Concert/CD release party at the Albuquerque Museum
By Mel Minter
When saxophonist Glenn Kostur first arrived in Albuquerque 11 years ago, coming in from Chicago to head up the Jazz Studies program at UNM, the thin air got to him. When he played, he’d find himself running out of gas about a measure and a half before he reached the end of his musical idea.
Albuquerque’s Gay Pride Parade has gone from a picnic in the park to the third largest parade in New Mexico
By Simon McCormack
Albuquerque Pride Business Representative Midnyte remembers marching in Albuquerque’s first Gay Pride Parade 30 years ago. Back then, the parade was more of a march that ended at Morningside Park with a small picnic shared between a couple dozen participants.
They're quite the royal power couple. Joseph Gutierrez is Miss Pride 2006, a title given to him at the Albuquerque Pride Pageant for his version of Cher. His partner, Adan Branchal, is Mr. Pride 2006, which he won with his considerable singing skills. Both regularly perform in drag at the Albuquerque Mining Company with the troupe Facade and have been practicing the art for about five years.
Jason Daboi completes Maria Johnson. They're not dating. They're not related. They occupy the same body, and both are essential. “I looked like a little boy most of my life and felt really comfortable in that,” Maria says. She can recall her first experience as Jason three years ago. “It was really, really scary, but it's that inner dimension, that male persona. Jason's a lot of fun.”
DJ Eldon is a 20-year veteran of the DJ scene, founder of housemusic.com and a sometimes dance chart reporter for Billboard Magazine. He is the man behind the sound system design at Santa Fe’s Swig and several house music nights around Albuquerque, including his popular Absolut House Thursdays at the Martini Grille.
Civil War Ends--The Spanish Civil War Film Series at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) comes to a close this Thursday night with a screening of the 1989 Goya Award-winning film Si te Dicen Que Caí (If They Tell You I Fell ...) by Vicente Aranda. Through flashbacks, the film chronicles the Civil War in Barcelona in the mid-1880s. Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas star. The film is in Spanish and Calalan with English subtitles. Admission is free. Screening will take place at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium. Log on to www.nhccnm.org for más información.
Illinois-based film and video artist Jim Finn recently wrapped up work on his first feature-length film, the curiously delightful musical/comedy/sci-fi/tone poem Interkosmos. The film, which plays out like some long-lost, recently rediscovered documentary from behind the Iron Curtain, follows the training and deployment of two would-be astronauts enrolled in an ambitious Communist plot to colonize the moons of Jupiter.
Animation fans can relax now that Disney and Pixar have kissed and made up. Pixar’s very public griping about Disney (Pixar did all the work, while Disney reaped all the benefits) came to an end earlier this year with Disney buying out Pixar and basically handing over all its operations to the animation studio. It was the most logical decision Disney could make to save its own bacon. While Pixar was allowing Disney to distribute (and take the lion’s share of the profits from) its smash hits like Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles, Disney was cranking out chintzy garbage like Cinderella II, The Second Jungle Book and Return to Neverland.
TNT--whose new slogan boldly insists, “We Know Drama”--debuts a new series this week. “Saved” attempts to turn the weekly medical drama on its ear, not only by taking it out of the hospital and setting it in the fast-paced world of the EMT, but by presenting it in a manner that the show’s press kit describes as “stylistic” (which is apparently Hollywoodese for “utilizing as many fisheye lenses as possible”).
Love Letters to Warped Tour--Spending Fourth of July weekend under the blistering sun of Las Cruces sounds ... well, bad. But what if you just happened to be at Warped Tour, in the presence of 60 of your most revered alternative teen-dream bands? Like AFI and Anti-Flag, Bouncing Souls, NOFX, Saves The Day and Senses Fail? The Casualties? Better? OK, how about this: What if you and a friend didn't have to wait in line, got in for free and gained special access to the tour's VIP backstage barbecue?
