Best Place to Buy Deliciously Large Bars of Soap Lavande Bleu. Walking into this place makes you feel like you just doused yourself in way too much of your mom's perfume. But it's worth it. Never have I seen so much creamy, luscious and utterly huge bars of soap in one place. And the flavors—oh, the flavors. It totally makes me want to wash myself.
It's always tough for us to come up with food-related categories for the Best of Burque poll. We do a Readers Choice Restaurant Poll every year, and that baby's got nearly as many blanks to fill in as this one. But we couldn't rightly say that food isn't one of the best things in Burque. What we probably could do is come up with categories better than Best Place to Eat While Surrounded by People Cooler Than You. So we've already started thinking up some new ideas for next year. How about Best Place to Get a Keg Where They Have a Pretty Reasonable Deposit. Or maybe Best New Mexican Restaurant Where They Make Their Own Tortillas Served With 100 Percent Honey. We're also doing some focus groups with this one: Best Restaurant For a Dinner That's Pretty Nice But Doesn't Cost a Zillion Bucks.
While digging through the stack of ballots from this year's 2005 Best of Burque, a single vote from a single nimrod nabbed my attention more than any other. In the Best Art Gallery category someone answered, “We have those here?” Dude/dudette, please, don't make me choke you.
Best Community Action Group Animal Humane Association serves a great purpose. There are so many unwanted dogs and cats in Albuquerque, and AHA does their best to find homes for these sweet animals. People, please, spay and neuter your animals!
Sure, you might've lost at “Jeopardy,” baby, but don't let that get you down. If you beat out the competition in this year's Best of Burque contest, that's more than enough glory for anyone. As you already know, Alibi readers have the most discriminating tastes, and if they discriminated in your favor, then you won what's behind Door No. 2. Let's see what's behind Door No. 2, Bob.
If there's one thing we humans were made for, it's consumption. The eco-minded among us like to pretend this isn't true, because it makes us feel inherently guilty for living. Well, get over it! You're here, you're human, so unless you're Don Schrader, whip out your pocketbook, because you'll probably need it to survive in our little society. But this doesn't mean that you have to spend your money like a hog-wild lunatic, or that you have to do it in the dark. In the following pages you will find plenty of recommendations from your kindly neighbors, who took the time to let you know about the best places in our quirky city to shop, be it something as necessary as a comfortable place to clean your clothes, or as utterly self-indulgent as the best place to get your legs waxed. Whether you're a live-by-the-land kind of girl, or a self-conscious lad with a hole in his pocket, here are the Burque favorites, so when you do choose to spend your cash, you do it well.
With a wide net cast over the Duke City, this wholly unscientific poll is guaranteed, as always, to be an exercise in profound amusement for some and creative behavior for others, as you shall witness. The ballot counting exhausted our staff, but it was well worth it, and this year the number of votes reached record proportions. So what has life in Burque been like these past 12 months? Well, things are looking up if, for no other reason than we measure success by the amount of snowfall still resting on the Sandia peaks and its imminent plunge into our water tables in the spring. And thank God it's an election year, so if APD and the mayor cannot do the proper house cleaning following the burgeoning evidence room scandal at City Hall, the voters hopefully will. Speaking of the mayor ... let's get started.
Burque loves to burn out the day, then burn out the night. We love livin' for givin' the devil his due. (And we love Blue Oyster Cult.) This year's poll results reminded us what a good time there is to be had in this dust-blown outpost. Rock star karaoke at Atomic Cantina, meeting dates for pool at Anodyne, strokin' to the left, strokin' to the right at The Ranch, low key cocktails at Martini Grille, catching a blistering punk rock show at Launchpad. Good times all around! From what the results show, we're doing a great job at informing you all about what's going on Downtown, where the concentration of people and events is most dense. We promise to work hard in the coming year to cover more events and scenes in other parts of the city. Maybe then we won't get so many people writing in: “There are bars on the Westside?”
What are you doing this weekend? Why don't you come and see a bunch of Alibi staffers getting drunk and disorderly? Doesn't that sound like fun? This Friday at 9:30 p.m. Burt's Tiki Lounge we'll be celebrating the 30th birthday of Alibi's beloved Web monkey, Jeremy. It is guaranteed to be a night of rock 'n' roll misbehavior, featuring our friends The Misphats (yes, a Misfits cover band whose members wear terry cloth track suits). Some Alibi staffers' bands will also play, including Jocko Agency (graphic designer Neal's trio, formerly known as Atomic Love Medicine), general manager Carl's band The Ant Farmers, and Young Edward (a bluegrass quartet starring arts and literature editor Steve, and our former editor emeritus, Michael). Jeremy says birthday gifts are A-OK: cash, grass or ass only.
