Brokeback Mountain (BAFTA, BSFC, BFCA, DFWFCA, GG, LCCFA, LAFCA, NYFCC, SFFCC, SA, SEFCA, VFCA) ODDS--1:8
Capote (NSFCA) ODDS--20:1
Crash (CFCA) ODDS--3:1
Good Night, and Good Luck (NBR) ODDS--15:1
If nothing else, this year's Oscars will provide months of vitriolic fuel for right-wing, Hollywood-hating pundits. The show is hosted by political comedian and “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, certainly no great fan of the Bush administration. And just look at the films that have been nominated for awards. There are films that utterly fail to condemn homosexuality (TransAmerica, Capote, Brokeback Mountain). There are films that insult the memory of patriotic, Republican Commie-hater Joe McCarthy (Good Night, and Good Luck). There are films that cast doubt on the unparalleled racial harmony we enjoy here in America (Crash, Hustle & Flow). There are films that assail the inherent correctness of America's corporate/capitalist power structure (The Constant Gardener, North Country, Syriana). There are even films that call into question our current war against freedom-hating terrorists (Munich, Paradise Now, Syriana again). Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and the like are going to have a field day.
American poet Robert Frost once wrote, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall ... and makes gaps even two can pass abreast." Had he continued to respire into these troubled times, instead of succumbing to the humus in 1963, Frost might have written, "Something there is that doesn't love an occupying army ... and fashions improvised explosives with cigarettes dangling from mouths sans dentifrice."
At the Feb. 22 meeting, councilors unanimously approved a $300,000 contract with artist Michael Metcalf to provide sculptures for the I-40/Louisiana Blvd. interchange. The Metcalf project is described as two assemblages of 30-foot-high bronze and stainless steel spires rising from boulder bases. Councilors voted to fill two Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices seats vacated by Isabel Cabrera and Seth Heath. Councilor Michael Cadigan nominated retired lawyer and former EPC member Alan Schwartz. Councilor Craig Loy nominated air traffic controller Joe Maguire, a graduate of St. Pius High School and the U.S. Naval Academy. Councilor Brad Winter nominated pharmaceutical salesman and former Council candidate Sander Rue. Schwartz and Rue won the two places.
From the vacuum created by the Bush administration's failure to put forward any kind of immigration reform initiative, a remarkable piece of legislation has emerged. It isn't sponsored by any of the Congressional Democrats (who seem just as chary of burning their fingers on this hot potato as the neo-cons are) but instead by (trumpet salute, please) New Mexico's own Sen. Pete Domenici.
Dateline: Germany—According to reports by German police, the small Bavarian village of Elsa was flooded by liquid pig manure last Wednesday after a tank containing the fertilizer burst. Sewage rose up to 20 inches in the courtyards and streets of Elsa after gushing from the 65,000-gallon tank. “The village was swamped with green-brown liquid and it was pig manure--the mother of all muck,” said Rainer Prediger, a police spokesperson in the nearby town of Coburg.
Rocksquawk Comes to the Golden West on Friday, March 3—Sample a variety of local music from Sin Serenade, Winterlock, Lower Than Dirt, Ants Have Voices and Ishen Tree for just $5. Doors open at 8 p.m. at Puccini's Golden West (Central at Seventh Street).
Monday, March 6, and Tuesday, March 7, Launchpad (all-ages); $14: Whether you're into Metaliska, Latin-ska, old-school ska or local ska, you can find it all on Monday and Tuesday at the Launchpad. The Voodoo Glow Skulls kick things off as their West Coast tour swings through Albuquerque in support of their latest release, Adicción, Tradición, y Revolución. The new album stays true to the sound the band crafted back in 1988, which combines hardcore punk, traditional ska and metal to create what the band calls "California street music." If anything, the record rocks harder than the Glow Skulls ever have in their 18 years as a band. The seven-piece ensemble will be joined by The Flatliners, The Phenomenauts and local ska outfit, Made in Bangladesh.
