Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival returns for second big year
By Devin D. O'Leary
Last year's inaugural Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival brought some 2,000 eager film fans to Madstone Theaters for a weekend of truly independent film. But the subsequent closing of the Madstone left the festival stranded without a venue.
Affordable housing takes center stage in the city's effort to finalize the East Downtown Master Plan
By Aja Oishi
Judy Hatfield is a 64-year-old woman who has lived in the same home for 18 years. She is being evicted, along with six of her neighbors, because the former landlords decided to sell the property to a development company called J&J Holdings, which plans to turn the apartments into condominiums.
State District Judge rules against call for stricter voter I.D. enforcement
By Tim McGivern
Here's a recipe for some long-winded arguing. Start with concerns over voter fraud and disenfranchisement, mix in some partisanship and accusations of bureaucratic incompetence, add a team of Republican and Democratic lawyers and let cook in a Bernalillo County courtroom.
Looks like you're in the front row. According to Editor and Publisher, Jerry Gallegos, superintendent of the press gallery at the GOP convention, became indignant on opening night after filmmaker-turned-USA Today columnist Michael Moore was delayed and surrounded by security guards several times on his way to the convention press table.
Demonstrating yet again how dangerous it is for him to venture into public unaided by a teleprompter, President Bush managed to provide some startling insight into what this war on terror business is really all about last week during an interview on NBC's “Today” show.
As the Bush campaign gathered steam and began setting the election agenda at its New York City convention, John Kerry was literally floundering around at a photo op. There's seems to be some macho "Xtreme" sports thing the 60-year-old Democrat nominee has in his system. Snowboarding into Secret Service agents was the first hint the public got of it. Riding a Harley onto the stage of Jay Leno's show was another.
Dateline: Saudi Arabia—Apparently, the Middle East is crazy for Danish Modern. Three men were trampled to death when more than 20,000 people stormed the grand opening of the first IKEA showroom in Saudi Arabia. Sixteen shoppers were injured at the Swedish-based furniture store opening in Jeddah. Medics revived another 20 who had fainted in the crush. The company had promised free vouchers worth $150 to the first 50 people. In a statement issued to the press, IKEA said the company had worked closely with Saudi security officials to plan the opening.
If you, Mr. 12- to 17-year-old, consider yourself a true metalhead, then your valuable services are required. Gerald Chavez, longtime local musician, martial artist, vegetarian and doctoral student of clinical psychology for the past 23 years, is conducting a pilot study for his dissertation, and needs your help. The study consists of a simple survey that takes about five minutes to complete, focusing on the connection or lack thereof between music, mood and aggression in males aged 12 to 17. As most people are aware, when an adolescent does something aggressive or bizarre, usually one of the first questions asked is, "What are his/her media interests?”—a question that's rarely, if ever, asked when an adult commits a crime or bizarre act. Along with looking at the effect music may have on mood and aggression, Chavez hopes to introduce hard science into the debate, instead of simply basing everything on nonempirical belief systems which is so often the case. Chavez says he believes it's time for the music appreciated by teens (and adults), be it metal, punk, goth, etc., to be looked at in a nonbiased way in an attempt to discover what, if anything, is going on. I, for one, would love to see a scientific end to the debate, and would be more than proud if one of our own turned out to be the guy with the answers. If you're interested in filling out the survey, contact Gerald Chavez at (505) 489-4109 or email@example.com. Parent signature required.
Lolita move over. Your jaw may drop when you hear "Summertime," the first of 12 tracks on this disc of standards and classics sung by the sensational Renée Olstead. The woman has every sexy insinuation, every purr and coo, every jazz riff and Broadway belt under the sun on the tip of her tongue.
Wednesday, Sept. 15; Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, all-ages, 7:30 p.m.): Since the late '50s, the Neville name has been synonymous with New Orleans-style R&B. The four brothers who share the name—Art, Charles, Aaron and Cyril—have worked together over the years in pairs, as a trio and as solo artists, but there's something infinitely special about the Neville Brothers working as a quartet; something that can't quite be matched.
Friday, Sept. 10; Kiva Auditorium (Convention Center, all ages, 8 p.m.): Prior to their ubiquitous single, “Touche,” taken from The Other Side EP, I considered Godsmack with the same degree of seriousness I generally reserve for most of the food-court rock bands I hear on the radio and see (briefly—it's all I can take) on televised music awards shows. But there's something about the earnestness of that song that sucked me in and didn't let go the first 600,000 times I heard it. It even got to the point where I went out and bought a copy of the EP which, to my surprise and delight, was just as solid as the single.
