The winners of the Alibi's Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest
By Steven Robert Allen
Unless you're getting paid by the word, there's absolutely no legitimate reason on God's green earth to ever use 20 words when three will do just fine. Amateur writers never seem to grasp this. They just keep blathering on and on without a thought in their wee little brains, convinced to the bitter end that volume somehow equals quality.
My brain hurts. I've been trying to map out this week in music all morning long, and I've got to tell you, my gray matter is really starting to throb. The sheer volume of good music we're seeing this weekend alone is about as mind-melting as it gets. How in the hell am I going to make it out to all of these shows?
It's a good thing Sharon Gilchrist can pick the hell out of a mandolin. Otherwise, Albuquerque might only remember her as that hot Santa Fe girl with long dark hair and tall black boots. Gilchrist, who used to come to town with her bluegrass band Mary & Mars, returns Friday as the newest member of the all-girl string-band powerhouse Uncle Earl.
Friday, June 17; Launchpad (21 and over): While acknowledging that DJs and club kids use records, the music press at large bemoans the dearth of vinyl in rock and roll. Nonsense. There are plenty of die-hards who release vinyl in small pressings. Case in point and close to home, locals The Foxx tonight celebrate their Instrument/Come to Japan single, a double-shot of whammy-glammy dance pop. Pressed by Vinyl Countdown, the label plans to live up to its name with more releases, including rare glam reissues. Tennessee's Bullets To Broadway are also on deck. Since they're ex-Teen Idols, the pop punk comparisons will be coming fast and hard. There may be similarities but with the promise of a sharper edge. The Foxx songs can be found on mp3 if you know where to look, but that old saw about the warm intimacy of analog recording stands here proudly. Youngsters raised on digital are satisfied hearing half the music that's really there only because they know no better. Come celebrate the absurdity of major labels who also know no better by picking up a copy of this 45 RPM slab from Albuquerque's latest indie.
with Dressy Bessy, The Mindy Set and Shortwave Sweetheart
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Saturday, June 18; Launchpad (21 and over): Within the ever-evolving realm of music idioms, I've discovered a new pseudo genre: wit-rock. The Hot IQ's easily fall into this category as their theme song includes the word verisimilitude (having the appearance of being true or real, for your information) and acknowledges the benefits of PBS and good DNA. Thus the Denver trio should appeal to all of you pretentious, large-brained rock fans, as they will wow you with fuzzy pop rock, the aforementioned unabashed cleverness, not to mention a (vocally) well-endowed singer and danceable beats created by the most adorable female drummer I've seen in my life. I, myself, really can't get enough of this band. Maybe it's because I'm, ahem, soooooo smart. It's possible, though, that troglodytes and geniuses alike will be able to enjoy what promises to be a dynamic show. Just try not to feel bad if you don't understand.
Who knew that sad songs about heartbreak and addiction could ever be so happy? This release from Lousy Robot (formerly Hey Dandee) is one of the most easily likeable releases I've heard from any local band. It's a disk full of catchy post-punk sing-alongs that quickly became stuck in my head and made me wish that this release was longer than 26 minutes.
Anyone who thinks culture in Albuquerque can't possibly extend beyond the border of the tiny bubble encompassing Downtown, Nob Hill and Barelas should consider making an excursion to the Heights. It only seems like a trip to Siberia to those who haven't yet made the journey.
For many people, domesticity and freedom are more like oil and water than rum and Coke. They just don't seem to mix very well. In the surreal world of Suzanne Sbarge, though, these two alienated siblings somehow manage to get along just fine.
Nicasio and Janet Romero's Gallery, Sculpture Park and Studios
By Katy June-Friesen
The Pecos River Valley has proven to be a surprisingly fertile space for New Mexico artists to exhibit their work. This is the 18th year of Nicasio and Janet Romero's outdoor gallery event in the village of El Ancon. Artists and art lovers will travel to the Pecos on Sunday to take in the work of more than 40 artists. In addition to wood, bronze, steel and adobe outdoor sculpture, the exhibit will feature paintings, prints and drawings. Join the party from noon to 5 p.m. The festivities include music, flamenco dancing and some scrumptious New Mexican chow. The show runs through August 1, by appointment. For more information and directions, call (505) 421-7057.
