Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.
Guests of the N.M. Pride Celebration join Weekly Alibi to party
We would like to thank everyone who visited our booth at the Albuquerque Pride Celebration and the wonderful folx running the beautiful event.
Recorded Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Archived video of the DukesUp!/New Mexico Political Report/Weekly Alibi Mayoral Forum co-production.
City folks get in touch with the land through community garden projects
It's the tomatoes we complain about most. Pale, salmon colored and hard as baseballs, they barely look like real tomatoes much less taste like them. Even the pretty red ones with vines attached come from Holland and the flavor suffers from the journey. Like peaches, tomatoes are very delicate fruits that taste best when picked ripe and eaten immediately—but they don't survive the rigors of shipping if picked ripe. So we're stuck with tasteless tomatoes that have probably been grown with tons of chemicals and then sprayed with gas in order to look ripe. Or are we? Tomatoes grow well here; they love the sun and tolerate the heat. Many of us remember the tomatoes our parents or grandparents grew, on their farms, in their gardens and in pots on the patio. Why can't we buy tomatoes like that in the grocery stores?
It's been a good, long time since we dug our grubby fingers into the Hollywood rumor mill. Let's see what we can dig up this week. ...
Overblown sci-fi spectacle still explosive entertainment
Vin Diesel is pretty much the definition of a modern, manufactured movie star. He's famous, but it's a little hard to figure out why. He's usually cited as the star of The Fast and The Furious and xXx. Fast and the Furious made a respectable $140 million at the box office. Unfortunately, the non-Diesel-fueled sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, made $130 million without him. xXx also made $140 million. Unfortunately, it cost nearly $90 million to make. Like 2 Fast before it, the sequel will be made without Diesel's expensive help.
Lightweight romantic comedy reaches new heights on airy charm
While pal George Lucas continues to isolate himself from the realities of filmmaking, emerging occasionally from his hermetically sealed “ranch” to exert Nero-like control over yet another inaccessible Star Wars sequel, Steven Spielberg seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Spielberg's last movie outing was the jaunty little caper Catch Me If You Can. Though it boasted the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, it was a simple, modestly budgeted character piece. So too is his latest work, the humble romantic comedy The Terminal.
Salem's Lot on TNT
Everybody of a certain age cites the 1979 Salem's Lot mini-series as one of the scariest things they've ever seen—largely due to one creepy ass dead kid scratching at a bedroom window. At the tender age of 10, that particular image was more than enough to haunt my dreams for weeks. Fright fans will be happy to note that TNT's new update of Stephen King's smash novel retains the kid.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
Man of the Hour
Wynton Marsalis Returns with a Magic New Album
Compared to his 2002 album, All Rise, which consisted of an extended composition for big band, gospel choir and symphony orchestra—some 200 players, all told—trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis' latest platter is child's play. Which, according to Marsalis, was the point. "I wanted to restate my basic love of jazz music in a quartet format," he says.
Magic Hour is Marsalis' debut for the legendary Blue Note label, and represents a marked departure from his recent ensemble work. By surrounding himself with a cast of youthful musicians for whom he served variously as a musical mentor during their formative years, Marsalis has managed to build a record from the ground up, beginning with bassist Carlos Henriquez' bouncing grooves, accented by Ali Jackson's intuitive drumwork and rounded out melodically by Eric Lewis at the piano and, of course, Marsalis taking the lead on trumpet.
If you've never seen Cape Breton fiddling virtuoso Natalie MacMaster and her phenomenal band, you'll get your chance on Friday, June 18, at the Rio Grande Zoo at 7 p.m. (show up as early as 5:30 p.m. to get a good space on the grass). Those of you who have seen her need no further prodding. See you there. ... The Big Spank are set to usher in the release of their new CD on Friday, June 18, at the Launchpad with performances by special guests Concepto Tambor, Ask the Man, The Disclaimers, AVISO and Suburban Shock Syndrome. This one's all ages, so get there at 8 p.m. ... The ugliest, most misogynistic dancehall reggae legend the world has ever known, Yellowman, will return to Albuquerque with the Sagittarius Band for a show at the Sunshine Theater on Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m. ... ZoukFest presents The Jenny Vincent Trio, Spanish-American dance music from New Mexico on Sunday, June 20, at the Adobe Bar in Taos from 6 to 9 p.m. Contact Roger Landes at (505) 751-3512 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. ... Ray Charles' funeral should have been at least three times bigger than Ronald Reagan's, but hey, that's just my opinion.
