I worked at the Olive Garden right out of culinary school—I was young, I needed the money—so I had a pretty thorough grounding in the mass production of Italian food. I used to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to make 50-gallon tanks of meat sauce, and bread row after row of chicken Parmesan and little mozzarella triangles. Then it all changed. Prepackaged came, saw and conquered, and instead of the fresh, handmade favorites on the menu, there were bags of premade frozen mozzarella patties and chicken parmigiana. This really bugged me, but I did not know why at the time.
Just in time for the holiday season! Win great prizes like hotel staycations and spa packages from The Remedy Day Spa and Rio Grande Bodyworks. Enter to win by voting for the prize package of your choice every day at alibi.com from November 15–December 5!
Looking for the best food in the Duke City? It’s as easy as ABC.
By Laura Marrich and Jennifer Wohletz
People ask us all the time, “What’s your favorite dish/restaurant/grocery store in Albuquerque?” To which we respond with something like, “Good lord, where do I start?” or “I couldn’t choose one--they’re like my children!” We’ve been trying to change the subject for years. Still, voracious, inquisitive readers like you don't seem to take “I don't know” for an answer.
Hollywood Southwest--Last Monday, the Mesa del Sol development south of Albuquerque’s Sunport announced one of its first major commercial tenants, a 50-acre film and television production facility, which will be known as Albuquerque Studios. The project, expected to be up and running by next spring, is the work of Pacifica Ventures, a California-based company, which runs the historic Culver Studios in Hollywood.
Fictitious story based on a true lie can’t find the reality of its fabrication
By Devin D. O’Leary
Has America become a nation of liars? You might think so watching the evening news. Politicians, of late, have raised deception to a high art form (with Dick “I Have Not Suggested There is a Connection Between Iraq and 9/11” Cheney as the Picasso of Prevarication). Notorious newspaper man Jason Blair proved you don’t have to leave your apartment to be a good reporter, while infamous author James Frey showed you can deceive some of the people some of the time, but it’s not nice to fool Mother Oprah. Famed transgendered, teenage, HIV-positive author/screenwriter JT Leroy (The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, Gus van Sant’s Elephant) was, in late 2005, revealed to be a 40-year-old woman from Brooklyn named Laura Albert. Earlier this year, much-praised Native American memoirist Nasdijj (The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, The Boy and His Dog are Sleeping, Geronimo’s Bones) was exposed as a mere fabrication of gay-erotica writer Timothy Patrick Barrus.
One of the more puzzling aspects of our current war on terrorism is how little tangible support for the troops seems to come from people who claim to support the troops. “Supporting” our troops, apparently, means sending them into a dangerous situation with inadequate numbers, outdated equipment and a near total lack of clear-cut goals and then keeping them there indefinitely. So long as you’ve attached a little yellow bumper sticker on the back of your Ford F-1000, though, they’ll be just fine. Perhaps, supporting our soldiers--regardless of whether your motivations are pro- or anti-war--might entail making some attempt to understand what it is they’re doing. The president has explained it very clearly and concisely: They’re defending our freedom abroad. But, one suspects, there’s a little more detail to it. What, on a day-to-day basis, are these men and women actually doing?
This is just a guess, but I’m pretty sure there are no instructions for use printed on the side of the homeopathic topical headache relief product HeadOn. After all, anyone who’s spent any time surfing the cheaper commercial hours of basic cable (especially daytime CNN) has run across the HeadOn commercial at least a hundred times in the last couple of months.
Of all Shakespeare's 38 plays, it's his last one, The Tempest, that seems the most logical candidate for a mutation into opera. For one thing, the play is already riddled with music. For another, The Tempest's absurdly bombastic plot and spectacular characters seem tailor-made for the operatic stage.