Thursday-Saturday, June 8-10, at 20 Downtown Venues (both 21-and-over and all-ages); $24.95 or $10: With 140 indie bands and dozens of industry panelists, the first-ever Hyperactive Music Festival is like a three-day indie fantasy camp. Festival Director Jenny Gamble says she and Executive Director Allison Shaw wanted to create a music festival that was patterned after Austin’s now world-famous South by Southwest. “We wanted to put something together that could educate local bands on how to do everything from put a press kit together to how to tour or where to go from there,” explains Gamble. “We also agree with the mayor in that we, too, don’t want to keep saying, ‘Albuquerque should be more like Austin,’ and instead in five years have people in other cities saying, ‘We should be more like Albuquerque.’”
In the late ’80s, I religiously watched ABC’s TGIF, a block of four situational comedies (in 1988 it was “Perfect Strangers,” “Full House,” “Mr. Belvedere” and “Just the Ten of Us”). While I found the three slutty daughters on “Just the Ten of Us” appealing, and enjoyed the foreigner humor of “Perfect Strangers” and “Mr. Belvedere,” “Full House” was the favorite--with its relatable characters, it was probably every 8-year-old’s favorite.
Monday, June 12, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: Built on tremolo-laden distorted guitars, simplistic drum beats and unintelligible vocal wailings, Montreal’s Demon’s Claws are another band out to prove that Sex Pistols-era punk and Willows-style garage rock were made for one another.
The shareholders of Westland Development might be in for a surprise. You see, their company, which owns 57,000 acres of land immediately to the west of Albuquerque that used to be the 300-year-old Atrisco Land Grant, has been up for sale since last August. There was an offer from a Delaware-based company (ANM Holdings), for a tidy sum of $158 million at $200 a share, which the Westland board of directors decided to take. Then there was the better offer from Nevada-based company Sedora Holdings for $211 million at $266.23 a share, which the Westland board decided was good enough to warrant exiting their previous contract. Now, a new player has entered the ring—the California-based SunCal Companies. And the fight to the end has all the markings of a long, dirty brawl.
Tim was diagnosed with HIV when he was 44. He’s still not sure how he got it—it could have been the couple years of injection drug use back in the late ’80s, or he might have picked it up from his girlfriend, who has an ex with an affinity for prostitutes.
Dateline: Amsterdam--Fed up with their “negative” image, Dutch pedophiles are forming their own political party. The Charity, Freedom and Diversity Party announced on its website it would be officially registered by last Wednesday. Among the planks of its political platform the party wants to cut the legal age of sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the age limit altogether. “A ban just makes children curious,” Ad van den Berg, one of the party’s founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. The Netherlands, which already has liberal policies on marijuana, prostitution and gay marriage, seemed shocked by the move. An opinion poll published last week showed that 82 percent want the government to do something to stop the formation of the new political party. In addition to reducing the age of sexual consent, the party also wants to legalize private possession of child pornography, allow the broadcast of pornography during daytime television and permit all people to go naked in public. “We want to get into parliament so we have a voice,” van den Berg said. “Other politicians only talk about us in a negative sense, as if we were criminals.” The party also hopes to promote sex with animals, the legalization of all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.
The primaries are behind us now and the political machinery is beginning to whir noisily in anticipation of the general election in November. I have to tell you, though, I am far more intrigued by the prospects emerging from the mists for the next gubernatorial election, the one four years away.
Pride Art—For the fifth year in a row, the organizers of Albuquerque Pride will host a fine arts show at Expo New Mexico. “We always get a lot of different kinds of work,” says Pat Baillie, copresident of Albuquerque Pride. “A little more GLBT-themed work, maybe, but we see everything. People bring themselves to the table and that's what we like. This isn't gay art. It's just work by artists who happen to be gay.”
The relatively new Ushasti Gallery (3907 Central NE) in Nob Hill specializes in art with a spiritual bent. The latest exhibit features mandala-like images created by artist Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, whose work is designed to celebrate feminine spiritual principles through the use of sacred geometries. Shaw's show opens this Friday, June 9, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Stop by to take a gander at this vivid, deceptively simple work. Runs through July 1. 255-1267.