The Mountainside YMCA showcases local bands
Friday, June 18; Mountainside YMCA (12500 Comanche NE, 292-2298, all ages, 7 p.m.): I've long held that the “Battle of the Bands” is one of the worst concepts ever spewed forth. It does nothing but pit loca bands against each other and create animosity when what's really needed is unity. Thank the Baby Jesus that the YMCA got it right. “Band It” is a music showcase in which eight local bands will appear on one stage to perform their original music for an audience of their peers and a few older folks like myself.
with Young Edward
Saturday, June 19; Stella Blue (21 and over, 9 p.m.): On the strength of a rushed demo and without ever having played a proper live show, newgrass phenoms Railroad Earth found themselves with invitations to the three most prestigious bluegrass/folk festivals in the United States, followed shortly thereafter by a recording contract with Sugar Hill, a couple of road stints and a rabid underground following.
with Memphis P Tales
Who would have thought that listening to the blues can make you feel happy?
This can be said for W.C. Clark's music which is described as soul cleansing blues. Listening to Clark's music is an enlightening experience, that makes you feel baptized and born again after just one listen.
Clark combines the blues with rock 'n' roll, funk, ragtime and big band styles. He is BB King, Ray Charles, Chuck Barry and Muddy Waters all rolled into one, combined with his own unique style of Austin Blues.
If it wasn't for bands like NYC's Candiria, filling the void left by the demise of Helmet and Quicksand, I'd have taken my own life a long time ago. Tragically, Candiria's last tour took the life of their van, equipment and, very nearly, the lives of all five members when a semi smashed into them at freeway speed. After two years of physical and mental recovery, Candira are back with their fourth—and best—record. Part prog metal, part hardcore and part classic thrash, this one's close to perfect.
MCI's defection caused by “several negative factors”
The words economic development flow easily across the lips of New Mexico politicians who build their careers on promises of improving the quality of life and improving the state's unemployment rate by bringing a steady flow of new jobs to town. However, in order to make good on this promise they often resort to courting flighty companies that bring with them low-level, menial jobs and an abrupt exit strategy that leaves the local economy staggered.
Ga-Ga for the Gipper
After last week's marathon coverage of former-President Ronald Reagan's death went from sublime to surreal, a little dose of reality is in order. Not to bash Reagan (it is tragic that his brain died at least 10 years before his body would admit it), but after reading a full-page elegy in the Wall Street Journal that practically deified the Gipper and looking at seven days of awe-struck headlines in the Albuquerque Journal, I was left to wonder: Where is the news media getting all this information about Reagan being one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century? Well, not from Gallup polling data.
The June 7 City Council meeting seemed close to scoring unanimous agreement on every bill. Councilors Brad Winter and Craig Loy were excused, leaving seven members racing for the historic goal. It looked like a sure thing coming into the home stretch, but then the next to last bill regarding a city Personnel Board appointment hit the table around 9 p.m. By this time, Councilors Sally Mayer and Tina Cummins had also vanished from the track, leaving only five members galloping toward agreement. Four voted down the appointment, but Council President Michael Cadigan supported the bill and became Albuquerque's Birdstone, wrecking the unanimous record.
Another take on East Downtown's urban renewal efforts
I was amazed at the reaction I got to my recent piece suggesting gentrification (in the form of the East of Downtown Development just approved by the Planning Commission) might be a blessing for some neighborhoods, not a curse.
Brennan's bust exposes clueless local media
Where would the Chief Justice of our State District Court buy cocaine? Tony Montana might have the answer, but a 57-year-old judge? Where does someone in his position go to score blow?
