This abundantly illustrated book connects the basic shapes found in nature with effective graphic design. Its interdisciplinary approach reveals the patterns of nature and their powerful symbolic messages. The book also includes some deconstruction of symbolism embedded in familiar corporate logos.
Albuquerqueisms that should just go away
I hate decorative fountains. Hate. They have to be among the most passé landscaping and sculptural options in the Southwest. They're not only ugly and eye-rollingly typical, there's a practical reason to rail against them, too.
Mayor wants to resurrect a restriction on venues that serve alcohol at all-ages shows. Or does he?
In the aftermath of the Club 7 raid, it’s become increasingly unclear what policy Mayor Martin Chavez thinks should be adopted regarding the sale of alcohol at all-ages events. It's also unclear how far such a ban would reach.
Why are state senators furious at the guv? Why did Rio Rancho opt for a two-hour delay in the middle of August? New Mexico finds itself in NASA's sights. What are New Mexico students getting better at?
Presidential candidates staff N.M. outposts
Sen. Barack Obama swung through Albuquerque on Monday to talk health care, saying his policies would be similar to Gov. Richardson’s proposal for New Mexico. Sen. Hillary Clinton stopped in Española on Sunday to rally for Obama. Sen. John McCain was set to stump in Las Cruces on Wednesday.
It's not every day that a politician is equated with a short skirt-, tight sweater-wearing dancer who punctuates things with hearts and exclamation points. In fact, when one politician is speaking on behalf of another, headlines use words like "stump" or "rally" or "campaign." The article titled " The Cheerleader" in Monday's Albuquerque Journal calls Sen. Hillary Clinton a rival-turned-cheerleader (you're either a competitor or a pom pom-wagging gymnast, eh, ladies?).
Two separate events this year have convinced me that we should do away with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. Not reform it; not elect better people to its board of governors; not seek to improve it in any way. Just wipe it off the face of the planet.
Dateline: England—A 30-year-old woman in Salford, Greater Manchester, had to be cut free after accidentally impaling herself on a statue of the Hindu goddess Kali. According to London’s Telegraph, the unnamed woman fell onto the statue impaling her arm on several three-inch metal spikes attached to the devotional artwork. “We had to cut through the part that she had impaled her arm on,” a spokesperson for the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service told the Telegraph. “It took us 30 minutes to free her.” The woman was taken to Hope Hospital in Salford for treatment. Kali, a dominant figure in Tantric iconography, is typically associated with death and destruction.
Another new all-ages venue popped up this month. The newly minted concert haven is a mashup of 1Kind Studios, a for-profit recording studio/performance space, and the Albuquerque Arts Consortium, a nonprofit group seeking to cultivate and nurture new artists.
The "Metal Gods" return to Earth
K.K. Downing's reputation is pinned to a thin, metal rod called the whammy bar. Within notes of speed-metal bangers like “Sinner,” there's no room for doubt whose hands are working the pitch-bending piece of guitar hardware. But as signature as Downing's unleashed leads are, his ability to work in tandem with other musicians may be his most important asset. He and fellow founding Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton's seamless twin-lead sound holds an ungodly amount of sway in classic heavy metal.
Suck the marrow out of summer at a special Old Town gazebo concert. The Handsome Family and The Rivet Gang perform at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27, across from San Felipe De Niri Church. Free. (LM)
Violinist stretches out under the stars at Seasons
If Robb Janov’s parents had banked their concern about his shyness just a little longer, he might have turned out to be a karate master instead of a violin maestro.
With Indian Market in full swing, the Native Cinema Showcase returns to Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque. The eighth annual showcase (also screening at Cathedral Park) will feature new and classic films and videos introduced by the filmmakers, panel discussions and workshops for young people. Honorary host Gary Farmer will be on hand with executive producer Sharon Grimberg, producer-director Dustinn Craig, producer-director Ric Burns and director Chris Eyre for the Thursday, Aug. 21, opening night premiere of We Shall Remain: Geronimo, a documentary in which strong, contemporary Apache voices explore the legend of Geronimo. For a complete listing of films and events (Aug. 21-24), log on to ccasantafe.org. Call (505) 982-1338 to inquire about pricing and reserve a festival pass.
