Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.
Funding for veteran services fails to satisfy demands
Lindol Hill has the kind of voice that brings to mind images of sweet and simple rural life. With a voice like that, one can only imagine that the self-proclaimed old farm boy must have lived a life full of hot summer days working soil. Yet, his voice has endured much more than the pastoral images that so eagerly serve our stereotypes. Indeed, its gentlemanly nuances and southern inflections have survived not only through the heat of summer days, but also through the heat of battle.
"I think it was a bargain price"—D. McCall
It's settled. Last week, city officials and developer D. McCall closed a deal on the sale of what has become, in the past 14 months, one of Albuquerque's most famous plots of land.
Hardy har-har. Oh, God, it's so painful. On New Year's Day, the Albuquerque Journal published their Cowchip Awards, an "annual rundown of the weird, wacky and only-in-New Mexico stories of the past year." What's "wacky" is that they gave a cowchip award to Dr. Sam Slishman of Endorphin Power Company—the same guy we named an “Albuquerque All Star” one week earlier.
Your never-ending election nightmare
It ain't over 'til the last vote's been counted; or, shall we say, recounted. At least, that's what the folks at Help America Recount proclaim. Now, you might be confused, because you thought that all the votes were already counted, and possibly already recounted after much of the post-election hype. But that's where you're wrong. That is, unless you think that imaginary votes should be counted along with real votes, and that, in some cases, real votes shouldn't be counted at all.
The United States still does not comprehend the nature of its adversaries
Last November the United States began its pre-Iraqi election offensive with a full-scale assault on Falluja, then said to be the center of the resistance to the coalition occupation and the Iraqi interim government. With newly trained Iraqi government troops showcased in the attack, U.S. commanders intended to break the back of the resistance. Instead, Falluja furnished additional evidence that the United States still does not comprehend the nature of its adversaries.
Pay attention to King's radical analysis
People who once branded King a threat to the nation will march in MLK Day parades. Cities around the country—even places where King battled segregation—name streets after him and put up statues. People of all colors invoke his name, legacy and memory in support of racial justice. No doubt this signals an improvement in race relations. But to make King a symbol acceptable to most everyone, we have stripped him of the depth and passion of his critique of white America and its institutions. We conveniently have ignored the radical nature of King's analysis, and in doing so we have lost an opportunity to see ourselves more clearly.
The Albuquerque Journal took aim at the Planned Growth Strategy (or PGS) recently in a three-part series that explored the explosion of growth outside Albuquerque. Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties have seen their populations double since 1980 while Bernalillo County has only (only!) had a 33 percent increase, according to the paper.
Dateline: Russia—Russian lawyer Vladimir Osipiv has staked a claim on all the world's clouds. According to reports in the Russian media, Osipiv has now posted a legal claim to the world's clouds in 150 separate nations. The 48-year-old lawyer is hoping that he can sell the clouds to environmentalists, who will then take legal action against governments that allow clouds to be polluted. Osipiv is using the same law that allowed an American man to claim the moon. In 1980, Dennis Hope staked a claim on the moon and has since sold plots of land there to more than two million people. “It is probably incomprehensible for the vast majority of people that clouds can be privatized,” said Osipiv. “However, I am absolutely sure that I will get support both in Russia and in the international community.”
The readers write.
The dining room at Monte Vista Fire Station has closed and will reopen in a few weeks as Gruet Steakhouse and Wine Bar. This is a little confusing, so pay attention, OK? See, the building (at Central and Monte Vista) is owned by Kerry Raynor and his partners, who include Ski Martin, the owner of the Owl Café on Eubank NE. (A few weeks ago, I interviewed Ski because he had partnered with Frank Marcello, of Copeland's and Zea Grill, on another Owl Café location in The Shops at I-25!) Raynor had been approached a number of times by people who wanted to put their own restaurants in his building, and always refused. It was a combination of events that finally made him change his mind.
