FR EE Vol. 18 / No.36/ MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
Wonder Woman Day
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Pridefest owns the weekend
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Girl in a Comaâ€™s Nina Diaz returns to EP
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Meet up-and-coming EDM artist Matt U. Johnson
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Question of the Week NEON DESERT MUSIC FESTIVAL EDITION
MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MEN WEARING ROMPERS? Photos by Victoria G. Molinar
I think guys should be able to express themselves as much as girls do. They should be able to wear whatever they want.
I think that it looks good on speciﬁc guys, so if you have a nice body, it might look nice. I’m for it as long as you can rock it.
I think they’re pretty funny, but I give props to whoever can pull them off.
Sean Connery wearing a romper as James Bond in ‘Goldfinger’
Photo courtesy of United Arists
OSCAR DE LA RIVA:
Break the patriarchy, because men should be able to wear whatever they want and do whatever they want without being called gay. What you wear doesn’t deﬁne your sexuality.
I’m not for the male rompers, because personally, I would never wear one. I don’t think it would look right on a guy.
Photo by Jorge Salgado
VICTORIA G. MOLINAR comment: @whatsupweekly Last week, our sister publication El Paso Inc. celebrated several changes, including staff writer Robby Gray’s promotion to editor, the publisher hand-off from Investor Publications co-owner Tom Fenton to daughter Secret Wherrett, and Wendy White Polk’s semi-retirement. Wendy is still the editor of our latest quarterly, El Paso Inc. Magazine, but her semi-retirement of course means that we see her a lot less. Her departure from the daily El Paso Inc. grind is bittersweet. More importantly, I’m happy to know she’ll have more time to do things she enjoys, but on the other hand, I have one less person to bug about editorial/journalistic questions. In all seriousness, I really enjoyed not
only her wisdom, but her wit and lighthearted humor too. She was the first editor I worked with when I moved back from Las Cruces after graduating from New Mexico State University. While What’s Up was the publication I wrote for the most before becoming its editor, I was honored to do a few write-ups for El Paso Inc., the publication that opened the door to my freelance career. I’m grateful to Wendy for giving me that chance, and especially grateful for every time she sat down with me to share some tips and helpful advice. She and her husband, an awesome historian, are the kind of couple you could talk to for hours because you’ll always learn something fascinating. My takeaway from talking to anyone at Investor Publications is that the more you open up about your weaknesses and strengths, the more opportunities you’ll have to grow and learn that you’re not alone in some of your struggles. I know “blessed” has become an overused word on social media, but I have no better word to describe what working for this company has done for me. And speaking of El Paso Inc., if you’re on the fence about El Paso’s two mayoral candidates, see our reporter David Crowder’s in-depth interview with Dee Margo and David Saucedo at ElPasoInc.com and don’t forget to vote in this special election. Early voting runs un-
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Fashion is so free; you can do whatever you want and you shouldn’t be judged. You should break the masculinity standard. If you want to wear makeup, you should be allowed to. This is the United States – land of the free.
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til Tuesday, June 6 while Election Day is Saturday, June 10. became Vogue’s editor after having twins. Sheesh! It’s a huge honor that I was able to be in the presence of such strong, driven women. And, universe, if this is your way of telling me that I need to get my butt to Mexico City – I’m listening. FACEBOOK.COM/WHATSUPWEEKLY OR TWITTER: @WHATSUPWEEKLY
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MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
NEON DESERT’S DIVERSE LINEUP DRAWS A CROWD OF 40,000 Photo by Jorge Salgado
blended the best elements of dance and rock jams. About 40,000 atMigos’ high entendees poured into ergy show had the the Neon Desert Mucrowd jamming and sic Festival grounds singing along to their this past weekend, verses word for word. transforming the heart Mon Laferte provided of Downtown into a Drawing one of the largest crowds at Neon Desert, an upbeat dance party Nelly brought the Gen X and millennial crowd together El Paso’s own Khalid cooled down the festival lineup A wire art installation by San Diego-based artist Johnhigh decibel party. with a ska-like nod to Photo by Jorge Salgado with his smooth set. Photo by Jorge Salgado ny Smalls Photo by Victoria G. Molinar NDMFers had the for some ‘Hot in Herre’ action. Selena’s “Si Una Vez.” choice of several stages, Plaza stage. The Paso Del Norte Stage near crowd-hyping set, spitting verses at super The fest closed with sets which, like a good playlist, featured national Cleveland Square Park arguably had the human speeds with full control of the stage. by LA-based indie group Foster the People, and local artists of different genres summon- greatest variety throughout the fest. Bogan Ty Segall shook up the Paso Del Norte and Hardwell, a mega popular Dutch DJ. ing all their chops to put on a good show. Via, for example, captivated their audience Stage exhibiting crunchy psychedelic riffs Neon Desert’s international lineup reThose looking to dance in the shade with dreamy, indie-electronic beats. and gonzo guitar solos with mind-blowing flected El Paso’s unique culture – a border to cool beats hung out in the Silent DisPhoenix-based Mija and her sassy elec- double lead guitar work lacing some of the city with a military base and national crossco area, where music was exclusive to the tronic music had the crowd going nuts. Her songs. road that has built up a diverse internationparticipants thanks to the magic of blue mixes were intensely interesting and there A quick trek to the Franklin Mountains al population. While the fest has become tooth headphones. was hardly a dull moment in her playful set. stage (near the Chase building) featured a way for locals to familiarize themselves Other entertainment included the viDay one’s headliners reflected the fes- Khalid delivering his smooth modern R&B with the Downtown area and its improvebrant colors of live art, skateboarders catch- tival’s mission to provide tunes for the re- tunes to a ginormous crowd. ments, it also