Win Something—There are few awards in the lives of many musicians. Aspiring local ones can expect shiny prizes like: crappy pay, excess drama, late hours and the occasional heckler. Of course, pats on the back are not the reason most of us are in this game. We do it because ... wait, why are we doing this?
... but everyone gets one at some point. Most of us probably don't experience the sinking dread of flashing red lights in our rearview all that often. But with the shiny black lenses of red-light cameras going up at major intersections all over the city, a new kind of dread sets in. Watch the flashes pop in rapid succession as the light changes. Are every one of those pops a ticket—an expensive ticket? When will one be destined for your mailbox? Who gets all that money, anyway? What if we can't afford the ticket? And can we protect our plates against those prying lenses?
$100 tickets add up. How much has been paid in fines for camera-caught traffic violations?
Life's all about the commute.
"Think about how you spend your day," says APD spokesperson John Walsh. "On a bus, walking, operating a motor vehicle, as a passenger." Don't kid yourself, he adds. Albuquerque wants traffic enforcement because it wants a safe commute. The most common complaints to APD concern traffic accidents and violators of traffic laws. "Think about the hundreds and hundreds of violations that occur on a momentary basis."
To date, Albuquerque has 12 intersections staffed with cameras, ticketing drivers and netting millions of dollars. To achieve the same around-the-clock effect with officers would require 12 per intersection. That's 144 full-time cops working solely on traffic and only in those intersections. The cameras are a huge savings on manpower, Walsh says.
City Councilor Sally Mayer got a phone call from a constituent right after the city's first cameras were up and running. The tickets are unaffordable, the caller fretted. "Believe me," Mayer says, "there are times where that would be what I would have to say, too. 'I don't have this money.'"
Know your enemy. Clip out this list of intersections outfitted with cameras and tape it to your driver's side sun visor.
Are you a serial red-light runner? Here's what you can expect to pay per ticket in a two-year period:
Amid all the coupons and junk mail comes the dreaded ticket.
The Cell Theatre presents Back to Green River, Eat a Helicopter, WeatherRED, Natural Reaction and Lacerate this Friday, Jan. 26. Doors open at 7 p.m., cover is $7 and, as always, it’s all-ages. (LM)
The Atomic's got your Phoenix fix
Although they have nothing but kind words for a great many Phoenix bands, Stewart Alaniz of the prog-rock power-trio Chief Beef and Tony Poer of the experimental outfit Emperors of Japan are anxious to leave the confines of an overly saturated music scene in their hometown.
Complex duo form simple folk
It would be tough to call it straight-forward folk. But, for all of his sonic tinkerings, The Dodos frontman Meric Long has constructed tunes that are devoid of many bells and whistles (save for a few vocal loops) and have an unmistakable honesty and humility that's refreshing in a genre that has bred more than its fair share of uppity musicians.
The most bizarre and startling restaurant news of the new year is that Graze won't live to see the other side of this weekend. You heard right, unfortunately. Owner Michael Chesley, who parted ways with co-owner and Executive Chef Jennifer James in September of 2006, issued a press release last week announcing the restaurant's impending closure. His reason: Despite garnering national attention for the restaurant's focus on small plates and local ingredients, Graze's lofty concept just didn't make financial sense.
What’s all the hubub about trans fats?
Not long ago, “fat” was a simple thing. Fat gave chicharrones their crackling savor. Fat was something that happened to you after you got married.
You’d be insane to pass up the plantain
The real fun started after I finished my meal and paid my check. I had an excellent meal at Burque’s lone Salvadoran restaurant, located right off the intersection of Bridge and Goff. The service was great, the food was awesome but, boy, did I get some noteworthy tidbits on my way out the door.
Peaceful, anti-war activism may result in prison sentences for nine New Mexicans after they tried to make love, not war, with Sen. Pete Domenici
The Department of Homeland Security has identified a new threat to our nation: a group of nine New Mexicans that includes a Jesuit priest, a retired librarian, a high school student and a church-going grandma.
