The Best of Both Worlds—Do you like dancing? Do you like bellies? Well, why not combine the two? You'll get a scintillating combo deal at Ushasti Gallery in Nob Hill when the Ramla Taal Tribal Bellydance troupe shows up to shake what their mamas gave 'em.
The Alibi's 2006 Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest
Well, here we are, once again. We've rifled through an Everest of entries received from as far away as Paraguay and the secret Chinese space station orbiting the planet Neptune. After much sweating, cursing and inter-office bickering, we've finally determined this year's victors.
In exactly 108 words
The Octopus uses three hearts to pump its blood. It thinks not only with its small brain, but with nerve clusters in each arm. In captivity these crafty invertebrates will crawl from their tanks and dismantle plumbing, causing costly flooding. The octopus hypnotizes prey by waving its arms rhythmically in the water. Witnesses report swarms of salmon frozen around a single octopus.
An amalgam of this year’s worst short story contest entries
The night was soft and suffocating like the clingy sundress she wore. "Shake your hips, Talula," he gurgled, moving in time with music she could not hear. They had met on that same country backroad so long ago. Did she remember? He pressed her closer. The farmer's girl, the one with pretty mouth. He wondered if she knew how badly he needed her. How the thought of her sunburned shoulders drove him to the limits of his sanity. Closer and closer. She said nothing still. She's always been such a quiet girl he thought, as red velvet lipstick rememberences turned to blood and piss pooled across lips.
An interview with the Handsome Family
We're sitting in Brett and Rennie Sparks' little adobe house in Nob Hill, and it's not at all what we imagined. We were thinking there might be gargoyles over the entrance, maybe some taxidermied owls and a moat. Now that we're here, though, the Handsome Family's home seems perfectly natural.
Heather Wilson makes the Dirty Dozen list ... again
Eat your heart out, Eminem. Get out of the way, Lee Marvin. There’s another “Dirty Dozen” in town, and Congresswoman Heather Wilson is among its ranks. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) named Wilson to its “Dirty Dozen” list, a report put out by the organization every federal election cycle that pinpoints the 12 federal-level politicians who shun the environment and are the most in favor of deregulating big industry. The LCV began publishing its “Dirty Dozen” list more than three decades ago.
A local group claims our groundwater is at risk for radioactive contamination
A touchy subject remains touchy as plans are made to deal with a local radioactive waste site.
Oops, They Did It Again—A good friend of mine reminded me on a recent Sunday morning that all newspapers are biased. She said this in response to some snarky comment I made about how incredibly biased the Albuquerque Journal is while thumbing through said daily. I paused. I took a little offense (not I, said the ego-ridden news editor). And then I realized she was right. All newspapers, no matter how much we try, are always at least a little biased. We're human, not news-writing cyborgs.
Councilors work to improve and expand affordable housing in Albuquerque
If you've looked for a place to live lately, you've probably noticed that housing costs in Albuquerque have skyrocketed. Even worse, condemnations and demolitions are eating away at the least expensive tier of our housing stock.
Damage to Westside residents' homes sparks a dispute with a hospital
Robyn Mintz came home from work to an alarming sight: a 2-inch high ridge along the length of her kitchen tile, like a small-scale seismological event. It looked as though the foundation had shifted, buckling the floor along a retaining wall. Now, after Mintz and her fiancé, John Short, have spent a few months walking on the floor, it's started to shatter.
How do we preserve our history while redeveloping our rundown present?
The problem with hidden gems is that they are hidden. Sometimes buried; sometimes unnoticed yet in plain sight.
Our attorney general discovers public corruption is a problem in New Mexico
Is Attorney General Patricia Madrid risking interference in the prosecution of former State Treasurer Robert Vigil just so she can look tough on public corruption in time for the Congressional election?
Dateline: New Jersey—A terrified black bear who wandered into a West Milford neighborhood found himself stuck up a tree after he was chased by an angry neighborhood cat. The bear was first spotted in the tree by neighbors who thought the 15-pound cat was just looking up at it. Then they realized the bear was afraid of the orange tabby named Jack. After some 15 minutes, the bear descended, only to be chased up another tree by the ferocious feline. Eventually, Jack’s owner, Donna Dickey, called the hissing cat back into her house. It was then that the bear was finally able to make its escape. Ms. Dickey said Jack has often chased off small animals. “He doesn’t like anybody in his yard,” Dickey told reporters.
