Neil Young's latest turn behind the camera is completely free of name-actors, pretentiousness and, to the delight of fans of Young's music, dialog. It's also mostly free of appearances by Young, unlike director Jim Jarmusch's 1997 Young biopic, Year of the Horse, in which Young's presence, along with that of Crazy Horse members Frank “Pancho” Sampedro, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina, serves only to make the viewer uncomfortable for inexplicable reasons. In Greendale, Young and his Crazy Horse cohorts tell the tale of the Green family off-camera in song—10 of them, some clocking in at the signature Crazy Horse minute mark of a dozen or more—while actors mime the story, occasionally lip synching to Young's third-person lyrics. As a movie experience, it's bizarre, yet fully engaging, like a silent film with a soundtrack instead of subtitles.
It wasn't just the miniature chocolate bundt cake with whipped cream and raspberry sauce that created the sanguine mood during last week's Roundhouse wrap-up at the Sheraton Old Town. The excitement—at least from the podium—stemmed from what MC Carol Radosevich of the Albuquerque Association of Commerce and Industry called "a fabulous session for economic development." The approximately 400 professionally attired and relatively sedate lunch-goers seemed to agree, judging from the perfunctory standing ovations given to one legislator after another who came to speak.
Heather Wilson's media tour continues. More hilarious news and analysis trickled in from the Internet regarding Congresswoman Heather Wilson's meltdown during a House Telecommunications Committee hearing last month.
As one of the strong supporters of the Planned Growth Strategy (PGS) on the city council, I worked hard alongside City Councilor Michael Cadigan to make sure the public understood how the PGS would affect development patterns in the city. During the planned growth debate we attended numerous community and neighborhood association meetings and amended the PGS ordinance to take into account neighborhood concerns.
I don't watch TV as much as I used to, which may be why I had a tough time fathoming a couple of fast-food spots over the weekend. First were the commercials for Sonic Drive-In where two "30-something" guys spend the bulk of their day either: a) hanging out at the drive-up window, dumb-struck by the marvels of Sonic cuisine or, b) haranguing minimum-wage employees at other fast food joints for nothaving the same menu as Sonic. Really, has anyone without a pledge paddle hanging in their room gone to Sonic after watching these two dorks in action?
Not many years ago Albuquerque's cops had a reputation rivaling Los Angeles' for biased, prejudiced treatment of minorities. In that unenlightened, pre-Citizen Police Oversight Commission era, our city's finest actually seemed proud of the notoriety their get-tough tactics had earned.
Dateline: New York—Last Tuesday afternoon,Tabitha Bracken, 27, of Toronto arrived at the Delta Airlines ticket counter at the Buffalo airport looking for a package from Accel Graphics. She was mistakenly given two packages shipped from Cryolife, an Atlanta medical agency. One of the packages contained a pulmonary valve being shipped to a young person in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital. The other contained a vein intended for a coronary bypass surgery at a Buffalo hospital. When the mistake was discovered a short time later, investigators hit a dead end trying to locate the woman who had been given the items. It was soon determined that she had presented fake identification at the airport. The correct packages from Accel Graphics were located and opened and discovered to contain 119 pounds of marijuana wrapped in plastic and newspapers and smeared with mustard. When Delta received several telephone calls from a man interested in picking up the Accel packages, DEA agents staked out the airport. Shortly before midnight, Dalvan Robinson, 43, arrived pushing the two transplant boxes on a luggage cart. Both Robinson and Bracken were arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The wayward body parts were quickly turned over to the awaiting hospitals for transplant.
It took me a while to figure out that my dog's food was giving him an excessive amount of Vitamin F. Unlike Ren and Stimpy's superhero friend Powdered Toast Man, my little buddy's pants don't puff up when he gets a distress call. It's pretty obvious though. Corn meal makes my dog fart so much he could power a hybrid SUV. If only we could harness the power! It took me a while to figure out what was causing these noxious emissions but, as it turns out, many dogs digestive systems aren't able to process corn very well. Hey, even humans aren't able to break corn down completely. (Does this sound familiar? I know you know what I'm talking about.) The trick to turning off Sparky's gas is finding a dog food that doesn't contain corn or soy—another common culprit. Grocery stores don't often stock a very large variety of dog foods but at Clark's Pet Emporium (or any good-sized pet store) you'll find a handful of formulas for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. Common combinations are lamb and rice or some kind of meat and potatoes. Read the ingredient label carefully to make sure corn and soy aren't listed. The only drawback? You won't be able to blame your own farts on the dog anymore.
