Bill Maher Sets Things Straight
When ABC debuted "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" in 1993, America had never seen anything like it. Bill Maher, proffered an edgy, outspoken take on American and world politics that was a refreshing change from stuffy, Sunday morning programs like "Meet the Press," which were designed, it seemed, to give stuffed suits something to watch before NFL pregame shows that made them feel in-touch with the innerworkings of government. Granted, the guests were sometimes less than spectacular and often appeared to be in way over their heads. Maher himself would ask after the show's cancellation eight years later, "Can I really have a conversation with Carrot Top about gun control?"
Gone Again—The Big Screen Classics series at Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center returns this weekend with one of the biggest classics of all time. The 1938 epic Gone With the Wind will screen on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. Tickets are a mere $5 and can be obtained by calling the Lensic box office at (505) 988-1234. The Lensic is located at 211 W. San Francisco.
What kind of man reads Playboy?
The original 1966 version of Alfie is a classic. But, unless you grew up in swingin' '60s London, the film probably doesn't count as a sacred cinematic treasure along the lines of, say, Gone With The Wind. Which means, of course, that it's prime fodder for a Hollywood remake. The odd thing about trying to remake Alfie, however, is that roughly 90 percent of the film's appeal lies in the star-making turn by fresh-faced leading man Michael Caine.
Boys will be girls in well-staged Restoration romance
Stage Beauty projects much of the same energy, wit and love of theater as the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love.
An interview with Rick Schroder
Former child actor Rick Schroder may never completely shake off his history. (Five years on a successful '80s sitcom will do that to a fellow.) Still, he has yet to rob any banks (which places him above many of his peers). And he did get good critical notice for turning serious on "NYPD Blue" (before dropping out to devote more time to his growing family). Most recently, Schroder took his biggest step toward breaking away from the "child actor" label by writing and directing his own independent feature. The film, Black Cloud, opened in theaters last month.
“Drawn Together” on Comedy Central
So-called “reality television” has been around long enough now, I suppose, that we can actually start making fun of it. And I don't mean providing self-referential little twists to the genre like in “Joe Schmo” and “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé.” No, I mean outright, vicious mocking of the whole preposterous trend. Thankfully we can always rely on Comedy Central to provide a rancorous, juvenile and often quite funny jab at the things in popular culture that annoy the crap out of us. (See also: “South Park” on its best nights, “The Daily Show” pretty much every night of the week.)
The Week in Sloth
Why, why, why do I agree to do these things? The American Dairy Goat Association had their annual conference here last week and they invited me, along with a dozen or so other chefs, purveyors and writers, to help judge their cheese competition. Now, I love cheese, and I love goat cheese, but it will be a very, very long time before I'm able to stomach another bite of chèvre. Seriously, judging these contests is brutal. “Oh, my God,” some of you may be saying, “I can't believe she's whining about getting paid to sit around and eat goat cheese for a living.” And to you people I say this: shove it up your @$$. Maybe you enjoy writing code and that's why you work as a programmer. But how would you like to spend hours taking in other people's code, the good, the bad and the very, very bad? OK, that analogy fell apart a long time ago. The point is, there are not 40 fabulous goat cheeses for sale at your cheese counter for a reason. Some are better than others. You may enjoy a few crackers spread with a little chèvre, as you sip wine and mingle at a party. But what if we made you taste 40 different cheeses, take copious notes and rate them on 30 different attributes? You might get cranky and lash out at perfectly nice people in your newspaper column, then wonder if you should perhaps take anger management classes. Uh-oh.
Chef Kent Dagnall, most recently of Blue Dragon Coffeehouse, is now Pastry Chef at Annapurna Chai House (Silver and Yale). Dagnall will be helping owner Yashoda Naidoo expand the bakery aspect of the business, a challenge since everything at Annapurna is vegetarian and much of it is vegan. Naidoo and her staff had been making a small amount of muffins, cheesecakes, different Indian sweets and cookies, but Dagnall, who has extensive experience with vegetarian cooking, will be greatly expanding the restaurant's sweet repertoire. Annapurna now has two locations, one at Juan Tabo and the other at Silver and Yale. The original Annapurna, at San Mateo and Copper, is now Mediterranean Café. Naidoo said she vacated that space because the kitchen was too small and she had outgrown it. In fact, business is so good, Naidoo says that she's in the process of opening another location of her vegetarian café and that's why she's especially glad to have Dagnall now. "He speaks my language," she told me. "I'm planning my Santa Fe store, and now I know I have somebody in the kitchen I can trust. He's just like me. He experiments." Naidoo didn't have full details on the Santa Fe location because she's still in negotiation for the space, but she did say that it'll be just like her Albuquerque restaurants, about the same size as the University location.
