Jesse James: The Last Great American Outlaw
Let's get the obvious out of the way right up front: Yeah, it's his real name. And yes, his lineage can be traced back to the legendary outlaw of that same name (his great-, great-grandfather was first cousin to the outlaw gunslinger). And oh, yeah ... he can definitely kick your ass. Then there's what everyone with a television and half a brain already knows thanks to the Discovery Channel's smash hit, "Monster Garage." Jesse James is his own extremely talented, unpredictable and self-governing animal. As Grand Pubah of the gearhead television sensation he co-created (he's also the creative force behind MTV's "Pimp My Ride"), James is the kind of guy you can literally love and hate all at once. He can be an asshole to a degree so extreme that it suddenly becomes cooler than cool to be a prick (although anyone who meets or talks one-on-one with the guy is compelled to believe that he's not). He can make you uncomfortable with barely a hint of facial expression. He's able to go from deadly serious to immensely intimidating to childishly mischievous and fun loving in the space of a couple of heartbeats. All of which makes it rather difficult—if not ridiculously impossible—to believe that the Jesse James really shops someplace as soulless as Auto Zone, as his recent spate of commercials for the corporate auto parts version of Wal-Mart would have us believe. But it's all just part of the enigma that is Jesse James.
Punk's not dead. Punk's not dead. I can't say it enough. Icky & the Yuks, local purveyors of the old brand of punk rock that got the genre kicking decades ago, celebrate the release of their second CD, Same Shit, Different Day. The release party, which will be held at the Launchpad on Saturday, May 8, at 8 p.m., will also serve as a tour kickoff party (the tour will begin on May 12, and hit cities such as San Francisco, Long Beach, San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix). The evening will include performances by Albuquerque's best hard rock and punk bands—including Beefcake in Chains, Fivehundred, Black Maria, Dead on Point 5, The United, Coke is Better with Bourbon. CDs will cost $5, and a $5 cover will be charged at the door. Same Shit is faster and harder that the group's first CD, and includes some of the same songs—but now they're studio versions. Singer/screamer Richard Trott readily admits: "It's a great sounding record." For more Icky information, visit www.ickyandtheyuks.com. ... The First Annual New Mexico Music Festival will be held at EXPO New Mexico (New Mexico State Fairgrounds) on Saturday, May 8, Entertainment will be provided by musicians who reside in our great state: Robby "Jude," Street Scene, Crystal Renee, Mike & the Wild Bunch, Agua Negra, Juntos Unidos, Amber Anaya, Jerome Grant and many others. Tickets cost $15 a pair in advance and $10 each at the door. Children under 10 get in free. Tickets are available by calling J.R. "Juice" Padilla at 463-4314.
As with artists of any medium, musicians are sometimes faced with critics who call their latest works "departures" and "evolutions." Most often, such words are used to convey shifts in sound, direction and perspective, and occasionally lead to exclamations that the work in question may in fact be the artist's "best to date." Usually, works that inspire such description are indeed remarkable, but the problem for critics is often one of being so thoroughly blind sided by a specific work that more analytical words simply don't come to the fore of their weird writers' brains. Such is the case, as you may have guessed, with Cosy Sheridan's latest release, The Pomegranate Seed.
with Morbid Angel, Satyricon and Premonitions of War
Friday, May 7; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): Innovation has its downside. Just ask any of the three original members of death metal pioneers Suffocation. By the time the New York City band released their now classic EP, Despise the Sun, in 1998, the unique sound they had cultivated—a brutal mixture of speed metal, hardcore and classic metal—had in turn cultivated countless copycat bands. With the death metal scene becoming saturated by Suffocation sound-alikes and the genre itself seemingly nearing demise, the band that single-handedly created the New York death sound threw in the towel at the turn of the millennium.
By Divine Right are Canada's answer to Ohio's Guided By Voices, both in terms of having a former band member roster well into double digits and that kind of vaguely psychedelic power pop that can make you downright ecstatic. Jose Contreras, BDR's lone remaining founding member, writes with a Pollard-like grasp of imagery and Wayne Coyne's sense of slippery little melodies that work their way into your psyche and refuse to leave, leading you instead on a blissful ride through kaleidoscopic pop. Sweet Confusion is BDR's best effort to date. Buy it and fall instantly in love.
The first thing I remember cooking for my mom was French toast. I had to climb up on the kitchen counter in order to reach the bread bag on top of the fridge, pulling out two slices of Roman Meal and dropping them in the toaster. While the coils turned from charcoal gray to glowing orange, I stirred together about a half-dozen eggs and a cup or so of milk. When two perfectly browned toast slices popped up I submerged them in eggy goop and let them get good and soaked. I fried them up in butter on our cast-iron skillet and arranged the four irregular triangles on a plate with plenty of butter, powdered sugar and syrup. Mom was still in bed when I brought up her breakfast. She was surprised and delighted by my presentations and asked me all about how I'd done it—she was particularly interested in the part about toasting the bread first. How was I supposed to know French toast wasn't actually toasted in the toaster? But she noted some small improvement in the final product's texture and seemed impressed. Maybe she was pretending; maybe the toast was terrible. Nevertheless, I basked in her approval all morning. It's 20 years later now and I do a lot of cooking for my mom when we're together but her stamp of approval still brings up the same blush of pride.