How many wrecked relationships do you have notched on your belt? Five? Fourteen? Six-hundred and thirty-seven? Artist David Koch has quite a few as well but, thankfully, he's decided to address them with a sense of humor. He's documented them, metaphorically speaking, in a hilarious new series of paintings called Ouch! Koch's metaphor of choice is the crashed car—obvious, maybe, but as executed in these paintings quite beautiful, too, in a crumpled and broken sort of way. Koch has painted each accident against a bright monotone background, lending every wrecked car an iconic sensibility. I checked the show out a couple weeks ago, and it's well worth your time. Ouch! can be viewed during Outpost performances or by special appointment through June. For details, contact Tomar Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kendra Huse at email@example.com, or call 268-0044.
Have you ever walked into a place and it just feels like home? OFFCenter (808 Park SW) welcomes with open arms anyone who wants or needs a place to express themselves creatively. The nonprofit community arts center has affected many people’s lives, including Henry Kennison. He came to Albuquerque from New Orleans, where he survived up to his waist in water for eight days following Hurricane Katrina. He's now doing finishing touches on three large panels which depict New Orleans before, during and after the hurricane. The “before” shows a lively, colorful New Orleans with images of the French Quarter and women clad for Mardi Gras. The “during” shows what Kennison lived through—people trying to escape the water, people in the water and scaled creatures that lurk below with sharp teeth and fatal venom. Cluttered with debris, the “after” panel illustrates the damage Katrina left behind. Each panel tells its own stories, but when the three are looked at as a whole, they become an epic filled with color, culture, danger, survival and memories of that horrible disaster. Kennison's show opens Friday, June 9, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. 247-1172.
This Just In: Cuban Food!--Over the last few years, the scrap of Central between Carlisle and San Mateo has struggled--rather unsuccessfully--to become the only Little Carib neighborhood in Albuquerque. And I've held my breath through it all.
I still find people who won’t try sushi. And I’m always amazed when I do. Sushi has been incredibly popular here in the states since the ’80s, and even after its peak during the “Miami Vice” years, sushi restaurants have multiplied like so many Starbucks in just about every major city. But, sadly, the idea of raw fish, rice and seaweed will still strike fear in the hearts of the uninitiated. At its mere mention I still get “the face” (pursed lips, squinchy eyes and wrinkly nose) and hear things like “Eeeuuuuck! It’s rawww!” Or my favorite response: “Those weird rich people in New York eat that, right?”
A guide to getting your vote on this primary season
By Christie Chisholm
Voting is just one of those things—like eating your broccoli or brushing your teeth. Society (or, in some cases, your parents) is always telling you to do it, it feels like a big pain in the ass and in the end you’re better off for it. The difference between broccoli, teeth-brushing and civic duty is that while you’re pretty much forced to do the first two as a kid, the latter is completely a matter of freewill. No one’s going to punish you if you don’t vote—except yourself and whoever it is you non-elect into office.
Job Description: The office of Land Commissioner has got to be one of the most important in the state. With no real oversight from any other governing board, whoever holds the title has a large amount of influence over the direction of our state's land, wildlife, townships and, in the end, public education, since much of the revenue from the office goes toward that cause. Whoever holds the office next will also have some important decisions to make in a pivotal time over what New Mexico does when it comes to energy production.
Job Description: The attorney general (AG) is the chief legal officer of the state of New Mexico. The AG represents the state in court, prosecuting and defending cases, and writing advisory opinions when necessary.
Job Description: Democracies need good secretaries of state like voters (or anyone, for that matter) need air. Without a smooth-running election process, the public can have no faith their vote actually means anything, and the entire democratic ideology crumbles away. The secretary of state oversees the entire election process, from maintaining lists of registered voters to evaluating voting machines to certifying precinct boundaries. The title also has the critical jobs of regulating lobbyist activity and managing campaign finance reports.
Job Description: This office is essential in ensuring that our state's tax dollars are spent appropriately, and don't somehow leak into the pockets of government employees or politicians. The state auditor watches over and is responsible for the 598 audits done every year in the state, and also approves contracts for outside auditing services.
