Richard Bona, Michel Camilo, Eddie Daniels, Toumani Diabaté, Mighty Clouds of Joy, John Pizzarelli, Bobby Shew—and more!—round out a constellation of jazz stars
By Mel Minter
Last year, the producers of the New Mexico Jazz Festival—Outpost Productions, The Lensic; and the Santa Fe Jazz Foundation—told us it was the first annual event and, hallelujah, it turns out they were right. The second annual event, held in Santa Fe and Albuquerque from July 19 to 29, features a breathtaking collection of award-winning international artists, as well as popular local groups.
Trinity House tangles with the police over weekly free lunches in Robinson Park
By Marisa Demarco
For almost 120 Sundays, about two years, Catholic organization Trinity House has served up hot lunches to the homeless. On July 1, after a handful of warnings, police officers told volunteers not to get out of their cars when they pulled up to their usual spot, according to a Trinity House news release.
Want to know if the mainstream media has a conservative or a liberal bias? Look no further than the widespread coverage of the recent “Live Earth” concert. The 24-hour music event, running July 9 and 10, was intended to raise awareness of global warming and other environmental issues. Shortly after the broadcast ended, conservative news sites like the Drudge Report were straining at their leashes to declare the concert a failure of epic proportions.
The news just keeps on coming. Some days you pay attention. Some days you don't. Look here in every Alibi to refresh your memory about what's going on in your community. Don't worry if you don't know all the answers—there's a cheat sheet at the end.
Where are the teeth-grinding, strict-constructionist Republicans when their nation needs them? For that matter, where’s the Democratic Party? We’re living through America’s first coup d’etat, and so far, just 14 Democratic Congressmen are doing anything about it.
Dateline: Iraq—Agence France-Presse is reporting that the Iraqi port city of Basra, already embroiled by a nasty turf war between rival militia factions, is now gripped by rumors of giant badgers stalking the streets at night and eating humans. Local farmers who have caught and killed several of the beasts claim the animals were released into the area by hostile British forces. Mushtaq Abdul-Mahdi, director of Basra’s veterinary hospital, has inspected the corpses of several badgers and has tried to assure locals that the animals are not postwar arrivals to the region. “The animals appeared before the fall of the regime. They are known as Al-Ghirayri and locally as Al-Girta.” he told AFP. “Talk that this animal was brought by the British forces is incorrect and unscientific.” British army spokesperson Maj. David Gell said the animals—believed to be a kind of honey badger—“are native but rare in Iraq. They’re nocturnal carnivores with a fearsome reputation, but they don’t stalk humans and carry them back to their lair.”
Local newbies Chokecherry Ranch will play this week at Ralli's Fourth Street Pub and Grill (see "Flyer on the Wall" for the poster). The band's lead man, Jason Darensburg, is a mellow fellow with an easy, open sort of voice. He's notable for some good, if smalltime, productions around town over the years. But what makes this project especially interesting, for me anyhow, is that he says our former Alibi news editor Tim McGivern is playing drums in the project. Tim always swore up and down that he played drums with Archers of Loaf ... and truth be told, I still don't totally believe him. But at least he's proving he can actually play, which certainly helps his story. Get an earful of Jason's homegrown Albuquerque jam (to say nothing of Tim's fabulous storytelling) this Thursday, July 19. There's no mention of cover, but bring a few bills just to be safe.
Blissful Destruction is a mixture of piss, vinegar, scotch and soul—and a whole lot of enthusiasm for their local music scene. With that much going on, they figured it was time to spread some of the love and plan their first tour out of the state.
Longtime electro-industrial act unleashes its sixth disc, Stitched
By Marisa Demarco
It's No. 1085, the 85th release for Tommy T's DSBP Records. That's a huge number—even without the 10 prefix—for what is essentially a locally run label. Tommy's proud to say that No. 85 is the sixth release for his own band, Diverje, an electro-industrial project that's been around for more than 10 years.