Dateline: Germany—This disgusting highway spill-over story comes to us from Bremen, where a truck hauling 9,000 gallons of pig blood spilled its entire cargo on the Autobahn last Wednesday after it was rear-ended. At least one other vehicle crashed due to the sanguinary spill-over. Authorities had to close the highway for several hours. The truck had reportedly been hauling the waste blood from the Netherlands for disposal.
The readers write.
I'm folk. You're folk. He's folk. She's folk. Folk music, folk art and folk culture can be made and played by anyone. That's the beauty of it. Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the Albuquerque Folk Festival, and I have to tell you I had a sweet banjo-pickin' good time from morning 'til night.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Vortex Theatre
At one point or another in their lives, many otherwise normal people have felt like they could use some time in a mental institution. I know I have. Mental illness isn't black and white. Those suffering from it are capable of moments of startling lucidity. Those who usually behave sanely are capable of skipping off the brink into the abyss.
Nicasio and Janet Romero's Gallery and Sculpture Park
The heat down here in Albuquerque is driving locals north in droves. This weekend many of them will be driving up to the El Ancon Outdoor Sculpture Show in the picturesque Pecos River Valley. In its 17th year, the show has become a staple on the calendar of many New Mexican art enthusiasts. The show opens this Sunday, June 20, with a party featuring live music as well as paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings by over 40 artists. After Sunday, the show will be open to the public by appointment only through August 1. For directions call (505) 421-7057.
Nobody conjures up a stormy landscape better than Angus Macpherson. There's nothing static about a Macpherson painting. In his vision of the world, nature is in a constant state of flux. His often brightly colored landscapes also seem to crackle with emotion. An exhibit of paintings from Macpherson's "Rain Series" opens this Friday, June 18, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at his own MoRo Gallery. The show will run through July 15. 242-6272.
Enslaved by Ducks
The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver
Can't be with your dad on his special day? Celebrate Father's Day the way the Old Man would if he were around: Get drunk and fall asleep on the couch watching reruns of "Shadetree Mechanic." Be sure to wear your filthiest jeans and don't take your shoes off before you get comfy on the new white couch. Then, spread a thick litter of dad snacks in a wide circle around your body, making sure that at least half of the crumbs get pushed down between the sofa cushions. (For real authenticity, throw about $4 worth of loose change under the cushions too.) Shop ahead for a bag of honey mesquite barbecue-flavored potato chips, some jalapeño beef jerky, a can or two of cheese puffs and a tall tin of mixed nuts. Dads don't give a damn about calories—except when it comes to beer—so neither should you. Don't worry that each handful of nuts contains 14 grams of fat, you're drinking Bud Light! Don't answer the phone or get up for any reason other than to avert an impending rupture of your distended bladder. Then, around 6 p.m., get up the energy to make a run for a bucket of fried chicken and more beer. Get back on the couch but switch to whatever channel is running the James Bond marathon. Enjoy!
Somebody at Wrigley should be fired. In fact, a whole team of hacks need to get canned for releasing the world's most hideously disgusting chewing gum. Just when you thought the extreme flavor revolution had reached its pinnacle, the mad scientists over Wrigley dig deep into their vaults to unearth this wretched beast of a grocery store checkout line impulse buy. Showing that the experience of flavor is a vicious circle, not an unending march in the direction of tastebud pleasure progress, Wrigley's Eclipse team has come up with new maddeningly repulsive cough syrup flavored gum. Actually, the stuff is called Uniquely Soothing Cherry Chill. What's uniquely soothing is that the gag-inducing cherry flavor has a slow-release menthol aftertaste that will cool your throat after you vomit. I encourage you, dear readers, to avoid the stuff at all costs. I also highly encourage the in-house counsel at Robitussin to consider suing Wrigley for raiding their flavor files.
Taking the pain out of picking wines
Although people get hitched all year 'round, brides' magazines bloom on supermarket racks in the spring. Filling their pages, in between the infinite glossy ads, are articles designed to make the ceremonious marriage rite run smoother, classier and sometimes cheaper. I'm not married—nor planning to be—but browsing through these mags makes me realize that the endless wedding decisions can drive you to cancellation. The wine choice shouldn't be the hardest, but, if you're to believe what you read, some intimidated brides feel it is. Ignore the overwhelmed feeling ... it should be fun, easy and inexpensive.
