Because this is the Survival Guide, it can only mean that it's also that time of the year again. Yes, the time when one lucky intern gets the chance of a lifetime. He or she gets the rare privilege to traipse across town exploring the ins and outs of Albuquerque's many grocery stores for the annual Grocery Store Browser, using stealth and cunning to jot down prices and compare shallot freshness. It's an exciting task.
Just think, there are roughly 40 million citizens in America unable to afford health insurance. Meanwhile, if you fall into this category and have a job, your income taxes help provide the finest health care money can buy for members of Congress. So if you are uninsured and stressed out by the prospect of some unforeseen physical tragedy befalling you or your family and wrecking your finances forever, think about those public servants in Washington, D.C. who get a free ride, on your tax dollars, when they visit the doctor.
When President Bush arrived in Albuquerque last week to host a group of supporters near the Sunport, it marked the 13th such campaign forum this year, equaling the number of solo news conferences he has had in three and a half years in the White House.
Dateline: England—In what can only be described as a freak accident, a flaming rabbit has burned down part of the 150-year-old Devizies Cricket Club. The rabbit was apparently hiding in a bundle of branches two groundskeepers set alight. The workers saw the rabbit escape, trailing its burning tail after it. Thirty minutes later, the club's mantainance shed was on fire. Despite the best efforts of 11 firefighters, they were unable to salvage the shed or what it contained. The club estimated that the unfortunate rabbit caused nearly $90,000 in damage. “We're 99 percent confident it was the rabbit that caused the fire,” said Devizies fire station commander Philip Flowers. “It was either burnt to a cinder or it escaped through a small hole in the corner of the shed. But I imagine it perished and went to bunny heaven.” Flowers added that, in over 20 years of service, he had never before fought a blaze caused by a burning animal.
More “Stink”—The stink is back by popular demand! Thanks to those four incredible sold-out screenings the other weekend, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill has decided to resurrect local zombie flick The Stink of Flesh for a special one-night only encore. On midnight, Saturday, Aug. 21, the film will be screened for all those Flesh-hungry zombies who didn't get a seat at the last go-around. This one will probably sell out as well, so get your tickets early.
Things are rolling along quite well for local bands these days. Nels Andrews and El Paso Eyepatch have struck a record deal with Bloodshot and Checkered Past Records founder Eric Babcock for the release of their latest record, Sunday Shoes, on Babcock's Catamount label, and they've been selected to appear at the Americana Music Awards Showcase in Nashville next month, Sept. 23-25. After their appearance at the AMA Showcase, they'll be back in town for their local CD release party at the Launchpad on Friday, Oct. 1. After that, it's off to Europe for a tour throughout Scotland, Ireland and England. ... As mentioned this week in Devin D. O'Leary's review of Garden State (page 61), the Sundance sensation starring Natalie Portman and Zach Braff, The Shins are featured prominently on the film's soundtrack. Braff, who wrote and directed the film, is a self-proclaimed Shins freak, and included “New Slang” and “Caring is Creepy”—both from The Shins' Sub Pop debut, Oh, Inverted World—in the film. Braff had originally approached lead Shin James Mercer about writing a song specifically for his movie, but touring and other commitments prevented it. Since the release of the movie, both Shins' Sub Pop releases, Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow, have re-entered Amazon.com's Top 100 in sales. Mercer has also been asked to write and record a song for the upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants movie, due out later this year.
Think the expansive vision of Kronos, the freshness of youth, and an unusual complement of instruments. Note that their name derives from Wallace Stevens' enigmatic poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." Add the specifics—Molly Alicia Barth, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Matt Albert, violin & viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; and Lisa Kaplan, piano—and you have Eighth Blackbird, one of the most exciting contemporary music ensembles on today's scene.
Thursday, Aug. 26; Pulse Nightclub (21 and over, 9 p.m.): DJ Kentifyr (a.k.a. Kent R. Wilhelmi) has been a staple at Pulse Nightclub for four years, during which he's served as a resident DJ and promoter—as founder and proprietor of Dark Beat Productions—of most of the gothic-industrial bands that have come through in that time.
Once, playing the Velvet Underground's "After Hours," on my boom box, my uncle asked me if I had recorded myself singing. It wasn't a compliment: Mo Tucker sang so girlishly off-key that he simply thought I'd made a bad recording of my own bad voice. But I liked the way she sounded. The vulnerability in her voice matched the yearning of the song. In a similar way, there's something endearing about Ben Kweller's voice. He's got to be in his early 20s but he sounds like a teenager when he sings; his voice is tentative and almost cracking until he bursts into a shouting chorus. Especially on the title track, "On My Way," when Ben sings to his mom, "I'll kill him with karate that I learned in Japan," you picture a gawky kid something like the main character in Napoleon Dynamite. Pretty and simple, just Kweller and a guitar, could it have been recorded at a coffeehouse open mic night?
Mesmerizing Eastern European vocal music from a Berkeley based ensemble? Absolutely. Kitka was founded in 1979 by women who wished to share their passion for the "stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, intricate ornamentation, lush harmonies, and resonant strength of Eastern European women's vocal music." The ensemble has since become recognized as the foremost exponent of Balkan and Slavic choral repertoire in the U.S.
Morrissey's latest effort is a slap in the face for those with a utopian view of the world. The album combines beautiful melodies and dark lyrics. With songs like "America is not the World," "Irish Blood English Heart," and "I Have forgiven Jesus," Morrissey, formerly of the Smiths fame, proves his love and disdain for society. Longtime fans will love this album. Newcomers who are into political bands and Sylvia Plath poems, this one's for you. Gut wrenching and enjoyable at the same time, I can't stop listening to it.
A new series of paintings by Angus Macpherson almost leaves a cool layer of mist on your bare skin. The hazy effect Macpherson achieves in this ephemeral, atmospheric work was inspired by his one-year stint in the Belgian city of Antwerp in the mid '90s, a region noted for having at least as much moisture in its air as it has in its lakes.
Here's all you need to know in order to make it in New Mexico: You have to love chile. New Mexicans are far, far too gracious to threaten to kick you out of the state, but they will stare at you as if you're insane when you ask for your breakfast burrito with no chile. They'll wonder if you're an alien in Albuquerque via Roswell when you respond to the state question, (“Red or green?”) with: “What's the difference?” They might even get seriously peeved when you say you just don't understand what the big deal is. Here's the thing, if you've just moved here from Minneapolis, we'll understand if you don't know a green chile from a bell pepper and we'll only tease you mildly when you break out in an all-over body sweat and tears stream from your eyes. Just remember: You'll get used to it sooner or later.
Eee, it's time for chiles, no?! Yes, it is that time of year when motorists cut across three lanes of oncoming traffic to pull to a screeching halt in front of some guy parked in a dirt lot with a truck and a roaster. Southern New Mexico's chile harvest usually begins around the end of July but according to Dr. Paul Bosland, a horticulture professor and director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, the middle of the season is the perfect time to buy chiles. Early season fruits tend to be thin-walled and less flavorful, he says. These immature chiles often have less flavor than the thicker, heavier pods of midseason fruit.