exposes attendees to different ing air and exhilarating lucha libre matches. gion’s diverse tastes. Young rapper Logic, After Khalid, it was back to the Paso music by keeping a nice sprinkling of indie Day one was slightly blemished with the Swedish DJ Alesso and Venezuelan rock Del Norte Stage to catch a little bit of Por- and underground artists amongst the more cancelation of hip hop artist Lil Uzi Vert, but legends Los Amigos Invisibles couldn’t ter, an indie rock band from Guadalajara, established headliners. Some would have local hip-hop hero Evander Griiim saved be more different from each other, but Mexico. They were a trippy act to see with never known about Porter or Mon Laferte if the day and put on a show like a true pro. they were a perfect eclectic mix for a fest their spacey vocals. Austin duo Ghostland it weren’t for this fest. Neon Desert brought His single “Right Now” was even covered like Neon Desert. Observatory, gradually becoming legends the good times and a healthy mix of genres. by the mega hot Migos the following night. On Sunday, underground hip-hop in their own right, entranced the audience The only element missing is metal. Slayer All the locals killed it at their San Jacinto star Snow Tha Product delivered a fiery with their laser light show and songs that or Mastodon, anyone? By Miguel De Santiago comment: @whatsupweekly
MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
KAPPY’S CORNER By Steve Kaplowitz / Comment: @whatsupweekly
Over his 36 years of broadcasting, Jon Teicher has been the longtime voice of UTEP sports, along with El Paso Diablos baseball and a five-year stint as host of Sportstalk. Now, he can add a career achievement award from the National Football Foundation to his list of accomplishments. Teicher will receive the Chris Schenkel Award, which recognizes individuals who have had long, distinguished careers broadcasting college football with direct ties to a specific university. He will be presented the award on Tuesday night, December 5th during the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown. “This was a complete surprise,” Teicher told me last week. “It’s unbelievably humbling and I’m only the 22nd individual to receive the award. To be honest, what I’m proud of is that it shines some light on an unbelievable institution in UTEP and El Paso, which I think is great. Most of the names on that list are from Power 5 schools and to be included with them is remarkable.” Teicher joins a list of college football’s legendary announcers, including Schenkel, Jack Cristil (Mississippi State), Max Falkenstein (Kansas), Jack Fleming (West Virginia), Ray Christensen (Minnesota), Tony Roberts (Notre Dame), Larry Munson (Georgia), and Gene Deckerhoff (Florida State). “Jon Teicher has had an exceptional broadcasting career as the Voice of the Miners, spanning more than 36 years, and during that time, his voice has become synonymous with UTEP football and West Texas,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell in the official news release. “We are pleased to honor him with the 2017 NFF Chris Schenkel Award in recognition of his distinguished career.” This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Bob Crable (Notre Dame), Marshall Faulk (San Diego State), Kirk Gibson (Michigan State), Matt Leinart (Southern California), Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Bob McKay (Texas), Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M), Adrian Peterson (Georgia Southern), Mike Ruth (Boston College), Brian Urlacher (New Mexico) and coaches Danny Ford (Clemson, Arkansas), Larry Kehres (Mount Union [Ohio]) and Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina). ••• Just a week after Conference USA announced their men’s and wom-
UTEP play-by-play announcer Jon Teicher
Photo by Lewis Woodyard
en’s basketball tournament would be moving to Frisco, the league is about to embark on another major change. STADIUM, a new joint network consisting of the American Sports Network, Campus Insiders and 120 Sports announced that they will air C-USA games on Twitter. The Virginian-Pilot reported that at least 15 football games will be broadcast by STADIUM on Twitter, although the network will probably release their schedule next month. According to UTEP Athletics officials, one conference football road game will be broadcast on Twitter, although the date and opponent will not be released until later this summer. When I think about this experiment, I am actually excited about the new venture. Part of this is because I am active on Twitter and watching college games will be easy on the social media platform, like Thursday Night Football. The big reason I like STADIUM is because watching televised C-USA sporting events in years past has been extremely frustrating. Their TV contracts have been getting worse over the years and unlike other conferences, ESPN has little interest in C-USA. Streaming games on social media could be the next breakthrough in sports broadcasting, and this conference could be ahead of everyone else in college sports if it is successful. C-USA has nothing to lose, since their league has a terrible TV contract and national exposure has been a weakness. 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.
MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
FUN, FAMILIAR, FRIGHTENING: A 2017 SUMMER MOVIE ROUNDUP ‘The Mummy’
By Eric Acosta comment: @whatsupweekly
If there was a message from year’s round of summer movies, it would be: is there such a thing as too little, too late? From reboots to sequels grasping for relevance, originality in summer movies has become a cinematic delicacy. But these flicks don’t fall short in entertainment – and hey, they sure beat the ruthless Sun City heat! Broadcast Film Critics Association member Felipa Solis weighed in on some of this season’s motion pictures, including “Alien: Covenant,” where careless earthlings further their space-colonizing program and bad things keep happening. “It’s amazing,” Solis said. “I’m a huge Ridley Scott fan. And I’m also a huge fan of Michael Fassbender. He’s an amazing actor.” “There’s a lot of things I don’t want to see. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ I felt should not have been made. ‘Wonder Woman’ I have no desire to see. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ is a very tired franchise. [Johnny Depp] needs to up his ante as an actor. He’s wasting his time doing this nonsense. Enough is enough. ‘Alien: Covenant’ is a strong way to start the summer season of films.” Whether you’re looking for I-am-woman-hear-me-roar thrills, monsters or inconvenient facts, we’ve rounded up some upcoming films to look forward to.