Chances are you're already familiar with Barry Moser's work. He's one of the best illustrators of our time, illustrating over 300 titles in his career, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Moby Dick. This Thursday, August 3, Moser will present a free slide lecture and talk at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe (706 Camino Lejo). The event is presented in conjunction with Lasting Impressions, an exhibit at the Palace of the Governors (105 W. Palace Ave.) that examines the history of New Mexico presses. For more information, call 476-5100 or visit www.palaceofthegovernors.org.
Erin Currier crosses cultures, religions, geographic boundaries and political lines to celebrate the strength of the human spirit. She forces viewers to honor those who are too often ignored and rejected as human refuse. By bringing to life those who are invisible, Currier makes us question who we are, what we value, and what and who we toss aside. With her bold colors, multimedia collage techniques and striking images she makes us see beauty and pathos where we once saw only a void. Currier’s new exhibit, From Vietnam to Venezuela: Bandits and Beauty Queens, is showing at Parks Gallery (127 Bent Street, Taos) August 5 through Sept. 4. For more information, call 751-0343 or visit www.parksgallery.com.
Five in One—This Sunday, Aug. 6, would be a fine time to head over to the Albuquerque Museum. As usual, admission is free on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Even better, that day the museum will debut a grand total of five sparkly new exhibits. Expect a little somethin' for everybody. There's an exhibit on Latino immigration to the U.S. There's another on the history of poster art in Puerto Rico. And a complementary show consisting of posters from WWI and WWII culled from the museum's permanent collections. More? You want more? The Pastel Society of New Mexico will host a show for the first time at the museum. And the final exhibit consists of Frank Ettenberg's unique paintings, composed on top of his voluminous collection of exhibit announcements. If you go, remember to pace yourself. Drink plenty of fluids. Know your limits. The Albuquerque Museum is at 2000 Mountain NW. 243-7255, www.cabq.gov/museum.
Chala at Ya, Corrales—The Flying Star Café will open its first Westside location just north of Coors and Alameda (10700 Corrales NW at Cabezon) on Monday, Aug. 7. It's a “soft opening,” meaning the Flying Star people don't want media people like me heralding its arrival just yet. (Sorry, not happening.) What they do want you to be aware of is the public grand opening on Aug. 19, when they'll have all the kinks ironed out, live music and other fun stuff from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
It’s a regular Sunday evening at the Cadigan house. The family is doing the post-weekend, pre-work week juggle. Dad, City Councilor Michael Cadigan, is looking ahead to the next day’s Council meeting. Kids, Megan, 10, and Mason, 7, are arguing loudly in the background. Michael mediates for a second and returns to another task at hand—answering this reporter’s questions about the latest ball tossed into the increasingly complex Cadigan routine—the fact that his wife, coworker and campaign manager Traci is now also a candidate.
The Thin We're In—Morally superior robots should read no further. This one's for the rest of us who find ourselves almost unconsciously turning the pages of the likes of Life & Style, a weekly gossip rag.
An Albuquerque peace activist is stranded near Tyre
By Christie Chisholm
I met Mahassen Shukry on a warm day in early March. Her house smelled of spice, and potted plants, and that indescribable, earthy aroma that accompanies any true home. I was running a few minutes early, and so her daughter, Nidhal, and young grandson, Ziad, kept our staff photographer and me company while Mahassen finished getting ready. Ziad was extremely curious about my recorder, and while he eyed it, Nidhal eyed him and chatted with us about vacationing and the unusually dry weather.
One-time presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey was fond of pointing out that the truest measure of a society’s success should be not how its wealthiest citizens fare but how that society provides for its neediest: the poor, the elderly, the infirm and the children.
Environmentalists shoot at Heather Wilson, and miss
By Jim Scarantino
The New Mexico Wildlife Federation, the Coalition for Valle Vidal and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance have run big ads in the Albuquerque Journal to thank Rep. Heather Wilson for protecting New Mexico’s environment. Not long ago she won headlines for wrestling with the Department of Defense to maintain access for hikers and mountain bikers in Otero Canyon in the East Mountains.
