The population of homeless women and children across the country is growing, says Lisa LaBrecque, director of policy for the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. Albuquerque's no exception. Families with children make up an estimated 40 percent of the city's homeless population, according to LaBrecque. The housing market booms. Rents jump. Affordable housing dwindles.
Helping Homeless Women in Albuquerque
"There's a million stories as to why women are homeless," says Jill Criswell, development director of the Barrett Foundation, a system of services that houses the only emergency shelter in Albuquerque for women. There are way more services for homeless men in Albuquerque, because that's how estimates regarding the makeup of the homeless population skew, she says.
Goodnight, Editorial Independence—It's reasonably safe to say that FOX News is slanted and bizarre, its anchors and analysts need only begin donning "I <3 righty, lol" T shirts to confirm what everyone else already knows. Even moderates joke about it, or let out long sighs, slowly shaking their heads at the latest bout of FOX "reporting." FOX owner Rupert Murdoch, who appears only slightly more innocuous and kindly than, say, Darth Sidious, is stalking the Wall Street Journal, his monstrous bags of money ready to snap into their saliva-sticky orifices another morsel of mainstream media. Goodnight, editorial independence.
“I’m doing right what I am meant to be doing.”
David Iglesias and I worked together in the Special Prosecutions Division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. That was a long time ago. I went into private practice and David went on to become the United States Attorney for New Mexico.
Starting at the bottom of Karl Rove’s food chain
To get at the truth behind the U.S. Attorney purges, we should listen to former federal prosecutor David Iglesias (see this week's "Talking Points" in the news section): Start at the bottom of the food chain, then work your way up.
Dateline: England—A judge presiding over the trial of three Muslims accused of using the Internet to incite terrorism admitted in court he doesn’t know what a website is. Judge Peter Openshaw brought a halt to the trial as a witness was being quizzed about an extremist Web forum. He told prosecutors at Woolrich Crown Court in east London, “The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a website is.” Prosecutor Mark Ellison tried to help the judge by explaining terms like “website” and “forum.” But the 59-year-old Openshaw admitted, “I haven’t quite grasped the concepts.” Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case. Concluding last Wednesday’s session and looking ahead to testimony on Thursday by a computer expert, the judge told Ellison, “Will you ask him to keep it simple, we’ve got to start from basics.”
Docs Rock—Prior to the shocking declaration that he would be running for president of the United States (who knew?), Gov. Bill Richardson took time out of his busy schedule to announce the winners of the 2007 Governor’s Cup Short Documentary Competition. The Governor’s Cup is part of Richardson’s ongoing initiative to foster local filmmaking talent (along with last weekend’s successful New Mexico Filmmaker’s Showcase at the Guild Cinema).
Sweet/tart comedy-drama feeds the need for summertime romance
It’s entirely possible that moviegoers are already burned out on the megabuck sequels trampling their way through America’s summertime cineplexes like so many celluloid Godzillas, Ghidorahs and Mothras. If the likes of Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End have you hankering for a nice, quiet movie with nary a Happy Meal tie-in in sight, then you’ll be pleased to note that the first sleeper hit of the summer season has already arrived.
Absorbing documentary mixes music and mental illness
For decades, singer/songwriter Roky Erickson has been a musician’s musician—the name to drop for industry pros and amateurs alike wishing to score serious street cred based on their meticulously researched list of non-mainstream musical influences.
Nets show off 07/08 seasons
Last week, the networks announced their “upfronts”—their new schedules for the upcoming 07/08 season. Without further ado, here’s what’s cooking for fall.
The Week in Sloth
Free Ozzy—The Prince of F***ing Darkness is cashing in on another run of Ozzfest, which includes a July 26 stop at Journal Pavilion. Fourteen uneven years after its debut, hope that this festival could retain more integrity than a fatted cash cow seems soundly, painfully extinguished—not least of all by the festival's pandering to "murderous clown" acts like Slipknot. But fans of the Bewildered Evil One have some redeeming incentives to come out this time. (I mean, besides the spectacle of Ozzy's stage handlers dousing his crotch with water at regular intervals ... No sir, no cover for incontinence there!)
Finally. It's here. A new disc. And it's the best.
At first it was simple pop-rock songs. Well, lighter on the rock, really. "Then things got progressively weirder," says Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear of the Animal Collective. AC members have known each other since grade school in Baltimore, but it wasn't until they all found themselves in New York for one reason or another that things got serious—and weird. If tape manipulations, sound collages and a genre commonly defined as "acid folk" are unfamiliar, "weird" might be a good place to start. Actually, the Collective is unconcerned with defining itself by genre and instead focuses solely on not repeating itself, bringing in elements of modern classical composition, prog-rock, jazz—you name it.