And we're buying! "The World's Hottest DJ Goddess," DJ Lady Tribe, comes to Sauce/Liquid Lounge (21-and-over) on Thursday, March 2. Cost is $10, which includes sets by local DJ Twelve Tribe at Raw. Show up for the sweater puppets, but stay for the music. (LM).
Wednesday, March 8, Atomic Cantina, (21-and-over); free: The Acres' three singer/songwriters make for a local band whose music is definable only when broken down into three distinct categories. These styles range from a flamboyant Andy Williams-ish country western to a Belle and Sebastian-esque indie rock and some sort of Modest Mouse/Arcade Fire hybrid with highly tremoloed slide guitar. These genres aren't mashed together, but rather, kept separate and allowed to grow into themselves without being sullied by the others. The group seems a bit like three solo artists who are inexplicably drawn together, perhaps because there is more similarity between them than their diverse tracks let on.
At first glance, you may think it's the drums Christian Orellana plays that make you want to move; but as you get to know him, you realize it is his passion for music that truly sets you in motion. For one night at the club formerly known as R&B, you can grab an open spot on the dance floor where Christian Orellana's journey began, and see where it's taken him now.
Corey Perea lives with a brain injury after surviving a car accident. She says she can see words in her head that she wants to use, but they are "floating around, not making sense."
Spanish Cinema—Beginning in March and continuing through May, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) will host the Spanish Civil War Film Series. The series kicks off Thursday, March 2, with Vacas, Julio Medem's drama about the rivalry between two Basque families between 1870 and 1932. The film nabbed Medem “Best New Director” honors at the 1992 Goya Awards (Spain's equivalent to the Oscars). Future films in the series include Fernando Trueba's Belle Epoque (March 23), Jose Luis Cuerda's La Lengua de las Mariposas (April 6) and Juan Antonio Bardem's Lorca: Muerte de una Poeta (April 20). All screenings begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC's Wells Fargo Auditorium. Films will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles and are free (entrada gratuita!) to the public.
Coming out at the time that it does, it's probably no wonder that the Palestinian film Paradise Now has been so controversial. The film has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category. Though the nation of Israel never raised any formal complaints, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences has received a number of “individual requests” to stop saying the film is from Palestine. (Israel does not recognize the sovereignty of the nation.) So far, the Academy has not budged. But, if you hear the presenter announce on Oscar night that the film originates from the “Palestinian Authority,” then you know the pressures got bigger.
Bruce Willis has long been an advocate of the “hair style” of acting. That is the fine art of using one's chosen hairstyle to express character. Often--but not always--it works like this: Shaved-bald Bruce is an action star (see Armageddon, Tears of the Sun), hairpiece-wearing Bruce is a dramatic actor (see Bandits, The Sixth Sense). For his newest film, 16 Blocks, Bruce rocks a bad mustache and his natural receding hairline, indicating a character somewhere between Action Bruce and Dramatic Bruce.
Odds are pretty good that--no matter who takes home Oscar gold this year--the 78th Annual Academy Awards telecast will suffer a ratings dip. For starters, it's part of an overall trend. Oscar ratings have gone down steadily since runaway smash Titanic swept through the categories at the 1997 kudocast. Some blame it on the length of the show. Some blame it on the caliber of films chosen. (Almost as many people saw last year's Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby as saw all five Best Picture nominees this year.) But the bottom line is this: For true film fans, there is no night more exciting than Oscar night.
Pope in New Mexico—Performance artist William Pope knows how to get attention. He's eaten a Wall Street Journal while seated on an American flag. He's sold mayonnaise for $100 a dollop. He's tied himself to an ATM machine with sausage links while handing out cash to random strangers. He once crawled—yeah, crawled—a 22-mile stretch of Broadway in New York City to draw attention to the National Endowment for the Arts' failure to fund his work. Pope is coming to Santa Fe this week to present a series of talks, workshops and performances. If you're up north in the next few days, you won't want to miss this. For details, call Cyndi at (505) 982-1338 ext. 14 or go to www.ccasantafe.org.