Adventures in improvisation often border on the unlistenable. And for a select group of listeners who enjoy nothing more than shedding blood, sweat and tears over difficult music, that's just fine. But most folks, myself included, prefer to enjoy music without having to work our ears to their cochleae, while still being able to appreciate subgenres that are, well, a little left of the mainstream. For that lot in particular, meet the Brooklyn Sax Quartet: an adventure in listenable jazz improvisation.
Saturday, April 9; Studio Broadway (all ages, 10 a.m.): With local music, flame juggling, live glass blowing demonstrations, a bed of nails and DJs, the First Annual Curioso Obscura Trunk Show Carnival is a circus unlike any you've ever seen. Niles Mahlman, UNM sculpture student and Studio Broadway's founder, has created an extraordinary Albuquerque event founded on the simple idea of bringing local artists and musicians together in a mixed media collaboration to present to the general public for hands-on viewing and shameless gawking. Felonious Groove Foundation, Astra Kelly, Unidentified Floating Humans, The James Douglas Show and Mantis Fist are just a few of the many musicians tapped to shake things up. The Silver Board Shop will even be installing a ramp for skateboard thrills and chills. You can get a complete schedule of the day's events by calling the Studio Broadway hotline at 842-8446. Studio Broadway is located at 1814 Broadway SE between Avenida César Chávez and Gibson.
Friday April 8; Stella Blue, (21 and over, 8 p.m.): Branded as Albuquerque's best reggae band, by yours truly, Mystic Vision blends traditional reggae rhythms, dancehall beats and hip-hop. This Friday night, Mystic Vision will introduce their sophomore release, a musical opus featuring local faves such as "40 East," "Con Trails," "Great Trembling," "India" and many more.
Mike Patton's projects are usually hit or miss, but you can't deny that they're innovative. Fantômas, one of Patton's more eccentric groups, deliver an album that's something which might result if Tim Burton did a soundtrack for Loony Tunes, featuring animated sounds mixed with twisted, dark, off the wall noises. Patton's unpredictability as a musician is what keeps him an underground, anti-MTV success. However, Patton goes overboard with Suspended Animation, which is just a collage of sounds that are enough to puzzle even the most devout Patton fans. Patton's other projects—Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle and Lovage—deliver more versatility and show off his incredible vocal style to much better effect.
Once again, the villain of hate has reared its ugly head in the direction of its nemesis, "sexual orientation." Luckily we do have a small league of justice, and our super friends appear in many shapes and sizes: specifically, Claire Dunn and Jenn Williams, and a handful of local rock bands. Wonder twin powers ... activate.
Everyone enjoys a pat on the back every once in a while, but it's even better to get an actual award that you can use to impress your friends and taunt your enemies. Every year the Arts Alliance presents Bravos Awards to those artists who have contributed the most to our city's cultural landscape. This year, multimedia artist John Garrett has created a special artwork to be bestowed on the winners at a ceremony taking place this Saturday evening, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Albuquerque Marriott.
The Nerve: A Col-aberration at the Harwood Art Center
By Steven Robert Allen
Lisa Gill strikes me as a woman who can't help but see the world through a poet's eyes. In the wrong circumstances, this might be a curse. Given the ordeal Gill has undergone over the past couple years, though, her special perspective is an enormous blessing, both for herself and those around her.
The Hubba Bubba pink cover art on her new book notwithstanding, Camille Paglia is courting a lower profile these days. "Oscar Wilde was a huge influence on me," says the 58-year-old firebrand on a recent Thursday at the Philadelphia College of Art, where she has taught for two decades. "He believed in the strong critic, and I've done that. I'm there in most of my books; boy, am I there. With Break, Blow, Burn, however, I tried to make myself as invisible as possible."
The future lies in clean energy—so after this year's legislative session, how well are we keeping up?
By Christie Chisholm
Yippee! The legislative session is finally over. That whirlwind of politics that marks the coming of spring every year has wound down, and as the days get longer and the breeze just a little bit sweeter, we can all be thankful that we don't have to do it again until next year. But what actually happened up there in the Roundhouse? Will it benefit New Mexico? Will it benefit you? And, perhaps most important of all, will it move us forward?
If you judge the results of a legislative session by the weight of legislation produced, the meager output of the 2005 60-day session seems sparse indeed. But this year's tiny mound of bills-transformed-into-laws comes wrapped far more elegantly and was delivered far more efficiently than some of the bulkier, noisier versions of recent years.
The reviews on the past 60-day session of the New Mexico Legislature are in, and they tend to be fairly favorable. Well, maybe it's better to say they aren't too negative despite inaction on some fairly significant legislation.
