Vol. 18 / No.35/ MAY 24-31, 2017
ANATOMY BEHIND THE SCENES AT NEON DESERT
MUSIC OF A
FESTIVAL Page 6
Neon’s Music lineup breakdown Page 8 .......................................
Look into the ‘Eyes of the Soul’ Page 11 ..............................................
El Paso Ballet Theatre’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Page 12 ..............................................
Jethro Tull makes its way to the Plaza Page 14
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Question of the Week: WHICH HUMAN BODY PART WOULD YOU EAT FIRST?
MAY 24-31, 2017
FROM THE EDITOR
VICTORIA G. MOLINAR comment: @whatsupweekly
Photos by Jorge Salgado
I think I would eat a nice big bicep roasted on the grill. It’s nice and meaty. You can eat it like a turkey leg. You can just get right in there.
The liver because I think it would be great with a nice chianti and some fava beans.
I’d deﬁnitely take a bite out of the neck ﬁrst, because from there, you never know where it’s going.
I’d go with the leg, because it’s the longest one. It has more meat.
I would love to have heart, because everyone could use a little more heart.
It’s funny how once you set your mind on something, it has a way of showing up in different instances. Last summer, a good friend of mine told me she’d be moving to Mexico City for a fellowship. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to plan a trip out there with another friend who’s also been longing to What’s Up’s editor posing with Rosy Arango and Las Zacatecas visit the giant metropolis. In the past several weeks, some really Zacatecas. strong figures from Mexico have paid a visit to El Paso, The office of El Paso’s reminding me of the diverse talent that comes from our Consulate General of Mexico neighbor. brought them to the Scottish It started on April 28 when investigative journalist Rite Theatre for a free concert, Victoria Molinar (R) with Anabel Hernandez stopped at Café Mayapan to talk and it was one that I wish there Karla Martinez de Salas, about her book “La Verdadera Noche de Iguala” and were more of, since so many Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachpeople would have loved it. Mexico/Latin America ers’ College in Guerrero, Mexico. Several times, she Arango’s stage presence and dauntlessly uncovered political corruption and the drug incredible wide-ranging vocals drew every listener in. trades that have lead to countless deaths in the country. Backstage, she was refreshingly friendly and welcomA week later, I caught a 2014 episode of Anthony ing. When I do visit Mexico City, I hope to see her on Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” where he explored severstage again. al cities and towns in Mexico, and lo and behold, there Most recently, I attended the 13th annual Internawas Hernandez, serving Bourdain slices of lime and a tional Women’s Business Symposium: Dancing Backtequila shot. wards in High Heels. There, I got to meet Karla MarBourdain said to her about Mexico, “You can kill a tinez de Salas, the editor-in-chief of Vogue for Mexico/ journalist and get away with it. Why are you still here?” Latin America. It turns out that she grew up in El Paso Her answer gave me goose bumps: and graduated from Loretto Academy. Her husband’s “My work of a journalist is everything for me. I rejob brought them to Mexico City. At a time when she ally believe that good journalists can change the world. was W Magazine’s fashion market and accessories diI have received many offers to go outside to France, to rector, she wasn’t sure where such a big move would Sweden and other countries. I don’t want to leave. It’s take her in her career, but now look at her! AND she my choice. My choice is to fight.” became Vogue’s editor after having twins. Sheesh! On May 12, I had the honor of meeting Mexico It’s a huge honor that I was able to be in the presCity songbird Rosy Arango backstage before her perence of such strong, driven women. And, universe, if formance with Mexican guitar virtuoso Ruben Esparza this is your way of telling me that I need to get my butt and his accompanying band of sons and grandsons, Las to Mexico City – I’m listening.
A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER
Ghoulish creatures crawled over to Downtown’s Tricky Falls this past Saturday to dance until their limbs fell off at the first annual Zombie Prom. See more pics and learn more about the event at WhatsUpPub.com. (Photo by Jorge Salgado)
MONIKA (KISS FM):
Probably the butt, because it’s, you know, meaty. Totally. And I’m short.
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MAY 24-31, 2017
KAPPY’S CORNER By Steve Kaplowitz / Comment: @whatsupweekly
Over the years, I have thrown out plenty of ceremonial first pitches at El Paso Diablos baseball games. However, I had not yet had the opportunity to do the same thing with the Chihuahuas. One big reason was that we broadcast live from Southwest University Park on Tuesdays when 600 ESPN El Paso sponsors the T-Shirt giveaways. There is hardly any time to make it down to the field in order to throw out the first pitch. Last Tuesday was a little different. I was celebrating my 44th birthday by hosting Sportstalk live from the ballpark and spoke to the Chihuahuas’ marketing team about throwing out the first pitch prior to their game against Colorado Springs. After working out some technological details with our chief engineer, I would have the ability to broadcast from the field in high quality using a special app and WiFi that connected me to the radio station. The best part of the experience was when I told my son Joel that he would be throwing out the pitch instead of me.
600 ESPN El Paso ‘Sportstalk’ host Steve Kaplowitz Photo courtesy of El Paso Chihuahuas with his son Joel
He told me that I should do it since it was my birthday, however, he is about to celebrate his fifth birthday in a few weeks and I thought this would be the perfect time to let him have an early gift. I had also spoken with the team about my plan, so they had his name on the video board. It was one of the moments you cherish as a father. I am lucky to have a job where I can share so much of what I do with my son. I have so many great memories of my dad and sports was a big part of it. However, thanks to digital technology and social media, Joel will be able to look back at so many priceless moments of his childhood captured through photos and videos.
Photo by Ruben Ramirez
Congratulations to Carlos Asuaje for getting called up to the San Diego Padres. Despite winning the Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year award in 2016, the infielder struggled in his second season with the Chihuahuas. Asuaje started slow and was hitting just .222 with one home run and 20 RBIs for El Paso before Monday’s promotion. He will be a lefthanded bat off the bench for the Padres and he can play either second or third base. Asuaje is the final member of the “Core Four” to be in San Diego. He joins Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges, who all made the team
out of Spring Training. Margot is hitting .264 with the Padres, while Hedges and Renfroe each have eight home runs this season. The “Core Four” were the heart and soul of the Chihuahuas’ championship season and they are a big part of San Diego’s youth movement. Since 1997, Steve Kaplowitz has hosted “Sportstalk” weekday afternoons 4-7 p.m. on 600 ESPN El Paso. Over the last 17 years, he has also worked for UTEP and NMSU as a play-by-play broadcaster, for UTEP telecasts on Time Warner Cable and for KDBC-TV and KTSM-TV as a sports anchor/reporter. You can contact Steve by emailing him at email@example.com.