Canadian artist Luke Painter presents his very first exhibit in the U.S. at our very own Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW). Painter's animations examine the process of gentrification and so-called urban renewal in neighborhoods in Montreal and Toronto. They incorporate painstaking research into the history and architecture of the neighborhoods and projects in question. Pipe Dreams will open Saturday, March 4, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. that will include food and live music. The show runs through March 26. 242-7504.
Slam Master Flash Don McIver has just released a new volume of poetry, appropriately titled The Noisy Pen. A book release party will be held this Wednesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at the Harwood Theatre (1114 Seventh Street NW). McIver is one of our more visible, not to mention audible, local poetry slam celebrities. He helped organize last year's National Poetry Slam here in Albuquerque, and he's a veteran of several Albuquerque slam teams. He's published widely and read all over the country. He's also the host of KUNM 89.9 FM's "Spoken Word Hour." Copies of McIver's book will be available for purchase at the event. 242-6367.
When the Gorilla Tango Theatre debuted just a little over a year ago, a huge void in Downtown Albuquerque finally got filled. Every real urban metropolis in the country has at least one improv theater—if not 30. Our beloved Downtown graduated into the big leagues when Dan Abbate and his parents moved from Chicago to get out of the cold. They saw the void, bought a run-down, half-burnt building and turned it into Albuquerque's only improv theater and training center. The Alibi recently sat down with Abbate to find out how the Duke City has received Gorilla Tango and what's in store for its hilarious future.
There are Two Enormous Food Shows this Weekend—The 18th Annual National Fiery Foods and BBQ show makes its debut appearance at the sparkling new facilities of Sandia Resort and Casino, March 3-5. Tickets are $10 per person, kids 12-and-under are free. Log onto www.fiery-foods.com/ffshow for hours. Also, if you haven't bought your $150-per-guest tickets for March 4's Chocolate Fantasy at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, you'd better get moving! The theme this year is "Through the Looking Glass: A Chocolate Wonderland," and as always, proceeds from the decadent gala benefit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Call 841-2801 or log onto www.nmnaturalhistory.com for ticket information.
So what exactly does “kosher” mean? For those of us non-Jewish foodies, here's a bit of history to help understand and appreciate our swine-eschewing brethren. In a nutshell, kosher is a classification of kashrut (keeping kosher) that refers to Jewish dietary laws for food purity. How these laws are significant really depends on who you ask, but Jewish philosophy and the Old Testament are generally in agreement about the basics: the separation of milk and meat, an absence of residual blood in meat and the prohibition of pork and some shellfish. Why do so many Jewish diners respect kosher laws? A few reasons might include symbolism, self-discipline, adherence to the tenets of their faith and hygiene.
Amy Biehl is six years old, but until last month she had spent her entire young life in a little space attached to a church in the Northeast Heights. You might call it humble beginnings. Yet, despite her confined living quarters, which were never really meant to house her anyway, she's done surprisingly well for herself. She gets great test scores. Parents rave about her. She's even sent some of her kids off to college.
RPM—Cheryl Hooks (of “Ear to the Ground” on KUNM and many other musical pies across our fair state) says that our own "little boy blues," Ryan Patrick McGarvey, will step into the studio for the first time this March to record his debut album. Cheryl says the as-yet-untitled work should be ready for release by the spring. Ryan will also be the featured performer on Channel 27's "It's Tobyriffic" this Tuesday, Feb. 28, and then record an in-studio session on KUNM's “Afternoon Freeform” show with Travis Parkin, which will air on March 2. To top it all off, Ryan has been invited to play legendary Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy's after-party that evening at the Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe. Way to go, Ryan!
