A long-overdue interview with Albuquerque’s “Captain Space”
By Scott Phillips
You kids today with your video machines and your DVD discs and your Internets--you can see pretty much any movie you want whenever you want (and in some cases, before it’s even been released). When I was a kid, we had to walk uphill, grab the TV Guide, circle the late-late movie shows we wanted to see and then manage to stay awake for ’em because there was no recording the things in those days, and if you missed Invasion of the Star Creatures, you never knew when you’d get another chance.
Sick of nasty surprises? We sympathize. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to predict the major events of 2007 beforehand so as to avoid any unpleasant shocks to our already delicate state of mind? If we knew a giant asteroid would destroy every mammal on Earth on Aug. 14, 2007, at least we could live large for the next seven months. And just think of the boon to the hang-gliding industry.
Since birth. My relatives that died would come to me and they would give me information to tell my other relatives. Like my grandmother would talk to me, and my grandmother died in 1921. I thought it was just normal for everybody.
Really, when you think about it, New Year’s Eve is the most anticlimactic holiday. You sit around drinking and waiting for that crucial hour and then, with a lot of fanfare and a little bit of off-key singing ... nothing happens. Turns out, 12 a.m. Jan. 1, 2007, is no different than 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31, 2006. What a gyp.
Give Some Green—In last week's article about the grand opening of 516 Arts, I forgot to mention that the Downtown nonprofit arts organization seeks support from individuals as well as local businesses. So do you want to maintain Albuquerque's momentum as it speeds to catch up with Santa Fe as a Mecca of culture in the Southwest? Then open your wallet, and show them some green.
Latin American Posters at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
By Steven Robert Allen
On New Year's Day 1994, in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico, a revolutionary group no one had ever heard of launched a highly conspicuous revolution. Calling themselves the Zapatistas—after the famed Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata—the group proclaimed to the world its outrage over NAFTA, the recently passed trade agreement that they believed would make Mexico's poorest citizens even poorer.
I’m hardly God’s gift to the kitchen, but I make a pretty good chicken-fried steak. I use only the shwaggiest ingredients, as required, and plus I’m from Texas. So when the steak comes out of the hot oil it’s perfectly crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and ready for a nice pour of good ol’ milk gravy.
Only problem is, my gravy is so bland it makes Wonder Bread seem spicy by comparison.
All I do is I take a few spoonfuls of fry oil, heat it in a pan with flour and add milk, salt and pepper like my recipe says, but the gravy is bland. I still serve it on my chicken-fried steak, as is required, and it’s the better for it. But I want a better gravy. Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
I could pen a best-selling novel about some of the weird, inane or just plain ridiculous things I’ve heard people ask for when ordering food at a restaurant. My top three picks from when I used to wait tables (I was young and needed the money): No. 3: “Can I get a hamburger with cheese?” (“You mean a cheeseburger?” I asked. “No, just a hamburger with cheese.”) No. 2: “Can I get a glass of the pink wine?” And my No. 1 most irritating question, “My croutons are stale, can I get some new ones?”
On Monday, Dec. 18, the City Council hedged part of Council President Debbie O'Malley's proposed big-box legislation. It voted 5-4 against a moratorium on approving new retail giants that don't comply with proposed regulations. In October, O'Malley introduced a bill that would regulate the look and location of big-box stores. The Council opted unanimously to refer the bill to the Environmental Planning Commission with amendments. The regulations will go to the commission and endure a public comment period before coming back to the Council for the final word.
I used to be amazed by Jeane Dixon and other famous prognosticators who annually predict events that will transpire months from now. Then I read that much of what they say actually misses its mark by a wide margin.
Dateline: China--If you’re a potential adoptive parent, China has two words for you: No fatties. According to U.S. adoption agencies, Beijing is tightening adoption rules, now requiring that foreign applicants be married, between the ages of 30 and 50 and with a body mass index of 40 or under. The new rules also bar parents who take medication for depression or who have a “severe facial deformity.” The changes, which take effect in May, come amid a surge in foreigners seeking to adopt Chinese children. Under national law, Chinese couples are only allowed to have one child. Female babies are often abandoned or put up for adoption by couples hoping for a male child.
An open letter from GiG Performance Space in Santa Fe
We are so grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support for GiG Performance Space (1808 Second Street, Suite H, Santa Fe) this holiday season. It has been really been nice to be on the receiving end of all this holiday cheer. And you have our sincere gratitude for supporting more than 200 great performances each year at GiG!