Aishah Rahman's play Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage navigates birth and death through jazz improvisation. The year is 1955 and the characters are five young women who give birth to unwanted babies, a dying saxophone player, a nurse, a magical minstrel and a baroness with the title to Manhattan. Bebop is the soundtrack for this production, which opens Friday, June 17, at Out ch'Yonda, 929 Fourth Street SW. The play runs through June 26, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:15 p.m., Sundays at 3:15 p.m. $10 general, $8 students and seniors. The June 16 dress rehearsal is open to the public for a donation. Seating is limited to 40, so buy tickets early at Pearls of the Antilles in Nob Hill (3716 Central SE). For more information, call 385-5634.
Back in 1998, a national, volunteer effort called the Legacy Project was created with the intention of encouraging Americans to seek out and preserve letters composed by those who had served in every American conflict from the Revolutionary War onward. The mastermind behind this project was an earnest young man named Andrew Carroll.
From the moment we walked into Yasmine's Café, I could tell we were in for the real deal. There was the tantalizing aroma of garlicky meats rotating on their spits in the open kitchen, the Arabic-speaking clientele sipping hot tea from tall glass tumblers and a display shelf full of hookahs—there's a large selection of sizes and styles of these fancy water pipes you can purchase for later use. In coffeehouses and cafés in the Arab-speaking world, coffee and tobacco go together like lattes and laptops here in the States (although this is no longer so in Albuquerque, since the city's ban on smoking in public spaces). My friend and dining companion immediately commented on how much the place looked and felt like any number of Palestinian restaurants he frequented while living in the Middle East. I've never been to Israel or Palestine but there's an earthiness about the space that feels authentic to me. Dining at Yasmine's is like stepping off Central and onto another continent.
Tabouleh is an excellent summer dish that's light, easy to make and healthy to boot; especially if you make it with quinoa. Traditionally, this Lebanese/Palestinian salad is made with lots of fresh parsley and cracked wheat (bulgur). In fact, tabouleh is all about the parsley, and should be a rich green color. For years I've been substituting the ancient Andean grain called quinoa for the bulgur. It's far more nutritious (high in protein and other nutrients) than the cracked wheat version and I prefer its delicious nutty flavor. Quinoa is not actually a grain. It's the tiny seeds of a leafy plant related to spinach. It is very important that you wash the seeds at least three times to remove the bitter tasting residue of saponin, a chemical which is naturally found in the seeds. Dry roasting the rinsed and dried seeds briefly will intensify its wonderful nutty flavor. Making it a day ahead will also intensify the flavors considerably.
Albuquerque's minimum wage initiative was turned down by the City Council, but it could still reach the Oct. 4 ballot by way of a petition.
By Christie Chisholm
Last week, the City Council voted down the Fair Wage Ballot Initiative, which would have allowed voters to decide whether to increase the city's minimum wage from the federal standard of $5.15 an hour to $7.15. But as the bill's supporters shouted out their protest, Bonnie Greathouse was much less disturbed. She knew that the night didn't mark the end of her efforts, but rather the beginning, she said, of something even better.
Counter-recruiting effort takes shape in New Mexico
By Jim Scarantino
The Marine recruiters found Alex, age 19, at the Wendy's drive-up window where he worked. Alex dreams of being a lawyer after he earns his GED. The recruiters told Alex the Marines would make him into a lawyer. They took Alex to a used car lot. They told him about a cash bonus for enlisting. "You can have any car on this lot," they said, "if you sign a contract with us." Alex agreed to come to the recruiting office the next day to enlist.
The Great Superstition surfaced again last week. During City Council debate over the possibility of nudging the minimum wage in Albuquerque up a measly $2 an hour above the federal minimum level, a powerful mystic force was invoked against the idea.
Dateline: Australia—Alerted by some “flipping” noises coming from beneath a female passenger's skirt, customs officials at Melbourne airport investigated further and discovered an apron of plastic, water-filled bags containing 51 live tropical fish. The 43-year-old woman arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Singapore last Friday. Customs officials are still trying to determine what type of fish she smuggled into the country and have not yet charged her with an offense. She could face charges of breaking quarantine and customs laws for bringing in the fish without giving a declaration.