The icy observations of Werner Herzog
Despite the multiple cinematic explorations of his rocky relationship with Mother Nature, it’s difficult to get a handle on just what mad German director Werner Herzog thinks about the less urban areas of our globe. Films like Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, Where the Green Ants Dream, Grizzly Man and Rescue Dawn have pitted Herzog’s iconoclastic, single-minded heroes (real or imagined) against the pitiless mercies of nature. It’s a battle that mankind rarely wins—at least in the lens of Herzog’s camera. So what is Herzog’s obsession with greenery? Does he have a love/hate relationship with Gaia? A fear/fascination with the Forest Primeval? Has he read Moby-Dick one too many times? Whatever the answer, Herzog’s works are nearly always fascinating to behold.
Troma Triple B-Header (2004)
I was thumbing through the ol’ DVD collection a few days ago, trying to find something I hadn’t watched in a while, when I came across not one, but three horror classics from the ’80s packed onto a single disc. Being the glutton for fine ’80s horror cheese that I am, I just couldn’t resist the temptation. What disc was it, you ask? None other than the Troma Triple B-Header. Let’s get one thing clear: I love Troma movies. And while none of the films on this disc are written or directed by Troma legend Lloyd Kaufman, they certainly bear the mark of twisted excellence that Troma is proudly known for. So with popcorn in hand and a case of Mountain Dew at my side, I dug into the greatness that is the Troma Triple B-Header.
Top Ten Olympic Observations
I spent the last month and a half in Hong Kong, watching the unprecedented buildup to the 2008 Summer Olympics. Seeing the countdown clocks in the subway stations, wading though the piles of Olympic mascot merchandise in every store (Nini! On a horse!) and marveling at how officials were always able to cram one more Olympic poster on one more building was quite the education. (Though Hong Kong and China are officially “one nation, two systems” until the year 2046, China didn’t pass up the chance to slap the word “Beijing” on every flat surface in Hong Kong, letting every picture-snapping tourist know exactly who was in charge.)
The Week in Sloth
The deadline for the Alibi's 16th annual Haiku Contest is near. Submit your haiku via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail to Alibi's Haiku Contest, 2118 Central SE, PMB 151, Albuquerque, N.M. 87106. Get them in by Friday, Aug. 22, at 5 p.m. for your chance to win crazy cool prizes and see your haiku in print on Sept. 4. Each poet may submit two haiku per category, and each haiku must follow the 17-syllable format, broken into lines of 5-7-5. Here are the categories as a reminder; now get ku-ing:
Rabbit Hole at the Adobe Theater
We never see the tragic event at the heart of this story. But as much as David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole is about senseless loss, it reveals how coping with loss' bewildering emptiness brings us together.
The force is with Bubonicon
Bubonicon, Albuquerque's first and only sci-fi and fantasy convention, enters its quadragenarian phase this year. Despite a little future shock, the hobbyist gathering established back in the days of moon landings, acid tests, free love and rotary phones just won't burn out. The annual convention draws about 500 science-fiction, fantasy and horror enthusiasts rarin’ to meet authors, try cereals named after movies or dress up like a Sith Lord. As the convention co-chair, Craig Chrissinger was able to share some nonfiction about the event. (Oh, and for its 40th anniversary, give Bubonicon a ruby.)
Another fish in the pond?
I can remember when going out for sushi meant two things: no one would go with you because eating raw fish was gross, and finding a sushi bar was next to impossible. Not so anymore. Today, sushi is as common in Albuquerque as tube tops in a booty bar. Those who once squirmed at the thought of eating uncooked tuna and salmon are now old hands.
It’s clear that after the runaway success of 2004’s Sideways, Hollywood uncorked a profitable new genre: the wine movie. Next in line is Bottle Shock, set for release on Aug. 22. The film retells the infamous events of the 1976 Judgment of Paris, a blind tasting in which the unthinkable happened—a panel of French judges awarded California wines higher scores than France’s premier offerings. The landmark judging sent shock waves across the oceans, stunning the wine industry and forever elevating the perception of California’s wine in the eyes of the world.
How New Mexico is surviving prices at the pump
As gas prices dance around $4 per gallon, the governor is proposing a package that could dole out more than $210 million in tax relief to citizens hit with high fuel prices. It would also give more than $3 million in aid to school districts to help offset busing costs. Funds would come from an unexpected state budget windfall that's the result of increased tax revenue from the oil and gas industry. The package will be debated at the Special Session scheduled to begin Aug. 15.
The results of the Alibi's third annual Scavenger Hunt!