Fake it ’til You Make it
I have a friend who drives me crazy because she makes her shopping list before she goes to the grocery store. Sure, I make a list. It's usually got about five items on it: Fresca, baked Cheetos, oatmeal, toilet paper and toothpaste. Everything else gets decided at the store. But my friend (I won't name her; she'd be furious. Shit, she'll be furious anyway), my friend Liz goes to all the trouble of sifting through her small collection of cookbooks to come up with meals she wants to make for the next couple of weeks. Then she writes down all of the ingredients for all of the dishes and makes her shopping list. My problem with her strategy is simple: What if you get to the store and there's no eggplant, or they're all bruised and gross? How will your eggplant parmigiana taste then? It seems like a bad idea to commit to a menu before you've seen the ingredients.
Closet Celebration—Closet Cinema, Albuquerque's foremost promoter of gay and lesbian film and founder of the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, will be hosting its first ever winter benefit on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The benefit will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Laru Ni Hati (3413 Central Ave. NE). There will be a Cuban buffet feast and a cash bar courtesy of Café Cubano. There will also be lots of great prize giveaways from assorted participating businesses. Following the party, there will be a screening of the Sundance Film Fest favorite Tarnation next door at the Guild Cinema. The film documents the tumultuous life of writer/director/actor Jonathan Caouette, from his emergence as a gay teenager to his later life caring for his schizophrenic mother. Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 for Closet Cinema members and free (!) if you become a new Closet Cinema member at the event. For more information on the fundraiser or the organization, log on to www.closetcinema.org. For more info on the film, check out www.i-saw-tarnation.com.
Boring, illogical horror flick takes the terms “static” and “fuzzy” to heart
White Noise has been billing itself as “the scariest movie of the year,” and I really can't argue. Since it was, in fact, the only movie to open the first week of January, White Noise also qualified as the “funniest,” “saddest” and “most erotic” film of 2005. Unfortunately, now that Racing Stripes, starring Frankie Muniz as a talking zebra, has hit theaters, White Noise has lost its footing as “scariest movie of the year.”
Low-key character study, finds Kevin Bacon walking the tightrope between good and evil
First-time filmmaker Nicole Kassell's screenplay for The Woodsman took first place in the 2001 Slamdance Film Festival screenplay competition. Slamdance is, of course, the bratty “alternative” cousin to the more genteel, upscale Sundance Film Festival. Oddly enough, the final filmed version of The Woodsman ended up nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival--which probably says more about the taming of Slamdance than it does about the edginess of Sundance.
“Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope” on NBC
Shortly before it raised its contribution to the Asian tsunami relief efforts from $35 million to $350 million (as if the first number had been the result of some silly misplaced decimal), the U.S. government insinuated that it didn't really need to contribute any money, since American citizens are so naturally generous and caring. I'm happy to report that is, in fact, the case, with private donations pouring in at a record rate. ... So, while you're at it, the federal government would really appreciate it if you'd take care of that whole social security debacle on your own as well.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
If you happen to read the Alibi blog, “Nerdstream,” on our website, then you already know that long-time collector and specialty mainstay Merlin's Record Workshop shut down two weeks ago, in the same seven-day period in which 103.3 The Zone, owned by Citadel Communications, suddenly and without warning became 103.3 FReD FM. Visit www.alibi.com for more information. ... Local labels Socyermom Records and Little Kiss Records will pit a pair of bands on each of their rosters “against” each other on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Launchpad in a rock battle. See this week's “Lucky 7” calendar for all the details. ... I have it on reliable authority that local space rock faves The Oktober People will soon be invited to participate in and represent Albuquerque at this year's South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. No word yet on the several other local bands that registered, but I promise to keep you posted. ... For those of you full of hate and pent-up aggression, you can donate it at the Launchpad on Saturday, Jan. 15, as Misery Signals, Remembering Never, Emery and Eighteen Visions are scheduled to set up more than a few stacks of Marshall and Mesa-Boogie amplifiers with which to implode your eardrums. ... That same night, Santa Fe's 100 Year Flood will rock you out of holiday hibernation at the Paramount with special guests No Address at 9 p.m.