The Wine Posse is coming back! Five years ago, a bunch of cork dorks (including our old sister publication, La Cocinita) got together to sponsor a wine club called the New Mexico Wine Posse. Most notably, the club put on a well-attended series of wine-tasting classes held at restaurants all over town. Funding eventually fell through, however, and the Posse dissolved. The same fate recently befell the local chapter of Wine Brats and is threatening our chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food. So, in comes former Wine Brat Jerry Wright, general manager of Great American Land and Cattle, who recently got together with Jerry Gross, one of the originators of the Wine Posse and decided to work on bringing the Posse back. The new Wine Posse is in the formative stages now, asking those who join (for a $20 annual fee) to have a hand in deciding what kind of events the club will stage. Suggestions include wine appreciation classes, winemaker dinners and winery tours. Interested parties should contact email@example.com.
The owner of a new cheese store and restaurant talks shop
Johnny Orr is the owner of a new cheese shop and restaurant called Relish (8019 Menual NE, near Flying Star). Orr came to Albuquerque in part because he could afford a whole year's rent here for the same price as a month's rent in New York City, where he worked in several well-known restaurants.
Local chefs share family recipes for Mothers' Day
Years ago my aunt Geri put together a cookbook of family recipes and made copies for each wing of the family. Though the recipes are sometimes rough (how much is a handful of flour?) and occasionally flawed (isn't this supposed to have milk in it?), we all cherish the book and use it often, especially at holidays. This past Easter I cracked it open to use my great-grandmother's recipe for Welsh cookies, strange things that are actually more like currant-filled griddle cakes. One by one, each aunt came into the kitchen and “helped out” with her explanation as to why my cookies ... well ... sucked compared to Grandma Rhea's. (Cooking is a competetive sport in my family and we play rough.) To her credit though, my mom might have thought my cookies were too small, too dense, or too dry but she alone kept quiet on the subject and for that I toast her today. I only hope someday I have kids to ruin Welsh cookies for me while I bite my tongue.
Negotiations for Bosque land scheduled to conclude this month
When Mayor Martin Chavez announced the city's plan to clear dead brush and nonnative trees on D. McCall's property, the general tone was cordial and straightforward. The news was basically a broad gesture of support for keeping the entire Rio Grande State Park well-maintained and safe from potential fire threats this summer.
Double-speaking in one sentence. Two days after CBS' "60 Minutes II" released photos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and sexually abused by U.S. soldiers, President Bush weighed in on the matter. But because the timing of the event coincided with the one-year anniversary of Bush's "mission accomplished" speech, Bush unknowingly made one of the more ironic statements you will ever hear.
One million marchers demonstrate widened scope of women's rights movement
Over 400 New Mexicans were among the estimated 1.15 million people who converged on Washington, D.C., for the April 25 March for Women's Lives. Although there was no consensus on the number of participants, organizers are saying it was the largest ever, not only for women's rights, but for any cause. Some New Mexicans traveled to the national capital independently, others went in groups organized by the seven official sponsors of the march. NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico put together its own coalition of supporters and organized the high-profile presence of a group of pro-choice politicos. Among them were Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, Jill Cooper Udall (wife of Congressman Tom Udall), State Senate President Pro Tem Richard Romero and his wife Margie Lockwood, and Bobbi Baca, wife of former mayor Jim Baca. Not surprisingly, march organizers had, in general, attempted to include as many high-profile government officials (Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright), Hollywood luminaries (Whoopie Goldberg, Ashley Judd) and veterans of the women's movement (70-year-old Gloria Steinem) as they possibly could.
Skullduggery in the halls of local government
They finally got rid of John Stevens—that red-headed kid on “American Idol” who couldn't sing three notes in a row and keep them in tune. I'm not willing to go as far as Elton John did in claiming that racism was the reason the country voted off some damned good black singers while keeping a pale-faced mediocrity around as long as they did. After all, mediocrities like Sisqo, 50 Cent, Andre 3000 and Elton John are making a pretty decent living despite limited talent. But you still wonder what the thought process was that kept Stevens around week after week—or what would cause someone to admit to watching “American Idol” in the first place.
The fog of war settles in Iraq
Every time I read statements by someone in the Bush administration or one of its Neocon apologists among the nation's political commentators who are strenuously denying any similarities between the American experience in Vietnam 35 years ago and what is taking shape in Iraq today, I find myself thinking about Uncle Remus.
Dateline: China—Police in China's southwestern Sichuan province have arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of stealing some 30 corpses from local graveyards, cooking soup with their flesh and crushing their bones in an attempt to heal his sick wife. The West China Daily reported that corpses have been disappearing in the area since 1988. According to preliminary investigations, the man, known as Huang, dug up the bodies after a fortune teller told him fresh body parts were the only remedy for his wife's unidentified illness. The 16-year corpse-stealing epidemic had caused wild rumors to circulate, and grieving relatives had kept a vigil at their loved ones' graves for up to six months at a time in an effort to protect their bodies.
New Mexico in the Spotlight—Gov. Bill Richardson announced last week that the State Investment Council would be pumping $9.2 million into two features film projects set to shoot in New Mexico in the coming months. A Night in Old Mexico is the story of an aging cowboy who takes his teenage grandson for an adventurous night in Old Mexico. The film will star Academy Award winner Robert Duval and will be directed by Taos resident/actor Dennis Hopper. The Experiment, meanwhile, is described as a teen horror movie that spoofs reality TV shows. The first film is budgeted at just under $12 million, $7.5 million of which will be provided by the state in the form of an interest-free loan. The second will be funded entirely by a $1.7 million loan. These are the fourth and fifth films to be financed by the State Investment Council. Both films are expected to begin shooting over the summer.
