A big thanks to Showcase participants and attendees
Winners and nominees—23 of them— rocked over a thousand attendees at five venues on March 24, 2018. It was a blast and we’ll see you at next year’s shindig. Here for posterity (and your browsing pleasure) are the winners and runners-up.
Some Albuquerque residents say the Mixed Waste Landfill is a threat to our very existence. But officials at Sandia National Labs contend it's better to leave bad enough alone.
By Joseph Crumb
Suppose there were a rattlesnake in your driveway. What would you do?
You'd probably want to keep an eye on it. You might even want to call someone to take it away, although that would cost you. Or you might decide the snake looks pretty old and has probably lost its fangs; accordingly, maybe the safest—and cheapest—thing would be to just leave it alone.
In this case the snake is the Sandia National Laboratories' Mixed Waste Landfill and the metaphor belongs to Dr. Eric Nuttall, one of several authors of a 2001 scientific peer review of the 2.6-acre, unlined landfill, where radioactive and hazardous wastes from Sandia's nuclear weapons research program were dumped from March 1959 until December 1988.
It's fair to say, Dick Cheney is not a very telegenic guy. George W. Bush mocks his shiny pate and polls show he's not a popular incumbent. But despite his physical shortcomings in the television age, without a doubt Cheney knows how to deliver a smooth, solemn speech. And when he brought his authoritative charm to the table at JB's Restaurant last Thursday, the pre-selected crowd was both respectful and engaged.
Air America Radio in Albuquerque. I'm not sure what this means, or if it's even true, but I'm going to say it, and you can digest it in whatever forlorn capacity you wish. Albuquerque is a talk radio kind of town. Aaagghhh! There, I said it.
Rathergate and the slow death of "mainstream" journalism
By Greg Payne
Dan Rather is biting the big one for foisting fake Texas National Guard documents on the country. The "Rathergate" scandal, which has engulfed CBS News and Rather's reputation as a reporter, stems from a 60 Minutes II feature that claimed George W. Bush was derelict in his duties while a member of the National Guard.
There's a tired old joke that's been circulating through this country's office cubicles for decades, usually accompanied by a rough sketch of a white collar toadstool sitting at a desk. The worker spore laments, "I must be a mushroom; why else would they keep me in the dark and feed me nothing but BS?"
Dateline: Romania—A British television crew shooting footage for the ITV travel series “Package Holiday Undercover,” uncovered more than they bargained for when they found a dead body on a Black Sea beach. Presenter Jonathan Maitland stumbled across the naked body as the team visited the Eforie Nord resort in Romania. “We saw a man we thought was sunbathing,” Maitland said. “But when we got closer it was clear he had been dead for some time.” According to Maitland, Romanian police believe the body, which had been very badly beaten, belonged to a local man. The following day, the crew returned to the beach to shoot more of the new series, which explores Europe's lesser-known destinations. Unfortunately, the crew stumbled across another man dying of a heart attack. “The idea of the show is to go to unfashionable resorts and tell it like it is,” said Maitland. “We expected poor service, cockroaches, bad food--but not two dead bodies in two days.”
Another week, another anti-Bush rock show. On Friday, Sept. 24, punk rock heavies Anti-Flag, Midtown, Strike Anywhere, Plea for Peace founder Mike Park, The Epoxies and Tom Morello will share the stage at the Sunshine Theater for a Bush-bashing bash featuring outrage and dissent in a loud, punk rock fashion. And you don't even have to be of legal age to vote to attend and join in the fun! Stay tuned for info on upcoming “Resurrect the Kerry Kampaign” shows. ... For those of you who don't already have enough anger and hatred weighing heavy on your mind and compelling you to commit violent crimes, the “Harsh Reality” Tour, featuring the soothing sounds of Freakhouse, Lyzanxia and Sybreed hits the Launchpad on Tuesday, Sept. 28. ... On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Outpost Productions and Burque's own Goddess of Arno Balkan Band present Esma Redzepova, the Queen of Macedonian Romani Song and her band, Ansambl Teodosievski, at the Sunshine Theater as the “Voice of Hope” Tour pulls into town. Tickets are $20 general, $15 Outpost members, and are available at Ticketmaster and Alphaville Video in Nob Hill. Call 268-0044 or 243-6276 for more information. ... 12 Step Rebels debut album for West Coast label Dead Body Records, Go Go Graveyard Rockin', officially hit the record stores on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Produced by Geoff Kresge (Tiger Army), the new disc is a psychobilly fan's delight. Ask for your copy by name at one of the few remaining independent record stores in town.