Groovy!—B-movie king Bruce Campbell (star of the Evil Dead films, Bubba Ho-Tep and the “Xena” TV series) will be coming through Albuquerque next month on his whirlwind American tour. Campbell is supporting his new book Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way. Campbell will be signing copies of his fictional novel (in which he happens to star) starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, at Page One Books (11018 Montgomery NE). You must pre-purchase a copy of Campbell's book at Page One in order to get something signed. For more information, contact Page One at 294-5623.
Batman franchise hits the restart button and crafts a heroic hit
By Devin D. O'Leary
Do me (and yourself, for that matter) a favor. Put those last couple Batman movies out of your mind. Forget that Warner Brothers ever let Joel Schumacher near the franchise to create the rubber-nipples-meet-Ice Capades debacle that was Batman & Robin. ... Have you forgotten? Is your mind clear? Good, now go out and enjoy the holy hell out of Batman Begins.
Back in the early '70s, the seaport town of San Pedro, California, wasn't exactly a haven for youthful rebellion. There were tide pools, to be sure. There was one tiny record shop. (It's since been razed to make room for a Petco.) Expensive, eye-straining arena rock was in ample supply an hour north in Los Angeles. But otherwise, you really had to get creative if you wanted some relief from the boredom. Especially for hyperactive childhood friends Mike Watt and Daniel Boon.
With the summer season in full swing, and shows like “Dancing With the Stars” emerging as smash hits (I blame you, America!), the networks have taken the time to drop the hammer on series that did not exactly perform during the regular season. Some of you out there may be shocked to find your favorite shows in the dustbin come fall ... but I doubt it. Most of the shows that got canceled sucked.
Gay Pride Day is kind of like the Fourth of July: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) people start the day by gathering along Central from Johnson Field to San Pedro to watch the parade. All the different GLBT groups and subcultures stand on the street to watch or march together arm-in-arm, smiling and hugging, genuinely glad to see one another. Old friends reconnect or are remembered, new friends are made, groups gather to hear and cheer in agreement with some political speech and everyone is so polite to each other ... for one day.
Curious about the Pride festivities, but clueless on how to join in? We'll point you in the right direction. This year's event, themed "Equal Rights: No More, No Less," is an opportunity to show your support and enjoy a variety of activities, including music, art, discourse and a parade. Come out to celebrate the diversity and equality of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community. For more details, check out www.ABQPride.com, or call 873-8084.
Order a stiff one with some help from our queer club guide.
By Laura Marrich
Gay bars come and go with surprising frequency in Albuquerque. Hell, even veteran scenesters have a hard time keeping track of what's available from time to time. But if you've recently come into town or out of the closet, deciding where to spend your evening can be that much more confusing (and potentially disastrous). Don't want to end up an Alice in Leatherland? Tired of beating around the bush? Find the scene that's right for you with our lineup of clubs, pubs and booze-holes that help put the "queer" in Albuquerque.
We are the Stonewall girls
We wear our hair in curls
We wear no underwear
We show our pubic hair ...
We wear our dungarees
Above our nelly knees! —chanted by drag queens who were chorus line kicking the police back during the Stonewall Inn riots
Gag. Last week marked the first presidential press conference in more than a month. It was the day after Memorial Day and it was also Bush's first press conference since news of "the Downing Street memo" broke on May 5 in the London Observer.
An interview with former Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap
By Tim McGivern
On Feb 20, 2004, Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap became a local legend of sorts, kind of like Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett rolled into one. She was the public official who was acting, in some people's minds, like an outlaw, going against conventional attitudes in an effort to—here's where it gets tricky— uphold the law. On that day, Dunlap issued marriage licenses, 64 in all, to gay and lesbian couples, because, she said, there was no law forbidding her from doing so. The move added fuel to an election year firestorm that was brewing in Washington, D.C., and three days later, President George W. Bush announced: "A county in New Mexico has also issued marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender. And unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty."
Both the City Council and Mayor Martin Chavez learned bitter lessons last week. Which lesson turns out to be the more painful of the two won't be known for sure until the October elections are completed.
Dateline: Germany—A 27-year-old man was mugged three times in one night--two of those while waiting for police to arrive. Reiner Hamer, from Oberhausen, lost his wallet containing $200 and his cell phone when three men attacked him in the bathroom of a local nightclub. Hamer called police from outside the club using a friend's mobile phone. While he waited for officers to arrive, he was approached by three other men who stole his watch and cigarettes. As he leaned back against a wall to recover, another five men came up to him and threatened him, eventually making off with his jacket and the last of his spare change.
