Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.
Roberta Flack Performs at Popejoy Hall's Gala Fundraiser
When you've booked a star that shines as brightly as Roberta Flack, you're bound by cosmic law to make the event more special than usual. Which is exactly what Popejoy Hall's Leadership Team did. Rather than simply produce another in a long line of remarkable Ovation Series events, Popejoy's powers-that-be felt they were faced with the perfect opportunity to host their first-ever fundraising event.
Of all past University of New Mexico presidents, Thomas L. Popejoy ranks among those least likely to be concerned with the construction of new buildings, much less with having one named after himself. Popejoy served as UNM president from 1948 (although he wasn't officially inaugurated until June 5, 1949) to 1968, the longest term in the history of the university. Unlike most of his predecessors, Popejoy concerned himself less with new buildings and programs than he did with what he believed was the heart of the university—its faculty and students. In fact, when first approached about the possibility of having the very concert hall that now bears his name dedicated to him, Popejoy refused, saying that no one on the university's payroll should have a building named after him or her. Popejoy's love for the university ran deep. Born near Raton, N.M., in 1902, he attended UNM as an undergraduate from 1921-25, majoring in economics and playing football. When he became the first native New Mexican to become the university's president, UNM had a student body of roughly 4,400. By the time Popejoy retired, the number had increased to nearly 14,000.
Taos Take Two—While the famed Taos Talking Picture Film Festival is dead and gone, in-state film lovers can rest assured in the fact that the First Annual Taos Picture Show has risen from the ashes to replace it. The festival, although brand new, is loaded with familiar faces. Taos County Film Commissioner and director of the Taos Mountain Film Festival, Jonathan Slator has climbed on board as the Taos Picture Show's inaugural festival director. Kelly Clement and Jason Silverman, who served as program director and artistic director of the late, lamented TTPIX, have joined up to help program this year's event. Right now, it looks like 14 films will be included in the April 1-4 event. Local film fans will be pleased to note that two made-in-New Mexico films will be among the offerings. Blind Horizon, a thriller starring Val Kilmer and Neve Campbell, and Thief of Time, the newest Tony Hillerman mystery starring Wes Studi and Adam Beach, will both be screened at the festival.
Bittersweet mixture of modern love and the mind's eye proves unforgettable
With its unwieldy title taken from a poem by Enlightenment essayist Alexander Pope, it's clear that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is no ordinary romantic comedy. It is, in fact, written by Hollywood mad scientist Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and directed by music video god Michel Gondry (noted for his eye-popping imagery in vids by Beck, Björk and The White Stripes). The two teamed up previously on 2002's quirky failure Human Nature. Someone gave them a second chance, though, and we're all the better for it, because Eternal Sunshine is a startlingly beautiful, consistently surprising, endlessly inventive look at modern love and the mind's eye.
An interview with the cast of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) and directed by music video pioneer Michel Gondry (Beck, The Foo Fighters), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is not your ordinary romantic comedy. The film follows a badly broken-up couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) who use an experimental procedure to erase each other from their memories. The film also features former Hobbit Elijah Wood as a computer technician in charge of scrubbing Carrey's mind, who uses those memories to seduce Kate Winslet. Alibi had the chance to chat with Winslet and Wood during the film's recent premiere in Hollywood.
Unseen Gallery—a new exhibit space specializing in fantasy, art nouveau, erotica, surrealism and other fringe art—opens this week at 108 Morningside SE, just east of the Nob Hill Shopping Center. During the grand opening from Wednesday, March 17, through Saturday, March 20, you can chow on homemade cookies, fudge, chips and dip and slurp unseen punch while browsing original work by Darla Hallmark, Josie Mohr, Jess Taddick, Daral Crowne and Rita Coleman. Call 232-2161 or log onto unseengallery.com for details.
Memory Boards: Exploring Hybrid Histories at Trevor Lucero Studio Artspace
The primary motif galloping through these paintings is the gaucho, the cowboy of the southern South American grasslands. In these complex, multi-layered images, artist Fabrizio Bianchi, whose parents are Argentinean, explores countless surprising facets of this romantic icon from his ancestral motherland.
Two actors, Max and Mercy, attempt to claw, bite and growl their way to success in the jackal eat jackal world of modern Hollywood. Methods to Madness is a dark comedy about the nasty side of Tinsel Town. The play, written by Joel Murray and directed by Gabrielle Johansen, opens this week at the Vortex. The director promises audiences the recommended daily allowance of sex and violence. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. Sundays at 6 p.m. $8. Runs through April 4. 247-8600.