ANATOMY OF A MUSIC FESTIVAL: A BEHIND-THE-SCENES PEEK AT THE MAKING OF NEON DESERT Photo by Greg Noire
By Isabel A. Walters comment: @whatsupweekly
After six years of successful music festivals, die-hard fans already know what to expect from Neon Desert: two days of nonstop music showcasing local up-and-coming talent alongside nationally recognized artists. The year of its debut, however, no one – least of all the fans – knew quite what to expect of Neon Desert. Its three original founders, Brian Chavez, Gina Martinez and Zach Paul, all born and raised in El Paso, had a clear vision of what they wanted.
MAY 24-31, 2017
“The idea was to create the foundation for something that we could bring back in year two, year three, etcetera,” said Paul, who at the time was working as a producer at ESPN. “We wanted it to become a staple event for El Paso and for the border. “We didn’t have any real experience when it came to this, so naturally, there was a lot of hesitation from people, but we were determined and we kept working at it. We picked as many brains as we possibly could.” Perhaps relying on his background in broadcast journalism, Paul approached the festival like a reporter might approach a new assignment. “You talk to different people, read as much as you can, do your homework, do your research and try to take it a step at a time and see where it goes,” he said. Conversations about the festival began in November 2009, but it wasn’t until April 2011 that Paul and his co-founders would see the event come to fruition. The road to Neon Desert, Paul explained, was paved with challenges: namely, the unknown. “You can create a budget and put in numbers and think you’re accounting for everything, but you just never know,” he said. “Things might cost double what you think it’s going to cost, you might have to spend more on marketing, you think you’re going to hit a certain number of sponsorships, and maybe you don’t hit it. There’s so many moving parts.” Continued on 7
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MAY 24-31, 2017
Continued from 6
As the festival approached its fourth year, the founding company, known as Splendid Sun Productions, partnered with ScoreMore Shows, a booking agency founded by Claire Bogle and Sascha Stone Guttfreund in Austin. The pair, who co-founded the company while sophomores at the University of Texas at Austin, has been featured in Texas Monthly and Rolling Stone. In 2016, Guttfreund landed a spot in Forbes’ young entrepreneurs/innovators list, 30 Under 30, under the music category. The list included artists such as Jason Derulo and Demi Lovato. “For us, we’re a business that always put the fans first, because we are fans first,” Guttfreund said. “When we were able to meet these folks [from Splendid Sun], we knew they were doing it for the love of the music and the culture. They love their hometown of El Paso and they throw on this event for all of the right reasons. We just wanted to help it grow.” ScoreMore oversees several other music festivals – including October’s Mala Luna Music Festival in San Antonio – works in club show marketing and manages a few artists. The partnership helped open new doors for Neon Desert as it grew larger and began to attract big-name acts. “We were good on the logistics and op-
Tory Lanez sways the crowd in his direction at last year’s Neon Desert Music Fest. Photo by Sarah Montgomery
erations, and we had the relationships in El Paso that we needed,” Paul said. “Something that ScoreMore has always done really well is the relationships with the artists and their agents and managers. They’re great marketers and have great community relations.” Katie Conder is ScoreMore’s marketing director and worked her first Neon Desert in 2016. Before that, she worked at the Hollywood-based William Morris Agency. “Getting to see it come to life was insanely awesome,” she said. “There’s no festival like it, where it just takes over the streets of Downtown and you get to see a sea of people enjoying the headliners. It was such a rewarding experience for me.” Conder and her team juggle multiple responsibilities including the website, social media and advertising. One of the most im-
“We have a wish list, and as acts are getting bigger, we’ll start the conversation earlier,” he explained. “Sometimes an agent will come to us and tell us that their artist is coming through the Southwest, and we decide whether it makes sense to put them in Neon. Often, we’ll email our different contacts in the industry, letting them know we’re starting to look for talent. “It’s about trying to deliver the best, most diverse lineup we can. It’s a collaborative effort, but it’s all worth it.” One thing that has not changed since year one is the festival’s location. “We looked at so many spots, but nothing beats Downtown El Paso. It really adds to the atmosphere. It was a no-brainer,” Paul said, adding that he’s grateful for the community’s backing of Neon Desert. “The first year of Neon Desert was a one-day fest that had more Sascha Stone Guttfreund, co-owner of Neon Desert’s booking than 10,000 people. Now it is a twoPhoto courtesy of Grant Waring/ScoreMore Shows partner, ScoreMore Shows day fest that will have around 17,000 per day. It’s had a great impact on portant aspects of her job, though, is staying the region. We’ve been lucky to work with on the pulse of fans’ interests and their feedgreat people who understand what we are back about Neon Desert. creating. It’s a full team effort. Every year, “We’re on the frontline of the social comwe create more than 1,000 jobs, from staff ments, constantly talking to and listening to to contractors and so on. It takes a village.” festival goers about their likes and dislikes,” To this day, Paul and his co-founders she said. “We send a survey to ticket purcontinue to be extremely involved in the chasers after the event.” festival they helped create. Lucas Conder, Katie’s husband, is one “That will never change,” he said. of the head bookers for Neon Desert. He “The festival is still as local and authentic works with agents, making offers and negoas possible.” tiating deals.
DID YOU KNOW? The City of El Paso’s Curbside Recycling Program accepts cardboard. • This includes cardboard egg cartons, cereal boxes (without the plastic liner), gift boxes (without the paper tissue), cardboard rolls that hold your toilet paper and paper towels • Don’t forget to fold your cardboard to make more room in your blue recycling bin
Citizens may call 311 (915-212-6000) or visit www.recyclerightEP.com for more information
MAY 24-31, 2017
NEON DESERT 2017 LINEUP: A GENRE BREAKDOWN
By Bethany Blundell comment: @whatsupweekly
One of the Sun City’s biggest festivals will once again hit Downtown May 27-28. Presented by Southwest University, Neon Desert continues to bring a whole new selection of national and local artists. From DJs dropping EDM beats all night to indie groups fueled with eclectic sounds, there is something for everyone. With so many acts to choose from, we’ve rounded them up for you, breaking them down by genre.
