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Cactus Tractor
Beth Rodgers Photography

Music

New Work by Cactus Tractor

New work by Cactus Tractor
courtesy of the band

Event Horizon

Punk Ass Girlfriends

Saturday, Feb 6: Russian Girlfriends • rock, punk • Leeches of Lore • stoner rock, psychedelic • Hanta • stoner rock • The Talking Hours

Russian Girlfriends get ready to conquer the US.
Joe Del Tufo

Event Horizon

Winston's Wanderings

Tuesday, Feb 2: George Winston • piano, jazz

Stylistically atypical yet interestingly informed solo pianist George Winston plays two shows.
Kathmandu, Nepal
/ Creative Commons CC0 1.0

Flash Fiction

Eddie and Glenda and Lorraine

Eddie sure as hell didn't want spend the rest of his life in Burque, but it sure seemed like it would go that way as he loaded another pizza into the Pontiac. And the moon shone down on the elms and cottonwoods, the cicadas buzzed and nineteen-hundred and ninety-six was not a bad year.

He came back to town like a lightning storm from the Caribbean that January. A man with a scar across his belly and hands like starfish held a knife across Eddie's throat in Tobago because Eddie told the dude his haircut made him look new wave. The way it was tied up on his head like an abandoned coral reef made Eddie think it was just a convenient disguise; the kind the po-po used when they wanted you to be comfortable because they needed more information before they stepped in with machetes drawn and handcuffs at the ready.

He got to walk away from that incident on two accounts, the first being his fluency with slang and the second having to do with the civil war presidents that hung out in his left front pocket.

After that he wandered through town cursing his luck and studying the night sky. The next morning he left Crown Point with acid burning a glorious hole in his gut. The 10 seat Cessna that bore Eddie away made for the coast of the southern continent.

The Isle of Margarita was better, some of the streets were lined with orange trees, but even the good hotels had plumbing hanging out of the walls. Eddie hired a car and headed for the coast. The cabbie tuned in to a station that was playing "Stairway to Heaven" over and over. The sea was grey and despicable. At dinner an old European couple hit him up for a threesome. Eddie feigned shock and wandered back to his cabana alone.

Two days on and he was stranded in the student ghetto again, reading want ads in the Daily Lobo, smoking rolled up frajos made from butts found by the front door of the Frontier Restaurant.

Eddie finally scored a job as a substitute teacher. Shorn and shaved, wearing his old man's cast off business attire, it was easy enough to think he might be a teacher.

The year was burning by kinda like a rocket to the moon might look like from the proper vantage point. In May Eddie took a full time gig at the school.

He liked all the responsibility; the pizza in the cafeteria kept his spirit calm. But at night his head was still filled up with the mountains and seas and people that made up a faraway earth he reckoned he ought to conquer while youth permitted.

When summer school ended, he walked away from the job and rang up an old flame. Lorraine was living at the edge of the Himalaya mountains and goddammit if it didn't sound fine and picturesque where she was, with fruit bats a flyin' and the monsoon petering out to reveal an infinite, mountainous majesty that beat Burque to hell by comparison.

Since he needed some feria to get out there, Eddie took a temp position at the same college he had run screaming from four years before. They were pleased as punch to see his sorry ass and let him get their internet connections sorted out. Then he was in charge of dispensing keys and also sat in the front office typing memos.

Every night he would tumble out of there and walk downtown. He'd spend everything he could come up with drinking with acquaintances and coaxing beautiful strangers back to his pad for jazz cigarettes and strong coffee.

As summer waned he ran into a gal he had known in the 1980s. She was a townie with yellow hair and hands like a clock. They ended up back at Glenda's house where she wept while telling Eddie about her life. All Eddie could think about was that woman's mother sleeping in the next room, the scent of her dead father's shoes wafting solemnly through the family home.

Eddie picked up the phone at work the next day.. It was a trunk call from Nepal. The operator asked if he wanted to be connected. The voice on the other side was dulcet, was like velvet. Come out here, the voice said and we will make it work this time.

Eddie was all torn up. He liked the yellow-haired woman, even though she said he dressed like a punk and should trade in his patronage at Pacific Coast Sunwear for the comfort and cultural cachet of Macy's. And he had a history with Lorraine, could not resist her Oxford accent—especially given the hot dry air, the crackling insect desert, the dull clerk's identity he had gathered up into a bag called Albuquerque.

One morning after a party at Glenda's, he borrowed her car and drove over to Allsup's. Eddie bought a burrito with a Grant and poured the change—196 quarters—into the pay phone so he could tell Lorraine what exactly he had decided to do.

Eddie returned the car, took his skateboard and left. He withdrew all of his money from the bank, skated over to his favorite tavern and got good and drunk.

That night he fell alseep in a friend's back yard. When the short night had ebbed he hauled his sorry ass over to a travel Agency by the Sunport and bought a one way ticket to Kathmandu. He sure as hell hoped it would work out this time.

Six month's later when he returned for his mother's funeral—thin and worn with a head full of incense—Eddie took a job delivering pizzas. The third delivery ticket was for an address in Nob Hill; it was Glenda's house. He took her the pizza. She stood at the door, staring at the stars and weeping. As Eddie held the pie out toward Glenda her hands moved around and around in small circles exploring the space all around them.

Lousy Robot
Wes Naman

Music

A Lousy Robot Must Be Human

"Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves." — Stephen Daedalus

Jim Phillips was a musician from Albuquerque. He directed the creative activities of a band called Lousy Robot. When he died unexpectedly last spring, Phillips left behind a body of work notable for defining a fragile, yet brightly expressed nexus of what it means to be human.