Sure, from the outside Azuma (4701 San Mateo NE) still looks like a Black Eyed Pea, but inside every trace of country kitsch has been erased and replaced by a serene Japanese theme. The teppan and sushi restaurant, which opened earlier this month, is owned by Frank Su, who also owns both China Star mega-buffets (4710 Montgomery NE and 2001 Juan Tabo NE). Half of Azuma is devoted to teppan tables where patrons can sit and watch as a cook prepares their dinners with a few flashy tricks. On the other side of the restaurant, booths are separated by pretty panes of frosted glass and a line of stools hug the sushi bar. In addition to sushi, Azuma's menu offers many cooked items including noodles and a variety of grilled meats and vegetables that will ensure the place's appeal to nearby families and folks who are new to Japanese food. Sushi aficionados might compare Azuma to Samurai Grill (Montgomery and Eubank or Gibson near Lovelace Hospital), a comparison that would be more flattering to Samurai.
You can taste it in the food and see it in the face at the door
By Gwyneth Doland
Ruth Reichl, who was a restaurant critic for The New York Times before becoming editor of Gourmet magazine, recently wrote a column for The Times in which she lamented the closing of one of New York's most famous and long-standing French restaurants, Lutèce. The demise of this much-loved institution has been the subject of a flurry of gushy eulogies in print and on the Web. Many of the writers tried to explain the unfortunate outcome but none did it as eloquently as Reichl. This is obvious even to someone, like me, who never had the opportunity (or money) to eat there.
Maori Movie—The UNM Department of Anthropology will be welcoming special guest Maori filmmaker Mereta Mita to town as part of the International Indigenous Film Festival. The New Zealand native will be on hand Thursday, March 4, at 7 p.m. to screen and discuss her feature-length drama Mauri. The film centers on the trauma of a disturbed Maori man who confronts his tragic deception with courage and humility. The screening will take place in the anthropology lecture hall, north of UNM's Maxwell Museum. Tickets are $12 at the UNM box offices or at Tickets.com outlets. You can also obtain tickets by calling the Anthropology department at 925-5858. Proceeds will benefit the UNM Anthropology Graduate Student Scholarship Fund.
Bertolucci takes us on a historical tour of sex and the cinema
By Devin D. O'Leary
At age 64, Bernardo Bertolucci (Stealing Beauty, The Sheltering Sky, The Last Emperor, 1900) is one of the last surviving members of the second generation, postwar filmmakers—those young lads from England, Italy, France, wherever, who grew up besotted by the product that Hollywood cranked out in the '30s and '40s. Throughout the '50s, educated young teens like Bertolucci, Casavettes, Godard, Antonioni, Pasolini, Fellini, Truffaut were raised on a steady diet of Ford, Capra, Hawks, Hitchcock, Lang, Keaton, Welles. The works these “New Wave” directors eventually produced were part homage, part angry response. But unlike the filmmakers of the earlier generation, whose only point of artistic reference was the legitimate theater, the postwar filmmakers of the '60s and '70s were all about the silver screen.
Son's quest to understand father's love is built to last
By Devin D. O'Leary
Last Sunday, My Architect lost out to Fog of War at the Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category. Their inclusion in the 76th Annual Academy Awards was not the only similarity between the two films, however. Both are cinematic portraits struggling to define controversial historical figures. Fog of War is certainly the splashier of the two, since the figure in question (Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara) is far more controversial, and he's still alive to explain himself. My Architect, on the other hand, is far more personal, tracing the journey of filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn to understand his long-dead father, famed architect Louis I. Kahn.
If you've been paying attention you already know that Club Rhythm and Blues (3523 Central NE) is reopening on March 4. This is a huge and wonderful announcement for local performers and music connoisseurs alike. Along with a regular line-up of great acts and open mic nights, Club R&B will feature its New Artist Series, hosted by yours truly.
