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
Duke City Shootout comes to town gunning for talent
“Screw film!” announces Christopher Coppola. That's a bold statement for a man who has directed eight feature films. His brother is Nicolas Cage, one of the highest paid actors in the world. His uncle directed The Godfather. You'd think this guy would have celluloid in his veins. Make no mistake. He does. But Coppola is an idea man, a future thinker. Right now, he's got his eyes glued firmly on the future of film. And the future of film involves no film at all. It's all about entering the digital world. Computers and video cameras are poised to take over the film industry and wrest control from a scant few old-school film studios desperate to maintain their iron grip on America's movie industry.
Screenwriters Unite!—The New Mexico Screenwriter's Speaker Series is about to present its very first quarterly event. This Saturday, July 23, the Speaker Series welcomes noted script consultant Jim Mercurio. Mercurio is a regular columnist in Creative Screenwriting magazine and runs some of the most popular classes at the annual Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles. In this intensive, all-day class, Mercurio will discuss screenwriting topics such as story, structure, scenes, dilemma and subplots. He will also incorporate elements from one of his most popular classes at the Screenwriting Expo, “Killer Endings.” Mercurio will also talk a bit about the practical and business side of screenwriting. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers. According to the NMSSS, this class is perfect for the beginning screenwriter looking for a solid foundation from which to approach a story idea, the screenwriter looking to vet those ideas for dramatic possibilities and the screenwriter looking to put a solid polish on a completed work. The $125 fee for this workshop includes lunch and all handouts. Student and teacher discounts are available, but seating is very limited. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to sign up online (nmscreenwriters.com) as soon as possible. For more information on Mercurio, you can log on to jamespmercurio.com. Mercurio's class will take place at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bombastic Michael Bay's new baby is just a clone of movies past
Over the years, director Michael Bay has become synonymous with loud, mind-numbing and narratively pointless summer action films (Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor). This summer isn't exactly an exception to this pattern. But, with The Island, you can see Bay trying very hard to stretch his meager talent into a marginally smarter new genre. Bless his adrenaline-addled little heart, he just doesn't have it in him.
Tim Burton's remake revels in candy-coated fun
In today's remake-filled world, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at least has the distinction of being a remake of Roald Dahl's classic kids' novel and not the arguably brilliant 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. That hasn't stopped some fans from casting their vehemently negative votes for the film before it even hit theaters. Given my druthers, I'd rather see energy spent on new ideas rather than old ones; but, viewed on its own merits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a blissfully fun confection and the perfect guilt-free treat during a summer of guilty pleasures.
Cops are people too
You can't shoot a chrome-plated, pearl-handled .45 at your television set these days without hitting some show involving a cop, a lawyer or a doctor. So, when a new show involving one of those three crops up, it's pretty hard to work up much enthusiasm. Last month, TNT premiered its new cop series “The Closer.” The show is a well-crafted affair, both behind and in front of the camera, and deserves a closer look from crime-o-philes jaded by one too many “CSI” spin offs.
The Week in Sloth
Catch them when they're young ... and cheap. Many singers in the Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Program have gone on to impressive national careers. Actually, this season, eight former SFO apprentice singers have come back to Santa Fe to perform principle roles in main stage productions.
Lonely Planet at the Vortex Theatre
On some days, Carl works as a reporter for a supermarket tabloid. On others, he's the official plant waterer for a corporation. On still others, he's a crime scene investigator, an art restorer or a technician at an auto glass repair shop.
National Hispanic Cultural Center
When Albuquerque native Steven Michael Quezada moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and comedy, he couldn't land a gig or find an agent. He thought no one wanted to talk to a skinny Chicano from Albuquerque. He wondered if he might be on his way to becoming homeless, and he sat down to write a play about this fear. Quezada's play, Homeless, was first performed in Albuquerque 10 years ago, and it's likely Quezada's commentary on society's pressures and expectations are still relevant. The play is not only written by Quezada—he's also the actor. Homeless opens on Thursday and runs through August 7. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors/NHCC members. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the NHCC box office. For more info, call 724-4771 or got to nhcc.org.