A Company of Three
The Darkside of Eden
Writing the Southwest
College Republicans discover UNM faculty leans liberal
Last week, Scott Darnell, a well-groomed and articulate spokesman for the New Mexico Federation of College Republicans called a press conference in the UNM Student Union Building to announce the political affiliations of undergraduate professors at UNM. An accompanying pie chart revealed 83 percent of the undergraduate faculty registered to vote are Democrats, while 11 percent are Republicans.
Sticking Larry Ahren's brain up a bug's ass would be like sticking a BB in a boxcar, part 2. According to his website, Ahrens, the voice of 770-KOB AM's local morning show, is "Albuquerque's morning radio legend." According to today's “Thin Line,” he's a jackass.
When the president filled out his enlistment papers, those forms included a checkbox asking whether he wanted to serve overseas or not. The president checked off the box labeled "I Do Not" volunteer to serve overseas.
Dateline: Indonesia—Couples caught kissing in public could face jail time thanks to stiff new legislation in Indonesia. A new anti-pornography ban before the nation's parliament includes a ban on kissing on the mouth in public. According to Britain's Sky News, the bill also bans public nudity, erotic dances and sex parties. "I think there should be some restrictions on such acts because it is against our traditions of decency," said Aisyah Hamid Baidlowi, head of a parliamentary committee drafting the bill. Anyone caught in a public lip lock could face a maximum penalty of five years in jail or a fine of $25,000.
Silence turns to despair in the streets of Spain.
On the way to visit my friends in Barcelona this evening I took the red and white Cercanías train, line one, the line that goes up the coast, the line that has become so much a part of my life since I moved out of the city. This is the same kind—the exact same kind—of well-built, efficient electric train that was blown up in Madrid only two days ago. I, along with thousands of others who live in outlying towns, take these trains every day. Old, young, rich, poor—everyone moves in these trains. They are the long legs of urban Spain.
By the time this issue reaches your hands, I'll probably be sunning myself by the hotel pool, drinking non-alcoholic beer and stuffing my pie hole with barbecue as part of my South by Southwest 2004 coverage. While I'm out of town, there are a few shows going on locally that you should pay particular attention to. For instance ... guitar god and honorary Albuquerquean Eric McFadden will haul his trio back to the Launchpad on Friday, March 19, where he'll host an evening of live music by the likes of himself, Jason (Daniello) and the Argonauts and the next mayor of Albuquerque, Stan Hirsch. ... Icky and the Yuks will perform with the Amputees (formerly the Angry Amputees), the Hollowpoints and Coke is Better with Bourbon on Sunday night, March 21, at the Atomic Cantina. ... On Monday, March 22, head to Sonny's Bar and Grill for a head-splitting, mind-bender of a rock show featuring High On Fire, Dysrhythmia, Black Maria and one of my favorite math bands of all time including national acts, Simulacrum. The Foxx will be back from their jaunt to SXSW in time to make rock at Burt's on Tuesday, March 23. A pretty good week for local shows in Albuquerque if I do say so my damn self! See you next week.
Mary Gauthier: Renaissance Woman
She's been a troubled teen, a runaway, a drug addict, a drunk, resident of a Kansas City jail, an accomplished student of philosophy at Louisiana State University, a graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and founder/owner/chef of the award-winning Dixie Kitchen Restaurant in Boston. But for the past eight years or so, Mary Gauthier (pronounced Go-Shay, the Louisiana way) has focused all of her energy on reinventing herself yet again, this time as a singer-songwriter. And after three albums, each better than the previous, it looks like she's once again scripted her own success.
Saturday, March 27; Super-secret AMP location (call 842-5073 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations and directions, all ages, $10 donation): Talk about cultural diversity. San Francisco-based duo Four Shillings Short meld the traditional music of the British Isles and India with American folk to create a vibrant musical adventure that's as eclectic as they come. Consisting of Cork, Ireland native Aodh Og O Tuama and San Diego-born Christy Martin, Four Shillings Short utilize more than 10 instruments ranging from ancient to modern—tinwhistle, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, dumbek, hammered dulcimer, banjo, sitar bodrhan, etc.—in the creation of folk music that relies on ethnic idioms for its lively character.
Let's keep things simple at the outset: There are kick-ass bands (Osmium, Systemic, Soultorn, Low Twelve, Bite the Hand), mediocre bands (Blessed with Pain, Pro-Pain, Three Headed Moses, PCP, Condemned, Ominous) and kinda lame ones (Slugtrail, Alchymist, Skeptic, Skitzo) on this debut DVD installment from the good folks at Heavycore.org. That said, Roasting Posers: Vol. 1 features videos by 16 heavy ass bands from all over the United States that could kick your ever-lovin' ass, and the whole affair is quite entertaining, even when the videos themselves aren't.
Singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves third record proves once and for all that you don't have to be Texas-born to make pure Texas music. The Maine native's last record, 2000's Broke Down, was hailed by the Austin Chronicle as "the first great Texas album of the 21st century." Difficult as that particular accolade might be to eclipse, Cleaves has done it with Wishbones. Lyrically striking and a writer of visceral, ironic melodies, Cleaves is a near-perfect combination of Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett. Four years between albums allowed Cleaves to go from critics' darling to trustworthy songwriter, and the result rages.
Isn't it about time Starbucks gave you something back? How about some valuable compost, for free? Yeah, you guessed it, Starbucks, Satellite and most other coffee houses are easily persuaded to save their used coffee grounds for you. Sure, you should already be saving your own grounds but coffee houses produce enough to give your compost heap a real kick start. Call or stop in to your favorite java joint in the morning and ask if they'll save that day's grounds for you. Keep in mind that you'll probably have the best luck at the bean juice bar you frequent most. They may ask you to bring in a clean bucket or they may package the goods up in a plastic bag. You'd be surprised how much can accumulate in a day. Is it too soon to be thinking about compost? Naw. We've got about a month to go before the average last frost but with some days as warm as they've been it's not definitely not unreasonable to start working on your soil. This is the perfect time to buy a new composter or stake out a corner of the yard for a heap. Coffee grounds are high in valuable nitrogen but they're also quite acidic. To maintain balance, combine coffee grounds with crushed egg shells and vegetable trimmings from the kitchen. Work the grounds into the soil or add them directly to your compost heap.
Planning on dinner and a movie? Go to Café Voila and the movie's on them! This charming French restaurant in the shadow of the Marriott Pyramid has partnered with Madstone Theaters to give patrons two clever ways to save money on their dates. Option Number One: If you order full-priced dinner entrées, Café Voila will give you each a free movie ticket. Option Number Two: Bring your ticket stub from a Madstone matinee to Voila that same evening and they'll take the cost of your ticket (usually $5.50) off of your dinner entrée's price. I think it's a brilliant marketing idea for them and a screamin' deal for us. For full details call Café Voila (821-2666) or Madstone Theaters (6311 San Mateo NE, 872-4000).
What is that layer of oil on top, anyway?
My mom always used to buy that "natural" peanut butter that came with a thick layer of oil floating on top of the extra-coarse puréed nuts. I begged for Jiff but having already accepted the seven-grain bread and homemade quince jelly that were to make up the other parts of my PBJ equation I was screwed and I knew it. Now I'm a grownup and I can pick any peanut butter I want. But which one? Why does so-called natural peanut butter have that layer of oil on top? And what makes it different from Skippy?
Chef Kent Dagnall talks about salvation through vegan chocolate chip cookies
Big changes are afoot at the Blue Dragon, the little neighborhood hangout that straddles Girard's jog just south of Indian School. With a fresh coat of paint and some new menu concepts headed by Chef Kent Dagnall, the Dragon is gearing up for spring and their fifth birthday on Mother's Day. I recently dropped in on Kent, a long-time pal and culinary co-conspirator, to pump him for information and split one of their signature pizzas.
Battle over same-sex marriage licenses heads toward New Mexico court
Sometime back in the late 19th century, territorial governor Lew Wallace made what for some might seem like a timeless observation. “All calculations based on our experiences elsewhere fail in New Mexico,” he wrote.
Recalling an election in the pre-”Will and Grace” era
There was a time, not so long ago, when the prospect of legally sanctioned gay marriage playing a central role in presidential and congressional elections seemed about as remote as finding water on Mars. The idea was simply too radical. But times change. Between court rulings in Massachusetts and the seemingly endless eruption of brushfire rebellions (or blatant law-breaking, depending on your perspective) at city halls and county courthouses around the country, the same sex marriage debate is positioned to share top-billing with the economy, WMD, and the War on Terror not just this election year, but for probably a few more to come.
“Would you be in favor of allowing same-sex marriages in New Mexico?”
I think that they should have same-sex marriages. I don't see what the big problem is, personally. Maybe it's just how I grew up or what I was taught, but I don't see a problem. I mean, love is love. You know, we all love our friends and I don't understand why people can't love the same people that they are. So I think it's fine.
~ Local ~
Somewhere along the way to the protest, there was a breakdown in communication. An estimated 10 people showed up at the corner of Menaul and Louisiana on Saturday, March 6, planning to send a message to Rep. Heather Wilson that she was wrong to support the Iraq War and other Bush administration policies.
The protest was timed to coincide with Wilson's appearance on Clear Channel's 100.3-FM The Peak during a live broadcast at Coronado Mall that afternoon. The station was conducting their third annual Girl Scout cookie sale, where shoppers could buy a box and send them to the troops overseas, according to a Peak spokesman.
