Best Arts, Music or Food Blog

Steve Terrell and Santa Fe VIP (tied)

We all probably know the Terrell win is no surprise—he's a downright local institution and the kind of writer we all aspire to be and is prolific, to say the least. Kudos as well to Victor Romero and his site that basically makes it easier to go out at night. Y'all are both VIPs in the eyes of this town.

2. Gourmet Girl

3. The Fork

Best Band: Alternative

As In We

It was touch-and-go there for a sec with As In We hitting a hiatus shortly after last year's Bandstand performance, but they're back and stronger than ever with their signature complex math riffs built on accessibly poppy structures and the kind of harmonizing that makes you wish you had three ears with which to hear.

2. The Strange

3. Thieves & Gypsys

Best Band: Americana

Joe West and the Santa Fe Allstars

In a musical town that thrives on country and Americana, Joe West and his roving team of contributors shine. Unleashing what's been called "theatrical folk music," West and the crew deliver unabashed, rock-tinged Americana on the regular. Next time you catch West, ask him about his "Theater of Death," the musician's foray into musical/horror theater.

2. Anthony Leon & the Chain

3. Broomdust Caravan

Best Band: Country/Alt-Country

Joe West and the Santa Fe Allstars

Unfortunately, the All-Stars no longer exist, but it's an easy mistake to make. See, Joe West has his finger in a lot of musical pies, so you can be forgiven for maybe not knowing that the All-Stars called it quits after their mandolin player Sharon Gilchrist left Santa Fe a couple years back. If you need to scratch a similar itch, however, there's always the Santa Fe Revue, a similar band that finds West popping in to lead from time to time.

2. Bill Hearne Trio

3. Anthony Leon & the Chain

Best Band: Hip-Hop

Boomroots Collective

By melding the über-popular sounds of hip-hop and reggae, this long-running band has won fans and friends and now awards. They've appeared in official SFR locally curated playlists, kept 'em dancing at countless shows, released singles and full-lengths and all the while reminded us why smoking weed is awesome. Get down.

2. Sublmnl Rnsons

3. Outstanding Citizens

Best Band: Metal

Choking on Air

OK, this is awesome, because a local band made of and run by teens has captured your hearts and won this prestigious award. Choking on Air utilizes the heave chug-chug with a healthy dose of emotionally charged lyricism, and while they may not have been melting faces as long as their esteemed Best of Santa Fe colleagues, what they lack in history they more than make up for with really fucking meaning it.

2. Savage Wisdom

3. Carrion Kind

Best Band: Rock

Alex Maryol

Maryol has been doing Santa Fe proud since basically the dawn of time, and his popularity cannot be contained by mere years! Yes, Maryol does great things on his own, but when he plugs in and brings backup, sparks fly. He takes his many years studying music and honing his skills and totally unleashes the shred upon unsuspecting audiences, although everyone here already knows that. Why isn't this guy hugely famous again?

2. The Strange

3. Anthony Leon & the Chain

Best Busker

Michael Combs

Ask just about any busker you find in downtown Santa Fe, and they'll tell you they owe a lot to Michael Combs. The man's been at it forever, and there's a certain spark of mischief in his eye that makes you super-pumped about the whole thing. He's worked with the Busker Alliance to help combat the recent city ordinance, he's spoken eloquently about the plight of his people, he's a champion of the everyman and he's one hell of a creative force.

2. Dana Smith

3. Adam Griffo

Best Club

Skylight

Like there was any doubt? Sure, there are other clubs, but Skylight is owned and run by DJs, poets and musicians, so they know what they've gotta do. They've got multiple rooms going on any given night so they can satisfy any entertainment itch, be it for metal, punk, comedy, dubstep, hip-hop, house, reggae, country…basically anything. And though it's fair to hold your breath a little whenever a new business you like appears (y'know, because sometimes they come and go), Skylight is clearly here to stay.

139 W San Francisco St., 982-0775
skylightsantafe.com

2. El Farol

808 Canyon Road, 983-9912
elfarolsf.com

3. Cowgirl BBQ

319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565
cowgirlsantafe.com

Best Contemporary Art Gallery/Space

SITE Santa Fe

SITE Santa Fe
SITE Santa Fe | Peter Sills

Think for a moment how lucky we are to have such a boundary-defying, envelope-pushing, mind-blowing space. Seriously, do it now. OK. Pretty lucky, right? Right. For 20 years, SITE has hosted the beautiful, the avant-garde, the disturbing...in a word? Art. If the ultimate goal of art is to incite emotion and/or debate, then of course SITE Santa Fe is king. Plus, they have free days, too!

