Top-placing burger makers to be celebrated June 20 to 27
Inquiring minds want to know: What’s your favorite burger in Burque? Weekly Alibi is hosting our first ever Burque Burger Week, which will showcase the city’s favorite burgermeisters as nominated by you, our lovely readers. The winning restaurants will each craft a special burger that they’ll only serve from June 20 to June 27. Nominations are open now, from May 23 to June 6. Flame on!
UNM leads a psychedelic renaissance
The city is crawling with bicycles …and it’s fabulous!
Ultra Health devotes to budding potential
An interview with the king of cult films
As a teenager growing up in Royal Oak, Michigan, gangly Bruce Lorne Campbell spent his days making Super 8 movies with neighborhood friends, including a fellow he met in his high school drama class named Sam Raimi. According to legend, Campbell and Raimi and their pals (Scott Spiegel, Josh Becker and Robert Tapert among them) made about 50 of these backyard epics--mostly short, slapstick comedies along the lines of “The Blind Waiter” and “Cleveland Smith: Bounty Hunter.”
Residents of the 505, or the Kirk as I like to call it, should be proud of local musician Paul Salazar who has been invited to take part in a New York songwriters' showcase where he'll be performing for industry bigwigs. What's more is that you can witness his Monday, July 11, performance at CBGBs, and Sunday, July 17, performance at The Bitter End on a live webcast. Just go to www.cbgb.com at 7:45 p.m. (our time) on the 11th, and to the www.bitterend.com at 6:45 p.m. on the 17th. His show at The Bitter End also marks the release of his new album At The Helm, so give him a pat on the back when you see him perform at the District (on the Downtown Fourth Street Mall, here in the Kirk) on Wednesday, July 20, and Friday, July 22.
Friday, July 8; KiMo Theatre (All-ages): What's more New Mexico Americana than the KiMo Theater? Catch a little Friday night opry at the KiMo, headlined by our Albuquerque boy Nels Andrews and his El Paso Eyepatch. Nels brings his gravelly voice to the stage, making music that comes from the deep shadows and haunts of living. His award-winning songwriting is a steely drive through the pasts of people and places. Also on the bill is the family band The Next Chapter, whose deft picking of Celtic, bluegrass and fiddle tunes is driven by Jeanne Page's hammer dulcimer. Raising Cane will bring their New Mexico brand of southern bluegrass to the stage with original stories and rambling melodies. Rounding out the local flavor is the old-time sound of the six-member Placitas Mountain Band. A true New Mexico Americana showcase might include some corridos and Native drumming, but this evening ought to satisfy connoisseurs of the standard—if ambiguous—Americana genre. The show starts at 7 p.m. $12. 768-3544.
with Matt Boyer
Monday, July 11; Launchpad (21 and over): All should rejoice because the übergenius of rock melancholia, Mark Kozelek, is coming to town. He's the mind behind Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon, who I love. I mean, really love. Sometimes they make me feel like my heart is going to combust. This is partially because of the brooding and nostalgic tone of the lyrics combined with what sometimes initially sounds like conventional singer/songwriter and rock compositions but becomes something much bigger and more complex. It's rare when someone is able to create this kind of aurally stimulating, completelly penetrating, painful-in-a-good-way atmosphere. (Did that phrase sound a little dirty to you, too?) Maybe it's because he feels our pain. Or we feel his. Or maybe it's because he brings the pain, and we just have to submit to his majestic misery. As an interesting sidenote, Kozelek played the role of Stillwater bassist Larry Fellows in 2000's Almost Famous. That's almost awesome.
I never would have guessed it, but it looks like Glenn Danzig may be to the music world what Kevin Bacon is to the movie world. If you're unfamiliar with the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it hypothesizes that Kevin Bacon is the center of the cinematic universe. That means that you can link anyone in film to him through six degrees of separation or less, mostly because he was a member of so many ensemble casts.
The soulful Detroit Cobras champion rock and roll that predates Johnny B. Goode. Mostly obscure covers, they play what you'd have heard on "race" stations catering to northern inner city and southern rural blacks from pioneer DJs Hunter Hancock or Jocko Henderson (later capitalized upon by whites like Alan Freed). Rock and roll only in retrospect; in its time this was still called rhythm and blues. The Cobras aren't cheeseball revivalist hipsters but adore music that inspired the well-known "originators," music that makes even the best of Chuck Berry look like docile bubblegum.