Sixteen teenage girls from Israel and Palestine have been attending a peace camp this month in Glorietta. Supported by Project Life Stories/Project World Stories and Creativity for Peace, the girls have been using art and dialogue to develop life stories through a therapeutic monologue process. On Thursday, July 21, the girls will present their autobiographical monologues to an audience. Photographs of the girls—who are Muslim, Christian and Jewish—and their artwork will also be presented. Music will be by Donald Rubinstein. The Sweeney Center is at 201 W Marcy in Santa Fe. $15 general, $25 for seats in the first 10 rows. Tickets are available at the Lensic box office, (505) 988-1234. For more information, call (505) 466-0007.
State GOP threatens legal action over alleged e-mail theft
As the old saying goes: The last time there was a leak like this, Noah built himself a boat. Of course, to modernize the phrase for accuracy and fairness, we'd have to insert the term "alleged" in front of “leak.”
Holly Holm aims to be the Duke City's next big-time boxer
Some women are ferocious. They're scattered in history books and littered in folklore, although they oftentimes go unnoticed. Boadicea, the ancient English queen who battled unrighteous Roman rule. Medb, the legendary sovereign of Connaught who led her army against the whole of Ulster, bloodying enemies with her own sword. Joan of Arc, a French peasant-girl-turned-soldier who led her nation's army to victory.
There's been another piece chipped out of Albuquerque's soul in recent weeks and even if its loss hasn't drawn notice, we are all a little diminished by it.
Dateline: Russia—Construction workers demolishing a Stalin-era hotel near Moscow's historic Red Square stumbled across nearly a ton of explosives hidden in the building. Moscow's NTV television showed workers removing boxes of explosives from the deep, muddy hole that was once one of the Soviet Union's flagship hotels. “The boxes held only explosives without detonators, so there was no risk of an explosion in the hotel,” a police spokesman told Russian news agencies. The Hotel Moskva was built in 1935 and stood opposite Russia's parliament building. “According to preliminary information, the explosive was hidden in a cache during the Great Patriotic War,” a police spokesman was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying, referring to World War II. Many Soviet buildings were apparently wired to explode in case Adolph Hitler's forces had taken Moscow.
Activists getting in deeper with loose claims on water resources
God must love Otero Mesa. Energy companies have found deposits of natural gas that grow larger with every media opportunity, beyond what even the Bush administration believes lies under the crusty soil. Environmentalists, not to be outdone, proclaim discovery of staggering volumes of potable water.
Attention: Because our precognitive powers and general omnipotence here at the Alibi is not yet well-honed, be advised that anyone with good local music news, information, photos, miscellaneous (anything!) should send the goods to email@example.com for consideration. Also be advised that we make no promises. Deadlines are Thursday afternoon the week prior to the date of publication. More specifically, we would like local bands to send us flyers (as often as you like) for a new flyer-of-the-week section. Ideally flyers will have at least one of the following qualities: artistically adept, humorous, unusual or just strange. Deadlines are Thursday afternoon the week prior to the issue you'd like to appear in.
with The Derelicts, The Rum Fits and The Rowdy Boys
Wednesday, July 27; The Launchpad (all-ages): At its core, punk is a genre defined by adolescence. More specifically, it's defined by that radioactive existential meltdown that, like a clockwork time bomb, goes hand in hand with growing up. But it's been close to 30 years since bands like Sham 69 crawled out from the gutters of South London and spat up their first "Who am I? Who are you?" Now all the young dudes are old punks with car payments and maybe a few grandkids. And they are, for the most part, pretty pessimistic about the future of the genre. "Punk's dead," right? I hope to hell it's not! And it certainly won't be anytime soon if The Briggs have anything to say about it. Built by two young brothers from Los Angeles, The Briggs make smart street punk that's as loud as it is proud. Their latest EP, Leaving the Ways (Side One Dummy Records) oscillates between Oi anthems and hardcore throw downs—what you might expect from a band that shares a label with The Casualties, 7 Seconds and Flogging Molly. What you didn't see coming, though, was how these songs maintain all the familiarity of a pub sing-along without feeling rehashed. There's a fresh edge somewhere in there, although I can't quite put my finger on it. Whatever it is, it's in the grand old style and they do it well. Not bad for a band that's just four years young.