The quasi-ska “Shootin' Dice” is an unfortunate misstep (especially with regard to the vocals), but the rest of Hit By a Bus' debut reveals an impressive blend of hardcore rock and borderline techno beats, punk and metal guitar figures, and a whole host of juicy pop elements that, taken as a whole, offer multiple moments of sheer delight. The record's harder side is expertly performed (“Pumpkin,” “Tarot's Tale”), while the more ambient material (“Unfazed,” “Speed Limit 42”) is equally as effective in its subtleties. Vocals could be better overall, but the songs are rock solid.
Uncovered Cinema—The cinematic assault on the Bush administration continues unabated. This week, the People Before Profit Film/Lecture Series will present Robert Greenwald's Uncovered: The War on Iraq. Greenwald (Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism) deconstructs the administration's case for war through interviews with U.S. intelligence and defense officials, foreign service experts and U.N. weapons inspectors--including a former CIA director, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Bush's Secretary of the Army. Regardless of one's political affiliation, this is sobering stuff. The screening will take place at 7 p.m. at the Peace & Justice Center (202 Harvard SE). You can call the Center at 268-9557 for more info.
Milla is game for another go-around, but this horror/action hybrid just fires blanks
By Devin D. O'Leary
The first Resident Evil film was based on a popular video game of the same name. The video game featured assorted characters running around firing weapons into unending hoards of undead zombies. The movie was pretty much the same thing. Nonetheless, it came across as decent B-movie fun thanks to a simple script, a bit of visual flair from director W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Alien vs. Predator) and a seriously sexy turn by star Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc). Since the video game spawned a series of sequels, it was only natural that the movie would follow suit. Hence, two years on down the line, we are faced with the horrors of Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
She Hate Me, Spike Lee's latest foray into the depths of black male angst, is likely to be remembered as the most abhorrent film of the director's unbalanced career. An excellent example of artistic flaccidity masquerading as "in-your-face" edginess, the film is not so much a movie as an ocean of misjudged decisions, all of which amount to what could justifiably be described as the worst film of the new millennium.
For months I've been thinking that creating an expensive, computer-animated series about the daily lives of the white lions owned by Las Vegas magicians Siegfried & Roy (one of whom tried to snack on Roy's head earlier this year) was a really bad idea. Now, however, I've seen the actual show and am forced to admit that it isn't a bad idea ... it's a terrible idea.
As most of you already know, the financially strapped nonprofit arts organization Magnífico recently shut down its magnificent art space at 516 Central SW. The closing put Melody Mock, Magnífico's director of exhibits and programs, out of work. Mock could've pouted on her couch with a tub of Ben and Jerry's squeezed between her thighs while sinking into the sticky existential pit of daytime television, but she decided to do something productive instead. She put together an online gallery that showcases local contemporary artists and also includes reviews, features and a calendar of local arts events. The first show will feature work by mixed media artist Valerie Roybal. Check it out at www.contemporaryalbuquerque.com.
Many people associate live comedy with smoky bars filled with drunks. They imagine a stage with an exposed brick backdrop and a string of sweaty comedians spouting insults at audience members clueless enough to sit in the front row. Except for the exposed brick backdrop, the Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre, which recently opened in downtown Albuquerque, is a very different animal.
One of my favorite Dylan lines of all time is "They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings." Man, if that ain't the whole truth and nothing but. In a new original satire by Joe Forrest Sackett, Theater-in-the-Making, a youth theater company currently in residence at the Tricklock, presents a biting look at the dubious political hackery of the Bush administration. Directed by Paul Ford, Patriots runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 6 p.m., through Sept. 26. $10. 254-8393.
There's something eerily attractive about David Ondrik's relentlessly unromantic landscapes. His stunning large-scale black and white images capture tampered terrains strewn with industrial wreckage and blighted by human manipulation. Ondrik's photographs should be placed on anti-postcards and mailed to Republican members of Congress. A new exhibit of his work opens this Friday at the Harwood Art Center with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Runs through Sept. 30. 242-6367.
