The people have spoken. The nominations are in for the best local bands, players, albums, venues, engineers and labels of the past year. The second round for all the marbles runs Feb. 21 through Mar. 6. This year you can cast your votes once each week (that’s up to three times if you check your calendar carefully).And the cherry atop the BOBM sundae is a fantastic live showcase of nominees on Mar. 24. This thing was a blast last year, so let’s do it again!
Drumroll, please! Best of Burque, the original Albuquerque reader’s poll, enters its latest incarnation on Valentine’s Day, 2018. Voting runs Feb. 14 through March 13, a four-week period during which, for the first time, you can cast your votes once each week. So if you want to express love for your Best of Burque faves on a weekly basis to give the objects of your affection an edge in the results, your wish has been granted!
Activists organized on the Internet gather in the Arizona desert to take the nation's immigration laws into their own hands.
By Andy Isaacson
The warm, breezy summit of Coronado Peak, in Southeast Arizona's Huachuca Mountains, offers a fine view of the arid grassland below, a high desert plain of brown earth accented by a fertile strip of green willow and ringed by gentle mountain ranges. A faint dirt road slicing the plain marks the division between the United States and Mexico. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado once ambled through this rugged terrain with a legion of soldiers, Indians and priests on a "missionary undertaking" seeking the fabled "Seven Cities of Gold" to the north.
Resident takes city to court over water metering system
By Christie Chisholm
In Albuquerque, approximately 10,000 households are paying more than they need to on their water bill. That's right, you heard me. And if you belong to one of these households, you've probably been paying extra since you moved into your home—which for some, could be more than 20 years ago. The potential extra cost can be found in the "fixed" charge that comes with your water bill that's based on the size of the water meter that you have on your system. It may not seem like much at first but when added up every month over the course of 23 years, it's certainly enough to get Gary Williams, a retired military officer, riled up. It's also apparently enough to get him to take the city to court.
Bloggers united. If you're looking for a small taste of home-cooked news, opinion and sincere social blather, there's a new website, www.dukecityfix.com, that deserves some praise for its design, informed analysis and occasional sophistication. If you are a local news hound who just can't succumb to the Albuquerque Journal's sleep-inducing product, and pine for the days when the Albuquerque Tribune was one of the finest mid-market dailies in the nation, you might go to this blog for respite. I'm not saying it's comprehensive, but if you look at what a group of local volunteers are doing online to promote the city and foster dialogue among our citizens, you will see further reason for the decline of mainstream newspaper readership. Don't get me wrong; someday these folks could wind up competing with our own feisty alt.weekly, and as the day approaches, well, let the games begin! Competition, in theory, breeds better quality. Check them out and see for yourself.
There is no escape! There really is no end in sight! I'm just guessing here, but I'm sure that during last week's tumultuous school board hearing on charter school renewals this thought must have crossed the minds of all APS School officials present.
After slogging through a Committee of the Whole meeting, councilors tucked into their regular April 18 agenda. Councilor Sally Mayer's bill reinstating the community mediation program passed unanimously, as did Councilor Martin Heinrich's bill requiring that city buildings over 5,000 square feet meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Councilor Tina Cummins' bill bringing Albuquerque fire safety regulations in line with the recently adopted International Fire Code passed unanimously. And Councilor Craig Loy got a unanimous go ahead for his bill allowing a disabling "boot" to be placed on the vehicles of first-time DWI offenders. Councilor Eric Griego again pushed the Downtown arena negotiations, calling for either a viable financing proposal from Arena Management Company or a new bidding process. Councilor Miguel Gomez, hinting at a competing plan, called for a second hearing, once more halting the bill.
Just when I was getting ready to celebrate Earth Day, environmentalism kicked the bucket.
Twenty-five leaders of large enviro groups were recently interviewed for "The Death of Environmentalism," a report presented at a recent conference of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and authors Mark Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus concluded the environmental movement has become a relic and a failure. They're right. The movement too narrowly defines environmental problems and relies almost exclusively on shortsighted technical solutions. It lacks new ideas. Easy access to foundation funding has let it grow fat and complacent.
Dateline: Argentina—Rock star Andres Calamaro was recently charged with saying that he would like to smoke marijuana--a statement he made more than 10 years ago. “I feel so good that I could smoke a joint,” Calamaro told a crowd of 100,000 fans on Nov. 19, 1994 in La Plata, 30 miles south of Buenos Aries. Calamaro, 43, figured he was off the hook in 1995 when a group of enraged parents hauled him before a judge, who dismissed the charges of justifying a crime. Undeterred, the parents spent the last 10 years looking for a less “liberal” judge. “This trial is absurd. It's Kafkaesque,” Calamaro's lawyer, Jose Stefanuolo told a crowd of fans who came to support the musician. Stefanuolo says he will try to get the case dismissed. If that doesn't work, he will invoke the statute of limitations.