Release date: June 9
(Look out for our ticket giveaway at WhatsUpPub.com!) Director: Alex Kurtzman Writers: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman Starring: Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Release date: June 2
Director: Patty Jenkins Writer: Allan Heinberg Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Robin Wright The DC Cinematic Universe trudges onwards with “Wonder Woman,” the first full-length cinema experience for the once bondage fantasy now feminist symbol of power. Viewers got a taste of Wonder Woman in the schlubby mass, “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” “Wonder Woman” takes place before our badass vixen power fisted the lame out of that movie. Set in 1942, Wonder Woman’s chilling in her Amazon home-paradise, Themyscira, when Nazis and a hunk-a-saurus American pilot Steve Trevor waft upon her shores. Wonder Woman cannot stand to think of an evil that’s going to kill everything and decides to punch it in the face.
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Release date: July 7
Director: Jon Watts Writers: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr. After web head’s debut in “Captain America: Civil War,” the Amazing Spider-Man returns for another Marvel movie. With all previous Spider-Man films being released by Sony, this is his first Marvel outing (hence the “Homecoming” subtitle). In this flick, Spider-Man wants to be an Avenger and Tony Stark’s a bullying jerk with rules he sets and doesn’t follow. All this would be peachy if there weren’t a new, high-tech villain called The Vulture misbehaving and robbing banks.
An ancient Egyptian princess, once locked away for her malevolent nature, is released from her tomb and decides to destroy the world and run the joint. Standing in her way are possibly immortal Nick Morton and Prodigium, a secret government program that finds, studies and kills monsters. “We need a little chick power in our tales of the dead in Egypt,” Solis said. “It was always gendered as a male. I think that’s awesome. Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll? I think that one might be fun.” This is a reboot of the previous “Mummy” franchise and the first of Universal’s Dark Universe films. The Dark Universe takes Universal Film’s classic movie monsters – Frankenstein’s monster, The Wolfman, Dr. Jekyll, The Mummy – and unites them into a connected cinematic story. The next film in the Dark Universe Continued on 8
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Continued from 7
will be “Bride of Frankenstein,” directed by Bill Condon (“Beauty and the Beast”) with a 2019 release date. Johnny Depp will become The Invisible Man in a future Dark Universe film and Javier Bardem will become Frankenstein’s monster.
Release date: June 16
Director: Lucia Aniello Writers: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer
‘All Eyez on Me’
A hard partying batch of regular gals gather for a bachelorette party and in the throws of needing to rock as hard as the night can possibly rock, kill a hunk stripper and have to deal with it.
Release date: June 16
Director: Benny Boom Writers: Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, Steven Bagatourian Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham A biopic on the late great Tupac Shakur. The movie tells Pac’s story, from nobody to earth-shattering rapper and poet. Movie audiences will also learn about Shakur’s activism, and if you’ve seen “Straight Outta Compton, “Walk the Line” or “The Doors,” you’ll know what to expect. Spoiler alert: the hero dies at the end.
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Release date: June 23
Photo by Macall B. Polay (Columbia Pictures)
Courtesy of Summit Entertainment
MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
Nicole Kidman stars in ‘The Beguiled’
Photo by Ben Rothstein (Focus Features)
Director/screenwriter: Sofia Coppola Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell A union soldier wounded in the Civil War is nursed to health at a rural, Virginian school for girls. Sexual tensions, temper and violent tendencies all arise when the soldier can’t keep it in his pants. “It’s a pretty interesting cast,” Solis said. “[Collin Farrell] was just in an independent movie called ‘The Lobster,’ which was absolutely brilliant.” “The Beguiled” is a remake of a 1971 film originally starring Clint Eastwood and directed by Don Siegel (“Dirty Harry,” “The Shootist”). The movie was based on a novel that came out in 1966 called “The Painted Devil.” “That was a film that was powerful in the ’70s, but not really one that you remember in Clint Eastwood’s list of films,” Solis said. “Redoing that film is very edgy and cool.” “The Beguiled” was a commercial failure when it came out in ’71 due to Eastwood’s deviation from his usual role and a studio that didn’t know how to sell the film. “It was a different kind of Eastwood film,” said Jay Duncan, founder of the Sunset Film Society, which hosts movie screenings at the International Museum of Art and Ardovino’s Desert Crossing every month. “It’ll be interesting to see what a female director will do. From what I’ve read, it seems to be pretty faithful to the original work.”
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’
Release Date: July 14
Director: Matt Reeves Writers: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves, Pierre Boulle (novel) Starring: Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis
The third film since 20th Century Fox’s “Planet of the Apes” second remake in 2011. After the terrible losses incurred from the battles in the last film, the ape hero warrior, Caesar, must take the reigns and beat humanity into submission. You want fists? How about four? Continued on 9
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MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
9 Continued from 8
Release date: July 28
Director: David Leitch Writer: Kurt Johnstad Starring: Charlize Theron, Sofia Boutella, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Bill Skarsgard A spy thriller adapted from the 2012 graphic novel, “The Coldest City,” written by Anton Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart. It’s 1989, phones are connected to walls and the collapse of the Berlin Wall is nigh. An undercover espionage ring murders a spy who got too close and now MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton has to find out who, why and where. Shut up, communism, or she’ll stick it where the sun don’t shine!
‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’ Release date: July 28 Directors: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk Starring: Al Gore
Despite the wide success of Al Gore’s Academy Award winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” Antarctica is still melting, fossil fuel use has no foreseeable end and natural disasters are getting worse and more frequent. Al Gore’s new documentary finds itself not so much treading the same water, but struggling to survive on a piece of wood in a boiling acid water lake. Scientists and former Vice President Gore were right, and here’s them saying that for two hours.