Toddy T. Bones' Second Annual Mustache Party is like a fancy cotillion for facial hair. See Feb. 25 "Lucky 7" for more details. (LM)
Thursday, Feb. 23, The District (21-and-over): To say that the boys in Axson are metal influenced is like saying Scott Weiland dabbles in heroin. "I can appreciate all music," lead singer/guitarist Sergio Gutierrez says. "But as far as what we listen to, it's a lot of '80s metal stuff. Hair metal, power ballads, thrash metal and some blues. That's basically all we listen to." These KISS-, Mötley Crüe-, Megadeth- and AC/DC-inspired 18- to 20-year-olds from Los Lunas are on a mission to create what they call, "the metal you remember." "That phrase has two meanings for us," Gutierrez explains. "First, when you go to see us play a show, you're going to definitely remember us. Second, we play the '80s old-school metal that people remember." The flashbulb recollections Axson creates on stage come by way of their technically solid play that features classic distortion-soaked guitar and the band's stage presence which is, to say the least, unflinching. "People want to go to a show and be entertained," Gutierrez theorizes. "They want to hear good music and they want to see an actual show." Axson's showmanship can take the form of anything from playing meandering guitar leads on top of their speakers to inviting the girls in the crowd to come up on stage and sing along. "We aren't too concerned with money or anything like that right now," Gutierrez says. "Our interests are in playing wherever and whenever we possibly can to build up our fan base. We just want people to come to our show and have a good old time."
The Get Up Kids keyboardist James DeWees is the primary and founding member of Reggie and the Full Effect, a similarly emo act that tows around an extra bag of tricks (and a louder keyboard). While the musical content is comprised of the sappy love songs you'd expect, when mixed with tracks like "Drunk Girl at The Get Up Kids Show," "Your Girlfriends Hate Me (Free Moustache Rides Remix)," and "Canadians Switching the Letter P for the Letter V, Eh?," Reggie's act is entirely less serious than his other band, and possibly the entire genre altogether.
Friday, Feb. 24, Lobo Theater (all-ages), 9 p.m.; $5: The Rudy "Boy" Experiment has spent the last three years turning up the volume in every bar, club and barbecue pit they can play in Bernalillo County. I'm not kidding; they've cranked their amps to silly levels. Maybe it's because Ms. Monicalyn (bass), "Juke Joint" Jim Beyer (skins), and of course, Rudy "Boy" Jaramillo (guitar and lead vocals) want to spread their signature style of feel-good blues-based rock to as many listeners as they can.
Although 50 percent of Mystery School's members were born outside our state's boundaries, the six-piece "desert rock" ensemble is madly in love with New Mexico's unique landscape. "Our music is very much aware of how the environment we're in evokes inspiration," says colead vocalist, keyboard player and percussionist Diana Good. "Where we live plays a major role in determining who we are and the relationships we form with other people. Our music definitely reflects that."
Adios, Amigos—I tend to avoid Cottonwood Mall if at all possible, but in the event that Williams-Sonoma beckons, at least I can drown my Westside heebie-jeebies in a leche de tigre seafood cocktail from Mariscos Vallarta (10131 Coors NW at 7-Bar Loop). Imagine my disappointment when I drove down Corrales Road last weekend and saw the Mariscos sign had been replaced by another restaurant ... something with a chile pepper on it? (I couldn't tell—it was dark and I had a mall hangover.) If you know what happened, please console me with news on whether or not the replacement is decent.
Break out the batter and lube up the pans: The fattest of fat holidays is upon us. Bon vivants around the world will indulge themselves on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, this Feb. 28—but that's not where the real party lies. The fattest holiday is by far Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day; an entire holiday dedicated to those sugar-filled, lard-fried, syrup-drizzled little pieces of heaven. It just couldn't get any better than that.
How many first dates end in tragedy? I've had more than a few myself, and almost all of them have begun and ended in restaurants. There was the guy that asked our server for a glass of "the pink wine," the one who tried to order cannoli with meat sauce (I think he meant cannelloni), and my favorite, Mr. I Don't Tip Because I'm a Cheap ... you know the rest.
This year's 30-day Legislative Session wrapped up last Thursday at noon and was by many acccounts more tense and chaotic than usual. Many of the bills on Gov. Bill Richardson's agenda failed to pass, and it remains to be seen whether he'll call a Special Session. The next regular session takes place in January. In the meantime, here are some highlights from this year. Most bills passed will go into effect on May 17. For further details on any of the bills for this session, visit legis.state.nm.us/lcs.