Zuri Bennett and her mom Nancy lived off Doritos and jellybeans for two days (well, it felt like it), but on the other side of those sugar-fueled 48 hours, they emerged champions. The Alibi's third annual Scavenger Hunt asked contestants to find 79 items in our city over the course of a weekend. More than 90 teams signed up, and many came close to the target. But 20-year-old Bennett (escorted around town and photographed by her fellow brainstormer) finished with a considerable lead.
After six weeks co-teaching a series of film classes in Hong Kong for a group of young New Mexico filmmakers, I’ve returned to the land of Enchantment, refreshed, revitalized and eager to give Alibi readers the scoop on crapola like Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (Oh, boy.)
Earworms for everyone
Spinoffs from advertising campaigns aren't all that rare. A recent example is the short-lived "Caveman" sitcom based off the GEICO commercials. Or the slew of fast-food mascots turned movie- or video game stars (the most successful being 7UP's 1993 Sega Genesis game Cool Spot, in this reviewer's opinion). And it's all too common to see blatant product placement on the big screen; this was best demonstrated (via parody) in both Wayne's World movies.
Stiller and co-stars bite the hand that feeds them in epic Hollywood parody
Hollywood making fun of itself on screen is a dicey prospect. Occasionally, it can produce high-quality zingers (1992’s The Player, 1995’s Get Shorty, for example). But, more often than not, it ends up as unfunny, in-joke-filled navelgazing. (Have you seen 1993’s The Pickle? Of course you haven’t. Don’t.) Leave it to Ben Stiller and pals, though, to come up with a poke in the movie industry’s eye that is both accurate and blisteringly, brutally funny.
"The Singing Office" on TLC
No, it's not a musical episode of the original, British "The Office," including such great hits as "Free Love Freeway," the best worst song you ever rocked out to. Chorus:
The Week in Sloth
Marc’s Guitar Center celebrates 30 years of selling "the world’s most popular instrument"
As soon as you step in the door at Marc's Guitar Center, you're greeted by a long wall of electric beauties.
A sybarite’s guide to the basics
Bologna, cheese and Wonder Bread: It's a vivid memory for us Americans. Just as vivid, that childhood sandwich would invariably get stuck to the roof of your mouth. With no sandblaster to remove it (not without adult supervision, anyway), you had to reach deep into your mouth and scrape it loose with your index finger. At which point you'd narrowly avoid choking to death. Even today, in school cafeterias across the nation, most kids' introduction to cold cuts and cheese is a near-death experience.
Cops say they busted a _____ ring at a Downtown club. How much would it cost to ride the Rail Runner from Downtown Albuquerque to Santa Fe? What did a Santa Fe police officer get in trouble for? What’s been allowed back into Navajo reservations?
Burque bike crew creates a Saturday evening that’s cheaper, healthier and more fun than the bar
8:25 p.m. On a summer Saturday, three bikes are in La Montañita Co-op’s rack. The grocery’s green patio furniture is empty except for a burly man with an egg-shaped piece of pink piñata taped to his helmet. The crepe-paper conehead smiles, extending a hand. “I’m Joe. Here for the poker ride?”
Rep. Steve Pearce all but called Rep. Tom Udall a hippie in a campaign ad that's so over the top it could pass for a spoof of a campaign ad. It took up a full page of the Albuquerque Journal on Aug. 6, and the paper also ran a " news story" in which Pearce defends the ad at length, further painting a picture of himself as a defender of 'Merican values against hippie terrorists.
Legend, eat your pigweed!
You are Legend. Central is deserted. Abandoned cars clog the street. Rusty bicycles rest in racks with locks that will never again open. There’s no need for the locks anymore. There’s no one to steal anything. You are alone.
City Councilors returned Monday, Aug. 4, from a month’s vacation. A presentation from the Albuquerque Ethics Coalition recommended improving the ethical behavior of city personnel with training based on underlying values, rather than relying on a code “buried in rules and regulations.”
DATELINE: Saudi Arabia—It is now illegal to buy a dog or cat in Riyadh pet shops or even have them out in public. The Muttawa (or Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh) declared domesticated animals are being used by men to “make passes at women and disturb families.” Implementation of the new law went into effect last week. The decision was made by Riyadh acting Gov. Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, who based his ruling on a previous edict from officially approved Saudi Arabian scholars, according to the newspaper al-Hayat. The Muttawa is a force of about 5,000 that enforces the laws and teachings of the extreme Sunni Muslim belief, Wahabism.