Hip to the hop
Neon Desert doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to their variety of electronic dance music. This year’s DJs and producers will offer plenty of sets for listeners to get lost in. Hardwell will remix some of Neongoer’s favorite electro house beats. The Dutch DJ founded his own record label and has since released seven compilation albums that get crowds dancing across the world. DJ/record producer/musician Alesso has worked with artists ranging from Tove Lo and Calvin Harris to Usher and David Guetta. Thomas Jack is an artist known for creating tunes known as “tropical house” – a genre term he coined that brought him success in the music industry. Mija, a phenomenon who first made a name for herself while performing with Skrillex, has garnered countless fans for composing her genre-crossing music sets. Austin-based duo Ghostland Observatory will return to Neon, bringing with them a combo of rock and funk. Don’t miss Baauer, who’s best known for creating the “Harlem Shake.” It’ll be hard NOT to shake to the American music producer’s trap and bass beats. Other acts: Medasin, Tennyson, Frythm, J^Hir
Photo provided by Giant Noise
Thanks to the team behind booking agency and concert promoting company ScoreMore Shows – and of course Neon Desert’s founders and other partners – the fest’s hiphop and rap lineup adds a youthful energy that every successful festival arguably needs. Migos, the trio that created the top hit “Bad and Boujee” will bring their party anthems to the stage while “Hot in Herre” artist Nelly will bring a sense of nostalgia to longtime lovers of rap. Logic uses his difficult past to create impactful beats that speak to the listener. The Maryland native has produced songs and albums that top Billboard charts, including his most recent album, “Everybody.” Lil Uzi Vert, the rapper who made waves in the music scene after releasing his debut single “Money Longer” will now get the Neon Desert crowd rocking. The artist also contributed to the song “Bad and Boujee” with Migos. Other acts: Snow Tha Product, Trae Tha Truth, Michael Christmas, Stan Z, Rare Individuals, Yung Jung, Eddy Boy, Mikey Cloud
Foster the People
Photo by Darren Ankenman
Indie cool kids
Not that the festival is short on soul fuel, but what’s a music festival without a little rhythm and blues? Especially the El Paso favorite, Khalid, who you can read more about on the next page. His smooth tunes incorporate aspects of R&B and pop to create beautifully modern songs. Marc E. Bassy is most known for his hit “You and Me” and has worked with musicians from Sean Kingston to Wiz Khalifa. He breaks through the boundaries of pop and hiphop to create multiple top hits.
Photo provided by Giant Noise
Going against the music-labeling grain are a wide variety of genre-bending acts. Foster the People gained recognition in 2010 with their hit song “Pumped Up Kicks.” Now, the Grammy-nominated group from LA is heard on radio stations across the world. Bogan Via uses hip-hop beats mixed with pop and indie sounds to create songs that have taken Phoenix by storm. The duo will now bring these tunes from Arizona to another desert. Multi-instrumentalist Ty Segall has made a name for himself through his solo career, but he won’t be alone as crowds of people join to listen in on his psychedelic and indie rock jams. Other acts: Kilo and the Dew, If We Were Turtles, Nico and the Silent Films, Our Friend the Mountain The Other Half, Riboflavin, Miijas, Acid Pie, Dayluta Means Kindness, Trost House, Brandon Bailey Johnson, Polaroids, Sorrytown, Rose.Golden
Photo provided by Giant Noise
Photo provided by Giant Noise
Marc E. Bassy
R&B for the soul
An element that helps define Neon Desert’s uniqueness, the festival’s wide variety of Latin music breaks through language barriers. Columbian artist J Balvin does it all. From singing and songwriting to rapping and producing, he creates music that is as complex and interesting as he is. Los Amigos Invisibles is a lively band that combines influences of disco, jazz and funk to create their one-of-akind jams. There’s no doubt these Venezuelans will have the crowds dancing the night away. DLD, a Latin Grammy-nominated group from Mexico, brings the best of their rock beats to every concert. Some of their more popular songs include “Mi Vida,” “Todo Cuenta” and “Arsénico.” Mon Laferte is a singer-songwriter who knows all music genres. This Chilean female mixes together rock, blues, pop and electric music to create songs that beg to be sung along to. Labeled as having a “weird” or “uncommon” sound, Mexico’s Porter has become an Internet sensation, specifically with their songs “Espiral,” “Daphne” and “Host of a Ghost.” Other acts: The Chamanas, Frontera Bugalú, Flamél, Volta WHAT’S UP
Neon Desert Music Festival 2017
Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28 Downtown, El Paso Gates open at 3 p.m. both days $79 single day, $119 2-day general admission, $250 VIP, $550 platinum VIP Tickets available at Headstand, Happy House, Phit Phuel and TicketFly.com Schedule and map at NeonDesertMusicFestival.com Live art by: Celeste Byers (@celestialterrestrial), EXIST1981 (@ exist1981), Federico Archuleta (@el_federico), MrDvice (@mrdvice) and more Shops: V&X Boutique, Stela Rose Boutique, Le Trendy, Desert People Co., Zia Imports, henna by Lue, Fresh Vitola Food vendors: Drunchy’s, Eve’s Sinfully Good Sandwiches, 915 Corn Stars, Wonderscoops, Nona’s, Desert Smoke, Tacos Chinampa, Clasico, Crave, Crave Tacos, J&K, Mac’s Place, Nosh, The Tap on Wheels, Delicious
MAY 24-31, 2017
NEON SPOTLIGHT: KHALID RETURNS TO EL PASO By Denise Nelson-Prieto comment: @whatsupweekly
Nineteen-year-old R&B breakout artist Khalid Robinson has taken the nation by storm, toting along with him a big sense of El Paso pride. His meteoric rise to success, sparked by his swoon-worthy hit “Location,” has led to performances on “The Tonight Show,” “Good Morning America” and a mention in Rolling Stone magazine’s Ten New Artists You Need to Know. The song “Angels” was even commissioned by the ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy.” The artist is set to vibe with his El Paso compadres this Sunday, May 28 at the Neon Desert Music Festival. Although the former army brat lived in various locations across the globe throughout his youth, he calls El Paso his home. So what helped instill the Americas High School graduate’s pride in the Sun City?
Khalid sings for a sold-out crowd at Tricky Falls on Feb. 4.
