When the sun sets in Grand Isle, La., it casts a fiery glow around the marshland. It sinks slowly, igniting long, wispy clouds. Orange light stretches along Louisiana Highway 1. The large amounts of oil stuck to the rims of the area’s thousands of marshes turn green stalks of grass into yellow kindling. Despite the abundant fuel, the ocean swallows the blood-red disc and begins to reflect the cool night sky.
After Hurricane Katrina, Grand Isle, La., an island with a population of about 1,500 people, was in ruins. But fishermen there say the BP oil spill is much worse. “Katrina in New Orleans is nothing compared to what this is,” Harry Cheramie says. “This here is totally different. ... How do we help each other? What do we do?"
There's a U.S. Air Force Base in the middle of Seoul, South Korea. If the myths of the American expatriate community are to be believed, they've got a Taco Bell in there. After three or four months of nothing but gim,bap and gimbap, I’ve witnessed otherwise-reasonable American civilians so thirsty for Fire Sauce they start to plan insurrections and armed raids. While I was in Seoul, my craving for Enchiritos never reached such a fever pitch, but I finally understood that urge to overthrow the government this morning when I went to ride my bike out by Kirtland Air Force Base.
Dateline: Switzerland—A motorist has been slapped with the largest speeding ticket in his country’s history after being clocked going two-and-a-half times the posted speed limit. The 37-year-old man was driving a $200,000 Mercedes SLS when he was pulled over by traffic police. The driver apparently evaded a number of stationary radar detectors located along the A12 highway between Bern and Lausanne because he was going too fast. The stationary detectors are only capable of clocking speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph). Eventually, he was snapped by a speed camera hitting 300 km/h (186 mph). “We have no record of anyone being caught traveling faster in the country,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying in the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. The driver was traveling so fast, in fact, that it took him more than half a mile to come to a stop when police tried to pull him over. He told officers his speedometer was faulty. Speeding fines in Switzerland are calculated by taking into consideration both the severity of the infraction and the income of the motorist. As a result, the unnamed speed demon will be forking over $1 million in fines.
At performances by The Parson Red Heads, audiences can expect upbeat, folksy, multi-harmony rock and roll with psychedelic traces, and, most likely, special treatment. It is a major concern of the band’s to make sure you get your money’s worth and possibly participate in the show.
By day, Matt Uhlman creates dramatic replicas of flaming swords and bloody severed heads as prop master for the New Orleans Opera—one of, if not the oldest opera in the U.S. By night, when not playing guitar with his garage punk band the Royal Pendletons, Matty can be found in any number of bars making people dance to selections from his vast record collection. He co-hosts both the Alligator Chomp! Chomp!, which specializes in Louisiana music, and the Mod Dance Party, an evening of ’60s worship that this week celebrates 10 years of hot and sweaty all-nighters.
This summer, bestie bands Little Gold (country psych from New York) and Lovey Dovies (hardcore pop from New Orleans) are on tour together. See them play on Monday, Aug. 30, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) with local Lake Of Wire—read the pick in this week’s calendars for more. The free show begins at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
The 42nd annual Bubonicon science-fiction and fantasy convention will take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Albuquerque Grand Airport Hotel. This year’s guest of honor is writer Peter David. David is best known for his work at Marvel Comics (where he helped revive “The Incredible Hulk” in the ’80s). He also penned a few movies for Charles Band back in the Full Moon glory days. Trancers 4: Jack of Swords, Trancers 5: Sudden Deth, Oblivion and Oblivion 2: Backlash are all his work. They’re kind of crummy and kind of fun, and Oblivion does actually predate Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” as a sci-fi Western—so be sure and ask him about that. In other film-related events, the convention will screen the 2005 version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (this being Bubonicon 42) beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday. There will also be a late-night screening of the locally shot horror thriller Fugue State at 11 p.m. If you don’t have a day pass to Bubonicon (available online at bubonicon.com) you can get into the movie screenings for $3.Bubonicon
Today, many cable networks seem to be chafing at their self-imposed genres and trying to “expand their programming” (read: “add a bunch of cheap reality shows”) beyond what would appear to be dictated by their very name. (Syfy, for example. Or the Game Show Network.) Remember when G4, the video game channel, actually had programming dedicated to video games? Good luck finding any of that these days.