Dateline: England—A man arrested in Central London’s Trafalgar Square last Tuesday on suspicion of taking lewd pictures with a hidden camera informed police he was actually an antiterrorist detective working undercover to videotape al-Qaeda suspects. Turns out the man, nabbed by a plainclothes team watching out for perverts and pedophiles, was actually a married Scotland Yard surveillance expert with more than 20 years’ experience. Unfortunately, when the officers went back to their station and looked at the detective’s “surveillance” tape, captured on a camera hidden inside a sports bag, they found “the pictures were not of terrorist suspects planning a bombing, they were of knickers.” A police spokesperson told London’s Daily Mirror, “the officer used surveillance techniques for his own perverted hobby--taking pictures up women’s skirts.” The spokesperson went on to say, “It was one of the hottest days and Trafalgar Square was packed with young women in skimpy clothes. When officers moved in, he told them he was a cop on an anti-terror operation.” The officer was arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance. He has been suspended from Scotland Yard.
Jingleballs—Feeling lucky? Keep your eyes peeled and you might just see a trio of new Powerball commercials that use local musicians to promote the lottery tickets. New Mexico talents The Hollis Wake (Burque), Vanilla Pop (Taos) and Sol Fire (Santa Fe) each perform a song about how incredibly huge the jackpot is becoming (to my understanding, the lyrics are canned but all the music is original), recorded and mixed by award-winning sound engineer Doug Geist at Santa Fe Center Studios. The commercials will air on local programming only when the winnings total $60 million or more. So far I've only seen The Hollis Wake spot--which features a “poptastic” 30-second jingle based off of one of bassist Sarah's songs--and I can't wait for the others. Especially since learning that one half of Vanilla Pop, Al Dente, went to the High School of Performing Arts in New York, and was cast in 1980's Fame. As if those wierdos weren't fascinating enough.
Singer-songwriter touched the hearts of all who knew him, from Albuquerque to New Orleans and beyond
By Marisa Demarco
In 1987, Emilee Holt learned what a good cappuccino was. She learned it at EJ's Coffee & Tea Company, one of two places in town where you could find espresso. She also learned what it really means to have a social conscience and a thing or two about kindness.
Saturday, Aug. 5, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: Durango’s Stellar Interlock (who formerly donned the much better, but already utilized name Pop Shove It) plays aggressive, resonating indie punk with a surprising amount of ‘tude for a bunch of clean-cut everyday Joes from the Southwest. Their sound seems as though it’s caught somewhere between the grunge era’s Jane’s Addiction, the Ramones’ style of quick-hitting punk and Queens of the Stone Age’s brand of neo-alt rock--all with an indie tilt.
Saturday, Aug. 5, Santa Fe Brewing Company, $20-$25: Admittedly, I have more than slight apprehension about anything that involves the word “mystic.” It just seems like a pretty obvious warning that trustafarians (aka trust fund rastafarians) talking about spirituality are near. But let’s just forget about that for now.
A safe place for the kids to head-bang--six years strong and still kicking
By Simon McCormack
The theory that metal is the root of all evil will be put to the test this week as 30 bands (some of which make Cannibal Corpse look like Kelly Clarkson) converge at the Compound for the sixth annual Gathering of the Sick.
Environmentally aware documentary provides fuel for conspiracy theories
By Devin D. O’Leary
Did you know there were more electric vehicles on the road 100 years ago, when the automobile was making its first inroads into American culture, than there were gasoline-powered vehicles? After all, electric vehicles are far cleaner, cheaper and more easily repaired than their internal combustion cousins. And yet, here we are a century later, and electric vehicles remain nothing more than a “pipe dream.” Why? That’s just one of the juicy think nuggets presented in the sober new documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, a perfect companion piece to Al Gore’s global warming call-to-arms An Inconvenient Truth.