VSA North Fourth Art Center
One of the most intriguing movements in modern visionary art is touring to Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Paris and … Albuquerque? That’s right, Albuquerque is lucky enough to be the second stop for a touring exhibit called Internal Guidance Systems. Organizers say the show allows fringe outsider artists from around the globe to create personal mythologies, giving viewers access to their intimate alternate realities. The exhibit is open to the public through July 22 at VSA North Fourth Art Center, 4904 Fourth Street NW. 345-2872, www.vsartsnm.org.
Samantha Barrow is a Philadelphia-based poet, activist, educator, spoken word artist and producer who's touring the country for the second time on her motorcycle. Her first trip incorporated a spoken word tour. This time, she'll swing by Sol Arts (712 Central SE) to facilitate an erotic poetry workshop with survivors of sexual abuse, as well as to promote Grit and Tender Membrane, her volume of poetry and tales inspired by her first tour. The output of the workshops will result in a chapbook of poems that will be used for fundraising and educational purposes by grassroots antiviolence and survivor services. The workshop occurs on Saturday, June 24, from noon to 3 p.m., followed with a poetry performance by Barrow and workshop participants at 5 p.m. 244-0049.
A preview of the most promising summer releases
Gas prices have shown little sign of dropping. Airlines are warning of serious flight delays. And, to top it off, anti-American sentiment overseas has hit such a pitch that the U.S. World Cup soccer team can’t put the Stars and Stripes on the side of its travel bus. Maybe this is the summer to stay home, to catch up on some yard work.
Last thoughts on Luis Jimenez
The 1,000-year curse of public art is that most of it is designed to be as bland and inoffensive as possible. Governmental committees typically give the go-ahead to public art projects that only appeal to the lowest common denominator. The guiding philosophy seems to be that if art is going to be displayed permanently in public spaces, it had best not get under anyone's skin.
Islamic Execution—This Friday, June 23, the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty will present the award-winning Iranian film Day Break beginning at 7 p.m. at the KiMo Theater in Downtown Albuquerque. The film was shot inside Tehran's century-old prison and revolves around the imminent execution of a young man found guilty of murder. In Iranian society, a victim’s family not only has the right to condemn or forgive an accused killer, they also have the responsibility of carrying out said execution. This apparently leads to an all-too-common situation, in which criminals are stuck in prison at the whim of families wavering between forgiveness or revenge. The film is a well-made, well-acted think piece, sure to spark discussions of both the death penalty and cultural differences between the United States and the Middle East. A public forum will be held after the screening led by the film's award-winning producer/director, Hamid Rahmanian. Tickets are available online (www.nmrepeal.org), through Ticketmaster (888-7800) or at the KiMo Box office.
Death-dealing Aussie indie sees a light at the end of the tunnel
A man accidentally steps in front of a train, killing himself. Who and what he was is unimportant now. It is the repercussions of his death, the slow ripples that it sends out and how it affects people--most of whom never even knew him--that we’re supposed to be keeping an eye on here. This seemingly everyday accident is the catalytic event in Aussie filmmaker Sarah Watt’s deft, death-obsessed drama Look Both Ways.
Growing up a poor Mexican child, I cut my horror teeth (sharpened my fangs?) watching “Dialing For Dollars” on KOAT-7 hosted by beloved local weather guru Howard Morgan. Driven by an insatiable desire to quench my thirst for terror, I would race home from school to catch classic horror films starring the likes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing (not to mention kick-ass science fiction and Godzilla movies!). So you will have to understand that I’m a pretty tough nut to crack when it comes to vampire films. Quite frankly, most of them just ... suck. It takes a pretty solid effort to make a fan out of me. Luckily for horror freaks such as myself, the good people at Lions Gate have chosen to finally release a truly great, often ignored vampire mini-masterpiece on DVD. I’m talking about horror legend George A. Romero’s Martin.
“Pants Off Dance Off” on Fuse
You can tell, just from the title, that Fuse TV’s “Pants Off Dance Off” achieves a Zen-like level of simplicity and stupidity that many TV shows strive for, but few truly attain.