Dim Sum, Want Sum?
Dim sum means “small treats that touch the heart.” They began as a type of snack in teahouses in the Canton Province of China. Typically they're eaten from early morning till late afternoon, and provide a perfect way to snack while socializing, doing business and enjoying tea. I love to eat multi-course meals comprised of lots of little dishes or tastes, so dim sum suits me just fine. Savory pastries, steamed or fried dumplings, filled buns, noodles and sweet treats are an integral part of dim sum menus. Amerasia, as the name implies, is an Americanized version of the dim sum experience.
I'll never forget my first dim sum experience. I was studying cooking at the China Institute in New York and there was a special midterm dim sum banquet thrown for our class. A master chef named Chef Ma prepared the feast. The experience blew me away. I had never seen so many dishes served at one sitting and there were exotic animal parts like shark fins in soup dumplings, chicken feet with black bean sauce and even duck webs, which I tried for the first (and only) time. There were so many wonderful tastes, textures and sensations that I became an instant dim sum lover. It's not that difficult to make your own dim sum dumplings. These duck dumplings are always a huge hit when I serve them. Peking duck is readily available at oriental markets and goyza wrappers are even sold at supermarkets these days. You'll need a crimper, a small plastic press, to form the dumplings, found at oriental markets or most cooking stores. This recipe is from the Chinese Favorites cooking class that I teach at Ta Lin International Market's cooking school. You can find a current schedule of classes on line at www.talininc.com.
Salary increases for New Mexico teachers leave support staff behind
It isn't a secret that public school teachers are some of our lowest paid public sector employees. In New Mexico, it would be particularly hard to keep such knowledge under wraps, considering the average salary for a first-year teacher barely hovered above the poverty line less than a decade ago. For years, state salaries for teachers have lingered among the lowest ranking in the country—and only recently increased to the 44th highest. This rather dismal reality explains why local educators complain of an exodus, or brain drain, of qualified teachers to other states and other vocations at an alarming rate.
Area groundwater hosts an array of hazardous chemicals resulting from years of industrial contamination
One night in May 2003, ConocoPhillips spilled nearly 40,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline fuel at one of its fuel storage facilities along Broadway between Gibson and Rio Bravo, only 8,000 of which were recovered; the rest seeped into the ground. This spill, which was the result of human error, was one in a string of South Valley spills dating from the mid '80s, and is an example of the type of hazard and potential extraneous industrial pollution that South Valley residents fear to this day.
Mayor flip-flops his image to compete for GOP votes
Mayor Martin Chavez is running to the right of his Republican challenger, City Council President Brad Winter. Chavez has so isolated himself from large segments of Democratic voters he has no choice but to chase Republican votes. He was reminded of this imperative when he was creamed in a recent Democratic Party straw poll that saw his leading Democratic rival, City Councilor Eric Griego, far outpace everyone else.
He spun and he spun but President Bush got nowhere with his ballyhooed speech on the Iraq War last week. All his mighty spinning went for naught. He should have saved his breath.
Dateline: Korea—The Korean Baseball Association has ruled that players can no longer wear frozen cabbage leaves. “The KBO rules and regulations committee on Tuesday reached a decision that cabbage leaves should be considered as odd materials,” a KBO spokesman told the Australian Free Press. The committee investigated the use of cabbage leaves by players after the cap of pitcher Park Myung-hwan of the Doosan Bears fell to the ground during a game against the Hanhwa Eagles on Sunday, revealing a frozen cabbage leaf. Park said he began using cabbage leaves last year after hearing from a local TV station that U.S. baseball great Babe Ruth had used them to cool off.
Kids + Films—Is your child interested in filmmaking? The Continuing Education Department at UNM is offering a chance for kids to make their own digital video movies with a junior filmmaking class this summer. “Film Fantasy Camp” will take place July 11-15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids will learn camera operation, lighting, sound and grip techniques. They'll choose scenes, schedule, shoot and edit their projects. The class will conclude with a screening for family and friends. Cost is $295, but the kids should learn a lot and they will be out of your hair for an entire week. The classes will take place at Rio Grande Studios. For more information, call 277-6036 or visit their Web site at dce.unm.edu.