Is Alton Brown the new Julia Child? Or is that blasphemy? All I know is that my little mention of how much I love Alton has prompted people to stop me on the street, whisper in my ear at a wedding and buy me beers at the bar. Vanessa Whittemore sent an e-mail about Alton's method for roasting small amounts of green chile. "It caught my attention because I have very wimpy tastebuds and a little chile goes a very long way with me," Vanessa wrote. "Therefore, even though I love the smell of roasting chiles, there's no reason for me to buy a whole sack since that would probably last for the entire rest of my natural life and possibly into the next one. Alton Brown showed how you can roast just a couple at a time. Take one of those metal vegetable steamers found in almost every kitchen, lay the sides out as flat as you can get them and place directly over the burner on a gas stove (electric won't work). Put a couple or three chiles on the steamer and turn up the flame. I think he said about five minutes per side would work. Voila! (is there a Spanish counterpart for Voila!?) You have a small amount of roasted green chile." So, Alton, Vanessa seems nice and all? But remember, you're marrying me.
Thai Pepper has been replaced by Thai Tip. Signs on the restaurant, on Wyoming just north of Constitution, changed less than a month ago when the former owner sold the business to John and Tippawan Sherrod. The Sherrods wasted little time during the transition, doing only a quick cleanup and moderate redecoration of the dining room. John Sherrod said it helped that they inherited a good customer base. "We've converted everyone whose come in the door," he says. His wife Tippawan, she's Tip for short, does the cooking along with two other cooks. One of her assistants is her nephew from Thailand, here in Albuquerque while he gets a masters degree in business from UNM.
Where does it come from and how do you make it right?
By Gwyneth Doland
From a reader: “I wuz wonderin' if you could tell me where Spanish rice comes from. This is a question that has bugged me for some time. Is rice actually cultivated in New Mexico? If not, how is that it has become a staple but other Spanish imports such as olives, saffron or garbanzos are not? Also, why is it called Spanish rice since as far as I know it is unlike rice in Spain? If you could tell me I'd appreciate it. Thank you, Ben.”
It's State Fair time in Albuquerque again, and along with the usual bastion of talent scheduled to appear following PRCA Rodeo events at Tingley Coliseum this year, there's a host of local talent booked to entertain you, your friends and families at the Ford Pavilion. Local musicians are getting a giant shove into the State Fair foreground this year thanks to Ford Pavilion Entertainment Coordinator Jennifer Gignac (a.k.a. the artist known as Jenny Gamble) and Assistant Coordinator April Adams, who've lobbied relentlessly to bring some new blood, genres and sounds to fairgoers for the cost of fair admission alone. All events scheduled to take place at the Ford Pavilion are free once you're inside Expo New Mexico, and they're open to audiences of all ages—talk about a great time for the underage among us to check out bands they usually don't otherwise get to see except when they've got an extra $30 or $40 for an Edgefest ticket once a year!
Attending a Bush rally and trying not to drink the Kool-Aid
By Steven Robert Allen and Gwyneth Doland
First impression: Heather Wilson should star in her own soap opera. It could be called "As The World Turns ... to Crap." Our Congresswoman is truly a miracle of modern science. We say bravo to the engineers who installed the WilsonBot's automatic tear-duct emptying function. And, thankfully, unlike the previous version of this monster—Tammy Faye Bakker—Wilson does not leak dark fluid from her eye holes during the performance.
How many terror alerts does it take to elect a president?
By Tim McGivern
It's become a familiar routine. First the terror alert originates somewhere in the halls of the federal government, then it gets filtered to the mainstream media, which passes the information on to the public. The public puts on its collective "Code Orange" game face, while terror alert banners scroll across the 24/7 cable news screens and each network's security experts analyze the latest threat on the talk shows.
Privatizing the state's behavioral health services another bad idea
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
After putting it at the bottom of my stack of books to read for over a year, I recently began reading Edmund Morris' wonderful biography, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Once I'd actually turned a few pages, it was hard to put down. Not the least of its pleasures for a contemporary liberal Democrat is the recognition that T.R., a maverick Republican, was warning us 100 years ago about the "unnatural alliance of politics and corporations."
And other news worthy of the conspiracy theory hall of fame
By Greg Payne
Since the Democrat National Convention in Boston, “Payne's World” readers have had the inside track on the tactical mistakes of the Kerry campaign—and they are legion. A month ago (Aug. 5-11 "Too Conventional"), the following appeared in this column and looks now like it could have been written by Nostradamus.