Despite Sarah Palin and New Mexico’s dueling female gubernatorial candidates, not that many women run for office, according to Jennifer Lawless. Why the heck not? Lawless, a professor of government at the American University, argues in her bookIt Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office that there are many reasons, including that women don’t feel as qualified as men—even the ones who are at the height of their professions. She also believes women are less likely than men to be encouraged to run in the first place. For example, in Congress, the House has 357 men and only 78 women, while the Senate has 82 men and 18 women. That’s a huge difference. Find out why and what can be done to even the numbers out a bit when Lawless speaks at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26. bkwrks.com/event/lawless has more info on the event.
No need to shhh! when you’re downloading from home
By Khyber Oser
The news sent shock waves through the publishing industry: In the second fiscal quarter, amazon.com—the world’s largest online book retailer—had sold more electronic books than hardbacks for the very first time.
My first husband and I drove through New Orleans in 1974, moving from Florida to the Land of Enchantment. We searched the French Quarter for lunch and stopped at a well-lit, noisy place. What I remember most was the shrimp étoufée—a spicy, tomatoey stew dished over a generous pile of rice. It was terrific, though I had no basis for comparison, being a novice in the world of Louisiana cooking. That was long before Katrina, Rita and BP heaped their misfortunes on the Gulf. Despite the challenges of rebuilding, the city maintains a robust attitude when it comes to living well—especially when it comes to food.
Tips on ordering right from the Alibi’s restaurant critic
By Ari LeVaux
When dining out, sharing food at the table is fun. Passing dishes around or eating “family-style” are a beautiful ways to eat together. Except, it turns out, when you order better than your companions.
The next time a friend says thanks, but no thanks, to your latest offering of homegrown zucchini, think about donating it. You could join the network of organizations across the country that directs unused food toward the nation’s hungry. Food Forward, founded by Rick Nahmias and manned by hordes of volunteers, has gleaned tons of fruits from farms in Southern California to be distributed to food pantries. They post regular schedules on Facebook so volunteers can meet to pick fruit.
Estevan Rael-Gálvez, executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, on discourse and identity
By Joseph A. Baca
He was a terrible rancher. The son of a borreguero (sheep herder) in northern Taos County, Estevan Rael-Gálvez says he constantly lost his flock. Life on the farm wasn’t for him. So with his mother’s encouragement, he walked away from his family’s generations-old trade of sheep and farming in Costilla and Questa to answer his calling—academia, and ultimately a much larger world where culture, art and politics converge. July marked Rael-Gálvez' first year as the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Lively and cerebral, Rael-Gálvez has wasted no time in the influential seat, propelling the NHCC to the forefront of Hispanic cultural and political affairs both locally and nationally. One year into his service as head of this increasingly powerful institution, the Alibi invited Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez to answer our resolana-style questions (but more on that later).
Joe West is Xoë Fitzgerald in a New Mexican sci-fi rock opera
By Samara Alpern
This is a story about love, so we know from the outset to expect tragedy. But, as the cross-dressing, folk-singing antihero of Xoë Fitzgerald: Time-Traveling Transvestite teaches us, that’s no reason to give up on a good cause.
Within the ’60s “monster craze” there was also a rash of supernatural and otherworldly themes on the obscuro end of rock and roll. Songs like "Night of the Phantom" by Larry & the Blue Notes, "Sky Men" by Geoff Goddard and "Morgus the Magnificent" by Morgus & The Three Ghouls are a few examples of the era's haunted, if not silly, creations. America's demented genius Screamin' Jay Hawkins and his British follower the Screaming Lord Sutch were taking horror music to a more frightening place with songs like "Whistlin' Past the Graveyard" and "'Till the Following Night," respectively. Even more examples exist within the priceless 56-song compilation The Roots of the Cramps, released by Garage Masters Records last year, and in the ’60s trash rock series Back From the Grave, released by Crypt Records beginning in the ’80s.