American studios rush to remake a slew of Far East films
There was a brief period when Hollywood was obsessed with remaking French comedies. Three Men and a Baby, Cousins, Three Fugitives, Pure Luck, Father's Day, Jungle 2 Jungle and The Birdcage all got their start as successful French films (and, in more cases than not, ended up as bad American flops). Why? The answer is simple: Like lazy American schoolkids, studio executives hate coming up with original ideas. Original ideas can be risky. Better simply to steal an already successful idea from someone else. And if you can steal it from some foreigner, all the better. Chances are most Americans have never heard of it, and it will seem perfectly original to them.
Are you sick and tired of played-out Hollywood pretty boys trying their hardest to be “action stars” and convince you how cool they are? I think I just might have the cure for your dilemma--and it wears a skintight rubber outfit. That's right, boys and girls, the folks at Paramount have finally decided to dip into their archives and unleash upon the world a DVD so damn cool that you could throw it in an ice chest to chill your drinks. So let's bust out the tie-dye and sitars and take a dip into the psychedelic '60s for film legend Mario Bava's spectacular tribute to the Italian comic book series Danger: Diabolik.
“Ultimate Zoo” on Animal Planet
As my distaste for “reality television” grows greater, I find it harder and harder to watch real human beings engaged in actual human activities. After a while, even a documentary about World War II starts to look like a black and white version of “Big Brother”: We put Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and sexy Eva Braun in a bunker for one month. What happens when they stop acting polite and start being real.
The Week in Sloth
Over 60 artists, celebrities and community leaders from around the country have been asked to transform simple wooden boxes into elaborate works of art. These boxes will be sold at a special celebrity art auction on Friday, July 8, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center to raise funds for the center's foundation. There'll be music by Jasper along with wine and tapas. Tickets are $25. To order, call 766-9858. You can preview the art as well as read about each artist at www.nhccnm.org. (Click on the yellow "Tesoros" box.)
Abstractions in Stone and Oil at the Factory on 5th
Let's be honest. Art isn't the only factor to consider when evaluating the quality of a gallery. Atmosphere always plays a significant role. The truth is that most people enjoy a little romantic ambience to go with their art viewing, and why shouldn't they? Fine visual art deserves a fine visual space in which it can be viewed.
Tricklock Performance Space
This year's winner of the Manoa Project's statewide playwriting competition is Ashes by Shannon Rogers of La Cueva High School. Ashes follows a group of slaves struggling to find belief in their humanity. It's the third year for this impressive teen playwriting and ensemble apprenticeship program, which features four performances of the winning play at the Tricklock Performance Space—all produced and performed by the Manoa Ensemble. Composed of young artists, the ensemble is created during a theater-training institute that runs all summer. On Saturday, July 9, at 2 p.m. the Manoa Ensemble will also present a staged reading of the runner up, Love Something Like a Blender by Dani Mettler of Sandia Prep. $6 suggested donation. Ashes runs July 7 through July 10, Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Tricklock Performance Space (112 Washington SE). $12 general, $9 students/seniors. 254-8393 or www.tricklock.com.
An interview with Nancy Snow, author of Propaganda, Inc. and Information War
His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed. Even to understand the word "doublethink" involved the use of doublethink.
Being lied to sucks. Bankrolling the production of lies with our own tax dollars really sucks. But mendacity, unfortunately, seems to be the preferred political tactic when the Bush administration promotes its policies, brushing off each lie as if it were just a joke.
