While milling about Desert Dogs Brewery and Cidery the other night before my dumb band played, it hit me—this place had quietly become the punkest venue in town, and they did it all without making a big old deal about it.
My first inkling came a couple weeks back at a show with Microdoser and New Zealand's The Cavemen. I arrived a tad early to see what the hubbub was about (and because, full disclosure, my bandmate and former SFR music columnist Luke Henley fronts Microdoser and had guilted me for my presence), and was sort of agog at how many young people were there. We're talking dozens. Like, it was hard to move around almost, and that's honestly not something we see much of around here. The vibe was electric, and they just kept pouring in, ordering tacos and beers and ciders, dancing to the music and playing pool and just…having fun. It shouldn't be weird or novel, but it is.
"I had recently moved from Olympia, Washington, and was almost searching for a specifically downtown music venue/scene from the day I arrived in Santa Fe," says head bartender Serafina Gluck, who has been booking the shows. "At first I was having some DIY shows in my basement, but once I had realized that [Desert Dogs] was a little more malleable with what the brand new taproom could do I started taking advantage of the space I had. It was a slow build—mostly me having to go out of my way to convince people to play, plus doing all the promo, Facebook, etc. on my own."
To be fair, it's not all about punk, but whatever Gluck has been doing seems to be sticking. This is absolutely not about my band (our show already happened there, so, like, you probably missed it), but about having a place where punk rock and other…perhaps more contemporary genres can thrive that isn't somebody renting out a warehouse (long live warehouse spaces, though!) and post-Warehouse 21.
"I wanted to not only try to bring more diversity to Santa Fe's options, but provide a space that my homies who were making cool music could have a platform to share their creativity," Gluck, who also DJs for Madrid's low power FM station, KMRD 96.9 FM, tells SFR. "I think that there has only been a few places that the same bands in town play, and Desert Dogs is providing a space for not only punk shows, but acoustic and indie bands, traveling bands, and because of this variety, it is really bringing together people in town that have been living here for years and are now just meeting one another and wanting to come and go to each others' shows."
Perhaps it's best to let Zack McAlister, the guitarist from local punk act Illegal Aliens, sum it up:
"It's a dope venue!" he says.
Follow Desert Dogs on Facebook for more info and to hear about upcoming shows.
8 pm Saturday Jan 25.
112 W San Francisco St. #307, 983-0134