Photo by Jorge Salgado
“The connection with a lot of the individuals,” Khalid answered over email. “Most of the lifelong friends I will ever have are from El Paso. The love that I got, the hopefulness, the way they welcomed me – my senior year especially. So much happened to me, whether it was good or whether it was bad. All these experiences created a home for me, so I always feel like my home will be El Paso.” Alfredo Gonzalez, producer at El Paso’s Beacon Hill Recording Studio, says Khalid is not a mere flash in the pan. “There’s a high level of commitment and engagement involved in making music, and Khalid is very committed and works really, really hard,” Gonzalez said. “I think he’s an artist with years to come, not a onehit wonder, mainly because he’s truly talented.” Gonzalez is credited on Khalid’s debut record “American Teen” as one of the producers. He also contributed his musical talent on one of the songs. “The keyboard you hear on ‘Location’ – that’s me,” he said. “Location,” “Angels” and the title track were recorded at Beacon Hill. About half of the vocal productions on the record were also done there. Gonzalez first encountered Khalid in March when the artist and his manager at the time were scouting recording stu-
dios. They booked a four-day block to record, during which Gonzalez said a “huge amount of work and good music” resulted. The producer said he and Khalid really clicked, which accounts for the creative synergy that happened during the recording process. Shortly after the Beacon Hill sessions, Khalid received numerous label offers. He decided to sign with RCA Records. Gonzalez recalled when the label’s vice president of A&R, Tunji Balogun, who is also credited with discovering the ultra-successful rapper Kendrick Lamar, visited the studio. Balogun urged Gonzalez to revel in the experience, as it would probably impact his career in a huge way. Overall, Gonzalez said he sensed a strong work ethic from Khalid – a refreshing departure from the typical fame-craze that seems to strike many young artists. “A lot of young artists are thinking about being famous and the perks of being a celebrity,” he said. “Khalid is driven to become a better artist.” WHAT’S UP
Catch Khalid at Neon Desert Music Festival’s Franklin Mountains on Sunday, May 28 state at 7 p.m. See more festival info on page 8.
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WED. MAY 24
Food Truck Fiesta Ten Las Cruces grub mobiles sustenance up. There’s also music to mind munch. Mesilla Plaza, 2231 Avenida Mesilla, 6-9 p.m., free, facebook.com/ Foodtruckﬁestalc. Rob Little Standup comedy with opener Tyson Faifer. Event runs May 24-28, 7:30 p.m., additional late shows Fri.-Sat. at 9:30 p.m. Ages 17+ El Paso Comic Strip, 1201 Airway Blvd., 7:30 p.m., $6-$12, 915-779-5233, laff2nite.com. Yoga Humans pretzel to nirvana. Happens every Wed. 150 Sunset, 150 E. Sunset Rd., 6:30 p.m., 915-5851150, 150sunset.com. Crusaders Chess Club Strategy minded folks engage in battles of brains. Meets Wed. Irvin Schwartz Public Library, 1865 Dean Martin Dr., 5-7 p.m., 915-212-7323, elpasolibrary.org. State Line Music Series: Koe Wetzel Country music performance. Must make food or monetary donation to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. For ages 21+ The State Line, 1222 Sunland Park Dr., 8 p.m., free, 915-581-3371, countyline.com/StateLineMusic. html. Inanimate Existence, Depths of Hatred Metal music with openers Cruces Cult and Shadows of Silence. Doors open at 7 p.m., ages 18+ Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m., $6, holdmyticket.com. 1 Million Cups Community program for entrepreneurs and innovators offers business owners the opportunity to present their startups to a diverse group of mentors, advisors and entrepreneurs. Happens every Wed. The Hub of Human Innovation, 500 West Overland, Suite 230, 9-10 a.m., free, 915-321-3123, 1millioncups. com/elpaso.
THURS. MAY 25 Cool Canyon Nights Weekly, free outdoor music performance by local bands. McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre, 1500 McKelligon Canyon Dr., 6-9 p.m., free, $10 VIP, elpasolive.com/coolcanyonnights. Stargazing Star staring, stories and planetary viewings. Binoculars and telescopes not required. Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, 6900 Hueco Tanks Rd., 8 p.m., free, reservation required, 915-849-6684. Rob Little Standup comedy with opener Tyson Faifer. For details see Wed., May 24. Rhonda Doré Book and Print Signing Local painter appears in “Acrylic Works 4” by North Light Books and this is the celebration of that. Art Avenue, 1618 Texas Ave., 6 p.m., 915-213-4318., firstname.lastname@example.org. Hail the Sun Post-hardcore with openers Capsize, Eldola and Limbs. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m.-2 a.m., $12, holdmyticket.com.
Last Thursdays Art Market and Gallery Crawl 13 D-Town venues offer unique galleries, munchies and other special “Last Thursday” only things. El Paso Downtown Artist Market, 400 W. San Antonio Ave., 6-9 p.m., free, 915-212-0110, facebook.com/ LastThursdaysEP. ARTalk The Early El Paso Art Collectors Organization talks about their art and new exhibit “Early El Paso.” Hal Marcus Gallery, 1308 N. Oregon St., 5-7 p.m., free, 915-5339090, halmarcus.com.
FRI. MAY 26 ‘Seussical the Musical’ Based on the books of Dr. Seuss. Event runs May 12-28, 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. Sun City Musical Theatre, 3733 Shell St., 7:30 p.m., $25, $15 under age 12, suncitymusicaltheatre.com. ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ Comedy about newlyweds trying to get rid of some glass things. El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana Ave., 8 p.m., $8-$11, 915-532-1317, elpasoplayhouse.com. Documentary Screening Presents Regis Tremblay’s “Thirty Seconds to Midnight: The Final Wake-Up Call.” Explores nuclear war and the climate disaster. Discussion with Regis Tremblay follows the screening. Main Library, 501 N. Oregon, 3-5:30 p.m., free, 915-212-3230, elpasolibrary. org. Rob Little Standup comedy with opener Tyson Faifer. For details see Wed., May 24. EP Bike Month – Bicijangueo Critical Mass Easy to moderate Critical Mass bike ride and ﬁesta. Critical Mass is a national riding event held on the last Friday of the month. Bicijangueo is Puerto Rican slang for a group of urban bike riders. San Jacinto Plaza, 111 Mills Ave., 7 p.m., free, elpasobikemonth.com. Koma Metal music performance. Doors open at 7 p.m., ages 18+ Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m., free, 915-591-7625. Friday at the Fire Music performance. Surrounding restaurants have specials on drinks and dinner. Doors open at 6 p.m. Freedom Crossing, 1611 Haan Rd., 7-9 p.m., freedomcrossingatfortbliss.com.
