Best Arts, Music or Food Blog
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2. El Farol
808 Canyon Road, 983-9912
3. Cowgirl BBQ
Best Contemporary Art Gallery/Space
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!
2. Center for Contemporary Arts
1050 Old Pecos Trail, 982-1338
3. Blue Rain Gallery
Best Dance Company
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
2. National Dance Institute
1140 Alto St., Ste. B1, 983-7646
3. Pomegranate Studios
535 Cerrillos Road, 986-6164
Best Dive Bar
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.
200 W San Francisco St.
3. Mine Shaft Tavern
2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid, 473-0743
Best Event or Festival
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
2. International Folk Art Market
404 Kiva Court, Ste. G, 992-7600
3. Santa Fe Fiesta
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.
2. Nedra Matteucci Galleries
3. Blue Rain Gallery
Best Live DJ
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
1005 S St. Francis Drive, 983-9817
2. Cowgirl BBQ
3. The Palace
142 W Palace Ave., 428-0690
Best Local Instagram Feed
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.
Best Movie House
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
2. CCA Cinematheque
1050 Old Pecos Trail, 992-1338
3. The Screen
1600 St. Michael's Drive, 473-6494
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
2. Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
217 Johnson St., 946-1000
3. New Mexico Museum of History
105 W Palace Ave., 476-5100
Best Musical Artist
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
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
2. Santa Fe Opera
3. Santa Fe Bandstand
On the Plaza, 63 Lincoln Ave., 986-6054
Best Musical Performance Group
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.
2. Santa Fe Desert Chorale
311 E Palace Ave., 988–2282
3. Santa Fe Symphony
551 W Cordova Road, Ste. D, 983-3530
Best Performing Arts Group
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
2. Santa Fe Opera
3. Meow Wolf
614 Jiron St., 603-9176
Best Recording Studio
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
2. Warehouse 21
1614 Paseo de Peralta, 989-4423
3. Stepbridge Studios
528 Jose St., 988-7051
Best Traditional Art Gallery
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.
2. Gerald Peters Gallery
1011 Paseo de Peralta, 954-5700
3. Verve Gallery of Photography
219 E Marcy St., 982-5009