Job Description: The five-member Public Regulation Commission (PRC) is one of the most powerful governing bodies in the state--and most voters don't have a clue what it does. The PRC was created by voters in 1996. Its commissioners are expected to regulate a broad range of enormously complex industries, from utilities to telecommunications to insurance to fire to transportation. District 4 is the only PRC district up for re-election this year that includes parts of Albuquerque, most of which falls in the South Valley. It also includes a part of southwest Santa Fe. The district stretches up to the Four Corners area and has the largest Native American population of any district.
Job Description: Being a senator must be one of the sweetest jobs around. You get a hefty salary and you get to be one of the most influential people in the country, one of only two senators who represent your entire state in Washington, D.C., during a lengthy six-year term. You also get a hefty package of benefits and, ultimately, a fat pension. You write and debate legislation. You vote to confirm federal judges and U.S. Supreme Court justices. You try to haul as much pork back to your state as possible.
Job Description: Whoever holds this post has real potential to improve the state of things in the county, as well as the potential to let things stagnate. County Commissioners help decide what to do with an approximate $100 million county budget, and makes choices on ordinances, resolutions, zoning and policies. The office also has the authority to appoint individuals to various boards and committees.
Shoot Quick!--This Thursday, June 1, is the deadline for submitting your script to the Duke City Shootout. Here’s an opportunity to see your film ideas come to life. Send in your 12-page script; if yours is among the lucky few chosen, you’ll be given a cast, high-definition camera, lighting equipment, crew, post-production facilities and a professional mentor to help you through the process of shooting your short film. The Shootout itself will take place July 21-29 in and around Albuquerque. Filmmakers from all over will have just one week in which to shoot, edit and premiere their works. For a shot at movie stardom, race to the post office and mail your script to: Duke City Shootout, P.O. Box 37080, Albuquerque, N.M. 87176. For more info about the Duke City Shootout, log on to www.dukecityshootout.com.
Sure, you can start a controversy by making a major studio film that brings into question the most basic foundations of one of the world's largest religions (The Da Vinci Code). But that's kid's stuff. If you really want to ignite a raging controversy over summer movie season, just turn a popular superhero comic book into a movie. Yeah, Catholics can get angry; but they're taught to forgive. Fanboys, on the other hand, hold a grudge forever.
Yes (giggle), Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are (titter) dating. Can we all just move past that now? Can we finally get a grip on the fact that the love lives of Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie et al have nothing whatsoever to do with us mere mortals? Can we actually get back to the idea that these people are actors and that they make movies?
The broadcast networks have finally gotten around to realizing that people really do watch television over the summer. Having lost significant chunks of their audience to cable networks (who are gloriously unfettered by the same old spring/fall TV season), ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX have recently put a greater effort into getting new shows on the air in the June-July-August corridor. They may only be cheap-to-produce reality shows, but it still beats giving viewers three months worth of “Will & Grace” reruns.
New Empire--If you happen to drive by Japanese Kitchen (6521 America’s Parkway, 884-8937) in the coming weeks, don't get freaked out by the construction mess and dark windows. The folks at the sushi and teppan restaurant say they'll have rolling closures for about two weeks in June for renovations. You know how Japanese Kitchen is broken into two buildings, separated by a courtyard? First on the to-do list is an expansion of the "new" wing, where the sushi bar currently resides. That'll be followed by a massive gutting and rebuilding of the "old" teppan grill side. When it's business as usual (call to be sure), ask about their Omakase dinners. The Omakase is a traditional Japanese dining experience similar to a multicourse chef's tasting. Japanese Kitchen is one of two Japanese restaurants in town that do it (the other is Noda's in Rio Rancho), with dinner starting at around $35 per person--but the sky's the limit, really. The chef will personally contact you to determine the menu, so reservations--made several days in advance--are a must.
It’s always unfortunate when a great dish gets typecast, but there are few tear-jerkers more depressing than the case of miso soup. This broth is rich in culture (both historical and microbial) and is one of the best hangover cures. But the way Americans stereotype miso as a cheap sushi appetizer and an alternative to salad is criminal. Here, we spruce it up and drink it like morning tea, with a plate of oven crispy curry fries—oil being the next best hangover cure.