Dateline: China—An online computer gamer in Shanghai stabbed to death a competitor who stole his cybersword, the China Daily recently reported. Qiu Chengwei, 41, stabbed competitor Zhu Caoyuan repeatedly in the chest after he was told that Zhu had sold his character's “dragon saber” from the popular computer game Legend of Mir 3. The game is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game featuring fantasy characters, many of whom wield enormous swords. According to court testimony, Qui and a friend jointly won the weapon last February, and lent it to Zhu who then sold it for 7,200 yuan ($1,129). Qui went to the police to report the “theft” but was told the weapon was not real and was, therefore, not protected by the law. “Zhu promised to hand over the cash, but an angry Qui lost patience and attacked Zhu at his home, stabbing him in the left chest with great force and killing him,” the court was told. Qui had given himself up to police and has already pleaded guilty to intentional injury. The case follows a rash of recent lawsuits in which gamers have sought monetary recompense for lost or stolen virtual items like weapons, armor and gold.
We should all be thankful the New Mexico Legislature doesn't meet for more than 60 days every other year. Take a look at House bill (HB) 805 and imagine if these guys were still up there screwing around.
You Can Call Me Ray—The Big Screen Classics series at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe is celebrating the recent Oscar glory of Ray with a special screening of the musical biopic. The screening will take place on Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Tickets are a mere $5. The Lensic is located at 211 W. San Francisco St. For ticket info, log on to www.lensic.com or call (505) 988-1234.
The new film by low-budget wunderkind Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Spy Kids, From Dusk Till Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) takes as its inspiration the pulp noir graphic novels of writer/illustrator Frank Miller. It's an apt inspiration, really. Unlike the superhero and Spandex-clad “comic book” movies of recent years (X-Men, Spider-Man), Miller's series of interconnecting novels are all based on the hardboiled world of film noir. Bringing them to life on the big screen is sort of like coming full circle.
An interview with actor-turned-director Campbell Scott
By Devin D. O'Leary
Actor Campbell Scott (Dying Young, The Daytrippers, The Spanish Prisoner, Roger Dodger) first tried his hand at directing with a little film called Big Night. Now, some nine years later, he follows up that triumph with an intimate family drama shot right here in New Mexico.
Translating British sitcoms to American airwaves is nothing new. We forget that TV Land classics like “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son” and “Three's Company” were all borrowed from the BBC. But now, unable to come up with a single original idea, poor Hollywood is turning back to Britain with imploring eyes. Although, as the recent crash-and-burn of NBC's “Coupling” (an Americanized version of the BBC hit) will attest, it's not so easy to beg, borrow and steal from overseas these days.
Ask and ye shall receive (champagne)! A few weeks ago I rambled on in this column about silver champagne straws and what a bummer it was that I hadn't seen individual bottles of bubbly anywhere. What I should have said was that I hadn't been offered an individual bottle of sparkling wine in any of the seedy rock clubs I hang out in. (As if I would order anything but Pabst or bourbon!) A passel of classy readers called, e-mailed and came by to let me know that I would have found mini champagne bottles all over town--if I'd bothered to look in wine shops. Jubilation, Quarters, Sunflower Market and Cost Plus World Market all stock at least one brand, but I hear Cost Plus has a selection of eight or nine choices. Most commonly available are Freixenet (say FRESH-uh-NET), Cooks, Pommery Pop and Mumm, but look for the fancy pants Sofia Coppola blanc de blancs in pink aluminum cans. None of them are exactly cheap (they're at least $2.50 each), and most are on the sweet side. What can you do? They're trying to market the stuff to trendy girls in fancy clubs in big cities. Whatever. I still think it's cool. Thanks to Jeff and Sandra for tipping me off, and to Angela for actually bringing in a little bottle of Freixenet!
First, the casualty list. I am getting really tired of reporting on all the great local restaurants that are closing around town. I only wish people got tired of eating chicken strips at Bennigan's. Nouveau Noodles, the multiethnic East Mountains restaurant that was much mentioned in our last Readers Choice Restaurant Poll, has closed. Last week, owner Robert Griego sent a farewell e-mail to his loyal customers, saying, “As many of you may know (or have seen when you are here) that business has steadily declined, and the trends are getting worse rather than better.” The closure means Griego is looking for a new location in which to hold the series of wine classes he had planned for Nouveau Noodles. I expect we haven't seen the last of Griego, who was formerly a manager at Blue Corn Café and Brewery (now known as Chama River Brewing Company).
I get a kick out of this place, and it's not just from the kitschy, retro décor and memorabilia that lines the walls and fills the curio cabinet, or even the music that rockets me back to my adolescence, putting me in the mood for '50s fare. The space is a former gas station that's been converted into a mini malt shop with a short counter and just a few tables, including a couple put out in the parking lot during warmer months.
Pickled eggs don't suck so bad when you make 'em yerself
By Jesse Yancy
Any time you enter a beer joint or beer store in the South, you're likely to find a big jar of pickled eggs on the counter next to the beef jerky, the pieds de porc à l'écarlate and all the other Bubbas that belly up to the Southern sideboard. Pickled eggs are tainted by their dissolute company and brutalized by mass marketing.