1606 Paseo de Peralta, 989-1199
sitesantafe.org

2. Center for Contemporary Arts

1050 Old Pecos Trail, 982-1338
ccasantafe.org

3. Blue Rain Gallery

130 Lincoln Ave., 954-9902
blueraingallery.com

Best Dance Company

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

It's safe to say that ballet is not for everyone, but for those who love it already or can get past whatever sitcom version of the art form they have in their brains, there is much to appreciate. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has proved this time and time again since '96, while providing an arts exchange with the fine city of Aspen and a home for multiple choreographers to put their love of contemporary dance to work.

550 St. Michael's Drive, Ste. B1 983-5591
aspensantafeballet.com

2. National Dance Institute

1140 Alto St., Ste. B1, 983-7646
ndi-nm.org

3. Pomegranate Studios

535 Cerrillos Road, 986-6164
pomegranatestudio.org

Best Dive Bar

The Matador

Just about the only place we can think of where punk rock is the rule rather than the exception, the Matador has been the kind of loud-ass, stiff-drink, good times and great oldies subterranean hole-in-the-wall that many of us always longed to have in Santa Fe. This is no-frills drinking and rocking and a great way, believe it or not, to meet people. Get down those stairs right now.

116 W San Francisco St.

2. Evangelo's

200 W San Francisco St.

3. Mine Shaft Tavern

2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid, 473-0743
themineshafttavern.com

Best Event or Festival

Santa Fe Bandstand

As this year's series has been rockin' a few weeks now, chances are you've been to at least a couple gigs by the time you read this. With over 80 completely free shows covering just about every genre one could want, it isn't surprising the Bandstand has captured your hearts and ears for 13 years.

Santa Fe Plaza, 63 Lincoln Ave., 986-6054
santafebandstand.org

2. International Folk Art Market

404 Kiva Court, Ste. G, 992-7600
folkartalliance.org

3. Santa Fe Fiesta
santafefiesta.org, 913-1517

Best Gallery

SITE Santa Fe

As we already said, SITE Santa Fe is usually pretty incredible, but did you know you can also purchase some of the installations? That is downright excellent for collectors and aficionados and anyone out to one-up their friends by saying things like, "Oh, that piece in the vestibule? It was in a beloved museum." In. Your. Face.

1606 Paseo de Peralta, 989-1199
sitesantafe.org

2. Nedra Matteucci Galleries

1075 Paseo de Peralta, 982-4631
matteucci.com

3. Blue Rain Gallery

130 Lincoln Ave., 954-9902
blueraingallery.com

Best Live DJ

DJ Feathericci

The system clearly works, as Feathericci is not only a musician of top-notch caliber, he's a crazy-talented and multifaceted DJ who knows how to get a party started like no other. As a founder of local imprint Mesa Recordings and an honest-to-God musician for all kinds of local acts, his genre-defying knowledge gives him the edge over the less varied and places him squarely in a league of his own.

2. Dynamite Sol

3. Oona Bender

Best Karaoke

Tiny's

For as long as anyone can remember, Cindi and Nanci's Showcase Karaoke has been packing 'em in and keeping 'em singing. And even though the remodeled Tiny's still has the feeling of your grandmother's basement, it doesn't stop the young and the bold from knocking back the beers and participating in the proud and goofy tradition known as the empty orchestra.

1005 S St. Francis Drive, 983-9817
tinyssantafe.com

2. Cowgirl BBQ

319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565
cowgirlsantafe.com

3. The Palace

142 W Palace Ave., 428-0690
palacesantafe.com

Best Local Instagram Feed

@howtosantafe

Kicked off by local creative agency 12FPS, #howtosantafe has also become the go-to tag for proving to your followers that you love chile, go hiking, party hard and generally love your town. Even out-of-town Instagrammers have utilized the feed to document their experiences in town, and the whole thing goes to show that Santa Fe has pretty much become amazing lately.

2. @simplysantafenm

3. @santafebrew

Best Movie House

Jean Cocteau Cinema

Kudos to George RR Martin for doing the thing we all daydream about if we were to become rich—making his town cooler. Jean Cocteau goes mainstream, sure, but they also host midnight cult flicks, provide Game of Thrones screenings, invite authors and bands to appear and can boast a full bar. So go ahead, we dare you—name a cooler art house theater.