Indecent proposals. A fax, supposedly from radio behemoth Clear Channel, made the rounds to local media last week informing us that two local radio personalities had been suspended as part of Clear Channel's crack-down on indecency.
Not a blank check
As one of the strong supporters of the Planned Growth Strategy (PGS) on the City Council, I worked hard alongside City Councilor Michael Cadigan to make sure the public understood how the PGS would affect development patterns in the city. During the planned growth debate we attended numerous community and neighborhood association meetings and amended the PGS ordinance to take into account neighborhood concerns.
In recent weeks, the Albuquerque Journal's young Latino conservative columnist (Ruben Navarette), its young, preppy, conservative columnist (Rich Lowery), and at least two of its tired old Anglo conservative war horses (Cal Thomas and Charles Krauthammer) have all been steadily beating out page upon page of opinion to an identical rhythm.
At the March 1 meeting, councilors came in like lions, ripping through legislation with the gusto of a hungry pride ripping through a dead gazelle. The big item of the evening was Councilor Martin Heinrich's xeriscaping bill.
Dateline: Holland—A 32-year-old man says he will appeal a judge's conviction after being arrested for refusing to use a shopping basket at his local market. Carst Kijlstra, from Assen, went to the meat counter at the Eddah supermarket and tried to buy two pieces of veal. The assistant refused to help him because he wasn't carrying a basket. "I told her I didn't want one because it was nearly closing time," said Kijlstra. The assistant still refused to help him and called for the shop owner. The owner reiterated the need for a basket. Kijlstra left his money on the counter and went home. Shortly afterward, as Kijlstra was preparing the veal for his dinner, a police car arrived and took him off to the police station. "They put me in jail like a criminal, for half an hour," Kijlstra said. "Kijlstra knew he was a guest in the shop and that means he has to act according to the house rules," the prosecutor told the court. The judge agreed, ruling that Kijlstra was "trespassing" by ignoring the supermarket's compulsory basket policy, and fining him $150.
The readers write.
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
I once went a whole year without ever touching a doorknob. Like many Americans, I was paranoid about the fine patina of pathogenic mutants (e.g. bacteria) that encrusts most surfaces. I even used antibacterial hand gels, figuring that if I killed off the little bastards in biblical numbers, my own odds might improve. Come cold season, though, I was still wiping sniffles away (albeit with chapped, medicinal-smelling hands.) A recent report from Columbia University reaches the same conclusion I came to that miserable winter— using products with antibacterial properties can't keep you from ever getting sick. In fact, they may actually do more harm than good. The year-long study found that households that use antibacterial cleaning products are just as prone to sickness as those who don't. Why? Viruses, not bacteria, are responsible for most common infections and antibacterial agents don't kill viruses. Plus, when you scrub down your kitchen with sanitizing products, you're really just wiping out the weakest 99 percent of bacteria. This eliminates competition among the strongest strains and pushes them into a dominant position, where they're free to have wild microscopic orgies long into the night. Before long you've got a few trillion "superbacteria" that are harder to kill than a crypt full of zombies. So play it safe and only bring out the big guns when you have to— or else Bruce Campbell will kick your ass.
A specialty food store four-
Last month we ran a story about local specialty shops but several readers e-mailed to let us know we had omitted Fremont's Fine Foods (7901 Fourth, NW), a North Valley shop that is probably the Duke City's oldest specialty foods store. I spoke with Aimee Tang, great-granddaughter of Fremont's founder, about the shop and its long history of providing Albuquerque with gourmet imported foods.
Making your own cleaning products is cheaper and safer
It seems that cleaning sprays, foams, powders and gels get more high-tech every year. "New, no-scrub formula!" they scream from their labels. "Triple cleaning power!" Triple the cleaning power of what? Doing nothing? Nothing has been my method for a while now and—shockingly—my house is filthy. Finally humilated into the act, I recently geared up with rubber gloves and an arsenal of toxic chemicals, forcing my bathroom to submit to an all-out, day-long grime attack. Filth may yet win the war for control of my house but I won the bathroom battle.
Shootout at the OK Corral—Are you an aspiring filmmaker? How would you like the opportunity to shoot your very own Western at New Mexico's famed Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch (site of such famed films as Silverado, Lonesome Dove and All the Pretty Horses)? Primate Memory Factory, founder of the monthly 5-Minute Film Competition, has come up with an extremely cool promotion this month. Each month, PMF dreams up a theme and asks local digital filmmakers to shoot a short film around that particular subject. This month's theme happens to be "Westerns." To help get aspiring John Fords started, PMF is offering a chance to shoot at the Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch outside Santa Fe on Sunday, March 14. Fork over a mere $30 to help PMF cover expenses, and you've got the run of Bonanza Creek. The place is packed with western saloons, jail cells, windmills, cattle barns—all the great sets you need to shoot your very own mini-masterpiece. Word is there may even be props, costumes and horses available. All you need is a camera and an actor or two. The screening of all the entrants will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 26 (11:30 p.m.) and 27 (noon) at Madstone Theaters. That means you've got one day to shoot the film and less than a week to edit it. But it's only five minutes long—you can do it! Scheduling will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. To find out more info, log on to www.pmf5.com.