CALENDAR MAY 24-31, 2017
MAY 2017 S U N D A Y, M A Y 2 8 , 3 : 1 5 P. M .
STAN Z TO LIVEN UP PASO DEL NORTE STAGE
Photo provided Giant Noise
By Lisa Amaya comment: @whatsupweekly
ood things are happening for local hip-hop/indie rock fusion Stan Z. The band’s making music, performing and getting the word out on their latest LP, “The Z Album.” Their next performance will be at the seventh annual Neon Desert Music Festival this Sunday, May 28. Lead singer Stan Zubia is excited about everything that’s happened with the band so far. The 20-year-old El Paso High School graduate said he’s been involved in music since he was 9. “I’ve been around music because of my uncles and dad,” Zubia said. “They played in a local band called Detour. I had a drum set at 9,” He also taught himself how to play the electric guitar and drums as a child. Besides writing and playing music, Zubia focused on music production while in high school. Stan Z’s first mix tape, “Ego Loss” was released while he was in high school. It’s safe to say that there’s been a demand for the group after they’ve performed at least 50 shows regionally. Zubia is currently an intern at Star City Studios. He’s learning about producing and sound engineering. Besides family, he looks up to several musicians for inspiration. Some of his favorites include hip-hop stars like Kendrick Lamar and Outkast. Stan Z’s music is also influenced by music legends like The Beatles and Carlos Santana. “My music is about how I see the world,” Zubia said. “It’s also about what I want to see – my goals in life.” Although the band’s having lots of fun, Zubia admits he doesn’t know if Stan Z will be around five years from now, adding that he’s considered moving to LA to pursue music and “live the good life.” Still, there’s no denying what being in the group has done for him so far. “I started the Stan Z project as a senior in high school,” Zubia said. “The progress has been really cool. It’s helped me evolve as a person.” Robert Hanlon, the band’s drummer, considers the band members family. Hanlon grew up with them, especially while attending Wiggs Middle School. The bond they have helps create their unique sound. “I haven’t heard anyone tap into our type of music across the nation,” Hanlon said. “We sometimes have 10 people in our band. The band is so special in a lot of ways.” David Zubia, bassist and Stan’s brother,
said joining Stan Z got him to return to music. He joined because he wanted to help support his brother’s band. Although David sees music as more of a hobby right now, he acknowledges its place in the community. “El Paso is the perfect breeding ground for music,” David said. “It’s a big city with a lot of potential. Music is so original and authentic here.” The thing David says he enjoys most about being in Stan Z is that the band gets along so well. “It’s a more relaxed, fun and professional [atmosphere]. We all get along and there isn’t that much arguing. There is some drama but not that much,” he said with a laugh. Stan Z is excited to take the stage at this year’s Neon Desert Music Festival. This will be the second year in a row they perform at the two-day downtown festival. “It’s a fun and awesome festival,” Zubia said. “It feels good to be a part of it. There are so many different styles of music.” WHAT’S UP
Catch Stan Z at Neon Desert’s Paso del Norte stage at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. See more festival info on page 8. Listen to Stan Z at StanZmusic.com.
CALENDAR MAY 24-31, 2017
T H U R S D A Y, M A Y 2 5 , 6 - 1 1 P. M .
LOOK INTO THE ‘EYES OF THE SOUL’
ream Chasers Club owner Matthew Martinez recently celebrated the gallery’s two-year anniversary by expanding its location, and art lovers can enjoy the expansion this Thursday, May 25 with the new exhibit “Eyes of the Soul.” The show features the work of upand-coming 18-year-old artist Carolina Villarreal, who graduates from Coronado High School this year. “She’s really talented,” Martinez says about Carolina. “I think it’s really amazing that she’s so young and she’s already off to such a great start to her artistic career.” This will be Villarreal’s first show, featuring 15-20 large acrylic pieces. Her paintings combine animals with ethereal – and often spiritual – elements with the use of vibrant, neon highlights. Martinez was introduced to Villarreal’s art when she and her mother attended one of DCC’s art shows. After Villarreal’s mom showed Martinez her work, he helped Villarreal assemble her port-
by Andrea Sandoval
folio and decided to feature her work at his gallery. Her exhibit will be up for a month. Other events to look forward to at DCC are the BlackBook sessions. Martinez said when he lived in Los Angeles, the street art community would hold similar events where artists would get together with their sketchbooks, mingle and draw in each other’s books. “It’s just to get the creative juices flowing, be around like-minded people and hang out,” Martinez said. If you’ve yet to visit DCC and explore its creative wonders, this Thursday might be the night to do so. WHAT’S UP
‘Eyes of the Soul’ exhibit
Part of the ‘Last Thursdays’ art crawl Thursday, May 25, 6-11 p.m. Dream Chasers Club, 200 S. Santa Fe St. Free More info at facebook.com/DCCDreamChasersClub and 915-342-6357
Wind Rider Mountain Festival Two stages, 30 bands, it’s on. Headliners: The Werks, Fruition, Spafford, Poor Man’s Whiskey, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Desert Dwellers. Barbecue grand master competition. Beer gelande quafﬁng competition. Ski Apache, 1286 Ski Run Rd., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., $35 single day, innofthemountaingods.com. Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Women’s Balcony’ A bar mitzvah mishap divides an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. Event runs May 26-June 1, 7:30 p.m. Additional screenings: 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee. Fountain Theatre, 2469 Calle de Guadalupe, 7:30 p.m., $7, $6 matinee/ senior/military/student, $5 Wed., mesillavalleyﬁlm.org. Documentary Film: ‘The Raising of America’ Movie about the importance of early childhood education and development. Discussion following the ﬁlm. Refreshments available. Rafﬂe with prizes. Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St., 6 p.m., free, riograndetheatre.com. Days-n-Daze Punk thrash with openers Bipolar Bears, Penumbra Rabia and Bug. Paulina’s Badlands, 7792 Franklin Dr., 9 p.m., $5 before 9 p.m., $8 after. Surfer Blood Indie rock music performance with local opener Nalgadas. Doors open at 9 p.m. Show is all ages. Virtual tickets at ticketﬂy.com The Lowbrow Palace, 111 E. Robinson Ave., 10 p.m., $12 adv., $15 door, lowbrowpalace.com. Alfresco Fridays: La Sonora Blu Weekly outdoor concert series. This week is k-k-k-kumbia! Judson F. Williams Convention Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, 6 p.m., free, alfrescofridays.com.