The Week in Sloth
Reggae Under the Stars ... with Nachos—Local reggae collective One Foundation/Mystic Vision is taking their message-heavy music to an unlikely venue this weekend: El Pinto (10500 Fourth Street). It's the first I've heard of a traditional New Mexican restaurant hosting anything but mariachis, but why not? It's got that beautiful North Valley patio, which Mystic Vision says they'll happily take advantage of. The group will be filming the performance for a DVD they're putting together. Show starts around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. I'm not aware of any cover charge, but you should probably order something to make the owners happy.
Headphone fanatics rejoice
“Listen to it with headphones,” advised guitarist Jeremy McCollum as he handed me a copy of his band’s new CD. “OK,” I said, smiling meekly, unsure quite what to make of what he had just told me.
He's the last man standing—and that's fine by him
It used to be a plural affair, The Slow Poisoners. Over the course of 10 years, the other four members "expired." That's how Andrew Goldfarb, the remaining Poisoner, puts it. "Eventually, it was down to a duo," he says. "When I saw an opportunity to off the other member, I took it."
SuperGiant is a lean, mean rocking machine. See this week’s “Show Up!” for details. (LM)
with DJ Eldon
Thursday, June 22, Martini Grille (21-and-over); $5: His United States tour stops include Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Dallas—and Albuquerque.
Brett Sparks of The Handsome Family reveals the tunes at the top of his iPod playlist
1. “Dear Prudence,” Brad Mehldau, Largo
2. “Golden Hours,” Brian Eno, Another Green World
3. “Side by Side,” Buck Owens, Act Naturally
4. “Tragos Amargos,” Selsun Blue, Wash Don't Rinse
5. “Thank You So Much, Mrs. Lowsborough, Goodbye,” Cole Porter, The Platinum Collection Cole Porter Songbook (Disc 2)
6. “Almost Blue,” Elvis Costello, The Very Best of Elvis Costello (Disc 2)
7. “Computer Love,” Kraftwerk, Computer World
8. “A Man Of God,” Trilobite, Trilobite
9. “Giulietta Degli Spiriti,” Nino Rota, Film Music Of Nino Rota
10. “Pale Blue Eyes,” The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground
11. “Blackjack David,” Carter Family, Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, Vol. 4 (Disc 1)
12. “Next,” Scott Walker, It's Raining Today: The Scott Walker Story (1967-70)
13. “Gusty Winds May Exist,” The Rivet Gang, The Time is Now
14. “The Wife of Usher's Well,” Alasdair Roberts, The Crook Of My Arm
15. “Don't Be Scared,” Andrew Bird, Weather Systems
16. “Aria,” Bach, Goldberg Variations (Gould, 1955)
17. “Slow it Down,” Edith Grove, Highway of Diamonds
18. “Naima,” John Coltrane, Giant Steps
19. “The Window Up Above,” George Jones, Ralph Stanley & Friends, Clinch Mountain Country
20. “River Man,” Nick Drake, Way To Blue
21. "A Fistfull Of Dollars Suite,” Ennio Morricone, A Fistfull of Dollars and a Few Dollars More
22. “Sisters Of Mercy,” Leonard Cohen, The Best of Leonard Cohen
23. “Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11, I.,” Mässig Arnold Schoenberg, Schoenberg, Berg & Webern: Piano Music
Olive You, Part Two--A few weeks ago I put out a call for information on a new Northeast Heights martini bar called Olive (Montgomery and Eubank). A reader hit me back with a quick breakdown. "Wonderful" martinis in a "nice enough" atmosphere. Think black leather couches and mood lamp lighting, a nice bar area and a pool table in back. One caveat: There's no grub on the grounds, though according to my source, the waitstaff will happily score you some popcorn from Lucky's Lounge (it’s next door) if you ask. "I would recommend at least one fairly decent snack to be offered. [But I was] definitely impressed enough to hope they add just a few touches to come up to an even higher classiness!" If I ever make it up there, it'll probably be on a Wednesday night, when DJ Entactogen and Ill Kid are around for funky soul, hip-hop and down-tempo sets.
A season forecast of Albuquerque’s fruitful growers’ markets
The first perfumed peach of the season. The taste of a homegrown tomato. There's just no comparison. For people who love food, few moments in life rival the simple pleasure of biting into a still-warm fruit off a tree or farmer's truck bed. It's the closest thing to magic I know of.
That’s amore, dude!
Remember that scene in Point Break when John McGinley’s character (Ben) walks Keanu Reeves’ character—who could forget Johnny Utah?—down the hall and tells him, “You know nothing. In fact, you know less than nothing. If you knew that you knew nothing, then that would be something, but you don’t.” That’s how I feel about chain pizza places.