Though she once provided background vocals on recordings by Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith, New York-based singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky has long since established herself as a unique presence in the singer-songwriter world. The Red Thread (Red House) is a lush collection of five stunning originals written by Kaplansky and her husband, Richard Litvin and five covers (including James McMurtry's “Off and Running”) that is infused with her significant life experiences of the past three years—from the events of 9-11 which she basically witnessed first-hand to the recent adoption of her infant daughter—and of the threads that connect all of us. And, as always, Kaplansky illuminates the proceedings with hints of alt.country and “new folk” sensibility that sets her apart from most of her contemporaries. And she calls on an A-list of guests to assist in punctuating her songs, including Richard Shindell with whom she has toured and recorded as part of Cry, Cry, Cry, Jonatha Brooke (The Story) and Eliza Gilkyson.
with Thrift Store Cowboys (from Lubbock) Unit 7 Drain and Young Edward
By Michael Henningsen
Friday, Sept. 24; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): For what seems like the past 26 years, Breaker 19 have relied on that greezy, redneck mystique that separates the truckers from the real men. Only now, well into their third decade of existence, the Breaker boys have finally put a spit-shine on their debut record and released it at truckstops from here to Tulsa. Was it worth the wait? That depends. Do you prefer breakfast buffets that feature a minimum of four different styles of pork and fried bologna? Do you subscribe to the belief that a good cup of coffee needs to have “mud” at the bottom? Do you fear God as much as you fear homosexuals, Democrats and longhairs? Are you able to explain in detail how glow plugs work? Do you own any David Allen Coe cassettes? Did you have to look up the word “subscribe” in the dictionary just now? Yeah? Then Keep it On the Road was definitely worth the wait.
Sunday, Sept. 26; KiMo Theatre (all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Of the literally thousands of musicians I've seen live over the years, exactly two of them have rendered me impotent to accurately describe or explain their respective performances and techniques. One is flamenco maestro Paco de Lucía. The other is Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.
Saturday, Sept. 25; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 9 p.m.): As a member of “The Wrecking Crew,” producer/alleged murderer Phil Spector's legendary session band, Leon Russell contributed heavily to some of rock music's earliest and most enduring gems, recording with and writing songs for everyone from the Beach Boys to Ike and Tina Turner before scoring his first hit with Joe Cocker's version of “Delta Lady.” The same year, 1970, Russell released his own eponymously-titled debut album, introducing rock listeners to an idiosyncratic blend of swamp boogie, blues, country and southern-fried rock that would later make bands like the Doobie Brothers household names.
Being a self-professed alcoholic is a cliché lost on AMC's Mark Eitzel. There are gobs of songwriters regularly crediting their insights to booze and drugs, but few of them actually write from that place between reality and sad, slow death. Eitzel, unquestionably, is one of them. The pain, loss, heartbreak and sadly accurate worldview he crafts songs with can't be faked. As a result, AMC's first studio album in 10 years bristles with passionate suicidal tendencies and the kind of yearning that'll reduce you to tears—proof that giving up may well be the first step in starting over.