Albuquerque bands show appreciation for logarithmic spirals, as seen through the medium of a beautiful nautilus. Discuss amazing patterns found in nature with SuperGiant, Five Minute Sin and Suicide Lanes on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 9 p.m. The show convenes at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) and $5 pays your admission. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Gian Placido hates the British and people who have love affairs with New York City
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Gian Placido is an off and on resident of Albuquerque with a rabid disdain for the British. In his natural state you can find him relaxing poolside in a captain’s hat while enjoying top-shelf Scotch and perhaps the view of a sexy new boyfriend. On other occasions, he marauds as DJ Arts and Crafts, specializing in progressive ’70s rock. Below he shares five random, alarmingly Jeff Lynne-free tracks.
Museums are pretty nifty places. Anyone with a couple of bucks can show up and see something they would never be able to have in their house. Be it a priceless piece of art or a big dinosaur skeleton, museums kick schools’ butts when it comes to getting up-close-and-personal with far-out subjects. “All That Glitters” is a fun fundraiser for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Foundation so it can keep teaching young and old about the world around us. For $75 you can make sure the museum is in good financial shape for the future while munching on hors d'oeuvres and desserts, and voting on jewelry entered in a design competition. Get dazzling and ensure that Albuquerque continues to offer the best field trips around. The event takes place at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History (1801 Mountain NW), and you can get tickets at naturalhistoryfoundation.org.
If all Albuquerque’s a stage, and all Burqueños merely players, then the folks behind Duke City Repertory Theatre are those talented understudies waiting giddily in the wings for their big shot at the spotlight.
It’s no accident that the newly opened Salathai already has the feeling of a well-worn sarong. It’s a reincarnation of Thai Ginger—on south San Mateo and now called Thai House—which Pitak Titakkan and his brother sold in 2007. Titakkan is back in the saddle with Salathai, on Copper and Carlisle, and he's picking up where he left off.
One activist dreamed of bringing gay pride to his town. In spite of his death, the festival must go on.
By Marisa Demarco
Friends and colleagues describe Robert Quintana as a master organizer with a talent for inspiring people. "He wanted to make everything bigger, better and more fun and more delightful," says friend Janie Corinne. She worked alongside Quintana for months to bring about the city’s first ever gay pride festival.
Google's been known as a fierce advocate for net neutrality. But the web giant, along with Verizon, is suggesting a model critics say threatens Internet freedom. "What they're trying to set up is a public, slower-running Internet and a private, faster-running Internet," says Andrea Quijada, executive director of the New Mexico Media Literacy Project.
Jeez, you guys, I’m runnin’ out of trails. For this, my penultimate week on the bike path beat, I had to search the map and my soul to find one I haven’t already written about. I couldn't remember ever having been on Paseo de las Montañas, and I couldn't exactly figure out why. The map showed it intersecting Tramway just south of Candelaria, a stretch of road I've traversed too many times to count. How could it be that I'd repeatedly ridden past an inviting bike-only turnoff without ever even noticing it? The answer is that there is no inviting bike-only turnoff. I made a couple of increasingly bewildered circuits on Tramway's western shoulder before giving up and hauling my bike through the grass until I found the trail.
Dateline: Turkey—An overly enthusiastic bridegroom who decided to mark his wedding with a little celebratory gunfire ended up riddling the wedding party with bullets and killing three of his own relatives. The unnamed groom was attempting to shoot bullets into the air with an AK-47 at a ceremony in Akcagoze, in southeastern Gaziantep province. Unfortunately, the man struck his own father and two of his aunts, all of whom later died in the hospital. Eight other wedding guests, including children, were struck by the gunfire as well. The groom was arrested by local police. Turkish police have tried, in recent years, to crack down on the traditional custom of wedding gunfire by imposing harsher penalties.
The 10th annual Native Cinema Showcase kicks off this week in Santa Fe. This year, the showcase is screening four new Native-directed features, five documentaries and 25 short works. In addition to the films, there will be live music, an animation workshop and a gala award ceremony. The showcase, which runs Aug. 19 through 22, is presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Center for Contemporary Arts and the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. Featured works include the sports documentary Jim Thorpe: The World’s Greatest Athlete, the Canadian road trip romance Kissed By Lightning and the New Zealand coming-of-age tale Boy. Screenings will take place at the CCA Cinematheque and at a special outdoor screen in Santa Fe’s Cathedral Park. For a complete schedule, log on to nativenetworks.si.edu.