In addition to the First Friday Artscrawl that happens every, well, first Friday of the month, there's often other massive gallery opening/reception hosting for an added monthly arts bonus. Like this Friday. Many art houses around Albuquerque will keep their doors open late for a few extra hours of creative rifling and elbow rubbing on Friday, Aug. 15. Included in that group is Artspace 116 (116 Central SW), which will host a reception for Richard Garriott-Stejskal’s new exhibit, And Now for Something Completely Different, from 5 to 8 p.m. Garriott-Stejskal's figurative works will be on display through Sept. 26.
A Light In My Soul/Una Luz En Mi Alma by Working Classroom
The exact number is unclear. It could be as few as 40,000 or upward of 800,000, depending on the history book you read. But other details are solid: In 1492, the same year Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World, thousands of Spanish Jews left Spain. Not to explore but to flee persecution and death at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition.
Books for your survival
Adriana Mater at the Santa Fe Opera
So I couldn’t stop thinking about Star Wars while taking in the Santa Fe Opera’s American premiere of Adriana Mater, and I feel a little bad about that. I mean, what gives a lowly freelancer the right to associate hoity, highbrow contemporary opera with pulpy, low-rent science fiction?
A portrait of New Orleans three years after the storm
I'm clopping along Royal Street. It's nearing midnight on Saturday and I'm heading from a show on Decatur, weaving through the French Quarter on my way to the Marigny. In the interest of the procurement of cigarettes, I bolt into the first bar I meet. The Golden Lantern is draped in a humble and inviting facade, and inside a U-shaped bar fills the main room. Low lights are interrupted by the glow of a cigarette machine and a television playing music videos. I stuff a five-dollar bill into the machine, then go over to the bar. I don't intend to stay.
An interview with a New Orleans newspaper man
Clancy DuBos is the co-owner, editor and longtime political columnist of New Orleans paper Gambit Weekly. Since late 1980, he and his wife, Margo, both native New Orleanians, have been publishing the alt.weekly. With two feet of water in their offices and staff scattered around the country after Katrina hit in 2005, the paper closed for nine weeks. Fortunately, AAN (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) came to the rescue, and the Gambit not only located its staff, but papers around the country raised more than $100,000 in donations that went to the DuBos' employees. DuBos says they knew the paper was out of business temporarily, but never thought it wouldn't come back. When it reopened on Nov. 1, DuBos, who became the paper's editor for a third time, had four minutes on CNN that morning to discuss this milestone in New Orleans' recovery. These days the paper's circulation and number of employees isn't quite back to its pre-Katrina level, but it's not too far from it. DuBos says the level of camaraderie between the staff and the paper's relationship with readers are better than ever.
A new film that will shoot in New Mexico, Snow on the Moon, is looking for actors, extras and crew members. This feature-length, 1973-set movie based in a makeshift commune will shoot in private lands near Dixon, N.M., from Aug. 20 to Sept. 7. Producers are seeking ethnic musicians (particularly those who play doumbek, berimbau and sitar); older Spanish-speakers; Native Americans, especially men in their 40s or 50s; and white females between the ages of 16 and 18 who can play roles of 12- to 14-year-olds. One or two crew interns or volunteers are also sought, as well as a cook with knowledge about food safety in the desert.
Documentary about the Homeless World Cup brims with hope
Can soccer save lives?
It seems an odd question at first, and I had a pessimistic answer at the start of Kicking It. But—wouldn't you know it?—the unapologetically schmaltzy film proved me wrong.
The documentary follows six homeless men from around the globe who travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to take their chances in the fourth annual Homeless World Cup. In all, 500 homeless people from 48 different countries competed for the cup in 2006, the year this film was made. Searching for purpose, some measure of respect and a chance to represent their country, our half-dozen unlikely heroes embark on a slightly predictable but warm and uplifting journey to better themselves through sport.
Do you love your Mummy?
Well, crap-a-doodle. I was really looking forward to hating this film. In the 10-years-plus I’ve scribbled for the Alibi, the opportunity to review movies has been much too rare, and almost all the flicks I’ve had a crack at have been tiny films. Iranian films. Local films. Grainy films with no CGI. No complaints, but you get the picture.