1. Truth is not the absence of propaganda; propaganda thrives in presenting different kinds of truth, including half-truths, incomplete truths, limited truths, out of context truths. Modern propaganda is most effective when it presents information as accurately as possible. The Big Lie or Tall Tale is the most ineffective propaganda.
with Spitalfield, Down to Earth Approach and The Forecast
Sunday, July 3; Launchpad (All-ages): You like synth-pop. Don't lie about it. Even if you were a teenager in the '80s (when the stuff was almost too popular to be hip), it's hard to deny that there is something singularly stellar about the material decade's signature sound. You like Tears for Fears. You like the Cars. You really like Depeche Mode. If this is true for you, Action Action should be your new favorite band. Spit in the wind these days and you'll hit some sort of revivalist, but Action Action is one of the few who actually get the feeling right and expand on it. Don't Cut Your Fabric to This Year's Fashion, their February debut, is great for a lot of reasons—dark songs so catchy you might never notice the darkness, for starters—but the production work stands out. William Wittman, Cyndi Lauper's exclusive producer, turned the nobs and gave guts and depth to songs a lesser producer would have turned into indie mush. Check out "Eighth-Grade Summer Romance" to hear what I mean. Wittman can't take credit for the songs, though. That goes to former Reunion Show vocalist and songwriter Mark Thomas Kluepfel, Action Action's prolific principal songwriter. He already brought his new band to Albuquerque once this year, opening for the All American Rejects at the Sunshine Theater. This time they get the fat time slot all to themselves, headlining Sunday at the Launchpad. Check it out and fill up your senses with all the plastic zen your '80s-loving ass can handle.
Bassist Zimbabwe Nkenya won't tell me what kind of jazz he plays. He says most jazz categories are superficial, and that only two really exist: good and bad. This invalidates my need to define what he does with genre placement, but oh well—with my petite knowledge of the original American music, perhaps I would have only been confused if he'd told me his style was a fusion of avant-garde and hard bop (it's not). Besides, he doesn't really like the word "fusion" and neither do I.
with Mystic Vision, One Foundation, La Junta and Zac Freeman
Friday, July 1; Launchpad (21 and over): What better place to launch a California tour than at the "official" Launchpad? Christian Orellana, Concepto Tambor's front man and last original member, promises a going away party that Albuquerque music fans will talk about long after their van pulls out of town. Concepto's third generation lineup is bigger and better than ever before, complete with high energy rhythms and sultry vocals. They round out their South American percussion style with traditional Spanish and English lyrics that invite even the most hard-pressed critic to get up and shake a cheek. But wait, there's more; a rocking roster of the best musicians our fair city has to offer: Mystic Vision, One Foundation, beat box enthusiast Zac Freeman and newcomers La Junta. This is it folks, after this performance, you won't see Concepto until fall, and a lineup like this is a rare and exceptional occasion.
After 14 years and eight full-lengths, Glaswegians Teenage Fanclub give us Man-Made, which can be best described with the adjective most commonly applied to them: melodic. Perhaps it's the '60s pop song structures blended with the guitar tones, synthesizers and layering of '70s Big Star-esque rock. Or maybe it's the three-vocalist combination which creates an effect reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" (don't laugh, BOC rules). Whatever it is, Man-Made comes off with a beautiful and bittersweet, somewhat tragic feel which I recommend for long trips by road or plane, sitting alone by water and general introspection.
Laru Ni Hati is one of the Duke City's top unisex hair salons. In fact, it was named No. 1 Hair Salon by Alibi readers in this year's Best of Burque poll. The name means “clear blue sky” in one of the native languages of the Caribbean. Partners Greg Chakalian and Alan Schechner have created more than a hair salon; they've also provided a great place to hang out. Now you can even enjoy a little slice of Cuba at their café, whether you're there getting beautified or not.
I used to live in South Florida and still miss the many forms of tropical fruit not often found outside of the subtropics. Every time I return to Miami for a visit, as soon as I leave the airport I head directly to La Palacia de Las Frutas, a phenomenal fruit stand/juice bar on nearby Red Road, for a batido, a Cuban tropical fruit shake. These outrageous milkshakes come in a wide variety of incredibly delicious flavors but mamey is the king of batidos. It's made from the fruit of the mamey sapote (Calocarpum sapota). The mamey fruit is huge and takes up to 18 months to ripen, which often causes folks to protect their valuable crop with razor wire fences, no joke. When the flesh of this highly prized fruit is ripe, it turns a lurid salmon/orange color. Its unique flavor is hard to describe but tastes a little bit like raspberries with a slightly tart citrus twist. Try it, you'll love it. Not to worry, you don't need to book a flight to the tropics to enjoy the joys of mamey. Talin World Market carries mamey and other tropical fruit pulps in the frozen food section of the store. I've included a traditional recipe for the batido mamey, but you can substitute any ripe tropical fruit or pulp. I also love guanabana (often called sour sop), which tastes sort of like pineapple with a touch of vanilla.
