” Lovato explains. “I’ve had an affinity for kids’ music for a long time, but there’s so much bad stuff out there! Kids’ music has been insulting forever, it’s usually racially-skewed, you don’t see a whole lot of people of color. Thankfully, it’s getting more attention now, there’s a revolution, there’s a change.”
Todd and the Fox for sure takes that route on the Funky Worm|Night is Good EP. This stuff sounds like later Aquabats mingling with Cake and that unique Nilsson-esque silliness thrown in to round things out. You’ll find funk for sure, but in a kid-friendly fashion amidst musical elements that don’t assume kids are too unsophisticated to get it. In short? It’s fun for you and your kids, plus the event helps raise funds for Queen Bee to continue doing its thing. (Alex De Vore)
Queen Bee Honeypot Hootenanny with Todd and the Fox: 1-3 pm Saturday, May 20. By donation. Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery, 2791 Agua Fría St., (505) 303-3808
Experimental film geeks will find the Jennifer West-curated Lust Severs show at the Thoma Foundation’s Railyard-based Art Vault thrilling. But even if you’ve never seen West’s work, you don’t need much context to get the appeal. West, who tells SFR she approached the exhibition as a “techno-archaeologist,” delights in tactility, exposing film strips to pepper spray, skateboard wheels and smoke. Thus far, Art Vault has proven to be all about the textural qualities of digital art, and it presents this show among three events promoting the release of the monograph Jennifer West: Media Archaeology, alongside a screening at No Name Cinema and a book launch at SITE Santa Fe (see sfreporter.com/cal for details). All the same, given the parallels between filmmaking and curating, we’re especially excited for this one. (Siena Sofia Bergt)
Lust Severs (reception and preview): 7 pm Friday, May 19. Free with registration. Thoma Foundation Art Vault, 540 S Guadalupe St., (505) 428-0681; bit.ly/41MNtmq
That’s a Wrap
You could say the Museum of International Folk Art’s new exhibit has been in the works for at least four years, ever since a 2019 colloquium in Alaska on the culturally crucial art of parka-making. However, the 20 garments featured in Ghhúunayúkata/To Keep Them Warm really represent more than 150 years of Indigenous innovation. From a traditional Yupik ceremonial seal gut parka to Dena’ina artist Joel Isaak’s fish skin motorcycle jacket, the flexibility of form and fashion the pieces collectively demonstrate echoes the naturally treated furs, hides and innards used to create them: bending rather than cracking in the face of even the most extreme conditions. (SSB)
Ghhúunayúkata/To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka (opening): 1-4 pm Sunday, May 21. Free. Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, (505) 476-1204
It can be easy to come to a place with blues-rock wherein one winds up exhausted by the sheer and endless guitar wankery of it all. It’s kind of like, do you wanna watch some goob bend strings and make orgasm faces? When we put it that way, maybe not (thanks a lot, John Mayer). When it comes to Santa Fe’s Zay Santos, though, there’s one thing keeping it real and keeping it tight: Sincerity. “I’m writing from the depths of myself,” Santos told SFR when he was first playing shows around town in 2018. So while there will most certainly be fuzzed-out guitar riffage of a bluesy nature should you see the guy play, know that he’s coming at it in the most organic way he can rather than checking boxes and playing blues scales all fast. That’s gotta count for something. (ADV)
Zay Santos: 4 pm Monday, May 22. Free. Cowgirl. 319 S Guadalupe St., (505) 982-2565