Her Own Medicine; Jessica Williams Heals Herself at the Piano
Although she's been considered a significant presence on the jazz scene for decades, Jessica Williams doesn't enjoy the name recognition she deserves. Following years spent playing piano with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet and sharing stages with such luminaries as Bill Evans, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Sarah Vaughn, McCoy Tyner and a host of others, not to mention her extensive discography, Williams remains largely under-recognized outside of critics and rabid fans of classic bop-influenced keyboard work.
With chops that invoke the playing of Thelonious Monk and an incredible command of the keyboard, Williams based herself in San Francisco in the late '70s, where she established herself as a powerful musical force. Inexplicably, she disappeared from record for a short time, only to re-emerge in the '80s as an acoustic soloist. And while generally identified within the bop idiom, Williams' latest album, the demure, hauntingly lovely Plays for Lovers (Red and Blue Records), is a quiet tribute to relaxing at home either with a lover or with a lover on the mind. Nine of the album's 11 tracks are jazz standards (the exceptions are John Lennon's "Love is Real" and her own "Flamenco Sketches), and all of them feature Williams alone at her piano, performing the music as though she were at home.
Sunday, March 7; AMP House Concert (all ages, 6:30 p.m.): Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, welcome to one of the craziest shows on Earth. Feast your eyes on four ladies who know what putting on a captivating show is all about ... the Dolly Ranchers have all their bases covered when it comes to rockin' a crowd and getting a rip-roarin' hoe-down started.
It would be easy to write "noveau" flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook off as the acoustic guitar world's Kenny G—a Paco de Lucia for soccer moms. But Cook's versatility, polished technique and visceral command of Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish and Moorish music make him far more intriguing than your average cracker with an instrument and the ability to make middle-aged white women swoon as if they're having some kind of cross-cultural epiphany. That's not to say that Cook doesn't employ a certain degree of the cheese factor, just that his music is worthwhile even as far as audiophiles are concerned.
The glamor! The glory! The loot! Professional photographers seem to have it all, don't they? Hob-nobbing with sexy models. Traveling to exotic locales filled with white sand, blue water and toucans. Sniffing up dangerous chemicals in a dark room with poor ventilation. Is it too much to imagine yourself with such an exalted career? Of course it isn't, but you have to start somewhere. And that's where your trusty neighborhood Alibi comes in.
I'm told the production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses that opened a couple years ago Off-Broadway in New York was quite a spectacle. Legend has it that Zimmerman's adaptation of some of Ovid's best tales incorporated a magical set with a rectangular pool built right into the stage. Even though the pool was only a few inches deep, the characters floated across it, and ships were destroyed in storms on the open water.
In a new show at The Studios @ 500 2nd (located—you guessed it—at 500 Second Street), Gwendolyn Beachy combines her fascination with the Rio Grande Bosque and vaginas into an exploration of our environment and sexuality. Mixing recorded sound, text, clay, metal, found objects and material collected from the Bosque, River-Yoni-Egg-Story sounds nothing if not ambitious. Come see how Beachy pulls it all together by attending a reception this Friday, March 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. If you miss that one, a closing reception will be held on Friday, March 19. During the rest of the run, you can arrange to view the work by calling the artist at 507-8345.
The Nob Hill Art Complex over at 3812 Central SE is hosting an open house where artists invite you to stop by and view them in their natural habitat. Vicki Bolen, Bobi Chenhall, Sarah Karnes, David Klausen, Lia Lynn Rosen, Patricia Malcolm, Jacob Matteson and Gayle Van Horn will present oils, watercolors, paper arts and ceramics. The New Grounds Print Workshop offers up an exhibit of new work by Reginald Gammon. The Coleman Gallery will exhibit drawings by Barbara Bock, collages by Ron Evans and photographs by Clark Waterman. The reception occurs Friday, March 5, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the exhibits run through March 27. 268-8952.
While only the bean-counters at PriceWaterhouseCoopers know the actual winners of this year's Academy Awards, we can still make a few early predictions about who will waltz out of this year's ceremony smelling like a rose and who will stumble out stinking of gin and failure.
Here's a list of all the nominees in all the categories. We've included a handy guide to all the awards that have been handed out already in the top categories, as well as Oscar odds (courtesy of online casino www.intertops.com) and our patented Alibi picks.