Animal activists grow impatient with city over shelter evaluations
It's our anniversary. No, I'm not talking about the Tricentennial. I'm talking about a much quieter and unnoticed passage of time. It's been five years since the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) came to our city to evaluate the Albuquerque Animal Care Center (formerly known as the Albuquerque Animal Services Division) and found widespread instances of animal cruelty at both of the city's animal shelters. After that visit, evaluators laid forth a hefty set of recommendations and since then the city has continually promised to bring them back for a reevaluation. Five years later, they still haven't returned, and local animal rights activists say that conditions at the shelters haven't improved much, despite political promises to the contrary.
Published in 1949, George Orwell's novel 1984 follows the life of Winston Smith, who lives in London, a city in the country of Oceania, and works for his government's Ministry of Truth. A sense of twisted harmony exists in this fictional world. The other national offices in Oceania are Ministry of Peace (concerned with war), Ministry of Love (concerned with law and order), and the Ministry of Plenty (department of economic affairs).
At the June 20 meeting, city councilors braced for a session running into early morning, but a Democratic walkout cleared the chamber before 10:45 p.m.
"I've brought you all together," the famous British detective said, glancing meaningfully around Mayor Marty Chavez's conference room, "because I believe I've come to the end of my, ahem, investigation into the missing evidence."
Hearings provide great free entertainment
Wolves can be such fun. Nothing brings people together like wolves. Just announce a wolf hearing in the village of Reserve, and stand back.
Dateline: Romania—A young nun has died after being bound to a cross, gagged and left alone for three days in a cold room by several other nuns and a priest at her convent. Police say members of the convent in Northeastern Romania claim Maricica Irina Cornici was possessed by evil spirits and that the crucifixion had been part of an exorcism ritual. According to the BBC News, the 23-year-old nun was denied food and water throughout her ordeal, had been tied and chained to the cross and had a towel shoved in her mouth. A postmortem is to be carried out, although initial reports say that Cornici died from asphyxiation. A priest and four nuns have been charged with imprisonment leading to death. The priest, Father Daniel, is accused of orchestrating the crime, but remained unrepentant in the local media. “I don't understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this,” the AFP news agency quoted Father Daniel as saying. “God has performed a miracle for her. Finally Irina is delivered from evil.”
The History of Shooting—The KiMo Theater Art Gallery, located in downtown Albuquerque, has teamed up with the Duke City Shootout to present a quirky multimedia exhibit dedicated to the homegrown film festival's history. For five years, the Shootout--previously known as Flicks on 66 and DigiFest Southwest--has challenged writers, directors, actors and editors to shoot, edit and premiere a short digital film in just one week. The KiMo's multimedia exhibit will feature a continuous roll of cinematic shorts and documentary footage from previous years. “The Duke City Shootout: Photographs, Films & Commentaries” opens on Friday, June 1. Continuous showings of the festival's best cinematic shorts, photographs by festival shooters John Maio & Jim Klukkert and insightful commentary by critics, survivors and other ne'er-do-wells should get your appetite properly fixated for this year's Duke City Shootout, taking place July 22-30. Log on to www.dukecityshootout.com for more info.
The living dead are back in town and ready to chow down
These days, there are two camps of horror movie fans: those who speak in reverent tones about past masters of the genre like George Romero, Tobe Hooper and Dario Argento and those who had no idea that recent films Dawn of the Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre were remakes. Believe me, I've had my tent set up in the first camp for a long time and treat everyone in the second camp with the same disregard I reserved for those dorks at Hummingbird Music Camp when they dragged me and all the other prepubescents at Camp Shaver over for stupid “recitals.” Clueless bastards.