Getting to Know You, Getting to Know Myself
She's a professional Australian geologist who lives life on her own terms. He's a Japanese businessman who isn't used to loud, take-charge, aggressive women. So when Sandy Edwards (played by Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense) and Tachibana Hiromitsu (played by Gotaro Tsunashima, The Great Raid) are thrown together to work on a business deal, it's only natural that they instantly take a strong disliking and uncompromising attitude toward each other.
Teen queen hitchhikes to heck in intriguing indie
With its title liberally lifted from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass; and What Alice Found There, the sophomore outing by writer/director A. Dean Bell announces itself as a warped fairy tale about lost little girls and alternate universes. The girl in question is Alice (newcomer Emily Grace), a troubled teen from nowhere, Massachusetts, working a cruddy job, hanging out with a bunch of post-high school slackers and being indifferently raised by a poor single mother.
“Wonderfalls” on FOX
Bumped to mid-season due to a passing similarity to “Joan of Arcadia” (not to mention “Tru Calling”), FOX's “Wonderfalls” is finally seeing the light of day. It's about time, too. Among the many surprising aspects of the show is the fact that it's a delightful, quirk-filled stand-on-its-own comedy/drama.
Although they weren't officially “invited” to participate, The Foxx (formerly the Sweatband) will nonetheless be representing Albuquerque at South by Southwest in Austin next week, along with Fivehundred (formerly Mr. Spectacular) and the 12 Step Rebels (formerly the 12-Step Rebels). According to The Foxx's Zac Webb, the band will appear at The Bitter End at 7 p.m. with the Witnesses and Some Action, and at an undetermined time and venue with the Cuts and the Go. Fivehundred will do Burque proud on Wednesday night, March 17, at Pyramids at 7 p.m., while 12 Step Rebels are scheduled to tear shit up at Opal Divine's Freehouse on Friday, March 19, at 10 p.m. ... Unit 7 Drain are releasing a new record. The new full-length, titled Devices, will be released on Socyermom. The release party will be held Friday, March 26, at the Launchpad with The Mindy Set, Love Overdose, The Oktober People and Romeo Goes To Hell. The all-ages celebration will take place at the Tricklock Performance Space on Thursday, April 1, with The Mindy Set, Karen, Hit By A Bus and Scenester. ... The Todd Tijerina Band have just released the final version of their new record, Welcome Home, which is scheduled for review on these very pages in the weeks to come. For more information, visit www.toddtijerina.com.
Been Caught Steeling; The Oliver Lake Steel Quartet
Oliver Lake may be the most well-traveled alto saxophonist in history in terms of the countless musical lands he's visited (and continues to visit) during his 35-year career. Lake has played with everyone from Abbey Lincoln to Lou Reed, Björk and A Tribe Called Quest. In the '70s, he founded the Black Artists Group and, later, the World Saxophone Quartet. In 1998, in addition to his continuing work with various groups and solo artists, Lake created his Steel Quartet around the virtuosity of steel drummer Lyndon Achee. The group have released two visionary jazz records since their inception: 1999's Kinda Up and this year's Dat Love.
with The Handsome Family
Monday, March 15; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): If there was a house band for the indie underground, it would be Joey Burns and John Convertino's Calexico. Few musicians are as well-versed and prolific as the highly indescribable duo. The pair have regularly served as rhythm section for the revolving door band Giant Sand for years (and 20-plus albums), as well as collaborating in and with Friends of Dean Martinez, Lisa Germano, Vic Chestnut, Victoria Williams and Richard Buckner. Under the name OP8, they backed Barbara Manning. They are the Booker T. and the MGs of the Western Hemisphere. As their own project, Calexico, named for a tiny border town straddling California and Mexico, they weave songs as soft as sand and as sharp as saguaro spines.
New York City's The Everyothers are what Urge Overkill would have sounded like had they chosen not to jump the Touch and Go ship for (brief) major-label exposure; what Bowie would sound like today had he not killed Ziggy Stardust. Obvious contemporary comparisons include The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but dare I say there's more substance to The Everyothers' songs? Yes, yes I do. Lots of killer hooks, lots of swagger and lots of hyper-confident riffage. A near perfect melding of early '70s garage rock and '80s power pop.