Dateline: England—A man has admitted to endangering passengers on a 737 flight from Norway by setting fire to a pornographic magazine under his seat. David Mason used a cigarette lighter to ignite torn-out pages from the magazine, which he had purchased earlier. The charges came to light in Lewes Crown Court in southeast England last Tuesday. Prosecutor Roger Booth said stewardesses on the Norwegian national airline Braathens became suspicious when Mason asked if he could burn some paper in the plane's galley oven. They refused and sent him back to his seat. Soon afterwards, two passengers complained of a burning smell. Crew members found Mason had started a small fire under his seat. The blaze was extinguished with water. Booth said that Mason, who was receiving treatment for mental illness, had “been offended” by some of the pictures in the magazine, one of several he had bought. “He said that on the plane he had become overcome, and felt the desire to destroy them there and then,” the prosecutor said. Mason is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
It kind of feels like a bomb has been dropped in Albuquerque, leaving a charred, smoking hole right in the middle of Downtown. Financial problems have motivated Magnífico—one of Albuquerque's best nonprofit arts organizations—to close its Downtown gallery at 516 Central SW. The organization's board also decided to lay off its three-person staff.
A group of enterprising young artists has opened up a new gallery space at 1415 Fourth Street SW in Albuquerque's historic Barelas neighborhood. The Donkey Gallery's first show is called Burning Green Wood and will feature work by its three co-directors—David Leigh, Larry Bob Phillips and Sherlock Terry. A grand opening reception will be held Friday, Sept. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. I'm told there will be tacos. Rex Hobart will provide live tunes. The event will also serve as a launch party for the Donkey Journal, a monthly, limited edition, two-sided poster with interviews, art criticism, creative writing and reviews. The show runs through Oct. 3. 243-0502.
Former Alibi contributor Stephen Ausherman has just released a new collection of travel essays called Restless Tribes (Central Ave. Press, paper, $14.95). Several of the essays included in the book first appeared in earlier incarnations in the Alibi. Swing by Café Au Lait this Friday, Sept. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. to meet Ausherman, pick up a signed copy of his book, and check out an exhibit of photographs from his extensive travels to India, Korea, Borneo, Iraq, Vietnam, China, Tanzania and other exotic locales. The exhibit will run through Sept. 30. 248-0707.
It's official: I've got baseball fever. In the ninth inning, the Expos hit a two run homer to tie the game, and it's extra innings. We're sitting in the cheap seats at Busch Stadium and sweat is pouring down my face. Wait, this isn't baseball fever; it's August in St. Louis. Busch Stadium is a bowl of soup, and sweat is pouring from my why-didn't-I-buzz-my-hair-this-summer head as if I'm running laps. And I'm not. I'm watching a baseball game, and I'm drinking the local brew (namely Budweiser) in St. Louis the night before the National Poetry Slam begins.
Sayles Force—Long-admired indie filmmaker John Sayles (Matewan, Eight Men Out, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star) recently turned his attentions to America's contentious political climate, whipping out the political thriller Silver City with the eager help of an all-star cast (including Kris Kristofferson, Chris Cooper, Daryl Hannah, Richard Dreyfuss, Miguel Ferrar, Billy Zane, Tim Roth and more). The film lies somewhere between the dense conspiratorial murder mystery of Chinatown and the pointed political humor of an Al Franken routine.
Suspect Zero, the serial killer thriller shot in Albuquerque and the surrounding area two summers ago, finally made its way onto movie screens last weekend. The film struggled into 10th place at the box office, clearing a meager $3.4 million. Although the film didn't exactly cover its small $27 million budget ($7.5 of which was provided as an interest-free loan by the state of New Mexico), it did scrape together a few thousand more dollars than Baby Geniuses 2. At this point, it's clear that New Mexico will see none of the promised 2.5 percent of the film's profits, but at least the production employed a handful of New Mexicans for a few weeks. The following is a brief diary excerpt from two New Mexicans who worked as extras during the film's shoot.
I must confess that I'm not the most avid fan of Brit-lit romance. I really couldn't give a toss if poor Ms. So-and-so finally climbs up that snobby social ladder and marries Lord What's-his-name. But Hollywood sure is a big fan of beautiful costumes, weepy romance and people speaking in British accents. Conventional wisdom does say that if you throw some Jane Austen or some Charlotte Bronte or some Charles Dickens up on screen, you're guaranteed to generate at least a little Oscar buzz—which is probably what the makers behind the new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic novel had in mind.