A neighborhood dispute finds a resolution
Walking up to Charles and Synthia Lin’s place of business is like kneeling before an ancient Chinese temple—the lilting, three-story roof made entirely of concrete; the massive entrance guarded above by a writhing golden dragon; the two lions greeting patrons as they head toward that looming draconic door, which is open most of the year. Maybe it’s because, to the Lins, the Chinese Cultural Center is more than a place to earn a living; it’s a tangible model of Chinese philosophy, culture and tradition. And until last Friday, they feared it might all come to an end.
Introducing the Novint Falcon
Since the infancy of computers, people have been trying to develop better interfaces for playing games. The first attempt at a controller was merely a spinning dial on what looked like a television remote. Various companies attempted to improve the methods of controlling video games, leading to the invention of the joystick, d-pad (arrow buttons on a controller) and countless other ridiculous-looking devices.
Video Gaming in Albuquerque
Before the advent of the Internet, there were video games. Before cell phones and e-mail connected us with friends far and near, the earliest gamers flocked to arcades to play the latest Atari masterpiece with their peers. With a series of zeros and ones, some applied mathematics and some sweet hardware, a subculture was born.
The Transcendental World of the Japanese Shooter
The primary urge of video gaming is to shoot.
In the beginning (1962 to be precise) was Spacewar, a monumental gaming achievement. For the first time in the history of the world, players could shoot at each other on a computer screen. There was thrust, there was rotate, there was hyperspace, and it was good.
Hardcore gamers and part-time button smashers unite! There's a weekend full of events to satisfy even the most persistent gaming addiction. Grab some Bawlz, your lucky controller and don't forget to put on clean socks--it's game time.
Lost in the forrest of acronyms and shorthand that is gamespeak? You're a n00b. It's OK. The Alibi is here to drop a few linguistic breadcrumbs so you can find your way through the cybertrees. Here's a really, really abridged dictionary of the terms serious gamers use, usually when playing online with other nerds:
Competitive gaming. I knew it existed on some level. In high school, my friends had two favorite pastimes: paintball and LAN parties. Both included high-powered equipment, shooting stuff and me screaming like a chick in a slasher movie as I fired aimlessly at my assailant. And then died. A lot. We never had real tournaments; we were in it for the bragging rights. I was just known for my screeching.
I’ve Got a Warm Feeling--Local film and video makers are invited (nay, encouraged) to submit their “pleasurably grotesque, elaborately perverse, delightfully repulsive” short films to the freshly minted Warm Feeling Film Festival. Entries must be seven minutes or less in length and must be received by July 8. The festival itself will take place at an “undisclosed location” sometime in the near future. Sounds like a freaky good time to me. For additional information, call 235-2652 and ask for “Paco.” Prizes (of what nature, I am not sure) will be awarded to the festival’s best films.
... Or the best. Doesn’t matter, really. It’s the same list.
Video games and movies have gone hand-in-hand since 1982 when Atari produced the E.T. the Extraterrestrial video game for its then-popular Atari 2600 home console. The game, by just about any standard you chose to look through, was a harbinger of things to come. It was lame, it helped contribute to Atari’s downfall, and the company ended up burying 14 truckloads of E.T. game cartridges in an Alamogordo, N.M., landfill. Not an auspicious beginning.
French action flick hits the ground running
American action films, let’s face it, have been a stale lot for the last, oh, decade at least. When the best Hollywood can muster is formulaic crap like Bad Boys II, lovers of high-bodycount, low-wordcount cinema are left twiddling their thumbs. With action stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis gearing up to collect Social Security, is it any wonder that true action fans now turn their attentions overseas looking for that old cinematic hit of adrenaline?
Cat scratch fever
According to Christian doctrine, Christ suffered for your sins. While I have no wish to get all John Lennon on you and start comparing myself to Christ, I would like to point out that I have, in fact, suffered for the bad things you've done.
“Hex” on BBC America
A hit on Britain’s Sky One satellite service since its inception in 2004, “Hex” is just now making its way to U.S. shores courtesy of BBC America. It was worth the wait. Those jonesing for a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fix (and to a lesser degree, a “Charmed” dose) will find all their various obsessions fulfilled with this addictive horror/fantasy/drama/comedy import.