Say it soft and it's almost like praying
Rare is the commercial food product that inspires rhapsodies such as this, from one woman's Internet blog:
Fancy enough for a celebration and stiff enough to drown your sorrows
Whether this election day brings victory or defeat, election eve is a definite cause for cocktails. What will I be drinking? Martinis, of course. As far as alcoholic beverages go, the martini is about as close as you can get to doing a shot and still look classy while getting snockered. The fancy glasses, the cute garnishes, everything about the presentation says special occasion. But what's inside that conical cup is powerful stuff. A typical martini is mostly gin, with a splash of dry vermouth, that's shaken (or stirred!) with ice and garnished with lemon peel or olives. But for election day, you could sass it up a little bit ...
When the election ends, a complete Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse investigation should begin
Scott Horton became familiar with military doctrine long before he was fairly able to understand it. As a child, he was raised on Kirtland Air Force Base, the son of an officer, before leaving Albuquerque three decades ago to embark on a career as an international transaction attorney and human rights lawyer, most notably representing former-Soviet Union dissident Andreis Sakharov.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how foolish a policy it is for a state to funnel its public mental health funds through "for profit" HMOs—private companies charged with managing that care but which can increase their profit line by reducing services.
Dateline: Australia—A court has ruled that a convicted heroin dealer can claim a $165,000 tax deduction for money that was stolen during a bad drug deal. The Australian Taxation Office had been trying to make Francesco Dominico La Rosa of Perth pay tax on his 1994-95 income, which is estimated at $337,000. But La Rosa, who recently served a 12-year term for dealing heroin and amphetamines, insisted his taxable income should be reduced. La Rosa told the High Court that the $165,000 cash he had buried in his back yard was dug up to pay for a drug deal in May 1995. That transaction went badly and ended up with the money being stolen by unknown people. The High court agreed with a lower court decision that upheld La Rosa's claims. The federal government has now vowed to change the law to bar losses incurred in illegal transactions from being claimed as tax deductions in the future.
By the time you read this, we'll most likely at least have some indication as to whether America is in for a new beginning and a chance at relative peace and prosperity or simply Dubya Dubya III. If the case turns out to be the latter, I'm either dead right now of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the mouth or attempting to seek political refuge in Canada. Or if it turns out that this is my last column for the Alibi, I wish you all well. ... Anyway, The Oktober People will celebrate the release of their eponymous debut CD on Friday, Nov. 5, at the Launchpad with simple., Foma and The Mindy Set. If you haven't yet heard the record, you're in for a sonic treat that should get you through the holidays and right on up through Memorial Day 2005 without having to buy another record. ... Now calling himself a “reformed classical guitar champion”—he's won both international classical and fingerstyle guitar competitions—local guitar powerhouse Michael Chapdelaine has just released an exceptional new CD, Bach is Cool, featuring the music of, you guessed it ... Bach. He'll perform selections from the new CD as well as music by Brouwer, Villa-Lobos, Alben and a few of his own compositions on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 277-3928 or e-mail email@example.com for more information and reservations. ... In what is likely to be one of the most odd-ball rock shows of the past few months, San Francisco's The Slow Poisoners will join forces with Israeli indie rock duo, Mother's Anger (see this week's “Lucky 7” calendar) and Burque's own Rakes of Mallow on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Burt's Tiki Lounge. The Slow Poisoner's latest offering, Melodrama, is a beautifully strange conceptual piece of rock dinner theater. Trust me, it'll all make sense once you get there.
Sublime. Perhaps never before has the word been more gainfully employed than in the description of Perla Batalla's spark plug of a voice. The Los Angeles-born singer is the Latina Aretha Franklin and, at times, Patsy Cline. She runs a stylistic gamut that stretches wide between Arabic drone and Mexican lullabies, and no matter what she happens to be singing, it's quite likely among the most beautiful and inspiring things you've ever heard.
Tuesday, Nov. 9; Launchpad (21 and over, 8 p.m.): New Orleans' infamous Dirty Dozen Brass Band took their name back in 1977 from one of the Crescent City's innumerable "Social and Pleasure" clubs, where the ensemble came together specifically to provide musical diversion for those who came to relax at the club.
The world needs a 20th anniversary re-release of Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry LP like it needs another four years of George W. Bush. But, at press time, we're stuck with at least one of the above. Aside from a pair of bona fide, albeit criminally overplayed, '80s rock anthems (“We're Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”), the original album was basically a steaming pile of shit. And you just can't polish a turd into anything but a shiny turd. Not even with two “lost” tracks from the original sessions and five new TS songs recorded earlier this year.
Prolific local artist Rachel Allen recently passed away, but neither Allen nor her art will be forgotten by her admirers and friends anytime soon. She will be missed. A memorial exhibit of her attractively eccentric work opens this Friday, Nov. 5, at the New Grounds Print Workshop (3812 Central SE) with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. during which a silent auction of Allen's art will be held. All proceeds will go towards a printmaking scholarship. The exhibit, called Open Your Heart, will also include work by other members of the workshop. The show runs through Nov. 27. 268-8952.