By Steven Robert AllenContemporary Photos by Singeli Agnew
Albuquerque, darling, you are looking so fine! I might be biased, but I can't think of a single other city on the cusp of the big 3-0-0 that looks even close to as pretty as you do. Sure, you've got a few blemishes, and, let's face it, it wouldn't hurt to trim a few pounds here and there. Still, all in all, you've aged well. Your mind is surprisingly sharp, and looking at you I'd be willing to bet you're just now entering the prime of your life.
The state attorney general accuses Zangara Dodge of overcharging customers
By Christie Chisholm
Ken Zangara knows money. As a Bush Ranger (meaning that he raised over $200,000 for the prez's election campaign last year), he practically mastered the art of gathering donations. As chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party, he probably understands the relationship between politics and the hard-earned buck. As a businessman and owner of two New Mexico car dealerships, he must know the benefits of a well-seasoned sales pitch. And, after being put on a three-year probation and ordered by the courts to pay $73,000 to 80 employees who he allegedly defrauded in 1992, he might feel the karmic weight of the good ol' smackeroo. It also seems, according to a recent lawsuit filed by New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid, that when it comes to money, Ken Zangara might be charging a little more than he should.
At the crowded March 21 meeting, Councilor Craig Loy's ordinance setting fines for drivers running red lights passed, as did Councilor Tina Cummins' ordinance bringing Albuquerque residential building codes in line with water conservation standards now required by state codes. During public comment, nine representatives of city unions spoke about the Labor Relations Board "taking years" to decide cases and said the city had a double standard in treatment for workers and management.
In its final hours before adjournment, the 2005 session of the New Mexico Legislature completed action on a comprehensive election reform measure and sent it to the governor. The measure received no Republican support; not a single senator or representative from the minority party voted in favor of it, but it passed nonetheless.
Dateline: England—Breed animals, lose your dead mother-in-law. Five animal rights extremists were arrested for digging up and stealing the remains of an 82-year-old woman to protest an animal breeding farm in England. A 32-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were seized at a house in Gloucester, while at the same time three men were stopped by police in their car in Newchurch. Staffordshire police had spent five months investigating the desecration of Gladys Hammond's grave in St. Peter's Churchyard in Yoxall, Staffs. Detectives believe the dead woman's remains were stolen in protest against a farm in nearby Newchurch run by Mrs. Hammond's son-in-law, Chris Hall, who breeds guinea pigs for medical research. The arrests followed a series of anonymous letters, suggesting that those responsible might finally be willing to return the body. Detective Chief Inspector Nick Baker declined to say whether that involved any kind of deal, such as the guinea pig farm closing. Animal rights activists have picketed Mr. Hall's business at Darley Oaks Farm for nearly six years.
King for a Night—In conjunction with the Taos Picture Show, taking place this very weekend, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will present a special screening of the film King of the Corner on Friday, April 1. The film's director/writer/star, Peter Riegert, will attend a Q&A session after each screening. (Screenings begin at 5 and 7:30 p.m.) Riegert started out as an actor in the classic comedy Animal House (where he played Boon), and went on to appear in more than 50 films, including Local Hero, Crossing Delancey, Infinity and Traffic. King of the Corner represents his first feature-filmmaking effort. A deadpan social comedy is based on Gerald Shapiro's book Bad Jews and Other Stories, the film paints a chaotic portrait of a middle-aged man (Riegert) who must deal with a dying father, a precocious daughter, an impatient wife and a tempting old flame. The cast is stocked with ringers like Eli Wallach, Isabella Rossellini, Beverly D'Angelo, Rita Moreno and Eric Bogosian. Riegert's previous directing effort, a short film called “The Courier,” was nominated for an Academy Award. Tickets for this special event will go quickly. The Guild Cinema is located at 3405 Central NE (255-1848).
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then repetition is the surest sign of success. Following the triumph of last year's inaugural outing, the Taos Picture Show returns March 31 through April 3 with another fine selection of features, documentaries and short subjects from around the world.
Here's a little quiz to determine how receptive you'll be to the new film Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. When confronted with the following joke, how do you respond? FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) has been told that a suspect looks like Dolly Parton. While in a Las Vegas casino, she spots a short, blonde woman exactly matching that description. Gracie gives frantic chase, weaving in and out of the casino for five whole minutes screaming, “Stop, fake Dolly Parton! Somebody stop that fake Dolly!” Eventually, Gracie tackles her quarry, at which point it is revealed that the suspect is—surprise, surprise—the real Dolly Parton. At that point, do you say, A) “Ha, ha. Man, I knew it was gonna be Dolly Parton. I just had this feeling and then—bam!—there she is, the real Dolly Parton. Ha, ha. Genius.” Or do you say, B) “Wow, a badly telegraphed joke and a lame celebrity cameo. This is gonna be a long two hours.”
In their move from HBO to Bravo, “Project Greenlight” creators Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and, uh ... the other nonfamous guy decided it was time to go commercial. The first two seasons of the moviemaking reality show produced two dreary coming-of-age dramas, The Battle Of Shaker Heights and Stolen Summer, neither of which made the slightest ripple at the box office. For the third season, then, it was decided to move from prestigious Oscar-generating indie studio Miramax (Shakespeare in Love, Chicago) to cheapjack genre filmmakers Dimension (Dracula 2000, Darkness). The purpose: to create an inexpensive box office hit.