E.T. goes bad in Spielberg's scary new space flick
After introducing the world to the ugly-cute aliens of Close Encounters and E.T., director Steven Spielberg vowed never to create a film with evil space invaders. But in the wake of 9-11 (and a host of crappy alien films like Signs), Spielberg decided it was time to give the world a dose of scary spacemen. Surprisingly, he turned not to his legendary long-unfilmed “Hopkinsville Goblins” project (based on the “true story” of a Kansas farmhouse besieged by nasty green men from space), but to the classic work of British sci-fi writer H.G. Wells.
Summer movie season is in full swing, and the box office is broken down
The first serious sign of trouble, a dark disturbance in the Force, came in the third weekend of May. George Lucas' long-awaited final film in the Star Wars saga, Revenge of the Sith, debuted with record-breaking numbers. The film hauled in $158.4 million in its first week of release. The film's Friday-Sunday numbers ($108.4 million) made it the second biggest movie debut in history, right behind 2002's Spider-Man. ... And yet, it wasn't enough for the American box office to break its (then) 12-week slump.
“Dancing With the Stars” on ABC
What is it, America? Heat stroke? Mad cow disease? West Nile virus? C'mon, I'm just looking for a rational explanation as to why you've gone and made the D-list-celebrities-do-salsa series “Dancing With the Stars” the runaway smash hit of the summer. ... Paint fumes? Is it paint fumes?
The Week in Sloth
The best teachers eagerly admit how much they learn from their students. There's no shame in that. No one can be a teacher all the time. Sometimes you might be a mentor. Sometimes you might be an apprentice. On any given day, most people are probably a little of both.
Ainadamar at the Santa Fe Opera
Federico Garcia Lorca's belief in the poetry of the theater—and the emotional possibilities of art—have often become buried beneath his reputation as a political figure and symbol of freedom. When he was executed by the Spanish Fascists, Lorca at once became a martyr for political and artistic liberty.
Ralph Greene began his art career in New York and has spent the last 15 years making art in New Mexico. He is a longtime professor of art at TVI and a proficient navigator of the academic and commercial art worlds. His work straddles the line between figurative and abstract, relying heavily on the human form. On Friday, July 1, at 6 p.m., he'll give a demonstration and talk at the MoRo Gallery (806 Mountain NW) entitled “My Life in Art.” For more information, call 242-6272 or go to www.moroart.com.
Last October, while the public eye focused on the presidential election and the battle over extending Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument, a notable piece of legislation quietly passed the City Council on a 6-3 vote. At the time, there was barely a whisper about the city's new system for charging impact fees to residential developers, but when the law takes effect on July 1, it will symbolize a new era in Albuquerque's history.
Oil for Film—The Peace & Justice Center (202 Harvard SE) is sponsoring a special film/lecture this Thursday, June 23. From the producers of Hidden Wars of Desert Storm and Plan Colombia comes the documentary The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror. This film examines the not-so-subtle link between oil interests and current U.S. military interventions. The film was shot over a four-month period in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Producers Gerard Ungermann and Audrey Brohy--both of whom recently returned from the Middle East--will be there to discuss the film and its surrounding issues. Everything gets underway at 7 p.m. and seating is limited.
NM Filmmakers get their 40-plus hours of Fame
After a few years of chasing hungrily after that Hollywood dollar, the New Mexico Film Office is slowly turning its large, bureaucratic eye toward the homegrown New Mexico film scene.
Animation masterpiece creates a world all its own
Filmmaker/artist Hayao Miyazaki has often been called “the Walt Disney of Japan.” While that title is meant to reflect the creativity and popularity of this legendary animator, it shortchanges both filmmakers just a little. Disney's skill was in creating a product and generating a marketplace. He was, in essence, the Henry Ford of the cartoon biz. His films, more often than not, centered on plucky orphan girls called upon to fend off unrepentant evildoers with the help of assorted woodland creatures and nonsexually threatening princes. Miyazaki, at least in his native Japan, has created just as much of a marketing empire as Uncle Walt. But his films are almost a polar opposite of Disney's (still) formulaic roster of Americanized fairy tales.
“Stella” on Comedy Central
With David Chappelle running off to a lunatic asylum (sorry ... “spiritual retreat”) in Africa on the eve of his show's third season debut, Comedy Central suddenly seems starved for sketch comedy. No need to panic just yet, however. Chappelle allegedly met with Comedy Central bigwigs last week, which could signal his return to television, and the network has paired returning sitcom “Reno 911!” with new sketch series “Stella” to beef up their schedule for the time being. That's not nearly enough for those who've already purchased “Chappelle's Show” season one and two on DVD, but it does offer a small respite from “South Park” reruns.