Promoter, producer, emcee, DJ, graf-artist, skateboarder, business-owner, punk rock frontman—Speed One fits a lot of places
By Marisa Demarco
Speed One is not bitter.
Sure, he's part of Albuquerque's early gen hip-hop, among the first in the 505 to record original material and promote local shows.
Sure, he was a member of Small Town Desert Funk Mob in ’96 alongside the now-famous Xzibit, who lived with Speed as the two finished their trek through Cibola High School. And though Xzibit dropped the "A" from his handle (it stands for Alvin) just like he dropped Albuquerque, Speed wishes him the best. "I'm content with what I'm doing," he says. "I get in where I fit in."
New Year's isn't so much fun when you’re under 21, what with all the hype around drinking to excess as one last hurrah for the passing year. But, honestly, the younger crowd has it easier in some ways: no need for designated drivers, no waking up next to a stranger or forgetting the events of the previous night. Take advantage of your freedom from alcohol-induced stupidity and enjoy a musically stimulating all-ages New Year. Here are a few places around town open to all for the dawn of 2007.
Virtuous.com is a friendly alternative to online ticketing giants
By Marisa Demarco
Albuquerque started seeing the virtuous.com tag on the Launchpad's calendar about three years ago. Working primarily with independent promoters, the advance ticketing service gets props for donating 10 percent of its profits to charities in the communities where the tickets are being sold. In Burque's case, that's Roadrunner Food Bank.
I’ve had my share of food surprises over the years. Like when I was 14 and stayed overnight in a hotel for the first time and I went downstairs to take advantage of the “continental breakfast” only to find a box of donuts and a pot of coffee. What the freak is continental about those? I still haven’t figured that one out. Or the time when I was 16 and my dad’s buddies convinced me to try Rocky Mountain oysters at a fish fry. I chewed through a couple of them, nonplussed as to why everyone was watching me in breathless anticipation. I thought oysters came from the ocean—surprise!
There are so many reasons to honor the passing of 2006. It brought us the Nintendo Wii, a democratic change of heart, a jobless Rumsfeld, Britney finally dumping K-Fed and my first kitten. There are also plenty of reasons to toast its demise, like the re-signing of the Patriot Act, massive flooding in Albuquerque, the rising death toll in Iraq and Mel Gibson's drunken “incident.” In retrospect, 2006 pretty much sucked until November. Getting my kitten was the best thing to happen before fall—the inevitability of 2007 must be rubbing off on the cosmos.
Lily Comes Home--Cutting-edge guitarist/composer Lily Maase (see Mel Minter's "Spotlight," May 18-24) has left the frozen coasts of Brooklyn, N.Y., for a sojourn in her hometown of Albuquerque. The purpose for her return is a "creative development residency" called Music in Motion. Lily will spend a week teaching classes and developing new material for her forthcoming album, unbind, due out early 2007. She's also bookending her visit with two solo performances at the Blue Dragon, giving listeners a rare glimpse at how music composition evolves (and through what looks like will be a period of intense refinement). Hear her Tuesday, Dec. 26, and again on Wednesday, Jan. 3, for the full impact. There's a suggested $5 donation for each 8:30 p.m. performance.
It was only life in 1999 that scattered members of Giant Steps around the country. "Jobs, wives, kids, promotions," sax player Mike Silva ticks off the list of things that come up, even for local ska heroes who made as big a stride as the Steps. "We didn't want to go on with just bits and pieces of our former band." Members realized they had gone as far as they were going to go, he says. Still, Silva remembers his time with Giant Steps as one of the best in his life.
How Merry?—Very merry. The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra presents its popular Very Merry Pops show this Friday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Saturday, Dec. 23, at 6 p.m. at UNM's Popejoy Hall. The program consists of fave Christmas and Hanukkah tunes along with a screening of the British animated film, The Snowman. The Albuquerque Academy Chorus and Manzano Day School Chorus will accompany. Tickets are $16 to $52 for the Popejoy show and $15 to $40 for the NHCC show. They're available at nmso.org or by calling 881-8999.
Suzanne Sbarge calls it the M-word. As far as dirty words go, this one's fairly tame, of course, and she doesn't exactly cringe when she hears it. Still, Sbarge is eager to put Magnifico, the defunct arts organization she once served as executive director, behind her.