Pictures From the Street (Asphalt-Tango)
Preconceptions of accordion music as hokey or limited vanish upon playing this mind-opening disc. Featuring original compositions by members of Poland's Motion Trio, the music ranges from uptempo, high-spirited affairs to others that bubble along in a manner reminiscent of Nino Rota's music for Fellini.
with Bo Ramsey and Pieta Brown
Saturday, Jan. 15; Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 West San Francisco in Santa Fe, 7:30 p.m., all ages): As far as folk-based singer-songwriters go, there are perhaps none as broadly talented as Greg Brown, whose insight, melodic sensibilities and gift for creating colorful imagery with even the simplest turn of a phrase can be so subtle as to be deceiving, so vivid as to be physically moving.
Former Apricot Jam co-frontman Lewi Longmire's debut solo album is as much a revelation as it is a blast from the past. Longmire's songwriting has grown leaps and bounds since the AJ days, encompassing classic country music that's steeped in Jerry Jeff Walker and full of that good ol' Charley Pride. And with a band that includes the immense—and sorely missed—talents of Caleb Miles (A Murder of Crows) and Chris Hutton (Venus Diablo), Longmire's significant gains in the composition department are brought to vibrant, soulful, epic and oft times heartwrenching fruition. Albuquerque's painful loss is once again Portland's gain.
Can you smell the sweet scent of testosterone wafting through the clear winter air? Then you must be Downtown on Fourth Street. Follow the smell to the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW) for the He Show, an exhibit of work by New Mexican photographers, all of whom happen to be male. The show, which just went up last week, features innovative images by some very talented photographers such as Barry McCormick, Steve Malavolta, David Ondrik, Lincoln Draper, Pat Berrett, Kip Malone, Rick Scibelli, Wes Naman, Benjamin Winters and Steve Bromberg. The center is located at 105 Fourth Street SW. For details, call 242-1983.
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants at the Wizard's Playhouse
It's human nature to enjoy being fooled. We might not appreciate being fooled by our spouses, our accountants or our presidents, but most of us relish being bamboozled by magicians. The feat can be as simple as a card trick or as elaborate as hacking a pretty young damsel in half with a chain saw before magically piecing her back together again. It doesn't matter much. I don't care how many times a wizard pulls a rabbit out of his hat or a nickel out of your nose. For most people, the classics of magic never get old.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
Charles Sheeler's photographs don't get exhibited nearly as often as those of his better known modernist peers, photo legends like Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand. Even so, Sheeler is a recognized master of 20th-century photography who brought cubist aesthetics into the realm of photographic image making. An exhibit of his work opens this week at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. Admission is $4 for New Mexico residents with ID. The Photography of Charles Sheeler: American Modernist runs through May 1. (505) 946-1017.
State of Fear
The Fifth Annual Revolutions International Theatre Festival
"Theater can change the world."
For many people, this statement might sound pretentious, phony, even laughable. Theater? Change the world? Come on! Theater is an anachronism, right? It's just a game for maladjusted misfits played out at the fringes of our culture. If theater has any real impact on society, that impact is so minuscule it's virtually invisible to the naked eye.
Yet when you hear Tricklock Company members make this bold claim—which they do often—the statement takes on a whole new meaning. You can bet the bank this astonishingly talented crew believes this maxim with all its heart. You can also bet they're putting everything they've got into a valiant, well-coordinated campaign to make it so.
The Tricklock Company
There are many benefits to living in Albuquerque. There's the weather. The relaxed, culturally diverse ambiance existing side by side with a funky art and music scene. There's the food. The nightlife. The proximity of spectacularly diverse wilderness in every direction.
Schedule of Events
Ticket prices for most events are $16 general admission, $12 students and seniors. Advanced ticket credit card orders are available for Albuquerque performances, with the exception of the Reptilian Lounge, by calling 266-2826 up to four hours before the start of each event, or by visiting the Tricklock Box Office. Tickets are also available with cash purchases at each venue starting one hour before the performance. Tickets for Santa Fe performances may be obtained by calling the Armory for the Arts at (505) 984-1370. For more information visit www.tricklock.com.