Fantasy-prone protagonist fuels quirky, cinema-obsessed debut
The first film produced under the auspices of indie film chain Madstone Theaters, Rhinoceros Eyes is an appealingly offbeat genre-buster that effectively commingles the last 10 years of independent film into one quirky package. With this low-key drama/comedy/fantasy/horror film, first-time Canadian writer/director Aaron Woodley has crafted a loving ode to outsiders that owes as much to Hollywood fantasist Tim Burton as it does to faux-Slavic animators The Brothers Quay.
MadCat Film Festival claws it way into Q-town
The MadCat Film Festival is a highly acclaimed international festival that exhibits independent and experimental films and videos from around the world. Nothing too unusual there. The thing that sets MadCat apart, however, is that all the filmmakers involved are women. For seven years, the Bay Area-based, female-focussed festival has been searching out inventive and original voices. The festival screens throughout the month of September at an assortment of San Francisco and Berkeley venues. The following winter and spring, the festival goes on tour, touching down at more than 20 museums, art houses, universities and microcinemas around the country.
Taos Film Festival of the Arts takes a shot in the dark
When the Taos Film Festival of the Arts debuts this Friday, May 7, in northern New Mexico, it will be the third film festival in the last two months to try and fill the gap left by the late, lamented Taos Talking Picture Film Festival. Following the Taos Picture Show and the Taos Vision Quest International Film Festival, both of which debuted last month, the Taos Film Festival of the Arts will host an ambitious 10-day, multi-venue screening of some 40 films. The films will all be screened digitally, and the screenings will take place at a mix of traditional and unusual venues—from auditoriums to theaters to galleries to public parks.
“Friends” No More
Have you ever had a friend announce that he or she was moving away to Seattle or someplace and find yourself blowing them off before they leave under some kind of misguided personal protection policy? Ah, she's a short-timer—I've got more important people to hang around with. If she's gonna run off and join all those flannel-wearing hipsters, why should I waste my time on her? Hey, I've got other pals—pals who are sticking around! Perhaps that's why I haven't paid very much attention to “Friends” for the last couple seasons. Perhaps I feel abandoned. Or perhaps the show just hasn't been all that funny for a couple seasons.
Brevity, they say, is the soul of wit. We here at the Alibi plan to put that old cliché through a blazing trial by fire during our upcoming Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest.
Macbett at the Tricklock Performance Space
American soldiers torture Iraqi prisoners in the same prison Saddam Hussein tortured thousands of his own people. During the same press conference in which he acknowledges these war crimes, President Bush has the nerve to boast of getting rid of Baathist torture chambers. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden's cronies still sit in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia plotting their next attacks on the United States, and we still haven't found those damned weapons of mass destruction.
Albuquerque Little Theatre
A spoof of Wagner's Ring Cycle, Das Barbecü is a zippy musical revolving around a shotgun double wedding in Texas. With book and lyrics by Jim Luigs and music by Scott Warrender, the story incorporates feuding families, synchronized swimming, some sweet Texas two-stepping and a magic ring of power. Das Barbecü is directed by Albuquerque Little Theatre's loony tunes Executive Director Larry Parker. My guess is it'll be a divine joy to behold. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $18 general, $15 seniors, $13 students. Runs through May 23. 242-4750.
The Walls Gallery
Last month, Naomi Shersty was one of six artists to take part in a video exhibit at the Walls Gallery. This month, she takes over the entire gallery for a one-woman show called What Joy Do I Bring You? composed of photography, video and craftwork. According to Shersty, her installation "is intended to facilitate a dialogue surrounding the various power struggles found in intimate relationships." What Joy Do I Bring You? opens on Friday, May 7, with a reception from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. It runs through May 30. 489-2644.
Ann Coulter at Popejoy Hall
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture presented by Ann Coulter, the hyper-conservative columnist who's authored such bestsellers as Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right and her most recent, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. Coulter's main talent is that she knows how to rile up her choir, sprinkling her lecture with enough comedic insults at liberals' expense to keep her adoring right-wing legions both cheerful and enraged. She gave her hysterical speech at UNM's Popejoy Hall on Tuesday, April 27, as part of the university's 21st Century Speakers Series.
Some folks think extending Paseo del Norte will alleviate Westside traffic problems, while others say the area is an urban planning nightmare that's only getting worse
People are funny. Take Albuquerque's Westside as an example. Every year for more than a decade, the area north of I-40 and west of I-25 breaks the previous year's record for new home construction. Starter homes keep sprouting like weeds after a spring storm all over the escarpment, and folks keep buying them even while it's common knowledge that a guaranteed traffic disaster comes free with the purchase. To live out there, residents must be, remarkably, willing to accept what District 5 City Councilor Michael Cadigan refers to as "the downside of a very difficult commute."
Spanish Cinema—El Gallo de Oro, Roberto Gavaldón's 1964 drama, is considered a hallmark of Mexican cinema. This romantic story steeped in Mexican tradition has two men—one rich, one poor—competing for the affections of one señorita. The National Hispanic Cultural Center will be screening it this Thursday night, April 29, at 6:30 p.m. as part of the NHCC Spanish Film series. Admission is free. The film will show in NHCC's Wells Fargo Auditorium, located at 1701 Fourth Street NW. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Danish director's epic parable's a brilliant but torturous journey
Here's the short review of Dogville, the new film from Lars von Trier: Flip a coin. If it comes up heads, you'll totally love it. If it comes up tails, you'll absolutely loathe it.
