Who gives a shit? By now, it's a safe bet that everyone who drives or rides a bus in Albuquerque has seen the giant blue billboards around town asking, “Where's Larry?” and “Where's Dianne?” The advertisements refer to former KKOB AM morning host Larry Ahrens and decidedly prom-queen-esque, longtime local news anchor Dianne Anderson. The pair form the foundation of what is to become a new FM radio station here in Albuquerque, an addition to the American General Media roster, which includes Wild 106 FM and a handful of other stations no one listens to.
Dateline: Hungary—According to a report by the Hungarian Trades Union Federation, a supermarket chain has fired more than two dozen workers on the advice of a clairvoyant. Angry union bosses are demanding the staff be reinstated and say the bosses of the Penny Market chain were only looking for an excuse to cut staff. The report allegedly says that managers at the Penny Market took the personnel files of the employees to the clairvoyant and fired more than two dozen she psychically identified as thieves. The union says it is setting up special action groups to identify those who were psychically sacked.
Oscars Night—Alibi and Louie's Rock-N-Reels are proudly sponsoring the 13th Annual Acadamy Awards Benefit at the historic Lobo Theater in Nob Hill this Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of and funds for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a New Mexico AIDS Service program that provides supplemental pet food and veterinary care for companion animals of seriously ill people. Tickets are $20 for the event only ($5 off with student ID) or $50 for the event plus a three-course prix-fixé dinner at Zinc Bistro. The Oscars will be projected onto the Lobo's giant screen and there will be tons of movie-related doorprizes to be won. In addition, a silent auction in the theater's lobby will give attendees a chance to bid on items donated by local merchants. For dinner reservations and event info, call 232-7510.
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Ben Affleck—Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas
George W. Bush—Fahrenheit 9/11
Vin Diesel—Chronicles of Riddick
Ben Stiller—Along Came Polly, Anchorman, Dodgeball, Envy and Starsky & Hutch
Hilary Duff—Cinderella Story and Raise Your Voice
A reliable source has reported that local band Fivehundred (formerly Mr. Spectacular and three-fourths of Fatso, not to mention Smoothie) have thrown in the proverbial towel, unfortunately before making a record and without any official farewell show. Just another sad day in an endlessly long line of sad days. ... On a happier note, two local bands who remain active as of this writing appear to be getting better and better. Unit 7 Drain are back with a revamped lineup and a boatload of new songs they plan to record for forthcoming albums. They played two Saturday's ago at the Launchpad with Oktober People, who, presumably as part of their effort to spit-polish their set before heading to South By Southwest next month, sounded tighter and more majestic than usual, which is pretty fucking tight and majestic. ... Black Maria's Gordon Andersen made himself a special guest on Jim Villanucci's afternoon radio program last week on 770 KKOB AM, where the topic happened to be the giant new, $10,000-apeice concrete decorative pots that appeared early last week on the I-40 median just west of Carlisle. While most callers agreed that the artistic additions were pleasing, Andersen, true to form, went a step further, telling Villanucci and his listeners, “I'm pro-pot ... and I also like this public art.” Nothing like a little drive-time humor to quell the road rage.
Even for a band whose trademark is its penchant for musical re-enactments of historical events and Victorian literary references, Picaresque is an amazing feat of unapologetic chamber pop so full of hooks the average indie drama queen could easily find him- or herself mortally jigged. Colin Meloy, The Decemberists' Arch Duke, has outdone even his usual borderline overdone lyrical self here, and the rest of his five-piece indie orchestra provide the perfect accompaniment to his archetypal exercises. This is as close as you'll get to musical theater sans shitty acting and with elaborate sets that create themselves in your mind.
Speaking of Molly Ringwald (were we speaking of Molly Ringwald?), I would like to go on record stating that I've never had a crush on the red-haired star of The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Not even in the darkest days of my zit-spangled, hormone-poisoned adolescence did I even have a secret, in-the-closet fixation on her.
Closing, closing, closing. What the hell is going on here? Mom 'n' pop restaurants are dropping like flies, while corporate joints squirm like maggots on every corner. I know I've been whining about this same thing for years, but things seem to have changed over the past few months, and it's happening faster and faster. Look, people, you control the future of this city. The potential for change is in your pocketbook. If you don't eat at McAppleSteakhouse, and do eat at Tippy's Taco Shack then you are helping to keep local dollars here, in the hands of your friends and neighbors. You're supporting local chefs, farmers and purveyors. It's like voting: Sometimes it seems pointless and sometimes you don't win, but if you don't do it, you always lose. In fact, think of the loss of one of your favorite little places next time you vote. Call your city councilor, mayor, or state legislator and ask what they're doing to help keep local restaurants alive. I mean, what more can I say? What has that multinational corporate feed lot on I-25 done for you lately? When was they last time you walked in to one of those places and got introduced to everyone in the neighborhood, given a lesson in red or green and made to feel welcome in a strange city?
Tony Nethery is moving to Miami, Fla., to take a job as Sous Chef at Douglas Rodriguez' new restaurant OLA Steak. Nethery had been chef at Monte Vista Fire Station until the end of last year, when he became partners with Johnny Orr in the cheese and sandwich shop Relish (Wyoming between Louisiana and Pennsylvania). Nethery will remain a silent partner in the business after he leaves, which he said will happen before the end of February. Yes, it does seem sudden, but Nethery told me the job was too good to pass up; he couldn't resist the opportunity to work with such a well-known chef (Rodriguez was also behind the popular restaurant Chicama in New York City). Plus, Nethery's wife Melina (who also happens to the be the younger sister of my former coworker Sergio Salvador) is pregnant with their first child, so if they were going to make a move, it would be best to do it before they start hatching chicks. Pastry chef Ted Nicely, who spent the past few years making desserts for Monte Vista and Ambrozia, will join Nethery at OLA Steak. I will cry myself to sleep tonight, knowing I've had the last of Nethery's pork and grits creations and Nicely's awesome ice creams. The city will be way less yummy without the three of them.
Flying Star is set to open Downtown at Eighth Street and Silver on Monday, Feb. 28. This latest addition to the Flying Star and Satellite family of bakery/restaurants and coffee shops is located in a striking modern structure built in 1950 for Southern Union Gas, a precursor of PNM. The airy and open building with lots of stone, steel and walls of windows, was designed by the late John Gaw Meem, a famous New Mexico-based architect who was best known for his Southwestern style buildings, like UNM's Alumni Memorial Chapel. Flying Star owners Jean and Mark Bernstein worked with landlord Jay Rembe to get national historic status for the building.