The Week in Sloth
It's time for the Taos Solar Music Festival! Who can resist the lure of mega-watt artists the Indigo Girls, Michelle Shocked, Michale Franti and Spearhead on a huge, solar-powered stage in Taos? Not me! The complete lineup, along with other useful information, is at www.solarmusicfest.com. See you in Kit Carson Park from Friday, June 24, to Sunday, June 26, rain or shine.
with Thunderbirds Are Now! and Sparrow
Friday, June 24; the Launchpad (21 and over): You guys, I'm so f-in' pumped to go see Enon on Friday. The strange and disjointed synth heavy, somewhat no-wave pop music they create just makes me feel a little bananas, which is a good thing. On tour in support of their new album Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence, a collection of new, old and mostly rare songs released in February of this year, the Brooklyn trio has once again decided to grace Albuquerque with their presence. And with support from Sparrow and Thunderbirds Are Now!, who allmusic.com describe as "Detroit freak-out artists," I feel as though I can safely declare attendance of this performance to be a requirement for any honest fan of peculiar music. Even if experimental electronic pop isn't your bag, as they say, this sort of music tends to attract hipster types, so you can still go to enjoy the fashion show they will undoubtedly put on. One way or another you're bound to be entertained.
with Leiahdorus and KI
Saturday, June 25; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): According to a press release on their website it appears that "new and improved" local band the Ya Ya Boom Project! have transformed themselves into some sort of marketable appliance. The band, according to the press release "now comes with ten optional speeds, a grinder function, multiple attachments and a designer plastic encasement." The release also says "the Ya Ya Boom Project! spices up any room in your house. It comes in three of this season's most fashionable colors: tan, a slightly darker shade of tan, and a slightly pinker shade of tan." Despite this confusing turn of events, and what would seem like a setback to many, the Ya Ya Boom Project! seem to have embraced their new, more mechanical (not to mention deliciously tan) identity and are releasing a new album titled Pink Insides. In celebration of this event, the band will perform at Burt's Tiki Lounge this Saturday, and at the Outpost on July 9. Now, despite being encased in plastic and all-around less anthropomorphic, The Ya Ya Boom Project! still runs on electricity and will still satisfy any urge to move to Flamenco-infused grooves.
with Spiritu, Caustic Lye and Sleestaks
Behold, all ye fans of big rock guitars and frenetic rhythm section freak-outs, The Atomic Bitchwax is heading your way! For years Bitchwax has led the way in the stoner rock genre with the craziest power trio antics since Cream put down their sheets of blotter acid.
They got the passion. They got the skill. They definitely got the energy. But what The High Speed Scene clearly lacks in their first full-length release is the creativity to turn a relatively generic indie pop-punk sound into something unique. Redemption is found in a few songs, such as the Hot Hot Heat-inspired "In the Know," as well as in the band's anti-authority sentiment. Despite an obvious appreciation for other influences like The Kinks and The Beatles, The High Speed Scene is predictable, relying on repetitive melody hooks rather than musical ingenuity for their typical, inoffensive sound.
NMSO players and management turn to mediator for help with contract negotiations
Musicians in the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra ended their season this month wearing green armbands and passing out flyers to audience members outside UNM's Popejoy Hall. It wasn't the first time. Nearly six months earlier, the players began their campaign to draw public attention to an impasse in contract negotiations. They wore green armbands on stage to signify solidarity.
According to Mayor Martin Chavez, a 4-4 vote by the City Council means a majority voted to pass a bill. That's what he told Jeff Deal, a reporter for KRQE-TV, who, in an honest to goodness example of investigative journalism, broke the news that the mayor had ordered the city clerk to fabricate a document saying the City Council passed the mayor's request to raise garbage collection rates, when, in fact, the bill failed to get the support of a Council majority required to make it law.