Tall Glass of Twine—New Mexico's very own Blythe Eden Dance Company has put together an original modern dance performance that will be staged this week during Wild Dancing West, a three-week dance festival over at the North Fourth Art Center (4904 Fourth Street NW). Twine is choreographed by Eden and features performances by company members Jacqueline Garcia, Allie Hankins and Jesse Wintermute along with original music by Jennifer Ruffalo. The show runs Friday, May 25, and Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 27, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 general, $8 students/seniors. They can be ordered by calling 344-4542.
Mad Hattr at the Cell Theatre
Laurie Thomas’ Mad Hattr is a jabberwocked reenactment of the biography of Charles Dodgson, the English mathematician, photographer and writer who, under the name Lewis Carroll, authored what are quite possibly the most beloved works of children’s literature ever composed in the English language. For decades, numerous societies and journals have analyzed the impact of this mysterious man, but despite recent scholarship based on new discoveries about his life, Dodgson remains a big question mark, a riddle just as mind-twisting as his books and poems.
Q: Dear Chef Boy Ari,
My German grandmother always had washing machine-sized rhubarb plants, with massive red and green stalks and leaves the size of cookie sheets. Despite adding fish emulsion, horse shit and compost, my rhubarb still remains minuscule.
I've even split up the massive root system, and all have sprouted. But all are small. What gives? How can I make Gramma proud?
Solid, reliable ... and predictable
Sometimes a girl needs something solid, reliable, even predictable, be it Chinese food or a nice guy. Before the age of 25, a gal like me needed a man who drove a fast car, had a criminal record, and always needed a shave and an aspirin. Guys who called me the wrong name, slept until 5 p.m. and wore leather pants on a Sunday were my specialty. They kept me waiting. They kept me wondering. And they provided me with enough wild, spicy adventure that I seldom noticed in time that my heart (and occasionally my checkbook and hubcaps) was gone.
Sequels, sequels and more sequels!
It looks like the unofficial motto for this summer’s movie season is, “The third time’s a charm!”
NM Overdose—This weekend is your chance to check out dozens of films shot by fellow New Mexicans. The third annual New Mexico Filmmakers week is sponsored by the New Mexico Film Office and takes place Thursday through Sunday at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Not only can you catch four days worth of cinematic goodness, but all the screenings are 100 percent free.
The movie biz in New Mexico is about more than rubbing elbows with Steven Seagal
By now, few weeks go by without movie announcements from the governor's office, film-related good news in the papers, sets causing novel parking problems for neighborhoods and fistfuls of third-hand celebrity gossip and Steven Seagal sightings. In fact, it was just announced that the political comedy Swing Vote (starring Kevin Costner) and the West Coast swing-dancing romance Love N’ Dancing (starring Amy Smart) will both be shot in the Duke City this summer.
Documentary of immigrant injustice is a haunting history lesson
I’ve always been fascinated with the image of Sacco and Vanzetti—partially because I know so little about the actual case that propelled them to infamy. I know them as stoic poster children for the anarchist movement. As potential martyrs to the cause of social injustice. As the subject of countless art projects, posters and folk songs. But I can’t say that I know the exact circumstances that made them such counterculture icons.
“Dirty Jobs” on Discovery Channel
Given my assorted weekly drama addictions (“Heroes,” “Lost,” “The Riches,” everything HBO shows on Sunday nights, every other season of “24”), I’m often grateful for a show that requires no commitment from me, the viewer. My head is crammed full of assorted “mythologies,” and I just can’t add another plot-heavy, conspiracy-filled show to the mix. Season finales are here en masse and I’m already getting mixed up: Is Mr. Linderman head of the Dharma Initiative?
The Week in Sloth
Best of the Week—Besides the fine events featured in this week's music section, we'd be remiss if we didn't point you in the direction of these weekend wunderkinds. Good luck choosing between them!
Local artists lend their talents to documentary film project
Farmington native Justin Hunt is the brains and guile behind American Meth, a documentary film he wrote, produced and directed. With a gift for storytelling (surely the result of years of hard-knocks experience in television journalism), Hunt attempts with American Meth to shed some light on an inexplicable addiction to a dangerous and faithless drug, methamphetamine. An edgy subject, to say the least.