Also coming soon: June 16: ‘The Book of Henry’ (drama/thriller), ‘Cars 3’ (animation/adventure) June 21: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ (action/ adventure) June 28: ‘Baby Driver’ (action/crime) June 30: ‘Dispicable Me 3’ (animation/adventure), ‘The House’ (comedy) July 14: ‘Wish Upon’ (fantasy/horror) July 21: ‘Dunkirk’ (war flick), ‘Girls Trip’ (comedy), ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ (action/sci-fi) July 28: ‘The Emoji Movie’ (no, fo’ real – an animated adventure about emojis) Aug. 4: ‘The Dark Tower’ (action/adventure), ‘Wind River’ (crime/thriller) Aug. 11: ‘Annabelle: Creation’ (horror), ‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ (animation/comedy) Aug. 18: ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ (comedy/action) Aug. 25 ‘Tulip Fever’ (drama/romance)
Wonder Woman Day is near
By Andrea Sandoval comment: @whatsupweekly
June 3 marks the first celebration of DC Comic’s Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman Day is an event in honor of the Amazonian heroine in celebration of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. DC has partnered with retail stores Barnes & Noble, Costco, Walmart and Amazon to hold in-store and digital promotions for the event. (For example, Barnes & Noble will offer a buy-two-get-the-thirdfree deal on DC titles.) Local comic book stores Mayhem Toyz & Comics and Asylum Comics will participate in WW festivities as well. Fans can get free copies of two special-edition “Wonder Woman Day” issues – one from DC Universe Rebirth and the other from DC Super Hero Girls – while supplies last. As always, cosplay is encouraged. The Alamo Drafthouse will host a women-only screening of “Wonder Woman” movie on Wednesday, June 7. Proceeds will go towards The League of Women Voters. DC has also put together an activity kit filled with coloring pages, word searches and more that you can find on their website. For more information on Wonder Woman Day, visit dccomics.com/wwday. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
DID YOU KNOW? The City of El Paso’s Curbside Recycling Program accepts paper. • This includes all white paper, color paper, newspapers, magazines, envelopes, folders, notebooks, and shredded paper. • Friendly reminder: recyclable items should not be bagged, except for shredded paper
Citizens may call 311 (915-212-6000) or visit www.recyclerightEP.com for more information
MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
REVIEW: FIFTH ‘PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN’ FLICK FIGHTS BLOAT
Javier Bardem (left) as Captain Salazar and actor Anthony De La Torre as a young Jack Sparrow in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.’
Photo provided by Disney via AP
By Mark Kennedy, AP Entertainment Writer comment: @whatsupweekly
The opening scene of the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” is a fitting metaphor for where we stand in this long franchise: A creaky old galleon is unceremoniously yanked up from the ocean depths and the only things aboard are cranky old ghosts. A weary, battered fifth chapter — “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” — lumbers into theaters this summer high on CGI tricks but with a hopelessly muddled plot and recurring characters basically running on fumes. Johnny Depp is back as Jack Sparrow, as is Geoffrey Rush as a well-bearded Barbossa, looking a lot like the Cowardly Lion, and his faithful capuchin monkey. Newcomers include Golshifteh Farahani as a pretty cool, punky witch, and Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites, who play young starcrossed lovers with serious daddy issues, adding vitality and maybe future franchise possibilities. The bad guy this time is Javier Bardem as a ghost ship captain and he proves to be an extraordinary actor because he comes across as a very believable ghost ship captain. His full-throttled, single-minded fury recalls Ricardo Montalban in “The Wrath of Khan.” The film also features the returns of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley — but in tiny cameos only — as the lovers Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. They missed the fourth installment because they were smart. Directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim
Ronning have been given the keys to the kingdom and they’ve thrown everything at it — a half-dozen big sea battles, a shotgun wedding, a joint execution, underwater sword fights and even a Beatle. Look carefully and you’ll find Sir Paul McCartney doing a cameo in a jail. (For those of you keeping score at home, this movie now costars one monkey and one Beatle.) Fans of this Pirates franchise have had to wait six long years for this offering, ever since “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” in 2011. That was the one about the fountain of youth. It took over from the third, bloated edition, “At World’s End,” which seemed to be about a global chase for a magical navigation chart and some hot pirate-on-pirate fighting. This fifth edition is all about a hunt for the Trident of Poseidon, which can break curses. But it’s also about Bardem and his ghost crew busting out of the Devil’s Triangle to hunt pirates, as well as Barbossa protecting his pirate empire, and the two young lovers fulfilling their destinies. Keep up: There’s a test at the end. Just kidding. At the center of all this madness is Depp, whose Sparrow is now down-on-his-luck and abandoned by his crew. He’s always drunk, apparently has stuffed cotton balls into his mouth and is deeply unfunny. (He keeps muttering about being a bed wetter.) Depp didn’t just phone this in; he snailmailed in his performance. The story writers — Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rossio — have not only overstuffed the script, they’ve dumbed everything down
(they think “horology” is a hysterically dirty word) and there’s hardly a quiet moment in the entire two-hour movie. Plus, not to get too historical about a movie that deals with ghost pirates, but are they certain seamen in the eighteenth century greeted each other with “How’s it going?” You can’t beat the special effects, though, especially the way the ghosts are rendered, with parts missing from their bodies. The ghost sharks and ghost birds — OK, stay with us — are pretty awesome, too. And the
ghost Depp is really spooky. Wait, that’s just regular Depp, failing to make an impression. Our bad. After this fifth episode, you’ll wish Disney would just declare the franchise dead and tell no more tales. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” a Walt Disney Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “some suggestive content and adventure violence.” Running time: 128 minutes. One star out of four.