Feels Like Sunday's Nate Smith will begin work on his second Albuquerque compilation this month. The project, Rock Outside the Box Vol. II, is shaping up to be an ambitious follow up to 2003's Vol. 1., which featured 14 tracks from as many bands. The new album will draw heavily from an original roster that included Unit 7 Drain, Foma, Oktober People, Hit by a Bus and Ki. My source hinted that the number of bands may climb in to the low 20s ... perhaps warranting a double disc? Huzzah! If you're still hungry for hot local action, keep your eyes peeled on www.KronikIndustries.com. The production team that brought us Fast Heart Mart's documentary film Arrhythmia is rumored to have a DVD compilation in the works. Nothing's confirmed though. In the meantime, a whole lot of Burque bands can look forward to schlepping back and forth to Santa Fe's Stepbridge Studios, where they'll lay down tracks for Rock Outside the Box.
To guitar aficionados and jazz junkies, the man needs no introduction. For those unfamiliar with his exploits over the last 20-plus years, here's a recap. At the ripe old age of 19, he was tapped by piano virtuoso Chick Corea to join the now legendary fusion supergroup Return to Forever. Dimeola not only held his own alongside such jazz heavyweights as Corea, Lenny White and Stanley Clarke, but went on to make his own brand of Latin/jazz/rock solo albums that set the music world on fire. Over the course of his first five albums, Dimeola was voted Guitar World Magazine's Guitarist of the Year so often they retired him from the category.
with The Fantomes, The Coma Recovery, The Riptorn and Phalcore
By Paul Ortiz
Friday, April 1; Launchpad (All ages, 8 p.m.): If being talked about, argued over, dually worshipped and reviled still matter for rock bands, The Locust may well hold the honored distinction of being the most incendiary punk band of the last 10 years. Whether being chastised for selling out to Epitaph imprint Anti (home also to Merle Haggard and Nick Cave) or lambasted for their dubious choices in merchandise (die-cast belt buckles and multi-use compact mirrors), the San Diego four-piece tends to stir up controversy at every turn. And whether you happen to find them annoyingly gimmicky or downright incredible, bassist and singer Justin Pearson—through his work with Struggle, Swing Kids and Crimson Curse—damn near defined screamo for a generation of late '90s romulans. While that may be good or bad depending on your particular shade of hair dye, The Locust have inarguably left their ugly mark on turn of the century indie music. Half a decade later, the forebearers of Mooged out, no-wave powerviolence are still trudging along the tour circuit, maintaining their singularly claustrophobic, brutally vicious and unapologetically odd vision of future music. Friday night they'll crash and convulse through the five movements from their new symphony EP Safety Second, Body Last, their most complex and accomplished work to date.
This 21-track greatest hits release comes to us from one of pop's most prolific and shapeshifting bands in recent memory. Spanning a decade of EPs, this collection is an excellent starting point for the new SFA listener. Have no fear: included for the seasoned connoisseur are a few obscure, early and hard-to-locate tracks. Pulling influence from everything from The Beach Boys to Brian Eno, this collection is a fairly accurate core sample of what SFA is trying to accomplish as a creative entity. You may need a Welsh translator for some of the track titles, though.
There's a little game I play with myself every year at South By Southwest, where I try to see more bands than I did the previous year. A couple of years ago I broke the magical 50 mark and have been unable to match it since. This year, I managed to take in 35 acts over four sleepless nights and three bleary-eyed days ... and with a mangled left toe even.
At the 10 a.m. matinee, I found myself floating in the middle of a noisy sea of high schoolers from Cibola and West Mesa. Yikes! Modern experimental theater isn't easy for a lot of adults to handle. For most high school kids, it seems like an experience close to torture.
When the bland, homogenized pop music spoon-fed to you by mainstream radio starts turning your stomach, you know it's time to get a little adventurous. One of the best opportunities to do this comes every year during UNM's John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium.
Anna Tsouhlarakis' new show at the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW) evolved out of awards she received in conjunction with the Albuquerque Contemporary exhibit presented last year at the Albuquerque Museum. Tsouhlarakis has a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale and has studied art in Italy, but her work is intimately tied with the Southwest, often centering around issues of native identity. Fixations opens Friday, April 1, with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Runs through April 28. 242-1983.
The late night anarchists that make up the comedy collective Eat, Drink and Be Larry are moving their show from the Vortex Theatre to Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre (519 Central NW) for a show this weekend. Best of all, this hootenanny is being guest hosted by none other than the Alibi's own Devin D. O'Leary. The show—titled Eucalyptus and Other Fine Scents or The Life and Times of Dick Knipfing—runs Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2, at 10:30 p.m. A very reliable source tells me this show is freakin' hilarious. $6. 245-8600.