The Fusion Theatre Company's latest project is a new production of Henrik Ibsen's play Hedda Gabler, using a contemporary translation by Doug Hughes. Jacqueline Reid will play the title role, which is one of the most complex and profound female characters ever created. She'll be supported by a cast made up of some of Albuquerque's best theatrical talent, under the direction of Joe Feldman.
It's touted as the single largest annual gathering of Native Americans on Earth, and it happens right here in Albuquerque. The Gathering of Nations powwow is currently in its 22nd year, and if you haven't yet witnessed the spectacle of more than 3,000 American Indian musicians and dancers making UNM's Pit Arena tremble under the force of Native feet, drums and vocal chords, then do yourself a favor and check it out this week. You'll never see or hear anything else like it.
Opportunities like this don't come along every day. From Thursday, April 28, through Saturday, April 30, Nii Tettey Tetteh and the Kusun Ensemble will present a series of workshops on traditional West African drumming and dance at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW). Kusun will then give a performance on Sunday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. For information about times, prices and other details, call 385-5634.
Writer and actor Rick Najera created Latinologues as a service to the Latino community, but the show is really for anyone who wants to gain a greater insight into Latino life in the United States. This live performance consists of comedic monologues delivered by a rotating cast of talented performers. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 to $37.50, available at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 883-7800.
Rave On!—Honorary Albuquerque citizen Richard Griffin (director of zombified social satire Feeding the Masses and director of photography on legendary local gore-fest The Stink of Flesh) is currently in town to shoot Billy Garberina's multi-monstered horror comedy Necroville. Griffin is taking the opportunity to show off his latest directing effort, Raving Maniacs. The film--co-written by The Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie's Trent Haaga--concerns a group of hip, young people who find themselves confronted by a group of drug-addled, blood-crazed ghouls at an all-night rave. The film will screen one night only, April 29, at 10:30 p.m. at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Griffin will be on hand to introduce the film and do a Q&A afterward. Log on to www.scorpiofilmreleasing.com/rave/rave.html for more info and show up early as seating will be limited!
High-flying documentary is just the thing to lift your spirits
By Devin D. O'Leary
Director Judy Irving's soon-to-be cult classic nature documentary, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, is unusual for a number of reasons. First of all, it takes place not in the Great Wide Open, but in the tiny pockets of green that dot urban San Francisco. Second of all, it spends as much if not more time exploring man as beast.
After The Boxer in 1997, British actor Daniel Day-Lewis went into a state of semiretirement, emerging briefly to nab an Academy Award nomination for his work on Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York. Since then, he's returned to the retired life, but was lured back to the big screen by none other than his wife, filmmaker Rebecca Miller. After all, what's the point of marrying one of the world's most respected actors if you can't force him to star in your film?
There are those Biblical scholars, conspiracy theorists and religious “fringe” figures who comb through the Bible Code, the Da Vinci Code or whatever for subtle clues to our planet's impending future. I say they're wasting their time. There's no need to strain your eyes and your imagination looking for signs of the apocalypse in ancient history. All you need to do is keep your eyes peeled to popular culture. Take, for example, this chilling tidbit ripped right from the pages of People magazine: Last week, “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest was given his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ... People, if there's a clearer sign of the our culture's doom, I don't know what it could be.
A big Alibi bear hug to everyone who came Downtown last weekend for Spring Crawl 2005! Local bands played to packed houses and crowds were enthusiastic without getting too obnoxious. I thought the addition of a third all-ages venue was a nice touch and a definite step in the right direction. Thanks to the bands, clubs and crawlers for all your support. We'll see you in the Fall! ... Congratulations to ex-Burqueños Stoic Frame for hitting number one on the national Spanish rock alternative charts. "Demonios del Asfalto" has enjoyed three weeks at the top, along with a video in heavy rotation on MTV Español, which was filmed right here in New Mexico. Request more airtime by e-mailing email@example.com. ... Dandee from Lousy Robot was nice enough to swing by the Alibi offices with the group's new CD, The Strange and True Story of Your Life. The first couple of listens already smack of classic Albuquerque indie pop—quirky, mid-tempo tunes flushed out by keyboards and catchy hooks. Songwriter/vocalist Jim Phillips stylistically conjures up Frank Black and Blondie, but with less caffeine and a whole lot more self-deprecation. The album was produced by John Dufilho of The Deathray Davies way down in Texas. All the more reason to order your copy today at www.cdbaby.com. ... A Hawk and a Hacksaw will debut their second album, Darkness at Noon (The Leaf Label) on April 30 at Sol Arts, 8 p.m. AHAAH is comprised of Jeremy Barnes(Neutral Milk Hotel) and Heather Trost (FOMA), and backed by the Rumble Trio. This is going to be one of those rare nights to catch another creative force from Albuquerque before they get hugely popular and move to Seattle. From the snippets of MP3s I've managed to piece together, Darkness at Noon feels like a slightly off-kilter ballet, or the wordless, crackling score to some strange and archaic French film. The arrangements are stormy and raw-to-the-nerve, with a percussive wash of twinkling bell tones. Spirals of tinny piano and klezmer-heavy accordion and violin make for an intense meditation on the past. It's all very Old World Jewish. If you can't secure a seat at this Friday's show, at least check out their website (www.ahawkandahacksaw.co.uk). It's like a wine-soaked fin de siecle arcade, complete with screeching electronic whirligigs and an interactive gallery of "tumescent bulbs." Fabulous!