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WED. MAY 31
Jared & the Mill Acoustic set by a normally electric outﬁt. Lalo Elan, 200 S. Santa Fe St., 8-11 p.m., 915-2458138, laloelan.com. Miggs Pop music performance. Monarch, 204 E. Rio Grande Ave., 9 p.m., facebook.com/monarchep. Yoga Humans pretzel to nirvana. Happens every Wed. 150 Sunset, 150 E. Sunset Rd., 6:30 p.m., 915-5851150, 150sunset.com. Art Avenue Gallery Summer Camp Classes in pointillism, pop art, watercolor, abstract, drawing, recycled art and much more. Classes run May 31-July 21. RSVP req. Art Avenue, 1618 Texas Ave., 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $65 each class, 915-213-4318, theartave.com/summercamp2017. North by North Rock music performance with Late Phases, Fools Like Me and Trost House. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m. What’s Up Adult Coloring Book Night Features a different local artist every month. May’s artist is co-founder and creative director of Viva + Impulse Creative Co., Armando Alvarez. TradeCraft, 3737 N. Mesa St., 7 p.m.12 a.m., free, whatsuppub.com. Wacky Wednesday: Comedy Open Mic Open to all jesters. Age 21+ 5 Points Bistro, 3019 Montana Ave, 9 p.m., free, facebook.com/ epucomedy. 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. Addictions Anonymous LGBTfriendly 12-step support group. Borderland Rainbow Center, 2714 Wyoming Ave., 6:30-8:30 p.m., borderlandrainbow.org. 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. 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. 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.
M AY 3 1 - J U N E 4
EL PASO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF PRIDEFEST By Denise Nelson-Prieto comment: @whatsupweekly
ith June in full swing, Pride Month celebrations are sweeping the country. The local LGBTQ community is gearing up to unify and party this Saturday, June 3 during the “Hear Me Roar” Pride Parade at 10 a.m. and Pridefest at 4 p.m. “The bigger our events are, the more we can give back to the community,” said Dave Castillo, founder of parade and festival organizer El Paso Sun City Pride. “It will be a weekend where everyone can celebrate who they are without having to worry about any administration or politics.” This year is a pivotal point for EPSCP and its collaborators as it marks the 10th anniversary. To highlight the milestone, the event has ramped up from five to nine continuous days of celebration, which kicked off last week. A decade ago, Castillo, who was a bartender at the time, was encouraged by friends to create a pride parade. “Back then, there was no parade, just a big party,” he said. “Somebody said, ‘Why don’t you do a parade? You know so many [people] from being a bartender.’ That planted a little seed that this was something missing in the community.” 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.
THURS. JUNE 1 Film Screening: ‘Shattered Reality’ Local ﬁlmmaker Ed Breeding explores emotions related to war trauma. Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St., 7 p.m., free, riograndetheatre.com.
The request sparked a cascade of permit-gathering, talent-pooling and even stage-building, which culminated in the first-ever Pride Parade. From there, Castillo garnered non-profit status and formed El Paso Sun City Pride. The Grand Marshall for this year’s pride parade is El Paso Chihuahuas mascot, Chico. The route begins at Houston Park on 900 Montana Ave. and concludes at 500 N. Oregon St. This year, the talent for Pridefest comes full circle with headliner, Crystal Waters, who performed at the first fest. She will be joined by co-headliners, Dominican-American performer Kat De Luna, the reigning champ from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Bob the Drag Queen, and former “Drag Race” contestant Chi Chi Devayne. Plenty of local performers will be on hand to showcase their talents at the celebration. Drag queen Rumor is the newly-minted Miss El Paso Sun City Pride and she’ll be wowing the crowd with her dance numbers. Former Miss El Paso Sun City Pride Malina Rae recognized the importance of celebrating the struggles overcome by pioneers of the LGBTQ movement generations ago. “It’s about coming together, diversity and the people who made bounds for us in
El Paso Singer-Songwriter Showcase Music by Never Too Late, LizTina, Sabrina James and Talia Leilani. Age 21+ Boomtown, 2430 Wyoming Ave., 9 p.m., free. Decrepit Birth Metal with openers Rivers of Nihil and Abaddon. Doors open at 7 p.m., all ages. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 7:30 p.m., $20, holdmyticket.com. 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.
Pridefest Kick-Off GoGo Dance Party Things begin with a music performance by Mind Your Dream and Sun City Divas. Epic Bar & Nightclub, 510 N. Stanton St., 9 p.m.-2 a.m., $5 age 21+, $10 age 18+, free w/pride bracelet, epscp.org. ‘Know the 10 Signs’ Event is in Spanish. Interactive workshop gives information on Alzheimer’s disease. St. Mark Catholic Church, 11700 Pebble Hills Blvd., 6-7:30 p.m., free, 915-544-1799 Ext. 8020, communityresourceﬁnder.org.
the ’70s and ’80s and fought for the rights we have now,” she said. “We want to let the world know we’re here, and that we’re people too – especially with the government we have now.” Rumor also stressed that Pride Month gets much deeper than partying. “We just want to raise awareness and be social advocates for the LGBTQ community and create bonds with our allies,” Rumor said. “Everyone sees it as party, party, party, but when you really look at what we do all year long, it’s about moving forward and progressing.” WHAT’S UP
For a full list of El Paso Sun City Pride events and tickets, visit epscp. org and facebook.com/epscp. Saturday’s parade is free. Pridefest tickets range from $20-$75 while the Rainbow Package A ($160 plus fees) includes all pride week events (pride brunch, Wet-N-Wild splash party, etc.) except the Chihuahuas Pride Night game. For more info, call 915603-2122.
Cryptopsy, Decrepit Birth Grind and death metal. Openers: Rivers of Nihil, The Zenith Passage, Viceral Digorge, Seeker, Gloom. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 7-10 p.m., $18, eventbrite.com. With Symphony Girl with a guitar music. Monarch, 204 E. Rio Grande Ave., 9 p.m., facebook.com/ monarchep. The Valley Rats Punk rock music. The Underground Lounge, 500 San Francisco St., 9 p.m., free, facebook. com/wearethevalleyrats.
CALENDAR MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017 Pridefest: El Paso Triple-A Baseball Chihuahuas vs. Salt Lake Bees. Thrifty Thursday Pride fundraiser, too. Event runs June 1-4, 6:35 p.m. Thurs., 7:05 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 6:05 p.m. Sun. Southwest University Ballpark, 1 Ballpark Plaza, $5-$25, 915-533-BASE, facebook.com/ epchihuahuas.