SAT. MAY 27 Neon Desert Music Festival EDM/pop music festival. All ages. Event runs May 27-28, 3 p.m. Cleveland Square Park, 510 N. Santa Fe St., 3 p.m., $99-$250, neondesertmusicfestival.com. ‘Seussical the Musical’ Based on the books of Dr. Seuss. For details see Fri., May 26. ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ Comedy about newlyweds trying to get rid of some glass things. For details see Fri., May 26. Rob Little Standup comedy with opener Tyson Faifer. For details see Wed., May 24. Shakespeare Dramaturge: ‘Richard III’ Discussion and script analysis. UTEP Nursing School, 1101 N. Campbell St., Rm. 234, 2-4:30 p.m., free, shakespeareontherocks. com. Outdoor Fitness Challenge Day of healthy physical activities including boulder hopping, cave exploring, hiking tours and more. Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, 6900 Hueco Tanks Rd., 8 a.m., free, reservation required, 915-849-6684. ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Ballet performance to the Tchaikovsky score. Woman gets a magical sleep revoked by a hunk kiss. Event runs May 27-28, 6:30-8 p.m. Sat., 2:30-4 p.m. Sun. Coronado High School, 100 Champions Pl., 6:30 p.m., $10, el-paso-ballet-theatre.ticketleap.com.
S AT U R D AY- S U N D AY, M AY 2 7 - 2 8
SPOTLIGHT ON EL PASO BALLET THEATRE’S ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ By Jennifer Burton comment: @whatsupweekly
e all know the story. A baby is born. Everyone in the family is invited to the christening except for that one auntie – you know the one. She ends up hearing about it from a cousin: “Oh, I thought you were invited.” Nobody meant to not invite her, but that’s besides the point. She decides to show up anyway, drunk on rage and leaving a trail of carnage and fairy dust behind in her wake. El Paso Ballet Theatre presents the classic fairytale, “Sleeping Beauty,” this Saturday and Sunday, May 27-28, at Coronado High School’s Capshaw Fine Arts Auditorium. “This is our first time [staging] Sleeping Beauty,” artistic director Marta Katz said. “It’s fabulous family entertainment, and it’s a ballet that parents and children can enjoy.” Starring principle dancer Ariella Katz in the role of Aurora, Brandon Penn of Atlanta Ballet as Prince Désiré and Eva Maria Colón as Carabosse, “Sleeping Beauty” marks El Paso Ballet Theatre’s ninth year of production. Since their beginnings as El Paso Youth Ballet, the studio and company have undergone a physical expansion, incorporating new studio space, and an evolution of their repertoire. This includes contemporary ballet and modern dance works and classics like “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker.” “Sleeping Beauty” was originally staged in 1890 by Marius Petipa with music by Tchaikovsky for the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Role
originators included ballet luminaries such as Enrico Cecchetti performing as Carabosse en travesti (in drag) and La Scala principle Carlotta Brianza as Aurora. Most ballet companies take this classical material and Petipa’s original choreography and adapt it for their stage, adding or subtracting characters, scenes and elements to suit the production for their audience and add their personal flare. Ariella staged this production with the company’s mission in mind, incorporating young and emerging artists into the performance alongside professional and pre-professional company members to engage the youngest viewers in this 400 year-old art form. Aspiring ballet dancers, take note: from June 12-July 15, El Paso Ballet Theatre will offer intensive summer sessions for age groups 8-12 and 12 and up, which you can learn more about at ElPasoBalletTheatre.com. Perhaps it’s time to venture into your own enchanted journey. Dance columnist Jennifer Burton is a mother, dancer, writer and printmaker. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Texas at El Paso and will enter the Master of Arts in teaching and dance program at NMSU this fall. Her areas of specialized interest include dance history and anthropology of dance, ballet pedagogy and Middle-Eastern social dance.
CALENDAR MAY 24-31, 2017 Wind Rider Mountain Festival Two stages, 30 bands and food. For details see Fri., May 26.
‘Seussical the Musical’ Based on the books of Dr. Seuss. For details see Fri., May 26.
Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Women’s Balcony’ A bar mitzvah mishap divides an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. For details see Fri., May 26.
‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ Comedy about newlyweds trying to get rid of some glass things. For details see Fri., May 26.
Farmer’s Market Memorial Day celebration with Gadsen High ROTC and National Anthem performance. EPCC cooking demo. Art and food and craft vendors. Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, 1 Ardovino Dr., 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m., free, 575-589-0653, ardovinos.com. EP Bike Month – Rio Grande River Trail Beginner’s riding introduction to the 10-mile River Trail that runs along the Rio Grande. Valley Creek Park, 651 Gomez Rd., 8 a.m., free, elpasobikemonth. com. Geo-Caching Workshop Basics on geocaching with practice. Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park, 1700 McKinley Ave., 12:30 p.m., free, RSVP req., 915562-9899. Arkham Meta-music performance. Doors open at 7 p.m., ages 18+ Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m., $5, 915-591-7625. Chuco Fest Runs Memorial Day weekend, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Live music and dance performances, art, food, and vendors. Wet ‘n’ Wild Waterworld, 8804 S. Desert Blvd., 10 a.m.-7 p.m., $15$40, holdmyticket.com. Sunset Film Society Screening: ‘Mamma Mia!’ A young woman is getting married and she doesn’t know who her father is and that bums her out. She invites three potentials from her mothers past to her island wedding. International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana Ave., 2 p.m., free, 915-5436747, internationalmuseumofart.net.
SUN. MAY 28 WHAT’S UP
El Paso Ballet Theatre presents ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Photo by Roger Spencer Jones
Saturday, May 27, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 28, 2:30 p.m. Coronado High School’s Capshaw Fine Arts auditorium, 100 Champions Pl. $10 Tickets available at the door and ElPasoBalletTheatre.com More info at 915-760-6062 and Facebook.com/ElPasoBalletTheatre
Jethro Tull Prog rock music performance. Plaza Theater, 125 Pioneer Plaza, 7:30 p.m., $39.95-$99.50, ticketmaster.com. Neon Desert Music Festival EDM/pop music festival. All ages. For details see Sat., May 27. KLAQ Front Yard BBQ The local rock station hosts brews and music performances. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 7 p.m., free, 915591-7625, klaq.com.