Nicotine. Caffeine. Alcohol. Cocaine. Crude oil. Regardless of the substance, kicking an addiction is tough. The first step is admitting you have a problem.
With tax money from oil and gas production pouring into the State of New Mexico's coffers at an unprecedented rate, you might think the process of shaping a budget for the coming 12 months would be relatively simple. You would be wrong.
Dateline: England—Police in Hampshire on the hunt for six missing water buffalo have warned locals to be on the lookout for flying feces. The buffalo were last seen in a field in Lower Pennington Lane, Lymington, early last week. Police believe the animals were stolen because there was no trail of telltale dung at the scene. According to BBC online, a police spokesperson warned people who might stumble across the livestock, “They should not be approached from behind ... as the animals are able to spray dung across large distances.” Most water buffalo are native to Asia, but have been increasingly imported to the UK to produce specialty milk, cheese and yogurt.
The Infoshop Around the Corner—Basement Films will be hosting an independent documentary tour this coming weekend. Living Room: Space and Place in Infoshop Culture by Liz Simmons and Courtney Kallas will screen on Friday, Feb. 24, at OffCenter Arts (Eighth Street and Central) beginning at 7 p.m. Simmons and Kallas, who will be on hand for the screening, spent the last two years completing this project. The film discusses, among other things, the fact that we live in a society where public places that people feel like they are an active part of and can use for noneconomic purposes are increasingly rare. “Infoshops” are community spaces that facilitate access to traditionally marginalized information while providing a physical space for people to build creative projects. Simmons and Kallas are kicking off their three-month, 50-city tour right here in Albuquerque, so please show up to lend a little support. For more info, log on to www.basementfilms.org or www.livingroomdocumentary.org.
Had The Sex Pistols not melted down in such spectacular fashion (thanks in no small part to the Herculean, drug-fueled efforts of Sid Vicious), The New York Dolls would certainly have gone down in history as the ultimate punk rock band. Their frenetic, junky, DIY sound defined punk rock as a genre for decades to come. Their post-David Bowie style of trash androgyny didn't achieve full pop-cultural significance until Twisted Sister, Motley Crüe and the like ripped them off a good 10 years down the line. To top it all off, they sacrificed band members to the God of Opium long before Kurt Cobain, Shannon Hoon, Bradley Nowell and other dead rock stars made it the truly hip thing to do.
This weekend, the New Mexico Screenwriters Speaker Series will be bringing noted screenwriting teacher Dan Decker to town. Decker is the author of Anatomy of a Screenplay and founder of the Center for Script Development in Chicago.
Chances are, if you spent your childhood in mid-'60s Paris, your favorite TV show was the stop-motion animation series “Le Manège Enchanté.” If you spent your childhood in late-'60s, early-'70s London, chances are even greater that your favorite TV show was the English language version of the same show, “The Magic Roundabout.” If, however, your childhood fulfilled none of those requirements, odds are pretty good you've never even heard of the show and don't actually have any idea what a “roundabout” is. (It's a merry-go-round.)
While us couch potatoes muddle through the doldrums of midseason, the Network Powers That Be are formulating plans for ratings domination come fall. That's right, it's pilot season in Hollywood. While we watch Olympics highlights and wait for the series finale of “Will & Grace” (oh, boy), Hollywood is busy cobbling together the shows we may (or may not) be watching next season.
Trio for New Tango—Someone once told me that the tango is such an intimate dance that you can actually impregnate your partner on the dance floor without even taking off your clothes. Sounds like an urban legend to me. Whatever the case, I doubt you'll have to worry about unwanted pregancy this Sunday, Feb. 26, during a performance of Pablo Ziegler's Trio for New Tango. In their continuing quest to bring cutting-edge contemporary music to Albuquerque, the folks at Chamber Music Albuquerque have brought famed Argentinian musician Ziegler and his innovative group to Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center for the Performing Arts for a performance merging jazz with classic tango. Tickets range from $17 to $35. Show starts at 3 p.m. The trio will also present a free family concert on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. at the Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE). 268-1990.
