Monday, May 22, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: The Demolition Doll Rods’ “Take You Home” (There is a Difference, Swami, 2006) is like a hard punch in the gut that’s equal parts love and raw power. Fisticuffs aside, there is something strangely polite about the grimey soulfulness that permeates the Demolition Dolls’ Detroit Rock City revelings. They’re not out to make your ears bleed, just to wake you up a little with a hard slap on the back; trying to keep you from choking on too much geniality.
While the summer movie season doesn’t officially start until Memorial Day, Hollywood has been opening the window of opportunity wider and wider each summer. Couch-hopping Tom Cruise pretty much shattered it this season, leading his Mission: Impossible III teaminto theaters a full month before Memorial Day. Not to worry, though; there are plenty more blockbusters to ogle--from a certain code to a familiar pirate to the return of a man in a heroic red cape.
Police on Segways, prisoner transport and curbing intoxication
By Marisa Demarco
It’s not a crackdown, says Sgt. Juan Griego of the state’s Special Investigation Division. But at a meeting held last Tuesday, May 9, by the Downtown Action Team, the topic of choice was public safety. At the event, the city rolled out its plans for Downtown enforcement this summer. And it goes a little something like this:
Paper ballots are the wave of the future in New Mexico
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
During the 30-day State Legislative session earlier this year, a bill requiring all precincts in the state to use paper ballot voting systems (SB 295/HB 430) passed in the Senate and House. The legislation was later signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson. Now state officials are in the midst of trying to meet the new requirements (uniform paper ballot voting systems across the state and an adequate number of voting machines) before this fall’s midterm election.
No yellow-brick road here--it's strictly numbers and dollar signs. The primary election is just around the corner and candidates have filed campaign reports with Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. The reports make all the gritty details of financing an election accessible to the public, including total contributions, names of contributors, loan amounts and where all the money is going. This table includes the big numbers--how much money each primary candidate has received for the 2006 election up until the file date of May 8 in the form of monetary donations and goods, plus the gubernatorial candidates running in the general election in November. For complete details, visit the Secretary of State's website: www.sos.state.nm.us.
The vote on the fate of Westland Development draws near
By Christie Chisholm
To say that Westland Development is a piece of land is to say the United States is nothing more than divided earth. To say that the fate of Westland will help sculpt the future of Albuquerque also does not give it justice. To say the company’s proposition is historic, monumental, a deal that could not only permanently affect the region but also the lives of thousands and generations to come edges closer to the truth. To say that Westland Development is a living piece of heritage whose destiny is teetering precipitously on the outcome of a few thousand votes is to call it what it is: a past, a present and a potential.
Since only 16 percent of Americans have a passport, what most of us know about how the rest of the world sees us is indirect: filtered information derived second- or third-hand from print media or television.
Will Albuquerque and the rest of New Mexico’s towns find their heart?
By Eric Griego
Wanna have some fun with the locals? Pretend you're a tourist and start asking people where the center of town is. Most people in Albuquerque will respond, “You mean Downtown?” Then you should say, “Well, the place where people interact, the place that sort of sums up the town.”
Dateline: England--A pet fish has been blamed for burning down a family home in Poole, Dorset. Kipper, an 8-inch catfish, is thought to have triggered the freak accident when it fought with a rival in its tank. According to an article in England’s The Sun, fire investigators believe that water splashed out of the aquarium and landed on an electric plug below. That sent a power surge up the tank’s light cable, causing the plastic lid to burn, which melted and dripped onto a leather sofa, which finally burst into flames. The flames soon engulfed the family’s living room. Luckily, a smoke alarm woke the building’s landlord, who rushed 25-year-old Sharron Killahena and her two children out of their upstairs bedrooms. The home was destroyed and all six fish in the tank died, but, “at least we are here to tell the tale,” said Killahena.