A Soldier’s Words--Television news usually cuts to the talking heads whenever our leader lets us know just how he is going to make things worse.
Regulations for payday, car title and tax refund loans are back in the Legislative Session
Sen. Bernadette Sánchez is serious about payday lending regulations. So serious, she killed a bill in the Senate in last year's session because she believed it was too lenient on the lenders.
The "urban evolution"
In the realm of diamonds and cubic zirconia, one stone is imperfect and made of carbon, the other flawless and made of zirconium oxide. Diamonds are formed deep in the Earth via 2,000-degree heat and intense pressure, over millions, if not billions of years. Cubic zirconia is made in a laboratory. Regardless of mining controversies, conflict diamonds and an international De Beers conspiracy, the diamond is natural and intensely beautiful. The cubic zirconia is an abundant, fabricated imitation. Its look is unfortunately overpowering; plus, it has no humorous urban nickname. (Diamonds you can call "ice.")
Sissies never get elected to office--but they may be the only ones who can save us
Moshe Dayan, the former Israeli defense minister, once said, “If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies.”
Why we should exercise common sense in our jail system
I recently toured the still almost-new Bernalillo County Detention Center (BCDC). It was opened about three years ago and this year saw a new psychiatric wing completed, making its total capacity more than 2,500 inmates.
Dateline: England--A woman admitted to a hospital for treatment of a severe migraine had her stay extended when a television fell off the wall and hit her on the head. Sharon Blake, 36, was ready to leave Yeovil District Hospital when she moved the TV, attached to an adjustable arm above her head, and it toppled over. She was left mildly concussed and needed extra observation according to the Sun newspaper. Patientpal, which runs the coin-operated TV system, has apologized for the “isolated incident.”
Catch the “Fire”--The ABC Family Channel series “Wildfire,” which shoots right here in Albuquerque, is looking for new faces to act as background extras in the upcoming season. If you’re interested, there will be an open casting call on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel at University and Menaul. The family-oriented soap, about a rebellious girl who finds excitement and romance at a horse ranch where she works as part of her parole from juvenile hall, is currently in its third season.
Bizarre fantasy creates uncharted worlds
One thing films do very well is transport audiences to another world. From Metropolis to The Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings to Pan’s Labyrinth, films have developed a visual language that’s highly conducive to the creation of imaginative realms. Arguably, some of the best filmmakers in the world are the ones who can not only create previously unseen vistas on the movie screen, but convince audiences of their veracity.
Lean, mean Western goes all metaphorical in the end
Seraphim Falls begins with a bang. Literally, as a cowboy camped in the wintry Western mountains is shot in the arm by a faraway rifle. Abandoning both horse and weapons, he flees the campsite. This touches off a 20-minute, nearly wordless chase sequence in which former Union officer Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) tumbles down mountainsides, washes over waterfalls and basically does every damned dangerous thing he can to avoid a vengeful Confederate soldier named Carver (Liam Neeson) and his gang of gun-toting toughs.
TV on the Web
A year ago, networks were all trying (and failing miserably) to sell downloads of their most popular shows for iPod and other digital media devices. Why wouldn’t people be willing to pay $1.99 to see a low-quality, one-time-only rerun of a previously free TV show? (I don’t really need to explain that, do I?) Now, with the proliferation of TiVo and YouTube, networks are starting to figure out the benefits of letting people watch shows whenever and wherever they want. Instead of battling against the Internet in an attempt to keep multimedia-savvy viewers from abandoning traditional broadcast television in favor of cooler more high-tech options, networks now are embracing the trip-dub and all its gimmicky goodness.
The Week in Sloth
Rock-a-bye Baby—Africa has had it rough for a long time. Unfortunately, children have borne the brunt of a crisis wrought by war, famine, poverty and AIDS. The U.N. estimates there are more than 48 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
An interview with Norman Mailer
There was a time when Norman Mailer used to talk about the Big Book. It prowled the interviews he gave in the ’50s like a white whale, blasting into view and then diving back down into darkness, where it would lurk until the next publication date.