Fall Crawl 2004 was officially over early Sunday morning, Aug. 29, as the last of the street sweepers we hired made one last run up the alley just north of Sixth Street. And, save for a few long lines and slow-going foot traffic on the street later in the evening, our 11th installment in the Alibi Crawl series was a major success, just as all previous Crawls have been. Thanks, as always, to the bands who participated, the crew who worked their asses off, the City of Albuquerque, Mayor Martin Chavez, Downtown Action Team, Albuquerque Police and Fire Departments and all the participating venues, restaurants, retailers and local media who covered the event. The brainstorming effort to make next year's Alibi Spring Crawl (Saturday, April 23, 2005) bigger and better than ever is already underway, and we'd especially like to hear from the bands, venues and attendees and everyone else who participated or observed last weekend's event so we can work your ideas into the Crawls. Send constructive criticism (save the sixth-grade nastiness for RockSquawk.com), questions and suggestions to Yours Truly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again to everyone who worked so hard to make Alibi Fall Crawl 2004 a success. Those of you who worked hard and failed to undermine the event ... well, suffice to say, we know who you are, and you are the enemy of music fans everywhere. ... For those who don't already have tickets, the fabulous John Hiatt will appear Friday, Sept. 3, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe (211 West San Francisco Street) at 7:30 p.m. The super-fabulous David Lindley will open the show. Call (505) 988-1234 to order tickets right now!
Friday, Sept. 3; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): The local music scene conspiracy theorists among us will no doubt take issue with the fact that I've chosen to preview simple.'s CD release party being that bassist Joe Anderson happens to be a close friend and someone I've spent the past 11 years working closely with, but I don't really care. The plain fact of the matter at hand is that simple. have created a sound that's unique among local bands—mystifyingly huge and beautifully ambient at once—and a debut record that stands tall alongside any other released by a local band this year. Lyrically, the songs can be somewhat daunting, but there are few bands in town that can match simple.'s masterful use of swirling, dueling guitars juxtaposed against orgasmic grooves. Oktober People are one of them, and you get to see them tonight, too.
Sure, you love splashing Tabasco all over your tacos, but would you tip the bottle into your kid's mouth if she lied about eating her peas? An ABCNEWS.com poll revealed that while 65 percent of Americans don't think so-called hot-saucing children is acceptable, 35 percent do. Among that smaller group is Lisa Welchel. Remember her? She played Blair on the '80s TV series "Facts of Life." Blair, er, Welchel didn't really do anything big after "Facts of Life," which is why we still think of her as Blair, not Lisa Welchel. After leaving show business, the enthusiastically Christian actress raised three children, homeschooled them and wrote a book on her discipline methods, including hot-saucing. "It does sting and the memory stays with them so that the next time they may actually have some self-control and stop before they lie or bite or something like that," she said on “Good Morning America.” Hmm, if the hot sauce didn't hurt it wouldn't be an effective deterrent, right? And if it did hurt, that would be kind of like hurting your children, right? So why not just spank the crap out of them? Is hot saucing a "kinder, gentler" way of spanking? No, but we shouldn't be surprised. As Devin D. O'Leary says, Blair always was a bitch.
A multicultural, low-tech matanza method for going whole hog
By Gwyneth Doland
The matanza, or ritual slaughter and cooking of a pig, has been a part of New Mexican culture since the first Spaniards settled in this area. Neighbors would take turns hosting matanzas and share the resulting meat, a tradition that had real practical importance in the days before refrigeration. Now, cooking a whole pig in a pit in the back yard is less common but still an event that requires a lot of cooperation and benefits a lot of hungry mouths.
Which American city has the most coffee shops per capita? Who the hell knows. It seemed that Albuquerque was in the top spot after the the Associated Press reported on findings of the Specialty Coffee Association. The original findings revealed the shocking statistic that Albuquerque had more java huts than Seattle, New York or Los Angeles. Even per capita, that's a lot of coffee houses.Unfortunately, it was revealed a few days later that the statistics were wrong. The Specialty Coffee Association did not release corrected figures.
Over the weekend, I had a culinary orgasm. It lasted four hours, and occurred in a dark corner of a restaurant. Amid a roomful of people, I blissfully consumed eight extraordinary dishes married with perfect wines. While basking in the beauty of this rather long, exultant moment, one thing struck me—the underbelly of sweetness in many of the wines, from the sparkling to the reds. Then the elegant, fragrant master arrived, Riesling, proving it still has what it takes.
Believe it or not, there's more to Fall Crawl than just boozin' and rockin' out. A night of live music and even livelier cocktails requires a bit of sustenance in order to last through last call. Downtown has become a culinary hot spot in the past few years, and there are plenty of places to stop and get your grub on before heading out to hit the bars and hear the bands. You'll want to get there early to check out the scene anyway, so you may as well make a relaxing early evening out of a tasty outdoor meal before jumping straight into the fall fray. Be kind to your tummy and stuff it with some buffalo wings, a slice of pizza, a fresh Greek salad or an ice cream sundae before offending it with that extra shot of Cuervo. So try out a new Downtown eatery – the worst that can happen is that you'll be happier at the end of the night.