Painters, sculptors, photographers and mixed-media artists: It's time to get your act together. Albuquerque Contemporary 2004, Magnífico's showcase of some of the best artists in the Albuquerque area, is right around the corner. If you live in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, Torrance, Socorro or Cibola counties, you may be eligible to participate. Artists who want to get in on the action should get their hands on an application by calling Magnífico at 242-8244 or logging onto www.magnifico.org to download a prospectus.
University Hospital Art Gallery
Norman Akers, a professor of art at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, delves deep into Native American mythology and culture in creating his stunning paintings and prints. An exhibit of his work is currently on display at the University Hospital Art Gallery. Sure, it's kind of a weird venue, but sick people need love too. Stop by sometime between now and April 30. Aker's work is definitely worth a look. Call 272-9700 or 272-6326 for more information.
Capture the Moment at the Albuquerque Museum
If you really wanted to make sense of the last 60 years in the history of the world, you would face a nearly impossible task. Read 100 books on the Vietnam War alone, and you will encounter 100 more or less contradictory interpretations. History never truly reveals itself, because we never have complete, unbiased access to the past. Capturing history, it seems to me, is like wrestling with a greased pig. You do your best even if you know you will never get a really good grip on the truth.
An Interview with Matt Rix, author of Beating the Bark Beetles: Defending Your Valuable Trees Against Bark Beetles and Other Destructive Pests
Neil Young's Greendale
Neil Young's latest turn behind the camera is completely free of name-actors, pretentiousness and, to the delight of fans of Young's music, dialog. It's also mostly free of appearances by Young, unlike director Jim Jarmusch's 1997 Young biopic, Year of the Horse, in which Young's presence, along with that of Crazy Horse members Frank “Pancho” Sampedro, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina, serves only to make the viewer uncomfortable for inexplicable reasons. In Greendale, Young and his Crazy Horse cohorts tell the tale of the Green family off-camera in song—10 of them, some clocking in at the signature Crazy Horse minute mark of a dozen or more—while actors mime the story, occasionally lip synching to Young's third-person lyrics. As a movie experience, it's bizarre, yet fully engaging, like a silent film with a soundtrack instead of subtitles.
Neil Young's Great American Novel
Shows with love and affection/Like mama used to say/A little Mayberry livin'/Can go a long way
Work in Santa Fe "isn't all about me."
It wasn't just the miniature chocolate bundt cake with whipped cream and raspberry sauce that created the sanguine mood during last week's Roundhouse wrap-up at the Sheraton Old Town. The excitement—at least from the podium—stemmed from what MC Carol Radosevich of the Albuquerque Association of Commerce and Industry called "a fabulous session for economic development." The approximately 400 professionally attired and relatively sedate lunch-goers seemed to agree, judging from the perfunctory standing ovations given to one legislator after another who came to speak.
Heather Wilson's media tour continues. More hilarious news and analysis trickled in from the Internet regarding Congresswoman Heather Wilson's meltdown during a House Telecommunications Committee hearing last month.
Not a blank check
As one of the strong supporters of the Planned Growth Strategy (PGS) on the city council, I worked hard alongside City Councilor Michael Cadigan to make sure the public understood how the PGS would affect development patterns in the city. During the planned growth debate we attended numerous community and neighborhood association meetings and amended the PGS ordinance to take into account neighborhood concerns.
And other observations you might have missed
I don't watch TV as much as I used to, which may be why I had a tough time fathoming a couple of fast-food spots over the weekend. First were the commercials for Sonic Drive-In where two "30-something" guys spend the bulk of their day either: a) hanging out at the drive-up window, dumb-struck by the marvels of Sonic cuisine or, b) haranguing minimum-wage employees at other fast food joints for not having the same menu as Sonic. Really, has anyone without a pledge paddle hanging in their room gone to Sonic after watching these two dorks in action?
Racial profiling at the heart of the matter
Not many years ago Albuquerque's cops had a reputation rivaling Los Angeles' for biased, prejudiced treatment of minorities. In that unenlightened, pre-Citizen Police Oversight Commission era, our city's finest actually seemed proud of the notoriety their get-tough tactics had earned.
Dateline: New York—Last Tuesday afternoon, Tabitha Bracken, 27, of Toronto arrived at the Delta Airlines ticket counter at the Buffalo airport looking for a package from Accel Graphics. She was mistakenly given two packages shipped from Cryolife, an Atlanta medical agency. One of the packages contained a pulmonary valve being shipped to a young person in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital. The other contained a vein intended for a coronary bypass surgery at a Buffalo hospital. When the mistake was discovered a short time later, investigators hit a dead end trying to locate the woman who had been given the items. It was soon determined that she had presented fake identification at the airport. The correct packages from Accel Graphics were located and opened and discovered to contain 119 pounds of marijuana wrapped in plastic and newspapers and smeared with mustard. When Delta received several telephone calls from a man interested in picking up the Accel packages, DEA agents staked out the airport. Shortly before midnight, Dalvan Robinson, 43, arrived pushing the two transplant boxes on a luggage cart. Both Robinson and Bracken were arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The wayward body parts were quickly turned over to the awaiting hospitals for transplant.