Recipes from James Campbell Caruso's new cookbook
Spanish food is perfect for summer. When it's hot and you're feeling sluggish—not peckish—and little plates of cool tapas come to the table, your tummy is suddenly ready for some action. In the summertime, Santa Feans are particularly fond of El Farol, a Spanish restaurant in a beautiful old adobe on Canyon Road. There, Chef James Campbell Caruso puts out a mouthwatering menu of tapas that can reinvigorate even the most wilted appetites. Santa Fe can be too far for us to drive when the mood suddenly strikes so aren't we lucky that El Farol finally published a cookbook? The eponymously titled El Farol (hardcover, Gibbs Smith, $29.95) is a collection of the chef's favorite dishes, including a large collection of both cold and hot tapas. Here's a preview of the book, a collection of tapas (plus soup and dessert) that would work beautifully together as a refreshing backyard dinner.
A local Log Cabin Republican talks about the difficulties of belonging to a political party that proclaims a "big tent strategy" on one hand and opposes equality for homosexuals on the other.
At 24, Patrick Killen is a seasoned veteran of New Mexico politics. He started working as a legislative page in Santa Fe when he was 15 and today operates a political consulting company working exclusively for Republicans. He's a true-blooded party loyalist who has nothing but respect and admiration for President George W. Bush. Killen also happens to be gay, which in some circles of his party makes him as popular as a skunk at a church picnic. How does Killen reconcile his personal life with his political loyalties? Read on.
Get a stiff one with some help from our queer club guide.
Gay bars come and go with surprising frequency in Albuquerque. Hell, even veteran scenesters have a hard time keeping track of what's available from time to time. But if you've recently come into town or out of the closet, deciding where to spend your evening can be that much more confusing (and potentially disastrous). Don't want to end up an Alice in Leatherland? Tired of beating around the bush? Find the scene that's right for you with our lineup of clubs, bars and booze-holes that help put the "queer" in Albuquerque.
I can't tell you how excited I am about our upcoming Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest. Submissions are already streaming in and although the Alibi's dedicated supreme council of fiction judges hasn't yet tackled the pile, I'm personally convinced there are dozens of gems hidden inside that mountain of creativity. The deadline is Friday, June 11, at 5 p.m., so there still might be time to get your ultra-short fictional masterpieces into the Alibi. Stories must be no longer than 100 words (including title, if any). Three entries maximum per person. Send all stories to 2118 Central SE, PMB #151, Albuquerque, NM 87106-4004 or e-mail them to email@example.com (no attachments). Winners, as always, will be showered with prizes and glory. Best of luck to everyone. We will print the winners and honorable mentions in the June 24 issue of the Alibi.
From Above: Images of a Storied Land at the Albuquerque Museum
A lot of people get freaked out by flying. For whatever reason, I'm not one of them. My fearlessness has little to do with any innate courage. The main reason flying doesn't terrify me is because it doesn't seem either real or possible. I still find it hard to believe that a big hunk of metal can lift off the ground under its own power. Aside from a few bumps—what they call "turbulence" in the trade—spending a couple hours in an airplane is like spending a couple hours in a cramped apartment watching an aerial view of clouds and mountains on a tiny oval-screened television.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
Some of O'Keeffe's very best paintings depict dramatic aspects of the New Mexico landscape. The terrain of our state, of course, is what initially drew O'Keeffe to the Southwest. In this high desert, she found the divine inspiration needed to become one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. The first exhibit to ever focus on this aspect of her work opens this weekend at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. A Sense of Place will run through Sept. 12. (505) 946-1000.
Outside of Spain, there are very few places in the world that enjoy the quality of flamenco performances we regularly witness here in Albuquerque. One of the best chances to see brilliant flamenco performers is during the annual Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque. The 18th installment of the festival runs from June 11 through June 18 and features such extraordinary flamenco artists as Manuela Carrasco, Joaquin Amador and Israel Galván. Most of the performances will occur in UNM's Rodey Theatre. You can purchase tickets by calling (800) 905-3315 or by logging onto www.tickets.com. For details, log onto www.feelflamenco.com.