SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of Dec. 13

Songwriter David Berkeley hits a milestone, Acoma Pueblo pottery blows our minds, the Desert Chorale embraces the season and ‘The Nutcracker’ does, too

Time Flies

Santa Fe singer-songwriter David Berkeley celebrates 10 years since the release of his first locally-made record, The Fire In My Head

“I don’t really think about [the music] like a business,” says Santa Fe songwriter David Berkeley when asked if he’d be impressed if he met 10-years-ago Berkeley now. “Maybe if I did, I’d be more successful, but I kind of try to write the best songs I can and hope the world agrees.”

Ten-years-ago-Berkeley had just -recently moved to Santa Fe after stints in New York City, San Francisco, Europe and elsewhere. A chance encounter with musician-producer Jono Manson proved fruitful enough for the pair to collaborate on Berkeley’s The Fire in My Head, the first album he created after arriving in town circa July 2013. Between Berkeley’s soft mournful croon and vulnerable, poetic lyricism; the crispy guitar fingerpicking and subtle use of banjo, Fire remains a killer album with a timeless quality to this day. Americana would be the easier genre assessment, but Berkeley culls from indie rock sounds and Paul Simon-esque beauty while keeping his own voice intact.

“I consider it in some ways to be, I -dunno, my New Mexican record,” Berkeley explains ahead of his upcoming 10th -anniversary celebration and performance of Fire at Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery. “It marked a shift for me creatively; the start of an era—I think there’s a lot of desert in the writing that started a new kind of palette from the wildness of the West and the desert landscape and a certain frontier mentality.”

In contrast with his earlier efforts, The Fire In My Head certainly marked a high point in terms of songwriting chops. Since then he’s enlisted a band of Santa Fe heavy hitters such as Ben Wright (D Numbers), Susan Hyde Homes (Alpha Cats) and Karina Wilson (pretty much every local band ever). Together they’ll recreate some of the magic and throw in some newer jams for good measure.

A decade ago, “I think maybe I was a little more goal-driven back then and judged success in a different way,” Berkeley says. “Now, I feel like affecting people and achieving honesty of expression is an end in and of itself.” (Alex De Vore)

David Berkeley: The Fire In My Head 10th Anniversary Celebration: 7:30 pm Saturday, Dec. 16. $17. Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery, 2791 Agua Fría St., (505) 303-3808


If you’ve gone this far in life without catching at least a glimpse of the pottery that comes out of Acoma Pueblo, then, friend, you have been missing out. Luckily, Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery in Santa Fe has your back with an upcoming demonstration featuring mother-son duo Sandra and Cletus Victorino. To call the work intricate wouldn’t even come close to describing the levels of artistry on display, and we’re talking about a myriad of designs and vessels including tear drop jars, seed pots and more. That it’s a family affair also showcases the deep roots of the practice; that the spirals, checkerboards and fine line designs are among some of the most jaw-dropping we’ve ever seen doesn’t hurt, either. Catch the Victorinos live this week and see fine examples of pottery from other tribes in the shop while you’re there. (ADV)

Acoma Pueblo Pottery Demonstration and New Works: Noon-4 pm Thursday, Dec. 13. Free. Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery, 100 W San Francisco Street, (505) 986-1234

Vocal Range

The phrase “Christmas hits” probably conjures up “Jinglebell Rock” and something Mariah Carey sang to the rafters some years back. We suggest listeners reframe the idea with a different kind of wildly popular holiday number: composer Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” performed by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale as part of the season’s Candlelight Carols program. Though it employs Latin text centuries old about the manger and the virgin and whatnot, the seven-minute chorale work was published in 1994. It has since become the most requested piece in the group’s repertoire, according to Artistic Director Joshua Habermann. Plus, hear a stunning version of “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” and the classic finale of “Silent Night,” where the candles come in. Is it possible for a piano to sound like snow and points of light? Hear guest artist Nathan Salazar and decide for yourself.(Julie Ann Grimm)

Candlelight Carols: A Glimpse of Snow and Evergreen: 7pm Friday, Dec. 15; 4 pm, Sunday, Dec. 17; 7 pm Tuesday, Dec. 19; 7 pm Wednesday, Dec. 20-Friday Dec. 22. $20-$100. Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, 131 Cathedral Place,

What’s Crack-a-lacking?

Know what’s weirdly fun? When pre-internet things somehow went super-viral, and we mean across the globe. Case in point? Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, as Christmassy as a dance performance can be. If you somehow didn’t know, the show is all about a young girl who befriends a literal nutcracker (y’know, one of those nutcrackers that’s shaped like a dude) who comes to life and goes to war with the nefarious Mouse King. The production features New York City Ballet stars Brittany Pollack and Robert Fairchild, among others. Kids love it, we hear, and so do adults, and really we’re mainly telling you about this in case you’d like to start a new tradition with your kids or something; or if you’re keeping one alive. (ADV)

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Presents The Nutcracker: 2 pm and 7 pm, Saturday Dec. 16; 1 pm and 5 pm Sunday, Dec. 17. $36-$114. Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W San Francisco St., (505) 988-1234

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