with FOMA and Babelshack
Tuesday, July 26; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): When I first heard San Francisco's The Ebb and Flow I thought, now here is a band that travels well. As in, I'd like to take this album on a long car trip, possibly at night, through the Arizona desert. Maybe it's because their first full-length album is called Time to Echolocate and depicts bats in flight on the front cover. After all, bats are nocturnal creatures that fly long distances through the desert. But I don't think it's as simple as all that. There's something far less tangible in there, and it keeps propelling me down the same phantom mental freeway. Take the first track off of Time to Echolocate, "Sonorous." It glides for nearly 10 minutes; first plodding, skipping then running, then on to a full gallop through a forest of moogs and organ, guitar, strings and jazzy drum change-ups. The band itself travels light, with only three members to split between two vocal parts and a tight, diverse instrumentation that somehow manages to sound simple and loose. It's like a trompe l'oeil of the ear. Which I guess makes sense in the whole bat-scheme of things, because that's exactly what sonar and echolocation is all about—using sound for sight. Give them a listen and see where it takes you.
In a tense and panicked mood last week, this album, with its powerful calming effects, saved me from giving myself an ulcer. Sweet and melodic, these Floridians create the perfect mood music that reminds me of something I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps the confusion can be explained by the overall alt.country feel tinged with subtly weird '70s synth sounds. Or maybe it's the album art that, I don't know, just makes me think of Care Bears.
The Alibi sat down at the computer last week and had a very compelling cyber-interview with former Albuquerquean Chris Brief of the Seattle band The Briefs.
The Dish is back and open for business! Listen up, chowhounds—restaurant gossip is a dish that's best served sizzlin' hot, but we just can't do it without your help. Here's a refresher on All the News That's Fit to Eat: If you know some interesting tidbit about food, chefs or restaurants in Albuquerque, spill the beans! We want to hear about the newly opened or closed restaurants and cool food finds in your area. Likewise, it's your gastronomic duty to let us know if you don't see your favorite spots listed in our Chowtown section. Log on to alibi.com for our complete, searchable database of restaurant listings. When you're done poking around, send your food tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. (You could send them to email@example.com, but that e-mail address attracts more spam than a Hawaiian barbecue. I say play it safe and send stuff directly to me.) If e-mail's not your thing, call me at 346-0660 ext. 260, or fax over your favorite menu at 256-9651. People with the juiciest tips will be rewarded with gift certificates and other awesome Alibi booty. We hungrily await your responses.
It's Not Just About the Beer
When I first walked into Turtle Mountain Brewing Company, I flashed back to my days as an indentured servant in my father's Hudson Valley, N.Y., gin mill. There before me on the walls were replicas of brightly colored metal beer trays, including Rheingold, Schaffer and Genesee, the very same trays I used to deliver draft beers to the back room of my dad's tavern, where the ladies sat, drank, smoked and snacked. Pressed paper coasters emblazoned with beer logos seemed like old friends, displayed in a giant frame. Turtle Mountain's walls are plastered with posters, accolades and all manner of beer-related memorabilia.
Josh Franco, director of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Center, explains the route of travelers and art purveyors who come to New Mexico this way: They land at the Sunport, get on I-25 and head north to Santa Fe. It's a route established by a cultural myth, a route that bypasses Albuquerque altogether as an art destination. This has real consequences for artists and gallery owners. It's this myth that made Valerie Hollingsworth mad enough to organize PhotoArts ABQ into something more than a sidenote to the renowned PhotoArts Santa Fe photography festival.
The receptions for PhotoArts ABQ will be on Friday, July 15, ending with a late night reception at the Factory on 5th, 1715 Fifth Street NW. For more information on artists and galleries, go to www.photoartssantafe.com or call 261-0075.