Sit, Stay, Roll Film!—The Fifth Annual DogFest Film Festival will take place this Saturday, Sept. 25, beginning at 8 p.m. This short film festival is dedicated entirely to films for, about and (well, maybe) by canines. This year, the festival has accepted entries from California to Canada in hopes of extending its claim as “America's premiere dog-centric film festival.” (Honestly, is there a lot of competition out there?) The organizers promise a smorgasbord of comedy, drama, documentary, animation and puppetry, music video and even ultra-short movies designed for mobile phones. This year, to make the festival even more canine friendly, the event will take place outdoors at the ABQ Botanical Garden. Dogs are free and the $5 admission price for humans will go to help a number of dog-related nonprofit organizations: promoting spaying and neutering, assistance/companion dog programs, homeless animal shelters and more. The screening will be set up at the picnic area of the Albuquerque Aquarium. Viewers are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows, folding chairs and (of course) well-behaved dogs on leashes. An exercise area and ample water will be provided. Prizes will be awarded to the best films, with first place claiming $500 for the animal charity of the filmmaker's choice. Tickets are available at Three Dog Bakery (9821 Montgomery NE), The Animal Humane Association (615 Virginia SE) and at the gate of the Albuquerque Aquarium (2601 Central NW). For more information, about DogFest, log on to www.dogfestfilmfestival.org.
I enjoy left-wing documentaries as much as the next lefty, but I'm still not convinced radical historian Howard Zinn is the ideal subject for this kind of film. After all, the reason why Zinn's masterpiece, A People's History of the United States, is still so—excuse the term—revolutionary is because it rejects the standard “great men” theory of history. Instead of focusing on big name white males, Zinn's bestselling book gives marginalized minorities a platform to tell the history of our country from their own perspectives.
Old-fashioned superior invites viewers into a world of visual wonders
By Devin D. O'Leary
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a retro-futuristic sci-fi fantasy that plays out like some lost '30s Saturday morning movie serial chronicling the adventures of the world's greatest pulp hero that no one has ever heard of.
Anticipation and expectation are a hell of a thing. They can ruin what would otherwise be an acceptable experience. Go into something expecting too much, and you're guaranteed to be disappointed. Based on expectations alone, NBC's new sitcom “Joey” seems like it would be a major disappointment. It's got the onus of continuing one of the most successful sitcom franchises in TV history. It's also being forced to anchor the last crumbling vestige of NBC's once-great “Must See TV” empire. How could it possibly live up to such hype?
Everyone's favorite environmental anarchist, Edward Abbey, the late wilderness protector and author of the cult classic enviro-novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, gets his own personal tribute at the Kimo Theatre this Saturday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. Some of Abbey's closest friends—including Jack Loeffler, Katie Lee, Dave Foreman and Bart Koehler—will celebrate the memory of their old buddy with a bunch of Abbey anecdotes, readings, songs and short films. The event is being presented as part of the 2004 New Mexico Wilderness Conference. $15. For details, call 843-8696 or log on to www.nmwild.org.
An interview with Ross Gelbspan, author of Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis—and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster
By Laura Sanchez
Forget the candy-colored terror alerts. Forget the queasy economy, the ghastly mess in Iraq and Bush's endless fear mongering. On a global scale, they're just distractions from the really scary problem: global climate change.
The Downtown contemporary arts scene recently experienced a series of painful body blows. The Walls Gallery, a refurbished storefront space specializing in site-specific installations, announced it would be closing. Then Jon McConville, the brain behind the successful Fort Studios and one of the driving forces behind Downtown revitalization efforts, had to leave town unexpectedly to be with his family in Idaho. (Thankfully, it looks like Fort Studios will continue under the leadership of McConville's former assistant, Josh Franco. It'll now be called the Downtown Contemporary Art Center.) And, of course, Magnífico recently had to give up its beautiful exhibit space at 516 Central SW due to troubled finances.