Dateline: Scotland—A man who tried to conduct a job interview while naked has been sentenced to three years probation and placed on the sex offenders registry. Saeed Akbar, 35, was interviewing a female job prospect at Alpha Translating and Interpreting Services in Glasgow. At some point Akbar left the interview room and came back in naked and clutching a clipboard. When the 25-year-old woman refused to strip as well, he put his clothes back on and attempted to continue the interview as normal. The victim fled and filed a police report. Akbar initially told police his strip was a consensual “role play” and was part of his “tough interviewing technique.” Glasgow Sheriff Court was eventually told that the offender--who was held in “high esteem” by his company--was only seeking some excitement in his day. “I wanted a bit of excitement that afternoon, that's purely all it was,” Akbar told the BBC News. Passing sentence, Sheriff Brian Lockport noted that Akbar's partner had left him, he had lost his job and his friends refused to associate with him. “On the one hand, I have to take into account the distress which you caused your victim,” Lockport said in court. “On the other hand, I have to take into account the catastrophic effect this incident has had on your life. You have suffered severely as a result of you actions.” The father of one from Dunfermline pleaded guilty to committing a breach of the peace.
Here's a bizarre little story for you. Last year, local artist Stephanie Lerma drove up to Wink, a beauty salon and lifestyle store in Santa Fe specializing in one-of-a-kind boutique items. Lerma was trying to peddle some of her paper creations. The owners, however, couldn't tear their eyes off her purse.
Richard Levy Art Gallery
Tom Waldron's imposing sheet steel sculptures are well-known around town and around the state. You'll probably recall that his recent proposal to install green, conical shapes at the interchange of Louisiana and I-40 was the source of much public contention. Exhibited nationwide, Waldron's work can also be seen at the Albuquerque Museum. New Sculpture, at the Richard Levy Art Gallery, 514 Central SW, includes Waldron's signature steel shapes as floor-standing, tabletop and wall-hanging pieces. This is his first gallery exhibit in New Mexico since 1999. The reception is Friday, June 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., and the show runs through August 12. For more information, call 766-9888 or go to www.levygallery.com.
National Hispanic Cultural Center
International flamenco fusion masters Ojos de Brujo (Eyes of the Wizard) bring their driving mix to Albuquerque on Friday, June 24, at 8 p.m. The group's "Jip Jop Flamenkillo" is a digital hybrid of traditional flamenco forms with modern hip-hop, funk and punk. Their live digital dance party is famous on the European festival circuit, and the group is known for its staunch grassroots, anti-corporate philosophy. This is Ojo's first performance in the Southwest. Come experience these Spaniards' fierce navigation of musical decades and genres. Ojos de Brujo is presented by Outpost Productions and the National Institute of Flamenco at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Tickets are $20 to $50 and are available at Outpost Performance Space, NHCC and Ticketmaster. To order yours, call 268-0044 or go to www.outpostspace.org.
Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage at Out ch'Yonda
One of the most remarkable things about Aishah Rahman's Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage is that the elaborate 15-word title is almost a literal description of what the play is about. Directed by Stefanie Willis, a new production of Unfinished Women just opened at Out ch'Yonda. This staging has some problems, but the sweet music along with the sheer raw originality of Rahman's vision should hold the interest of many theatergoers.
Sweets and Eats
Le French Corner is not in the business directory under “Le” or “French” nor is it in the yellow pages under “restaurants” or “corners.” It did turn up under “bakery,” which is ostensibly what it is, a French bakery with a small café that serves wonderful French pastries and a limited menu at breakfast and lunch. I drove right on by the first time because it's not actually on a corner as the name suggests. The French pronoun/English combination of Le French Corner scared me a little, but upon further investigation, I came to realize the place is not a faux fancy place with a faux fancy name. It is a place that serves good, honest food that features a combination of French bistro fare with an American accent and the personal vision of the chef.
When I want something light but sinful, simple but complete, it's angel kisses for dessert. This dish is easy, but only if you can buy the meringue shells already made. Luckily, you may special order them at Le French Corner with some advanced notice. I gave up trying to make meringues at this altitude and was very happy to discover I could buy them here. Be very careful transporting the meringues; they are very fragile, as the name implies. Essentially, they're egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar. They must be eaten before they absorb moisture from the air. For that reason, they should be stored tightly covered in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate them.