Book freaks, take heed! The 14th Annual Albuquerque Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at UNM's Continuing Education Center (1634 University NE, 291-9653) this Friday, April 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers say this is the biggest antiquarian book sale in the state. In addition to books on everything from cooking to history to the occult, you'll also find maps, plates, photographs, prints and various other bookish ephemera. The event is a benefit for the library at the university's Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Admission is $6 for both days, or $2 if you plan on only attending Saturday, when all the best stuff will have already been nabbed.
Far too often, food shows leave a bad taste in my mouth
By Laura Marrich
Somewhere over the Big-I and two nights before the 17th Annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show, my boyfriend and I find ourselves sitting in a Village Inn, one booth over from a chatty, convivial man named Matt. Actually, he is the Chef Matt, of Chef Matt's Hand Crafted Arizona Habanero BBQ Sauce, recipient of the 2005 Scovie Award for barbecue sauce. Matt is working miracles in our section, cracking jokes with our evasive and at times bitchy waitress. Service has sped up considerably since his arrival.
Mediterranean Café offers a culinary tour of North Africa
By Scott Sharot
A culinary delight for food explorers, the menu at Mediterranean Café sails like Marco Polo from port to port along the silk trade routes of yore. The dishes delight with the bold combinations of sweet, sour, savory and salty flavors, typical of Moroccan, Tunisian and other Middle Eastern cuisines. Cumin, saffron, dried ginger, cinnamon, paprika, rose water, dried fruits, preserved lemons, salty olives and nuts all mingle peacefully on the plate.
This recipe is by Paula Wolfort, the author of a book called Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. Wolfort got the recipe from Aziza ben Tanfous, curator of the Sidi Zitouni Museum on the island of Jerba, who learned it from her grandmother. It was published in a more recent book, Mediterranean Cooking. You probably don't have a couscous steamer at home, but feel free to use a bamboo or aluminum steamer lined with a layer of cheesecloth. It'll work almost as well.
Africa on Screen—The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe kicks off its Fourth Annual African Effect Film Festival this Thursday, March 24. This must-not-miss festival showcases vibrant, emerging cinema from Africa and the African Diaspora and continues through Sunday. Samba Gidjigo, the official biographer of Ousame Sembene (director of Moolaade and universally recognized father of African cinema), will present a special program “Sembene and Africa.” Sembene's 1965 drama Black Girl will also be screened as part of the program. Other festival highlights include the winner of the Nigerian Film Festival, Agogo Eewa (a funny and scathing example of African political cinema), and Cosmic Africa (a scientific and spiritual meditation on the cosmos itself). Short films, features and documentaries will all be spotlighted in the four-day festival. African Effect is rapidly becoming one of New Mexico's best film festivals, and tickets will go fast. Individual tickets are $8. Passes are available. Log on to www.cca.org for complete schedule/film descriptions/ticket info.
During most of his long but troubled life, no one paid much attention to Henry Darger. With no family and few acquaintances, he lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago, earning meager wages as a janitor at neighborhood hospitals. He attended mass and received communion every day. He claimed to be too poor to own a dog.
Once upon a time, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas, was the scrappy, little-known brother to the hipper and more prominent SXSW Music Festival. Unlike Sundance and Toronto, the festival provided a perfect neutral ground for filmmakers and film fans to mingle. Screenings weren't crowded with studio executives looking to score the next great indie hit and filmmakers weren't under pressure to chat up only worthy distributors. While some of this still holds true, 2005 will certainly go down in history as the year that SXSW lost its status as a “little” film festival.
I'm not sure at what point TLC's “Trading Spaces” turned into the “Saturday Night Live” of cable television, but it has suddenly become the launching point for all kinds of spin-off talent. First carpenter Ty Pennington split off to network success on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Then designer Douglas Wilson tried his hand at the series “Moving Up.” Now, fellow “Trading Spaces” alum Genevieve Gorder is trading on her rickrack-and-throwpillow success as host of the new series “Town Haul.”
The stubborn asses over at the Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth SW) don't think poetry should be confined to the official poetry month of April. So, just to be contrary, they're hosting a poetry reading this month on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. featuring readings by Erin Radcliffe, Tomás Radcliffe, Matthew Rana, J. Salerno, Nicky Schildkraut and Melissa Weinstein. The event is also designed to celebrate the first all-poetry edition of the Donkey Journal, the gallery's hip monthly arts journal. Refreshments will be provided. These six poets will present a wide range of poetic ideas and voices throughout the evening. According to the Donkey Gallery: "There's something for everyone, unless one wants bongos. There will not be bongos." For details, call 242-7504.
Kevin R. Elder might be a victim of high expectations. Over the last couple years, he's evolved into one of the Tricklock Company's superstars, one of the most talented members of a very talented group of people. His futuristic masque, Splinters, which Elder created and performed with fellow Tricklocker Summer Olsson, was more than just the best thing I saw at this year's Revolutions International Theatre Festival. It was actually one of the most inventive pieces of theater I've ever seen—period.
