Arts and Entertainment: Top Picks for the Week - Albuquerque Journal

Arts and Entertainment: Top Picks for the Week

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Santa Fe writer Hampton Sides, known for his best-selling non-fiction books that often read like thrillers, will be at the Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo St., at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, to read from and sign copies of his latest work, 2018’s “On Desperate Ground: The Marines at the Reservoir, The Korean War’s Greatest Battle.”

Hampton Sides will be at Collected Works Bookstore Dec. 5. (Courtesy of Gary Oakley)

“On Desperate Ground,” now out in paperback, tells the story of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, during which China’s numerically superior armies surrounded and tried to destroy the First Marine Division in the frozen mountain wilds of North Korea.

A review of the book said, “This war story – the fight to break out of a frozen hell near the Chosin Reservoir – has been told many times before. But Sides tells it exceedingly well, with fresh research, gritty scenes and cinematic sweep.”

A portion of the proceeds from book sales at the Collected Works event will be donated to the local chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Sides divides his time between Santa Fe and Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where he teaches narrative non-fiction and serves as Journalist in Residence. His other books include “Hellhound On His Trail,” about the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. and the search for his assassin, and “Blood and Thunder,” about Kit Carson.

MUSIC AND A MOVIE: Joywave, synthy alt-pop stars, play an all-ages show at Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle, on Thursday, Dec. 5. The band has had hits since 2013, starting with “Dangerous (Feat. Joywave).” A recent single, “Like a Kennedy,” is what we old folks used to call a power ballad and has an accompanying video based on the Zapruder film of JFK’s assassination (you can join the debate over that online).

Joywave plays Dec. 5. (Courtesy of Meow Wolf)

Upsahl is the warm-up act for the 7 p.m. show. Advance tickets are $18 at

CELEBRATING THE SEASON: Local Christmas events are starting up in earnest next weekend.

The annual Mariachi Christmas show hits the stage at The Lensic, 211. W. San Francisco, on Friday night, Dec. 6. This year’s performers include Mariachi Sonidos Del Monte, Jovita Enriguez, Ms. C’s Children’s Choir, Mariachi Calor and Carlos Medina.

The show, presented by the National Latino Behavioral Health Association, starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15-$30 at or the box office at 988-1234.

Then there’s “A Musical Piñata for Christmas VII,” which starts its annual three-weekend run on Friday at Teatro Paraguas, 3205 Calle Marie.

“A Musical Piñata for Christmas” starts its 3-weekend run Friday. (Courtesy of Teatro Paraguas)

Featured will be classic and contemporary carols performed by The Teatro Paraguas Orchestra, dancing, seasonal poetry and an original short play, “Los Regalos (The Presents),” written by Alix Hudson. Also, flamenco stars Compañia Chuscales y Mina Fajardo will be on hand. As the name of the show suggests, there’s a piñata finale.

The show will be performed Friday-Sunday through Dec. 15, with the Friday shows at 7:30 p.m., and the Saturday and Sunday shows at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10, $5 for 17 and under. Call 505-424-1601 for reservations or go to for tickets.

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