Monday, May 2; Launchpad (21 and over): Part of me wants to believe Outrageous Cherry was the only modern band Hunter S. Thompson would let into his CD collection. The same part of me wants to hack into Clear Channel's "oldies" database and add Outrageous Cherry's Wide Awake In the Spirit World to it, just to see if anyone would notice.
Dear Spoon, I fell in love with you when I heard 2000's Girls Can Tell, but lost the feeling with Kill The Moonlight. It's not that it was a bad album; it just wasn't the same Spoon that I thought I knew. Now that you've put out Gimme Fiction, with its pulsating and sometimes explosive percussion, cleverly orchestrated guitars and exquisite lyricism, I love you more than ever.
With all the variety of a big city but far less sonic schlock, Albuquerque's heavy rock community really shouldn't be taken for granted. Our outstanding metalcore scene is a great example. Engulfing the planet with frenetic aggression and emo-infused melodies, metalcore hits home with fans of punk, metal and everything between, and Albuquerque's Caustic Lye and Sincerely are two contenders ready for larger recognition. Both groups have adeptly morphed in recent years to take up the metalcore flag with pride and volume, and displayed command and confidence at their recent locals-only Launchpad pairing. Sincerely, who began as Destined To Fall, has come a long way. Several years of stylistic maturation saw the departure of three-fifths of the original band, but founding members Chris Chapman (guitar) and Josh Trujillo (drums) have secured the missing pieces. Rounded out with guitarist Dave Phillips, singer Gino Noriega and new bassist Eric Gerey (ex-Left Unsaid), Sincerely is a tight and relentless mix of soaring melodies and high-speed frenzy that perfectly defines why metalcore is a great outlet for teen (or older) angst. Caustic Lye has undergone similar lineup changes and stylistic shifts, most notably the addition of drummer/singer/co-writer Jeremy Ferguson, who joined with the caveat that frontman Jespah Torres start utilizing his full vocal range. It was a wise move, as the pair's pristine harmonies come off beautifully live, and offset the rawness of Caustic's angular, driving riffs. All in all, a chance to see just one of these bands is worth showing up for, and a night with both demolishing the stage should damn well not be missed.
The Land of the Morning Calm right here in Albuquerque
By Scott Sharot
From the moment I walked into A-Ri-Rang Oriental Market I knew I was in for a treat. The place smelled like Korea. Which can be either a good thing, or not, depending on your sensibilities. For me it was a good thing; the smells transported me back to my tour of duty with the Army in Korea. I was introduced to the country's cuisine the first day of duty in the Land of the Morning Calm, as it's called, and I immediately fell in love with kimchi. Kimchi is the spicy garlic-laden staple that is eaten at every meal. You'll find it all over the menu, served with rice, in soup or accompanying the main dish as a panchan (side dish). It can be made with several kinds of vegetables, but the most popular version is made with cabbage, which is marinated with a lot of garlic, vinegar and hot red chile. Traditionally, the mixture is then buried underground in a clay pot for almost a year and the result is a delicious spicy condiment that is eaten at every meal.
For most Koreans, food is always served with kimchi, a spicy side dish consisting of cabbage, red peppers, garlic and other ingredients. In addition to being weirdly delicious, kimchi is a good source of vitamins, fiber and calcium. The following recipe is from www.netcooks.com.
From grease-stained, alt.country superheroes like Breaker 1-9 to the grungy atmospherics of the Oktober People to the orgasmic tribal percussion of Concepto Tambor, Albuquerque is bursting at the seams with musical talent. If you've spent the last 10 years sitting on your lazy butt at home, reading about all of our town's blistering musical happenings in the Alibi without ever witnessing anything firsthand, it's time for a lifestyle change.
We gave up trying to profile every band playing the Crawl a long time ago. There are just too damn many to do the bands justice. So nowadays we just give our readers a taste of some of the highlights. Enjoy!
Our cast of local crawlers will help you get started
By Michael Henningsen
Can't decide which bands to see at Alibi Spring Crawl 2005? Well, that's why we've put this handy little grid together: so that the undecided among you might take suggestions from our somewhat random panel of local music enthusiasts.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. You've heard that before. And sometimes it's true. For example, a quick scan of the headlines generated from this year's South by Southwest music showcase in Austin, Texas, follows a similar theme, the same theme in fact that the music press has rehashed now for the past five years.