Office exercise for the desk-ridden white-collar worker
By Mark Chavez and Jessica Cassyle Carr
Hey, you frumpy slobs. You overweight, under-perfect nine to fivers. Yeah, we're talking to you, Dave, and you, too, Britney. It's time to finally do something about that ever-expanding gut, those unsightly thighs and that excess skin that pours out over those jeans you'd be well-advised not to wear.
A University shopping district looks at a major facelift
By Marisa Demarco
It's a quirky part of town, a loosely associated collection of little houses used for shops and restaurants on Harvard near the university. When the relatively new owners of the area, the Harvard Mall Partners LLC, are finished with them, eight of the structures on the west side of the street near Winnings Coffee will be demolished. In their stead? A mixed-use apartment complex with about 7,500 square feet of retail spaces on the ground floor.
Policing the Police—After her arrest, Jenny Gamble headed home, changed clothes and went to work. She hadn't slept for 17 or 18 hours when she logged onto the Web and blogged about the events of the night before. Since that night, she's had more than 2,000 hits on her blog, she says, and people from all walks of life are writing to her of their own police horror stories. "The thing that's kind of strange about all of this is that I never intended to be a martyr for civil rights," she says.
Warren Hatch is an enthusiast and ultimate defender of the dying hobby of model railroading. A model railroader since the age of 7, Hatch found a way to make a career out of what he loves by opening Trains West Inc., a vast store that sells only model trains and their accessories, 14 years ago. The entrepreneur sat down with the Alibi to talk about model trains and the community that surrounds the hobby.
New tax credits encourage home and business owners to go solar
By Simon McCormack
New Mexicans now may find it a little easier to harness the power of the sun. House Bill 269, signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson in March, offers tax credits to individuals who purchase solar systems for their home or business. Such systems cost thousands of dollars to install. The tax credits would cover 30 percent of the installation cost, up to $9,000.
Buddy Cianci was one of the country’s most successful mayors. He took a struggling post-industrial Providence, R.I., and rebuilt it from the ground up. A new thriving downtown. A booming new high-tech industry and a renewed sense of civic pride. But a not-so-funny thing happened to Buddy Cianci on the way to his success. Buddy Cianci was convicted of public corruption.
Dateline: Germany--Police in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt were stunned when a thief they had just released from custody was caught stealing one of the officer’s bicycles on his way out of the police station. “They could scarcely believe his cheek,” said a spokesman for Ingolstadt police. “It’s almost impossible to beat.” Police had earlier arrested the 22-year-old man after he was caught stealing handbags. The man was soon released on the condition he report back to them later. As he exited the police station, an observer in the parking lot spotted the man helping himself to a bicycle. Police gave chase and quickly re-arrested him. “He claimed he thought it belonged to a friend,” added the police spokesman. “He won’t be getting out of jail so quickly this time.”
Shootout: Take Two--The Duke City Shootout continues into this weekend. Last Saturday’s shotgun start launched seven teams of filmmakers on a weeklong race to cast, shoot and edit seven short films. The films will premiere at this weekend’s gala final event. Until then, however, the Shootout still has a few surprises up its sleeves. For a complete listing of events, log on to www.dukecityshootout.com.
Satyrical TV show graduates to theaters with consistent laughs
By Devin D. O’Leary
Fans were no doubt happy to learn that Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert finally got around to crafting a feature film version of “Strangers With Candy,” their three-season-long series on Comedy Central. The show went off the air five years ago, but continued to resonate with viewers and has only added to its loyal cult following a comprehensive DVD release of all three seasons. Of course, Colbert’s recent success with CC’s “The Colbert Report” makes now a fine time to introduce the show into the mainstream.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: See, there’s this artificially intelligent robot head who works as a top-secret super spy for Abraham Lincoln combating assorted supernatural and extraterrestrial threats to the nation, particularly those levied by his reanimated manservant-turned-archfiend Emperor Zombie. Helping our titular head are his new manservant Mr. Groin, a talking, three-legged dog named Mr. Dog and a collection of super-duper, steam-powered bodies onto which the Amazing Screw-On Head can, well, screw himself. ... No, I’m not making this up.