Duncan Phillips first came into contact with the circle of artists surrounding Alfred Stieglitz in 1926. Over the years, Phillips gradually acquired work by Stieglitz, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove and Georgia O'Keeffe, amassing one of the finest collections of American modernists in existence. A traveling exhibit highlighting this collection opens this weekend at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, running through Jan. 2. Made up of 40 carefully chosen pieces of art, In the American Grain is a major exhibit that deserves a wide audience. (505) 946-1000.
It's hard to keep a good man down. Or for that matter a good woman. Or for that matter a good nonprofit art space. The name Fort 105 Studios may be a thing of the past, but the exhibit and studio space is still alive and well under the new leadership of director Joshua Franco. Now called the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW), the space will unveil its new self with a solo show of paintings by Stacy Hawkinson, opening this Friday with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. I'm told the paintings will be discounted to benefit Hawkinson's son's musical education. The show runs through Nov. 1. 242-1983.
If I had any confidence in my own ability to use the Internet for something other than buying lard tins on eBay and sending angry e-mails to Heather Wilson, I would surely pursue a master's degree in gastronomy from Adelaide University in Australia. They first introduced the program several years ago and I actually toyed with the idea of decamping for Down Under, but I just couldn't tear myself away from good old Dirt City. Moving half a world away to go to grad school is something 22-year-olds do—all of their worldly possessions easily fit in three suitcases. I made the Big Move once (minus the grad school part) and I'm over it. No room for the ice cream maker? Can't take my marble rolling pin? Forget it. I'm not going. But now the university, in conjunction with Le Cordon Bleu, will let you take the program online! This is no diploma mill, it's a real Australian University and a well-known culinary school. The master's degree takes 15 months to complete and includes a dissertation but there are also shorter certificate programs as short as six weeks. Go ahead, prove what a foodie you really are. Get a degree in it. For more information go to www.lecordonbleu.com.au
No Longer in the "Triangle." For more than two decades, Triangle Grocery sat at the triangle intersection of North Highway 14, Frost Road and Sandia Crest Highway. But three weeks ago, the tiny grocery store moved to new digs in what has been recently dubbed the Bella Vista Shopping Center, formerly home of Bella Vista Restaurant, and future home of the East Mountain area's first real strip mall. The new Triangle Grocery is some three times larger than its predecessor, replete with liquor, deli, bakery and expanded meat departments. East Mountain hermits--such as local punk rock legend Gordon Andersen--now have even fewer reasons to leave the hills for the city. (MH)
The former owner of Marrakech brings Moroccan and Tunisian food back to Albuquerque
By Gwyneth Doland
Your restaurant Marrakech was the only place in Albuquerque to get North African food and then it closed a few years ago. Now you're opening a new restaurant but this time you're offering Greek dishes and Moroccan food. What made you decide to do both?
May merge with Gallup's Wild Sage Coop and The Marketplace in Santa Fe
By Gwyneth Doland
It took Nob Hill's La Montañita Coop more than two decades to gain enough momentum for their 1999 addition of a North Valley store, but now the Coop is poised to expand its reach even farther, into Gallup and Santa Fe. The expansion into the North Valley was the result of membership requests for another location and entailed a long process of research and consideration. According to La Montañita's general manager C.E. Pugh, it has been very successful. It is because of this success that two other natural foods stores have come to La Montañita for help.
Hard to believe this is the Alibi's 13th haiku contest, isn't it? Geez, time sure does fly. This test of bite-size poetic wit has been around as long as our venerable paper itself, and like the paper its popularity and prestige keeps growing, kind of like a pungent blue fungus on a fine Danish cheese.