Thousands of Iraq war veterans will come home to face psychological problems and a system that may not be ready to help them
The first time Kristin Peterson's husband hit her, she was asleep in their bed. She awoke that night a split second after Joshua's fist smashed into her face and ran, terrified and crying, to the bathroom to wipe the blood spurting from her nose. When she stuck her head back into the bedroom, there he was—punching at the air, muttering how she was coming after him and how he was going to kill her. Kristin started yelling but Joshua's eyes were closed. He was still asleep.
Musee des Beaux Arts. As you know, the horror cast by an Indian Ocean earthquake saturated news coverage both nationally and locally last week, and on Monday, Dec. 27, the Albuquerque Journal front page was exceptional for its odd, some might even say inane, choice of juxtaposed headlines.
Dateline: England—Spider-Man, Superman and Batman came to blows on Christmas Day in Canterbury, southern England. Police were called in to break up a fight after three men in tights were seen brawling on the sidewalk in front of a fast food van. The three superheroes apparently decided to trade punches after the van experienced a sudden shortage of burgers. A 23-year-old man suffered facial injuries, but declined to press charges. It is assumed the three were on their way to a fancy dress party. Or not. A police spokesman told the press simply, “Spider-Man, Superman and Batman were involved in a minor altercation at 12:32 a.m. at Wincheap on Christmas Day. The injured party declined to take it further.”
The readers write.
At the end of each year, when I'm inspired to relax for a moment and take a look back, I always come back to the same realization: I have very little, if anything, to bitch about. I love music, I love to write, I love to spew my opinions all over the place and I happen to hold the position of music editor at the second largest, and arguably most hip entertainment and culture newspaper in the city I was born and raised in, and am irrevocably attached to ... score! And one of the many perks this job provides is being able to backtrack through 12 months of music—some of it fantastic, some of it excruciatingly bad—in an effort to compile an annual list of the CDs that have most positively affected my life over the past year. It's one of the most difficult parts of the job considering the sheer number of new releases I wade through each calendar year, but it's also one of the most rewarding tasks I'll ever undertake.
This little “websclusive” feature was assembled as a reminder of just how much great music came out in 2004, and hopefully offers at least a few more national and local releases to add to your wish list.
Worst of the Worst—In addition to the good films, there was also a steady stream of bad movies to filter through theaters this year. For every Sideways that made its way into theaters, there were two or three Garfields that raked in millions. Go figure. So, in the spirit of the hairball-puking hero of this summer's surprise hit, I present 2004's 10 Worst List.
Top 10 Films of 2004
The anno horribilus known as 2004 turned out to be an interesting one, cinema-wise. The word that keeps cropping up in my mind is “mature.” Even the best kiddy fare this year (The Incredibles, Mean Girls) seemed surprisingly sharp and clever.
Top TV of 2004
Reality TV continued to rule the airwaves (or “pollute the airwaves,” depending on your perspective). Gay-themed TV shows fell out in favor of poker-themed TV shows (a trend that will only continue in 2005). And, of course, 130 million people saw Janet Jackson's boob. That's the year that was television in 2004.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
Ladies and gentlemen, the sweet, intoxicating stench of love is already in the air. It isn't too early to start making plans for this year's Valentine's Day. Before you know it the big day will be right up on you, sinking its sharp fangs deep into your hind parts. Don't be caught unprepared. Start planning today.
Danielle Ferriera's exhibit of organic sculptures crafted from bug parts, dried fruit skins, vegetable peelings, rusty nails and other scavenged bits opens this Friday in the main gallery at the Harwood Art Center. She'll also be selling inexpensive small bronze sculptures and donating the proceeds to Bridging the Worlds Animal Sanctuary. Ferriera's show is just one of many Artscrawl gallery tour exhibits occurring across Albuquerque on Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. For the full roster, please call 244-0362 or log on to www.artscrawlabq.org.