Night Train to Bolina at Working Classroom
Working Classroom is fighting a guerilla battle for the hearts and minds of young artists and actors in Albuquerque. And it's doing it without ever lifting a weapon.
The National Poetry Slam competition won't be here until next August, but our city is already slowly transforming into slam central station. The latest in a series of hot shot competitive poetry events goes down Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. at the Vortex Theatre (2004 1/2 Central SE) when Mighty Mike McGee, the 2003 Individual National Poetry Slam Champ comes to town. McGee has toured all over the country and possesses a rare ability to make his audiences both giggle and think. $5. The evening will include performances by the 2004 Albuquerque Slam Team. Proceeds will help fund next year's National Poetry Slam, which Albuquerque is hosting. 247-8600.
Anne Valley-Fox's latest volume of poetry, Point of No Return, is being published by Albuquerque's La Alameda Press this month. Miriam Sagan's excellent poetry collection Rag Trade was also published by La Alameda earlier this year. A third major figure in New Mexico poetry, Joan Logghe, released her latest poetry book, Rice (Tres Chicas Books), a couple months ago. These three stellar Northern New Mexico poets will appear at Bookworks this Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. to promote their newest volumes. Stop by the store to mix and mingle with three of our state's most distinctive poetic voices. 344-8139.
Heather Wilson's Voting Record Reveals Her True Colors
The Alibi is a progressive newspaper. Congresswoman Heather Wilson is a right-wing congresswoman. So it's not all that surprising that we would disagree with her on many issues, ranging from national security to the environment to women's rights.
Put Kerry and Edwards in the White House
Commander-in-Chief. Leader of the Free World. Both have become synonyms for President of the United States of America, and both beg the question: What set of qualifications does one need to hold such an office? Honesty and integrity go without saying, but what about near peerless intelligence and understanding of the underpinnings of politics? What about the ability to lead—not the kind of leadership that comes packaged with a title and billions of dollars in corporate cash—but the kind that comes from possessing a gift for bringing people with disparate views together in a collective effort to serve the greater good; to consider and reflect the will of the people? To quote Spock, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of few." Yeah, it's a cheeseball reference, but it's an efficient, effective summary of what the presidency of this country should be about. But over the past four years, the factual evidence proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the needs of the few have taken priority over the needs of most of the country's populace, not to mention the rest of the world, under the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Afraid you'll draw a blank when you get into the voting booth on Nov. 2? Cut this cheat sheet out, stick it in your wallet and refer to it when you get there!
Election year politics cloud reality
By now, every young American has heard about it. Our leaders in Washington have declared the War On Terror an endless war, requiring endless military engagements and endless tightening of security and increased public surveillance back home. Both presidential candidates promise to keep the U.S. militarily involved in Iraq.
Collectable card game turns politics into War!
Theoretically, by next week we'll know whom the next president of the United States is. But, in all honesty, a close popular race, a conjectured Electoral College tie and what are guaranteed to be weeks of legal challenges could mean a month or more before we're assured of our next commander in chief.
Dateline: Austria—Somewhere in Europe a witch is homeless. Officials in Hietzing have decided to demolish a life-size gingerbread house constructed by a group of eccentric artists. The house, designed by the Austrian Guggenheim movement, was erected to “give locals something cheerful to look at.” Unfortunately, the locals say the structure has been a magnet for hungry rats and noisy birds, who have eaten away most of the gingerbread bricks and tiles. The Vienna-based artists have been ordered to dismantle the house after government inspectors declared it a health risk.
Phantom Film—Southwest Music and the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will be sponsoring two screenings of the 1925 silent film classic The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney at the Central United Methodist Church (1605 Copper NE). Internationally acclaimed theater organist Walt Strony is scheduled to perform accompaniment and “musical enhancement” for the horror hallmark. Screenings will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct., 29, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets for either showing are a mere $5 and are available by calling 881-2232. Seating is limited, so reserve tickets early.
Is Kidman robbing the cradle in this unusual romantic drama?
Birth, at least from the trailers, appears to have the slightly uneasy concept of ravishing beauty Nicole Kidman falling in love with a 10-year-old kid. As it happens, that's not quite the film's plot. But it's close enough for spitting.
Stunning English drama turns controversy into crushing emotion
Vera Drake, the new film from noted British director Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy, Secrets & Lies), is not the most cheerful film of the year. But it is the first to scream “Oscar me!” in a loud, clear and rather difficult to dismiss voice.
Halloween around the Dial
If you love Halloween (and you damn well should), you're gonna wanna wake up bright and early this Sunday, so you can get right into the holiday spirit.