Oh, oh, OK. I see how it is. Now that you're big shots, now that you're produced by The Second City, now that you're gallivanting all over the place performing your little skits to sold-out crowds, now that you're getting a bunch of kiss-bum reviews from critics all over the world, you think you don't need us anymore. Is that it? Well, just remember one thing, Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez—we knew you back when you both still slept with teddy bears, your pajamas still had feet and you kept your Hello Kitty lights on all night long.
Nonfiction writer Ian Frazier is often ranked up there with his New Yorker predecessors A.J. Liebling and Joseph Mitchell. But, happily, he puts his own unique, funny, baby-boomer spin on everything he does. Via an essay like "Bags in Trees," about his adventures freeing trees of those plaguey plastic bags and building a 50-foot "bag-snagger,"™ he documents details often overlooked and meets people who've become completely unguarded through the sheer force of Frazier's charm.
Only physicists and dancers can explain the energy created by a booming beat, extending beyond the dance floor with the power to make even the most left-footed among us shake her rear. From the parking lot nearly a block away, the sound coming out of the Maple Street Dance Space was distinctive—the beat of multiple drums, stomping feet, the hoots and hollers of an excited audience. No one could mistake it for anything other than a party full of energy, life and people having fun.
Maple Street Dance Space
111 Maple SE
Maple Street is a great place to begin learning African dance or continue your study. The space offers classes in mixed-level African dance, Haitian dance, Capoeira, Afro-Cuban dance, multiple levels of African drum and lots more. To check out a schedule, visit www.maplestreetdancespace.com.
Thursday is Overrun with All-Ages Shows—Get out of the house, already! There's a full night of under-21 music starting at Sol Arts (712 Central SE, 244-0049) where We Were Born as Ghosts will release their brand-spankin'-new EP, titled Winter. The Overnight and Southpaw round out a progressive indie rock-type lineup. Cover is $5 and doors open at 7 p.m. Next up, five-piece rez rockers Pueblo Revolt are playing the Blue Dragon between 8 and 10 p.m. Admission is ... free? I don't know, don't quote me on that. Then there's the My Bloody Valentine Party at Pulse at 9 p.m., where gothic/industrial kids of at least 18 years can explode into a giggling matrix of post-Valentine's dance fever. Renowned musician, animator, writer and toy designer Voltaire will headline, with local two-man electric riot Vertigo Venus opening. Tickets are $10 at the door, which also qualifies you for a ton of Voltaire goodies valued at over $100.
“But, now the dream is over, and the insect is awake.” Featuring the magnificent two-man Swearing at Motorists (who released their latest album, Last Night Becomes This Morning, just last week), plus The Oktober People, Lousy Robot and Chris McFarland. Friday, Feb. 17, at Atomic Cantina (21-and-over). Free! (LM)
Carrying the ethics of punk rock to the movies, Guild Cinema owners Keif Henley and Peter Conheim screen films they believe must be seen, knowing an audience will find them.
Monday, Feb. 20, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: Attention all Modsters and air-guitar-enthusiasts: Your rock 'n' roll fantasy has arrived. Springfield, Mo.'s Thee Fine Lines might look a bit bookish, but rest assured, they'll have you spilling your beer in awe as they drag you into a dirt- and piss-filled gutter of three-chord, louder-than-hell rock 'n' roll. Take "Louie Louie" and the Go-Go's "We Got the Beat," add distorted vocals and a healthy dose of youthful anger and you've got all the ammunition you need to wake up with six stitches above your right eye.
Friday, Feb. 17, Raw/Sauce (21-and-over): Dreeg, a.k.a. Steven Rodrigue, is eyeing musical stardom. Halfway through recording his first solo effort, Six Months of Solitude, the Dirt Headz standout quit his job so he could concentrate all of his energies on making it in the music biz. Six Months combines the catchy, female-sung hooks and synthetic drum beats commonly associated with mainstream rap and adds down-to-earth emo-rap lyrics similar to those of Atmosphere's Slug.