Quote of the week. Santa Fe City Council member David Pfeffer, angered by an April 5 AlbuquerqueJournal article titled "Pfeffer Wants to Patrol Border," responded to the story in a letter published in the Journal on April 6 claiming the reporter, John T. Huddy, was guilty of ye olde "complete fabrication."
Leninists and corporate shills make odd bedfellows at the Legislature
By Jim Scarantino
Impact fees have amazing powers. They can restore sense to the city's growth policies. But did you know they also induce pathological behavior? Impact fees can turn right-wing Republicans into Leninists and glib liberals. They also have a strange effect on populist Democrats, turning them into shills for corporate favoritism.
The APD Party Patrol genuinely seemed like a good bunch of people. And so well-behaved. Of course, I was a reporter with a microphone in my pocket, but all the same they seemed perfectly pleased to have me along for the ride. It was fun that night, getting the chance to watch our local party busters in action, even though we didn't break up any raucous events. It gave me a newfound respect for their team—these guys really were the cream of the crop, hand selected to serve in the overtime program that was supposed to save teenage lives and keep the peace. They deserved the extra bucks they were making off the shift—they knew how to deal with kids—they were calm, respectful, yet authoritative (in a good way). All that extra training seemed to be paying off. And so when I wrote my story on the Party Patrol a few days later ["Laying Down the Law," March 24-30], that night stayed with me.
Dateline: Australia—Despite recent crackdowns on passengers and the items that they are allowed to carry on to planes, airport security continues to suffer setbacks. Take for example, the story of David Cox, who was waiting inside the terminal at Sydney Airport last week. He happened to glance outside the window, and what should he see but a baggage handler wandering around the runway wearing the camel costume that he had packed in his luggage. On Friday, Qantas Airways Ltd. suspended the handler in question after a video revealed the unnamed man opening the passenger's bag, donning the camel's head and wandering around the airport tarmac. According to Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon, the baggage handler could be fired pending further investigation. “We are acutely aware of heightened community concerns around security of baggage,” Dixon said in a statement. “What has happened is completely unacceptable and is unacceptable to the vast majority of decent, hardworking Qantas employees.”
An interview with Jay Frank, programming director of Yahoo! Music
By Tim McGivern
On the final day of this year's South by Southwest music showcase, I stumbled into a convention center ballroom that promised a lively discussion on the state of the music industry in the United States. I figured no sane member of the music press would pass that up, right? There's just so much to talk about. You've got satellite radio, Internet downloads, peer-to-peer file sharing technology, the iPod, eMusic, iTunes, reggae tone, ringtones, Britney Spears ... you name it. So I went in search of enlightenment.
Calling All Zombies—Necroville, a locally produced, low-budget horror comedy shooting here in Albuquerque, is attempting to film the largest zombie siege ever lensed in the state of New Mexico. Hence, all zombie wannabes are asked to attend the Zombie Siege Day, taking place Saturday, April 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Anyone interested is asked to lumber their way to the SolArts Theater (712 Central SW) that morning. Pizza and soda will be provided for lunch. The theater will afford adequate shelter, water and bathrooms. C.R. Productions, makers of Necroville, recommend bringing a fold-up chair, a book, a Gameboy and other luxuries to pass the day. Zombie makeup is water soluble, but extras are advised to wear their best beat up/throw away clothing. If you have any questions, you can direct them to director Billy Garberina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Heart-tugging documentary proves that prejudice has a cure
By Devin D. O'Leary
Prejudice is an equal opportunity disease. Even the most prejudiced people in the world are not immune to being stereotyped and misunderstood themselves. Take, for example, rural Southerners living below both the Bible Belt and the poverty line. They're all a bunch of racist rednecks, aren't they? Not so fast, says the eye-opening new documentary Paper Clips.
Madcap martial arts epic blends Bruce Lee with Bugs Bunny
By Devin D. O'Leary
Stephen Chow, star of some 50-odd films, is a certified superstar throughout Asia. In fact, he'd probably be a bigger name here in America if Miramax hadn't completely bobbled the stateside release of his worldwide smash Shaolin Soccer. Thankfully, he's got another shot at adding America to his international fanbase with the release of his newest sensation, Kung Fu Hustle.
In the past few weeks, some casual television observers may have been shocked to find FOX's more-hyped-than-happenin' medical drama “House” suddenly knocking at the door of the weekly Top 10. In a world where new shows get booted after a week or two of weak ratings, “House” is the latest example of a network actually giving audiences time to ease into a series.