Throughout Los Angeles, Rodney Bingenheimer is known simply as “Rodney on the Roq.” Since 1976, he has been a disc jockey for Los Angeles' influential KROQ radio station, introducing bands from Blondie and The Sex Pistols to No Doubt and The Strokes to American audiences (usually before their big label debuts). Rodney's music industry credentials go back even further, having founded Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco (the East Coast playground for David Bowie, Iggy Pop, T. Rex and Led Zeppelin) back in the early '70s. Before that, Bingenheimer palled around with everyone from Linda Ronstadt to The Beach Boys to Sonny & Cher to Elvis to The Monkees. So why have you never heard of Rodney Bingenheimer? That's one of many questions voiced by director George Hickenlooper's compelling new documentary, Mayor of the Sunset Strip.
Rumors from around the dial
O, no!—Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, the love-to-hate-her icon from NBC's “The Apprentice,” continues to find the post-Donald waters somewhat treacherous. With assorted lawsuits still swirling, Omarosa spent the last few weeks crowing on “Access Hollywood” about her new gig as an Herbal Essence spokesperson. Turns out the shampoo giant has washed that girl right out of its hair, decideding not to broadcast Omarosa in the throes of fake, hair-care product-induced orgasm. “Omatrocious,” as she's now been dubbed, was dumped from the campaign for fear of consumer backlash. ... Meanwhile, over on the set of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Omarosa made herself persona non-grata last week by storming off the set just before airtime. Seems that Omarosa stepped on to the set and saw a lie-detector machine. Producers tried to assure Lady O that the equipment was for a comedy bit featuring show regular Uncle Frank and that they were not planning on forcing her to take a polygraph test. She walked anyway, leaving host Jimmy Kimmel to quip, “Apparently, her 15 minutes ended the second before I introduced her.” ... Don't worry, Omarosa, “Celebrity Fear Factor” will be calling any day now.
Alibi Spring Crawl 2004, our 10th in the Crawl series that began with the inaugural Fall Crawl back in 1999, is another one for the history books. And, like its predecessors, it provided live music and fun to nearly 10,000 folks eager for Albuquerque's largest, most diverse music festival. Of course, there were still a few lowlights among the many highlights, so let's begin with them, shall we? ... A big ol' Alibi “Bad for you, Albuquerque” goes to two bands I happen to like: Rage Against Martin Sheen and Unit 7 Drain. Out of roughly 95 local bands and solo artists appearing at this year's Spring Crawl, Rage and Unit were the only ones to whine like babies about their assigned set times and/or venues. Apparently, they forgot to take into account that scheduling the bands at each Crawl is a friggin' nightmare, and bands get slotted according to venue requests. Suck it up or give your slot to a band that will appreciate being a part of these events we work extra hard (not to mention extra hours) to produce (you guys are welcome to write letters to the editor, by the way). ... Our first attempt at including a handful of national acts would have been a resounding success had the Romantics' tour manager not behaved like a prima donna asshole. Oh, well. The band members were very cool and very happy to have been a part of Alibi Spring Crawl 2004. ... Now for the good: Hit By a Bus on the Third Street Outdoor Stage, followed by simple., who were introduced to a befuddled crowd by Seann William Scott (a.k.a. Stiffler), Wagogo on the Fifth Street Outdoor Stage, the entire line-up at both the District Bar and Grill and La Posada Hotel, The Romantics on the Fifth Street Outdoor Stage and the untouched deli tray they left that'll feed me for a week. APD finding our lost golf cart after it had been driven to an apartment complex on Carlisle. Sleeping like a baby for a few hours on my office floor after the event. ... More next week.
There was little doubt that Atomic Cantina (315 Gold, 242-2200) would survive its first year, but who knew the club would end up being as successful as it has? With great live entertainment, delicious food and an "everybody knows your name" atmosphere, Atomic has flourished and become the favorite hang-out of many locals. Celebrate the bar and restaurant's one-year anniversary on Wednesday, May 5, with a star-studded line-up of bands including Ready Samsara, Dead on Point 5, Rebilt, The Mindy Set, Romeo Goes to Hell, Oktober People, Scenester, The Dirty Novels, The Foxx and The Building Press. The fun starts at 8 p.m., so head down early and raise a glass to one of Albuquerque's most explosive bars. Show is free ...
Being about as far from a modern expert as any human being could possibly get, it's rare that I write about forms of entertainment other than the kind that's performed using musical instruments. But the Santa Fe Art Institute's upcoming installation, The Domino Effect: natural influence over technology seems so potentially groundbreaking—and with enough of a musical component to ease my fear of writing about largely uncharted artistic territory—that I just can't resist making a go of it.
From a creative standpoint, art doesn't get more mind-bending than that which is to be included in The Domino Effect, a multimedia smorgasbord of technologically enhanced and advanced artwork that knows no bounds. For what we might perceive to be the outer limits of the coalescence of technologic advance and the human desire to create in a hands-on sense will likely be last week's news at an increasingly rapid pace.
Saturday, May 1; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over, 9 p.m.): Something special happens when bands fuse two seemingly nonrelated styles of music. Not only does it create a new direction in which music can head, but it also makes you stop and realize that some people are still thinking outside the box, and that's kind of comforting.
with Gingerbread Patriots, Leiahdoris and schande
Saturday, May 1; Launchpad (21 and over; 9 p.m.): Of all the cool, hip and trendy things to come out of Brooklyn, N. Y., Enon has to be one of the coolest, hippest and trendiest. That's not to say that they're posers—just the opposite, in fact—they're the real thing with their electric/synth-, half guitar-driven indie buffet. Forgive me for my lack of expertise when it comes to bands of this genre—my music collection tends to stick to more traditional stuff—so my simple brain will compare Enon to bands I know: The Kinks, The Cure, Cibo Matto, The Vaselines. If this sounds like a wide range of musics coming together under one roof, well, that's the most fun thing about Enon: their eclectic variety. And variety is the spice of life.