The Shining Town—OmniRootz Productions presents a new production of Owen Vincent Dodson's play The Shining Town, opening this Friday at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW). The OmniRootz crew did a production of the play a couple years back in the KiMo, and it was a big artistic success for them. They'll pump new life into the script by the Harlem Renaissance playwright—mixing in jazz, hip-hop and poetry. The play runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m., through May 27. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. An open dress rehearsal on Thursday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. is a pay-what-you-can performance. 385-5634.
Colección FEMSA at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
By Steven Robert Allen
Several people have approached me over the last couple weeks with variations on the same question: “Dude/Steve-o/Your Highness, have you seen the new show over at the National Hispanic Cultural Center? It so rocks.”
The United States has never declared a Malcolm X holiday, probably because of the type of leader he was, says Ejypt Clough, a local poet. “Maybe he was too much of a rebel, and he wasn't always peaceful. Maybe it's because nobody really got together and fought to have it,” she says.
‘‘I am an American, Chicago-born," announced the narrator of Saul Bellow’s classic 1953 novel The Adventures of Augie March. If that book were published today, Augie might also utter Stuart Smiley’s immortal line: "I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me!"
Governor’s Cup Runneth Over--Governor Bill Richardson announced last week the four winners of the 2006 Governor’s Cup Short Screenplay Competition. Last time the Governor’s Cup happened, it took the form of a statewide short film festival, the winners of which went on to compete for the best short in New Mexico. This time around, the Governor’s Cup focussed on writing. According to the State Film Office, more than 400 entries were sent in from all corners of New Mexico--from Farmington to Lovington, from Raton to Chapparal. “We were delighted by the response from the writing community,” said Lisa Strout, director of the New Mexico Film Office, in a press release.
After last year’s abysmal box office performance, executives from Hollywood’s movie studios are standing on pins and needles waiting to see what moviegoers will think of this summer’s cinematic offerings. Will the summer of 2006 soar like Superman (the hero and the movie), or will it sink like Poseidon (the ship and the film)?
Getting to work in downtown Albuquerque proved to be a bit of a chore last week. Employees trying to negotiate Central found themselves routed around the city’s downtown hub. The reason? John Travolta, Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence were busy filming their new middle-aged biker comedy Wild Hogs for Touchstone Pictures.
Having waded through approximately half of this spring’s 28-day May Sweeps Month (officially coming to an end on Wednesday, May 24), I’ve come to one conclusion: Season finales deliver a lot more tease than climax. With assorted sitcoms, dramas and reality shows coming to their season (and in some cases series) closers, May has subjected us to more cliffhangers, question marks and “will he/she or won’t he/she” dilemmas than an entire week of soap opera programming. But does all this conclusion leave us salivating for more, or merely burned out on the conventions of the medium? Do we even need season finales anymore?
Happy Birthday, Launchpad!--Whether you call it Launchy, The Pad, Lawn Chair or any other pejoratively endearing name, the Launchpad will celebrate nine years in the biz this Saturday, May 20. In their traditional style, Albuquerque's most venerable rock club will host a shitload of bands (visit www.launchpadrocks.com for the full lineup; there were 21 at last count, I think), with free food and cheap drinks all the live-long day. The live music starts at 10 a.m. and keeps it coming until 2 a.m. Due to the high number of under-21 musicians in this year's lineup, Launchpad supporters of all ages will be welcome to join in the music up until 5 p.m. Those over 21 with valid IDs will be permitted to come and go as they like. That's all for a one-time cover charge of $5, a portion of which will be donated to the Rio Grande Chapter Red Cross. You are defenseless. Just go.
with the Epoxies, Teenage Bottlerocket and Romeo Goes to Hell
By Simon McCormack
Sunday, May 21, Launchpad (all-ages); $10: The Phenomenauts bought their way onto the Warped tour with breakfast burritos, played the sidewalk outside of the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco and are now on their way to the Launchpad for an all-ages show that’s sure to leave you full of joy and covered in toilet paper. It is clear that Commander Angel Nova and his loyal space-traversing crew have a sincere love for the live show--and that love pays dividends for those lucky enough to see their live performance. With the help of their “Theramatic-Helmerator” (a helmet with a theremin attached to it) and their trusty “Streamerator” (a leaf blower that shoots toilet paper at the crowd), The Phenomenauts create an atmosphere that’s beyond compare ... on this planet, at least.