Bob's Fish and Chips is Really, Finally Closed--A "for sale" sign has loomed uncomfortably in front of Bob’s Fish and Chips for months, but the little drive-up kept turning out white paper sacks filled with frito pie and fish planks unabated. We figured it was a phase. We hoped that before Bob's finally got around to closing its doors, some benevolent fried food enthusiast would capitalize on a truly golden opportunity and seize up the orphaned fry shack. But Daddy Frybucks didn't make it in time. Last week, Bob's Fish and Chips served their last chili dog to Alibi Production Manager Tom Nayder.
Barbara Walters is an Idiot--Barbara Walters, in what appears to be shameless pandering to the lowest common denominator, brought the viewing public the “Ten Most Fascinating People” special Tuesday night.
The young man emerged from the bushes behind the Diamond Shamrock station on Central Avenue. He shivered violently. The temperature hadn’t climbed out of the low teens, and he had spent the night outside.
Employee-owned station breaks from corporate radio
By Marisa Demarco
The first thing Ellie Garrett does when she wakes up is the first thing many people do—she turns on the radio. For Garrett, the activity isn't recreation. She's checking. Checking to see that the station she cofounded with Sam Ferrara and Michael Warren in Santa Fe is on the air. Indie 101.5 FM began broadcasting July 4 with its "Declare Your Independence From Corporate Radio" campaign.
It's easy to become cynical these days. No sooner had the voters spoken at the polls last month with force and clarity about Iraq than we witnessed the spectacle of our absurd president digging in his heels and refusing to even consider ending the occupation.
Dateline: Ireland--Staff at the Mullingar Equestrian Centre in central Ireland were forced to postpone festivities after a wayward camel devoured 200 mince pies and downed several cans of Guinness intended for their Christmas party. Gus the camel, who was starring in the riding school’s Santa’s Magical Animal Kingdom show, tucked in to the holiday feast while staff members were getting changed for the party. “Gus found his way out of his pen and helped himself,” Robert Fagan, owner of the Equestrian Centre said. The 11-year-old camel, originally from Morocco, cracked open six cans of Ireland’s famous stout with his teeth after the door to his stall was left open. Gus appeared well after the evening’s feeding frenzy. “We were all looking forward to it,” said Fagan. “But you couldn’t blame him. He’s really a very gentle, docile sort of camel.”
Award Winners--Gov. Bill Richardson recently announced the recipients of the New Visions/New Mexico Contract Awards. In its inaugural year, the program is providing 12 contracts totaling $160,000 for New Mexico-based producers and directors to create narrative films, documentaries, animation and experimental works.
Football fans looking for cinematic inspiration have had a pretty good 2006 season. Invincible, Gridiron Gang and Facing the Giants all hit movie theaters this year, giving touchdown lovers plenty of underdog teams to root for. Arriving late in the game, but with plenty of positive buzz, is We Are Marshall. Like the previous football flicks of 2006, this one is based on an inspiring true story--one that might just get Monday morning quarterbacks and non-sporting types cheering alongside one another for a change.
Movie musicals face a problem that not even films about dragons, fairies and/or hobbits run across. On stage, musicals work perfectly, functioning essentially as concerts with a slight storyline. On the big screen, however, suspension of disbelief is harder. Why are all these people singing? Why is that gang of juvenile delinquents dancing? Why are John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John flying into the sky in a convertible? It’s all so damn ... unnatural.
10. “The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood” (1965) Liza Minnelli starred in this lousy, long-lost musical which told the classic fairy tale from the point of view of the Big Bad Wolf. Vic Damone is the woodsman. Weirdest of all, Eric Burdon (from English band The Animals) is “Head of the Animal Pack.”
In terms of sheer quantity, Paul Rachman’s music-minded documentary American Hardcore is filled to bursting with interviews, concert footage and archival material from the pioneers of the American punk rock scene. The film barely goes a minute without cutting to a different interview, an alternate song, another shot of teenage crowds going stage-dive wild. It’s as if Rachman and collaborator Steven Blush (who wrote the book the movie is based on) used a shoehorn instead of an editing knife to cut the film together, ensuring as much material as possible got crammed onto the screen. A list of people interviewed in the film alone would fill up the rest of this review. Bottom line: If you are/were a fan of the scene, American Hardcore is an eat-till-you-puke smorgasbord.
By Laura Marrich, Steven Robert Allen, Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco, Devin D. O'Leary, Jennifer Wohletz
The holiday gift-giving season will commence in about 15 seconds, and you're still in your PJs. You're cutting it close. But it's going to be OK. After all, why should you suffer through weeks of parking-lot circling when you can wait until the last possible second to lift a finger? You've always worked better under pressure, anyhow.