Sayles' latest walks the line between political commentary and pointed comedy
By Devin D. O'Leary
“Washington”--meaning, the general political power structure in America--has long accused “Hollywood”--meaning, the entertainment industry as a whole--of being a nest of potty-mouthed, sex-crazed, tree-hugging liberals. This year, it seems that Hollywood has finally risen to the challenge, unleashing a barrage of unabashedly anti-conservative, Republican-bashing rhetoric. From laser-guided documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Uncovered: The War on Iraq, Control Room, Persons of Interest and Bush's Brain to agitprop fiction like The Manchurian Candidate to Green Party fantasies like The Day After Tomorrow, summer movie screens are awash with left-wing indignation. Heck, even M. Night Shyamalan's crummy The Village could be viewed as a heavily cloaked parable about Tom Ridge's reign of terror.
Skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta staged a street-level assault on the documentary industry in 2001 when he unleashed Dogtown and Z-Boys, an unforgettable, eye-opening documentary about the history-making Zephyr skateboarding team--pioneers of the radical “vertical style” of boarding--which he himself had been a member of as a young boy. The power of Peralta's first documentary feature was that he made something as obscure at vertical skateboarding (essentially kids riding boards inside empty swimming pools) seem as radical and groundbreaking as mankind landing on the moon.
This Sunday, it's time for the TV industry to congratulate itself by handing out a lot of self-serving awards. In recent years, the Emmys haven't been the most exciting crop. Almost without variation, we can expect to see “The Sopranos,” “The West Wing,” “Friends,” “24,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and Jane Kaczmarek from “Malcolm in the Middle” (five years worth of nominations and counting).
It's going to be one of those weeks. In addition to loads of live local music ongoing at the New Mexico State Fair (see last week's “State Fair Music Special” at www.alibi.com for the schedule), there is a plethora of live music opportunities in Burque clubs. A few highlights: The Ron Helman Jazz Ensemble will celebrate the release of their new CD on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Railyard in Santa Fe (530 South Guadalupe, 505-989-8363) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and the following night, Friday, Sept. 17, at Vanessie's (434 West San Francisco, 505-982-9966) in the City Different from 8 to 11 p.m. Reservations are recommended for both performances. ... As far as I'm concerned, there simply can't be too many anti-Bush gatherings between now and Election Day. And on Friday, Sept. 17, a fresh contingent of local bands will join together in fervent disapproval of America's moron-in-chief at an event called “Rock Against W” at historic El Rey Theater. Featuring performances by Church Camp, the Handsome Family, Foma, the Gingerbread Patriots, The Friendly, Rivet Gang, Boris McCutcheon, Bernadette Seacrest and her Yes Men, and Treble Hook, “Rock Against W” should be a memorable event even if the little shithead manages to get himself reselected. In addition to local music, Genesis for the Arts will present multimedia exhibits, Manifesto Films will present eye-popping 16 mm political reels and Judge Linda Vanzi and other local politicians and leaders will preach fire and brimstone against Bush II. The objective here is to register at least 200 new voters to help push regime change forward in the United States. All proceeds from the event—presumably in the form of donations since “Rock Against W” is a free show—will benefit The Media Fund and Musicofamerica.org. ... The very same night and two doors east at the Launchpad, Tabula Rasa will celebrate the release of their new CD with special guests Felonious Groove Foundation and Skinny Fat. ... The College of Santa Fe will present “World Music Day” on Saturday, Sept. 18, an all-day outdoor celebration of world music featuring instrument making demonstrations, instruments for sale, live performances (of course), food vendors and other activities (call 505-473-6196 for more information). ... Former Teenbeat recording artist Tracy Shedd brings her new record, Louder Than You Can Hear (Devil in the Woods) and rock band to the Atomic Cantina on Sunday, Sept. 19, with Badman artists and one of my current favorite slo-core bands, Ill Lit. ... This past spring, Dallas-based garage quartet Max Cady played at Atomic, and they're back on Monday, Sept. 20, this time touring on the enormous strength of their debut album, Tonight Alive (Sidearm), released just last month. In case you need a reminder, think Detroit's Supagroup-meets-the Motor City Madman. ... On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Denver's Plastic Parachute bring their Denver Westword Top Pop Band of 2004 Award-winning rock to Burt's. ... Rounding out the week are Bomp! recording artists The Coffin Lids at the Atomic with The Foxx and Elevator Division, and a free chamber music performance by violinist Willy Sucre & Friends (string quartet) at New Mexico Tech's Macey Center in Socorro at 7:30 p.m. ... Check our Naked City Club Calendar for even more live music haps.