After the release of their second full-length album, Icecaves (Little Kiss Records), and a smashing unofficial debut at South by Southwest, FOMA is finally getting some attention from the music media at large. I'll be the first to admit that self promotion can be a tricky, dirty business, but the FOMA crew has appeared effortless at subtly charming our pants off, whether it's through e-zines, college radio spots or glowing reviews from as far abroad as Norway. They're already back in the studio working on a new album, which they plan to support with a United States tour in August. See what Venus Magazine'sspring edition has to say about the group at venuszine.com. ... Now that just about every respected radio station in Albuquerque has been blasted to smithereens, I can't help but picture all of our now-defunct DJs panhandling for change by the freeway. Luckily for all of us, I just got a bead on one ex-local radio announcer, and he seems to be doing just fine. You can catch Bill Royal, formerly of 104.1 World Class Rock, in his new gig as front man of a classic rock and blues cover band. Strange Brew is playing at Back Street Bar & Grill this Saturday, April 23. ... The Ben Martinez Project took a break from the dinner-and-jazz circuit this weekend to record their next CD, The Urban Bug. Ben says he hopes to debut the album at the 45th Annual Texas Jazz Festival (October 21-23), marking their 10th consecutive year at the event. Godspeed, gentlemen. ... Congratulations to Raising Cane for making it in to the National Bluegrass Playoffs in Victorville, Calif. The ho-down (or is it ho-off?) is the crown jewel of the Huck Finn Jubilee, an early summer festival with lots of clout in the national bluegrass community. Raising Cane will represent New Mexico as one of four bluegrass bands from the Southwest, which also includes California, Colorado and Nevada. "We're so excited to be asked to participate in this event," says Don Grieser, mandolin player for Raising Cane. "People really respond to our original material, and we think that was a big factor in being invited to the playoffs. It's a chance to showcase the band with some of the best in America."
Friday, Apr. 22; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): Culture is defined as the behavior patterns, arts, beliefs and all other forms of human work and thought as expressed in a particular community. This is hip hop, a culture, complete with an entire entertainment network of painters, dancers, musicians and more. I am constantly impressed at hip hop events by the cohesion they seem to possess within their community, within their culture. Two of the talents I have watched grow and develop within this network are the fabulous 2bers. Sticky Moco Productions and 2bers will be introducing their new CD, The History of Our Future, at Burt's on Friday, an event that is certain not to disappoint.
It is said that a band has its whole life to draw inspiration for its debut album, but only a few hectic years to record the often-disappointing sophomore one. Judas Priest offer a second-generation debut here, courtesy of a 15-year hiatus. The Birmingham, England, metal icons knock the dust off their leathers and slip into their comfort zone with relative ease on Angel of Retribution, offering up a fully satisfying album rock experience. This is classic and improbably classy. Calculated modern production subdues the sharp edges and highlights the band's thoughtful metal mathematics, a trait usually hidden behind its sideshow demeanor.
Tuesday nights in Albuquerque can be unnerving, especially when you are looking for something to do other than watch television or stare into space. But then there is that diamond in the rough, that glimmer of hope, a free show at Burt's Tiki Lounge with great entertainment. I was happily surprised to take time to check out a decent line-up of rock music at Burt's Tuesday, April 12, with local bands Q's Revenge, Dead on Point 5 and Seattle-based band, Murdock.
For a good decade and a half, Magnífico sponsored a juried exhibit designed to showcase the best contemporary artists the Albuquerque area has to offer. Yeah, the event had its share of detractors, but, for my own part, I usually enjoyed it. The show was a messy grab bag of disparate art, but that was always the biggest part of its appeal.
Every year when the weather turns warm, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream seems to sprout up everywhere. Like bright yellow dandelion heads in a green spring lawn, it's one of the surest signs that we've finally put winter behind us.
Lea Anderson, a graduate student in the art program at UNM, recently took a leap away from rectangular canvasses. A new show at Trevor Lucero Studio (500 Second Street SW) incorporates a series of round canvasses ranging from 12 inches to four or five feet in diameter. The show also includes a series of three-dimensional sculpture paintings that will hang from the ceiling, along with an organic work that will be painted directly on the studio wall. They Grew opens this Friday, April 22, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Runs through April 30. 244-0730.
New Yorker Linda Lerner says she's got a problem with authority, but don't let that stop you from coming by the Albuquerque Press Club (201 Highland Park Circle SE) this Friday, April 22, to hear some of her blistering rebel poetry. Lerner is the author of nine collections of poetry. Her essay on the state of American poetry, "Poems from the Crypt Don't Speak to Living People," is in the current issue of the New York Quarterly. Lerner will be joined by local poets Lisa Gill, Todd Moore and Mitch Rayes. The event, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will also include an open mic. 243-8476.