Biker Flicks—The upcoming Duke City Shootout--a seven-day film festival designed to create seven on-the-fly short films right here in Albuquerque--is revving up with an early event. Christopher Coppola's Biker Bonanza will consist of a motorcycle caravan from Albuquerque to Roswell and back again. The caravan will be led by filmmaker/motorhead/Shootout guru Christopher Coppola. Organizers promise “beef pit BBQ & brew, surprise B-movie screenings & much more.” The ride will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, and will continue through July 20. Admission is $30 for one day or $50 for both days. Log on to www.dukecityshootout.com for more information and to download a registration form.
Avian documentary gives audiences a warm feeling about an ice-cold climate
When it comes to making documentaries, you can never go wrong focussing your lens on either kids or animals. They're both gold.
Like a Victoria's Secret gift certificate, Wilson and Vaughn's new comedy is both trashy and romantic
What would happen if you took a sophisticated Jane Austin comedy, made the main characters male, moved it from upscale Regency England to upscale modern-day Washington, D.C., substituted “getting it on with chicks” for “finding a suitable marriage partner” and replaced all the innuendo-filled dialogue with penis jokes? Well, you might end up with something a bit like Wedding Crashers.
“Minding the Store” on TBS
I love Pauly Shore. Not as an actor or a comedian, mind you, but as a punch line. In my dozen or so years in the newspaper business, I've probably fallen back on the easy “Jury Duty” jab 50 or 60 times ... which is why I have to give Shore credit for trying to revive his career with a new reality show, “Minding the Store.”
The Week in Sloth
Despite Spain's advanced age, the country only became a democracy in 1975 after a long hard struggle. The history of that struggle is commemorated in a new exhibit called The Art of Democracy: Fifty Years of Spain's Political Posters (1930s-1980s). The show is exactly what it says it is, marking roughly the period from the Spanish Civil War right up through the country's transition to democracy. The exhibit opens this weekend at UNM's Zimmerman library and will remain on display through Sept. 7. For details, call Teresa at 277-1010.
Head to the Heights for a Friday evening Artscrawl at Framing Concepts, Palette Contemporary Art & Craft, Weyrich Gallery, Galeria Artopia, and the Arts Alliance Gallery. The crawl will feature watercolors by Bud Edmondson, hand-blown glass sculpture by Katrina Hude, paintings by Sharon Craft, mixed media sculpture by Ilena Grayson and jewelry by Dennis Lee Gomez. Galeria Artopia presents the opening of Reveal, featuring works by Allan Rosenfield and Dan Nester. The Arts Alliance will feature work by members of the Digital Fine Art Society of New Mexico. Crawling happens between 5 and 9 p.m. For more information and a gallery map, go to www.artscrawlabq.org/current_artscrawl.html or call 244-0362.
Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre
Those crazy cats of the Eat, Drink and Be Larry troupe bring you another zombielicious late night comedy extravaganza. This weekend, the special guest is Leather Wilson. (We can't wait.) The troop will celebrate Christmas early with presents, sexy elves and Santa. But beware! Insane zombies wait on the rooftops! Will the Larry troop discover the true meaning of Christmas and keep the zombies at bay? If you're as impatient as Larry for yuletide cheer and aren't afraid of getting eaten, then head to Gorilla Tango. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m., 519 Central NW. Tickets are $8. For more info, call 245-8600.
War of the Worlds, Fantastic Four and Mr. and Mrs. Smith cost bazillions of dollars to produce and are packed full of pretty people, impressive effects and lots of explosions. Still, if you're over the age of 12, odds are these summer flicks will bore the boxers off you.
Nob Hill has been waiting for crosswalks ... for 17 years
It's a project nearly two decades in the making, and as of yet there's almost nothing to show for it. Spend a little time walking around Nob Hill and you'll quickly get the gist—despite being one of the most pedestrian-heavy districts in the city, area merchants say that the space on Central running from Girard to Washington is far from friendly to those traveling by foot.