It's crazy the number of sushi places that have opened recently out here in the desert, so far from the sea. Crazy Fish is Albuquerque's newest addition to the pool (pun intended). After many long weeks of anticipation, made even longer by false starts and rumors of the restaurant's opening, it finally opened eight weeks ago.
Sushi is not just about fish; it's all about the rice that's under or around the fish or vegetables. These vegetarian rolls are full of strong flavors and tasty rice. They always earn lots of raves every time I serve them. They also travel well for picnics and camping and are not that difficult to make. Give them a try.
Stink Soiree—To celebrate the nationwide DVD release of legendary local zombie film The Stink of Flesh (hitting store shelves June 7), there will be a special release party at Hastings Books & Music (6001 Lomas NE) on Friday, June 10, from 7-9 p.m. Writer/director Scott Phillips will be on hand along with a chunk of the cast, including Kurly Tlapoyawa, Billy Garberina, Kristín Hansen and our very own Alibi film editor Devin O'Leary. (Yup, that's me digging through a pile o' zombie poop for the sake of art.) Gore fans and other curious individuals can pick up Tempe Video's special edition disc of Stink (complete with cast commentary, “making of” documentary, opening night footage, bloopers, short film and more) and get it autographed by the disturbed people responsible for its creation. Word on the street is that some of the living dead might even put in an appearance.
When somebody comes into Burning Paradise Video looking for a “dark” comedy, I usually direct them to Happiness, an ass-kicking little film by cult fan favorite Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse). Of course, I have to preface my suggestion by making it perfectly clear that by dark comedy I mean extremely dark, sick, twisted, disturbing and funny as all hell. The film plays like a perversely deranged version of Magnolia, in that there are numerous stories and characters which intersect throughout the film. At the center of this disturbing joyride are three New Jersey sisters: Joy (Jane Adams), Helen (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Trish (Cynthia Stevenson).
Dreamy dream film dreams a dream about dreamy dreamers and the dreams they dream of
By Devin D. O'Leary
I've gotta give filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) credit for a lot of things. The man deserves props for his creativity, relying on imagination rather than budget to solve problems. He deserves a round of applause for continually rejecting Hollywood, preferring instead to shoot low-budget movies in his garage (literally). Now, he deserves kudos for being one of the most schizophrenic filmmakers in the world. Who else could release the exhilaratingly violent Sin City and the cloyingly juvenile The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D within a three-month span?
TNT--the network that has worked, seemingly single-handedly, to keep alive the name of Louis L'Amour--is still putting all of its basic cable muscle behind the Great American Western. This summer, the net has joined forces with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks to create the 6-week maxi-series “Into the West.” This sprawling multigenerational Western seeks to chronicle nothing less than the entire history of the American West.
Don Martin's Brotherhood Sound throws the best dancehall party in three states. So where is everybody?
By John Hult
May 6, 2005
It's 10:45 p.m. and the show is just getting started. Don Martin grabs the mic and shouts, "All right everybody, Brotherhood Soundsystem Reggae Dancehall 101 starts now!"
A few yelps fly stageward as Martin and crew throw their hands up to the first track's roots reggae beat. The music gets loud. Four or five Burt's Tiki Lounge patrons dance and wiggle their way through the maze of chairs, tables and bystanders to get closer to the floor, where some dedicated reggae fans are already busting loose.
Quench your terrible thirst this weekend at the H2O Water Festival and Symposium, the first edition of an annual event presented jointly by Santa Fe's Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and the Earth Works Institute. The event combines film, education and community arts into a three-day extravaganza designed to highlight issues related to everyone's favorite chemical compound.
Delmas Howe's Passion doesn't look a thing like Mel Gibson's. Howe's painting series, Stations, is loosely inspired by the Catholic Stations of the Cross, a series of 14 iconic images commemorating the final events in the life of Jesus Christ. Howe's artistic vision, though, is set in the '70s on the piers of New York City and depicts a very different kind of passion.