Employees worry about health care, savings and debt
By Tim McGivern
Like other election years, between now and November you'll hear the word "jobs" bandied about by politicians on the campaign trail. You'll see catchy photos in your mailbox, like the one of Heather Wilson wearing a hard hat and embracing a Hispanic guy in one of those taxpayer-funded campaign fliers. Every candidate jockying for votes will want you to feel good about your future job prospects, because that's always one of the issues pollsters and consultants say electoral victories are made of.
Where did you get that information? Our pawn of a congresswoman was on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" show last week, regurgitating many of the same falsehoods about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration was taken to task for: that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, that he received large quantities of uranium from Niger, Africa, and that Saddam is in league with members of al Qaeda, the group that claims responsibility for the September 11 attack.
With Councilor Eric Griego showing up late, Councilors Brad Winter and Craig Loy leaving early, and Councilors Michael Cadigan and Miguel Gomez not appearing at all, the Feb. 18 council podium resembled a busy take-out window.
February is set to give way to March, bringing with it the end of the latest installment of the state Legislature where all New Mexico's problems were thoughtfully addressed and solved in a spirit of bipartisanship; with neither individual legislators nor Gov. Bill Richardson stopping to worry about who might be getting the better of whom in the press. And if you believe that, you probably believe the state is cutting taxes and spending less money!
Dateline: Massachusetts—Last week's New England Journal of Medicine reported on a case in which French surgeons removed 12 pounds of coins from the stomach of a 62-year-old patient. The man, who had a history of psychiatric illness came to the emergency room of Cholet General Hospital in western France in 2002 complaining of stomach pain and an inability to eat or move his bowels. An X-ray revealed an enormous opaque mass, which turned out to be around 350 coins—approximately $650 worth. Readers of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote in and correctly diagnosed the unnamed man as suffering from a psychological condition known as pica, a rare compulsion to eat things not normally consumed as food. The man had his expensive stomach contents removed, but died 12 days later from complications.
Victims of strict Catholic educations can purge some of their residual pain by attending Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan's Late Nite Catechism, a comedy that will run for 16 performances from March 2 through March 16 in UNM's Rodey Theatre. Even non-Catholics will probably appreciate this funny look at classroom authoritarianism. Beware the paddle. Tickets are $32. (800) 905-3315.
Ch-ch-ch-changes. Mary Zimmerman's play Metamorphoses, based on the mythical tales of Ovid, created a lot of hoopla as an off Broadway production in New York. Now director Denise Schultz brings a version to UNM's Theatre X. The UNM production will incorporate puppets and masks, but because of its risque nature it's not recommended for kids under 16. Metamorphoses runs Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. through March 6. $8 general, $6 students/seniors. 277-4569.
The romance and mystique surrounding the Roma (gypsy) people goes back centuries. This Friday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. in UNM's Popejoy Hall, the Budapest Dance Ensemble, one of the oldest folk dance troupes of Central Europe, will offer up the music and dance traditions of the Roma in Gypsy Spirit, a smashingly popular traveling show. The complex choreography and jumping music should be a sight to behold. Tickets are $19, $26 and $29. To reserve yours, call (800) 905-3315.
T.C. Boyle has been a reliable fiction factory for well over two decades. His best-known book is undoubtedly The Tortilla Curtain, the 1995 social novel that lampooned the immigration situation along our southern border. Yet novels like A Friend of the Earth and The Road to Wellville, as well as Boyle's numerous short story collections, have also met with plenty of commercial and critical success.
In the late '60s, graffiti artists, many of them extraordinarily talented teenagers, began painting on subway cars and other surfaces all over New York City. Lee Quiñones' family didn't have a car at the time, so the subway was their principle mode of transportation. As a youngster, he saw graffiti everywhere he went. When he was 14 years old, he picked up a spray can and started doing it himself.
Oscar Nominee Number One—If you're tired of staring at your pitiful 13-inch RCA TV and are looking for an appropriately grand place to take in this year's Academy Awards broadcast, we have three suggestions for you to choose from. Nominee number one is the 12th Annual Academy Awards Benefit at the historic Lobo Theatre in Nob Hill. This epic shindig is sponsored by Louie's Rock 'N' Reels, City on a Hill Church, Zinc Bistro and the Alibi. This charity event will help raise funds for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a New Mexico AIDS Services program that provides companion animal support for critically ill patients in our local community. Dinner will be served at Zinc Bistro beginning at 5 p.m. Live broadcast of the Oscars will begin at 7 p.m. right next door on the Lobo Theatre's big screen. Yours truly, Alibi film editor Devin O'Leary, will be serving as the night's emcee, helping hand out door prizes during commercial breaks. There will be a silent auction of items donated by local merchants and a costume contest for those who wish to show up as their favorite movie star or movie character. Tickets are $20 for event only and $45 for dinner and event. Tickets are available at Louie's Rock 'N' Reels (3015 Central NE). Seating is limited, so hurry up!
