SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of June 12

Does AI dream of natural wine?


Back Where They Belong

CURRENTS New Media Festival returns to the Railyard for its 15th year

Without casting aspersion on any -iterations of the long-running progressive arts and tech festival CURRENTS—which in recent years took place at the Rodeo grounds and Center for Contemporary Arts—having this year’s festival return to El Museo Cultural in the Railyard where it all began just feels…right.

“We’re back where we belong,” co-founder Frank Ragano says with a laugh. “It definitely feels like a homecoming, and we’re in the middle of the install now, where everything is going great.”

Ragano quickly rattles off a long list of staffers and interns he says will make the upcoming nine-day fest possible for the 95 artists showing across this year’s crop of pieces. The show as a whole, he notes, incorporates a wide array of backgrounds, viewpoints and artistic desires, and CURRENTS should have something for everyone—from AR and VR to interactive elements, audio experimentalism, panels, performances, film and more. This year’s festival particularly emphasizes how artists can harness and work with AI. While many in the arts world are justifiably nervous about AI’s rising ubiquity, the technology can also be a helpful tool for those looking to innovate, he says, and several pieces will showcase that potential.

“We’ll have a variety, and…I know there’s a lot of schlock that people create with AI,” Ragano says, “but people are really learning how to use it in interesting and artistic ways.”

Beyond that, however, folks will have to attend the festival to see the rest of the good stuff spoiler-free. Of its exhibiting artists this year, 55 percent hail from New Mexico, Colorado and Texas, and collaboration seems to be the name of the game for the momentous addition to the CURRENTS legacy. Even cooler? CURRENTS only costs $10 for a one-off ticket; $15 for all-access entry and not a dang thing for folks under 20. Score one for arts accessibility. (Alex De Vore)

CURRENTS New Media Festival 2024: Various times Friday, June 14-Sunday, June 23. $10-$15 (20 and under free), El Museo Cultural, 555 Camino de la Familia,


Brass Tacks

Though the annual Juneteenth holiday to commemorate the end of slavery technically falls on June 19 each year, Santa Fe has the chance to celebrate a little earlier when Grammy-nominated New Orleans-based Hot 8 Brass Band comes to the Plaza for a free show on Saturday, June 15. A pitch-perfect melange of jazz, funk and hip-hop, the band has been making waves in recent years with its high-energy sound that somehow seamlessly merges traditional elements with contemporary without missing a beat. The festivities begin at 4 pm and run through the night with hip-hop from SpaceCadets, blues with Brotha Love and the Bluesristrocrats, West African drumming with Soriba Fofona, dance jamz with DJ Sol and, finally, Hot 8 Brass Band. (ADV)

Juneteenth Celebration 2024: 4-9 pm Saturday, June 15. Free. Santa Fe Plaza 63 Lincoln Ave.,


Au Natural

Santa Fe is, of course, a foodie town, and where foodies tread, wine is sure to follow. With that in mind, and because there’s so much hubbub surrounding the now omnipresent world of natural wines, behold the upcoming event Dérive, a festival of sorts dedicated to natural wine and its makers at the Scottish Rite Center. Given the more than 30 tasting tables featuring vintners, importers and distributors, attendees are bound to find their new vino obsessions or, at the very least, leave armed with knowledge about the next big thing in wines. Word on the street is the event will feature 200 different wines to sample, so be sure to drink plenty of water, too. (ADV)

Dérive: Noon-4 pm Sunday, June 16. $40 Scottish Rite Center, 463 Paseo de Peralta



Toss this one on the list of semi-miraculous occurrences: Japanese two-piece art/punk/noise/experimental act Melt Banana is coming back to Santa Fe, and the show has somehow not sold out yet (as of this writing, anyway). Oh, make no mistake—Melt Banana isn’t really for those on the fence when it comes to avant garde sounds, but the powerhouse presence of Yasuko Onuki and Ichiro Agata deftly recalls the likes of The Locust, XBXRX and Polysics while forging its own niche within the punk rock pantheon. Yes, it’s going to get weird, but it might be just the thing for those sick of the same-old, same-old. Also? It rocks. It rocks so hard. (ADV)

Melt Banana: 7 pm Tuesday, June 18. $26 Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle, (505) 395-6369

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