Chamber Music Albuquerque kicks off its 64th annual June Music Festival with the internationally acclaimed St. Petersburg String Quartet. This Friday, June 10, the quartet will perform works by Glazunov, Bright Sheng and Tchiakovsky. On Sunday, the program will feature Shostakovich, Mendelssohn and Dvorak. The festival continues with two performances by the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. A lecture on composers and works will be offered one hour before each concert. The festival runs through June 26. $18 to $36 for Friday evening performances and $19 to $38 for Sunday matinees. Various discounts available. Call 268-1990 or log onto www.cma-abq.com for details.
The 19th Annual Festival Flamenco, presented by Albuquerque's National Institute of Flamenco, features stellar dancers and musicians from across Spain, Mexico and the United States, including Yjastros, Andrés Marín, Úrsula López, La Familia Farruco, La Familia Amaya and La Familia Fernandez. The closing performance on Saturday, June 18, will map flamenco styles, from the interpretations of gypsies in Granada to the new, urban modes of Sevillanos. The Flamenco Expo, a two-day professional and semi-professional competition, will include dancers, guitarists, singers and percussionists from around the country. The festival begins Friday, June 10, and runs through June 18. For more information, call 277-1865 or log on to www.nationalinstituteofflamenco.org.
Seminars for Screenwriters—Saturday, June 4, marks the launch of the New Mexico Screenwriter's Series. Founders Gene Grant and Marc Calderwood hope to bring monthly seminars and extensive quarterly workshops to New Mexico's growing cabal of would-be screenwriters. How to find an agent, how to negotiate a deal and how to sell a spec script over the Internet are just a few of the topics that will be discussed in the coming months. Grant and Calderwood have recruited an impressive roster of professional film talent to run these regular educational seminars. WGA member Deborah L. Smith will helm the very first monthly program, covering the fundamentals of feature scripting. The seminar is scheduled to take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Rio Grande Studios (6608 Gulton NE). Cost for the monthly seminar is a mere $10. Future guests will include noted Los Angeles screenwriting teacher Jim Mercurio and celebrated Chicago screenwriter Dan Decker. For more information, log on to www.nmscreenwriters.com.
Computerized cartoon is an OK pick for kids, but it's no Pixar.
By Devin D. O'Leary
There are moments in DreamWorks' new computer animated cartoon Madagascar that bring up the uncomfortable funk of DreamWorks' failed “adult” TV series Father of the Pride (performing lions, cushy zoos, celebrity voice casting). Fortunately for DreamWorks (and all of us, for that matter), those moments soon fade into the background as the film settles into familiar “kids' movie lined with pop cultural references for the adults” territory.
Icy cool gangster saga shows that Brits can be bad boys too.
By Devin D. O'Leary
As Americans, we love our criminal figures--from Billy the Kid to Bonnie & Clyde to 50 Cent. But we've got nothing on the Brits. The English worship their gangsters with a chic that borders on high fashion. From the gritty gangster films of the '70s (Get Carter, The Long Good Friday) to today's trendy, Tarantino-inspired films of Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch), Brits have made the gun-toting, suit-wearing mobster a national icon, right alongside the London Bobby and the soccer hooligan.
Stick a fork in this couch potato, the 2004-2005 TV season is officially over. Now we can all sit back, relax and absorb plenty of summer reruns and crappy reality show placeholders until the Fall 2005 season arrives sometime in September.
A safe ride home is RAD! This past weekend the city debuted its Rapid After Dark (RAD) service, which connects entertainmaint districts along Central from Unser to Wyoming until 3 a.m. The expanded service costs just $1 to ride, and each bus is staffed with a neighborly security guard to keep your drunk ass safe. Assistant to the mayor A.J. Carian says that the city is hoping to promote local artists through "a rotating CD" that will be played on the Rapid After Dark line. If you or your band would like to be included in the project, call 768-3047, or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
Colleen Duffy created Devil Doll one late, smoky evening many blue moons ago with the mission of putting sex back into rock and roll. Deciding that the world of music had not heard the truth since Joan Jett and Johnny Cash, and hadn't blushed since Mae West, she grabbed her bass, a microphone and hit "record."
After Jack White made Loretta Lynn hip last year, it would appear that MCA is cashing in. However, this collection of 24 duets is an amazing display of vocal compatibility, though accompanied by more or less mediocre country instrumentation. What really stands out here is a variety of persona adoptions. As Conway professes love, cheats or leaves, Loretta coos, playfully teases or reacts with utter pain. Classic country fans, take note.