An interview with House of Sand and Fog star Sir Ben Kingsley
By Devin D. O'Leary
As if you couldn't tell from his four Oscar nominations (one of which—1982's Gandhi—nabbed him the Best Actor statuette), Sir Ben Kingsley is an actor's actor. His magnificently divergent personas—from a humble Jewish accountant in Schindler's List to a rancorous Cockney gangster in Sexy Beast—have made him one of the screen world's most exciting actors.
Havana Nights Has It All—Revolution, Deceit, Love—But Most Of All It Has Dancing
By Rachel Heisler
Dirty Dancing, the original, is a movie that sticks out in many girls' minds as one of the most amazing love stories of the '80s. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's charisma took our breath away, and left us wondering if we would ever find passion like theirs. As the prequel to the original, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, strives to recreate the original movie's intensity, while making Cuban politics one of the main focuses, right behind love and, of course, the love of dance.
Several months ago, Alibi reported that Club Rhythm and Blues, sadly, was closing, at least temporarily. The news set off something of a firestorm with regard to those involved in the exceptional Nob Hill live music venue at the time, but came from an inside source and, lo and behold, turned out to be true. Club Rhythm and Blues officially closed its doors following a farewell Halloween show last year. But as further proof of reincarnation, we're happy to announce that Club Rhythm and Blues will reopen in March with a month-long series of events planned as the grand reopening celebration. The doors will open for the first time in more than four months on Thursday, March 4, to reintroduce the club to its former cast of regulars and, with a little luck, a new crop of live music fans. On Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, Albuquerque Blues Connection will take the stage, ushering in the first weekend of live music under the new ownership.
Saturday, Feb. 28; Tingley Coliseum (all ages, 7 p.m.): Neil Young has spent nearly 40 years exploring the American Dream on big-picture terms—not just the wife, car and 2.3 kids all crammed into a little house with a white picket fence, but the essence of the American experience. And as an outsider (Young is Canadian) he's been more successful than most.
A polka party brought to you by the fine folks at KUNM. Please show up so Mary B. doesn't go crazy.
By Michael Henningsen
Friday, Feb. 27; The Paramount (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 7:30 p.m.)/Saturday, Feb. 28; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): Go ahead. It's OK to hate polka. Until you see Denton, Texas-based Brave Combo, that is. After that, hating polka—or at least Brave Combo—will be as impossible as remembering the day you were born.
Sublimely gorgeous and simple in its elegance, Norah Jones' second record is everything the 8 million people who bought her debut expected and, surprisingly, more. Teamed again with producer Arif Martin, Jones teeters on the brink of being a jazz singer through 13 tracks of intensely lovely pop, where melodies float effortlessly over quietly understated instrumentation. There are three highly effective covers here, including Tom Waits' “The Long Way Home,” but it's the songs penned by Jones herself and in the company of bassist Lee Alexander that shine most brilliantly. Buy this record.
Do people really still give up vices for lent? It's shocking but true: they do, especially in heavily Catholic areas like New Mexico. This is a fascinating religious ritual, a physical and mental marathon of self-denial. A few years ago I gave up booze for lent (mostly just so I could refuse drinks with the line, "No thanks, I gave it up for lent"). But the joke was on me; I'm not so good at self-denial and this 40-day-dry-out was brutal. I think I actually only lasted about 36 days, finally breaking down at Launchpad with a couple of double-tall Bombay Sapphire and tonics. It's so easy to obsess about whatever you're avoiding (booze, cigarettes, candy, pay-per-view porn) that the whole challenge is to think of something—anything—besides the object you've given up. When I was in Sunday school I thought the whole suffering thing was stupid. Why suffer when you don't have to? Needless to say the lesson was wasted on me. Why not pledge to keep everything in balance for lent? I will not do tequila shots. I will not have casual sex with strangers. I will not eat a Snickers and a bag of Fritos and call it lunch. Then again, this moderation doesn't entitle you to any sort of Mardi-Gras blowout. And that is really the best part of lent: getting all the evil out of your system beforehand.
