Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Echinomastus of Arizona, flowers

The Echinomastus forms found in Arizona, in flower, all in one handy blog post.

Echinomastus intertextus (disclaimer: a cultivated plant, not a habitat photo, and not specifically the form found in southeast AZ):

Echinomastus erectocentrus, from near Benson, AZ:

A rescue plant of Echinomastus erectocentrus from a nearby location:

The first of two stars of this particular post, Echinomastus erectocentrus 'acunensis' from Pinal County AZ:

bizarre extended green pigments in this one:

a lot of variety in the flower colors:

Another star, Echinomastus johnsonii 'lutescens' from Yavapai County:

And last but certainly not least, Echinomastus johnsonii, from northern AZ, plants sent to me by a friend there, salvaged from a construction site:

and there you have it. From Cochise County to Mohave County. Hundreds of miles of driving and 8 months of field work. Can't wait for next year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Venue Trauma

It's an eternal quest, really. Especially for so-called "underground" or alternative performance. Where should it happen? In Santa Fe, I've been to or played concerts in living rooms, at grocery stores, in vacant storefronts leased just for the weekend, in old movie theaters between owners, in art galleries (of course), in school gyms, even in performance spaces (usually ones that have no sound system, no stage lighting and certainly no piano...I actually once rented a lousy spinet piano for $500, to stage a concert at the Center for Contemporary Arts, in the theater).

So there we were at High Mayhem's small space tucked back off Lena St. near the railroad tracks, surrounded by art studios and dry gullies and arroyos, all set up, soundchecked, ready to roll by about 8 pm. Enter a fire marshal and three of Santa Fe's finest. Turns out High Mayhem doesn't have commercial zoning, just residential. Maximum occupancy: 8. Number of musicians in Rrake (with two guest trombonists): 7. Plus one sound man, and we're still legal. After much begging, pleading, negotiating and hand wringing, the fire marshal allowed the show to continue as long as the entire audience sat outside and we stopped by 10. In fine surreal fashion, we played 90 minutes to an empty house, several dozen appreciative listeners just outside the door in folding chairs. Very strange experience indeed. Oddly, highly successful. Too bad for the folks who arrived at 10:15 or so expecting Rrake to start late. Lucky we were able to start at all.

If Santa Fe doesn't find a way to speed High Mayhem through the zoning process and sanctify it as a legitimate venue, there's something quite rotten in the City Different indeed. It's unacceptable for the most adventurous, multifaceted, progressive not-for-profit producing organization in town to be shut down on technicalities. Performing arts are fragile enough in the area without having a bucket of ice water dumped on High Mayhem. So I expect to see the City of Santa Fe step up and make good on its "different" reputation, and very quickly and painlessly find a permanent solution. How 'bout it Mayor Coss and City Council?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rrake, flowers, etc.

This Friday at High Mayhem in Santa Fe:

"Rrake (Santa Fe)
This manifestation of Rrake consists of Chris Jonas (compositions, tenor and soprano sax), Joe Fiedler (trombone), Jeremy Bleich (electric bass), Paul Brown (acoustic bass), Milton Villarrubia III (drums) and Peter Breslin (drums).

An audience favorite in the High Mayhem Festival 2006 and 2007, the “supergroup”, Rrake (in this version a six-person double trio), is Jonas’ latest Santa Fe ensemble project. Considerably louder, more electric and brash than his previous projects, Rrake is an outburst, a conniption fit, a tantrum, a racket, a feast, a riot, a wassail, a spout, a rant, an exultation. To add more girth to the sound of the group, Jonas has built this group to consist of two drummers, two bass players, two horn players (trombone and saxophone). The music is distinctly rhythmic at core with melodic lines superimposed atop a complex of asymmetrical block rhythms."

Always glad to "add more girth." Looking forward to hearing CJ's NYC ensemble, Sun Spits Cherries, too.

Here's another message from some beautiful compatriots:

Echinocereus rigidissimus rubispinus:

Thelocactus bicolor flavidispinus:

Epithelantha pachyrhiza:

Mammillaria viridiflora and Escobaria leei:

The etc: lost filling, fractured molar. $500 dollars later (thank ye gods for sig others with plastic) and a bit of grinding and polishing and I'm right as rain. (What the hell does that mean anyway, "right as rain"?) A couple more weeks in the regular school year, with legions of students having checked out mentally about 4 weeks ago. You try teaching a bunch of hormone-addled adolescent artists Algebra 1, I dare you. Finally mixed down Duology 3 and will post tracks soon, probably on my own website which I hope is up by late June, peterbreslin.net. Picking up the D4 recording up in Santa Fe this weekend too, so look forward to hearing that one.

This week's radio show DUKE including Art Ensemble's take on Creole Love Call, Braxton from Creative Orchestra Music '76, side two track 2, his sort of Duke-inspired piece, WSQ's A Train/Lush Life, the entirety of He Loved Him Madly from Miles Davis' Get Up With It (remastered on Complete On the Corner) Albert Mangelsdorff's Mood Indigo, Thelonious Monk himself doing Solitude and Caravan. Streams live 1-3 pm Mountain Time from KSFR, Santa Fe.