Hidden carefully within many sock drawers are deep, haunting secrets. Tales so mystifying that only dear diary can understand. Poems written to an unattainable love. Confessions of who it really was that stole the cookies from the cookie jar. Stories you want to forget, but remember years later through fits of laughter. Some stories never make it to the plastic-bound pages under layers of hosiery—they go straight to vinyl.
All over the city, local hip-hop shined last Saturday.
Starting at 11 a.m. at Los Altos Skate Park, a free concert and barbecue attracted skaters, bikers, and music lovers. Samuel Tobias Bryant, a 28 year old entrepreneur and his partner Nathaniel Carson were responsible for the all-day picnic. The duo opened a BMX shop across the street from the skate park called Burque Bikes, and were looking for a little promotion.
“We want everybody to get off their ass, ride their bikes, enjoy some sun, be happy and be human again,” Carson said.
Word. The music wasn’t all hip-hop, although just about every local emcee was on the list. Dirtheadz, One Foundation, Garbage Pail Kidz, 2bers and reggae/ hip-hop artist Kev Lee got down all day, until everyone had their fill of green chile tortilla burgers.
Starting this week, NYPD (Second Street and Central) will expand their hours until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday--Not only that, you'll finally be able to take advantage of the huge new back room from 5:30 p.m.-midnight on the same days. The new space is outfitted with vintage 1980 tabletop arcade games, several beers on tap, flat screen TVs and a discrete outdoor patio. Just wander back through the parking lot to the north of the existing NYPD, or ask for help from a friendly NYPD employee like Stuart.
Where’s the best place to buy wine? There are several “good” stores in town, but there are very few exceptional wine shops. In all honesty, it depends on your level of wine knowledge and what type of person you are. What are you into? What are you looking for? No, I’m not hitting on you. Let me break it down.
I can still remember when all Bono really did was sing. The “Mysterious Ways” video with its Middle Eastern flair was just one of the many reasons that former high school top 40 pop junkies like myself found a crooning hero in the U.N.-happy lead singer of U2. Since he’s a bit tied up these days, I’ll have to go back to worshiping Lemmy from Motörhead.
The bicycle might well be the most perfect invention of all time. Quicker than walking, healthier and better for the environment than driving a car, more versatile than riding a train or bus, bicycling is an ideal mode of transportation. Best of all, riding a bike is fun. It gives your body a workout when you're heading uphill. Even better, it gives your mind a cheap thrill when you're rolling down.
An old Schwinn's journey from the thrift store to the bike lane
By Amy Dalness
Maybe it's creativity. Maybe it's being cheap. Maybe it's insanity. Whatever the reason, as soon as I saw the old Schwinn hidden among the tattered sofas at Goodwill I knew it was destined to be my new ride. For 25 bucks, it was atop my bike rack—complete with imperfections, disintegrating tires and a flaking paint job. The Schwinn wasn't in such terrible shape. It had wheels, pedals, brakes, gears, a seat, all the basic components one needs for a working, usable bike—except that it wasn't. My mission: to get it out on the asphalt again, back to its natural habitat of road and wind.
According to Albuquerque municipal bike laws, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists on the road. They have the right to take up a lane of traffic as well as the responsibility to obey streetlights and stop signs. Sometimes the safest way to ride is by taking up the entire right-most lane, says Julie Luna, former president of BikeABQ, a local nonprofit bicycling advocacy group. This is especially true, she says, when the lane is small enough that a cyclist's presence forces autos to change lanes to pass.
What amazes me the most about these restrictions is that they show how badass cyclists can be. The fact that our city had to make regulations about some of these biking activities draws a picture for me of a speeding circus bear holding packages in each hand, breaking the sound barrier and barreling down the walkways on a unicycle. Here are five of the most interesting Albuquerque bike laws.