The readers write.
It took me a while to figure out that my dog's food was giving him an excessive amount of Vitamin F. Unlike Ren and Stimpy's superhero friend Powdered Toast Man, my little buddy's pants don't puff up when he gets a distress call. It's pretty obvious though. Corn meal makes my dog fart so much he could power a hybrid SUV. If only we could harness the power! It took me a while to figure out what was causing these noxious emissions but, as it turns out, many dogs digestive systems aren't able to process corn very well. Hey, even humans aren't able to break corn down completely. (Does this sound familiar? I know you know what I'm talking about.) The trick to turning off Sparky's gas is finding a dog food that doesn't contain corn or soy—another common culprit. Grocery stores don't often stock a very large variety of dog foods but at Clark's Pet Emporium (or any good-sized pet store) you'll find a handful of formulas for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. Common combinations are lamb and rice or some kind of meat and potatoes. Read the ingredient label carefully to make sure corn and soy aren't listed. The only drawback? You won't be able to blame your own farts on the dog anymore.
Sure, from the outside Azuma (4701 San Mateo NE) still looks like a Black Eyed Pea, but inside every trace of country kitsch has been erased and replaced by a serene Japanese theme. The teppan and sushi restaurant, which opened earlier this month, is owned by Frank Su, who also owns both China Star mega-buffets (4710 Montgomery NE and 2001 Juan Tabo NE). Half of Azuma is devoted to teppan tables where patrons can sit and watch as a cook prepares their dinners with a few flashy tricks. On the other side of the restaurant, booths are separated by pretty panes of frosted glass and a line of stools hug the sushi bar. In addition to sushi, Azuma's menu offers many cooked items including noodles and a variety of grilled meats and vegetables that will ensure the place's appeal to nearby families and folks who are new to Japanese food. Sushi aficionados might compare Azuma to Samurai Grill (Montgomery and Eubank or Gibson near Lovelace Hospital), a comparison that would be more flattering to Samurai.
You can taste it in the food and see it in the face at the door
Ruth Reichl, who was a restaurant critic for The New York Times before becoming editor of Gourmet magazine, recently wrote a column for The Times in which she lamented the closing of one of New York's most famous and long-standing French restaurants, Lutèce. The demise of this much-loved institution has been the subject of a flurry of gushy eulogies in print and on the Web. Many of the writers tried to explain the unfortunate outcome but none did it as eloquently as Reichl. This is obvious even to someone, like me, who never had the opportunity (or money) to eat there.
I understand you guys will be bringing your Uncle Mabe's Ruby Red Barbecue Sauce to the upcoming Fiery Foods Show. Tell me about the sauce and what kind of flavor you were going for in creating it.
Maori Movie—The UNM Department of Anthropology will be welcoming special guest Maori filmmaker Mereta Mita to town as part of the International Indigenous Film Festival. The New Zealand native will be on hand Thursday, March 4, at 7 p.m. to screen and discuss her feature-length drama Mauri. The film centers on the trauma of a disturbed Maori man who confronts his tragic deception with courage and humility. The screening will take place in the anthropology lecture hall, north of UNM's Maxwell Museum. Tickets are $12 at the UNM box offices or at Tickets.com outlets. You can also obtain tickets by calling the Anthropology department at 925-5858. Proceeds will benefit the UNM Anthropology Graduate Student Scholarship Fund.
Bertolucci takes us on a historical tour of sex and the cinema
At age 64, Bernardo Bertolucci (Stealing Beauty, The Sheltering Sky, The Last Emperor, 1900) is one of the last surviving members of the second generation, postwar filmmakers—those young lads from England, Italy, France, wherever, who grew up besotted by the product that Hollywood cranked out in the '30s and '40s. Throughout the '50s, educated young teens like Bertolucci, Casavettes, Godard, Antonioni, Pasolini, Fellini, Truffaut were raised on a steady diet of Ford, Capra, Hawks, Hitchcock, Lang, Keaton, Welles. The works these “New Wave” directors eventually produced were part homage, part angry response. But unlike the filmmakers of the earlier generation, whose only point of artistic reference was the legitimate theater, the postwar filmmakers of the '60s and '70s were all about the silver screen.