Yashoda Naidoo does that Ayurvedic voodoo so well! The owner of Annapurna Chai House told me that she expects to have a third location of her popular vegetarian/Indian/ayurvedic restaurants open by early April. Right now there is one at San Mateo and Copper and another at Silver and Yale. After months of searching, she finally settled on the perfect location (2120 Juan Tabo NE at Menaul), close to the Ayurvedic Institute. Students at the Institute, Naidoo says, have long been requesting an Annapurna nearby. This will be a relatively small space, with only about 30 seats. Naidoo is planning a trip to India in March to pick up supplies for the restaurant and to scout for ayurvedic cooks who can help take some of the kitchen work off of her shoulders.
Caramelized onions need only a little help to become this hearty, favorite soup
By Gwyneth Doland
This fancy-sounding soup is actually a humble dish that has sustained its popularity because it delivers dynamite flavor from only a few cheap ingredients, it's easy to make and it's even low-fat, assuming you don't drown it in cheese. In fact, the soup is so flavorful that it can easily stand on its own, without the customary crouton and melted Gruyère. Sans cheese, a small serving fits well as part of a multi-course meal.
It's only a hop and a skip away, but it still seems like a world apart. An easy 10-minute walk from downtown Albuquerque takes you to Out ch'Yonda, a hip, relatively new performance and exhibit space located in the heart of Albuquerque's historic Barelas neighborhood. A little over a year ago, local artists Stephanie Willis and Virginia Hampton opened shop in the pleasantly ramshackle building, creating a venue to promote work by artists of color. It's an experiment in grassroots arts and activism that's a much-needed addition to Albuquerque's cultural landscape.
African Americans: From Freedom to Slavery to Freedom
By Stephanie Garcia
Vivid images of intolerance and cruelty toward humankind are revealed in a new exhibit that reflects just one of humanity's many vices. “By the age of two a child has been taught how to hate and how to discriminate,” said Werner Gellert, president of the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum and Study Center, as he and his fellow employees set up a new exhibit titled African Americans: From Freedom to Slavery to Freedom.
City moves to condemn proposed Bosque Wilderness Subdivision
By Tim McGivern
From a bird's eye, it's just the Bosque. You have to get down real close to the dirt to see the property markers and barbed wire fence lines that separate the proposed Bosque Wilderness Subdivision from the plain old Bosque wilderness. But the line markers are there. And when news of the proposed subdivision circulated publicly a few weeks back, public officials began to take more than the bird's-eye view of the situation and started working on getting some money together to buy the property.
Cry us a river. In a lame-ass attempt to convince folks that she cares about something other than lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of America's senior citizens and under the guise of extending "a prescription drug benefit" to the very people that are actually getting screwed by inflated drug costs, Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M., unfortunately) literally cried foul on Wednesday as a House Telecommunications Committee spent two hours chastising Viacom president Mel Karmazin over this year's Super Bowl halftime festivities.
Interview with Rick Smith, former acting superintendent of Yellowstone National Park
By Tim McGivern
Richard Nixon is remembered mostly as a disgraced liar, but by today's standards (summed up in four words—Dick Cheney Energy Czar) he was one helluva Republican environmentalist. After all, Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, signed the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. The first President Bush was no Nixon, but he did sign the 1990 Clean Air Act.
It's one of life's more poignant ironies: Everyone wants into heaven—it's the part about dying that's a drag. On similar lines, many of our elected officials saythey want greater infill and redevelopment of the existing city and less of the current Westside growth pattern. But whenever the political heat from area neighborhood associations gets a little too hot, all those lofty ideals go straight to hell.
Heather Wilson's bizarre outburst misses the point
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
I keep hearing about "media literacy" and find I'm intrigued by the concept. I heard a presentation on it by an Albuquerque Academy teacher and a panel of students a few years ago and my curiosity has grown ever since, whetted by occasional references to it.