Government documents reveal "yard holes" filled with radioactive refuse at Sandia Labs
Citizen Action, a local government watchdog group, has for years endured courtroom battles and crawled over roadblocks in its search for proof that Sandia National Laboratories is in fact endangering the state's soil and groundwater supply with its controversial Mixed Waste Landfill.
Talk about a powerful resistance to shame ... Folks, here's further proof that America is becoming a parody of itself. The Republican National Committee parked an 18-wheeler, named Reggie the Rig, in front of MTV's Times Square office last month in an attempt to win over the youth vote. Once it was safely parked, Reggie "morphed into a soundstage and pumped out hip-hop hits," according to a mind-numbing report appearing on Salon.com last week entitled, “GOP playa hatas.”
The 800-pound gorilla—another vote on the Paseo del Norte road extension—failed to materialize at the April 19 council meeting. Putting the bill on the evening's agenda would have required a 6-3 majority, and Council President Michael Cadigan did not attempt it.
Marty, remarkably, wants to be re-elected
There was a time a few months back when I seriously doubted that Mayor Martin Chavez would run for re-election. At the time he looked, for all the world, like the latest in our long procession of single-term city leaders left as road kill on the municipal median.
Dateline: Germany—Judges in the Bonn regional court rejected a woman's claim that candy-making conglomerate Haribo failed to warn her about the dangers of consuming mass quantities of licorice. Margit Kieske, 48, ate a full pound of licorice every day for four months and said it gave her heart problems. The Berlin woman was seeking $7,200 in damages. For flavor, licorice contains glyycyrrhizin, a powerful compound derived from licorice root. Any product containing more than 0.2 percent of glycyrrhizin must be labeled accordingly. The Haribo licorice contained less than that amount. Therefore, presiding Judge Paul-Hermann Wagner determined that there was no error in labeling the product. The licorice-addicted Kieske's claim was rejected.
If it seems hard to believe that it's already been a year since Steve White's last Yardfest, that's because it hasn't. Although White's beloved front-yard celebration of all things folksy is usually held in early September, he pushed it forward this year to Saturday, May 1, to accommodate a trip he plans to make in September to another folk festival in Georgia.
Ivanov at the Rodey Theatre
Just before the curtain rises, director Eugene Douglas hops on stage to address the crowd.
"I can't tell you how excited I am you're all here tonight," he says. "I'm pumped. I am so pumped!"
For me, it's always heartening to see creative types express this kind of enthusiasm for their projects. Douglas' passion seems to have fueled the action on stage. In Ivanov, he's managed to coax some smart and energetic performances from an accomplished student cast.
Douglas' production plays through this weekend at UNM's Rodey Theatre. Chekhov's first full-length play to be staged, Ivanov has never been considered a masterpiece on par with his later, better-known plays such as The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters or The Cherry Orchard. That said, the play, composed when Chekhov was only 27 years old, still contains some remarkable displays of the Russian writer's innate literary wit.
House O' Fire Sculpture Garden and Gallery
This is news to me: Apparently the area around Mt. Taylor, which is located just west of Albuquerque near Grants, is home to a herd of wild mustangs called mestaños. This is an interesting factoid in itself. What's even more amazing is that these mestaños are the likely descendants of escaped horses originally brought to New Mexico by Don Juan de Oñate himself over 400 years ago. Award-winning photographer Lynne Pomeranz presents an exhibit of photos of mestaños at House O' Fire Sculpture Garden and Gallery in Corrales. The show opens on Saturday, May 1, with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. The Dance of the Mt. Taylor Mustangs runs through May 21. Stop by for a rare glimpse of these elusive animals. 890-3141.
Outpost Performance Space
And so it comes down to this. All year long local poets have been locked in a deadly struggle for the distinctive honor of joining this year's Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. This Saturday, May 1, at 8 p.m. at the Outpost Performance Space the battered and bruised survivors will stumble into the ring to beat each other to poetic pulp. Join co-hosts Danny Solis and Kenn Rodriguez for the poetry highlight of the season. Admission is $7. These poets will rock your socks off. 268-0044.
An Interview with Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman opens her new book, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (Hyperion Books, hardcover, $21.95), with a hair-raising account of her 1991 trip to East Timor. The trip was hardly a vacation. Goodman visited the tiny island country to cover the atrocities committed there by the Indonesian military, which, in 1975, began massacring 200,000 Timorese—two-thirds of the entire country—largely with U.S.-supplied arms.
Don't do drugs, kids. They make you do terrible, terrible things. Among other horrors, sometimes people who use marijuana tragically lose their ability to make appropriate food choices. You may encounter potheads at 7-Eleven, making dangerous concoctions at the Slurpee machine and woefully non-nutritious selections in the candy aisle. Grass abusers often claim to have created new "snacktime paradigms" while under the influence but don't let them peer-pressure you into trying a chicharron and jalapeño Jelly Belly pie. One stoner I know arranges a single layer of M&M's on a paper plate and microwaves them for exactly 41 seconds. The result, he claims, is crispy-shelled candies with semi-molten interiors that taste like "midget shots of Swiss Miss [hot cocoa]." The paper plate is left with a pattern of candy shell residue that he says looks like a cross between the work of Jackson Pollack and Monet. He also insists upon a sort of supernatural synergy between chilled Grey Goose Vodka and Junior Mints. It's too bad his "alternative lifestyle" led him away from his true calling—as a chef, of course! Tsk, tsk.