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 what follows are short, highly subjective profiles of performers we consider to be just a few of the many highlights of this year's Alibi Fall Crawl. The reality, though, is that there are something like 100 different artists playing, and we encourage you to discover new favorite bands using your own intuition. 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!
The telltale smell of roasting green chiles in the air can only mean one thing: Weekly Alibi Fall Crawl is officially in-season and just around the corner—Saturday, Aug. 28, in fact. After 10 enormously successful Crawls (we don't expect this one to be any different in that regard), what was once an impossible dream has become a reality the entire community expects to take place every August and April. Even in our wildest dreams back in 1999 when we were planning and organizing the inaugural Fall Crawl, we couldn't have imagined 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 the 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 thousands of attendees who come to listen, eat and spend their money on all the goods and services Downtown—quite suddenly—has to offer.
It was only a year ago that record executive Danny Goldberg was complaining in his book Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit that progressive politics had lost its pop cultural cachet. But it seems that between the war in Iraq and the GOP's tightening grasp on the reins of power in both the legislative and executive branch, George W. Bush may have done Goldberg's work for him. The protest song is back, and as Michael Stipe sings in R.E.M.'s contribution to the genre, the president's "latest triumph draws the final straw."
Fall Crawl should be memorable for many reasons, none of which are blowing half of your paycheck on strippers, becoming hideously bloated or falling face first into a pool of your own filth. We've been doing this for a while now. So while you're out enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Downtown's biggest yearly gathering, keep at least a few of these hints handy. You'll come out of it feeling svelte, savvy and a little smarter for it.
Brooklyn's Candiria endure hardships to become one of the most important bands in metal
By Michael Henningsen
One of the greatest components of music on big-picture terms is its sheer unpredictability. Just when you think you've heard it all, or that a particular genre is in the toilet to stay, some band or artist comes along and blasts your cynical mind back to reality. Or, as the case may be when a genre actually has choked down its last breaths, a subsequent wave eventually sweeps over the death throes and reinvigorates all that was glorious about the past. Such is life.
Doggy Deadline—This Saturday, Aug. 28, is the deadline to submit your short videos to the Fifth Annual All-Dog Digital Underground Short Film Festival (a.k.a. Dogfest 2004). If you have a photogenic canine looking for his or her 15 minutes of fame, then shoot your short (five minutes or under) dog-based digital video and send it (along with a $25 entry fee) to: “Three Dog Bakery, 9821 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque NM 87111.” First, second and third-place prizes ($500, $300, $200) will go to an animal rescue group of the winner's choosing. Applications are available at www.abqdog.com/dogfest.html.
High-flying martial arts fantasy out-crouches the Tiger
By Devin D. O'Leary
It took Quentin Tarantino poking his finger into Harvey Weinstein's overfed ribs several times and offering to “present” the film for Miramax to finally release Hero here in the United States. The film, now called something unwieldy like Quentin Tarantino Presents Jet Li's Hero, was released throughout Asia in 2002 and went on to become one of the highest-grossing Chinese films in history. It was even nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar at the beginning of this year. And yet, it still didn't occur to Miramax to actually put the film in theaters for Americans to see. Miramax's shabby treatment of foreign titles is all but legendary, so it came as no surprise that the company seemed perfectly willing to consign this vivid cinematic wonder to the back shelves of Blockbuster.
An interview with actor Aaron Eckhart from Suspect Zero
By Devin D. O'Leary
Actor Aaron Eckhart quickly gained his indie street cred thanks to a trio of well-received film collaborations with pal/playwright/director Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty). Eckhart went mainstream shortly afterwards, playing opposite Julia Roberts in the hit drama Erin Brockovich.
While HBO and FX continue to get tons of positive press and critical acclaim for seemingly every new TV series they produce, tiny Cartoon Network has quietly gobbled up an enviable share of cable TV's coveted 18-34 demographic. In fact, the network's late-night “Adult Swim” programming block regularly beats out cross-town rivals “Late Night With David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Break out the pointy years and spandex! Set phasers on stun! It's time for Bubonicon 36, New Mexico's first and only annual science fiction and fantasy convention. The saucer sets down this weekend, Friday, Aug. 27, through Sunday, Aug. 29, at the Wyndham Hotel (2901 Yale SE) next to the Sunport.