Can a white girl make decent sweet potato pie? This has been the debate since as long as I can remember cooking my first meal (I think I was 8), and it came to a head last year when I planned to bake a pie for an African-American studies class. My roommate at the time, whose family has soul food down to an art form, was beyond skeptical of my proposed endeavor. I remember the conversation going something like:
Wal-Mart tends to be the only place in town where one can buy a shotgun, electric turkey carver, industrial-grade trash bags and socks all in one go and at three in the morning. Yet such convenience doesn’t necessarily translate into people wanting a Wal-Mart right next to their house.
Margie Wants to Know—Hi, I'm Margie Average. I've got an Internet connection and a computer, so maybe I'm actually slightly above average in a state as poor as this one. But that's the name, don't wear it out. Today, I want to access that so-called “public information” about local political campaigns and voting that's supposed to be available to me. I'm tired of reading about the highlights in the papers. I want to see the whole picture with my own two eyeballs.
According to Paul Simon, "Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance." But that’s not true. Some citizens in Albuquerque have been complaining for years about the noise of the train whistles that echo throughout the city. Recently, a group of citizens decided to do something about it. The group, consisting of former Alibi News Editor Tim McGivern, state representatives, the Downtown Action Team (DAT) and others, have initiated an effort to create a quiet zone within the city that would effect the 16 railroad junctions from the South Valley to the North Valley and through Downtown.
Red-clad supporters of Councilor Sally Mayer's animal ordinance filled the Council chambers for the third time on May 22, wearing crimson gimme caps, which most had apparently not yet figured out how to adjust. Councilor Ken Sanchez presented three FY 2007 budget bills, all of which passed. Councilor Craig Loy's bill expanding the use of photo-radar spy cameras to nab red light runners passed unanimously after debate about the bill's constitutionality.
You might have heard there is an election next Tuesday. Then again, you may have a life. With the lack of primary opposition to most of the “bigger” races, including governor and U.S. Senate, voter turnout in next Tuesday’s primary could be as bad as that for the latest Jean Claude Van Damme movie.
An interview with one of the world's most controversial investigative journalists
By Christie Chisholm
Greg Palast likes to read in the loo. He says he wrote his book with that habit in mind—so that any casual bathroom reader could pick it up, skim around and still glean some bit of knowledge. And so, wanting to experience the shiny new hardback with the truest of intentions, I took his advice and settled down a few weeks ago, volume in hand, ready to flip casually through its pages to discover one of today’s most honest forms of truth to power. It did not disappoint.
Dateline: Germany—Social workers refused to help a worried mother after she called the youth department of social services in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, to complain about her daughter’s “uncontrollable, immoral and loose behavior with men.” The problem? Mrs. Schmidt was 92 years old and her daughter Tina was 68. Social workers told the woman they could not help her as her “child” was 50 years past the age limit where social services can get involved. Mrs. Schmidt apparently called the youth department after learning Tina had a boyfriend.
The Kids are All Right--An article in last week's Journal confirmed that the city is purchasing the Ice House building for use as an all-ages, teen-run music center, similar to Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe. The 30,000-square-foot space sits at 506 First Street NW. It's within spitting distance of the Cell Theatre, Wool Warehouse and MLK/Roma bridge, making it an ideal hub for all-ages music events in the Downtown area.
It's no easy task to follow Billy Zoom (original guitarist for the premier Los Angeles punk band X), but that’s just what Tony Gilkyson did from 1987 to 1996. His outstanding work was always on the twangier numbers (read: the John Doe material) so it’s no surprise that his solo work is deep country, whether a gentle prairie breeze or barreling down a prairie highway.
Painting is Dead?—In discussions about contemporary art, you occasionally hear mutterings that painting is an old-fashioned medium that's outlived its usefulness. In an age of photographic, cinematic, digital and multimedia creation, who needs quaint ol' paint?
Wednesday, June 7, Out ch'Yonda Performance Space/Omnirootz. (all-ages, 8 p.m); $5: At one point I thought calling music “experimental” was like calling music “alternative;” just a meaningless categorization for the unimaginative. And for awhile I did know a handful of people around Albuquerque who made music out of glitch beats, calling it experimental.
