So there we were going along minding our own business when another year up and ended on us. Yikes. The last thing I recall was thinking I'd never be old enough to buy cigarettes, and now I'm suddenly in my 30s and I'm scared, you guys.
Anyway…2014 was a pretty great year in Santa Fe music, so let's do a quick recap of the best things that went down in the past 365 days.
Skylight Santa Fe opened its doors and paved the way for a (hopefully) awesome music venue in Santa Fe. Thus far, they've hosted some of my favorite events of the past year, and if they can continue to do so and also maybe teach their staff how to pour a stronger drink in a more reasonable amount of time, they'll be the place to beat heading into 2015.
But Skylight wasn't the only entity that kicked ass this year, as artists and bands really upped their game as well. 2014 brought the first SFR Local Music Issue in ages, which was great. Plus, releases from folky Americana maven Eryn Bent, the formation of synthy/mathy indie act Octaveleven featuring über-drummer Ben Durfee and As In We and Evarusnik members Eliza Lutz and Miranda Scott joining forces for the rockin' and rollin' GRYGRDNS. Twins David and Adam Malczewski's two-man pop-punk act Almost a Lie grew tighter than ever (though they should still be on the lookout for a bassist to round out their sound), Sleeptaker melted all our faces and reminded us that metalcore was pretty killer before metalcore was a thing, Choking on Air kept it brutal over at Warehouse 21 on the regular and Beneath the Swell began their foray into the world of Black Sabbath-y roots metal (please everyone, watch out for this band). CassoVita reunited briefly, Carrion Kind and Salt For Knives released records that'll forever cement Santa Fe's metal rep and even old Alex here, aka i heart metal, played a show or two. Moby Dick and Love Gun played more shows that ever while welcoming the multi-talented Peter Williams back into the fold, Jono Manson went to Italy, came back, went back to Italy and then produced and recorded so many great tunes for himself and others it's hard to believe. Joe West's Theatre of Death made us chuckle, Andy Primm was fucking everywhere and Sattva Ananda released his first solo album after DJ-in' around here for longer than some of the aforementioned band's members have even been alive. Everybody in D Numbers put out at least one great solo record (particularly worth your time and money is Ben Wright's new Mi record, One on the Way), Karina Wilson lent just about everyone everywhere her fiddle and Nacha Mendez kept it real with her own original tunes as well as a Spanish-language take on The Smiths with her new tribute band, Los Esmitz.
It was also a sad year, as we lost the likes of Joseph "Santa Fe Pulse" Moncada, Max Friedenberg, Tom Knoblauch and others. And yet, despite these tragic losses, the community rallied together for benefit shows, memorial events and good old-fashioned togetherness the likes of which goes a hell of a long way toward proving that just because we're small doesn't mean we can't party with the best of 'em.
So what does 2015 hold? With rumors swirling around, like George RR Martin buying the old bowling alley for Meow Wolf or awesome news like the decriminalization of marijuana, certainly there are plenty of reasons to be excited. If a theme could be assigned to this past year, it would probably be something like perseverance. Everyone worked very hard and dealt with far more bullshit than any of us would have liked, but given how we're leaving 2014 poised to make things better than they ever have been, though, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we'll all enter 2015 a little older and wiser, a little less petty and a whole lot more prepared to make it the best damn year in Santa Fe music history. Personally, I'd love that.