Visitors to the main post office at Broadway Boulevard and Mountain Road would do their tummies well to drop by Andrea's Tamale Hut for a quick nibble. The bright yellow, doughnut-shaped portable building is thankfully hard to miss. Just park in the adjacent gravel lot and amble up to the window. The posted menu is brief; tamales are sold for a buck a piece and by the dozen. In the morning, Andrea's has breakfast burritos and in the afternoon, carne adovada at three bucks each. Order one of those adovada burritos and the sweet, kind lady in the Hut (I forgot to ask if her name was Andrea) heats up each tortilla on a portable burner before filling it with scoops of chile-braised pork and potatoes. The surprisingly moist tamales are filled with savory red chile and pork. Order the "boat" and your tamale will come smothered in red chile.
Resources for Healthy Eating
Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death by disease in the United States and it has no cure. African Americans, Mexican Americans and Native Americans run the highest risk of developing the disease, which puts diabetes at the forefront of New Mexico's community health concerns. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the relationship between diet and diabetes.
The “Father of Modern Southwestern Cuisine” Returns to New Mexico
On Saturday, May 8, acclaimed chef John Sedlar will be at Santa Ana Pueblo's Prairie Star restaurant to collaborate with Chef Heath VanRiper on a dinner to benefit the American Diabetes Association. Alibi caught up with this native New Mexican at his office in Los Angeles to talk about southwestern food in general and the dinner in particular.
Alibi Spring Crawl 2004
OK, maybe it's not South By Southwest or Coachella, but it is unquestionably the best thing that's ever happened—and continues to happen—to the Albuquerque music scene. It also provides Downtown businesses with two of their best nights of the year in terms of pure revenue. I'm writing, of course, about the Alibi Crawl Series, the twice-yearly events we've been presenting faithfully and to larger and larger audiences since our inaugural Fall Crawl in August of 1999. The story actually begins years earlier, in 1994, when the popular opinion, even among the Downtown club and other business owners that were pitched on the idea originally, was that such an event was an impossibility in Albuquerque. But suffice it to say that after nine successful Crawls, the impossible has become a reality the entire community expects to take place every April and August. And even in our wildest dreams, we didn't begin to imagine that, in addition to hundreds upon hundreds of bands and solo artists, the Crawls would be embraced and enjoyed by such a diverse cross section of Burque dwellers. Folks that once avoided Downtown like a plague now visit at least twice a year. Businesses that used to approach Crawl nights by skeptically closing up shop and going home now extend their hours and invite the 12,000 or so attendees who come to each of the Crawls to listen, eat and spend their money on all the goods and services Downtown—quite suddenly—has to offer. As we wrap up the final preparations for Alibi Spring Crawl 2004, the 10th event in our series, we'd like to offer heartfelt kudos to everyone—bands, businesses, venues, sponsors, local media, city officials and the great crowds—for helping turn these events into the fantastic entertainment spectacles they've become.
Alibi Spring Crawl 2004 Highlights
Past attempts to summarize the sound of every single band participating in the Crawl in one sentence proved a dismal failure. Some bands inevitably felt slighted, others were pissed that our descriptions didn't match their own delusions of adequacy. So we decided to write more extensively on performers we consider to be just a few of the many highlights of this year's Alibi Spring Crawl. If you or your band are profiled herein and are still unhappy with the description, buy an ad, you malcontent, and tell us all what you think you sound like. Call John Hankinson at 346-0660 ext. 265 to reserve your ad space today!
From burgers to burritos bigger than a baby's arm
Seven reasons why we bother listing places to eat when this is supposed to be about music: 1) Ya gotta eat. 2) You might as well eat Downtown since you're going down there anyway. 3) If you plan to eat early in the evening, then you won't be reduced to getting patted down and wanded at the door of Frontier at 3 a.m. 4) Eating before drinking will help keep your energy level up for all the "woo-hoo"-ing and fist-pumping you'll be doing later. 5) It'll also help keep you from barfing. 6) Barfing is what we call "conduct unbecoming of a lady." 7) Also, nobody wants to make out with a guy who just blew chunks all over his shoes.
The Romantics: Godfathers of Garage Pop
Back in the mid-'70s, a New York band called KISS distinguished Michigan's largest metropolis from all the other cities in the country by dubbing what had formerly been known as the "Motor City"—the automobile capitol of the world at the time—then "Motown,"—the birthplace of modern soul—as something altogether different and infinitely more memorable: "Detroit: Rock City." And rock it did. From Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 to George Clinton, Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper, Detroit in the '60s and '70s produced some of the most influential and enduring American rock 'n' roll music and personalities since Elvis first shook his ass on a Memphis stage. And on Valentine's Day, 1977, four more of those personalities making that kind of music formed, one must assume, in some suburban Detroit garage: the Romantics, among the finest power pop bands ever catapulted on the scene from either side of the Atlantic, were born.
8:00 o Anesthesia
9:00 o Falling Process
10:00 o ATG
11:00 o A Summer Ends
12:00 o Phunk Junkeez
DJ NTox and DJ TAG open and spin segues
8:00 o Epidemik
9:00 o Nuthin' 2 Lose
10:00 o Live Fire Regime
10:45 o Snake Eyes
11:45 o Speed One & Cheops
12:45 o Michael Prophet
7:00 o Rachel Heisler
7:30 o Paul Salazar
8:00 o Jenny Gamble
Official memo reveals that even true believers see the seeds of civil war in the occupation of Iraq
As the situation in Iraq grows ever more tenuous, the Bush administration continues to spin the news with matter-of-fact optimism. According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Iraqi uprisings in half a dozen cities, accompanied by the deaths of more than 100 soldiers in the month of April alone, is something to be viewed in the context of "good days and bad days," merely "a moment in Iraq's path towards a free and democratic system." More recently, the president himself asserted, "Our coalition is standing with responsible Iraqi leaders as they establish growing authority in their country."