Tokyo’s much heralded post-rockers pay Albuquerque a visit
By Simon McCormack
There’s a litany of adjectives that are almost always used when describing a band that fits, however loosely, into the realm of instrumental post-rock. These adjectives include: lush, layered, hypnotic and soaring, just to name a few. MONO can certainly be described using these terms, but what the words don’t properly convey is the profound influence of emotion that pervades MONO’s sound.
A couple weekends ago, I ran into some friends standing outside a club against a backdrop of Downtown cruisers in near-deadlock. “What's up?” I asked. “Nothing,” one replied, nodding at the barely moving cars, “just watching some people who are obviously more bored than we are.”
Lowriders emerged in the Chicano communities of Southern California during the late ’40s and spread throughout the Southwest. Outsiders sometimes make the unfair assumption that lowriders and cruising represent antisocial behavior, associating them with drugs, violence, gangs and other wayward societal misfortunes. But those who've tracked the history of lowriders see it as an art form with important societal implications: There are parallels between cruising lowriders and the paseo which was a practice in Mexican villages wherein unmarried men and women walked in opposite directions, checking each other out. The elaborately decorated lowrider is also seen as a 20th century translation of the elaborately decorated Moorish horse in Spain.
It takes an understanding of the politics of local car clubs to put a safe, smooth show together
By Marisa Demarco
“When I see a place, it's a parking lot. It's a building. It's steps. I see the steps as seating capacity. I see the walkways. I can see gold and chrome and paint,” says Squirrel Montoya, producer of some of the biggest lowrider shows Albuquerque has seen since the mid ’80s.
Alex Montaño can remember when these parking lots along west Central would fill with lowriders, banter and impromptu hydraulics competitions. The Sonic under the neon Route 66 overhang would be jammed with nothing but lowriders, and you'd drive through to holler at your friends, show off your car and, of course, pick up girls, he says.
Two-year-old Alexandria is suffering from Sticklers Syndrome, which causes blindness and hearing loss. Route 66 Promotions will be raffling off a lowrider bike at the car show, and all proceeds of the raffle will go toward aiding Alex's family with medical expenses. $1 off every ticket to the show will also go toward helping Alex. Anyone wishing to donate additional money can send it to: Bank of America c/o Alexandria Rodriguez, Cindy Rodriguez, Account #00430460770.
Fantasizing about cars is one of my favorite daydreams (and it’s a damn good thing my dreams don't come true because if they did, I’d have a volume of Plymouths, Volvos and dune buggies on my hands). So when asked to dream up a lowrider for myself, with no consideration for the logistics, difficulty, time and coin that actually goes into creating any work of art, it was a no-brainer. I immediately decided on a Polynesian theme: a pineapple exterior and a luau interior. Pineapples taste good to me, their shape is hilarious and their golden ratio proportions are enticing. They also summon thoughts of tropical beaches, drinks, sunsets and the aloha lifestyle. The same can be said for the luau that would take place on the interior of my lowrider.
He has a tattoo of a squirrel running up one leg and coming back down the other with two nuts in its mouth. That's what he says, anyway. You'll have to ask someone else if it's true—although the word “Martha” with a red “Void” stamped over it is displayed prominently on his upper arm.
A rare 1963 Impala. A gold-plated engine. An anaconda-skin ragtop. Twelve painters. One-hundred and fifty master craftsmen. $170,000 in materials. Nearly 10 years of work. What do you get when you combine all these things? Anaconda, the most famous lowrider in the world.
The northern New Mexico town of Española is located not far north of Santa Fe, between Los Alamos and Taos. Approximately 10,000 people live in the town that was originally established in 1598 by Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate. Being surrounded by an amalgam of attractions and having its own arts community, Española is a tourist stop. However, the town is best known as the lowrider capital of the world; it supposedly has more lowriders per capita than any other place on Earth. While there isn’t necessarily any solid evidence that would confirm the town's claim to fame, there isn’t any evidence to refute it.