Many beer swilling, hot dog eating dudes and dudettes are under the impression that dance concerts are strictly for the champagne and caviar crowd. Edye Allen has been struggling for years to change that deeply ingrained attitude. It hasn't been easy.
This epic musical based on E.L. Doctorow's famous novel conjures up the steaming melting pot of New York City at the beginning of the 20th century. Three interwoven stories explore the American dream within a colorful musical landscape inspired by the ragtime greats of yore. I'm told a replica of a Model T will be built right on stage. This Musical Theatre Southwest performance opens this weekend at the Hiland Theatre, running Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Sept. 19. $11, $23, $30. To reserve tickets call the MST box office at 262-9301.
A revamp of Albuquerque's animal ordinance leaves pet owners little room for negligence
By Aja Oishi
City Councilor Sally Mayer is about to get tough on Albuquerque pet owners. She is drawing up a complete overhaul of the current animal ordinance that will make it illegal to keep a dog chained to anything, anywhere, for any length of time. It will also force dog owners whose dogs are not spayed or neutered to pay the city a $150 registration fee, and will require that microchips, that can be scanned by the city, be implanted in all pets.
Follow the money. From Jim Lehrer to Rush Limbaugh, media folks were all atwitter last week over a 30-second TV ad financed by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that lambasted John Kerry's military record. This group is just a front for the Bush-Cheney campaign and you've got to be a freaking moron to believe otherwise, I thought. But just to be sure, I went to www.factcheck.org and then googled some of the Swift Boat Vets listed there, for a little confirmation.
At the Aug. 16 Council meeting, one sign read "Weapons of Mass Destruction? Iraq: 0, Albuquerque: 2000." The sign supported speakers from the local peace advocacy group Stop the War Machine, who cited the world's largest caché of nuclear weapons stored about a mile from the Sunport runways.
The Albuquerque convention center continues to be a drain on the city
By Greg Payne
Showdown at the ACVB Corral
The "road bond" package may have been the belle of the ball at the Aug. 16 City Council meeting—but it wasn't the most interesting item on the agenda. While most eyes focused on the debate over the inclusion of extending Paseo del Norte in the bond, the 5-4 vote was something of a foregone conclusion.
What wasn't a foregone conclusion, however, was the failure of Councilor Tina Cummins to seal a $4 million a year deal for the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB). Supposedly, it would just slide through the Council. The folks at ACVB were so confident of delivery they didn't even stick around for the vote.
Community groups that make the most sense get left on the margins
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Prophets have never been popular. Real prophets aren't sideshow acts; they don't tell the future, they critique the present. Prophets are people who perform the thankless task, so crucial to any society, of destroying our delusions. They speak up when everyone else in the crowd is perfectly willing to go along with whatever insanity the leadership is suggesting at that moment.
Dateline: Romania—A justifiably superstitious man, who refused to leave his house on Friday the 13th, died after being stung by a wasp in his own kitchen. Police in Cluj, central Romania, said that Florin Carcu, 54, had gone so far as to call in to work and ask his boss for permission not to go to work that day. “It was the strangest request I've ever received, but I ended up giving him permission to stay at home because he seemed to be really scared of something bad happening to him on that day,” Carcu's boss, Gheorghe Dosma, told the press. Doctors from the emergency services in Cluj said Carcu had been making coffee when he was stung by a species of wasp nicknamed “the wolf.” The insect is quite rare in Romania and its sting is poisonous. The unlucky Carcu died instantly.
I managed to catch a bit of the second night of the Fourth Annual Gathering of the Sick last Saturday night. I showed up fairly early, at a point in the evening where calling it Gathering of the Six would have been more appropriate. But things did pick up modestly as the evening progressed. Perhaps I wasn't really in the mood for death metal on that particular night, or maybe I just didn't stay long enough. But only one band I saw (and I only saw three, to be fair) that impressed the Hell out of me was Gored, a guitar-and-drums duo that was electrifying given the stripped-down nature of the group. Vocals were strong, guitar figures intricate and drums adequately thunderous. Nice job, guys! ... Aspiring hermit and local punk rock legend (fuck you, Corky) Gordy Anderson reports that his band, Black Maria, had a successful gig and recording incident in Austin two weeks ago. The band laid down six songs at Republic Studio for an upcoming debut release that's slated to include a handful of live tracks recorded at a recent RockSquak.com benefit and a small festival in Window Rock, Ariz. ... Need something calming and nurturing on Sunday, Aug. 29, the evening after Fall Crawl? Mustafa Stefan Dill (formerly Stefan Dill) will perform on guitar, sarod and oud with percussionist Shawn Woodyard at Maison & Thé (821 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, 505-992-0972) at 5 p.m. Donations accepted.