Drinking too much impairs your judgment—long before you do something so lethally stupid as getting behind the wheel of a car. For example, your no-smoking regime? Worked great until beer No. 2; by beer No. 4 you were bumming from the bartender. Remember that time you rode your bike home drunk, crashed and broke your two front teeth out? Oh God. Or the time you went home with that drummer, the one you promised yourself you wouldn't go home with because you'd already slept with the bass player and two guys in one band is one too many? Booze can wreck your waistline, too, and not just because it's full of empty calories. One-and-a-half margaritas can be all it takes for you to give up on your diet completely. One Malibu and Diet Coke makes chips and salsa look really good. Two Vanilla Stoli and sodas make an order of chicken strips sound like a great idea. After several rounds of birthday (or bachelor, breakup, baby, whatever) B-52s (or blowjobs, car bombs, whatever) and you're demanding the designated driver take you through the Whataburger drive-through for a Whatacatch with onion rings and a side of cream gravy. Noooooo! What a nightmare. I'd rather wake up between the drummer and bass player than with the hazy recollection of a Whatadrivethru binge.
Mexican food moves into Rio Rancho. Federico Cardenas is a San Diego native who grew up in a restaurant family—his parents are from Michoacan and have been in the business 30 years—and finally saved up enough money to move away and open his own place. Offhandedly, I asked him why he chose to move to Albuquerque. He told me he chose not Albuquerque, but Rio Rancho, specifically because it was a city with very few Mexican restaurants. “It's paying off so much!” he told me with a level of enthusiasm and satisfaction that is unusual for the owner of a brand-new business. Adding to the attraction of this big fish in a little pond is the fact that Federico's Mexican Food (1590 Deborah SE, near Kmart, 891-7218) is open 24 hours. To the best of Fred's knowledge, Taco Bell is the only other all-night restaurant in the area. No wonder he's got folks lining up for full-pound burritos at 2 a.m.! Oh, did I forget to mention? Federico's specialty is burritos that he uses 14-inch tortillas and stuffs them until they weigh a pound. Even the breakfast burritos weigh a pound. He's also got flautas (fried rolled tacos, sometimes called taquitos), menudo (Saturdays and Sundays), and churros. The churros are the only menu items that aren't made from scratch. One thing he doesn't have: sopaipillas. “My distributor said, ’Oh, I can sell you sopaipillas,' but if I don't know how to make them, then I'm just not going to serve them.”
A few words with Richard Agee, the guy behind La Crêperie Roulante
By Gwyneth Doland
So you're a hot dog guy now, huh?
Yeah, right [snarls menacingly].
Seriously, you make beautiful crêpes and yet all the drunk people stumbling out of the bars ask you for hot dogs. Does that bother you?
Naw, that's why I got hot dogs, cuz there's guys who pull their last two dollars out and I'm happy to take 'em. But I do use Alpine Sausage House Vienna sausages for my hot dogs. I use Alpine for all my sausages.
What other sausages?
I got Polish, Italian, and then I rotate between knockwurst, bratwurst and turkey green chile brats. I doctor up my sauerkraut by soaking it to get the brine out, then cooking it again with white wine and caraway seeds. That's an old German method. They brine the kraut to preserve it, but that doesn't mean that's how you're supposed to eat it.
El Viva Mexico is brimming with life and the authentic sabor of Mexico. From the moment I turned off Wyoming into the crowded dirt parking lot, it felt somehow like I was south of the border. Once inside, it could have been Juarez, with murals of sunny Mexican vistas on every wall, lots of candy vending machines and knickknacks here and there. A steady stream of families with lots of kids kept tables filled, while a television set emoted Mexican soap operas from a high corner. Mariachi music streamed from the kitchen. A small display case with authentic Mexican candies and other sweet treats reminded me of bygone days and penny candy stores.
I've received quite a few frantic phone calls over the last couple weeks from people wondering just where the @#$*&!! our photo contest went. Yes, we originally planned to run the winners in our March 24 issue, but the contest got pushed back a couple weeks due to some scheduling mumbo jumbo that wouldn't interest you (trust me). We advertised the extension repeatedly in the paper, but several of you seem to have missed it.
Coronado Mall's plan for redevelopment raises air quality questions
By Christie Chisholm
People hate bad city planning. Which is why, nearly 25 years ago, Albuquerque's City Council decided to put an end to it, at least in one part of our city. The Uptown district, which is well-known for its sea of asphalt, undeveloped space and semi-empty strip malls, also has the worst air pollution in the city and is, for the most part, pedestrian unfriendly. And so, in an effort to curb these characteristics and transform Uptown into a thriving urban area, in 1981, the Council created the Uptown Sector Plan.
Our Banana Republic. Politics can be a downright pitiful exercise in nepotism. In New Mexico, the latest obvious example was a bill sponsored at the Legislature by Reps Dan Silva and Kiki Saavedra that was championed by their sons, who both happened to be lobbyists for the cause.
City councilors began the April 4 meeting an hour early, shunted 14 bills to a land use meeting and slogged past the 10:30 p.m. deadline, but the last few weeks' backlog of bills just piled higher. The single thing councilors didn't discuss, having vented earlier at an afternoon press conference, was the current APD ruckus.