Dateline: Taiwan—A 57-year-old motorcyclist was struck in the head with more than 20 million in Taiwanese dollars as he passed under a highway bridge in a Taipei suburb. The cash, bound up in two plastic garbage bags, had been tossed off the overpass by the relatives of a kidnap victim, just as the kidnappers had instructed. According to the United Daily News, the bags knocked out 57-year-old Lu Fang-nan who was on his way home at the time. The bags were immediately picked up by the kidnappers, who were waiting nearby. Lu regained consciousness a few minutes later and was hospitalized with bruises and a swollen leg. He did not realize that he had been cold-cocked by flying cash (worth some 600,000 in U.S. dollars) until television reported the kidnapped businessman's safe return and the delivery site of the ransom payment. “What does this have to do with me? Why did I get hit? I'm certainly unlucky enough,” United Daily quoted Lu as saying.
While the name “Friday Night Debut” is something of a mystery, the special show scheduled Friday night, Feb. 20, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon should be one hell of a local rock event. The bill features Once Misguided, an acoustic set by Mosquito to Moscow, Soular and Breaker 19. ... Speaking of Breaker 19, someone please inform guitarist and radio blowhole Michael Moxey that his band will also be performing on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Atomic Cantina with simple. and a hack bluegrass band consisting of several members of the Alibi staff. Bring veggies to throw. ... There's still time to break your bank account and attend the 16th Annual International Folk Alliance Conference in San Diego, Calif., Feb. 26-29. It'll cost you roughly $500, but if folk music is your thing, this is certainly the event for you. Visit www.folk.org for more information. ... Or, for an additional $50 and a rock fetish, you can check out South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, March 17-21. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 bands from all over the world will perform during the five-day event, including our very own 12 Step Rebels and Fivehundred (a.k.a. Mr. Spectacular). Try www.sxsw.com for information. ... Weekly Alibi is proud to sponsor phenomenal French guitar master Pierre Bensusan on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Outpost Performance Space. A full preview of the concert will appear in next week's issue, but there's a good chance it'll be sold out by then, so get your tickets now at the Book Stop in Nob Hill (268-8898) or at the Outpost (268-0044).
For the past decade or so, vocalist extraordinary Cassandra Wilson has become most widely known for her "popification" of jazz—gently blurring the chalky line that separates pop from jazz until it blends with the colors on both sides, creating countless ghostly hues with a peerless contra-alto voice and supreme melodic sensibilities. And it's inside that no-man's land that Wilson seems most comfortable, flirting with funk, soul, jazz, pop and blues until she finds just the right combination for each song.
On Glamoured, her new Blue Note release, Wilson strips away the horns, pianos and orchestrations that marked some of her previous releases in favor of groove-oriented instrumentation, and the organic combo of guitars, upright bass and percussion—and the occasional harmonica and banjo—serves both her original material and eclectic selection of covers extraordinarily well. In Wilson's hands, Willie Nelson's "Crazy," Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" and Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away" emerge from the trappings of timelessness as rekindled souls. But it's Wilson's original compositions that transcend, from the Latin essence of "Heaven Knows" to the blues-inflected "On This Train."
Jason Lakis' (a.k.a. The Red Thread) debut was built on understated alt.country pop numbers that flirted with the broad, windswept soundscape tendencies of bands like Lanterna and the folk-heartedness of the Idahos and Haydens of the music world. Tension Pins doesn't stray far from that elegant formula, but Lakis nonetheless sounds more confident, more in-the-moment and startlingly more relevant with regard to both lyrical content and compositional skill. These 11 songs harbor a dreamlike quality that enables the vilified notions of soft rock to coalesce with indie aesthetics and inklings of countrified pop. Incredible songwriting and unpretentious instrumental prowess. Killer.
Nuke Night at the Movies—The People Before Profit film series presents Do It for Uncle Sam, a new film on New Mexico's 60-year nuclear legacy by filmmaker Candy Jones. Following the film will be a discussion with speakers from the Los Alamos Study Group, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Stop the War Machine and Southwest Research and Information Center. The screening/discussion will take place Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE).
Harrowing high-altitude doc is as easy as falling off a mountain
You know when you're watching a horror movie and you want to scream out to the people on screen, “No! You freakin' idiots! Don't go into the basement”? It's never going to produce any results, but you're seized by the urge nonetheless. Well, the new docu-drama Touching the Void is a lot like that. Though it's based on a true story, viewers will undoubtedly wish they could climb up onto the screen and warn the subjects about what is clearly going to happen next.