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove at the Vortex
Love is like fishing. We eye a catch we like, bait the lure, toss out the line and hope what we're offering is to our beloved's liking. Sometimes, the catch takes the bait, whether she'll be eaten whole, thrown back or kept in close stead is up to fate or dumb luck. Other times something else catches our line, perhaps a piece of trash quickly discarded or a fish previously obscured from view—a catch unlike anything we'd ever known. If it weren't for that random snag, it would have slipped past us.
Westland Development finalizes sale of land steeped in New Mexico history
It takes a minute for the fumes to hit. Before they do, there’s only red. A sprawling pool of red.
Actors Wanted--Open auditions are being held this week for a local feature film based on the idea that New Mexico truly is the “Land of Entrapment.” The feature film is described as a redemption story that follows one young man's fight to escape Albuquerque. Producers are seeking local actors, union and nonunion, aged 18-45, of all races. Auditions will be held at Marcello’s Chophouse in the new ABQ Uptown shopping center (corner of Louisiana and Indian School) on Jan. 19, 20 and 21 from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Interested parties are advised to prepare a two- to three-minute monologue. For more information, contact Preacher Overton at 352-7521.
Historical drama exposes one of history’s greatest monsters
Like 2006’s other great Oscar contender The Queen, The Last King of Scotland is a magnificent two-person display of acting talent. In The Queen, Helen Mirren shows off her mad acting skills as the imperious Queen Elizabeth, frighteningly stoic in the wake of Princess Diana’s death. She’s the odds-on fave to win an Academy Award for Best Actress. But it’s the work of Michael Sheen as the empathetic man of the people Tony Blair which gives The Queen its spark of life. Rubbing against each other like flint and steel, Mirren and Sheen form a slow-building, ultimately incandescent partnership.
Humble drama sends father on a journey of emotional discovery
Gouichi Takata is a stoic fisherman of few words. When he finds out his estranged son, Kenichi, is dying of cancer in a Tokyo hospital, however, he accepts his daughter-in-law’s invitation as the best excuse for a reunion. Unfortunately, Kenichi refuses to see his father. Sometime in the past, the two had an unspoken falling out, and Kenichi is still not ready to forgive his father. Kenichi’s wife Rei tries to broker some kind of peace, giving Mr. Takata a videotape of a documentary his son worked on. Kenichi is a professor of Oriental Studies at Tokyo University. He has a special love for traditional Chinese folk opera, and has taken many trips to the mainland to record famed performances. On his last trip, Kenichi tried and failed to record “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles,” a snippet from the Chinese national epic The Romance of the Three Kingdoms performed by Li Jiamin, considered one of the greatest living practitioners of the art. After seeing his son’s incomplete film, Mr. Takata decides it’s now his mission to travel to China, find Li Jiamin and record the one performance his dying son was unable to capture.
Rosie vs. The Donald
There’s been so much talk about war in the Middle East these days that many Americans have forgotten the troubles that plague our homeland. Like, for example, the growing war between talk show host Rosie O’Donnell and real estate mogul Donald Trump. What hope is there for lasting peace between Muslims and Jews if we can’t get a couple of spotlight-hogging celebrities to play nice?
The Week in Sloth
The New Strawberry Zots--Back in school, when this burgeoningly menstrual girl got in my grill for not burning a Nirvana face onto my arm with a BIC lighter (the height of teen fashion at the time), I was at a total loss. Of course, I was familiar with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana and heroin-chic "alternative" music of the day. But the only radio I ever cared to listen to was AM and the Edge on Sunday nights, when the competent DJs could still get away with a few hours of local programming. So I shot back with all the reigning local bands I could think of. "So what? Ever hear of Apricot Jam? Word Salad? The Strawberry Zots?" She looked at me like I was diseased. "What's with the fruit, man?" she spat.