The Week in Sloth
Look, I wish just as much as you do that Albuquerque were overrun with fabulous Jewish delis where you could pick up a quart of whitefish salad for Sunday brunch. I'd love to have a neighborhood full of Italian restaurants that made their own pasta and fought with each other over which served the best cannoli. Who wouldn't love to wander around Albuquerque's version of Chinatown and wander from storefront to storefront nibbling on egg rolls, buns and things we couldn't pronounce? But this is New Mexico, not New York, Chicago or San Francisco. You people who harass me about the lack of lox at your corner coffee cart seem to forget that you moved away from the big city to get away from it all, and sadly, “it all” includes blue crabs and cheese curds. If every city had every other city's culinary treasures then no place would be very special, would it? If Boston had green chile, then our friends who moved there wouldn't come back as often, would they? No and no. So when you go to New Orleans you should eat all the étouffée you can. Hopefully you'll enjoy every minute of it. And when you get back you'll really appreciate your stacked blue corn and beef enchiladas with an over easy egg, red chile and extra onions.
La Montañita Coop will proceed with plans to take over Santa Fe's Marketplace Natural Grocery. My previous story on the subject incorrectly stated that the proposed deal would be subject to a vote by the membership. In fact, the decision on whether or not to bring the Marketplace under La Montañita's wing was made by the coop's board of directors. According to the Coop's Michelle Franklin, three community meetings the Coop hosted in Albuquerque and Santa Fe during October garnered enough positive feedback for the board to give the project the green light. Franklin says the deal is moving ahead slowly but that papers should be signed by January 2005. The Marketplace is now privately owned by Jill Markstein; by joining with La Montañita, it would become, like the coop, community-owned.
Instant, quick or old-fashioned, the words on the label make a big difference
Organic instant oatmeal. Here is one instance in which doing what I thought was the right thing was a terrible, terrible mistake. Now I've got a pound of the stuff and I'll use it to spackle the holes in my kitchen walls before I eat another bowl of that gummy goop. Where did I go wrong? Well, it wasn't the organic part, I'm fairly sure, so it must have been the instant part.
What to do with all those extra pumpkins after Halloween
You buy one, your roommate buys one, then your mom brings one over ... next thing you know you've got three pumpkins on the stoop and not one of them's been carved. You can't just let them rot. Cook with them! Here are a handful of recipes culled from new cookbooks that won't make you think of pumpkin pie and won't ruin Thanksgiving a month early.
Fittingly, local psychobilly-ists 12 Step Rebels will celebrate the release of their debut album, Go Go Graveyard Rockin' with 12 Step Rebels on Dead Body Wreckerds at the Launchpad on Halloween night (Sunday, Oct. 31, for those of you smoking too much chronic) with special guests Machine Gun Symphony, Feels Like Sunday and Abandon All Hope. This one's all ages. Go for the live music, stay for the costume contests. FYI: The Rebels' CD, which is sure to be on sale at the party, is pants-shittingly awesome! ... Also that night, El Rey Theater will present the “Rocky Horror Zombie Ball,” an event that includes a showing of the infamous film and performances by Darker Vision and horror rockers, Creepshow. And yes, there will also be costume contests. ... The Metal Movement Tour, featuring Kittie, Otep and Crisis, will be unleashed at the Sunshine Theater on Tuesday, Nov. 2 (that's Voting Day, for those of you huffing too much paint). Locals KI will open, in keeping with the female-fronted theme. ... The inaugural “Frostbite Food Drive" will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). Highlights include performances by Pipe Hustlers, 20/20 Blind, EvenKeal, the Dirty Baby Dolls and Frostbite, and the opportunity to donate nonperishable (that means canned-goods for those of you sniffing too much glue) food items to Roadrunner Food Bank for New Mexico families in need. Don't worry, I'll remind you of all the particulars next week.
When the dust settles on the 21st century and people begin to sift through the past for those artists whose work will most certainly reverberate for decades to come, Geoff Muldaur will be near the top of the list when it comes to the blues and folk traditions. Of Muldaur's chameleon-like voice, folk hero and Fairport Convention founder Richard Thompson has been quoted as saying, "There are only three white blues singers—Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them." Comedian (and accomplished guitarist himself) Martin Mull once commented that Muldaur is one of few white men who should own a guitar. They're both right on target.
Friday, Oct. 29; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Clarinetist Don Byron got his musical start thanks to instructions from his childhood doctor, who had diagnosed the Brooklyn-born youth with asthma and recommended that he take up a wind instrument for therapy's sake. It wasn't long before a young Byron was excelling on the instrument and absorbing the sounds of his neighborhood, which boasted a large Jewish population. It's no surprise, then, that Byron first came to notoriety as a Klezmer musician. And ever since those early days of his career, Byron has taken special care to absorb, adopt and/or adapt to any number of musical styles.
with Goatwhore, Macabre and Noisear
Monday, Nov. 1; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Grindcore progenitors Napalm Death returned last month with their second scalp-tingling tribute to classic hardcore and thrash metal, and the world is a better place for it. From the brutal recasting of Cryptic Slaughter's “Lowlife” to a thoroughly crushing take on Agnostic Front's “Blind Justice,” the 22-year-old band prove themselves not only to be masters of death metal, but well-versed in all of the different sub-genres the music they pioneered eventually became during the first decade and a half of their career.