Fifth time’s the same old charm for our young wizard
By Devin D. O’Leary
There isn't much point, at this stage of the game, to reviewing anything Harry Potter-related. The books have a more avid fanbase than just about any in the history of literature. The movies have proved to be incredibly popular and as loyal as possible to J.K. Rowling’s source material. Both incarnations, literate and cinematic, have been amazingly consistent over the years. So what, exactly, would be the point of lobbing either deep criticism or lavish praise in their direction?
We’ve heard this song before, but it’s got a good beat and you can definitely dance to it
By Devin D. O’Leary
Why? It’s a valid question. Or questions, actually. Why is Hollywood so obsessed with remakes? Mostly because it requires very little thought on the part of creatively bankrupt studio executives. So why is Broadway remaking so many movies as musical stage shows? (Xanadu,Young Frankensteinand Legally Blondeare just a few of the choice offerings on the Great White Way this season.) Probably because they appeal easily to the busloads of uncultured tourists who show up in Manhattan every day looking for tickets to Cats. Then why, in the name of all that is holy, is Hollywood now remaking the remakes Broadway already remade? ... That, my friends, is a mystery.
If you’re one of the uncounted millions who wished the cast of “Touched by an Angel” had spent less time imparting lightweight Christian morals and more time busting murderers, drug addicts and child rapists, then your prayers have been answered. TNT’s new series “Saving Grace” is just what you ordered: an unholy smushing-together of “The 700 Club” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
A middle-aged American woman with a fear of heights stands on the high dive by a hotel pool in Greece. Her son encourages her to jump. She's made it this far. Why not just do it? As she considers whether it would be best to take a step forward or a step back, her life literally flashes before her eyes. She begins telling stories about previous vacations and other moments in her life when she held back from making the big plunge.
How would you like to have your very own Nimbus 2000?
By Steven Robert Allen
Harry McAfee was never an avid reader. The North Valley artist didn't get bitten by the book bug as a kid, and he didn't pick up the habit later in life, either. Several years ago, though, his daughter talked him into seeing the first Harry Potter movie. He liked it quite a bit, and when he got laid up sick for a couple weeks, he decided to give the book a try.
The countdown to the end of Harry Potter is ticking away—second by second—until that fateful moment whenHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, book seven of the seven part series, is finally released to the masses. Countless hordes of giddy children and adults alike will be staying up until 12:01 a.m., the first minute of its release on Saturday, July 21, at bookstores around the nation. Here in Albuquerque, there'll be a lot of Potter-style partying going on, so dust off your wizard hats and get ready for the beginning of the end. Or maybe not ...
Pueblo Revival architect John Gaw Meem built UNM's Jonson Gallery in 1950 to serve as both an exhibit space and residence for Raymond Jonson, the famed painter who had just become the university's first (and only) permanent artist-in-residence. Few artists have played such a prominent role in the creative history of our state, and Jonson finally had an ideal space to continue his audacious experiments in color and geometry.
Remember that episode of "I Love Lucy" where Lucy stomps grapes ("Her feet—like two enormous pizzas!" observes the vintner) with a bunch of swarthy, unibrowed Italian women? It looked like fun, didn't it? If, like me, you've found yourself wondering what it'd be like to recreate some of that same purple-stained magic, your time has come. The St. Clair Winery and Bistro (near Old Town at 901 Rio Grande NW) is throwing a grand grape-stomping competition—and in the true bacchanalian spirit of a Roman orgy, it's raging for three days.
I pride myself on learning new things when I eat. Whether it’s a tricky pronunciation (I had a thing with gewürztraminer) or understanding the subtle nuances of a different culture (I’ve made a faux pas or two involving Buddha shrines), I try to walk away from the table armed with knowledge for posterity.
A bible of prissy non-functionality and crystal-clear photography
By Marisa Demarco
Let me tell you about my ideal cookbook. It's big, maybe 12”x12”—so while you're stirring (or frying) you can quickly glance at its 14-point font to make sure you added the right number of eggs. It's spiral bound and lays flat on its back when you set it on the counter. Its pages are laminated, so when you inevitably spill something nasty on it, you can sponge it off. You could drop my dream cookbook from the roof of a 60-story building and still find yourself making almond soup with it at the bottom. Also, it would do your dishes and speak to you in calming tones when all those nasty measurement details began to run away from you, like so many cats from inside a bass drum.