The Week in Sloth
House of Folk—My dictionary claims that “folk” means “of, originating among, or having to do with the common people.” Sounds kind of Marxist, doesn't it? For the organizers of this weekend's Albuquerque Folk Festival, however, “folk” has precious little to do with hairy ol' Uncle Karl. “Folk” is more a creative ethic, a DIY attitude that involves plenty of public participation. The festival isn't just about showing up and listening to a bunch of music or looking at art created by other people. It's about learning how to make your own damn music and art, while interacting with others of like mind.
I Am 8-Bit
At the dawn of the video game era, lots of kids spent hundreds of hours inside cramped, noisy arcades staring at pixeled screens until the otherworldly images of aliens, spaceships, gargantuan centipedes and traffic-dodging frogs burned permanently into their impressionable brains. Some of these kids grew up to be artists. A few of them began incorporating imagery from their favorite games into their artwork. The eye-popping result is I Am 8-Bit.
It’s the jazziest jungle around with some pretty cool cats singing about the bare necessities and all that jive. Take a trip into this hep jungle and attend The Jungle Book, Kids, opening this week at Gorilla Tango. Based on the classic Disney film (which in turn is based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling), the performance follows the story of Mowgli, the kid who talks animal, and his bear friend, Baloo. Gorilla Tango has created a musical that's fun for the whole family. Twelve young local actors star in the colorful and energetic musical that features such tunes as “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You.” The show runs tonight through June 25, Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8, and the show is rated G. 245-8600.
Fred Wilson's ceramics have been exhibited around the world. Starting this week, his work can be seen at Working Classroom alongside ceramics created by students from Washington Middle School and six high schools around Albuquerque. Boca de Arena features a collection of contemporary ceramic sculptures ranging from slabs to masks, sculptures of human heads to animal heads. To create these pieces, the students and their mentor have practiced ancient ceramic techniques by which they explore figure, texture and shape. The show opens Friday, June 16, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. 242-9267.
New PAC hopes their event will appeal to the next generation of progressives
What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … a protest?
A primary election wrap-up
It was a day that will go down in history as having borne the mark, or at least the marketing, of the beast.
What you need to know
It was a big day for women's health care. On Thursday, June 8, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the OK to the first vaccine to prevent most cervical cancers [Newscity, "The Path to a Cure," April 13-19]. Here are the basics:
Musings on the self-serve economy
On a recent drive through Mexico, we stopped at a gas station, and a guy actually pumped our gas. It was downright scary. Like a time warp.
Blog smack—Do you like to talk trash in a public forum without facing the possibility of legal repercussion? Welcome to the world of blogging. According to Shannon P. Duffy's June 2 article on law.com, a judge has ruled that bloggers can't be held accountable for libelous statements made as anonymous comments on their sites.
With the city suffering extreme drought conditions, on June 5 councilors quickly passed emergency fire restrictions on open burning or smoking in the city and bosque, fireworks in nonbarren areas, and certain motorized equipment in campgrounds, wildlands or bosque.
Dateline: Ukraine—A Christian, apparently attempting to test his faith in God, threw himself to the lions last Sunday evening at the Kiev Zoo and was promptly mauled to death. Ukrainian TV channel NTN broadcast interviews with witnesses who said the man told them he believed God would not allow the lions to hurt him. According to Reuters, an official said, “The man shouted: ‘God will save me if he exists,’ lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions.” A lioness seized the man by his throat, severing his carotid artery and killing him instantly.
Electric Connections--Coming out of a drunken blackout at Burt's one night, I found myself in a conversation with Tommy Mansfield about what it takes to survive the music business as an underground act. Tommy is the rhythm section of Colorado Springs' glam-punk trio The Mansfields, which had just played an all-ages show that night at the Cell Theatre. They try to book all-ages shows as often as they can, he explained, regardless of what the turnout is like. I mean, have you heard of them? Probably not. Anyway, here's the kicker: The Mansfields have toured the United States and headlined in Europe--twice. And they booked it all entirely through myspace.com.
Meet your favorite new band
There are plenty of bands trying to do the next big thing in music. From post-rock to neo-new wave, the ambition to “sound like nothing else before” is as recurrent a goal as can be found in today’s modern music scene--local or otherwise.