The list of honorees at this year's Academy Awards is certainly one of the most depressing in years. It's not the quality of work that's depressing. In fact, the quality is outstanding. Rather, it's the subject matter. With films like Mystic River, 21 Grams, House of Sand and Fog, Cold Mountain and Monster on the slate, Academy members can be forgiven for their sullen expressions and overall feeling of existential ennui.
All right, all you art-savvy hipsters. This one's for you. Magnífico Young Collectors is a membership organization serving youngish art lovers ages 21 to 40. If you fork out some cash for a membership the money goes to support the arts in Downtown Albuquerque. The fee for this year is $100.
After centuries of painstaking refinement, shrew taming finally went out of style in the Western world in the late '60s. The feminist movement convinced most men and women that such behavior was barbaric. It's still practiced in some quarters, of course, but only by smelly miscreants and losers.
Feast your eyes on this. The Seventh Annual Artfeast comes to Santa Fe this weekend. Thirty art galleries and restaurants will present an array of exhibits and extravagant cuisine to benefit Artsmart, a nonprofit organization that brings arts education to public schools. The big event will occur on Friday, Feb. 20, during the Edible Art Tour. For $25, you can take part in a walking tour offering access to all kinds of great art and grub. For details, call the Santa Fe Gallery Association at (505) 982-1648.
Dip your cute little toes into the steaming stew of Klezmer culture when the annual Klezmerquerque festival comes to Congregation Nahalat Shalom. From Friday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 22, there'll be more dancing, music, classes and straight-up Klezmer-style partying than you'll know what to do with. It should be a genuine certified guaranteed hoot for all concerned. For a full schedule, give Nahalat Shalom a call 343-8227.
Excerpts from Charles Becknell's forthcoming book No Challenge, No Change
By Steven Robert Allen
Born in 1941, Charles Becknell grew up in rural southeastern New Mexico, attending a segregated school until 1954, the year the U.S. Supreme Court found such schools to be unconstitutional. After finishing graduate school, he founded and directed the Afro-American Studies Program at UNM and later served as Secretary of Criminal Justice under Gov. Jerry Apodaca.
There's nothing like looking through food magazines to work up a wicked hunger. After a week of drooling all over copies of the latest foodie rags I've somehow managed to lose my appetite for anything that isn't actively glistening, steaming or oozing juices. Also, I only want to look at my food in the warm light of a fire's glow, preferably as I lay on a fluffy Persian lamb rug at my house in Aspen (or wherever it is these food magazine people hang out in February). If firelight doesn't do it, I know I can also try holding a bite below a tungsten bulb and looking at it up really, really close. I'm not sure why, but for some reason extreme close-ups of food seem to make me drool. In Gourmet I flip past a long shot of croissants but am stopped dead by a larger than life Triscuit topped with cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream. I don't even like Triscuits but I think I can actually see the grains of salt shimmering within the wheaty woven cracker and it makes my mouth water. If only there were a team of 10 prepping my every morsel and I never had to leave my furry perch in front of the fire. I guess I'll just have to pump up the glisten factor of my teriyaki chicken bowl with extra sauce and eat it by the warm light of the TV.
“On Corrales Road, just past Hooters but before you get to Applebee's.” That's how Narendra Kloty describes the location of Bombay Grill, the Indian restaurant he hopes to open at 3600 Corrales Road this April. Kloty is also the owner of Santa Fe's India Palace, a much-loved city institution located a few blocks south of that city's plaza. He says that Bombay Grill's menu will include more grilled items and more Atkins-friendly dishes than familiar Indian menus do. Right now renovation is underway, a process Kloty describes as “de-Orientalizing” the place. Of course he could leave all of the dragon-paned lanterns hanging and put Dan “The Automator” Nakamura's Bombay the Hard Way disc on shuffle/repeat but that might be a little too postmodern for Rio Rancho.
The District Bar and Grill's owner on Wi-Fi, food and “flair” bartenders
By Rachel Heisler
With full-service bars both inside and on the patio, free Wi-Fi access and a funky, global menu, The District (115 Fourth NW), promises to shake up the city's lunch, dinner and late-night scenes. The menu, created by Chef Jeff Cordova, looks creative and approachable, with Jamaican steak frites salad, slow-roasted pork carnitas and pan-seared potstickers but no hamburgers.