With gratitude to Salon.com's "Right Hook" column (which is where "Thin Line" borrowed the idea), I offer you a highly selective sample of opinion appearing in the national media last week, surrounding President George W. Bush's press conference.
McCorkle victim of hardball politics
Watching Gov. Bill Richardson's unceremonious (some would argue deplorable) removal of business honcho Sherman McCorkle from the state's military base retention commission, one wonders, a la Bob Dole during the 1996 presidential campaign, "Where's the outrage?"
Medicare reform discussion should be more than partisan bickering
The battle for the hearts, minds and coveted votes of America's senior citizens is now fully engaged.
Dateline: Thailand—A British man has been arrested for going topless after smuggling an estimated $100,000 worth of ecstasy tablets into Thailand. “They didn't catch me at the airport,” 35-year-old Alan John Kiernan told Reuters Televison. “I got through eight customs without being stopped.” In fact, Kiernan was arrested by Bangkok police for not wearing a shirt. The Southampton resident arrived in Thailand from Switzerland last Friday and was stopped the following day in a park for wandering around without a shirt. Following his arrest, police found more than 9,000 ecstasy tablets in his pants. “Shit happens,” Kiernan, who could face the death penalty, said at a news conference.
This is one of those special years when Shakespeare and Cervantes' joint birthday on April 23 just happens to fall on a weekend. You know what that means: We party 'til dawn, brothers and sisters!
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Cell Theatre
Personally, I'm not all that frightened of Virginia Woolf. What does scare the crap out of me is the quartet of dysfunctional, alienated weirdoes who binge drink their way through Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Tricklock Performance Space
The Tricklock Company is putting up a new version of Macbett, Eugene Ionesco's infamous spoof of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Wacky, funny and down-right bloody outrageous, this production, directed by Joe Feldman, is a fast and furious slice of absurdist theater that examines the demonic nature of power and corruption. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 6 p.m., through May 23. $12 general, $9 students/seniors. A special catered opening gala will occur on Friday, April 23, at 8 p.m. $18. To reserve tickets, call 254-8393.
Emily Stilson suffers a brutal stroke after a long career as a wing-walker. Arthur Kopit's play Wings follows Stilson's life in the aftermath of this tragedy as she slips in and out of consciousness. The audience glimpses her trauma from her own perspective and that of her doctors and physical therapist. This nuanced psychological play runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. through May 16 at the Vortex in a new production directed by Lou Mazzullo. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 247-8600.
Three New Poetry Volumes from the Southwest
Though not a densely populated publishing Mecca like the Northeast, the Southwest is home to many small presses whose work is every bit as impressive. Tucson's University of Arizona Press recently released two ambitious, carefully crafted books of poetry: Margo Tamez's Naked Wanting (University of Arizona Press, paper, $15.95) and David Dominguez's Work Done Right (University of Arizona Press, paper, $15.95). Likewise, Albuquerque's La Alameda Press has released Michael Rothenberg's Unhurried Vision (La Alameda Press, paper, $16). This trio of books showcases the publishers' ability to produce well-crafted and beautifully designed books.
Put a Tiger in Your Television—Innovative indie media personality Carlos Pareja from New York-based Paper Tiger Television (PTTV) will be at the University of New Mexico on Thursday, April 22, to present a special video screening/lecture. PTTV is a non-profit, volunteer-based video collective founded in 1981. The purpose of PTTV is to challenge and expose the corporate control of mainstream media and to involve people in the process of making their own media. Locally, PTTV programming can be seen on Albuquerque Public Access channel 27. Pareja will be in the Lobo Room on the top floor of UNM's Student Union Building to discuss 20 years of media repair and to screen examples of Paper Tiger's ongoing media literacy projects. The screening/lecture is sponsored by UNM's P.L.A.C.E. program (Partnership in Learning through the Arts, Culture and Environment) and gets underway at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Film festival from across the Americas returns to ABQ
The Sin Fronteras Film Festival is a media festival created to showcase the works of socially conscious independent video and filmmakers from across the Americas. For the second year in a row, it is sponsored by UNM's Student Organization for Latin American Studies and the Latin American and Iberian Institute. This Saturday, April 24, Sin Fronteras will fill the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill with comedy, drama, documentary, animation and experimental films.
A second film fest rises to replace TTPIX
It's been a little over a year since the much-loved Taos Talking Picture Film Festival (TTPIX) died and went away. Earlier this month, the Taos Picture Show successfully kept up the tradition, recruiting several key players from TTPIX, including programming director Kelly Clement and artistic director Jason Silverman. Now comes another gang of film lovers dedicated to bringing film back to the streets of Taos. From Wednesday, April 23, through Sunday, April 25, the Taos Vision Quest International Film Festival will bring the spirit of independent filmmaking to Northern New Mexico.
Derivative body swap comedy needs to do a little growing up
Body swap comedies were a (thankfully) short-lived trend of the '80s. The success of Tom Hanks in Big led to a string of pale imitations like 18 Again, Vice Versa, 14 Going on 30 and Like Father, Like Son--all of which featured kids suddenly trapped in the bodies of adults. It didn't take long after the teenybopper success of Disney's Freaky Friday remake for Hollywood to jump back on the trend, however.
Although most of America seems adverse to the idea of actually cleaning, renovating and decorating their houses, they are quite happy to watch TV shows about other people performing those same activities. Having burned through every variation of home trading, sweeping, monsterizing and making over, television has turned to our next most cherished possession: the American automobile. Leading the charge in the vehicular renovation movement (followed closely by TLC's “Overhaulin'”) is MTV's hilariously titled “Pimp My Ride.”
