Rock and Roll is not dead in the capital of New Mexico. In fact the live music scene has always been alive, Santa Feans have simply been hibernating for the winter. From young artists (“freshmen” of the culture) to the old favorites (your veterans of the night life), Santa Fe has been able to produce great musicians and bring in talented individuals from out of state as well. Who do we have to thank for this? Well we can’t give them all the credit but a strong consistent force behind this movement has been part in thanks to the local band Thieves and Gypsys.
"Thieves and Gypsys" is a fairly new band in Santa Fe, only two years old and they have already made a strong impact on the local live music scene. Winners of the "Best New Band in Santa Fe" for the year of 2012, they have even gained national attention from "Independent Music News" in an article by Daniel Thomas. The band is made up of three members, Jared Garcia (Vocals and Guitar), Aaron Jones (Bass Guitar), and David Vigil (Percussionist). What started as Jared and Dave practicing in a cramped home down off Cerillos road towards the westside, the band finally came together when their bassist, Aaron, arrived in Santa Fe from California. The band is well known for their grooving bass lines, hard hitting drums and quick tempo changes, as well as their catchy lyrics and beautiful harmonies. These traits are exactly what makes a great indie rock band, however, if you ask the band how they would define their sound, they would tell you that they are a wavepop band.
The band started back in 2011 as a foursome, since winning “Best New Band in Santa Fe” the band has lost a member but has added more songs and more skill to their repertoire since. Beyond musical talent, there are more attributes that this band lends to the city’s music scene than just performing. Thieves and Gypsys (along with other local bands) has been responsible for bringing in bands from California, to Colorado, to Texas, and even reaching to bands from the East coast to enjoy our fair city. Jared Garcia has developed a talent for intercepting bands on the road, and convincing those bands who are not, to come to the Land of Enchantment and to be a part of our night life.
The performance at the Underground @ Evangelo’s was started with the song “Break”, then followed by “Bohemian Chic”, “Water Colors” (a fan favorite), “Under The Sun”, “Red Dress” (Classic T&G), and capped off by what’s perhaps their most popular song “Penny Arcade”. The show was full of Rock and Roll, from what could be considered classic rock sounds to “psychedelic rock”, and then back to the west coast for some California influences all bundled into one. The bands ability to perform such versatile sounds and still make them fit into the same genre speaks volumes about their musical genius.
When asked about their individual Goals regarding music Each band member responded in their own respective way. “It’s just something i enjoy.” says Aaron Jones. For him music is a meditation of mantra that he does simply for the sake of itself. Dave Vigil however feels more like it’s something in his blood, something he was born to do that he loves doing. “I play music for personal enjoyment, for personal growth. Music has been a part of my whole entire life. I’ve been around music since i was born. My father played music with Lumbre Del Sol (one of the oldest bands in Santa Fe that still performs for fiesta).”. Jared Garcia has a deep passion for music and this led to his double edged answer. “It doesn’t matter what i do in music, I just want to keep playing, whether it’s in a coffee shop or anywhere else… [But] the egotistical answer is ‘I want to be the best rock star in the world. I want to be on top.’”
One of the bands who played with Thieves and Gypsys Tuesday night at The Underground at Evangelo’s was The Cobalt Cranes. A band based out of Los Angeles who is just finishing up their Fall Tour, they have only one stop on their way home in Phoenix, Arizona. If anyone reading this has it in their power to hear this band play, I would highly recommend doing so.
"Led by Kate Betuel and Tim Foley, Cobalt Cranes blend elements of grunge, psychedelic and shoegaze sounds into a sort of post-garage modern take on California rock. Since their 2010 EP In Media Rez, the band has been winning over critics at The Fader, LA Weekly, LA Record, Impose and more with male / female vocal layers, fuzzed out guitar, catchy bass lines and big drums. Their newest album, Head In The Clouds is heavily influenced by hard rock album narratives of the early 70s and versatile shoegaze rock of the early 90s. They also explored and expanded upon what is considered the “California sound.”” -http://cobaltcranes.com/about/
The third band to perform for the evening was The Strange, another local Santa Fe band, they were established in 2008 and they’re very well known for their “brand of desert rock”. The band is made up of 4 members, Justin Lindsey, Andy Diekmann, Braden Anderson, and Daniel Murphy. The band’s particular sound of Rock and Roll is one that is complimented well by that of Thieves and Gypsys. Both bands have original lyrics, great hooks, and they perform like rock stars. The set was electric, the energy in the down stairs of Evangelo’s seemed as though it would last the entire night. By the last song the entire room was moving together and fluidly as if the music was literally pumping through our veins.
"Born of blood, sweat and tears, The Strange is the culmination of many lives who have influenced what would become one of The Southwest’s most creative and hard-working true rock acts. Described as "young outlaws" the members of The Strange have battled through many a hardship and hurdle in the process of bringing their brand of "desert rock" to the ears of the region. With no official source of support, the band has managed to tour extensively across the Southwest, West Coast, Pacific Northwest and Midwest as well as having landed some impressive gigs in their hometown.” — band bio — https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Strange/211047035756?id=211047035756&sk=info
When i asked Justin Lindsey what his goals for music are he responded similar to Jared Garcia. “Why does anybody our age make music? I want to be the best.” A competitive spirit that most artists try to hide as not to sound arrogant, but the truth is competition is was what drives any art form and there is no shame in having a passion for art.
The City of Holy Faith is no longer “trying” as far as creating the live music scene. The is scene is here. The only aspect that separates the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico from Houston, Texas, is the amount of support that the community puts in. Put as long as there is Rock and Roll to be played, our musical town will not go quietly into the night.