One of the first LPs I ever actually owned was Ramsey Lewis' The In Crowd, bestowed upon me when I was 6 or 7 years old by my grandmother after it caught my eye while she rummaged around her “junk room” looking for something to entertain me with. Something about its cover—the shiny, expensive looking car, the throng of well-dressed concertgoers—made me want to hold that record. I didn't actually listen to it until more than a decade later, of course, when my musical interests were just beginning to cope with jazz.
Saturday, Aug. 28; AMP House Concert (all ages, 7:30 p.m.): “In a sense, when you've been the weird person in your childhood—and you didn't even necessarily know you were different—you were maybe the last one picked [in] gym ... or the last one asked to prom because you had a big nose or you were too skinny. I always tried to turn that around for myself. I figured out the way I was going to be happy was by cultivating all that oddness ...”
I'm not prepared to say for sure whether or not Willie and Family blazed through a shopping bag full of high-grade during the recording of Nelson's first all-gospel album in 1973, but the record sounds so positively upbeat and freewheeling that it's difficult to imagine there was a strict air of sobriety in the studio. Reefer or not, The Troublemaker is one of Nelson's most overlooked treasures. In his hands, this batch of country-gospel songs doesn't sound at all preachy or top-heavy on the message end of things. Nelson's panache could convince Jesus Himself to two-step.
There are so many reasons why I'm in love with Alton Brown, host of the Food Network Show “Good Eats.” Remember the show he did that was a take-off on both “Iron Chef” and “Junkyard Wars”? He had to rummage through a junk yard to find the right equipment to build a smoker. (Of course, it helps fuel the smoldering fire of my ardor that his smoker was for making his own bacon.) And remember the show in which he pretended to be stranded on a desert island and all his mise-en-place was laid out in bamboo cups? (Can you believe he's straight?) But reason number 871 that I love Alton Brown is that he's such a brilliant cook. I recently had the pleasure of ravaging a freshly steamed lobster and after moving quickly through the fat claws and meaty tail, I looked forlornly at the 12 skinny little claws that were left. And then I remembered the show that he did on lobster. Alton demonstrated how you could take the skinny legs, pop off the ends and roll them like bread under a rolling pin. The meat pops out the other end like a tube of pink ice out of an Otter Pop! I tried it (using an empty wine bottle—it was all I had) and it worked perfectly! That guy is a freakin' genius. Alton, if you're reading this: I'm single and I will take all the lobster meat tubes you can dish out.
Fans of the Nob Hill institution (3211 Central NE) will be sad to learn that O'Niell's has lost their lease. That's right, after 10 years as the neighborhood's most reliably unpretentious bar, the building's owner has decided not to renew what had been a 10-year lease. According to manager Jennifer Smith, O'Niell's is devastated by the news. "It was very much a surprise," she said. "Everyone is quite shocked. The employees just found out last week. ... A lot of the bartenders and kitchen staff have worked here for 10 years." Though the wall colors have notably changed several times, most everything else at O'Niell's has had reassuring consistency. "It's been a formula nobody wanted to mess with," Smith said. "It's been a profitable business for us and we really wanted to stay.
A chowhound acquaintance e-mailed the other day to ask, "What the f&%k is up with paying by credit card in restaurants and having them ask you if you'd like to add a tip to your total?" He relates that, "Half the time, it's your server who rings you up, and it makes for a really uncomfortable situation. I always tip, but I tip according to how good or bad my service was. Just give me the receipt and I'll decide what amount to leave without being asked. More often than not, I feel like answering, ’No,' just to be a dick because I don't like being put on the spot."
I'm a decent cook. My mother could easily pass for a gourmet chef. My maternal grandmother is a culinary goddess of the Southern variety whose kitchen, whether she happens to be cooking at the time or not—will make your mouth water just for the magical place it is. My mother learned the basics of the craft from her mother, then took it to many other levels courtesy of magazines, cookbooks and her own intuition. I gleaned bits and pieces from both my mother and grandmother, and we spend at least one day every year cooking and baking together around Christmastime. It's been a wonderful, tasty education, and while I'm by no means TV-chef material, cooking is in my blood—part of who I am as much as music or anything else.