After last week's marathon coverage of former-President Ronald Reagan's death went from sublime to surreal, a little dose of reality is in order. Not to bash Reagan (it is tragic that his brain died at least 10 years before his body would admit it), but after reading a full-page elegy in the Wall Street Journal that practically deified the Gipper and looking at seven days of awe-struck headlines in the Albuquerque Journal, I was left to wonder: Where is the news media getting all this information about Reagan being one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century? Well, not from Gallup polling data.
The June 7 City Council meeting seemed close to scoring unanimous agreement on every bill. Councilors Brad Winter and Craig Loy were excused, leaving seven members racing for the historic goal. It looked like a sure thing coming into the home stretch, but then the next to last bill regarding a city Personnel Board appointment hit the table around 9 p.m. By this time, Councilors Sally Mayer and Tina Cummins had also vanished from the track, leaving only five members galloping toward agreement. Four voted down the appointment, but Council President Michael Cadigan supported the bill and became Albuquerque's Birdstone, wrecking the unanimous record.
Dateline: Germany—This disgusting highway spill-over story comes to us from Bremen, where a truck hauling 9,000 gallons of pig blood spilled its entire cargo on the Autobahn last Wednesday after it was rear-ended. At least one other vehicle crashed due to the sanguinary spill-over. Authorities had to close the highway for several hours. The truck had reportedly been hauling the waste blood from the Netherlands for disposal.
It's been a good, long time since we dug our grubby fingers into the Hollywood rumor mill. Let's see what we can dig up this week. ...
Compared to his 2002 album, All Rise, which consisted of an extended composition for big band, gospel choir and symphony orchestra—some 200 players, all told—trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis' latest platter is child's play. Which, according to Marsalis, was the point. "I wanted to restate my basic love of jazz music in a quartet format," he says.
Magic Hour is Marsalis' debut for the legendary Blue Note label, and represents a marked departure from his recent ensemble work. By surrounding himself with a cast of youthful musicians for whom he served variously as a musical mentor during their formative years, Marsalis has managed to build a record from the ground up, beginning with bassist Carlos Henriquez' bouncing grooves, accented by Ali Jackson's intuitive drumwork and rounded out melodically by Eric Lewis at the piano and, of course, Marsalis taking the lead on trumpet.
If you've never seen Cape Breton fiddling virtuoso Natalie MacMaster and her phenomenal band, you'll get your chance on Friday, June 18, at the Rio Grande Zoo at 7 p.m. (show up as early as 5:30 p.m. to get a good space on the grass). Those of you who have seen her need no further prodding. See you there. ... The Big Spank are set to usher in the release of their new CD on Friday, June 18, at the Launchpad with performances by special guests Concepto Tambor, Ask the Man, The Disclaimers, AVISO and Suburban Shock Syndrome. This one's all ages, so get there at 8 p.m. ... The ugliest, most misogynistic dancehall reggae legend the world has ever known, Yellowman, will return to Albuquerque with the Sagittarius Band for a show at the Sunshine Theater on Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m. ... ZoukFest presents The Jenny Vincent Trio, Spanish-American dance music from New Mexico on Sunday, June 20, at the Adobe Bar in Taos from 6 to 9 p.m. Contact Roger Landes at (505) 751-3512 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. ... Ray Charles' funeral should have been at least three times bigger than Ronald Reagan's, but hey, that's just my opinion.
If it wasn't for bands like NYC's Candiria, filling the void left by the demise of Helmet and Quicksand, I'd have taken my own life a long time ago. Tragically, Candiria's last tour took the life of their van, equipment and, very nearly, the lives of all five members when a semi smashed into them at freeway speed. After two years of physical and mental recovery, Candira are back with their fourth—and best—record. Part prog metal, part hardcore and part classic thrash, this one's close to perfect.
I'm folk. You're folk. He's folk. She's folk. Folk music, folk art and folk culture can be made and played by anyone. That's the beauty of it. Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the Albuquerque Folk Festival, and I have to tell you I had a sweet banjo-pickin' good time from morning 'til night.
Can't be with your dad on his special day? Celebrate Father's Day the way the Old Man would if he were around: Get drunk and fall asleep on the couch watching reruns of "Shadetree Mechanic." Be sure to wear your filthiest jeans and don't take your shoes off before you get comfy on the new white couch. Then, spread a thick litter of dad snacks in a wide circle around your body, making sure that at least half of the crumbs get pushed down between the sofa cushions. (For real authenticity, throw about $4 worth of loose change under the cushions too.) Shop ahead for a bag of honey mesquite barbecue-flavored potato chips, some jalapeño beef jerky, a can or two of cheese puffs and a tall tin of mixed nuts. Dads don't give a damn about calories—except when it comes to beer—so neither should you. Don't worry that each handful of nuts contains 14 grams of fat, you're drinking Bud Light! Don't answer the phone or get up for any reason other than to avert an impending rupture of your distended bladder. Then, around 6 p.m., get up the energy to make a run for a bucket of fried chicken and more beer. Get back on the couch but switch to whatever channel is running the James Bond marathon. Enjoy!
Somebody at Wrigley should be fired. In fact, a whole team of hacks need to get canned for releasing the world's most hideously disgusting chewing gum. Just when you thought the extreme flavor revolution had reached its pinnacle, the mad scientists over Wrigley dig deep into their vaults to unearth this wretched beast of a grocery store checkout line impulse buy. Showing that the experience of flavor is a vicious circle, not an unending march in the direction of tastebud pleasure progress, Wrigley's Eclipse team has come up with new maddeningly repulsive cough syrup flavored gum. Actually, the stuff is called Uniquely Soothing Cherry Chill. What's uniquely soothing is that the gag-inducing cherry flavor has a slow-release menthol aftertaste that will cool your throat after you vomit. I encourage you, dear readers, to avoid the stuff at all costs. I also highly encourage the in-house counsel at Robitussin to consider suing Wrigley for raiding their flavor files.