Caleb and I are standing outside of the office on Central posing for a photo after our interview, both giving the thumbs up, when a passing motorist shouts from his truck, "Caleb!" As one of our most recognizable local personalities, right up there with men like Ron Bell, Don Schrader, Steve Stucker and the mayor, the warm, polite and approachable self-promoting partyer from Baltimore says he gets this all the time.
R.I.P. Doc & Mz. V's—This unfortunate news tidbit comes courtesy of a reader who, thanks to a review we ran (“Doc & Mz. V's Diner: Southwestern Heart and Southern Soul Food,” Jan. 26-Feb. 1) only recently got turned on to the Southern-style South Valley diner. "Encouraged by our tasty lunch last week, a colleague and I headed back this afternoon," she wrote in an e-mail. "The restaurant was dark, chairs upside down on the tables. ... Another one bites the dust." A call to the restaurant confirmed their sudden and unforeseen closure, where an answering machine delivered Mz. V's heartfelt goodbye. "Doc and I regret that we have closed the business down as of Feb. 3," she explained, " ... due to staffing issues that will not allow Doc and I to ... live, breath, eat and sleep the restaurant." Doc & Mz. V's Diner opened in May of 2005, under the care of Dr. Thomas Strain (Doc) and Vanessa Strain (Mz. V). As a final note on her message, Mz. V says, "This has been a real experience for us, to get to know our neighbors and a lot of people who will be our friends in our future. I'd like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you."
"Look around you—what do you notice about my place?" Ramona Biddle asks as she shows me into the combined dining room, bar and billiard's area. It's difficult to pinpoint where I should start. Ramona, a professional billiards player-cum-restaurateur, has spent the last nine years dreaming up every square inch of the Carom Club, right down to the bathroom countertops (a creamy orange stone in the men's room, semitranslucent blue aventurine for the ladies).
How does it feel to get exactly what you want? Imagine a huge oval platter heaped high with a smokin'-hot cheese enchilada, a moist tamale stuffed tighter than a Christmas goose with shreds of spicy meat, a crisp, beefy taco and refried beans whipped to perfection. Now, imagine everything slathered in a thick, deep red chile sauce and sprinkled with cool bits of lettuce and tomato.
Gov. Bill Richardson has never been a man for small undertakings. Rather, as his nickname, Big Bill, implies, he tends to aim for ... well, bigger accomplishments. It started with a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1983, and continued into the position of U.S. Ambassador to the UN in 1997, which landed him three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. From there, his ambitions snagged him a job as the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and eventually landed him back here in New Mexico in the governorship. Now, with recent speculation about his interest in the White House, it seems as though Big Bill's tendencies aren't going to downsize anytime soon.
Councilor Brad Winter called for a second hearing on his comprehensive ethics bill to allow time for the administration to discuss their concerns. Councilor Debbie O'Malley introduced a group of Valley High School students who made a very polished presentation about the potholed road to their school. The road's condition results in part from confusion over whether APS or the city is responsible for it. Councilors elected the current acting director of the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations, Carmen L. Kavelman, as the permanent director. Mayor Martin Chavez' appointment of engineer and developer Augustine "Gus" Grace to the Joint Air Quality Control Board won approval on a 6-3 vote, Councilors Michael Cadigan, Isaac Benton and O'Malley opposed.
Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the corrosive influence of money on our public policy. I'm not just talking about the shenanigans inside the beltway of our nation's capitol—that Congress is for sale to the highest bidder has unfortunately become a practically accepted tenet of the American belief system.