Of course, you can expect plenty of trademark Napalm Death songs on this tour, as well as a smattering of the covers represented on Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (Century Media). Time to dig out the Die Kreuzen T-shirt, kids.
Why not refer to Brian Wilson's latest CD as simply Smile? Because, essentially, it isn't that record. Smile, as pretty much anyone with even a passing interest in pop music is aware, was shelved by an increasingly mentally ill Brian Wilson in 1967. And, for all intents and purposes, it remains there, forever unfinished. Brian Wilson Presents Smile is a recasting of the original material, finished and finally assembled 37 years later by Wilson, original lyricist Van Dyke Parks and Wondermints' keyboardist Darian Sahanaja. Splitting hairs? Not really. This, the first officially sanctioned compilation of the tracks written for the Beach Boys' follow-up to Pet Sounds, isn't the record the Beach Boys would ultimately have made. Without Carl Wilson, without Bruce Johnston, without Al Jardine, without Mike Love (whether you happen to love him or hate him) and, to a lesser degree, no Dennis Wilson, there's no Beach Boys. And with no Beach Boys, there's no infamous Beach Boys Smile album. All that aside, however, Wilson's presentation of his self-proclaimed "teenage symphony to God" is not without merit by a longshot.
Like Jim Cosgrove, local recording artist John Grant makes children's music that's designed to keep the adults engaged, too. But where Cosgrove's recordings sometimes veer into the land of children's television homogenization, Grant (a.k.a. Ticklefish) writes semi-acoustic upbeat rock songs with lyrics geared toward the kids. But his melodies and arrangements are clearly inspired by the modern “adult” world of the singer-songwriter. Icky Sticky is truly an “everyone's” record—with plenty of appeal for mom and dad, and enough camp, silliness and general oddness for the little ones. It's the perfect rock 'n' roll introduction for Junior. Available at www.ticklefish.net.
For the fifth year in a row, the Words Afire theater festival sets Albuquerque ablaze with a host of new work by up and coming UNM playwrights. From 10-minute wonders to full-length plays, Words Afire presents some of the best theater UNM's prestigious Robert Hartung Dramatic Writing Program has to offer. Every piece is written, directed, designed and performed by over 100 UNM students.
We can dream, can't we, of some better world where art rather than money is king? Sure we can. Allan Rosenfield isn't some lazy armchair artopian, daydreaming about impossible societies built on a foundation of art. Since last year, he's succeeded in transforming his modest Near Northeast Heights home into his very own bona fide Artopia.
South Broadway Cultural Center
There'll be a whole lotta shakin' goin' on when the Bellydance Superstars and the Desert Roses return to Albuquerque on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. to present one of the biggest belly dance spectacles on Earth. Performing a cross-section of Tribal, Egyptian and Cabaret styles, this popular show has rock star cred because it's produced by Miles Copeland, who served as manager for acts ranging from the Police to the Sex Pistols to REM. This one should be a doozy. $25 advance, $30 at the door. (800) 594-TIXX.
Just in time for Big Brother Bush's re-election, the folks at ConLab—Conspiracy Laboratory Theatre—are putting up a staged version of George Orwell's chilling negative utopian novel, 1984, adapted by playwright Wayne Rawley. Directed by Rafael Gallegos, this multimedia production, which incorporates work by video artists and sculptors, should offer a nice escapist relief from pondering the dire consequences of a second Bush term. The show will occur at SolArts (712 Central SE) every evening at 8 p.m. through Nov. 2 with an additional show on Halloween at 2 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 244-0049.
Your friends at the Alibi love to vote. We love it so much, in fact, we're encouraging all of you eligible voters to get on board and feel the rush. Early voting has already begun and between now and election day you can walk into the County Clerk's office on the sixth floor of Civic Plaza (call 768-4085 for hours) or you can log onto www.bernco.gov to locate an early voting location near you. Or, you can go vote on Nov. 2 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No matter when you choose to do it, though, it is your civic responsibility as an American to vote—don't make us send a car!
Richard Romero: The Real Deal versus a Placebo
To receive our endorsement, candidates must meet with our editorial board. It's not complicated. We ask difficult questions and we expect informed, detailed answers. We like candidates with intelligence and enthusiasm, folks with a strong attachment to the community and a desire to work hard in the public's interest.
Albuquerque Republican attorney Ned Fuller is challenging incumbent Supreme Court Justice Ed Chavez, an Albuquerque Democrat, for the only contested seat this year on the state's highest court.
Republican Paul Barber, an Albuquerque attorney, is challenging incumbent Democrat Michael Vigil, also of Albuquerque. Barber is running on the identical "rescue the courts" platform as Ned Fuller. If you believe there is a crisis of public confidence in the state judiciary, that activist judges are rewriting the laws while issuing rulings based on partisan favoritism, and that the rumors are true about judges partying after hours, Mr. Barber is your man. Hopefully, if you do believe this, you have witnessed it with your own eyes or through honest experience of others.