Top 10 arts and lit moments of 2004
As always, this list is both utterly subjective and painfully incomplete. It's also just a little bit ridiculous, of course, to even make such a list. Part of me has always despised this sort of thing. That isn't going to stop me from spewing out my picks, though. At the very least, I'm convinced that all of the following artsy litsy events and artifacts deserve extremely high praise. So here are my picks in no particular order. My apologies to the dozens of worthy performers, artists and writers who I inevitably left out. This doesn't mean I don't love you.
Yeah, sure, Shel Silverstein's crowning accomplishment might be "A Boy Named Sue," the hilarious song popularized by Johnny Cash, but the famous humorist also wrote a bunch of killer short plays. They'll be staged starting this weekend at the Vortex Theatre. Yes, many of them step way over the line, so don't bring the kids. Adults, though, can expect to laugh their asses off. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. Sundays at 6 p.m. $8. Runs through Jan. 23. 247-8600.
The Final Solution: A Story of Detection
The Zine Yearbook
The top 10 food stories of 2004
The Low-Carb Craze Gives Way to Low-Carb Sanity
Our quick picks for a no-hassle New Year's Eve
It's the ultimate holiday irony. We've spent an entire month eating without abandon, sampling everything from Aunt Joanne's legendary walnut fudge to gooey, red chile-soaked enchiladas, right down to the last heavenly crumb of cream pie, shaggy with coconut. Our clothes no longer fit comfortably and we're just a little sluggish—which explains how we still have no idea what the hell we're doing for New Year's Eve. Well, wake up! The 11th hour is upon us and we've got some work to do. There's no need to panic, though. We've divvied up the labor to make this as painless as possible. All you've got to do is tuck this publication into your gym bag and hop on a stationary bike. That way you can scope out a hefty roundup of Albuquerque clubs while simultaneously liquidating your stubborn holiday flab.
City Animal Services Division draws ire of animal rights activist
It all started six years ago, when one day Marcy Britton found a 6-week-old stray kitten in a gutter. Concerned for the animal's safety, the animal rights activist decided to take the kitten to the Albuquerque Animal Services shelter, where she hoped it would eventually be adopted. Yet, when Britton delivered the kitten, she witnessed an event that not only shocked and disturbed her, but would also come to change her life.
If you watch KRQE News 13, you've seen the promos featuring anchors Dick Knipfing and Erika Ruiz promising to earn your trust with "balanced coverage."
All in all, it was a pretty good year
Of course some will disagree—Bush was re-elected, the war in Iraq continues to simmer, federal spending actually makes inebriated sailors look tight-fisted and the last episode of “Friends” aired. But, given all the craziness in the world today, 2004 could have been worse—and, remember, things could always get worse (imagine Boy George and Culture Club reuniting).
The Dec. 20 council meeting was called to order by new Council President Brad Winter, chosen along with Vice President Miguel Gomez in a special session on Dec. 15.
Dateline: Michigan—Santa's got a brand new bag! A 40-year-old Detroit man who visited a middle school in Highland Park was left with a citation after being busted for misdemeanor marijuana possession. A Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy who works at the school found the small baggie of marijuana while searching for identification in a coat left in a school restroom. The unidentified man had left the coat in the men's restroom after changing into his Santa suit. The man denied the pot was his, but now faces a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. His wife, who was at the school to take pictures of Santa with the students, apparently didn't know about the weed in her husband's coat. “She was not happy,” Lt. Paul Jones said. “It's going to be a long ride back to the North Pole.”
Forget gay marriage, it's about health, child care and a living wage
Driving north from Deming last week the NPR station faded out somewhere between Hatch and T or C, so I hit the scan button on the car radio and was immediately transported into some weird other dimension, an alternative reality I can only begin to describe. It was scary. It was Christian Life Radio.
The readers write.