Among lovers of the great outdoors, New Mexico is renowned for its rugged and breathtaking terrain. This reputation is mainly due to the fact that the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains cuts through much of the state, creating an ideal environment for outdoor activities—mountain biking being one of the most popular.
Got bike, will travel? Here's a totally non-comprehensive list of upcoming biking events around the state. Races, bike swaps, fun rides—it's biker heaven in New Mexico. You have no excuses. Just get out and pedal.
By Amy Dalness and Genevieve Smith
A totally non-comprehensive list of upcoming biking events around the state.
Keshet—Several nationally acclaimed choreographers—Henning Rübsam of Sensedance in New York City and Maggie Bergeron of Minneapolis' Shapiro and Smith Dance, as well as Keshet Dance Company's founder and artistic director, Shira Greenberg—have created a series of original new works specifically for Keshet Dance Company. These new pieces will be featured at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) on Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m. during Keshet's inaugural repertory concert, Delirious Whisper. “This is the first time we're having a production that is purely focused on our professional company,” says Greenberg. “Before this, we've always incorporated mixed ability dancers from the community.” Next year, Keshet plans to tour a new repertory concert to the Minnesota Fringe Festival and several places in Mexico. Greenberg is particularly excited about the idea of touring in Mexico. “That way,” she says, “we can sit on the beach between shows.” Tickets to Delirious Whisper are $16 general, $12 students/seniors. 224-9808.
Bumble Bee's Sweet New Spot in Nob Hill--OK, I admit it: I'm a taco junkie. I'm addicted to soft corn tortillas (never fried!) stuffed with fish or shrimp or shredded beef, and fresh, small-diced onions and tomatoes. The combination of textures, flavors and temperatures just makes my spine tingle. After a little shower of fresh lime juice, it's a damn-near perfect package.
I have this tradition I engage in at the close of every semester (yes, I am still a lowly collegian) where I watch The Man from Snowy River in my underpants. It started out as a joke, but after months of midterms, finals, ass-kissing, no sleep and a jackpile of bad coffee, I came to realize that relaxation comes in many forms. And besides, who wouldn’t want to do an Ed Bundy on the couch and watch men doing man things. And mountains are just cool.
Nine generations of cattle ranchers have patrolled this same 30-parcel ranch near Corona, in the northern tip of Lincoln County. Mack Bell, the ranch's acting patriarch, has nearly 30 years under his belt alone.
At the May 1 City Council meeting, citizens packed the underground chamber to argue over Councilor Sally Mayer's long-deferred, massive HEART ordinance designed to control treatment of animals in the city. Meanwhile, up on Civic Plaza, "Day Without an Immigrant" marchers filtered in from Tiguex Park, a film company's trucks ringed the plaza and the Convention Center was actually busy.
Dateline: The Philippines—Although he claimed he could see the future, an eccentric Filipino judge was surprised recently when he was fired by the country’s Supreme Court. “They should not have dismissed me for what I believed,” Florentino Floro, a trial judge in the capital’s Malabon northern suburb, told reporters after filing his appeal. Floro was sacked last month and fined 40,000 pesos ($780) after a three-year investigation found he was incompetent, had shown bias in a case he was trying and had criticized court procedure. In addition to his ability to see into the future, the judge told investigators that three invisible mystic dwarves named Armand, Luis and Angel helped him carry out healing sessions during breaks in his chambers. The Supreme Court agreed with the court clinic’s finding that he was suffering from psychosis.
Media in the Movies—The Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will be offering the local premiere of Portland, Ore., director Tonje Hessen Schei’s new documentary Independent Intervention. The film will show twice only, on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14, at 2 p.m. Schei will attend the May 14 screening for a question and answer session. Independent Intervention focuses on the human cost of the war in Iraq by analyzing its U.S. media coverage. Among the people interviewed in the film are Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Norman Solomon and others. Tickets are only $5 and can be picked up at the Guild box office (3405 Central NE). Check out www.independentintervention.com for more info (including a trailer).