If you ask Alison Shaw why she's so driven to do the things she does for local music, she'll look at you with an expression that implies, “Why aren’t you?” With less than a week before Hyperactive Music Festival II, Shaw is busy working out the fine tuning on an event she launched last year in June.
The Launchpad celebrates 10 years of earth, wind and fire
The city of Albuquerque contains legions of rock ’n’ roll fans who have witnessed the performances of idols and demigods, experienced life-altering moments of personal heartbreak and triumph and, during its 10 years, more or less grew up at the Launchpad.
Hone your creative edge at a brand-spankin’ new songwriters’ open mic. Southwest Gift Baskets Coffee House (11200 Montgomery NE) hosts the all-ages fun at 7 p.m. (LM)
Albuquerque youth ask the City Council to approve an arts space just for them
A runty Slayer T-shirt is adrift in a lake of beige, blue and gray suits. It floats down through clumps of swollen shoulder pads, finally settling into a bank of black tops.
E-mail This To All Your Friends!—Generally, I don't read past the first few paragraphs of any story in The Onion: America's Finest News Source. The headlines and the wacky lead are the funny parts—the rest is just made-up, tired fluff. As a member of the media, I enjoy scanning its pages to see what big-buzz story parody makes the front page or which cultural absurdity will be thrown under the microscope of comedic scrutiny (i.e. "Women Who Claims Book Changed Her Life Has Not Changed"). And as a member of the media, a recent article threw my industry under the microscope with surgeon-like precision, rife with "made-up, tired fluff" and a heavy dose of reality.
Artists say the removal of graffiti murals is more than just cleanup; it stamps out a tradition of public space reclamation
Part two of a two-part series. Read Part one here.
Honoring the work of Frank Sanchez
Last week, while I was meeting with a community organizer who works for Albuquerque Interfaith, she asked me, “Who do you think of as your heroes?”
Dateline: England —Homes were evacuated, a main road was closed and a controlled explosion was set off after a “suspicious package” was found attached to a bridge in Pease Pottage, West Sussex. In the end, some bats were mighty pissed. The A23 and the B2110 highways were both closed for several hours after an Army bomb disposal team was called in to investigate. Several nearby homes were evacuated and motorists experienced long delays as the mysterious box was destroyed without incident. The British Highways Agency eventually identified the suspicious package as a bat box being used as part of a wildlife survey. “We are working on ways to improve identification of our property to avoid a repeat of the incident,” a B.H.A. spokesperson told the BBC.
Red-light cameras dominate the Council
So we shouldn't object to electronic surveillance unless we want to break the law, right? When it comes to red-light cameras, Albuquerque hasn't really made up its mind.
A Gay Ol' Time—For a quarter century, the New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus has been singing like angels for appreciative audiences in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and beyond. Founded in 1981 as the Brash Ensemble, the group has gone through plenty of changes over the years, but one thing has always remained consistent: the high quality of the music.
An oddball collaboration comes to the Blue Dragon
Leo Neufeld and Daddy Long Loin make for an unusual duo. Neufeld is perhaps Albuquerque's best-known portrait painter, a soft-spoken neo-realist with an enviable knack for capturing the intellect, personality and emotions of his subjects. As an artist, he strives to do more than merely replicate the outward appearance of the diverse people he paints. You don't look at one of Neufeld's paintings; you look into it.
What your drink really says about you
We all have our favorite drinks, but did you ever stop to think those drinks may point to omens that describe you and predict your destiny? With springtime upon us, we thought we'd add divination and pseudo-scientific mystery to the season's spiritous activities. In the end, what you're drinking might say more about you than "you drink too much."
Steven Seagal gets it
Adding coconut milk to a dish is a lot like adding Steven Seagal to a movie: They both come on subtle, but eventually take over and overwhelm the opposition. One of the hallmarks of Thai cooking is coconut milk, which is not the watery liquid found in a fresh coconut, but the fragrant, fatty cream taken from the ripe palm nuts (they’re nuts, not actually classified as fruits). It’s used for consistency and flavor, and also to tone down spicy curries by sopping up the hot.
In Creole cuisine, rémoulade is the pride of the po’ boy: a veritable catch-all sauce of ketchup, mayo, mustard, Louisiana mirepoix and spices. In France, the sauce is more refined and its classic accompaniment is celery root. The basic formula for a rémoulade in both the motherland and southland milieu is: mayo, something pickled, herbs and spices. Our recipe is a vegan take on the French version, and we used it as a platform for a classic bistro salad of celeriac. Not familiar with this brute of a root? Don't be surprised when you go from grocer to grocer praying you can avoid a run to Whole Foods for these glorious dirt bombs. You will fall in love with this dish.