Gross misuse. These are strange times, and there's nothing stranger than the state of our nation's mainstream corporate media and its insidious and self-destructive relationship with the White House. In a July 7 New York Times article entitled "Reporter Jailed After Refusing to Name Source," Adam Liptak reports on the incarceration of his coworker, Times investigative reporter Judy Miller. Liptak even quotes his editor and publisher in what amounted to an embarrassing attempt to elicit sympathy for Miller, because she refused to divulge the name of the White House official who "outed" covert CIA agent Valerie Plame to several media sources, thus committing what I would call a treasonous felony.
At this rate the October city election ballot could be as lengthy and complicated as the one that daunted voters in last year's general election. Not only will the usual array of multiple City Council and mayoral candidates be listed, along with a menu of municipal bond issues totaling over $120 million, but this year three controversial citizen referenda have been added to the ballot as well.
Dateline: Montenegro—In the Adriatic nation of Montenegro, a WWI soldier has been called upon to do his civic duty once again and perform jury service. Unfortunately, the gentleman in question died some 90 years ago. Had he survived the war, Jocko Popovic would have been 126 years old right now. The court in the town of Bar said that, since it had no record of his death, it assumed he was still alive and able to do jury duty. Popovic has no surviving relatives and it was left to local media to point out the court's error.
Enviros' sinking credibility starts at home
Do you believe environmentalists?
Please, be honest. There's no unacceptable answer. It's a simple question. Do you believe what environmentalists say?
Do you believe environmentalists when they predict disaster if we don't do as they wish?
How much do you trust their word? To your mind, how do environmentalists rank on credibility with teachers, clergymen, doctors, policemen, realtors or even columnists for alternative newspapers?
I am not implying any kind of answer. I'm just asking. This isn't a Bush press conference where only the "right" questions can be asked.
Star Wars fans will score this fall with an interstellar night of music from all six of the beloved films (though I suppose the term “beloved” does not apply to all six). The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Chorus will perform Symphonic Star Wars on September 23 and 24. So why am I bringing this up now? Because tickets went on sale last week and these things tend to sell out quickly. The concerts will include laser light shows, costume contests and other "space opera touches." I don't know about you, but I'm dying to find out what the other space opera touches are. Tickets are $15 to $45 and can be procured by calling 881-8999. Or I suppose you could just use the force.
Monday, July 18; Atomic Cantina (21 and over): If you've been watching MTV Canada lately, you might have caught a video by Calgary's Falconhawk (a video on MTV? Canada is sounding more and more like a true paradise). But since you probably haven't heard of this band, much less caught them on Canadian television, let's just put it this way: If this were the mid '90s, Falconhawk would probably be on Matador. What they've really done is moved past the '80s, through the '90s and towards the present, picking things up along the way to create a delicious cornucopia of music for our generation. Their subtle keyboards combined with piano, drums and a vocalist who sounds like a more relaxed Kristin Hersh (à la Throwing Muses) make for an uncomplicated, pleasantly indie feel.
Norwegian hipsters zZz probably think they're a lot cooler than anyone that would ever buy their album. Even so, the band's latest LP is chalk full of first-rate fashionable dance tracks that would serve one well on a late night road trip. Just try falling asleep at the wheel with lead singer Bjorn Ottenheim vociferously barking at you. zZz combines soulful omnipresent organ and static drums with vocals reminiscent of a coked up Jim Morrison. It's probably not as good as Ottenheim and organist Dean Schinkel think it is, but it's still worth a listen.
If the fizz of Mountain Dew could be translated into music, it would sound exactly like Danny Winn and the Earthlings: exhilarating, high-energy and really, really bubbly. Leave it to those catchy, filled beats or maybe even the infectious bass lines, and before you know it there'll be a pit of fans in front of the stage skanking like there's no tomorrow.
We're smack-dab in the middle of July, which pretty much guarantees two things in Albuquerque: 98 degree highs and cockroaches the size of baby fists. So when you need a massive jolt of caffeine to make it through your day, what are you going to reach for? A hot cup of coffee? Think again, pit stains! You need something cold. Something in a can. Dare we say, something ... extreme? We dare. We also went to work with an armload of the most ballsy energy drinks we could find and drank them over the course of one day. Each of us kept a "scientific" log of our findings, which we've reproduced parts of right here.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.