FRI. JUNE 2
Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ War drama about the keeper’s of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. Event runs June 2-8, 7:30 p.m. Additional screenings: 1:30 p.m. Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Fountain Theatre, 2469 Calle de Guadalupe, 7:30 p.m., $7, $6 matinee/senior/military/student, $5 Wed., mesillavalleyﬁlm.org.
Movie Screening: ‘The Incredibles’ Music, food trucks, dance groups and the ﬁlm about a family of metahuman superheroes. Fabens Park, 602 4th St., 6:30-10 p.m., free, 915-764-3580, facebook.com/parksaftersunset.
Pridefest Block Party Featuring DJ Irene with sets by six other DJs. Performances by Sun City Divas and RuPaul’s Drag Race Star India Ferrah. The Edge Bar, 610 N. Mesa St., 9 p.m., $10 age 21+, $15 age 18+, free w/pride bracelet, epscp.org.
‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ Comedy about newlyweds trying to get rid of some glass things. Event runs June 2-4, 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., $8-$11. El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana Ave., 8 p.m., $8-$11, 915532-1317, elpasoplayhouse.com.
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.
Alfresco Fridays: Azucar Weekly outdoor concert series. This week is salsa. Judson F. Williams Convention Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, 6 p.m., free, alfrescofridays.com. Matt U Johnson, Treyy G EDM. Gravity Night Club, 4151 N. Mesa St., 8 p.m.-2 a.m., $10, $300 VIP, mattujohnsonmusic.com. ‘Funny F*ckin Fridays” Comedy Open Mic Music spun by DJ Kasual. Doors open at 9 p.m. Age 21+ Dr. Bombay’s Nice Dreams Hookah Lounge, 9828 Montana Ave., Ste. F, 10 p.m., free, facebook.com/ epucomed.
We B Fore Covers. Handle Bars, 1731 Lee Trevino, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., free. Sluthammer, Arsonkill, Lunas Rock n’ roll dance party. Monarch, 204 E. Rio Grande Ave., 10 p.m., facebook. com/monarchep. Village Vibes Golf Tournament Single and team play golf competition. Beneﬁts Vinton Texas Village Vibes Music Festival. Painted Dunes Desert Golf, 12000 McCombs, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m., $150 individual, $500 team, 915-886-5104.
Pridefest Youth Dance This year’s theme is “Candy Arcade.” Special guest performer is RuPaul’s Drag Race star India Ferrah. Also performances by local drag stars. Music and karaoke by DJ Christian Rodriguez. Free food. Video games, too. Ages 13-20. Hyatt Place Hotel, 6030 Gateway Blvd. E., 6 p.m., free, epscp.org. Memoria EP Release Party Local rock band releases their music and performs with openers Call for Candor, Dirty Circuits and The Candance. Doors open at 8 p.m. Ages 18+ The Lowbrow Palace, 111 E. Robinson Ave., 8:30 p.m., free, lowbrowpalace.com. Los Tres Tristes Tigres Comedy trio with original songs, routines, monologues and crowd work. Abraham Chavez Theatre, 1 Civic Center Plaza, 8 p.m., $35-$60, 915231-1100, lostrestristestigres.com. Nina Diaz Indie rock performance with openers The Shadows and SEE. 8 p.m. door. Real tickets at All That Music, Bowie Feathers, Eloise and Golden Goose Tattoo. Online tix at ticketﬂy. com. Tricky Falls, 209 S. El Paso St, 9 p.m., $10 adv., $15 door, trickyfalls. com. Movies on the Lawn: ‘Selena’ Movie about a pop star who is murdered by her manager. No alcohol, glass containers or pets allowed. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. Concessions are available for purchase. UTEP Centennial Plaza, 500 W. University Ave., 8:30 p.m., free, 915-747-5648.
El Paso Triple-A Baseball Chihuahuas vs. Salt Lake Bees. For details see Thurs., June 1.
Jazz on the Lawn Performance by the Parkland High School Jazz Ensemble. Food, drink and prizes. Blankets encouraged. Terrace Hill Apartments, 4111 Westcity Ct., 6:307:30 p.m., free, donations welcome, 915-533-6300, terracehillapts.com. Vader Metal with openers Internal Bleeding, Sacriﬁcial Slaughter, Voices of Ruin, Muerte and Soren. Doors open at 7 p.m., all ages. Rockhouse Bar & Grill, 9828 Montana Ave., 8 p.m., $20 adv., $25 door, holdmyticket.com.
SAT. JUNE 3 15th Annual Walk/Run for Families in Crisis 5K competitive run. 1-mile non-competitive walk. Event promotes awareness of families in crisis in El Paso area and the services available to meet their needs. Raceday registration begins at 6:45 a.m. Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino, 1200 Futurity Dr., 8 a.m., free spectator, $18 before May 20, $20 after, miltary and team discounts avail., raceadventuresunlimited. com. Archery and Atl-atl Demonstration Demos held every Saturday. Equipment provided. Marshals present. Archers welcome to bring own recurve or longbow. El Paso Museum of Archaeology, 4301 Transmountain Rd., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., free, 915-755-4332., archaeology. elpasotexas.gov. We B Fore Covers inside a bowling alley. Bowl El Paso, 1114 Pellicano Dr., 9 p.m.-1 a.m., free.