The first thing you should know is that our very own homegrown partners in comedy Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen no longer call their act Sabotage. They're now called the Pajama Men. The second thing you should know is that, after years of touring to critical acclaim, Albuquerque's favorite idiot twins have been picked up by the Second City, the goofball granddaddy of American comedy institutions. The third thing you should know is that the Pajama Men will be performing a new sketch show called Stop Not Going at the Q-Staff Theatre (4819 Central NE) starting this weekend. The show will run Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. through April 9. $15 general, $12 students. They'll also be doing a fully improvised show called Dirty Thursdays on, yes, Thursdays at 9 p.m. through April 14. $9. You will be amused. 255-2182.
Margaret Carlson brings a whole new meaning to the term fabric art. Her astonishing construction, Husht Reverberations, is composed of over 10,000 yards of donated fabric, and was created with a lot of help from her friends. In its sheer mass alone, this is an impressive piece of work, and I'm told it's even more amazing in person. Carlson will exhibit this piece starting this week at Factory on 5th Art Space (1715 Fifth Street NW) along with an undulating canvas work created by Christy Kay Lopez called The Observer Effect. The show opens Friday, March 25, with a reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Runs through April 25. For details, call 259-9029 or 255-3331.
Twenty years of experience in counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and intelligence can be enough to encourage one to take life easy for awhile—it was certainly enough to get Mike Lewis ready for a comfortable, trouble-free retirement. So when he and his wife, Patricia, moved into a quiet neighborhood in Sandia Park last year, they bought a couple dozen chickens, a handful of dogs and cats, planted a small orchard, and waited for the simple life to begin. Unfortunately, simplicity wasn't what was in store for them.
Here begins the near impossible task of creating a cogent literary "wrap" of the 2005 South By Southwest Music Conference. For one thing, the sheer number of bands and artists showcasing—approaching somewhere in the vicinity of the 700 mark—along with all the related day parties, label showcases and other events is overwhelming, making it difficult if not impossible to glean a "big picture" perspective on the festival. For another, most people who read this and other backend pieces regarding SXSW generally have no context with which to approach such chaotic, pants-shittingly awesome musical overload. Even so, the experience itself fosters a determination to share it that throttles then chokes out the thick-necked specter of futility.
Dateline: Bosnia—An ineffectual but determined Bosnian thief identified only as Fehim was recently arrested three times in one day for three different crimes. According to the Oslobodjenje daily, the 44-year-old man was first caught breaking into a car and taken to a police station in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza. He was released after giving a statement but returned a few hours later after causing a traffic accident with another stolen vehicle. Once again, he was released. Following two more failed car thefts, Fehim decided to try his luck at residential burglary. He was caught breaking into an apartment. This time, he was detained pending trial.
Who wants to be Albuquerque's next rock idol? The mad scientists at Grandma's Music & Sound and 104.7 FM The Edge are teaming up to craft New Mexico's Ultimate Band. The idea is simple: Take four weeks to hand-pick the best musicians in the city, divvy them up into two blistering rock groups of unsurpassed talent, then turn them loose on each other like ravenous hounds at a majestic cock fight. Battle of the Bands meets Evil Dead II? Oh man, I think I just crapped my pants! If you think you've got what it takes, Grandma's will hold mini-competitions every weekend through mid-April, starting with a guitarist roundup this Saturday. Future auditions will include bassists (April 3), singers (April 9) and drummers (April 16). The top musicians from each category will form two bands, eventually going head to head at the Launchpad on May 14. When the dust clears, one group will walk away with "ultimate" bragging rights plus some sweet-ass booty. That's right, booty. Prizes include a guaranteed spot at this year's Edgefest, six hours of recording time, a chance to perform live for a Virgin Records A&R rep., free stuff from the Gas Pipe and brand new equipment courtesy of Grandma's. Check out www.1047edgeradio.com/ubc.html for complete contest details. Then head west and register at Grandma's Music & Sound. They're located at 9310 Coors NW, just north of Paseo del Norte. And tell 'em Large Marge sent you.
Saturday, March 26; Brickyard Pizza (all ages, 8 p.m.): Perhaps it's his James Dean, just rolled in, screw you kind of approach that really speaks to his fans. Whatever it is, Eric McFadden makes it work. McFadden is in town to do the kind of music you won't hear from his well-known trio or from the P-Funk All Stars. With some impressive notches in his career belt, McFadden has managed to strut his stuff with some of the best, such as the Reverend Horton Heat, Primus man Les Claypool and Bo Diddley. Tonight he will be joined by Wally Ingram, a percussionist from McFadden's latest project Stockholm Syndrome. Ingram has a long list of performing credits including tours and performances with Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal and Neil Young.