"I don't like bein' retro for retro's sake," says Reuben Glaser from the loft space/recording studio where he's resting between two legs of his tour. He speaks with an almost Southern lilt that has nothing to do with his Cincinnati habitat. "We been playin' the South, so maybe it stuck," he laughs. "New Mexico is probably the one place in the country that has less of an accent than we do."
Curtis Bennett was too analytical for fine art school. At least, that's what they told him. They said he needed to think less to be a graphic artist. He needed to let the art flow. So he did ... right out of fine arts and straight into computer science.
Turning virtual trade of massive online games into money in your pocket
By Marisa Demarco
It's a colorful world of valor and honor and monster killing. The in-game conversation sucks, usually. But the conversation sucks in real life, too, and everyone is less likely to have perfect breasts.
It is hard to get my boyfriend to do anything fun with me because he is always playing his massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), World of Warcraft. I offer to buy him lunch or take him to a movie, but he insists on running instances in molten core or slaying trolls and crocolisks in Stranglethorn Vale. I'm fed up. I feel like WoW is more important than me, but every time I tell him this he just calls me a n00b. Brenda, what do I do?
Submit—Listen up, New Mexico filmmakers: You’ve got some deadlines fast approaching. First up is the Friday, July 13, deadline to submit works to the 5th Annual Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. All previews for features or short films must be submitted on 1/2” VHS tape or DVD. Title, name, address and phone number should be affixed to the label, of course. There is a $10 entry fee per title; make checks out to “Closet Cinema.” If your work is accepted, you will be notified by Aug. 10. The film festival itself will take place Sept. 28-Oct. 4. This year’s festival, taking place in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, is expected to draw nearly 5,000 visitors, making it one of the largest film festivals in the state. To download an application, or to dig up further submission guidelines, log on to closetcinema.org/filmfestival.htm.
Videogame movies do not have a very distinguished reputation. From 1994’s Street Fighter with Jean-Claude Van Damme to 2005’s Doom with The Rock, videogames-turned-movies have been derided by movie lovers and gaming fanatics alike. This hasn’t stopped movie studios from cranking out multiple digitally inspired action films in a (thus far) vain attempt to link the multibillion-dollar entertainment empires of motion pictures and videogames.
I can’t say, honestly, there’s anything original about USA’s new action series “Burn Notice.” The plot about of a pink-slipped spy who finds himself out of work and stumbles into a life of helping random needy strangers with his special detective/spy/crimefighting skills isn’t markedly different than “The A-Team,”“MacGyver,”“Airwolf,”“The Equalizer” or pretty much any action series that aired on network television during the ’80s. But oddly enough, it’s this sense of nostalgic familiarity that makes “Burn Notice” such an enjoyable TV treat.
Endurance gaming requires, well, endurance. Unfortunately, your natural supply of stamina tends to wane after 36 hours of intense, nonstop battles with crocolisks and murlocs. Before you start to confuse orcs with trolls, you need to feed your body and mind.
One of two prominent blues from Ireland, Crozier is the only sheep's milk blue made in Ireland, or the surrounding U.K. for that matter. It is surprisingly sweet and mild. If you’re a beginner with blue cheese this will be totally doable, and if you’re a lover of brutal blue bite, this one might leave you alone in a cranberry bog. However, there are very nice notes of fresh cream, nuts and hay in the finish, which emphasizes that this cheese is made by a very small herd of sheep on a very small farm.