One of the biggest howlers in this year's local election is the Bernalillo County Clerk's race. With all the cries of improper voter registration coming from the state Republican party over the past six weeks, guess who is running for County Clerk on the GOP ticket? Nobody. That's right, if the GOP operatives put half the effort into running a candidate that they've put into creating the illusion of a voter fraud scandal, maybe the next County Clerk would be a Republican and all our problems would be solved.
What is the PRC exactly? A fast food chain? A standardized test for nursing students? An obscure department within the CIA?
Vote “Yes” for Runoff Voting
Constitutional Amendment 3 will permit Albuquerque to hold runoff elections in all future mayoral and city council races any time a winning candidate receives less than 40 percent of the popular vote. If you think it's a good thing to elect our local officials based on a majority, then vote for this amendment. We think the public deserves better than electing a mayor out of a crowded field with approximately 30 percent of the votes, which is how Marty Chavez took office in 2001 and Jim Baca was elected in 1997. Runoffs would give the public the satisfaction of electing our mayor and city councilors by majority, and we wholeheartedly support the idea.
While there are a great many reasons to support city/county unification, apparently the main reason to oppose it is the threat of higher taxes. That at least is the conclusion you might reach from listening to the barely audible debate on one the most important issues facing Bernalillo County voters this year.
Retain incumbent judges, do away with partisan judicial races
This year, you'll find six contested races for judgeships in the Second Judicial District on your ballot and four contested races for Metro Court. And you probably know little or nothing about any of the candidates. Well relax. We have a simple solution for you to consider. Each race pits a sitting judge against a challenger. We don't care what the party affiliation is of any of these candidates, because we are endorsing all the incumbents.
It's ridiculous that we are going through this same boondoggle for a second time in 12 months. But unfortunately that's the kind of incompetent leadership you get in Albuquerque sometimes.
"What did the little bird say as it flew over Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre?" Answer: "Cheap! Cheap!"
Dracula at the Tricklock Performance Space
As might be expected, a black coffin stretches across the middle of the room. As might not be expected, an attendant darts around the theater right before the show warning everyone in the front row that they'll probably get doused with blood. "Don't worry, though," she says. "It washes out." This is supposed to comfort us?
Yeah, it's got 18 syllables, but don't let that daunt you. G. Narendra and Mahalakshmi along with 14 other talented performers will bring this classic of East Indian literature to life through dance. This amazing show is being brought to Albuquerque by the New Mexico chapter of the Association for India's Development. Proceeds will help fund economic development programs in India. It all goes down at the KiMo Theatre this Friday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. $30, $25, and $15. $5 discount for students, kids under 12 years and Outpost members. 768-3522.
Outpost Performance Space
David Meltzer fell in with the Beats at the very beginning of the movement, reading his poetry in clubs and coffee houses in the late '50s in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. In Beat Thing, released this year by Albuquerque's La Alameda Press, he reflects on the accomplishments of his generation and the commodification of all things Beat. Meltzer will read from this far ranging poem on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the Outpost, accompanied by bassist David Parlato. $5 suggested donation. Students free. 268-0044.
Nicholson Baker's Checkpoint
Em and Lo's Nerve's Guide to Sex Etiquette
You've seen it a hundred times before: a handwritten sign taped to the stall door, reading, "Please do not flush tampons or sanitary napkins." In fact, you've probably seen it so many times that you don't even think about it anymore, except maybe to wish you didn't have to be reminded about sanitary napkins in the middle of your dinner. Eeeeewww, right? But I recently saw a sign that went a little further. It asked patrons not to flush tampons but then explained that it costs a lot of money to have plumbers come out all the time to unclog the toilets. It suddenly occurred to me that I had to call plumbers out to my house twice in the first two years I owned it—before instituting my own no-flush rule. The first episode cost me $250 (it was a holiday weekend); the bill was $125 the second and final time. Imagine how many times your toilet gets flushed compared with the toilet at a busy restaurant. There's a big difference. I talked to Curt at TLC Plumbing who confirmed that tampons are the cause of 80 percent of toilet clogs. He also said that the busiest restaurants sometimes call for help every month or so. Brutal! Look, it's yucky and I hate to have to say this, but wrap 'em up and throw 'em in the trash can, ladies. Your 30 seconds of convenience could cost your favorite restaurant hundreds of dollars.
What do you know, we've got an Afghan market! Nabi Yari, an Afghan native who moved here from California, opened Marco Polo Market last Wednesday at 607 San Mateo NE (255-1325). The market is just a few doors down from the Mediterranean Café, the new but misleadingly named Moroccan restaurant. Most interestingly, the market includes a small bakery where they make traditional Afghan bread, a puffy flatbread (no, puffy and flat are not mutually exclusive) about 33 inches long and 13 inches wide. What do you do with a big, long, flat bread? Well, you put stuff on it. What kind of stuff? Stuff you find at the Afghan market, duh. Marco Polo stocks Afghan and Iranian spices, rice, juices, yogurt drinks and cheeses. It's open from 9:30 a.m. until about 6:30 p.m. every day.