Dateline: New Zealand—Organizers of a vintage car rally came up with a novel solution to an age-old problem--by hiring karate experts to protect vehicles from marauding parrots. According to the New Zealand Press Association, around 40 members of a local karate club were enlisted last Sunday to protect 140 classic cars set to pass through an alpine village near Mt. Cook on New Zealand's South Island. The martial arts experts were there to protect the cars from Keas, sharp-beaked native parrots that have been known to damage vehicles in their search for shiny objects. Organizers assured bird lovers that the karate fighters would not hurt the parrots, which are a protected species, but would simply scare the birds away. Local wildlife ranger Ray Bellringer said the karate fighters were unlikely to deter the Keas. “They will fly around and laugh,” he told the NZPA.
Submit to the Gorillas—The 2nd Gorilla Tango Film Festival will take place Saturday, March 11, at 8 p.m. The mad programmers down at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theater are looking for films/videos of any length for inclusion in their sophomore public screening. All submissions must be sent on DVD, VHS, SVCD or VCD. There is a $10 nonrefundable submission fee per film. Submission deadline is Thursday, March 9. Prizes will be awarded to the top films as decided by a panel of local judges. For more info and a complete submission form, log on to www.gorillatango.com.
Based very loosely on a true story (not to mention the 1983 Japanese film Antarctica), the Disney adventure drama Eight Below harkens back (sort of) to the days of Disney's “True-Life Adventure” dramas--from the notorious, documentary-like White Wilderness (1958) to the Rex Allen-narrated eco-adventure Charlie the Lonesome Cougar (1967) to the fully anthropomorphized Incredible Journey (1963). Over the years, Disney has tried to replicate this old family-friendly formula with only intermittent success (1983's Never Cry Wolf, for example).
Among the great cinematic achievements of the '50s are the mini-masterpieces known as Juvenile Delinquency films. This underappreciated genre, which includes such greats as High School Caesar and Blackboard Jungle, features slick cautionary tales of youth gone wild, warning us against the perils of drug abuse and violence. For better or worse, the '80s saw a resurgence in this genre, with offerings such as 1987's The Principal starring James Belushi. But these latter-day yarns of reactionary violence all pale in comparison to Mark L. Lester's incredible Class of 1984.
I'm just old enough to remember the “real” G.I. Joe: a 12-inch hunk of manly vinyl complete with facial hair and kung-fu grip. In the early '80s, G.I. Joe endured a radical makeover and was transformed into a cheap, 3-inch hunk of hard plastic to coincide with a new cartoon series. Unlike much of Reagan's America, Joe not only survived his downsizing, but thrived. In the toyetic world of the '80s, G.I. Joe became a phenomenon, alongside other TV/action figure crossovers like Transformers and He-Man. To this day, I know grown men who are rabid collectors of '80s-era G.I. Joe toys and all but wept when “G.I. Joe” season one hit DVD. ... Of course, I'm one to talk. (I still have all my Micronauts--plus every issue of the Marvel comic book.)
Point and Shoot—You've got plenty of time, but you'd still be wise to get started now. The deadline for our Third Annual Photo Contest is Wednesday, March 8, at 5 p.m. Trust me, it'll be here before we know it.
While wandering through the current Exhibit/208 show, it's fun to take the title of the exhibit at face value. It sounds New Agey, doesn't it? A little bit hazy and softcore? My thoughts exactly, but I have to admit that this title provides a fascinating filter for Gary Wellman's sculptures.
UNM's Spring 2006 season kicks off in a toxic cloud of cocaine and sex. A student production of David Rabe's black comedy, Hurlyburly, about a group of debauched friends trying to make it in Hollywood, will be performed in Theatre X. The play originated Off Broadway in the mid '80s. It was made into a film in 1998. The show runs through Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Call for specific dates. $10 general, $8 seniors, $7 students. 925-5858.
An intriguing one-man show opens tonight at the Yale Art Center (1001 Yale SE), featuring some wild paintings by David Polka. Inspired by graffiti art, Asian religious iconography, illuminated manuscripts and anime, among other things, Polka's work is surprisingly contemplative. The show opens this Friday, Feb. 17, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. with live music and refreshments. 242-1669.
Imagine doing something because you love doing it—not for money, fame or someone else's praise, but because it connects you with yourself, your friends and your world. Now imagine that that something involves poetry.