Saturday, Sept. 18; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over, 9 p.m.): It's been two years since Seattle's premier feminist pop-punk band, Ms. Led, released their debut full-length, the incomparable Afternoon in Central Park (Fish the Cat), but it still sounds as fresh as the day it was brewed. Far removed from the whiny-ass, folk-inflected, spoken word-driven “plight of the woman” tomes that litter record store shelves, Afternoon in Central Park is all about fearsome feminism with, for lack of a better word, the “balls” to back it up.
Thursday, Sept. 23; Ned's Downtown (21 and over, 9:30 p.m.): Of the more than 100 original songs in his repertoire, Reed Easterwood, who performs under the moniker Junky Southern, sent me three to listen to. And that's all it took. Could there really be a better, more interesting combination than Roky Erickson's crazed, psychedelic irony and Flaming Lips-style pop irony? Add to that a roots rock twist, and you've got yourself a Junky Southern.
Styx is theatrical rock at its greatest, similar to the complexity and intricacy of Yes and the theatrical melodies and harmonies of Queen. This anthology is the most complete of Styx greatest hits compilations featuring their early, more obscure works and some recent tunes. Styx was a power force in the glory days of front man Dennis De Young (admit, even “Mr. Roboto” was pretty damn cool for its time). Often times considered a guilty pleasure, Styx is a lot more intricate than modern bands that dominate the airwaves. Revisit the magic or experience it for the first time.
City officials suffer setback in fight over Bosque land
By Tim McGivern
Last week, the city's attempt to condemn the last privately owned patch of the Bosque and preserve it as open space stalled when a judge ruled the property—125 acres located on the west side of the Rio Grande just north of Montaño Bridge—was outside Albuquerque's municipal limits.
The velvet touch. Hey guys, next time your sweetheart goes in for a PAP smear, thank a trial lawyer for keeping the lust demons at bay. At least, that's how you might interpret President George W. Bush's latest verbal blunder (or was he serious?).
The tidal wave of anxiety politicians don't want to talk about
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Did you notice the results of the latest polling published in the morning daily? No, not the headline-grabbing "which candidate's ahead if the voting were today" stuff; that's going to change back and forth a dozen times between now and election day.
ACVB's pattern of neglect as obvious as a billboard on I-25
By Greg Payne
A couple miles past Isleta Pueblo on northbound I-25, stands the less-than-dazzling attempt by the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) to promote Old Town Albuquerque, the city's historical home. But you'll probably miss it if you're not paying attention.
Dateline: Belgium—Prison guards in Belgium have come up with a novel solution to the recent rash of breakouts: Keep security lax. Union representatives fear that prisoners will turn to violence to get away if they can no longer escape easily. They argue that allowing crooks to break out of jail using nonviolent methods will stop dangerous situations from developing. Union Leader Filip Dudal said in a radio interview this week that, “It is better for them to escape through a case of mistaken identity than planting bombs or taking the wardens hostage.” In a recent incident, one prisoner was helped from outside over a 15-foot wall while another simply walked out of the prison wearing a visitor's clothes.
This Wednesday, Sept. 22, you'll have an opportunity to watch Leo Neufeld paint a portrait from life. And why, pray tell, is this such a big stinking deal? Well, as many of your know, Neufeld is a realist portrait master, and he'll be giving this painting demo entirely for free. If you're interested, just show up at the Harwood Art Center a little before 6 p.m. Over the course of the following two hours, Neufeld will showcase the techniques necessary to transform a blank canvas into a completed portrait. For details, call 242-6367.