MTV, Get Off the Air!--Despite the Dead Kennedys shouting for them to go away for the last 21 years, as of Aug. 1, MTV will have been on the air for 25 years. So, in the spirit of the unsatiated desire of the Dead Kennedys, I’m compelled to start off by blurting out the clichéd affirmation that “MTV sucks.” Just go to mtv.com right now and see for yourself. It’s basically corporate radio in television form with an added bonus of obsessive celebrity worship. The station rarely plays music, but simultaneously has incredible influence on the music industry. But most of us know this already.
Crouching deep inside Jim Phillips' cerebrum is a kid with his hands between knees. Let's call him Ned. Ned is busy counting the number of syllables you've just said to Jim. Now he's making a rule about it. It's called “The Disguise of Changing Scenery,” or something equally splendiferous and literary. Now he's humming the idea back to Jim in musical Morse code, which is being broadcast onto the back of Jim's skull like a home movie. The colors bleed onto everything. And now Ned's resetting the whole thing back to zero, like winding a clock.
Wednesday, Aug. 2, Launchpad (21-and-over): Straddling the line between an indie band with screwed-up time signatures and long periods of straight instrumentation and a rock band with a Yo-La-Tengo-without-the-bite style of play, Brooklynites Dirty on Purpose are poised at the verge of quasi-stardom and indie acclaim.
Saturday, July 29, Puccini's Golden West Saloon (21-and-over); $5: They would go out on the weekends to bars like Tumbleweed, Fantasia or Bandito Hideout restraurant. Spanish rock lived in those joints--on the radio, but never live.
Drown out the impending global war--and the stately, blathering shitheads who’ve brought us to the brink of it--this Saturday, July 29, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge! The Prids (see “Show Up!”), The Foxx and Unit 7 Drain are along for the handbasket ride. (LM)
As We Liked It—Last weekend, I tried my luck with Sol Arts' production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Colleen McClure. Honestly, it took me a while to get into the spirit of the thing. In my experience, most Shakespeare productions in New Mexico suffer from uneven performances, and this one was no exception. I dug the music, though, both live and canned, and hot damn if Kristen Loree didn't play a smokin' Rosalind.
What is a zarzuela? Glad you asked. It's a form of Spanish opera that got its start in the mid-1600s and is usually short and comic. Director Salomé Martínez-Lutz and conductor/pianist Pablo Zinger have put together a showcase of this classical music genre that features a variety of zarzuela music consisting of archetypal Spanish beats as well as Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Perhaps best of all, special seating will be available to enjoy a glass of wine during the performances at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1707 Fourth Street SW) this Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The show is produced by Teatro Nuevo México. Tickets are $10 to $25, available in person at the NHCC box office, or through Ticketmaster at 883-7800 or ticketmaster.com. For more information, call 724-4771.
Hilarity is an art. It takes skill, hours of creative energy and constant rehearsal to be a stand-up comic. Comedians must also be memorable. If they aren't funny, confident and original, they're forgotten as soon as the lights dim. It's a cutthroat industry, and for anyone looking to make a living in stand-up, it takes the same thing every wannabe in Hollywood needs: a big break.
A unique combination of Southwestern landscape, pop culture and ancient mythologies come together in New Mexican artist Shawn Pham-Warrick’s exhibit, War Paint. Opening this week at N4th Gallery (4904 Fourth Street NW), the show is composed of large allegorical paintings that explore timeless issues such as greed, violence and relationships to the natural world. There will be an opening reception on Friday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. and an artist talk on Saturday, July 29, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both are free and open to the public. Runs through Sept. 2. 345-2872.
