By the time I get to Phénix

Pasatiempo - - Sound Waves - — Rob DeWalt

If you have yet to visit Café Phénix lo­cated in the space for­merly oc­cu­pied by Le Flip restau­rant (1414 Sec­ond St., 988-7303,, do so, be­cause you’re miss­ing the evo­lu­tion of a much needed live-mu­sic pres­ence in a neigh­bor­hood once spoiled on the au­di­ble riches of the Meow Wolf col­lec­tive’s still-nearby art space.

I could ram­ble on about the café’s food, which, based on the ap­ple/Nutella crepes alone, is rea­son enough to find your­self at the Phénix. A brief men­tion in a re­cent

New York Times ar­ti­cle cre­ated some food buzz for Phénix, but there’s an en­tirely dif­fer­ent side to the joint that emerges when the sun be­gins to set. What the NYT and many re­gional food blog­gers for­got to men­tion is that in Santa Fe, the real mu­sic freaks come out at night, and Phénix is fast be­com­ing a sort of au­ral ground zero in the Sec­ond Street neigh­bor­hood. (I don’t think I’ll ever get used to call­ing it the “Tri­an­gle District.” It’s sim­ply cen­tral Santa Fe. Look at a satel­lite map!)

Chef Joshua Drum­mond is not only a deft hand in the kitchen; he’s also a fairly savvy so­cial net­worker who pro­motes the lo­cally owned Café Phénix busi­ness well on­line (be­sides the restau­rant’s Web site, Face­book is a good place to track down up­com­ing or last-minute events there). The funky lit­tle space serves up a va­ri­ety of lo­cal and tour­ing en­ter­tain­ment that in­cludes po­etry and spo­ken-word, hip-hop, elec­tron­ica, DJ sets, singer­song­writ­ers, and acous­tic open-mics. March is looking like a busy month for mu­sic at Café Phénix, and things get off to a great start from 7 to 10 p.m.

Satur­day, March 6, with an all-ages per­for­mance by self-de­scribed “earth­trance” duo Sil­ver­mouse(www.sil­ver­mouse­­dio). Lap­top mix­tress Amaani King and mul­ti­in­stru­men­tal­istWy­att James— who are also a duo in life and love — blend funky techno, at­mo­spheric Goa trance, ethe­real house, and break­beat with in­ter­ludes and over­lays of gui­tar, man­dolin, flute, and vi­o­lin, cre­at­ing an idio­syn­cratic elec­tro groove that bridges new and an­cient mu­si­cal forms. It’s a bit like a more or­ganic, laid-back in­stru­men­tal ver­sion of ’90s-era Dan­ish techno en­sem­ble The Over­lords (www.mys­­lordsdk) — but with winds and strings.

At 6 p.m. on Thurs­day, March 11, Café Phénix hosts Au­dioBud­dha (aka Steve Brisk) for an­other edi­tion of De­com­pres­sion Thurs­day, a night of dub­step, chill, and mel­low house. There is no charge for the Sil­ver­mouse show or the De­com­pres­sion event, but do­na­tions are en­cour­aged. A few weeks later, at 7 p.m. on Satur­day,

March 27, Au­dioBud­dha brings his Mon­soon 8 show­case to the Phénix with spe­cial guest per­former

Amani Friend, a main­stay of chill elec­tro in the South­west who has pro­duced mu­sic un­der the monikers Desert Dwellers (­sert­d­, Shaman’s Dream, Liq­uid Bloom, and Vari­ant Field (www.vari­ant­ Built around blend­ing the rhyth­mic and in­stru­men­tal eclec­ti­cism of world mu­sic with var­i­ous forms of con­tem­po­rary elec­tronic mu­sic (IDM, am­bi­ent, dub, break­beat, etc.) and com­mu­nity-build­ing, Mon­soon is find­ing its stride as a pop­u­lar monthly show­case in a city that cher­ishes its dance beats as deeply as its eth­nic di­ver­sity. There is a $5 cover.

Thurs­day, March 11, also marks

the beginning of the in­au­gu­ral SXSF

Tran­sit Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at Co­razón (401 S. Guadalupe St., 983-4559). Cel­e­brat­ing its up­com­ing one-year an­niver­sary, the pop­u­lar nightspot presents five days of live lo­cal and tour­ing mu­sic— and a throb­bin’ new sound sys­tem! At 9 p.m. on the fes­ti­val’s open­ing night, lo­cal band La Junta takes the stage with a blend of up­beat jazz, funk, rock, reg­gae, hip-hop, ska, Latin, and blues that lead singer Ni­cholas Pena calls “South­west funk-hop.” Join­ing La Junta for the 21-and-over show ($7 cover) are lo­cal reg­gae rock­ers Sap­phire, Re-Flex, and DJ

Wil­lie K. Down the road, catch Ray Charles Ives, Low on High, DJ May­nard Del Mar, Venus Bog­a­r­dus, and other lo­cal bands along with vis­it­ing acts like Rain­bow Ara­bia, Daedelus, Abe Vigoda, Lovers, Nobunny, Nice Nice, and TV Ghost. Call the venue or join the mail­ing list at www.cora­zon­ for a ten­ta­tive fes­ti­val sched­ule and more in­for­ma­tion.


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