ABQ Green Room
Zia Zine: Quaranzine Edition!
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
By Shirley Sparks
At the beginning of quarantine, I recall my employer optimistically banking on the lockdown ending by late April....those were such simpler times...Now we find ourselves under a variety of pressures, mostly concerning the gravity of this very real pandemic. I’m still partially unemployed, and my favorite local places are now a mere shell of what they used to be...My intention here is to follow up on what’s been happening with our precious music venues and talented artists. I also want to showcase how YOU can help.
By chance, I began this article while enjoying the now limited patio service at Sister Bar. I ran into local band, Prism Bitch. They had just wrapped up an audience-free session at Launchpad. It was a charity event, “Craft for Causes," a local organization that collaborates with artists and craft breweries for the purpose of creating profitable charities.
There’s also an emergency relief fund for YOUR favorite local venues. It’s called the NIVA fund, you can donate now to #SaveOurStages in hopes that congress can pass legislation to keep our favorite haunts afloat while their stages remain empty. If you find the time, these essential places would benefit from your donations, or you can contact local senators and representatives. Time is precious. Explore more information at www.saveourstages.com.
I also wanted to touch base with a couple of artists from issue #1 of Zia Zine. They got back to me about their endeavors over the last few months...
A Word from Eddie Brewer
“It’s been a crazy year since we talked. I left one of my groups, The Despots, and ended up putting most of my energy into jazz music. I have been playing piano and singing at Vernons Speakeasy regularly and released some big band music.
I’ve been recording more country music with my group The Atomic Rangers which has been a blast. We’re releasing a single pretty soon and in the process of releasing an album.
I’ve also been playing keys, guitar, and a little bit of vocals in my good friend Jimmy Deveney’s group. He’s an extremely talented songwriter and an overall amazing human being. I’m definitely blessed to be a part of his band.
There’s been a lot of ups and downs the past couple years but I’m unbelievably excited for the future!”
A Word from Kris Kirby
“I’ve been mainly focused on writing a full length Icumdrums album and getting a live set together for whenever possible. I’ve also been doing a little session drumming on the side for friends and Tenderizor just released our new album on Vinyl/Cassette. I was scheduled to tour with Prism Bitch, Russian Girlfriends and Redbush before everything was shut down.
After the last time we talked I moved to Vegas, rented a practice and started playing drums again. I found a job as a Stage Technician for Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain and Christina Aguilera and did that until COVID. Since the shutdown I’ve been focusing on that solo album, learning coding, and possibly attending school again.
Hope all this helps and can’t wait to see what you’re working on. Thanks for including me!”
Falling off the map has been refreshing. I can’t be the only one enjoying the seclusion. It’s invited the opportunity to hone my skills and re-evaluate my goals, especially in this very new world...however, I would like to return to my favorite local venue, even if it’s for a “social distance," limited capacity show. Don’t forget, your voice is just as important as the ones on stage. You can act now and contribute to a couple of really great relief funds. Let's stay safe and help each other retain some optimism! We all need it right now...