Signing for Her Supper—Friend and former Alibi Food Editor Gwyneth Doland can add one more notch to her crumb-speckled belt, as she's just become a published cookbook author! The book is Cilantro Secrets (Rio Nuevo, paperback, $12.95), which she'll launch at a signing event on Thursday, July 27, at Jennifer James' Gulp (3128 Central SE, 268-4729). From 5:30-8:30 p.m., the girls next door (that is, the Graze chefs) will prepare a selection of herby snacks from the book, offered to the guests of Ms. Doland at no extra charge. Settle into a cilantro mojito and pick Gwyn's brain about mole, the subject of her next book in the Cook West single-ingredient series. Oh, and buy a book. She's got a pile of cilantro-inspired grocery receipts that aren't paying for themselves. “I will write anything on the title page of that book if you pay me $12.95,” she says. Cash or check are perfectly acceptable.
At 7:30 p.m., people begin to stand two bodies deep at the bar, popping out through knuckles of space like olives in a fist. It's an impressive draw for a weekend night, let alone a Thursday. It's just short of amazing when you consider that this particular bar opened one week ago.
Rabieng Thong? What’s in a name, anyway? I can recall my school years like they were yesterday, and I don’t think I had a single teacher who ever pronounced my last name correctly without a linguistic tutorial beforehand. I got some pretty festive variations like “Whirlitz,” “Whoo-letz” and my personal fave, “Whore-letz.” It’s Wohletz (Wall-letz), dammit. So I know how the cats at Rabieng Thong feel. It’s hard to have name recognition when people keep jacking it up.
They’re called crawfish. Or is it a crayfish? Some people even go so far as to call them mudbugs. It just depends on where you live, really. In France, les écrivisses are the height of haute cuisine on many a Michelin-starred menu. Here, under the molting cottonwoods of the Rio Grande valley, we just call them crawdads. Dangle a chicken leg over an irrigation ditch and they'll come skittering towards you, ready for dinner.
Miwako Kato laughed nervously as she began to lose her struggle against the current of the San Juan River. At 5’3”, 100 pounds, armpits deep in the icy, fast-moving river, Miwako would soon be in real trouble.
We moved to the North Valley in my single-digit years. My first week there, I tentatively explored the neighborhood, which looked so strange to me with its lack of sidewalks and surplus of green. I wanted to find some kids to hang out with. I found the ditch system instead.
The simplest place to fish in the city is, of course, Tingley Beach, a newly renovated recreation area consisting of three fishing ponds stocked with rainbow trout and catfish. This is the wrong destination if you want to get away from it all, especially on weekends when it's packed to the gills (heh, heh) with families. That said, it's definitely a great place to bring the kids. Once the new trees grow a bit bigger, it'll be even nicer. It's got a café and a miniature train that connects up with the zoo, the aquarium and the botanic garden. I'm told that fishing clinics are frequently offered there and volunteers circulate around the park to answer fishing questions. New Mexico Fish and Game agents are supposedly out in force, too, so make sure you have a license. Entrance is free. Tingley Beach is located just east of the river on Tingley Drive, south of Central. For more information, go to www.cabq.gov/biopark/tingley.
Unless you're under the age of 12, you’ll need a license if you're going to fish in New Mexico. You can pick one up at numerous outdoors and general stores around town. A license will allow you to fish from April 1 through March 31 of the following year. If you don’t have a valid license, and you’re caught, the penalty is $110 per rod. For details, call 222-4700 or go to www.wildife.state.nm.us.
La Llorona isn't the only monster you have to worry about if you plan to spend time loitering along Albuquerque's ditches. For years, I'd heard rumors of catfish lurking in those waters the length of full-grown men, with gaping, toothy maws 18-inches across, capable of swallowing small children whole, or chewing off an adult's leg.
Albuquerque's ditches can be deadly, as you'll learn when you go to this cautionary website: www.ditchesaredeadly.com. If you plan to fish in our city's ditches, use common sense and never swim in them.