Oh, just go ahead and eat and drink like the world might end. Because if you're like most people, you really do only have a few days left before the good times have all gone bye-bye. Come January, your "new life" begins and you have to start exercising and eating right, quit smoking and switch to light beer. Yup, it'll be All Bran all the time in 2005. You have lots of leafy green vegetables and grilled chicken breasts, wheatgrass shots and iced herbal tea to look forward to. Are you crying into your beer yet? Your 40-ounce malt liquor beer? Just think how much tail you're going to pull when you belly up to the bar and order a Michelob Ultra. Very sexy, tough guy. Ah, and now the tears come. Shed those tears now my dears, so you won't have runny mascara for the big New Year's party. You know, the party at which you're going to eat handfuls of bacon-wrapped cocktail wieners dipped in chile con queso, washing them down with Jim Beam straight from the bottle and a chaser of oatmeal stout. Stick that hand deep into the candy jar on the receptionist's desk and gobble up every last chocolate truffle you can dig out of your nephew's discarded Christmas stocking. Because in the words of that somber zombie movie 28 Days Later, "the end is really f-ing nigh."
Revisiting a sweet holiday treat
In January 1919, a 14,000-ton tank of molasses burst and sent a 30-foot wall of ooze rampaging through downtown Boston. It crushed a firehouse, flung horses and wagons into the air, and molassesed 21 people to death.
From Chef James P. O'Brien III of Milagro Grill and Brewery
James O'Brien is a restless traveler. Milagro's new chef grew up in St. Louis, but has since worked in Memphis, Louisville and Atlanta, and attended culinary school in Vermont. O'Brien's wife was eight months pregnant when he decided to quit his high-paying corporate chef job and take a chance on relocating to the Southwest. After six months spent cooking at the Sheraton Old Town, O'Brien decided to settle down in the kitchen at Milagro Grill and Brewery in Bernalillo. “I walked through the door and my jaw dropped,” the chef says of his first visit to the restaurant. “I thought hands down this was the most beautiful restaurant I'd seen since I've been in New Mexico.” Milagro's menu, on the other hand, presented an inviting challenge. To O'Brien, it looked like the menu had been written by three different people—none of whom agreed with each other. He started work immediately on a dinner menu that would present a clear vision of elegant but rustic food; dishes that are creative but approachable. This Chardonnay-braised lamb shank is one of the chef's favorite dishes from his new menu, which debuted just a few weeks ago. The crispness of the Chardonnay helps to counter any gaminess in the meat so that even diners unfamiliar with lamb will be wooed.
'Tis the Season—It's the giving time of year, and what better to give your favorite Hollywood star than an award nomination? Yes, it's that pre-Oscar time of year, when every organization in America starts handing out awards in hopes of getting some good press coverage and maybe a visit from Naomi Watts in an evening dress.
Subtle office comedy makes for great business
Although he got rich and famous as one half of the brotherly duo that created the American Pie series, Paul Weitz has apparently decided it's time to grow up. He proved it quite handily in 2002 when he (and his brother Chris) directed About a Boy. That adaptation of Nick Hornby's popular novel proved that the Weitz boys had more going for them than an endless supply of wiener jokes.
Biography captures early-Hollywood cinematic glamour
Walden Robert Cassotto's relentless drive, arrogance and charisma were a perfect recipe for superstardom. As an entertainer, he was absolutely remarkable. He had the moves, the humor, he was personable with his audience. He was Bobby Darin in all his egocentric, pseudo-confident glory. As his brother-in-law put it, the man we know as the singer of famous songs like "Mack the Knife" and "Beyond the Sea" was both Walden Robert Cassotto and Bobby Darin. He was still a child who was struggling to stay alive, and he was the entertainer everyone expected him to be.