Back in the ’70s, the term “disaster movie” referred to an honest-to-goodness genre and not merely to an overly budgeted film's box office potential. The certified king of the ’70s disaster movie genre was producer Irwin Allen, who gave audiences such high-body-count hits as The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure (not to mention TV movie classics like Flood!, Fire! and Cave-In!). Over the years there have been sporadic attempts to revive the disaster movie genre (Armageddon, Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow), but few have been able to fully replicate Allen's patented formula.
Are you one of those rabid history-headed readers who plowed through Dan Brown’s gazillion-selling novel The Da Vinci Code like a German tourist at a Las Vegas buffet line? Have you read all the “true story” books that have sprung up in its wake? (Plug in “Da Vinci Code” at Amazon.com and you’ll be greeted with 233 different titles--from “The Gospel Code” to “The Diet Code.”) Finally, are you champing at the bit to see Ron Howard’s big-buck adaptation of the book, hitting movie theaters on May 19? If so, sit tight--TV has got you covered.
A New Name for Morning Wood XXX--It's been eight years since one beloved local ska (or, by their own definition, "chill-out-skip") outfit formed under the titillating moniker of Morning Wood. I guess that's where all the trouble started.
Friday, May 12, District Bar & Grill (21-and-over, 8 p.m.); Free: With his extraordinary song writing ability, Brent Barry should have left the northern reaches of Taos long ago. He is backed with some fantastic musicians, including the rhythm of Jack Wilson on bass guitar. This is the kind of danceable sound you can’t put your finger on, and the kind of music you won’t be able to get out of your soul. Monsoon, their first album, showcases Barry’s amazing song-writing skills and musical arrangements with a production element that ties it into a nice neat little package. I don’t know who Abe is, or if he is honest or not, but I do know that Brent Barry’s music is some of the most honest I‘ve heard, and this album is about as honest a production as you can get. See for yourself at the District Bar on Friday night, and get your own dose of the Brent Barry and Honest Abe vibe; you will not be disappointed.
It’s a common misconception that Mormons aren’t allowed to dance. It’s true that you can’t drink or smoke. No tea or coffee, either. It’s sort of a no-no to date inside your gender. You’ll have to stay away from any of those hard-to-pronounce, acronymized, serotonin-rushing designer drugs that were so popular in the late ’90s--and for that matter, most things people tend to do on those drugs--but, happily, it turns out you get a pass on the dancing.
The band soon to be formerly known as Morning Wood XXX invites you to witness their rebirth at Burt’s on Saturday, May 13. They’ll be joined by brilliant hip-hoppers Mantis Fist, Rod Shot Band, Trans-gender Manblender and host Nick Fury. Free at 9 p.m., but you must be of legal drinking age. (LM)
Jamaica jams, the strength of a tribe of lions and the power of a mystical vision combine forces for a fantastic and memorable night of the very best reggae music at the El Rey Theater. “Burning Spear is classic old-school reggae, one of the top five reggae bands in the world; absolutely classic,” says Mike Koster of Southwest Roots Music. “The idea was to make it a big blowout reggae night with the best locals to complement the best international reggae band.”
One morning, a couple months ago, one of the Alibi's owners handed me some samples of a column called “¡Ask a Mexican!” From what I remember, the first sample was an analysis of Mexican attitudes toward group sex. Another was a primer on Mexican cussing. A third was about why newly arrived Mexicans enjoy American public restrooms so much. My boss wanted to know if I thought the column would be appropriate for the Alibi. My initial reaction: “Are you out of your pinche mind?”
Leatherface-To-Face—That’s right, horror legend Gunnar Hansen (star of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre--not to mention Mosquito, Campfire Tales, Hellblock 13 and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) will be in Albuquerque this weekend working on the indie horror effort Gimme Skelter for Exhilarated Despair Productions. Hansen will be stopping by Burning Paradise Video (800 Central SW) on Friday, May 5, for a meet-and-greet with his fans from 6 to 8 p.m. He’ll be signing posters, DVDs and other memorabilia and will have plenty of horrifying TCM photographs for sale.