A visitor from New Jersey finds hope, and a warning, in Truth or Consequences
As we checked out of our Socorro motel at 6:00 a.m.—so that we could catch the sunrise at Bosque del Apache—I asked the desk clerk if there was a spot to pick up some breakfast and a good cup of coffee on our way. She gave me a wide-eyed look and said, "I wish!" Surely the local hotel clerk who has lived here all her life must be mistaken. Our East Coast tourist mentality made us sure that we would find an adorable little café or something along the way. Or there would be a nice little cafeteria there. Open at 6:00 a.m. With fresh coffee. And yummy homemade baked goods.
What the ban means for ducks, chefs and foodies
On Sept. 29, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that would ban the production and sale of foie gras in California as of 2012. The bill provides seven and a half years for California's only producer, Guillermo Gonzales of Sonoma Foie Gras, to come up with an alternative method for fattening the livers of his ducks. At issue is the practice of force-feeding ducks (and geese, which Gonzales does not raise) to produce the enlarged, fatty livers that have been prized by gourmets for centuries. But the spotlight shining on foie gras should also be illuminating the larger issue of how we think about the food we eat and how we believe animals should be treated.
Highland students meet their Muslim neighbors
The shy girls at the Salaam Academy trickled into the room one by one, eyes only briefly glancing up from the floor to take in the table full of strangers, heads uncovered, there to greet them. It was Friday, the Islamic Sabbath, and the girls wore their best clothes to school. Brocaded lavender dresses, cream-colored silken hijabs and black chadors trimmed with gold wrapped the young girls in an elegance and modesty fit for the afternoon's prayer services.
Why so angry? Bill Maher weighed in on the debate over Mary Cheney's lesbian lifestyle with words, perhaps, many Americans might find comforting. On his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, Maher said: “But my question about that whole flap, that the Republicans are very angry. Dick Cheney said, ’I'm an angry father.' If it's not shameful to be gay, why are their panties in a bunch about this? I mean, they talk about her like she's some retarded monster they have chained in the attic, you know.... And it is an issue. (Bush and Cheney) made it an issue. It's an issue in this election. Don't talk about my daughter who we are trying to discriminate against in a constitutional amendment.”
Your friends at the Alibi editorial office love to vote. Try it and you will to. In fact, early voting has already begun and between now and election day you can walk into the County Clerk's office on the sixth floor of Civic Plaza (call 768-4085 for hours) or you can log onto www.bernco.gov to locate an early voting location near you. Or, you can go vote on Nov. 2 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. But just VOTE!
... and did you hear Cheney has a gay daughter?
This is the Alibi's election issue so let's get the preliminaries out of the way. On Nov. 2, George W. Bush will be re-elected president. The popular vote is going to be close—in the 51 percent range for Bush—but the electoral college won't. Bush will take that with at least 284 electoral votes, although don't be at all surprised if he goes over 300, which is the magic number our oracles are predicting.
Dateline: Croatia—An 18-year-old Croatian has been arrested for stealing his father's police uniform and stop sign and using them to collect fines from motorists. The unnamed teen from Bisko stopped drivers and told them they had broken traffic laws and then fined them approximately $15 apiece. He was eventually exposed and arrested when a man on a motorcycle refused to pay the fine and alerted other officers when he became suspicious.
Gay Film Fundraiser—The Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will be hosting a fundraising party this Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Graze by Jennifer James in Nob Hill. Tickets are $20 or $10 for Closet Cinema 2004 members and volunteers. There will be great Graze food, prizes and lots of local film lovers to rub elbows with. If you aren't already a member of Closet Cinema, the organization (which puts together the SG&LFF) will have membership information on hand. For more details, log on to www.closetcinema.org.
When Kurly Tlopoyawa, owner of Albuquerque's only cult video store, Burning Paradise, met Lloyd Kaufman, the notorious president of Troma Films and director of such trash classics as The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo & Juliet, it was a match made in Heaven. Or slightly south of there.
An interview with Around the Bend writer/director Jordan Roberts
Around the Bend, an emotional little family drama/comedy being released by the newly formed Warner Independent label, was shot in and around Albuquerque over the course of six weeks last fall. The film, which tells the story of four generations of men (Michael Caine, Christopher Walken, Josh Lucas and young newcomer Jonah Bobo) on a cross-country quest to reconnect with their estranged past, was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Jordan Roberts.
Philosophical comedy is fundamentally confused
David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees is a parable of orderly excess, of curiosity taken to dire extremes, and, if nothing else, its bravery lies in its blatant disregard for organic deliberation. A mixture of the intellectual and the absurd, the film plays out like some confused, hung-over Sunday morning coffee klatch between Charlie Kaufman and Immanuel Kant.