F R I D A Y, J U N E 2
NINA DIAZ ON INSPIRATION THROUGH RECOVERY By Denise Nelson-Prieto comment: @whatsupweekly
irl In A Coma frontwoman Nina Diaz is grit, grime and sex appeal wrapped up in an alluring package. Her powerful vocals, coupled with talent for getting down to the nitty gritty in her songwriting, have elevated this priestess of punk to a new level. She struck out on her own a few years ago and released her solo debut LP “The Beat is Dead” last year. The record is a haunting story of her transformation from caterpillar to butterfly as she battled addictions, gained sobriety and came out the other side. Diaz will hit The Perch at Tricky Falls this Friday, June 2. We caught up with her to talk about the transcendent experience of writing and recording her record. Q. How does your experience as an addict in recovery translate into your music? My experience being a recovered addict is honest. That’s the main difference I can tell. I was a functioning addict before and was still writing/
performing, but since I was using, I guess you could say I wasn’t ever really in the moment. Now when I write/perform, I feel real. I feel honest, confused, rushes of anxiety, rushes of excitement. Not so numb. And I think you can hear that in my music and see it when I perform. Q. What was the process like writing “The Beat is Dead”? I am used to being the main writer in GIAC. This time it was all me. And I actually wanted it to be all me. Not in a selfish way, but more in a, “How far can I push my musical capability?” way. I had a certain sound in mind. I started a few of the songs while I was still using drugs, then next chunk detoxing, then last of them on the sober road. In the studio, I found new strength in myself taking control and communicating what I heard and wanted. A big thing that comes along with people who get sober! Q. Will your next album have a similar format? [“The Beat is Dead”] was the first record I’ve written where I let my personal life really drift into my music. I think for future records, I will
allow myself to open up and talk about whatever is really going on in my life if I feel it’s worth sharing. I can be a pretty melancholy person. So I think in future writing, I’m also going to allow myself to tap into that and release it in a healthy way. WHAT’S UP
With SEE, The Deep Shadows - Friday, June 2 The Perch (above Tricky Falls), 209 S. El Paso St Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets $10-$15 Tickets available at Bowie Feathers, All that Music, Eloise and TicketFly.com
13 ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ Comedy about newlyweds trying to get rid of some glass things. For details see Fri., June 2. Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ War drama about the keeper’s of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. For details see Fri., June 2. Annual Community Yard Sale St. Paul’s United Church’s annual community garage sale. Various objects, various histories! St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 7000 Edgemere Blvd., 8 a.m.-12 p.m., free, 915-772-2734, stpaulschurchelpaso. org. Pridefest Three events. Pride Parade: Theme is “Hear Me Roar.” Route is from Houston Park to Gray Dog bar. 10 a.m., free, all ages. Pride Brunch: Pallets Flair Cocktails, 204 Mills Ave., Ste. C, $20, all ages. Pridefest: Food, beer, cocktails, Kids’ Zone, performances. Headliners are Kat Deluna, Crystal Waters, Bob the Drag Queen, Chi Chi Devyne. Downtown, 401 N. Mesa St., 4 p.m., $20 before 8 p.m., all ages. Multiple Locations in or near Downtown, 10 a.m., Prices vary by event, epscp.org. Barbarian, Sabrewulf, Damien Local metal bands perform. Age 21+ Boomtown, 2430 Wyoming Ave., 10 p.m., free.
Improv Show The Jesters League of America hosts a comedy night open to all. All ages, BYOB Glasbox, 210 Poplar St., 8 p.m.-10 p.m., $5 adv., $6, facebook.com/elpasoimprovleague. Concordia Cemetery Ghost Tour History and lore of a Texas State Historic Site made in the 1800s. Age 13 and up, but all kids must be accompanied by an adult 21+. Concordia Cemetery, 3700 E. Yandell Dr., 9 p.m., $15, 915-2749531, ghosts915.com. Stand for Duranguito Residents and vendors of Barrio Duranguito march and make noise. Protesters should wear red. Fireﬁghters Memorial Park, 316 W. Overland Ave., 3:30-7:30 p.m., facebook.com/PasoDelSurEP. Ded Hard rock with local opener Andromeda Theory. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tricky Falls, 209 S. El Paso St, 8 p.m., $9.55, trickyfalls.com. Radioactivity, Bad Sports Punk rock from Denton with local band Nalgadas. Monarch, 204 E. Rio Grande Ave., 9 p.m., facebook.com/monarchep.
14 ‘Bandstand: The Untold Story’ Comedian and rock-and-roll expert Stan Blitz dishes on the ‘Stand. Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St., 7-9 p.m., $15, rigrandetheatre.com. ‘How Solar Energy Helps Our Planet’ Information on renewable energy. Includes lunch. Reservation recommended. Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, 1 Ardovino Dr., 10 a.m.12 p.m., free, 575-589-0653 ext. 3, ardovinos.com. El Paso Triple-A Baseball Chihuahuas vs. Salt Lake Bees. For details see Thurs., June 1. Intro to Garageband and MIDI Controllers Information on software instruments, audio tracks and recording. For beginners or pros. Please bring a device loaded with Garageband. Ages 8+ Fab Lab El Paso, 601 N. Oregon St., 2-4 p.m., $15, fablabelpaso.org. Hoover House 100th Birthday The ofﬁcial residence of the President of the University of Texas at El Paso is open for ogling. Event runs June 3-4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 12-5 p.m. Sun. The Hoover House, 711 Cincinnati Ave., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Kaos Metal music. Hidrant, 3112 Forney, 9 p.m., free.
WWW.WHATSUPPUB.COM El Paso Triple-A Baseball Chihuahuas vs. Salt Lake Bees. For details see Thurs., June 1. We B Fore Covers. Main Street Stage & Saloon, 1501 Main St., 7 p.m.-11 p.m., free. Hoover House 100th Birthday The ofﬁcial residence of the President of the University of Texas at El Paso is open for ogling. For details see Sun., June 3. Pridefest Splash Party Music by local DJs: NastyBeats, Pete the Heat, Speedracer, kiddNOTORIUS, and Tommy Bustillos. Extended park hours. All ages. Wet N Wild Waterpark, 8804 S. Desert Blvd., 10 a.m.-9 p.m., $50, epscp.org.