The Terry Schiavo tragedy just won't let go of my imagination. It is tempting to move on, to shift our focus, to look for the next public circus to distract ourselves from the painful truths opened by the still-fresh experience in Florida. But until we've teased out a few answers for ourselves, the contradictions are too extreme to set aside comfortably.
Dateline: Louisiana—Rapper C-Murder, in jail for the 2002 murder of a teenager, has changed his stage name because he thinks he is misunderstood. “I am not a murderer,” the rapper, whose real name is Corey Miller, said in a statement released last Tuesday. According to his publicist, Giovanni Melchiorre of New York-based Koch Records, the incarcerated musician will now go by the name of C Miller. “People hear the name C-Murder and they don't realize that the name simply means that I have seen many murders in my native Calliope projects neighborhood,” the rapper explained. The state of Louisiana disagrees, however. Miller was convicted of second-degree murder Sept. 30, 2003, in the death of Steve Thomas, 16, a fan of the rapper who was shot inside a nightclub in the New Orleans suburb of Harvey. Miller faces a mandatory life sentence without parole. Earlier this month, a state appeals court upheld Miller's conviction. His defense lawyer, Ron Rakosky, has said he will appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Campaign contributions put legislation into perspective
By Jim Scarantino
Handicap these odds: An important piece of legislation is before the New Mexico Legislature. Lined up on one side are all of Albuquerque's neighborhood coalitions. On the other sideline huddles a handful of lobbyists. Who wins?
It's been a tough scene for our blues guys and gals ever since Club Rhythm & Blues closed its doors for good, taking one of the best open mics in town right along with them. But if there's a silver lining to be found here, it's that artists like Michael Holt are strengthening their own scene from the roots up. Holt and his Hollywood Holt Band host a new weekly open mic just for blues and R&B performers at Ned's Downtown. The Wednesday night showcase is a step up from traditional blues jams, with a nice stage, a full sound setup and professional live mixing. Holt says his motivation springs from when he first cut his blues teeth at open mics under the tutelage of Darin Goldston, front man of the Memphis P. Tails. “They say you've got to give it away if you want to keep it, and this is my way of giving it back.”
By the time he'd reached the ripe old age of 23, Connecticut-bred pianist Kevin Hays had already toured for a year with the Harper Brothers, worked with Joshua Redman and Benny Golson to name but a few, and waxed his first record as a leader, El Matador (Evidence). Considering that most of us spend the period of our "professional" lives between college graduation and the age of 25 spinning in the wind, Hays' comparative beeline toward the pinnacle of post-bop piano craft stands as an even more miraculous feat. And just wait until you hear him play.
Wednesday, April 20; UNM Sub Mall (all ages, noon): The Slow Signal Fade's exotic and dark vocals are what make them stand out from the pack. The Los Angeles-based group formed in 2002 and in a short amount of time have managed to craft a polished sound and, from what I've heard, a stellar stage performance.
with Jennifer Gentle, The Outcrowd and Jealous Gods
By Brett Bakker
Wednesday, April 20; Launchpad, 21 and over, 10 p.m.)
Paisley's not dead, it's just discreetly tucked under jackets. This isn't your childhood paisley (Prince) or your dad's (Blues Magoos), but a night of four distinctly different takes on modern psychedelic music.
Dead Meadow is cold funk, a grim and smoky version of the psychedelic experience 20 minutes before it turned narcotic. The flowers aren't still in anyone's hair at this point, although they're just as colorful in the mind.
She's only 19 and she's co-written her debut CD, Chain Letter. About half of the CD sounds like any number of female R&B/pop artists on the market, but Valentine takes a few risks and rises above the countless others with some mesmerizing and distinguishing hits. Songs like "I Want U Dead" and "Blah Blah Blah" have distinctive beats, while the music is hauntingly aggressive, not blatant slap-you-in-the-face hip hop. And Valentine seems even stronger when accompanied by rappers such as the late Dirt McGirt, Lil' Jon, Big Boi and others. Valentine threads her way from lust to love to hate, and leaves a trail of men battered and beaten behind.
CineQuixote—The National Hispanic Cultural Center in conjunction with Instituto Cervantes will present a screening of Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about Terry Gilliam's aborted attempt to film Cervantes' classic novel. The screening will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at NHCC's Wells Fargo Auditorium (1701 Fourth Street NW). Entrance is free and open to the public.
You know that old saying that goes, “Hell hath no fury like a one-eyed woman pumping your sorry ass full of shotgun shells”? Well, after watching Thriller: A Cruel Picture, it's pretty freakin' obvious where that particular nugget of knowledge came from.