Mission Valley Duathlon 20K bike5K run. Flat and fast course. Tigua Recreation & Wellness Center, 11200 Santos Sanchez St., 7-11 a.m., $50$80, raceelpaso.com/mission-valley. Rob Little Standup comedy with opener Tyson Faifer. For details see Wed., May 24. Wind Rider Mountain Festival Two stages, 30 bands and food. For details see Fri., May 26. La Viña Winery Sunday Market Music on the patio by Live By Request. Wine tasting and picnic area. Dog and kid friendly. La Vina Winery, 4201 S. Hwy. NM-28, 12-4 p.m., free, 575-882-7632, lavina.wolfep.com. Last Sunday Hike Exercise with a group. Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park, 1700 McKinley Ave., 8 a.m., 915-562-9899. Retro Game Night & Dart Tournament Dart tournament, Jenga, beer pong, and “Connect 4.” Atari, NES and Sega gaming as well. Darts at 8:30 p.m., gaming at 7 p.m. The District Pub & Kitchen, 601 N. Piedras St., 7 p.m., free, 915-564-0707. Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Women’s Balcony’ A bar mitzvah mishap divides an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. For details see Fri., May 26. Arkona, Sirenia Pagan metal. Openers: Mindmaze, Graveshadow Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 6-11 p.m., eventbrite.com. Texas Crawﬁsh and Music Festival Shell ﬁsh and music by locals King Octopus and The Feel. Handlebars Bar & Grill, 1731 N. Lee Trevino Dr., 2 p.m., free entry, $10 food adv., $15 food day of, handlebarsbargrill.com. ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Ballet performance to the Tchaikovsky score. Woman gets a magical sleep revoked by a hunk kiss. For details see Sat., May 27. Chuco Fest Runs Memorial Day weekend. Live music and dance performances, art, food, and vendors. For details see Sat., May 27.
CALENDAR MAY 24-31, 2017
MON. MAY 29
TUES. MAY 30
The Mentors Metal music with Terrorist, Extremity and Burning Sunday. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m., $7, holdmyticket.com.
El Paso County Municipal Run-Off Election Debate Non-partisan debate moderated by a local media personality. Featured candidates: District 2, 3,4 and Mayoral. EPCC Administrative Services Building, 9050 Viscount Blvd., 6-8 p.m., free, 915-239-3077, elpasodemocrats.com.
Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Women’s Balcony’ A bar mitzvah mishap divides an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. For details see Fri., May 26. Chuco Fest Runs Memorial Day weekend. Live music and dance performances, art, food, and vendors. For details see Sat., May 27.
By Gustavo Arellano comment: @whatsupweekly
Dear Mexican: Not too long ago, you answered a question about the anti-Mexican slur “greaser,” then I read the info you provided for “illegal” and the N-word. I was wondering if you can break down for us “beaner,” “wetback,” and “spic,” too? What are their definitions historically, who “invented” them, and what are their connections to certain regions? - Etymologically Curious Dear Gabacho: White supremacy invented these Americanisms, silly! “Wetback” came from the days when Americans thought Mexicans only came to el Norte by swimming across the Rio Grande – the earliest known reference is in a 1920 New York Times article. “Spic” isn’t really about Mexicans per se; the Oxford English Dictionary attributes it to Americans and Brits ridiculing how Panamanians working in the construction of the Canal pronounced “speak.” As for “beaner”: the earliest known printed reference is in a July 9, 1965 column for the Detroit Free Press, where an Orange County surfer told a reporter that “not much good can be said about ‘beaners’ (Mexicans).” But the slur is descended from previous terms like “bean bandit” and “bean-eater,” which go back to the days of the cowboys. The common thread, of course, is the Mexican love for frijoles, and the American anger that they can’t properly digest refrieds without ripping a bunch of pedos.
Why do Mexicans leave their cars in the middle of the street with their hazard lights on while they pick up their friends/kids/drugs? My friends and I deemed this “Mexican Hazard Light Syndrome”—MHLS, for short.
Pan Complex, Dirty Dave Punk rock music with local openers Mendel & Meosis and Glitter Tacos. Boomtown, 2430 Wyoming Ave., 7 p.m., free, facebook.com/epaps915. Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Women’s Balcony’ A bar mitzvah mishap divides an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. For details see Fri., May 26. Barbed Wire Open Mic Series Open to music, poetry, comedy and anything else. Sign-up starts at 8 p.m. The Black Orchid Lounge, 6127 N. Mesa St., 8 p.m., free age 21+, free age 18+ until 10 p.m., bwoms.com.
Those blinking lights are supposed to be used when a car is broken down and a person is in distress, not when someone is too lazy to park and walk. It’s annoying enough when they do it on a two-way street and turn the road into an obstacle course—but when they do it on a one-way street, it’s just unforgivably inconsiderate and stupid. My (Mexican) friend hit one of these cars once and decided it was the MHLS-sufferer’s fault, so he just left the scene without even leaving a “sorry, you idiot” note. I don’t endorse this kind of hit-and-run behavior, but I’m telling that little anecdote so that the dumbasses who leave their cars in the middle of the street aren’t too shocked when they find their ‘83 Buick Skylark in pieces... - Cross At Lazy Mexicans Dear CALM: Patience is no Mexican virtue. We smuggle ourselves into this country again and again—you think we’re going to wait until a spot on the street opens up? Nah, we’d rather annoy p*nd*j*s like you and your pal—and it worked!
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My parents were born in El Salvador, which makes me a Salvadoran American—NOT a p*nch* mexicanos. Don’t get me wrong: I like you guys and my heina is Mexican. My problem is with the whiter breed. Maybe it’s that they’re lazy but they tend to classify all us brown folk as Mexican when in fact we’ve got a nice assorted pack on display. Salvadorans have our own food (pupusas, not tacos), our own language (decimos “vos,” not “tu”) and we’re obviously shorter. Please tell all the gabachos to think before they classify. - Guanaco Guillermo Dear Pocho: No argument from me here, other than Salvadoran horchata is superior to Mexican and MS 13 [censored by the Mexican’s publishers lest his head become a soccer ball] Ask the Mexican at email@example.com, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_ arellano!