Invoking the wide and melodically winsome swath carved out by power-pop adherents like the Easybeats, Big Star, the Cars and Elvis Costello, singer/guitarist Phillips and his ensemble (Ben Wood, keyboards; Joey Gonzales, drums and Dandee Fleming on bass) added intensity and a profound sense of dark realism to their rocanrol stew.

The result included unforgettably haunting recordings like 2011's Hail The Conquering Fool.

This week, Lousy Robot bassist Fleming reached out to Weekly Alibi to tell about a new collection of recordings by Lousy Robot, available at Bandcamp.

Fleming wrote, "Before his death Jim and the band had been working on collecting outtakes and rarities from previous recording sessions in hopes of putting out a collection of weirdness titled Oddities, Obscurities & Obscenities. The work started with a cover of “Dead Flowers” and an iPhone remix of “Peacocks." During this time, I continued to work on remixes on several other songs. After Jim’s death, I found two songs that the group had demoed but never completed. I edited and restructured those songs and sent them to friend and long-time producer John Dufliho to complete.

The result is a work of complex beauty; the circumstances—rendered as music, hopeful and dire—that make up human life.

A view from the heights
Courtesy of the author

Creative Non-Fiction

Number Eleven

There is something wrong with waiting for the Sun-Tran bus number eleven at seven in the morning thought Charlie Jones as he dragged upon a Camel straight and adjusted the band on his watch. A couple of pigeons wandered over and he threw them each ample quantities of the three-day-old Allsups burrito buried in his coat pocket.

Jones was wearing stuff from his father's closet. There was something about that woolen cowboy-style suit jacket and the bolo tie—a turquoise and coral affair that depicted the Zuni Sun God—that made Charlie itchy and paranoid.

—Someone else wore this stuff around Burque thirty years ago and now it's my turn, he mumbled to the small birds.

The Lomas bus followed a wide path made from concrete and dinosaur juice and ended up on the edge of the mountains, a place nearby to Charlie's destination. On board, Jones read through his notes for the day. Once in a while, he looked out the window. The bus drove through places that used to be open range, filled with sage and snakes and the ruins of cars that never made it to Califas.

—So Tony y la familia settled in Barelas, a passenger across the aisle gravely intoned.

Charlie got out of the bus after it crossed Juan Tabo and walked the rest of the way to the high school. The place was mostly painted purple. There were also about three hundred or so depictions of lions—some sculptural—saturating the campus with an air of vibrancy, ferocity.

—The school mascot left its spoor everywhere, Jones whispered reverently.

As Charlie marched through the administrator’s area on the way to his classroom, he was mistaken for a student by the new community resource officer, a man who had just moved to Burque from New Jersey—looking for something he just knew was hidden somewhere in the sprawling western lands. His name was Dwight.

Jones produced his faculty ID. He gave the old man a solemn pat on the back, thanking him for his vigilance and incomparable public service. The two men wandered away from the other satisfied and confident about their ability to communicate with individuals from outside their respective subcultures.

It was still early; Charlie stopped by the teacher's lounge. He had a Sony Walkman in his bag. Jones was about to activate side two of the new Radiohead album when Bob Baca, the biology teacher appeared. Bob began chatting about invertebrates in a very excited tone and then with no small amount of verbal craft segued loquaciously and nearly seamlessly into a diatribe about the wonders of religion.

—A single dude like you ought to give church a try, said the biology teacher, inducing a sense of mock frenzy in Charlie’s fingers, which were unable to flip the cassette tape over at that precise moment due to an overwhelming sense of ennui in the rest of his body.

He reached his room, unlocked the door and activated the switch on the wall. Lights fluttered to life and computers booted. Students began to wander in. One of them asked Charlie if it was true that he was a communist and let his summer school students read Chairman Mao's little red book last year. Charlie waved off the question and made sure he stood with his hand over heart when they played the Star Spangled banner over the intercom that morning.

Jones gave a lesson about how technology was influencing rock music. One of his students, Zach, jumped out of his seat near the end of the talk, and began belting out "Destination Anywhere," by Bon Jovi while gesturing madly at the students in the back of the room. After a couple of verses, he retreated—funky, outrageous and parade-style through the classroom door, never seen again.

During the scheduled lunch break, Charlie sat behind his desk and played Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe. Afterward he spent the afternoon discussing a relatively new thing called the world wide web with a group of final-year students who he believed were probably going to end up designing nuclear weapons or implementing carnivorous global marketing strategies.

On the way out to the bus stop at the end of the day, he nearly tripped over Bob Baca. Jones was looking down, trying to find the rewind button on his music player. Just as he slid awkwardly past Baca, the tape inside the machine reset itself. A recording of Thom Yorke's voice began telling all about a dystopian world—filled with crash survivors and characters right out of Shakespeare—that was just around the corner.

—Fitter, happier, more productive, the voice on recording said with the informative precision of machines.

Charlie cranked up the volume, flashed Baca the peace sign and crossed the street. He walked to the bench where a bus was always waiting and listened.

courtesy of the artist

Event Horizon

Just Watch Me Now

Friday, Jan 22: Baewatch • EDM

Baewatch, a couple of electro-wizards comprised of Anthony Torres and Jayson Earles, zooms into Burque.
Bibliotheque National de France

Event Horizon

Bach to the Future

Saturday, Jan 16: St. John's Bach Project

Pianist Amy Greer performs the French Suite No. 6 in E major, BWV 817 and more.
Courtesy of the artist

What Happened to the First Peugeot

A story about summer written in winter

Tomorrow's Events

GRAFT
courtesy of GRAFT

After completing one project per day throughout January, the result for over 40 local artists will be shown.

Carlos Medina • variety at SkyLight

Valentine's Day Social at North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center

More Recommended Events ››
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