Help the The Dirty Novels boys rip the cellophane off their brand-new album this Friday, Jan. 19, at the Launchpad ($5, 21-and-over). With The Gracchi, The Ashes, The Demons and Vertigo Venus. (LM)
Musicians Against Violence benefit concert helps a community heal in the wake of sudden death
"Anything that could make noise, he could make it make music."
with A Hawk and a Hacksaw
It’s finally dawning on you that of Montreal is your favorite band. I’ll spare you the superlative laudation of The Elephant Six recording collective from which of Montreal emerged bright-eyed and full of promise more than a decade ago. You already know all about it. You’re their biggest fan.
Driving force James LaValle isn’t afraid to switch things up
Classically trained multi-instrumentalist James LaValle is on the road with his massive electronic-orchestral endeavor, The Album Leaf. We found LaValle making his way toward Albuquerque in support of his new album, Into the Blue Again, when we spoke with him in an exclusive phone interview.
Saddam Who?--Saddam Hussein went to hell--or whatever afterlife awaits deposed dictators--on Dec. 30 in a widely publicized, and poorly conducted, execution.
Helen Fox helps Albuquerque's homeless kids find their way around our public schools
Fourteen years ago, Albuquerque Public Schools called Helen Fox and asked her to figure out what to do with a small grant they were receiving for homeless students. "Not a lot was going on with it," she says. "Basically, the reason why was that it was not a lot of money."
Albuquerque resident and Apollo astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt may have inspired an international race to unlock the possible power of lunar helium-3
An Albuquerque resident for more than 20 years, Harrison “Jack” Schmitt has one connection to the Moon that is his and only his. As an Apollo 17 astronaut, Schmitt was the last person to touch the lunar surface.
The ACLU says Bush’s Real ID Act is really bad news
In Washington, George W. Bush wants to party like it’s 1984. Meanwhile, the ghost of George Orwell taunts us from the grave: I told you so, suckers!
How plastic is contaminating our world
The single scariest thing I’ve read all year was the cover article in the January 2007 issue of Harper’s, "Moby Duck," by Donovan Hohn. What it lacks in gore and mayhem it more than makes up for with a breath-stealing, authentically weird scenario--one made more frightening by the realization that this is not fantasy, it is true. There will be no waking up from this nightmare.
The Decider’s rising body count
Who would you say is responsible for killing more innocent people: George W. Bush or Osama Bin Laden? The question is objectionable only if you fear the answer.
Dateline: China--The People’s Republic of China is celebrating the Year of the Pig by releasing a stamp that tastes like sweet and sour pork. The stamps went on sale recently to mark the start of the New Year, designated by Chinese astrology as the Year of the Pig. When scratched, the stamps smell like the popular dish, and when licked, the back of the stamps taste like it as well. Chinese New Year officially begins Feb. 18.
Look Inside—Here's an odd one for you. This weekend, the Albuquerque Museum will open a new exhibit of work from the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia's famed museum of medical science. The exhibit consists entirely of historical medical photographs. Curator Laura Lindgren will present an opening day lecture at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21. For details, call 243-7255.
The Tricklock Company unleashes its 2007 Revolutions International Theatre Festival
It's hard to believe this thing has already been around for seven years. As in past installments, expect this year's Revolutions International Theatre Festival to unearth some of the planet's most inventive contemporary theater—and when I say “theater,” I mean this in the broadest sense of the term.
The most hotly anticipated books of 2007
It's cold and dark out, perhaps even snowing. “The Sopranos” reruns on A&E might beckon, and you'll probably be tempted to watch, even though you already have the entire DVD set. Because really, has there been a novel in the last few years as entertaining, profound and nasty as that series?
Berry patch booze, sour grain punch, dank bud hay fever like a disturbingly good cat piss Kool-Aid. Strawberry fields forever.