Gay For (No) Pay--Organizers are gearing up for the 2006 Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, taking place right here in Albuquerque on Sept. 29-Oct. 5. In addition to accepting film submissions for this year’s fourth annual cinema soiree (check www.closetcinema.org for info on that), the SWGLFF is looking for volunteers to help put the event together. Are you a graphic designer? Do you have experience in fundraising? Or marketing? Are you just a film fanatic who wants to get his or her hands dirty? Volunteer coordinators, event planners, venue managers, print traffic coordinators, festival photographers and tons more positions are in need of filling. To sign up, just e-mail email@example.com or call 243-1870. Log on to www.closetcinema.org/get_involved_volunteer.htm for a complete list of volunteer opportunities.
Digital filmmaking competition offers interactive opportunities for all
By Devin D. O’Leary
The Duke City Shootout is riding into Albuquerque, all guns a-blazing, for the sixth year in a row. The 2006 festival, brainchild of the local Digital Filmmaking Institute, will take place Friday, July 21, through Saturday, July 29. The purpose of the festival is to provide a venue in which a filmmaker’s vision can be realized--from script to screen--in a mere seven days (or, in some cases, less).
Horror comedy takes familiar story into animated territory
By Devin D. O’Leary
There are certain things that kids have always loved: bugs, pirates, monsters, fart jokes. All of these topics have been dutifully exploited by kids movies since time immemorial. (Admittedly, the fart jokes were a bit hard to pull off back in the silent film era, but I have no doubt somebody made the effort.) In this respect, the new CGI toon Monster House isn’t anything particularly out of the ordinary.
Kevin Smith goes back to his roots for some service with a smile
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s hard to call Clerks II “comfort food.” Any film that features explicit discussions about the mating habits of hobbits, ATM sex (use the internet if you have to) and good, old-fashioned bestiality ... sorry, inter-species erotica doesn’t exactly fit the standard definition of “comfortable.” Nonetheless, Kevin Smith’s gleefully smut-mouthed return to form, Clerks II, feels like mom’s cooking, an old high school friend and your favorite childhood toy all rolled into one.
Cartoon Network has unleashed (so to speak) another “boy and his (not quite) dog” series with “Squirrel Boy.” The show follows the adventures of 9-year-old Andy Johnson (voiced by the ubiquitous Pamela Segall, who does Bobby on “King of the Hill”) and his pet squirrel Rodney J. Squirrel (Richard Steven Horvitz, who lent his vocal chords to “Invader Zim”). Andy’s your typical nerdy screw-up, Rodney’s your typical id-driven troublemaker. Put ’em together and it’s fun for the whole freakin’ family.
There’s nothing like a day at the Albuquerque Biological Park with the kiddies. There are flowering gardens, a really cool tank filled with neon-lit jelly fish, a gift shop overflowing with plastic aquatic creatures, and tons--and tons--of children. The idea of offspring is still somewhat of a mystery to me, but as they are our youngest consumers and our future food connoisseurs, I figure spending a meal discovering what restaurants feed them wasn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had. (My meatloaf on a stick idea was actually the worst.)
Wastewater treatment system at Jemez Pueblo provides interim solution at minimal cost
By Simon McCormack
For residents of Jemez Pueblo, solar power may have saved the day.
On July 5, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and the New Mexico Association of Energy Engineers (NMAEE) along with Jemez Pueblo celebrated the success of a solar-powered wastewater treatment system. The NMAEE awarded Jemez Pueblo Gov. James Roger Madalena with the Association’s “Environmental Project of the Year” award for the system, which has helped the pueblo decrease the smell given off by nearby wastewater lagoons while also eliminating the immediate risk of overflow from the lagoons into the Jemez River.
With all this rain falling on the Duke City--the backyard vegetable garden is growing wild; the crabgrass in the front yard has been miraculously resurrected--thoughts naturally turn to … the silvery minnow.