Hey, nitwit! Alibi Spring Crawl 2004 is this Saturday, April 24. Have you purchased your wristband yet? ... Not only are we presenting our 10th Crawl on Saturday, we're sponsoring the return of Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart at the Outpost Performance Space. If you plan to attend that 8 p.m. show, you'll still have plenty of time to enjoy even more great live music at Spring Crawl. Call the Outpost at 268-0044 for more info. ... Some other noteworthy events this week: DJ Shadow and Blackalicious are scheduled to invade the Sunshine Theater for a dreamy little festival on Monday, April 26. ... Singer-songwriter Bonnie Bailiff will perform on Sunday, April 25 from 1-3 p.m. at Maison and The' at 821 Canyon Road in Santa Fe. ... On Monday night, April 26, the T-Lords Softball Club, which represents Downtown's bar and band scene and should actually be called either the Bad News Beers or the League of Extraordinarily Hungover Gentlemen, will lose their final two games of the Spring 2004 season. If you enjoy reruns of “The Keystone Cops” episodes, you're gonna love the T-Lords! ... Up and coming acoustic duo Seth and Jacob have just released their debut CD, Lick Your Mind, on Santa Fe's Frogville label. Visit www.sethandjacob.com or www.frogville.com for details on where you can pick up a copy. Having seen the duo perform at Stella Blue and being a fan of the acoustic music scene, I can honestly recommend checking them out live. ... Posthumous congratulations to bluegrass trio Mary and Mars on their appearance at South By Southwest last month. I wasn't aware they'd secured a slot until I got to Austin. Sorry, lady and gentlemen.
Tuba maestro Mark Weaver has long been one of Albuquerque's most prolific and unpredictable musicians. Over the years, Weaver has involved himself in such disparate projects as the Doo Rag-ish Selsun Blue (a.k.a. the Selsuns) to California-based trumpeter Jeff Kaiser's 18-piece improvisational ensemble, Ockodektet. Tonight, though, Weaver will perform with a Los Angeles-based quartet he leads called Brassum, that includes Dan Clucas (cornet, flute), Michael Vlatkovich (trombone) and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt.
Weaver penned all nine tracks on last year's Brassum recording, Warning Lights (Plutonium); compositions that run the gamut between (almost) traditional brass band tunes ("Minus," "Movie"), the nearly atonal clang of a steel mill ("Seven Enchiladas") and sparse loneliness ("Elements"). And while some of the music here, presumably the boundary crossing solos by Weaver and his brothers in brass, is admittedly improvised, there's a structural quality within Weaver's compositions—and fleshed out by Eisenstadt with frightening precision—that adds a sort of post-bop, avant-garde feel without straying too far out in left field.
with Red Earth, Robert Mirabal, Native Roots and more
Friday, April 23; El Rey Theatre/Golden West Saloon (12 and over, 8 p.m.): In celebration and appreciation of all things Native American, native New Mexican and Southwestern, Red Earth presents its annual Electric 49. This year's gathering continues the seven-year tradition of being one of Albuquerque's best native festivals—boasting music by the most home-grown and treasured musicians from in and around the state.
Comedian David Cross' second album for Sub Pop, It's Not Funny, is not only funnier than his first, Shut Up, You Fucking Baby, it's smarter, angrier and delves even more deeply into the sad current state of American politics. In fact, Cross' various indictments of Bush, Rick Santorum, Strom Thurmond and other racist, homophobic Republicans is at times so vitriolic it's painful. Funny and true, but painful. Cross is a master storyteller and funny in the same intelligent, forward thinking way that Bill Hicks was: taking sensitive, taboo and controversial topics and splaying them out unmercifully.
The highlight of Easter weekend was watching my sister dip her toast in cat drool and eat it. She was fresh from a recent victory in the kitchen, having won a minor fight I started over why she would choose Sun-Maid raisin bread instead of the gorgeous cranberry-pecan pain au levain I'd bought that morning. Her road-weary, cranky mood was perhaps buoyed by this unusual turn of events (I usually win our fights, if only with sheer persistence) and she sat happily gabbing with relatives at the coffee table, her toast-filled hand casting crumbs with every gesticulation. Then Derkins, Aunt Cynthia's aging cat, jumped up on the table for a visit, staying only long enough to allow a viscous thread of drool to escape from one of the gaps in her malocclusion and form a small puddle just to the left of my sister's toast plate. Now, my sister loves cats—she has three and she calls them her "babies"—so I think she was probably trying to stand up for cats in general when, in response to our collective eeeewwww at the sight of this puddle, she dunked her toast in the drool and chewed it up with a smile. "Cats are the cleanest animals," she said.
Artichoke Café's (Central and Edith) expansion is nearly complete but more improvements are on the way. I finally got a chance to check out the work they did last year, converting an underused back patio into an extra kitchen, wine room and two new private dining rooms. Following a popular movement in the restaurant industry, owners Pat and Terry Keene created the new space in the hopes of attracting more business functions and private parties. The two dining rooms can be booked separately or opened up into one larger space seating up to 60 people. In addition, the couple plans to spruce up the small attached patio space. Call 243-0200 if you're looking for space for an upcoming function.
Our tips for a cheaper, safer, better tasting and less-filling Crawl
After months of winter hibernation, you're ready to strut your stuff at the Alibi Spring Crawl. In an effort to provide Crawlers with the best spring kick-off ever, we've compiled this handy guide to help you party long into the night. Issues like personal welfare, cop avoidance, cost efficiency and the upcoming swimsuit season all factor into a Crawl we hope will produce the least morning-after remorse.