“Garlicky” just may be the most overused word in the food writer’s lexicon. Why? Because there are few dishes that shouldn’t come with a little garlic in ‘em. It’s like saying something tastes “good.” The beer equivalent is “hoppy.” Show us a brew that doesn’t have some level of hoppiness to it, and we’ll tell you to dump it out. So, saying something’s hoppy is about as much description as burping. C’mon hopheads, we need to develop a language that surpasses grunts and clicks!
Make a run for the border
There are many things in life that are fine at first but quickly go downhill. Things like buying a Dodge Neon. Shaving my head for a $100 bet and then running into my dad. Entering a wet T-shirt contest, then realizing what I actually had to do to win. And then there was the time I went out with that hottie from the bar who told me he was in the witness protection program. Having lunch with my fiancé and child at Ay Caramba Restaurant was one of those things.
Roadrunner Food Bank's Souper Bowl fills stomachs and hearts for its ninth year
Winter nights and bowls of soup are as natural together as clam chowder and oyster crackers. (Or, here in the Land of Enchantment, red chile and posole.) Nothing shakes the chill from your bones or sets the world right quite like it. Ask your parents. Soup maintains a place of honor in almost every family's arsenal of magic potions: It is transformative in its ability to comfort.
Say goodbye to Below the Sound with one last bust at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (free, 21+) on Friday, Jan. 12. Fivehundred, The Bellmont and Fando say they’ll help with the heavy lifting. (LM)
The wolf is back in the Wild West, and ranchers want him banished. After eight years of a failing federal program to reintroduce the endangered Mexican gray wolf, ranchers might get their wish.
The legend of the big, bad wolf is alive in the Southwest. In the remote wilderness of the Gila and Apache national forests, the wolf is still making mischief, raiding calving sheds and chicken coops, and lurking in wait for tasty, tender-limbed little girls. But in this version of the classic tale, it’s not Little Red Riding Hood that’s in peril. It’s the wolf.
Defective Auditions--Defective Man, a new comedy feature by Albuquerque writer/director D. Ryan Mowry, will be shooting in and around Albuquerque in May. SB-Films, the company behind the campy superhero parody, is holding a one-day audition for the film at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The film is a low-budget independent production, so there will be no pay involved. Interested actors will, however, receive credit for their work and a copy of the completed film. For more info, or for a page of dialogue to prepare for the audition, e-mail email@example.com.
Haunting documentary confronts suicide head-on
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the most iconic structures in the world. It is a wonder of modern engineering, a prime tourist destination and a symbol of the City by the Bay. It is also the most popular suicide spot on the planet.
Frightening futuristic thriller speculates on a world on the brink of collapse
One day, somewhere down the line, some enterprising film critic or cinema historian is going to write a biography on the life and work of Mexican-born writer/director Alfonso Cuarón. That person is going to have their work cut out for them trying to make heads or tails out of Cuarón’s brilliant but bafflingly diverse résumé.
“Dirt” on FX
Given Hollywood’s love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with celebrity photographers, I’m a little surprised it took the industry so long to make a TV series about paparazzi. Leave it to envelope-pushing FX, though, to burrow deep into the tabloid trash heap and come up with the intermittently entertaining sleaze-fest that is “Dirt.”
The Week in Sloth
Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 28, this year. That's three and a half months from now, but I started getting calls from bands asking how they can get on the bill back in October. So, while I truly admire your forethought and tenacity, for the millionth time, don't send me or anyone at the Alibi your demo. Here's Crawl coordinator Joe Anderson on what really works:
Original progressive rock, fresh from the oven
Imagine a metal band at a house party. On ripped-up sofas, overturned chairs, and a floor littered with empty cans and bottles, a crowd moshes wildly as the band trashes its way through the set. A glass vase falls from the shelf, shattering on the tile floor and bringing the party to a halt. The moshers disappear, the sofas are repaired, the cans and bottles are (mostly) gone, but the band remains.
Last Tango in Albuquerque—The rumors have proven true. Gorilla Tango, the comedy improv theater that opened Downtown in 2004, officially closed its doors on Jan. 1. The owners cited poor management and insufficient public support as reasons for the closure.