“Lost” on ABC
Something very strange has happened in the first month of the new fall season. NBC, last season's big network, has taken a huge plunge in ratings. That isn't the shocking part, though; with the loss of “Friends” and “Frasier,” everyone expected a certain decrease in stature for the long-reigning champ. No, the shocking part is the suggestion of who might be the new number one network: ABC.
The Week in Sloth
Jason Daniello will celebrate the release of his latest CD on Friday, Oct. 22, at the Launchpad with Oktober People, Spybox and Alex Rose (formerly of Mistletoe). Regrettably, I haven't heard the record yet, so there's not much more to say except, “Show up!” ... In other exciting news, the Launchpad will host an introductory party on Saturday, Oct. 23, for Albuquerque's brand new independent record label, Detach Records. Described by local musician and Detach officer Jeremy Fine as a co-op of sorts, involving the money, effort and other resources from friends and other parties interested in creating a community in which the bands themselves decide their ultimate fate.
featuring Mariana Montalvo, Totó La Momposino and Bêlo Velloso
Thanks to the United States' installation of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1973, singer/poet Mariana Montalvo was forced to leave her home at the age of 20 for exile in Paris, where she has lived and worked ever since. “I've lived less than half my life in Chile,” says the 51-year-old Latina artist, who insists that her heart never really left the country. “The clay that I'm made from came from Chile, but it was cooked in Europe,” she continues. And it is her roots in Chilean music that helps to keep her pan-European cache of artistic influences grounded in tradition. That said, Montalvo's latest CD, Piel de Aceituna (Harmonia Mundi/World Village) spans a musical gamut from indigenous roots to tropical dance to reggae.
with Fireball Ministry
Monday, Oct. 25; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): According to Ronnie James Dio's publicist, he's got perhaps the strongest voices in metal. He's also perhaps the biggest cheeseball still working in the genre. But now that his days of battling eight-foot pneumatic spiders with a broadsword are over and he's found himself comfortably on the Sanctuary Records roster with every not-quite-washed-up '80s metaler you can think of, he's managed to make a hell of a record. Master of the Moon is a representation of pre-thrash classic metal at its finest, in no small part due to the return to the Dio fold of guitarist Craig Goldy, who filled the shoes of Scottish guitar god Vivian Campbell when he left Dio back in the day. Other current members include drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC) and former Ozzy/Quiet Riot/Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo (former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson played on the record). It's no Mob Rules, but it's better than most of the shit that passes for old-school metal today.
Saturday, Oct. 23; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): Frankly—and this is nothing new—there are few things on God's green Earth that annoy more than most later Primus albums. One of those things happens to be the ubiquitous Buckethead, whose mere presence rivals his guitar playing on the annoying scale. That said, Les Claypool's latest project featuring (fucking goddamned) Buckethead, former Primus drummer Brain and Parliament/Funkadelic organmeister Bernie Worrell kicks some serious funk ass. The latest Claypool platter, The Big Eyeball in the Sky (Prawn Song) is chock full of Claypool's virtually unlistenable vocal nonsense, ridiculous lyrics and gratuitous overplaying from every member but Worrell, but I still love it for reasons I can't fully explain. And in a live setting, I can't imagine this particular group of personalities and extreme talents being anything but jaw-dropping.
with Alexisonfire, Planes Mistaken for Stars and Moments in Grace
Sunday, Oct. 24; Launchpad (all ages, 7 p.m.): Crossing elements of D.C. hardcore, dusky Midwestern emo and New York-style prog-core, Gainesville, Fla.'s Hot Water Music have been making bristling, isolationist punk rock since 1994. But over the course of nine full-length recordings and a handful of EPs and compilation appearances, they never seem to be the same band twice. Which has turned out to be a very good thing for band and fans alike.
featuring Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink
Monday, Oct. 25; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 7:30 p.m., call 268-0044 for tickets): No, not Insane Clown Posse. In this case, ICP stands for Instant Composers Pool, headed by pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, and consisting of eight additional musicians who engage in “instant composing” and “conducted improvisation.” If that sounds like a recipe for musical chaos, that's because it is. Audiences will either find the ICP Orchestra's musings completely unlistenable or exercises in pure musical genius. And while I can't claim to know or understand much about the music on ICP's most recent recording, Aan & Ing (ICP), there's no question that all players involved are highly evolved. At times, tunes border on cacophony. At others, very definite melodies and rhythmic cycles are apparent. It's music that requires the full attention of the listener, and it can be a chore. But there are enough jovial moments of beauty and intrigue to pique the curiosity of just about any seasoned jazz fan.
On one hand, Chet Atkins was largely responsible for the slicker-than-shit “Nashville sound” that to this day makes fans of traditional and outlaw country cringe. On the other, he's part of the reason country music ever made it out of the juke joints and rural communities of the '50s. And as a fingerpicking guitarist, Atkins was and remains without peer. By the '80s and '90s, Atkins had turned his attention largely toward jazz, resulting in some of the most wondrous instrumental guitar music ever put to tape. Much of it is included here. The Essential just that. A must-have.