It's really impossible to imagine just how spectacular the National Hispanic Cultural Center's new performing arts complex is without glimpsing it with your own eyes. The closest comparison here in town is UNM's Center for the Arts, but the new Roy E. Disney Center—however unfortunate the name—is a 21st century complex with all the snappy, high-tech bells and whistles you'd expect from a brand new $24 million state of the art performance complex.
Q-Staff staged its first performance about five years ago in a backyard in the university area. Now this gang of experimental thespians has found their very own performance space at 4819 Central NE, located almost directly across the street from the Hiland Theatre. They'll be giving the new theater a baptism by fire starting this weekend with an original theatrical/musical piece called Snake Oil for the Lovelorn that mixes "old west myth and modern mediated nightmare." I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds interesting, don't it? The show runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:30 p.m. through Sept. 26. Suggested donation: $10. 254-9716.
The new Northeast Heights gallery Palette Contemporary (7400 Montgomery NE, Mossman Center) is presenting a show of recent paintings by the Albuquerque-based artist Paula Dal Santo. Cross Section is Dal Santo's first local solo show, and the exhibit will present her colorful, flowing, vaguely abstract work referencing, in many cases, the human form. The show opens on Friday, Sept. 17, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Runs through Sept. 30. 855-7777.
Lannan's Prestigious Literary Series Starts A New Season
By Steven Robert Allen
The Lannan Foundation's Readings and Conversations series kicks off this week, and as in years past the organization is bringing some of the biggest names in the literary world to Santa Fe. Here are a few of the highlights.
Wouldn't it be cool if we could bring our own wine to restaurants? It's illegal here in New Mexico, where it hasn't even been 10 years since the drive-up liquor windows closed. Battling drinking and driving (or buying booze while driving) is one thing, but think how nice it would be if you could bring a delightful bottle of wine or a six pack of special beer to a little mom ’n' pop restaurant that doesn't have a beer and wine license. When you go out to eat for your anniversary, you could bring the bottle of Dom Pérignon that you got as a wedding gift. (In other states it's legal and the restaurants simply charge you a small fee to serve it.) While we're wishing, I'd love to be able to take my unfinished bottle of wine home with me. When you go out for dinner just the two of you, sometimes a whole bottle is a lot to finish. This stupid law keeps people from ordering wine when they'd like to (costing restaurants money) and it encourages people to drink more than they'd like because they don't want to waste wine they've paid for. So let us enjoy half of the bottle, then stick a cork in it and drive safely home to finish it later.
Wow! chips are getting a new look and a new name but don't worry, they still cause the same crippling stomach cramps, explosive diarrhea and embarrassing anal leakage! That's right, this month the familiar bags of Wow! chips are scheduled to be replaced by Lay's Light, Doritos Light, Ruffles Light and the like. According to Frito-Lay, the name change is a marketing strategy they're putting in place because consumers don't associate the Wow! brand name with the reduced calorie benefits of the chips. Hmm, could it be that they associate the chips with anal leakage and fecal urgency?
Cedar Crest's Nouveau Noodles celebrates its first birthday
By Michael Henningsen
I've long been of the opinion that the best food comes from the unlikeliest of places—that there's a guy with a hot dog cart whose bratwurst is far superior to that found at most boutique German restaurants, that the best stuffed sopaipillas come from a little out-of-the-way storefront facing the railroad tracks (mmm ... El Modelo). So I've never been all that surprised that the finest Asian-fusion cuisine your money can buy in the Albuquerque area gets served up daily and nightly in what amounts to a converted double-wide mobile home on North 14. Not the kind of mobile home people buy today; the reclassified-for-mass-appeal "modular" or "manufactured" homes. No, Nouveau Noodles occupies the kind of trailer that dots the community of Carnuel, the kind my grandparents once owned as a second home in Truth or Consequences, the kind that came standard with faux wood paneling and that lingering factory-fresh smell.
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.”