Voices of the Earth at the Harwood Art Center
One well-worn stereotype about Americans traveling abroad is that we expect everyone else in the world to speak perfect English. Increasingly, this is becoming a fair assumption—one that often comes at the expense of native languages.
Councilor wants a task force to investigate neighborhood and homeowners groups
Democratic. Transparent. These are words often linked to government—city, state or federal.
The demolition of Santa Fe’s teen arts center nears
In a room once too dark to navigate its stacks of audio-visual equipment and art supplies hangs the future of Warehouse 21 (W21). Bright, white lights illuminate the now almost barren space, which serves as the final stop in a journey through the history of the teen-arts center.
Snow Saturation—It snowed. A lot. I keep having visions of breaking my teeth on the ice as my inappropriate shoes take baby steps across sidewalks the city is ill-prepared to melt.
Oregon man suspended for showing "¡Ask a Mexican!" to coworker
Robert Diefenbach took his annual vacation two months ago in Albuquerque. While there, the Newport, Ore., resident picked up a copy of the Alibi. He read "¡Ask a Mexican!," the column in which yours truly answers readers' questions about Mexicans. The questions that week concerned the Mexican love affair with chickens and the similarities between Mexicans and the Irish.
What do you get when you cram 112 state legislators, hundreds of eager staffers and more lobbyists than ticks on rez dogs into a four-story building for 60 days? Besides several respiratory infections, sleep deprivation and more handshakes than a three-armed Kiwanis club member, you get another strange and wonderful New Mexico Legislative Session.
... And what we should do to help them
This year we visited relatives in Chile during the Christmas season. On New Year’s Eve we were in the port city of Valparaiso for the mammoth fireworks display with which Chileans traditionally welcome in the New Year at the stroke of midnight.
Dateline: Norway--A Lithuanian held on suspicion of theft at a Norwegian jail slipped out of custody recently by stripping naked, smearing himself with vegetable oil and sliding through the prison bars. “He slipped through the bars on Christmas Eve,” said Sven-Erik Jacobsen, operation leader for the Oest-Finnmark Police District. Another Lithuanian, held as an accomplice in the same cell, tried to use the same slick technique as his partner in crime. Unfortunately, he proved to be just a bit too large to squeeze through the window at the Vadsoe Jail. “It was a good effort,” Jacobsen said. “But all he did was get his head and part of his shoulder through the bars.” According to Norwegian police, the oily escapee, 25-year-old Yuris Sinkevicius, is still at large.
Q: Dear CBA,
I’m slowly getting into the “buying local” thing, but I’m wondering where I’m going to get ginger for stir-fry, cookies, ginger ale, medicine, etc.
Seems it usually comes from Hawaii or Thailand. Is there a way to grow it here?
—Missing My Snap
A: Dear Snapless,
Don’t forget, the buy local thing is not about self-inflicted hardship. Sure, you could plant some ginger root in a pot and probably get it to grow. But you would need a very large pot to grow enough ginger to satisfy your apparently large appetite for the spicy tuber. Is it worth it?
The cultivated baby cabbage we call Brussels sprouts are one of the most hated vegetables in the Western world. They can turn nasty off-green colors, their texture is a little rubbery and, yes, they tend to cause gas. But this winter we’ve grown attached to the little bugger and offer a recipe to the tribunal.
Prefab Pacific whim
If you’ve ever asked a true Beatles fan what he or she thinks about The Monkees, you may get a series of disparaging comments inundated by eye-rolling and perhaps a polite expletive or two. This is because even folks who aren’t big on music still know enough to determine that The Monkees were a prefabricated, Hollywood-hyped version of the Fab Four. Not to say that the Monkees didn’t have redeeming qualities--hell, I’ve hummed “Last Train to Clarksville” in the tub a few times. But when comparing “Daydream Believer” to “I Am the Walrus,” one will undoubtedly come up short.