Stuff blows up: Don’t trouble yourself over why or how
By Devin D. O’Leary
Raise your right hand and repeat after me: “I swear if I go see Mission: Impossible III this weekend I will not engage my brain. I will not attempt to figure out the film’s convoluted plot. I will avert my gaze from the gaping plot holes. And I will restrict my comments to such casual observations as my, but the explosions look lovely this time of year.”
Two programs present the best live shorts and the best animated shorts of 2005
By Devin D. O’Leary
It was speculated that this year’s Academy Awards telecast foundered in low ratings because the nominated films generated the least amount of box office in years. A preponderance of indie films meant that almost as many people saw 2004’s Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby as saw all five of 2005’s nominees (Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, Good Night and Good Luck, Munich) combined. It’s OK, I understand. You had errands to run. You had cars to wash. You were planning on renting Capote as soon as it came out on video, anyway.
“Battlestar Pre-Galactica”--The Sci-Fi Channel has announced plans to spin-off its successful “Battlestar Galactica” show. The new series will be called “Caprica” and will take place 50 years before the events depicted in the current show. “Caprica” (named after the human homeworld nuked up good by the Cylons) will focus on the creation of the first Cylon and the events that led up to the Cylon rebellion. Although characters have not been announced, Sci-Fi says the prequel will feature two families--the Adamas and the Graystones--and will be as much a family drama as a sci-fi tale. Given the topnotch writing on “Battlestar Galactica,” this should be a show to watch out for when it debuts sometime next year. Remi Aubuchon (“24”) is writing the pilot.
Beating a Dead, Gothic Horse--DJ Vladmira, cofounder of Euphoria night, is looking for a lead on a new venue. As you may recall, Pulse ejected the gothic dance party a few months ago. They had worked together for seven years before that. Vladmira says they'd like to get things going again somewhere else now, possibly on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night. "It's also important to us to find a venue that will host live bands and 18-and-over patrons," she says. Overall, this gloom generation has taken an uncharacteristically optimistic tone. "We will come back and hope to find a new home." If you're interested in hosting the new Euphoria, e-mail email@example.com.
Sunday, May 7, Paolo Soleri, Santa Fe (All-ages): It might stand for "Most Underground Rap Sucks." Or maybe it's "Makin' Underground Raw Shit," declares his press release. They're not saying. It could be either, or, when you're a man straddling a dichotomy, it could be both.
Albuquerque’s “friendly Downtown bar” celebrates three years in the booze biz
By Simon McCormack
The Atomic Cantina began as a joint venture between three young musicians turned businessmen. Joey Gonzales of the Dirty Novels, Shawn Avery of the Demons and Leonard Apodaca of Scenester opened the Atomic the very first day they were given their liquor license on May 5, 2003.
Thursday, May 4, Launchpad (21-and-over); $5: Speedbuggy began as a fairly straightforward punk rock band that had a soft spot for country western. Slowly but surely, these rough-and-tumble cowpunks have refashioned their sound into a blend of stellar pedal steel, solid rhythm guitar and subtly inebriated vocals that draw out the working man in all of us. Their new album, The City That God Forgot, features some scrupulously plotted instrumentals as well as a couple songs that draw their inspiration from the events of Hurricane Katrina. Many of the band members have relatives or friends who were affected by the disaster and the band quickly decided to dedicate the profits from their first pressing of their newest releaseto hurricane relief. You need not be of the blue collar persuasion to enjoy the cut of Speedbuggy’s jib. The angst-filled emotions that lead singer Timbo belts out on every tune strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt doomed by the odds, broken or ashamed.
SolArts continues to rock Burque’s musical boat with more independently produced all-ages music events. Good on you, mateys! Hear more on Thursday, May 4, with The Coma Recovery, The Giranimals, The Cherry Tempo de Santa and The Overnight for just $5 in gold doubloons. (LM)
Good Luck—I have a penchant for late-night movies—always rentals. I hop up to the video store around 11 p.m., pick out a few select DVDs, a couple packs of popcorn, maybe some Junior Mints (the ultimate movie food), and stay up either until I wear out or the sun comes up. I usually crash somewhere around film No. 2.