Comic-turned-movie makes for a beautiful oxymoron—a romance that kicks ass
By Devin D. O’Leary
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is super fresh, ultra hip and totally fun. And if that sounds too immature or too flippant, well then too flippin’ bad. Scott Pilgrim is an unabashed celebration of juvenile obsessions—a gloriously ill-spent summer afternoon of comic books, video games and Pop Rocks.
Televised cooking competitions are a dime a dozen. This summer alone, we’re looking at “MasterChef,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Chopped,” “The Next Food Network Star,” “Top Chef,” “24 Hour Restaurant Battle” and others. So it’s not like audiences are starved for the fun but familiar offerings of “The Great Food Truck Race.” But it is on Food Network. What else are they gonna serve up? Cooking shows and cooking competitions pretty much cover the full menu over there. At least this one gets us out of the kitchen.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival in El Paso, Texas, comes to an end this weekend. If you haven’t bitten the bullet and bought the gas to get down there yet, you might want to consider it this weekend. On Saturday, Aug. 14, legendary director Peter Bogdanovich will be there to introduce his 1971 film The Last Picture Show (based on the book by Larry McMurtry). Bogdanovich will give a free filmmaker’s talk beginning at 6 p.m. at the Oasis Lounge (located inside downtown El Paso’s historic Plaza Theatre). The screening itself will start at 7 p.m. at the Plaza’s Kendle Kidd Performance Hall. Tickets for the screening are $8 and may be purchased through ticketmaster.com. Log on to plazaclassic.com for a complete list of films and events happening through Sunday.
The Alibi speaks with Albuquerque’s most controversial public artist
By Patricia Sauthoff
Every time I get on the Rail Runner in Downtown Albuquerque, I look across the platform at a rainbow dripping down the side of a building just across Broadway. Occasionally, I hear people point it out to their friends, but it largely goes unnoticed by my fellow commuters. About a month ago, a similar rainbow appeared on the Anasazi Building at Sixth Street and Central—that’s the abandoned high-rise recently taken over by the city after developer Vincent Garcia and two others were charged with 19 counts of fraud and money laundering.
President Obama has declared immigration policy reform a top priority. This could include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. One piece of proposed legislation, the Dream Act, would pave the way to make his vision a reality. Read the Alibi’s in-depth coverage here.
"Dammit, Sprocket," panted my buddy Drew as I mushed him down Rio Bravo like a sled dog. "Why do I always get more than I bargained for when I hang out with you?" Our leisurely Saturday ride on the Paseo del Bosque turned into a militaristic crusade after a conversation with another cyclist at a rest stop about our mutual loathing for backtracking. "If you don't want to turn around here," he advised us, "go down Rio Bravo. You can get all the way out to Paseo del Volcan. It's great out there."
What follows is the 13th installment of a blog series on alibi.com authored by the illustrious Miss Dx. This week's exploration is being published in print because it's damn good. Each entry features a different bit of anatomical real estate, so prod alibi.com every Friday for more on your various bodily tricks and treats. Until then, enjoy the ball game.
I was there the day hundreds lined up in Sandoval County during the few fleeting hours Clerk Victoria Dunlap (R) issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The hope, the heart, the flat-out happiness—people were gettin’ hitched, their unions respected in the eyes of the law. Just imagine California on Wednesday, Aug. 4, when Proposition 8 was overturned.
Dateline: England—The U.K.’s Metro newspaper reports that Paul, the “psychic” octopus who correctly predicted the winner of the recent World Cup soccer tournament, has an agent and will be recording an Elvis tribute album soon. Talent agent Chris Davies, from Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, claims to have signed the all-seeing cephalopod after watching him correctly predict the outcome of World Cup matchups in South Africa. Paul lives in the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, where handlers had him choose between two boxes decorated with the flags of rival teams. He went eight for eight with his World Cup predictions but has since retired from the odds-making game—apparently to enter show biz. “One of the most exciting things is that he has a record deal in place for an album, called Paul the Octopus Sings Elvis,” Davies told the British newspaper. “There are books being written, a range of octopus toys are coming out this Christmas and there is even a new iPhone app.” No word on how exactly an octopus would “sing” Elvis tunes.