“New Year's Eve” around the dial
Television is a crucial part of any New Year's Eve celebration. How else are you gonna know when midnight has officially struck? Nobody's watch ever agrees, and you're usually too busy boozing it up to notice anyway. Turning the TV on and watching as the big, lit-up ball drops into Times Square is pretty much the most accurate measuring device mankind has.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
The 18th Annual New Mexico Music Industry Awards is now accepting submissions for consideration through Friday, Jan. 28, 2005. The awards banquet doesn't take place until May 22, 2005, but the NMMIA crew have their work cut out for them between the end of January and awards night judging entries that have been primarily recorded and mixed in New Mexico between Jan. 1, 2004 and the deadline. Music of all genres is accepted, and there are a variety of categories to consider. More information, entry forms, drop-off location, etc. can be had at www.nmmia.com. ... KRWN FM in Farmington is currently soliciting New Mexico bands to submit their music for airplay on the station's local rock program airing every Saturday night. Being based in Farmington, the station's broadcast reaches listeners in the Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico four corners area. MP3s and brief bios should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, attention Shawn Kelly. ... Sweet Honey in the Rock return to the Lensic in Santa Fe on Friday, Jan. 21. The reason I mention this now is that tickets will most likely sell out within 72 hours of the on-sale date (still TBA at press time). So call the Lensic and get your tickets now, or miss one of the finest female world music groups alive today yet again.
Everything You Like Sucks
Kill Your Idols dissects the records you love
What if everything you ever thought about your record collection turned out to be wrong? What if all the albums you grew up listening to—the ones that formed the soundtrack to your sad little life—were ultimately revealed to be unworthy of all the time you spent learning every lyric, every inflection, every air-drum fill? For most of us, it would be tantamount to finding out that, whatever our interpretation, God didn't really exist. Reading Kill Your Idols, a new collection of essays edited by Chicago-based music critics Jim DeRogatis and Carmél Carrillo, is a bit like having all your musical balloons burst one by painful one. It also happens to be one of the most engaging musical reads to come down the pike in a long time.
Singing the living shit out of someone else's tried and true hit song—which “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard can certainly do—is a far cry from making a convincing record full of untested and mildly familiar tunes. Studdard's second CD is a drink coaster that makes noise. The songs are limp, the vocal performances lack any discernible soul, and the whole affair sounds thoroughly uninspired. Studdard can sing, but he's at his best in a karaoke environment in front of a musically clueless television audience. As a recording artist, though, Studdard needs significantly more than just an angel. He'll be a realtor by 2006.
No one will ever accuse Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the former Stanford students who founded the Internet search company Google, of a lack of ambition. Brin once said that he hoped Google could be "like the mind of God, everywhere and knowing everything." When the company went public earlier this year, the pair promised to organize all information.
Common Ground: Art in New Mexico at the Albuquerque Museum
Pity the permanent collection. Locked away for most of its sad life in a dark, lonely temperature- and humidity-controlled vault, it only rarely gets to feel the warmth of artificial light on its fragile skin.
Mr. K's Chinese Restaurant
Longtime Albuquerque comedy producer Ronn Perea inaugurates his Duke City Comedy Cabaret on New Year's Eve, Friday, Dec. 31, at Mr. K.'s Chinese Restaurant, formerly New Chinatown. The Red-Headed Divas will be singing jazz and blues numbers. Local comic Goldie Garcia will tell a few jokes. Brenda Hollingsworth Picket will be doing her Lena Horne impression. And comic Bobby Bedard headlines the evening. "After the show," says Perea, "we'll be partying until the midnight hour." A steal at $15. www.rt66cabaret.com, 265-8859.
An interview with Tom Wolfe
Sitting cross-legged on a couch in the library of his Upper East Side apartment, wearing the trademark white suite, navy tie and spotless two-tone spats, Tom Wolfe is about as far from a college keg party as one can be in the United States of America. He should know, since this 74-year-old chronicler of the zeitgeist spent the past four years listening to wasted 20-year-olds recite lines from Old School and spin their game at co-eds. The result of this anthropological masochism is I am Charlotte Simmons, a hulking, hilarious, exclamation point filled tale that is probably every suburban dad's worst nightmare. The novel follows college frosh Charlotte Simmons from her small hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the sex-obsessed campus of fictional DuPont University, where a college basketball player, a frat boy and a nerdy editor of the campus newspaper vie for her hand. Wolfe explained why young co-eds fascinated him so.
In the Night Room