By Laura Marrich, Steven Robert Allen, Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco, Devin D. O'Leary, Jennifer Wohletz
Monte Verde Diva Lipstick Ballpoint Pen, $35
114 Amherst SE
It’s impossible to get through the holiday season without making a pit stop at Papers! The parchment boutique specializes in (among other things) art paper, stationary, cards … and pens. But these aren’t just any pens, mind you—these babies are drool-worthy. One of our new favorites is this ballpoint in drag. Disguised as a lipstick, the cap unscrews, the ink rolls up and the seemingly innocuous purse dweller transforms into a high-caliber writing instrument. Genius. Plus, it comes in this gorgeous box.
Long hours in the newsroom mean I have to get pretty "creative" sometimes when rushing off with pens in my hair to some kind of present-giving event. (Here, Sally and Rick! An ice-cold soft drink wrapped in Post-its! May you have a long and happy marriage.) Luckily, my loved ones were eventually saved from ugly presents by my discovery of the newspaper bow. It's cool because the quirkier the material you're using, the better it looks.
Silent-Era Southwest--Are you in the mood for some serious New Mexico film history? The New Mexico State Archives and the New Mexico Film Museum have announced a special screening of films made by Sallie Wagner. Wagner was a Santa Fe Living Treasure, author, anthropologist, activist and philanthropist who passed away on Aug. 30 at the age of 93.
Since it was first published in 1952, author E.B. White’s kiddy opus Charlotte’s Web has been translated into 23 languages and sold more than 45 million copies. It is the best-selling children’s paperback of all time. Safe to say, then, that a large chunk of the current American population has grown up reading Charlotte’s Web.
The way I figure it, at a relative 98.6 degrees, my heart is sufficiently temperate. I don’t require regular heartwarming. Judging from the number of saccharine-filled films Hollywood produces each year, some people may need the occasional heartwarming. I do not, thank you very much.
I used to cook salmon on the grill, wrapped in tinfoil and soaking in a marinade. I’ve recently heard that cooking with tinfoil is bad for you, and now I don’t have a go-to way to grill salmon. What do you suggest?
Maybe cooking with tinfoil is bad for you, maybe not, but since tinfoil hasn’t been manufactured since the middle of last century, who cares? If you’re referring to aluminum foil, I’ve heard those rumors too. I’ve also heard the aluminum in antiperspirant gives you breast cancer, but since a) I’m not in a high-risk group for breast cancer; b) my sweat smells like roses; and c) that rumor’s been widely discredited, I’ve not given much thought to the antiperspirant side of the story. But Alzheimers runs in my family, so I’ve paid more attention to the … what? Wait. What was I talking about?
I was about 11 years old when I caught and ate my first whole fish. I was on a camping trip with two older (and at the time, I thought wiser) cousins. We went fishing in an old muddy pond filled with catfish, bass and bluegill. I baited my own hook and reeled in a pesky little panfish, just as my boy cousin cleverly whacked it on the head with a rock to prep it for snacktime. So, just like we’d seen in the movies, we impaled it on a small tree branch and proceeded to roast the life out of it. It took forever to cook, and when I finally took a bite of the poor thing, it tasted like the inside of a port-o-potty smells.
It's as close to a miracle as we've seen lately in the Land of Enchantment. Take 40 people from wildly different backgrounds and viewpoints, set them a killer deadline and give them the impossible job of designing a lifeboat for New Mexico.
Local activist travels to Oaxaca to interview those embroiled in all sides of the movement
By Marisa Demarco
As the Mexican political climate continues to boil, Albuquerque's Rebeca Jasso-Aguilar will journey to Oaxaca on a fact-finding mission. She'll travel with the Oaxaca Solidarity Network from Dec. 16 through 22, interviewing the protesters whose May strike lasted months and gained international attention. She'll speak with human rights groups investigating claims of police abuse suffered by protesters.
Pork-Induced Paralysis--I took a much deserved day off last Tuesday. I had contracted a scorching case of dysentery from eating cheap pork sausage--purchased at a massive corporate catch-all that has overtaken every small town in America like some terrifying economic Genghis Khan. It is, sadly, the only affordable food depot in my new hometown (Alamogordo) for the woefully underfinanced wordsmith.