Silence is Golden—The second annual Santa Fe Live Music Silent Film Festival gets going (quietly) this weekend at the Lensic Theater just off the Santa Fe Plaza. This year, the festival will kick off with a special conference on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m. This Film-Music Gathering is intended to highlight the potential opportunities that the expanding film industry may offer to local professional musicians, composers, producers and technicians. Keynote speakers include Dave Grusman, who has scored such films as Gidget (1966), The Graduate (1967), On Golden Pond (1981), The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) and Mulholland Falls (1996). Following the speakers will be a question and answer session. This free event is presented with cooperation from the New Mexico Film Office, the New Mexico Music Commission and the Santa Fe Economic Development Department.
A movie about a guy making a movie about a book about a guy writing a book (sort of)
By Devin D .O’Leary
Written in 1760, The Life and Opinions ofTristram Shandy, Gentleman is considered to be the first postmodern novel in English literature--which is quite a feat, considering the author had a couple hundred years to go before there was anything modern enough to be “post-” about. The book concerns the efforts of one upper-class Englishman, Tristram Shandy by name, to relate his life story. Over the course of several hundred bawdy and highly satirical pages, Mr. Shandy never quite seems to get past the circumstances of his own birth. If the book is “about” anything, it is the inability of something as rigid as art to encapsulate something as chaotic and amorphous as this thing called Life. The book, though considered a classic of English literature, has long been labeled “unfilmable.”
Columbia Pictures wasn’t in any big hurry to screen The Da Vinci Code for critics. The film didn’t even make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival until the middle of last week, a mere couple of days before its massive worldwide opening. Mixed review from audiences at Cannes fueled speculation that Columbia didn’t want bad press leaking out before the opening, but the simple fact of the matter is that The Da Vinci Code is this summer’s guaranteed box office champion. Who needs publicity when you’re adapting one of the hottest books ever published? If everyone who picked up the novel (some 40 million people and counting) comes to the theater to buy a ticket, you’ve got a certified blockbuster. Add in all the people too lazy to actually sit down and read a book, and you’ve got one of the biggest films in box office history. So who needs reviews? Clearly not the audience for The Da Vinci Code. Here’s one anyway.
Last week, while viewers were busy watching the big season finales, the broadcast networks were engaging in an annual ritual known as “upfront presentations.” Upfronts are the time when the networks announce what their fall season schedules will look like. So, what shows have been given the boot and what new content we can look forward to this September/October?
Sick Obsession--It's nothing new that tastelessly told human drama stories permeate TV broadcasting like incurable viruses, but it seems as though this trend has recently gone to a whole new level. I’ve noticed an unusual amount of stories in the last few weeks on network television dealing with children who’ve been sexually abused and adults who are sexually attracted to children and teens. It’s a topic to take seriously, and one which has affected more people than most of us would like to imagine. But from its excessive coverage, pedophiles and sexually exploited children have become analogous to the proverbial car crash.
Dateline: Scotland—Volunteers cleaning up the peak of Britain’s highest mountain were puzzled last week to come across a full-sized piano, abandoned near the 4,418-foot summit. The piano was recovered last weekend by 15 volunteers from the John Muir Trust, a conservation charity that owns the Scottish peak known as Ben Nevis. “It’s a 4,000-foot mountain. It’s very steep. It’s rough ground. ... To get a piano up there is pretty good going,” Nigel Hawkins, director of the John Muir Trust told AFP. He said it appeared to be an upright piano, with its cast-iron frame and strings intact. Unfortunately for music lovers, the keyboard was missing. The charity has put out a public appeal to find out how the piano went up the mountain and why. The only clue as to the instrument’s origin was an empty cookie wrapper found underneath it with a “best-before” date of December 1986. Some 120,000 people climb Ben Nevis every year.
The Return of 500--Ready for some complicated math? Local hard rock outfit 500 (or Fivehundred, depending on who you talk to), which is made up of former members of Fatso and used to style themselves Mr. Spectacular, is back after calling it quits last year. Still with me? It seems they've filled out their sound with another guitar player, ratcheting up the supercharged trio to a four-piece. 500's triumphant returning show was at the Atomic Cantina a few weeks ago, but you can witness their undeniable face-rocking this Friday, May 26, at the Launchpad. It'll be a night of local breadwinners with Scenester and SuperGiant.