Dateline: Nepal—A Far Eastern goddess has been stripped of her divinity for visiting the United States. Ten-year-old Sajani Shakya was installed at the age of 2 as Kumari of the ancient town of Bhaktapur, near Katmandu. The position made her one of Nepal’s top three goddesses, revered by both Hindus and Buddhists, reports London’s Daily Mirror.But a recent trip to promote a U.K.-made documentary on Nepal’s traditions and political turmoil has upset local religious leaders, who believe the Western visit tainted the Kumari’s purity. “It is wrong and against tradition for her to go on a foreign tour without permission,” Bhaktapur temple official Jai Prasad Regmi said. “We will search for new Kumari and install her as the living goddess.” The Kumari are virgin goddesses believed to inhabit human form until menstruation.
Felix Peralta is old school; and not in a clichéd, doing-it-because-it’s-cool way. It just is who he is and how he plays. Charlie Parker once said, “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” That's the best way to describe Peralta and how he plays his guitar. Every song is a story, every chord an emotion.
Stay Tooned—Comics legend Scott McCloud will make a rare appearance at the Art Center Design College (5000 Marble NE) this Wednesday, July 18, in an event sponsored by the North Fourth Art Center and 7000 BC, a collective of New Mexico comics creators. Locus Magazine once called McCloud “arguably the most important cartoonist alive.” He's been on a marathon tour of all 50 states promoting his new book Making Comics, and the final leg is bringing him to New Mexico. Tickets are $10 and McCloud's presentation begins at 7 p.m. For details, call 254-7575 (College) or 344-4542 (North Fourth).
Dana Goldberg follows her stand-up dream across controversial territories
By Marisa Demarco
Bubbly and frank, Dana Goldberg makes the counter guy laugh as she orders her coffee. She's got so much energy this weekday morning, it's hard to believe she needs any wake-up juice. I stir my own cup and hope I'll be able to keep up with her speedy, nimble conversation style and worry that she's going to be shooting for flashy and funny the whole time.
Sometimes it's hard to tell where the line between videogames and art is drawn (just check out this week’s feature, “Applied Ludology”). It may be easy to argue that blood and guts and gore in gaming isn't art but gratuitous violence, but what do you suppose early critics of Hamlet or Macbeth said about the bodies lying on the floor? Many videogames are visually appealing and jam-packed with detailed storylines and character development. While videogames may not traditionally be art, they surely have crossed into the artistic domain, and with the rise of free, casual gaming on the Web, it's never been easier to indulge in some modern art.
With Canada Day on July 1 come and gone with little fanfare, we thought it appropriate to get the good word out: Canada is a great nation, full of wonder to be found in its majestic national parks, its superior national policy, its magnificent natural resources and its myriad funny accents. So let us take a little trip north, eh?
On a recent trip to Edmonton, I pounced on the chance to ask real, live Canadians about their homeland. What's more, these aren't any regular old Canadians, they're improvisers; comedians contributing to one of the finest traditions and exports of the nation. All four Canucks were asked, "What does Canada mean to you?" Find out what they say below, eh?
We are all frightened of lumberjacks. This is a fact that is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It is important, however, to recognize that as humans, it is common to fear what we do not understand. Let us closely examine the lumberjack to try to better understand these brawny woodsmen of the northern forests.
Are you cold and forbidding? Vast and French-speaking? Pastoral and surrounded by ocean? Or maybe you're just Manitoba. We can all find a bit of ourselves in a Canadian province or territory. Learn more about you and your neighbor to the north with this easy test (no conversion to metric required). Read on to determine where in Canada your personality resides.
Traces of radioactivity stemming from LANL have been found in the Rio Grande. Should Albuquerqueans worry?
By John W. Flores
Radioactive materials anywhere near a water source seems like a bad thing, especially when that source will be coming out of your tap next year. Take the case of the Rio Grande and radioactive materials bleeding into the river from near Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL). Don’t forget, Albuquerque will be switching from the aquifer to the Rio Grande as its primary source of water [Feature, “Parched?” May 31-June 6, 2007].
iHate Front-Page Advertising—No, I'm not talking about those nasty bars that have been creeping onto the bottom of A1s across the country for years. Someone should give an award to Apple's marketing team. They scored an above-the-fold white-text-on-black ad on the front page of our Albuquerque Journal under the clever headline "iCan't Wait."