At the Dec. 4 meeting, councilors elected leaders for the coming year. District 2 Councilor Debbie O'Malley is the new president and District 7 Councilor Sally Mayer is the new vice-president, both elected unanimously. Councilors thanked each other for their service during the previous year and praised outgoing President Martin Heinrich, calling him considerate, compassionate and honorable, and noting that the Council had seen less acrimony during his term than in recent years.
Last week, as it has each year for the past decade, the Center for Policy Alternatives, a progressive think tank in our nation’s capitol, convened a meeting of state legislators, advocates, state analysts and savvy resource people from academia and the halls of Congress.
Dateline: Tennessee--An American Airlines flight from Washington Reagan National Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth was grounded early last Monday due to severe flatulence. American flight 1053 was forced to make an emergency landing in Nashville after passengers reported smelling struck matches, said Lynne Lowrance, a spokesperson for Nashville International Airport. The plane landed safely. Fearing terrorist activity, the FBI, Transportation Safety Administration and airport authority responded to the emergency. The passengers and crew were removed from the plane along with the luggage and sent through security screenings once again. Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought onboard the aircraft and located some spent matches. The FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal a sudden attack of bodily odor. According to Lowrence, the woman lives near Dallas and has a medical condition. The flight eventually took off from Nashville, but the gassy woman was not allowed back on the plane. “American has banned her for a long time,” Lowrance said. While it is legal to bring as many as four books of paper safety matches onto an airplane, it is illegal to strike them.
Sneak Preview the City's New Home for All-ages Music—MAP, a collective of under-21 musicians and their parents, has swapped their mommy-related moniker (Musicians And Parents) in favor of more neutral Media Arts Promotion. Not that having your folks take an interest in your musical ambitions is a bad thing. The group's monthly “MAP21” zine-assembly party hits the Blue Dragon on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m., with an acoustic performance by teen act Deadright.
For the record, I don't even like this kind of music. I prefer the drone instead of the song, experimental tones instead of acoustic instruments, free jazz instead of trad, and almost never the intrusive caterwaul of the human voice. After so much disposable rock posturing, so many lame lyrics, so many "frontmen" just standing in the way of the band behind them, I have just about had it with singers.
Behold, a critic shall conceive, and share his thoughts. Of the 48 season-related CDs and DVDs that arrived at Casa Bellecci-Serinus this year--heed my prayer, Oh Lord, no more!--here’s my pick of the best.
It's a cruel fact of life that one day, voluntarily or involuntarily, gracefully or pathetically, we all have to grow up. First, it's bidding adieu to the baby bottle and moving on to a big boy cup. Next, it's no longer appropriate to stay up all night drinking booze and listening to rock ’n’ roll (or playing Magic, drinking high-caffeine soft drinks and dorking out, as it were) in the grimy dives of your 20-something youth. Behaving the way you did 10 years ago is implausible and would make you subject to daytime talk show-style ridicule.
Scottish Xmas—Instead of a golden goose, this Christmas perhaps you should consider dining on a big steaming sack of haggis. Or not. I suppose you could also get your Scottish fix simply by attending the Scottish Christmas concert at UNM's Popejoy Hall on Sunday, Dec. 17. Expect traditional Scottish carols, wassail tunes and Highland dances along with three-time U.S. Scottish fiddlin' champ Bonnie Rideout and other renowned Celtic musicians such as Jerry O'Sullivan, William Jackson, John Doyle and Matthew Bell. The show starts at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, $29, $35 and $39. unmtickets.com, 925-5858.
The Dolls blow out the candles on 10 years of laughter and kitsch
By Laura Marrich
On a chilly evening at the Albuquerque Social Club, Matthew Bubb helps a cast member of The Joan Crawford/Marilyn Monroe Christmas Carol select a costume. "Now, I don't care if you are hairy," he says, holding up an iridescent mini-dress with aqua, silver and gold sequins. "We can put a big necklace on you, but honestly, I don't care if Jayne Mansfield has a hairy chest."
Aside from lotto tickets, it’s hard to think of a gift with a greater upside than a book. If your beloved doesn’t fall for the latest Donna Leon mystery, she can put it down after 20 minutes and a have nice piece of décor, then later take it to the charity shop. Little time wasted. But if for some reason the book speaks to her, she has eight hours of enjoyment to look forward to. And on top of that, a lifetime memory of having been inside that book--something only blunt trauma and age can take away. Here’s a mini guide to what’s in the stores and worth giving.