Saturday, May 27, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: Ray Jackson and his compatriots from Lomita started off with the straightforward intentions of being a country band. Like greedy kids in a candy store, Lomita’s hunger for multiple genre num-nums caused them to branch out and create music that combines ambient tones with pseudo-psychedelia and pedal- and lap steel-aided riffs, which give the band a twanged-out indie rock flavor. Think of the band as a darker version of Pavement.
Saturday, May 22, Isleta Casino (12-and-over [seriously]); $20-$40: Did you know that Kenny Loggins is “a sonic pioneer in the smooth jazz genre,” has achieved 12 platinum albums during his career and won a 1980 Grammy for best male pop vocalist? (But his people want you to know that “the true measure of this man cannot be weighed in platinum and gold.” The tiniest of tears just came to my eye.)
Underage, overage or lying-about-your-age—this venue is all about the scene, not the green
By Amy Dalness
Just about a year ago, Mayor Martin Chavez shoved the term "all-ages venue" into the mouths of every musician and music fan in town. With the simple threat of banning all-ages shows at venues that sell alcohol, a huge debate was sparked, music supporters marched and regulations passed enforcing precautions to prevent underage drinking. But all-ages shows have not been banned. The debate has polarized both sides—the city nearly accusing every all-ages show of directly contributing to underage drinking, and the music community screaming that banning alcohol sales will kill the all-ages scene. It isn't over.
Shorty Pants—Director Kristen Loree will be delving into some of the less conspicuous short pieces in the Mark Twain canon, such as “Was it Heaven? Or Hell?,” “Carnival of Crime and Connecticut,” “Eve's Diary,” “Advice to Girls,” “Adam's Diary” and other brief work by the master of socially incisive humor. Twain Shorts apparently takes plenty of artistic license with Twain's work. Odds are pretty high this will be a hoot. The show opens this weekend at Sol Arts (712 Central SW). Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., through June 4. For more information or to make reservations, call 244-0049.
For the past year and a half, artists Ann Bromberg and Steve Teeters collaborated on Migrating Feast, a new exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum that celebrates families who immigrated to the Southwest from all over the world. Teeters, based in Lubbock, Texas, and Bromberg, based in Albuquerque, use old photographs, notes and recipes to create their sensual pieces. With these artifacts, the two have created magnificently collaged images that are incorporated into and on beautiful antique suitcases, spice cabinets, pot racks, violin cases and a handmade ferris wheels—to name just a few items. It's fascinating, poetic work.
I'm happy to report that Wrangler's (Fifth Street and Lead), a cherry of an inexpensive Downtown breakfast and lunch spot, has been approved for their liquor license--They've already added a small, umbrella-shaded patio to the front of the restaurant and hope to begin a dinner service with beer and wine later this week. They also have plans to open for dinner on the weekends with hours that compete for the bar crowd, until 1 or 2 a.m. Call 842-1600 for an update.
“I’m a subversive,” declares Dr. Marion Nestle, author of the new book, What to Eat. Dr. Nestle, a professor of nutrition and public health, voiced her comments this week in Albuquerque at the Fourth Annual UNM Obesity Symposium.
I have a confession to make about Mexican food. I am originally from the Midwest (gasp) and I have always loved that region’s version of Mexican food (gasp again). I grew up cooking and eating what residents of New Mexico might charitably refer to as “Tex-Mex”-style food, the characteristics of which include enchilada sauce, black olives and massive quantities of sour cream. Nothing made me happier as a kid than for my dad to declare it taco night, because that meant rows of crunchy Old El Paso taco shells, mountains of refried beans out of those little yellow cans and Mexican rice loaded with tomatoes, bell peppers and that strangely intoxicating vinegary taste. We even had “fiesta corn” (translation: bell peppers mean fiesta). Stop gasping now; you may get brain damage and I could be blamed.