Son's quest to understand father's love is built to last
Last Sunday, My Architect lost out to Fog of War at the Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category. Their inclusion in the 76th Annual Academy Awards was not the only similarity between the two films, however. Both are cinematic portraits struggling to define controversial historical figures. Fog of War is certainly the splashier of the two, since the figure in question (Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara) is far more controversial, and he's still alive to explain himself. My Architect, on the other hand, is far more personal, tracing the journey of filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn to understand his long-dead father, famed architect Louis I. Kahn.
If you've been paying attention you already know that Club Rhythm and Blues (3523 Central NE) is reopening on March 4. This is a huge and wonderful announcement for local performers and music connoisseurs alike. Along with a regular line-up of great acts and open mic nights, Club R&B will feature its New Artist Series, hosted by yours truly.
Her Own Medicine; Jessica Williams Heals Herself at the Piano
Although she's been considered a significant presence on the jazz scene for decades, Jessica Williams doesn't enjoy the name recognition she deserves. Following years spent playing piano with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet and sharing stages with such luminaries as Bill Evans, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Sarah Vaughn, McCoy Tyner and a host of others, not to mention her extensive discography, Williams remains largely under-recognized outside of critics and rabid fans of classic bop-influenced keyboard work.
With chops that invoke the playing of Thelonious Monk and an incredible command of the keyboard, Williams based herself in San Francisco in the late '70s, where she established herself as a powerful musical force. Inexplicably, she disappeared from record for a short time, only to re-emerge in the '80s as an acoustic soloist. And while generally identified within the bop idiom, Williams' latest album, the demure, hauntingly lovely Plays for Lovers (Red and Blue Records), is a quiet tribute to relaxing at home either with a lover or with a lover on the mind. Nine of the album's 11 tracks are jazz standards (the exceptions are John Lennon's "Love is Real" and her own "Flamenco Sketches), and all of them feature Williams alone at her piano, performing the music as though she were at home.
Sunday, March 7; AMP House Concert (all ages, 6:30 p.m.): Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, welcome to one of the craziest shows on Earth. Feast your eyes on four ladies who know what putting on a captivating show is all about ... the Dolly Ranchers have all their bases covered when it comes to rockin' a crowd and getting a rip-roarin' hoe-down started.
It would be easy to write "noveau" flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook off as the acoustic guitar world's Kenny G—a Paco de Lucia for soccer moms. But Cook's versatility, polished technique and visceral command of Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish and Moorish music make him far more intriguing than your average cracker with an instrument and the ability to make middle-aged white women swoon as if they're having some kind of cross-cultural epiphany. That's not to say that Cook doesn't employ a certain degree of the cheese factor, just that his music is worthwhile even as far as audiophiles are concerned.
The glamor! The glory! The loot! Professional photographers seem to have it all, don't they? Hob-nobbing with sexy models. Traveling to exotic locales filled with white sand, blue water and toucans. Sniffing up dangerous chemicals in a dark room with poor ventilation. Is it too much to imagine yourself with such an exalted career? Of course it isn't, but you have to start somewhere. And that's where your trusty neighborhood Alibi comes in.
Metamorphoses at Theatre X
I'm told the production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses that opened a couple years ago Off-Broadway in New York was quite a spectacle. Legend has it that Zimmerman's adaptation of some of Ovid's best tales incorporated a magical set with a rectangular pool built right into the stage. Even though the pool was only a few inches deep, the characters floated across it, and ships were destroyed in storms on the open water.
The Studios @ 500 2nd
In a new show at The Studios @ 500 2nd (located—you guessed it—at 500 Second Street), Gwendolyn Beachy combines her fascination with the Rio Grande Bosque and vaginas into an exploration of our environment and sexuality. Mixing recorded sound, text, clay, metal, found objects and material collected from the Bosque, River-Yoni-Egg-Story sounds nothing if not ambitious. Come see how Beachy pulls it all together by attending a reception this Friday, March 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. If you miss that one, a closing reception will be held on Friday, March 19. During the rest of the run, you can arrange to view the work by calling the artist at 507-8345.
Nob Hill Art Complex
The Nob Hill Art Complex over at 3812 Central SE is hosting an open house where artists invite you to stop by and view them in their natural habitat. Vicki Bolen, Bobi Chenhall, Sarah Karnes, David Klausen, Lia Lynn Rosen, Patricia Malcolm, Jacob Matteson and Gayle Van Horn will present oils, watercolors, paper arts and ceramics. The New Grounds Print Workshop offers up an exhibit of new work by Reginald Gammon. The Coleman Gallery will exhibit drawings by Barbara Bock, collages by Ron Evans and photographs by Clark Waterman. The reception occurs Friday, March 5, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the exhibits run through March 27. 268-8952.
They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967
Collected Stories, Volume 1
The Confessions of Max Tivoli