"Brooke Knows Best" on VH1
Compared to the rest of her family, Brooke Hogan does know best. Her father, former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, is an overprotective goober with a constant need to be in the spotlight. Her mother, Linda, is more affectionate toward her exotic pets than her children. And Brooke’s brother, Nick, is in prison after his reckless driving put his friend in a coma. Brooke, meanwhile, has always been the most wholesome, good-natured one of the bunch. Maybe that’s why VH1 decided to give Brooke her own show, “Brooke Knows Best,” a spinoff of “Hogan Knows Best,” which was also on VH1.
The Week in Sloth
The Alibi's annual Haiku Contest has been around as long as this humble little alt.weekly has been printing: 16 years. But enthusiasm for haiku has only increased over time, as each year more and more submissions cram our inboxes. Get in on the ku-fever: 2008 entries are now being accepted. Here are the categories to get your creative chi flowing:
The first annual New Mexico Young Playwrights Festival
It’s hard to tell someone learning can be fun without sounding like an after-school special.
New Orleans restaurants that stood their ground
Hurricane Katrina may have forced New Orleans’ famed kitchens to close their doors—if they were still hanging—but for most, it was only temporary.
Looking to unlock a wine's full potential? Follow these three imperative points for properly tasting wine.
A bill demanding equal insurance coverage for those with mental disorders stalls in the Senate
Coping with a serious mental health issue, says Victoria Cain, is expensive. "There are some years, I think back on our income taxes, it was again tens of thousands of dollars even with insurance."
What percentage of New Mexico schools hit the mark this year? Police are looking for the _____ bandits. Who did Gov. Bill Richardson say he will lend a hand to? And which company's CEO is stepping down?
Dancer ignites interest in politics through swing
Dance and politics don't necessarily make a natural alliance. Yet Desi Brown managed to create a symbiotic relationship between the two, while remaining nonpartisan. “I’m amazed at how many people don’t question what they see in the news and why it happens," Brown says.
Is it really a free press when there are no guarantees for journalists protecting sources? Is it really free speech when there's no promise of safety for speaking out?
A few years ago, I read Jonathan Kozol’s Amazing Grace. It’s a work about what makes some kids reared in desperate situations “resilient” while others in the same circumstances collapse. Even today, I find myself frequently using many of his insights when I try to make sense of what might be happening with our young people.
Thousands of people say they were abducted by aliens, and you might be worried you’ll be next. If you suddenly find yourself floating out your bedroom window toward a mother ship hovering somewhere over the South Valley, take the following steps. You should memorize this list; if you keep it by your bedside table, you will likely be paralyzed and unable to reach for it—or your glasses—as you are tractor-beamed toward the ET visitors.
DATELINE: New Zealand—As a sideline case to a custody battle, Judge Rob Murfitt ruled that the state would temporarily make a young girl a ward of the court so that she would be legally allowed to change her given name of Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, according to the New Zealand Herald. Citing recent examples such as Midnight Chardonnay, Number 16 Bus Shelter and a pair of twins named Benson and Hedges, the judge’s decision stated in part that “Quite frequently judges in the family court are dismayed by the eccentricity of names which some litigants have given their children.” Though the girl had kept her given name mostly secret by introducing herself as “K.,” the decision ruled that “In all facets of life, a child bearing this name would be held up to ridicule and suspicion. ... It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap quite unnecessarily.” To protect her anonymity, the girl’s new name was not made public.
DJ Soul Sister shares some of her favorite tracks
For 14 years, DJ Soul Sister has been manning the boards Saturday nights between 8 and 10 p.m. at listener-supported WWOZ 90.7 FM in New Orleans. In fact, her program “Soul Power,” the country's longest-running rare groove radio show, was the last to air before WWOZ signed off during Hurricane Katrina. On top of her radio gig, Soul Sister hosts three weekly "right-on party situations" that satisfy New Orleanian yearnings for underground disco, deep funk, boogaloo, soul, rare groove and more. With this mix, you can join her noble campaign to make your booty do its duty.
Welcome to Americana
Vocalist brings soulful stylings to the Outpost
Sometimes you just step in it.
That’s what happened to soulful vocalist Bonnie Watts shortly after moving to Albuquerque from her native Chicago in January 2005.
“My son told me about the open mic night at Club Rhythm and Blues,” says Watts, who didn’t waste any time introducing herself to club owner John Nieto.
Just weeks after landing in New Mexico, Watts took hold of the mic at Club Rhythm and Blues, with Nieto standing right next to her. “I mean close,” she says, laughing, “and I thought, He’s gonna push me off the stage if I don’t sound good.”