Author and nutritional biochemist Stephen Cherniske talks about your health
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Like most people, Stephen Cherniske is passionate about aging--or, rather, not aging. He thinks about living a long life, feeling and looking healthy, and doing what it takes to preserve himself for as long as possible. Unlike the rest of us, though, he is neither depressed nor terrified by the pesky hands of time. For 30 years Cherniske has devoted his life to studying the relationship between food, health and aging. What he's found has resulted in a profitable line of supplements and three best-selling books: The Metabolic Plan, Caffeine Blues and The DHEA Breakthrough. The latter is about a hormone made in the adrenal glands--a key component in Cherniske's studies. While not embraced by all in the scientific community (there are no studies on DHEA's long-term effects), Cherniske, who has been supplementing DHEA for 20 years, insists it promotes bodily regeneration and anti-aging. Last week the Alibi spoke over the phone with Cherniske, who will be at UNM's Continuing Education Auditorium this Friday night.
Alberta's pockmarked landscape is the next big thing for oil companies worldwide
By Marisa Demarco
Canada, ho! Where the health care flows like water and there's oil in the very sand. In honor of the Alibi's Canada issue, we're going to discuss what may be the most important source of fossil fuel for the United States in coming years: Tar sand in Alberta, Canada.
First we lose cockfighting. Now this. Our culture and customs are under attack. Somebody needs to talk with Attorney General Gary King, somebody he might listen to. And they need to sit him down pronto.
Dateline: England—A pub owner in Southampton has found a sneaky political way around England’s new antismoking law. Landlord Bob Beech is hoping to get around the cigarette ban, which went into effect last Sunday, by turning his bar into a foreign embassy. Beech says the Wellington Arms tavern will now be the U.K. base for the tiny, uninhabited island of Redonda—located some 35 miles off the Caribbean nation of Antigua. Earlier last month, Redonda’s official cardinal Edward Elder—a regular at the pub—granted the business consulate status. Redonda’s current ruler is King Robert the Bald, 60, who lives on Antigua. King Robert recently bestowed a knighthood on Beech. As a Redonda embassy, Beech’s pub would be classified as “foreign soil” and would not be subject to British laws. “I have a legal team looking into the legalities at the moment,” Beech told The Sun. “But I am confident.”
Freedom Rock—My eternal gratitude to everyone who came out for the Alibi's Festival of Opinions last Saturday on the Fourth Street mall. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, it was hotter than a crotch out there, so the folks that participated truly showed their dedication to free speech and the First Amendment. I lost four pounds in sweat, one pound for each hour in the heat, but the music was especially fantastic. Thanks to Selsun Blue, Fast Heart Mart and Daddy Long Loin for the tunes. And a big burlap sack stuffed with gratitude for the drummer from Selsun Blue who climbed up the light pole to plug in the extension cord. That was impressive. As you all know, freedom without electricity really isn't worth celebrating.
My personal vision of hell pretty much matches that network sitcom about a bunch of white-bread “friends” living in grotesque intimacy with each other in a nightmarishly sanitized New York. Kobo Abe's vision of eternal damnation shares the title of that horrible show but is starkly different in almost every other respect.
Shootout Shooters—Organizers of the Duke City Shootout Digital Filmmaking Festival, have anounced their 2007 script winners. The winning scripts will be produced and premiered in Albuquerque from July 20-28. The selected filmmakers 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 short script to life in just seven days. This year’s winners are: Lisa Marks from Marina del Rey, Calif., for the black comedy “Maconie’s List;” Scott and Paula Merrow from Albuquerque, N. M., for the family film “The Spider Experience;” Dina Chapman from West Hollywood, Calif., for the sci-fi comedy “So Five Minutes Ago;” Jason Kendall from Spring Hill, Fla., for the comedy “Young Gun;” Richard Dargan from Albuquerque, N.M., for the comedy “The Pitch;” and Joachim Jung from Los Angeles, Calif., for the comedy “The Dream Girl.” Best of luck to all this year’s Shootout participants and a special congratulations to our local fimmakers. A full schedule of events for the 2007 Shootout will be available soon. For more information and updates, visit www.dukecityshootout.org.