In one tightly controlled Northeast Heights neighborhood, residents end up footing the bill for unresolved power struggles
By Marisa Demarco
It's a neighborhood tying itself up in legal battles. Money issues involving thousands of dollars, concerns over free speech, what some are calling a "dictator-like" leader—these troubles and more have descended on the 485 Towne Park homes near Eubank and I-40.
If you’re as pathetic as I am at poker, you also probably aren’t a good judge of whether gambling is a good thing. I just discovered recently that Texas Holdem doesn’t refer to something cowboys do in private.
Dateline: China—The government has banned its citizens from burning paper models of condoms, luxury houses, karaoke hostesses and other “vulgar” items when paying respects at the graves of their ancestors. Many Chinese people traditionally burn paper money and other items as a sacrificial rite to honor deceased relatives, but recent economic development has brought with it a rise in more capitalistic offerings to the afterlife. Anxious to curtail such modern twists on ancient superstitions, authorities in China have drafted new funeral and interment regulations that include fining citizens who burn “vulgar” offerings, the Beijing News reported last week. “The burning of luxury villas, sedan cars, mistresses and other messy sacrificial items ... will be investigated and punished,” the paper quoted Dou Yupei, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, as saying. In the last two years, officials have discovered people burning paper versions of the male virility drug Viagra, extramarital mistresses and even “Supergirls”--dolls modeled after winning contestants of Chinese television’s hugely popular “American Idol” clone, “Mongolian Cow Sour Milk Supergirl.” “The tomb-sweepers’ feelings are understandable,” said Dou. “But burning these messy things--not only is it mired in feudal superstition, but it just appears low and vulgar.”
As was the case with many Americans of her generation, my mother was deeply scarred by the Great Depression. She was a teenager in small-town (Las Vegas, Rowe, Pecos) northern New Mexico during those years of scarcity and want, and the tough times burned too deeply into her mind to ever entirely go away, despite 60 years of post-war prosperity.
Yardfest 2006—For many people, it's the social event of the year. It's a chance to slip into your finest pair of overalls, chaw off a good healthy plug o' tabacky and hang out in some guy's yard with a bunch of the finest folksy artists in town—and a few guest artists thrown in for good measure.
Rick Phelps lives along the Turquoise Trail. His installations, constructed with paper and other recycled materials, tell a story. To see his latest story, you have to roll down Fourth Street 'til you arrive at the Donkey Gallery, where there will be a new show featuring his most recent installation, Follow the Yellow Brick Road Kill. In addition to live music and delicious grilled food, the opening reception this Friday, May 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. will also feature an RV piñata and “parking lot leisure sports.” Can you ask for anything more? I thought not. The exhibit runs through May 28. For more information, call 242-7504.
A controversy has erupted over the lime green paint covering one portion of the 2,500-square-foot entry space that serves as a lobby, gathering place and, now, a brand new gallery. VSA New Mexico's executive director, Marjorie Neset, likes the bright neon hue. Jessica Barkl, codirector of VSA's brand new performance space, does not.
Salivation from El Salvador--Just a few days after I asked you to help a homesick Alibi reader find Salvadoran cuisine in the 505, my e-mail and answering machine were flooded with your tips. Some had only driven by, curious but too cautious to try this exotic "El Salvadorean" cuisine. (There's nothing to fear--but it is pronounced "Salvadoran.") Some of you are devoted pupusa-heads with a fortnightly habit. Thanks for your excellent tips! Everyone who piped up will get a pass good for two people at Laffs Comedy Club in Albuquerque.
Papota? What the crap is that? Me being the Google intellectual that I am, I decided to do a bit of homework after a more than filling repast at El Taco Tote, the Mexican grill with the deelish salsa bar. I typed it in, expecting to get an easy answer. Nope. Instead I got webpages in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, none of which provided me with a literal translation. But I wasn’t done yet. There were many other search engines to choose from, and this was now my mission in life.