... South, in this case, meaning Roswell. Get in line for 11 of the finest alternative music acts this side of the Pecos, including Maegan White (ex-Two Weeks to Go), Ants Have Voices, Made in Bangladesh, No Regrets and Liquid Cheese, for just $15. Sunday, June 18, at the NMMI Stadium in Roswell, 2 p.m. (LM)
with August Spies and The Build
Saturday, June 17, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: Reader’s MySpace page features a drawing of a penis that has ejaculated semen in a pattern that spells out the band’s name. Now that we’ve all gotten past that, let’s discuss the new wave/jam band musical anomaly that is San Antonio’s Reader.
with doubleplusgood and Bird in Hand
Monday, June 19, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: Picture yourself on a deserted island wearing only a pair of cutoff jeans and a pair of specs with some stylish frames. The pseudo-foreboding music that’s streaming through your brain like the beads of sweat on your forehead is Shirrelle C. Limes and the Lemons. Your world is simultaneously at war with and completely at peace with everything inside it.
Brother E and the Blue Rhythm Kings take their soul music to the Grants Federal Women's Correction Facility
It's the kind of story that calls out to moviemakers. Eric Bland is the son of a minister, a gospel singer, known in Albuquerque for his work in choirs. In walks Gary Millhollon, a professional blues guitarist who worked out of Austin, Texas, before moving here three years ago. Millhollon, who is white, is fortunate enough to join the Grant Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, home one of the best choirs around. The blues guitarist and the gospel singer meet.
Pearls of Wisdom--New Mexico is boiling and I've got water on the brain. Well, that, and agua fresca, milkshakes, smoothies, iced coffee and my most fervent refreshment obsession of late, boba tea.
These days, eating New Mexican cuisine and eating healthfully seem like mutually exclusive endeavors. But many traditional New Mexican foods are, in fact, good for you. Take, for example, calabacitas--blossoming into season right now. These native vegetables have been a mainstay of the New Mexican diet since prehistory and are savory, nutritious and versatile.
Find your feminine side and a killer scone
Tea rooms are frilly, estrogen-laden, antique-happy muffin pads for ladies only. Or are they? When debating how to review the year-old Collectabili Tea this week, I automatically thought to bring along a female associate of mine, who is fluent in both chick speak and antiques, and harbors endless reserves of information about Lapsang Souchong. But the more I considered having a nice, lacy, feminine tea time, I realized that what would be infinitely more fun would be to find a big, burly manly-man and treat him to an afternoon of china cups and those little sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
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.”
Albuquerque’s Gay Pride Parade has gone from a picnic in the park to the third largest parade in New Mexico
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.
from Albuquerque Pride's "30 Days to 30 Years" Pride Cards (available at Pridefest 2006)
Juniper and Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) stage Albuquerque's first Gay Pride Parade in commemoration of the events at Stonewall, titled “Christopher Street Celebration.”
The hastily organized parade draws 25 individuals who march for several blocks along Central, drawing little public attention and no notice in the local media.
Response to the 100 marchers in Albuquerque's second Gay Pride march varies from raised thumbs to hurled eggs.
A pair of queens reveals the tricks of the trade
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.
Being king requires an attention to detail
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.
Chatting with the director of Interkosmos
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.
Cartoon cars cruise into summer
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.
“Saved” on TNT
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”).
The Week in Sloth
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?
Concert/CD release party at the Albuquerque Museum
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.
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.’”
'80s pop star Tiffany performs at Pridefest
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.
with The Dirty Novels and BBQ
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.
Ishen Tree, All She Wrote, Long Time Dead and Devil Riding Shotgun want yours. Friday, June 9, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon (21-and-over). $5. (LM)
An interview with a young gay activist
David Danzilio is gay. He's 18. And in one Albuquerque high school, he's played a crucial role in creating a safe haven for other gay youth.
A new offer to buy Westland Development unfolds
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.
Gay people exist year-round—Once a year, media in New Mexico notice the gay and lesbian population. It happens as the pride parade draws near—if it happens at all.
AIDS in New Mexico
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.
The art of riding the bus
A lot of folks in el Burque seem to think this isn't a real city. I’ve got news for ’em: It is. And most of us would know, if we only took the bus.
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.
Could Mayor Marty switch sides?
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.
Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque
Why is Albuquerque the flamenco capital of North America? The answer is best provided in a name: Eva Encinias Sandoval.
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.
Galactic food—and prices to match
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?”