Shut off your brain’s switch and stomp on your adrenaline pedal, we got giant robots!
By Devin D. O’Leary
Most folks (mostly male, mostly in their 30s) will remember the Transformers as a massively popular toy line put out by Hasbro in the ’80s. A hit cartoon series followed, ushering in the Toyetic Era of popular culture, when TV shows and toys (“He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” “G.I. Joe,” “My Little Pony,” “Smurfs,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Transformers”) were synonymous with one another. Well, all those toy-collecting kids have grown up now and are demanding nostalgic entertainment in the form of big-budget, live-action movies based on their childhood obsessions. Paramount and DreamWorks Pictures have gratefully acquiesced, at least in the case of Transformers, delivering a $150 million summer tentpole release based on the franchise.
A lot of Americans (not all of them, but a lot of them) still have hang-ups about comic books and cartoons. “They’re for kids” is the prevailing argument, and no amount of evidence to the contrary seems to sway them. In other countries, however, graphic novels and animation run the gamut from all-ages to adults-only with little problem.
American television is a dominant force worldwide, sending reruns of “Dallas”, to the far-flung reaches of the globe. But the United States isn’t the only source of entertainment over the airwaves here in North America. We can’t simply forget the televised contributions of our neighbors to the north. Without the CBC, CTV and other Canadian-born corporations of which I have no actual knowledge, the world would never have had access to such classic TV shows as “SCTV” or “Degrassi Junior High” or ... um, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”.
Music on the Strip—Further cementing the sacred bond between musicians and strip clubs (as the memoirs of any aging buttrocker with teased hair will attest), you can get live music at the Spearmint Rhino Gentleman's Club (1645 University NE) every week now. The California-based strip club started booking Albuquerque bands back in April of this year, and the music has held up every Monday night since. British punkers The Geezers even popped in for a May 7 show. What the hell?
Half jazz enthusiast, half political activist, all rock 'n' roll
By Marisa Demarco
Guitarist Shane Perlowin didn't know when he answered a classified ad in the paper looking for people to make "'out-of-this-world music' ... whatever that meant" that it was the beginnings of a project that would achieve national recognition. "I don't think we really expected it to be as well-received as it was from the start," he says.
I'm going to Canada. When? I don't know, but some day I'll see my favorite band, Our Lady Peace, perform in their hometown of Toronto. In fact, I want to see as many Canadian artists as possible. They just seem so good up there. And they are. A lot of cheesy big-name artists (Céline Dion, Nickelback, Barenaked Ladies) and influential indie acts (Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene) have come from the land of the maple leaf, and there's still more talent to be discovered by us non-Canadian music fans—the problem is finding it.
A high-calorie dish is usually a delicious dish, and this common truth stands the test of taste when in comes to Canada's poutine (pronounced poo-teen). Originating in Quebec during the late ’50s, this combination of french fries, cheese curds (squeaky little nuggets of fresh cheddar cheese) and gravy teems in eating establishments across that great land to our north. The good news is anyone in the U.S. of A. can have poutine, and an instant mouth party, just by combining three ingredients.
It’s 8 a.m. You’re tired and probably hungover. In front of you is the Mount Everest of pancake stacks. Beyond that is an assortment of maple syrups with labels that say things like "Canada No. 1 Extra Light" or "No. 3 Dark." You nonchalantly butter your flapjacks while eyeing the amber options. What's your next move?
Tofu Pups suck. Smart Dogs are stupid. With the grill season upon us, those of you suckers for smoke and char are probably wondering to yourself, “How do I make a sweet-ass vegan hot dog?” Glad you asked.
A good dish of barbecued eel can fix just about any ailment. But, failing relief, you can always pass the time trying to figure out what it is, exactly, that eel tastes like. I’ve heard people say it tastes like chicken. I’ve even heard it compared to a honey-barbecued riblet.