50 things (or more) to do in Albuquerque this summer for $5 (or less)
The last thing you want to do is spend the entire summer wasting away on your couch in your underwear, shelling pistachios in front of the TV while the world goes by without you. Take part! Take action! For this year's summer guide, the Alibi brain trust collected more than 50 adventures available to the citizens of Albuquerque for the lowest of prices—from five bucks to free. So pull out the couch cushions, rustle up a couple dollars of change and let the good times roll.
Ten things to do for $10 or less
In case you haven't noticed, Santa Fe is over-priced. The homes are expensive. The attractions are expensive. But if you look beyond the glitzy, tourist-approved exterior, you’ll find a trip to Santa Fe is well within your budget. Gas may still cost a pretty penny (unless you take a shuttle or wait for the Rail Runner to extend into the City Different), but the cost of spending an afternoon or a weekend in our state's capitol can be a mere pittance. This list of 10 things to do for $10 or (much) less should help you find the bargain behind the bulge.
A few game nights around town
Active Imagination Game Store
11200 Montgomery NE, #10
ABS Board game night is every Thursday!
Free gaming sessions: Most times Monday-Thursday, Noon-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Noon.-12 a.m. Sundays, Noon-5 p.m.
A few of Albuquerque's better (and cheaper) museums
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
2000 Mountain NW, 243-7255
This leading museum for Southwestern art, culture, and history has a fascinating collection of sculptures, paintings and photographs.
Hours of Operation: Tuesday–Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $4 adults, $2 seniors (65+), $1 children, ages 4–12.
Admission is free every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and all day on the first Wednesday of every month.
9800 Fourth Street SW
Bernalillo county pools open Saturday, May 26.
Recreation Swim: Noon-5 p.m
Things to do through August 1
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity
Lodestar Astronomy Center
This science and technology film, which runs most of the summer provides a complete picture on the mysterious phenomenon of the black hole. The film shows the mystery of wormholes, the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole.
12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. Admission: $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 children (3-12). 841-5955.
Shoot Quick, Ask Questions Later—Perhaps you’ve heard of this Duke City Shootout thing? Well, if you’ve always toyed with the idea of getting involved, here’s yet another chance. This Friday, May 11, is the deadline for submitting your screenplay for consideration to the 2007 Shootout. Script submission requirements include a cover page with name of author, address, telephone number; a 12-minute script (i.e. 12 pages); and an entry fee of $35. There are two ways to submit scripts. You can mail hard copies of scripts, including checks or money orders payable to the Digital Filmmaking Institute, to: “Duke City Shootout, P.O. Box 37080, Albuquerque, NM 87176.” Or you can submit electronically and pay by credit card at www.withoutabox.com. Representatives of New Mexico’s Digital Filmmaking Institute and renowned screenwriters from around the country will select the seven best scripts to be produced. The Shootout will fly the seven winning screenwriters to Albuquerque, where they will be given a cast, high-definition digital camera and lighting equipment, a production crew, post-production facilities, transportation and even a professional mentor—everything they will need to bring their script to life. For more information and updates on the 2007 Shootout, visit www.dukecityshootout.org.
Poker-faced drama is a few cards short of a full deck
The question at hand is this: Why would white-hot acting stud Eric Bana follow up his Academy Award-caliber Steven Spielberg drama Munich with a seemingly inconsequential romantic comedy like Lucky You? There are actually several possible answers to the question, but it should first be noted that Lucky You only seems like an inconsequential romantic comedy—an impression no doubt enhanced by some rather misleading television commercials.
Tears of the Black Spider
Remember the classic line from A League of Their Own: “There’s no crying in baseball!” Well, until very recently, there wasn’t any crying in superhero movies either. But thanks to the release of Spider-Man 3, all that’s changed. For all its explosive action and multimillion dollar special effects, Spider-Man 3 is memorable mostly for its soulful weeping, its emotional cry jags and its manic depressive mood swings.
Condensed tidbits from around the dial
Bye-Bye, Bob Barker—After 35 years of hosting daytime gameshow “The Price is Right,” 85-year-old Bob Barker is finally retiring. Names of replacement hosts are being bandied about (Mark Steines, Todd Newton and George Hamilton seem to be the frontrunners, although Rosie O’Donnell is tooting her own horn rather loudly). Rest assured someone will be back in a Burbank studio quizzing people on the price of canned corn sooner than later.