MON. JUNE 5 Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ War drama about the keeper’s of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. For details see Fri., June 2. Miike Snow Indie pop music performance. Doors open at 7 p.m. Virtual tickets at ticketﬂy.com. Tricky Falls, 209 S. El Paso St, 8 p.m., $25, trickyfalls.com.
Trost House Album Release Party Local indie rockers release a disc of new tunes. Openers: If We Were Turtles and State Limbo. Doors open at 9 p.m. Virtual tickets available at ticketﬂy.com. Ages 18+ The Lowbrow Palace, 111 E. Robinson Ave., 9:30 p.m., $5, lowbrowpalace.com.
TUES. JUNE 6
SUN. JUNE 4
Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ War drama about the keeper’s of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. For details see Fri., June 2.
Delano Some form of aural entertainment. Monarch, 204 E. Rio Grande Ave., 9 p.m., facebook.com/ monarchep. Robert Randolph & The Family Band Funk and soul music performance. Doors open at 7 p.m. Virtual tickets at ticketﬂy.com. Tricky Falls, 209 S. El Paso St, 8 p.m., $26, $90 VIP, trickyfalls.com. ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ Comedy about newlyweds trying to get rid of some glass things. For details see Fri., June 2. Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ War drama about the keeper’s of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. For details see Fri., June 2. Music Under the Stars – Ozomatli Outdoor music performance. Cohen Stadium, 9700 Gateway North Blvd., 7:30 p.m., free, elpasoartsandculture.org. Bike ride with Ozomatli A 12 mile, 1 hour ride with the band from Downtown’s San Jacinto Plaza to Cohen Stadium for a Music Under the Stars performance. San Jacinto Plaza, 5:30-10 p.m., free, facebook. com/epbikemonth. 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.
CALENDAR MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017
Board Game Night Board and tabletop games. Bring your own. There are board games onsite, too. Game Vault, 9828 Montana Ave., 6 p.m.-10 p.m., free, gamevaultelpaso.com.
The Birthday Massacre Gothic/ darkwave EDM music performance with openers Army of the Universe and Ludovico. Tricky Falls, 209 S. El Paso St., 7:30 p.m., $18.50 adv., $22 door, trickyfalls.com. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ Broadway musical about an orphan, the jerks she lives with and a ﬁne hunk of man. Plaza Theater, 125 Pioneer Plaza, 7:30 p.m., $47.50$82, 915-231-1100, elpasolive.com/ calendar. Comedy Open Mic Doors open at 9 p.m. Age 21+ Coconuts Bar & Grill, 816 N. Piedras St., 10 p.m., free, facebook.com/epucomedy.
WED. JUNE 7 Cursus Doom metal with openers Faciem and The Stalk. Age 21+ Monarch, 204 E. Rio Grande Ave., 10 p.m., free, facebook.com/ TheStalkBand. Mesilla Valley Film Society: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ War drama about the keeper’s of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. For details see Fri., June 2. Yoga Humans pretzel to nirvana. Happens every Wed. 150 Sunset, 150 E. Sunset Rd., 6:30 p.m., 915-5851150, 150sunset.com.
F R I D A Y, J U N E 2 , 8 P. M .
FROM NYC TO EP: MATT U. JOHNSON SOARS IN EDM SCENE By Dylan Taylor-Lehman comment: @whatsupweekly
att U. Johnson is a New York expat who carries a refreshingly friendly demeanor as things steadily go his way. While living in El Paso, he’s making waves in the world of EDM with his pop and reggae-infused twist. Locals will get to hear his unique sound on Friday, June 2 at Gravity Night Club. Johnson has collaborated with a number of acclaimed international artists and DJs, but says he’s excited to be part of the local scene. The message he wants to instill is simple. “Everybody, no matter their interest, should go after their dreams,” he said in a recent phone interview. The 27-year-old’s relentlessly upbeat demeanor fuels the energy of his songs and vice versa. The all-around positivity of songs like “Anything is Possible” and “My Life” make for a feel-good vibe at his shows, which he characterized as “pep rallies for millennials.” He recently co-headlined a con-
Wacky Wednesday: Comedy Open Mic Open to all jesters. Age 21+ For detais see Wed., May 31. Crusaders Chess Club Strategy minded folks engage in battles of brains. Meets Wed. For details see Wed., May 31. BT Standup comedy with opener Richard Reese. Event runs June 7-11, 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.
cert at UTEP, where he performed in front of 30,000 people. The understandable fear that would come with performing in front of such a crowd evaporated when he took the stage and was able to share the thing he loves. “You’ve got to grab people’s attention, stay creative and really work the crowd,” he said. Easier said than done, perhaps, though it all comes naturally to Johnson, who is an actor as well as a musician. Johnson has been making his own music for at least 14 years. He started singing at age 4 and majored in music in college, attending school in the U.S. and England. He was taken with the electronic music scene in London, he said, and the experience inspired him to immerse himself fully in the world of EDM. Johnson came to El Paso from Staten Island thanks in part to the recommendation of his dad, who lived here in the ’90s. Johnson soon found that the city has a thriving electronic music scene and felt like the glamorous locales elsewhere in
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 31., free, 915-321-3123. State Line Music Series: Alice Wallace Country-folk-blues 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.
the country. “It’s got weather and mountains like LA,” he said, but without the stress of killing yourself to make ends meet. Overall, Johnson is thrilled to be performing, promoting his label Inner V Music and shooting another video. The life of an up-and-coming artist requires a lot of hard work, but it’s the kind of work that Johnson doesn’t mind doing. He wants to take his name and the reputation of his city to the next level. “All eyes are on El Paso, brother,” he said, “And I’m working toward that first Grammy!” WHAT’S UP
Matt U. Johnson
With Treyy G Friday, June 2, 8 p.m. Gravity Night Club, 4151 N. Mesa $10 general admission, $300 VIP Tickets available at MattUJohnsonMusic.com
EXHIBITS 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.
‘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.
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