July 13 was the official opening of Cool Water Fusion Restaurant in Wyoming Mall Shopping Center. The location is not visible unless you’re driving through the center’s expansive parking lot, but I guarantee that once you find it, you’ll happily make a return trip. On a visit to Cool Water Fusion, I learn that it is the creation of Glenn Williams and Jason Upshaw, both formerly of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s Pueblo Harvest Café and Bakery.
A native Santa Fean, Williams earned his chops in management; at 27, he was the youngest General Manager of the Year for Humperdink's restaurants in Texas. He’s also no slouch in the kitchen, as I learned by sampling his bread pudding—a no-fruit, straight-up bread and custard classic—topped with vanilla ice cream. Upshaw, former executive chef at Pueblo Harvest, met Williams when he joined its staff as the restaurant’s general manager. Their combined skills brought new excitement to the Pueblo Harvest menu with such signatures as bison short ribs.
One morning while waiting for a plate of huevos rancheros at Cocina Azul, some sort of meeting started taking place at a group of tables by the piano. Owner Frank Barela told me later that Cocina Azul has become a popular meeting place for local politicians, judges and other operators, and that Henry Tafoya sometimes does his KDEF 1150 AM radio show from the dining room, via cell phone.
French fantasist gives us an abundance of shenanigans
By Devin D. O’Leary
Is there such a thing as oppressive whimsy?
A lighthearted style so heavy-handed that it threatens to overwhelm the senses? If such a thing is possible, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet certainly embodies the oxymoron. That’s not a criticism of the man, mind you, but a testament to his single-minded ability to create films that are simultaneously bright and dark, cheerful and cruel, ugly and gorgeous.
Given its impressive pedigree (Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy and Adam McKay of the website Funny or Die are among the creators/producers), viewers might reasonably expect big things from Comedy Central’s new sitcom “Big Lake.” What they’ll get for their anticipation is a weekly dose of standard sitcom fare.
Fashion show mixes music, local design and good deeds
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
On a mission to make Albuquerque more artful, Crystal Sims organized the first Craft Punk Fashion Show in 2007 and a second in 2009. The third befalls Burque this week on spooooky Friday the 13th (cue foreboding organ music). Craft Punk functions as a gallery where Albuquerque designers can exhibit and sell their wares in an environment that merges fashion with live music. The event also raises money for OFFCenter Community Arts Project, with every designer and performer donating their time and talent to the cause.
You know when you’re in the car, mind adrift, and suddenly you realize the worst song you’ve ever heard is on the radio and you’ve been listening to it for a full minute? This happens to me frequently because I masochistically force myself to listen to FM in an effort to keep track of the commercial junk that is considered acceptable music (I also can’t find the adapter for the iPod).
Demons and miscellaneous beasts battle 16th-century knights in a (ultimately victorious) struggle to proclaim noise/conceptual/prog-metal performances by The Body, Sandia Man and Iceolus. The show happens at Andre’s Underground (3503 Central NE) on Sunday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m. Five dollars purchases entry to the all-ages show. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
It's hard for me not to wonder what some eccentric personalities were like when they were kids. Did Jack Nicholson have that creepy laugh at age 10? When did Lady Gaga start wearing plastic dresses? Chances are these two wouldn't have been so wonderfully weird if someone hadn't encouraged them to be creative. The Outpost Performance Space cheers young artists on with Roust the House, a night of performance by local teenagers. From spoken word to music, these kids do what so many people are afraid to face as adults—getting up in front of a crowd and sharing themselves with an audience. RtH takes place Friday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Outpost (210 Yale SE) and costs $3. Check out outpostspace.org for more info.
Inside the city’s quirkiest three-day-a-week bookstore
By Khyber Oser
If you take a moonlit stroll along the banks of the Seine River in Paris’ Latin Quarter, you’ll pass hundreds of padlocked, coffin-sized green boxes perched on the low stone wall. Come sunrise, those unassuming boxes will flip open to become bustling bookstalls displaying the myriad literary treasures of “les bookinistes”—a French cultural institution so revered that it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.