The Week in Sloth
Double Whammy—A pair of MFA students from UNM will present twin exhibits of their work starting this weekend at [AC]2 (301 Mountain NE). Erin Emiko Kawamata and Min Kim Park both delve into gender, ethnicity, memory and stereotypes in their photo, video and performance art. Stop by the gallery on Saturday, May 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. to find out more. The shows run through June 10. 842-8016, www.ac2gallery.org.
Macbeth in Space at the Box Performance Space
Sure, the original plot of Shakespeare's Macbeth is adequate, but just think how much better it could be if the weak parts were tightened up a bit. For example, instead of setting the play hundreds of years ago in Scotland, how about setting it hundreds of years in the future with all the action taking place on a space ship? And instead of a heavy examination of naked political ambition, why not focus instead on the virtues of butt-kickin' girl power?
How to be an American Journalist, Part II—Last week, “Thin Line” focused on an eye-opening documentary by Bill Moyers on how the media failed to ask tough questions during the run-up to the Iraq War. It's instructive to learn about the failures of our largest publications and networks, about reporters blinded in a fog of patriotism. As potential military conflict with Iran approaches, what are the questions we should be asking? Primarily, are things really as they seem? How do we go beyond military news releases and spokesperson responses to get to the heart of this situation?
Not just fat ladies in steel bras
There’s singing. Then there’s singing.
Our obsession with war
One of the amenities of living in this high-tech world that our household most enjoys sampling is Netflix. We watch films ordered from this outfit that slipped past commercial theaters and that I didn’t get over to the Guild in time to see.
The rock star of investigative reporting
Santa Fe’s Lensic Theater. A packed house. Techno rap rattles the sound system. A gruff baritone on full automatic slams rhymes of defiance and rebellion. The audience sways to the relentless, driving beat. The woman next to me slides to the edge of her seat. I think she’s holding her breath.
Clean-up of graffiti murals angers artists Part one of a two-part series
Sofa's been writing graffiti for 17 years. He was arrested for it three times in his younger days, back when he was going "all-city," which means he was tagging all parts of ’Burque.
Dateline: Italy—A fan of the AC Milan soccer team, angry over the poor performance of Brazilian-born goalie Dida, put the player up for sale on eBay. The 33-year-old, who joined Milan in 2000, was a hero after the shootout win over Juventus in the 2003 Champions League final, but his popularity has slumped after a series of errors. Unfortunately, the goalie did not raise much interest on the popular auction site. His sale price, before the auction was shut down by eBay officials last Friday, had reached just 71 euros (about $116) after 25 bids.
The city's proposed teen music center is in danger
The city's plan to establish an all-ages, teen-run music center was set in motion with the purchase of the Ice House building last year. But it's hit a snag. Without a show of your support at two upcoming meetings, the proposed center may be cut out from the funding it needs to get off the ground.
There once was a car that was cheap, the fastest car on the street. You could own it if you were poor and couldn’t afford more, but still … the car could never be beat. And thus, the “Poor Man’s Ferrari” became a classic machine worth more than 10 times its original listing price.
“I'm trying to be the greatest there's ever been.”
Brother Ali speaks quietly, his thick East Coast accent eloquent and thoughtful. When we speak, he's in Boston in the middle of a two-month tour. Lots of musicians bitch about being on the road, but Ali loves it—except for missing his new wife and 6-year-old son. He's a serious guy who's had to sacrifice and scrap his way to fame, riding a heap of critical praise for his first big success with the Rhymesayers label, Shadows on the Sun.
The term “barley wine-style” is a new one on us. We like to think the guys at Avery Brewing Co. were making hand quotation marks as they seized on the phrase. That’s because Hog Heaven is hardly the malt bomb that you’d expect from a bottle with “Barley Wine” on the label. Most powerhouses in the barley wine class, like Stone’s Old Guardian or Anchor’s Old Foghorn, are heavy on sugary roasted malts and can knock you out with a boozy left hook. In a class of beasts and brutes, Hog Heaven is the Oscar de la Hoya of the barley wine world.
They’ve got the dude food
The inside of Chicago Beef bears an eerie resemblance to a single guy’s apartment. This restaurant (in what used to be the Doc and Mz. V’s building on Isleta) absolutely tickled my pickle with not only a menu of bona fide “dude food,” but the general air of bachelor living personified in bare walls and a profusion of condiments.