418 Montezuma Ave., 466-5528
jeancocteaucinema.com

Jean Cocteau Cinema
Jean Cocteau Cinema | Peter Sills

2. CCA Cinematheque

1050 Old Pecos Trail, 992-1338
ccasantafe.org

3. The Screen

1600 St. Michael's Drive, 473-6494
thescreensf.com

Best Museum

International Folk Art Museum

The best thing about folk art is its inspirational nature. You don't have to be a master to create works of stunning artistic merit, you must simply have a feeling to convey or an artistic itch to scratch. For over 60 years, the Museum of International Folk Art has provided a space with which to share that art as well as that ever-important feeling of connectivity that comes hand in hand with the visual arts.

709 Camino Lejo, 476-1200
internationalfolkart.org

2. Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

217 Johnson St., 946-1000
okeeffemuseum.org

3. New Mexico Museum of History

105 W Palace Ave., 476-5100
nmhistorymuseum.org

Best Musical Artist

Alex Maryol

A mainstay in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and a guy who doesn't always get the "Dude's a shredder!" credit he so rightly deserves, Maryol is the epitome of a working-man's musician and the sort of fellow we can be proud to have out there reppin' our shit.

2. Nacha Mendez

3. Ben Wright

Best Music and Performing Arts Venue

Lensic Performing Arts Center

If you've ever wanted to see world-class theater or opera, experience the thrilling artists of the ballet, take in a film fest, check out a rock show, laugh along with a stand-up or even just indulge in your love of Downton Abbey, the Lensic has got you covered, and all from within a gorgeous '30s-era theater space.

211 W San Francisco St., 988-7050
lensic.org

2. Santa Fe Opera

301 Opera Drive, 986-5900
santafeopera.org

3. Santa Fe Bandstand

On the Plaza, 63 Lincoln Ave., 986-6054
santafebandstand.org

Best Musical Performance Group

Santa Fe Opera

It can be hard to remember that Santa Fe is host to certain world-class facilities, and the Santa Fe Opera leads the pack. Every season is a revelation, the kind of beautiful, high-brow series of events that rivals the planet's best and most-loved opera houses and proves that we are on the cutting edge of culture for such a small town.

301 Opera Drive, 986-5900
santafeopera.org

2. Santa Fe Desert Chorale

311 E Palace Ave., 988–2282
desertchorale.org

3. Santa Fe Symphony

551 W Cordova Road, Ste. D, 983-3530
santafesymphony.org

Best Performing Arts Group

Wise Fool New Mexico

Though the circus appears outwardly as a light-hearted affair, it is actually very serious business. Behind the scenes are crews of talented, dedicated performers who create exciting and imaginative pieces that both entertain and amaze, and Wise Fool is no different. They delight with aerial displays of acrobatics, integrate local musicians and even provide classes for the next generation of performers. A recent move to a larger space will surely herald even bigger events from the local troupe, and we can't wait to see what's next.

2778 Agua Fría St., Ste. D, 992-2588
wisefoolnm.org

2. Santa Fe Opera

301 Opera Drive, 986-5900
santafeopera.org

3. Meow Wolf

614 Jiron St., 603-9176
meowwolf.com

Best Recording Studio

Frogville Studio

Frogville Studios
Frogville Studios | Peter Sills

On a hill overlooking the city sits Frogville, the little local studio that has evolved from a simple means to help locals to a downright benchmark in recording. From the vintage equipment and massive communal space to the room full of any amp a band could ever hope to use, it's slowly but surely grown to be a space where dreams are made and brilliant records are born.

111 Calle Nopal, 982-4001
frogvillestudio.com

2. Warehouse 21

1614 Paseo de Peralta, 989-4423
warehouse21.org

3. Stepbridge Studios

528 Jose St., 988-7051
stepbridge.com

Best Traditional Art Gallery

Nedra Matteucci Galleries

Nedra Matteucci Galleries has a rather interesting mission: to host historically significant American paintings and sculptures from artists like Carl Oscar Borg, Henry Balink, Barbara Latham and countless others. It's a unique concept and one that has clearly served them well over the years. From the beautifully appointed rooms within the interior of the galleries to the reserved nature of the outdoor sculpture garden, this is exactly what people are talking about when they boast about the local art scene.

1075 Paseo de Peralta, 982-4631
matteucci.com

2. Gerald Peters Gallery

1011 Paseo de Peralta, 954-5700
gpgallery.com

3. Verve Gallery of Photography

219 E Marcy St., 982-5009
vervegallery.com