MySpace Matters—I'm stoked to note that MySpace updated its terms in the user agreement to include an explanation of how it handles the rights to material posted there [Thin Line, "Hey, This Isn't 'My'Space," May 18]. Thanks, Webmonkey, for pointing this out. All you MySpace users out there owe it to yourselves to look it up, especially if you are one of the bazillion bands on the site posting songs, lyrics and incessant event invites.
Dateline: Germany--A 61-year-old man, on trial for theft, didn’t do his case much good by stealing the judge’s keys during a court hearing. Police in the central town of Coburg said that while facing the bench, the man pocketed a bunch of keys belonging to the judge, who did not notice until he had left the room. When confronted by court officials in the bathroom, the man told them he had been shocked to discover the keys in his pocket. “He told them he realized how suspicious his story would sound and that he had therefore hidden the keys under a toilet brush,” said police spokesman Bernhard Schmitt. “He’d been stealing all his life so it was probably just an intuitive act.” The man wrote out a confession, but the initial trial had to be temporarily suspended on legal grounds in case the judge--who had just been robbed by the defendent--showed bias in the case.
Stabbed In Back, Moving Forward--It was only a matter of time. Stabbed In Back was scooped up by California's Basement Records and have just released their first EP, recorded under legendary punk drummer Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, Nig Heist, ALL and Descendents). So why haven't you heard of them?
It all started innocently enough, when newlyweds Maury and Connie Crandall were up late one night watching “The David Letterman Show.” The musical guest was terrible. So bad, in fact, the two agreed they could do better themselves and decided to form a band on the spot. The Giranimals were born, not unlike a secret pact made in a tree house.
Back in the fall of 2000, two friends practically begged me to accompany them to the Sunshine Theater for what they claimed would be an excellent Modest Mouse show. At that moment, I may as well have been a hobo because I had approximately $12 cash to my name. Somehow, though, I ended up Downtown.
The Duke City Shootout guerrilla digital filmmaking competition is shooting right now in downtown Albuquerque. If you think your music is good enough to be included in the project, e-mail an MP3 to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. Details at www.dukecityshootout.org. (LM)
Monday, July 31, Launchpad (all-ages); $8 in advance, $10 at the door: When Jim Suptic, one of the singers of the now dissolved Get Up Kids, started his own band, he knew he wanted to get back to the good old days of being part of a cohesive group.
Kropotkin Lives!—Ever heard of Autonomist Democracy of Albuquerque? Me neither. The group seems to be some kind of local anarchist organization. “Anarchist,” of course, is a loaded word these days. The ADA means it in the original sense of the term—that is, promoting voluntary social organization, direct democracy and consensus as the ideal building blocks of society. The group is having a benefit at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW) this Saturday, July 22, at 7 p.m. to raise funds for a planned alternative bookstore in this Barelas performance space. Sounds like a great idea. Admission is $6. For details, go to adacollective.org.
Holly Roberts and Miguel Gandert are both solidly established in the landscape of contemporary photography. For New Mexico Pics—an exhibit currently showing at the Harwood Art Center—the two curators invited 10 lesser known photographers, including Joan Myers, David Taylor, Ted Kuykendall, David Ondrik and Laurie Tümer, who in turn invited another 10 emerging photographers, for a total of 20 compositions by New Mexico-based photographers. The show does an excellent job of exploring the scope of contemporary photography in our state.
During his lifetime, famed Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos created a body of classical work that rivals all other 20th century competitors in terms of sheer dazzling creativity and accessibility. This weekend, Brazilian singer and playwright Silvia Lazo will present an inventive bit of chamber music theater based on Villa-Lobos' life and work as perceived through the eyes of his wife and collaborator, Lucilia. Paul Grove as Villa-Lobos will perform on guitar. Fred Sturm as “The Publisher” will perform on piano. The show runs Saturday, July 22, at 8 p.m. at UNM's Keller Hall. $12 general, $7 students/seniors. 277-4569.