Working with sentiment is like working with nitroglycerin. Use just the right amount and you can treat a heart condition. Use too much and it's gonna blow up in your face, taking a whole lot of people with you. Get it right and you come up with a classic weeper like Old Yeller. Get it wrong and you end up with a manipulative horror like Pay It Forward. It takes an alchemical precision to work with heart-tugging sentiment, and few Hollywood people really have the skill for it.
Last week, PBS perennial “Sesame Street” kicked off its 36th season. Thirty-six years of teaching kids the letter “D” is, I guess, enough to drive even the most dedicated of educators mad. (“D! It's a D! Don't you get it already?!?”) How else to explain the shocking revelation that--I can hardly bring myself to say it--this season, Cookie Monster will be cutting down on the cookies?
The 11th Annual Juried Graduate Student Exhibition at the Jonson Galley
By Steven Robert Allen
One problem with this year's UNM graduate student art show is that viewers are going to want to play with a lot of the art. In most cases, though, this show isn't any different from a traditional exhibit. Touch the art, and you will be punished.
You know this month is poetry month, don't you? Even if you turn a deaf ear to poetry during the other 11 months of the year, you have a moral duty to stand up and pay attention from now through April 30, at which time you can go back to playing with your Sony Playstation 14 hours a day. Get into the poetic spirit at La Luna Llena a variety show in celebration of poetry month occurring this Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Harwood. Arizona poet Richard Shelton will be a featured performer along with a host of talented local poets, musicians, dancers and at least one Kerouac impersonator. A fine time will be had by all. $7 general, $5 students/seniors. 242-6367.
Abstract expressionism is one of those artistic innovations that probably won't ever completely go out of style. Working Classroom visual art apprentices under the tutelage of artist Gary Eugene Jefferson explore this unrestrained free-form aesthetic style in a new exhibit opening this Friday, April 15, at the Visiones Gallery with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. catered by Whole Foods Market. Come on by, chaw on some high-class snacks and take in the wild creations of Jefferson and his talented young students. Runs through May 27. 242-9267.
Boys of 9 or 10 often know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Some want to be firemen; others worship race car drivers. John Ashbery, however, had his own unique career ambition. "I was living in Rochester," says the 77-year-old poet in his New York City apartment, wind whistling loudly off the Hudson River. "I saw all these paintings from the famous surrealist show at the MOMA in Life magazine, and I decided then and there I wanted to be a surrealist when I grew up."
Who wants to have dinner with Amy Goodman, co-host of Pacifica Radio's “Democracy Now”? Goodman will be in Santa Fe this week with East Timor native and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta for a discussion on peace and democracy in general, and East Timor in particular. The discussion, called a Peace Jam, takes place at St. John's College on Saturday, April 16. Twenty lucky lefties will join Goodman for an intimate late afternoon dinner before the Peace Jam. New Mexico's KUNM 89.9 FM is distributing the 20 tickets through an auction held on their website, www.kunm.org. The minimum bid is $125, but a bid of $1,000 will automatically win you a seat at the table. The dinner, including food, wine and very lively conversation, will take place in a private dining room, the location of which will only be disclosed to auction winners. Proceeds from the auction all go to benefit KUNM. Tickets for the Peace Jam cost between $12 and $20. Call the Lensic Box Office at (505) 988-1234 for tickets and information.
Anticipation makes everything more exciting, doesn't it? We've all been excitedly awaiting the opening of Crazy Fish, the much-hyped sushi restaurant in Nob Hill (3015 Central NE, 232-3474, next to the Lobo Theater). Owner and sushi Chef Seigo Ono, a former Albuquerque resident, came back to open his own place after a decade away. The lunch menu is accessible and affordably priced, with selections like the teriyaki salmon lunch box ($6.95): salmon served with miso soup, rice, salad or stir-fried vegetables. Other options include calamari salad ($6.25) and a barbecued eel bowl ($7.25). At dinner the menu is more exciting but not that much more expensive. A starter of edamame will run you $3.50 and creamy Asian mushroom udon pasta is $10.50. There's also a full sushi bar. Stop in and try it out. Let us know what you think.
You'll want to stay all night in this soul kitchen
By Scott Sharot
A new soul food kitchen has sprung up in the South Broadway neighborhood. Matriarch Katherine Bradford, aka Aunt Babe, has made the business a family affair, with three generations of the Bradford clan as helpmates. Warning: Finding the place could be tricky. You might pass right on by this nondescript white frame building. Navigate yourself to the Northwest corner of Broadway and Gibson, and look for a small, humble sign. (I'm told it will be replaced with a larger one very soon.)
Cannibals can't agree on whether humans taste like pork or beef
By Gwyneth Doland
I sometimes find myself staring off into space, wondering what it would be like to be a man. I imagine being tall enough to see what's on top of the fridge, being so focused on important issues that I never notice my toilet bowl is filthy, and, while we're at it, being hung like Tommy Lee. Right? How cool would that be?