Monday, March 28; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Having nabbed the 2004 album of the year award from Kerrang! magazine, Leviathan, Mastodon's newest full-length offering, has been making, and please indulge me, a mighty big splash. Perhaps history's only 45-minute metal song cycle based on Melville's impenetrable opus Moby Dick, the new record pays little attention to elementary heavy metal cliché. That shouldn't suggest that Mastodon doesn't proudly weave the influence of bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath into their angular, post-hardcore sound, because they do. Nor should one assume that a literary metal record need be any less dark and frightening, because it's plenty dark and plenty frightening. Somehow Mastodon manages to appeal to people who don't necessarily listen to heavy music, while still blowing the minds of the most staunch metal purists. With the unavoidable saturation of the contemporary music market, that sort of quality is rare and reassuring. Having built a reputation as a technically and emotionally explosive live act, their stature should only continue to grow. Add to this that Mastodon has enough musicianship to live off the interest, creating expansive soundscapes, virtuoso guitar riffing and time changes that'll make your stomach drop, and it becomes pretty clear that Monday's show isn't one to miss.
In the early '80s you'd get your ass kicked for riding a skateboard or being a punk rocker. Back then, the world was not ready for Social Distortion. If you liked this kind of music, you were a rebel, an outcast, one of maybe a handful in your city. But these days, being a punk is as normal as being a preppy was back in the '80s. It seems like everyone rides a skateboard, wears a crooked trucker cap or proudly displays a plethora of ill-advised tattoos. Punk rock has found its way to mainstream radio and penetrated our high schools and shopping malls. It baffles me how so many whiney pseudo-punk bands of today attain such a high level of mainstream success while bands like Social Distortion go relatively unnoticed. It's been 25 years since their inception, eight long years since the last record and five years since the tragic death of founding guitarist Dennis Dannell. I was starting to wonder if we'd ever see another Social Distortion release. But punk rock survivor and fiery frontman Mike Ness and his pals have come through with another uncompromising, solid and hard-rocking record full of genuine, reflective and heart-felt songs that rival the Social D classics.
It is a little known fact that St. Patrick was actually not Irish at all, but British. To keep in the spirit of having a good excuse to drink beer, talk a bunch o'blarney, and vomit corned beef and cabbage among family and friends, the Launchpad presented its own we're-not-really-Irish-either celebration. It was a night in which legends were born. Unfortunately, no one will remember any of them due to the ever-flowing Guinness and Jameson and Bushmills, oh my.
So ... my birthday's coming up. Only, what, five months to go? And you're probably already wondering what to get me, right? Yeah. Well, get out your little Hello Kitty pen and scribble this down: Silver champagne straws—so I can sip out of my individual bottle of bub' in style. Wait, come to think of it, where the hell am I going to get one of those one-glass-sized bottles? The last time I saw them here was about four years ago on New Year's Eve. I had the flu and got stuck on the tarmac in Dallas flying back from Washington, D.C., then dropped into Burt's just in time for the countdown. I had one little bottle of Pop (from Pommery) and went home to bed. That sucked. Anyway, haven't seen personal Pop—or any other brand since. Damn you small market Albuquerque! Where are those ridiculous marketing trends when you need them? I mean, 99 percent of that crap (Bacardi-Gras? The Guinness Toast?) is lame, lame, lame. But why can't I cruise around the Universal on Thursday nights, sipping brut out of a silver straw? Fuck it. I'll use the silver straws to drink my Champagne of Beers. They're only $115 at www.vivre.com.
Pop quiz! How many Il Vicino restaurants are there? Give up? Eight. We have two in Albuquerque, and there are now locations in Santa Fe, Colorado Springs, Denver, St. Louis and Wichita. Yes, Wichita. Question number two: Did you know that Pranzo, the Italian restaurant in Santa Fe, was owned by the same guys who own Il Vicino and Scalo? Oh, ya didn't didja? Well, surely you read in this paper that those guys (Tom White, Rick Post and Greg Atkin) just sold Scalo to StevePaternoster. Oh! Question number three: Who is the president of the New Mexico Restaurant Association? That's right, Steve Paternoster. Back to the story. Pranzo was just sold to Michael O'Reilly, and judging from a recent meal I had at O'Reilly's other restaurant, The O'Keeffe Café, Pranzo will be in good hands. The café, next to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, is shockingly underrated. The food is excellent, with a strong focus on local, organic ingredients; the wine list and service are superb. O'Reilly also bought all of Pranzo's recipes and intends to keep the restaurant mostly the same.
The Burrito Lady serves up primo homestyle cooking
By Scott Sharot
Yes, there really is a burrito lady! Her name is Consuelo Flores and she darts like a blur, whooshing between kitchen and cash register, cooking, serving food or making change, always with an ear to ear smile. Consider yourself lucky to find your way to her little corner of the world. To me, this place has become the high altar of home cooking in Albuquerque, largely because of the hands-on nature of the business.