WED. MAY 31 Jared & the Mill Acoustic set by a normally electric outﬁt. Lalo Elan, 200 S. Santa Fe St., 8 p.m.-11 p.m., 915245-8138, laloelan.com.
13 Hear Me Roar: Pride Night at the Zoo DJs provide beats. Food by The Beastro food truck. Drag show. El Paso Zoo, 4001 E. Paisano Dr., 6 p.m., $15, $5 age 2-18, epscp.org/ pridefest.html.
Yoga Humans pretzel to nirvana. For details see Wed., May 24.
North by North Rock music performance with Late Phases, Fools Like Me and Trost House. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m.
Mesilla Valley Arts Gallery Group art exhibit. Acrylic and texture art from Patricia Burnett. Gourd art and watercolors by Patricia Black. Event ends May 31. Gallery hours 10 a.m.5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery, 2470-A Calle de Guadalupe, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, 575522-2933, mesillavalleyﬁnearts.com. Ends 5/31/17.
Crusaders Chess Club Strategy minded folks engage in battles of brains. Meets Wed. For details see Wed., May 24., 1865 Dean Martin Dr., 915-212-7323. Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Women’s Balcony’ A bar mitzvah mishap divides an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. For details see Fri., May 26. 1 Million Cups Community program for entrepreneurs and innovators offers business owners the opportunity to present their startups to a diverse group of mentors, advisors, and entrepreneurs. Happens every Wed. For details see Wed., May 24. State Line Music Series: Maddison Livingston Country music performance. Must make food or monetary donation to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. For ages 21+ The State Line, 1222 Sunland Park Dr., 8 p.m., free, 915-581-3371, countyline. com/StateLineMusic.html.
‘Patterns of Spring’ Las Cruces Arts Association presents abstract and realistic representations of spring. Styles include oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolor, fabric arts, graphic media, gourds, mosaics and fused glass. Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free, riograndetheatre.com. Ends 5/31/17.
Southwest Land & Skyscapes Day and night images by local photographer Wayne Suggs. Rokoko Art Gallery, 4901 Chippewa Trail, 12-5 p.m., 575522-5553. Ends 6/10/17. Cartography – Mapping Contemporary Art at the Border A gander at the landscape of institutions and independent projects that shape contemporary art practices in El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces. Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center, 500 W. University Ave., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, 915-747-6151, rubin.utep.edu. Ends 6/16/17. Desconocida Unknown Ukjent Art by Bjorne Linnert. Name tags with the name of a murdered woman from Cd. Juárez and the word ‘unknown.’ Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center, 500 W. University Ave., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, 915-747-6151, rubin.utep.edu. Ends 6/16/17.
Preserving Identities Dr. Darius Arya presents an interactive, multimedia exhibit of Roman life, culture and history. UTEP Library Blumberg Auditorium, 500 W. University Ave., 1st ﬂoor, 7 a.m.-8 p.m., free, libraryweb.utep.edu. Ends 6/16/17.
El Paso Downtown
Small Commercial Lot with Architectural Designs for 8 Apartments, 2 & 3 Bedrooms. Lot Price $100,000.00 801 S. Kansas/Sixth Street
Call Juhani @ 915-503-8047
CALENDAR MAY 24-31, 2017 Duologue: Conversations between Poetry and Pastels Work by pastel artist Melody Sears and poet Chuck Barrett. Proceeds of sales donated to NM Cafe. Tombaugh Gallery, 2000 S. Solano, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 575-5227281, facebook.com/tombaughgallery. Ends 6/24/17.
S U N D AY, M AY 2 8 , 7 : 3 0 P. M .
JETHRO TULL’S IAN ANDERSON TALKS PROGRESS comment: @whatsupweekly his Sunday, May 28, Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson will bring the British rock band’s greatest hits to the Plaza Theatre. In March, the acclaimed flautist released a new album, “Jethro Tull – The String Quartets,” which is a reimagining of classic Tull songs recorded with the Carducci String Quartet. A group that started in 1967, Jethro Tull’s hit songs include “Aqualung” and “Bungle in the Jungle.” They’ve sold over 60 million records worldwide and were one of the pioneers of progressive rock. “In 1969, I think I first heard the term ‘progressive rock’ in the British music press in reference to Jethro Tull,” Anderson said. “It was a description that everybody was unfamiliar with. “Someone coined the term, I suppose, to talk about music that wasn’t mainstream rock’n’roll or blues or pop music – that perhaps had a little more eclecticism, a little more influence from elsewhere. That was the term applied and it caught on. I was quite pleased to be one of the first bands to be described as progressive rock.” The genre is characterized by long, jazz-like rock ’n’ roll-esque songs with gigantic instrumental breakdowns in the middle of songs. Other founding prog rock bands were Rush, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and Yes. “A couple years later, it had been shortened to ‘prog rock’ and it had a kind of disdainful and sneering notion attached to that terminology,” Anderson said. “Bands like Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer and the early Genesis kind of got the rest of us a bad name. Their music was very often excessively showing off the ability to play their instruments. That led me to record ‘Thick as A Brick,’ almost as a parody of what those bands were doing.” “Thick as a Brick” was released in 1972 and was what critics consider Jethro Tull’s first fully progressive rock record. It’s a con-
by Erica Acosta
cept record consisting of one continuous piece of music broken into each side of the LP. The cover of the album was in the style of a newspaper. That fictional paper states that the music is an adaptation of an 8-year-old’s epic poem. The album is now considered a staple of the prog rock music catalogue. Its style was a product of its time – the sound of a rapidly changing society. “We knew we were onto something. We did know it was a special time,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t just a special time musically, but between ’65 and ’75, we had a planet-wide change in human culture. We had the beginnings of recognition of black and other ethnic rights, of gender equality, the decriminalization of homosexuality in some places. “When we think about the race riots in Alabama or the years in Vietnam, it wasn’t just about America, this was stuff that spread throughout the world.”
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Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson
Sunday, May 28, 7:30 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 125 Pioneer Plaza $39-$199 Tickets available at Plaza Theatre box office, TicketMaster.com or 800-745-3000 More info at ElPasoLive.com and 915-231-1100
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