What's in a name? When I asked our waitress, “Who or what is Geezamboni?” she told me (tongue firmly planted in cheek), “It's the name of the owner's cousin's wife's dog.” Then she laughed and said she'd been given permission to say whatever she wanted when people asked about the name. But don't let it confuse you. My friends were hesitant about joining me for dinner because they thought the place must be Italian. Italian it is not, original it is.
Gazpacho is the perfect summer soup. It comes from Spain, where there are many variations in the preparation of the dish. There's even a “white” gazpacho made with almonds and white grapes, but I'll stick to the traditional version. This recipe is from a Spanish friend who lives in beautiful Seville, where this delicious chilled soup is thickened with bread. I eat a lot of gazpacho when my own crop of juicy, scrumptious tomatoes starts to ripen. It's important to use high quality tomatoes. The secret of a great gazpacho is making it a day ahead of time so all the flavors have a chance to marry. The soup tastes quite bland when first assembled, but after it rests for a day, you can adjust the flavor by adding more salt, pepper, mashed canned tomatoes or juice. Serve it icy-cold in chilled bowls and garnish with freshly made croutons. If you'd like to sample this version of the dish, I'll be doing a cooking demo/tasting at Bookworks on Rio Grande, Saturday, June 11, at 2 p.m. So come on down and try a sip.
"With a little luck in the next three to four months we'll have three motels taken down."
By Tim McGivern
When the Gaslite Motel was open for business in East Downtown, it symbolized the kind of urban decay that makes Albuquerque feel like a town that hates itself. The place was, for decades, a well-known home for the destitute and depraved, a magnet for drug dealing, violent crime and likely spot to see a shoving match between a pimp and a whore in broad daylight.
City employees shine light on waste and incompetence
By Jim Scarantino
Good news, Albuquerque! Municipal employees now have an Internet forum where they tell the public about waste, incompetence, mismanagement and corruption in city government. It's not controlled by Mayor Martin Chavez. It's not something he should really want floating around on the Internet, either. It's written by regular city employees speaking up about what they see happening around them. You can find their website at www.abqgovernmentwaste.com.
If you haven't seen it yet, you really need to watch TheMotorcycle Diaries, the brilliant movie (Spanish with English subtitles) about an eight-month motorcycle trip across South America in 1952 by two youthful Argentinean medical students, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and Alberto Granado.
Dateline: Australia—A group of drug-sniffing police dogs in Victoria will have to be retrained after it was revealed that the animals were drilled using a packet of talcum power. “I'm sure our dogs have got very soft, nice-smelling noses at the moment,” Victorian Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans told ABC Online. “But they are, in fact, trained in detecting talcum powder, so that means that they will have to be retrained in detecting cocaine.” An investigation is underway to see how the cocaine sample, used for police sniffer dog training, was substituted with talcum power. The Ethical Standards Division of the Australian Federal Police, who supplied the “cocaine,” is trying to determine if the sample was stolen or if an administrative error resulted in the switch.
This Friday, June 3, at Trevor Lucero Studio (500 Second Street SW), Jennifer Burkley unveils her "Tylenol Room," an ambitious art installation constructed from more than half a million pills. Trippy! Burkley says the work is a meditation on loss and survival. Check it out at the reception from 5 to 8 p.m. 244-0730.
Inspirados at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
By Steven Robert Allen
Questions about the inspiration behind art are as old as art itself. It isn't hard to imagine some furry, thick-browed critic dressed in animal skins standing at the elbow of a cave painter in France 20,000 years ago pestering the artist with stupid questions: Why did you paint a horse there instead of a bird? Why does that bison look like it's staring at me?
The Road Trip Plays: Out/In America is a series of six connected mini-plays by local playwright Lou Clark. This campy comedy follows Drew and her best friend, Bill, on a wild crosscountry adventure during which our heroine questions and finally embraces her sexuality. Directed by Jessica Barkl, The Road Trip Plays runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. through June 26 at the Vortex Theatre. $10 general, $8 students/seniors/everyone on Sundays. Call 247-8600 to reserve tickets.
A group exhibit curated by Nina Dubois opens this Friday, June 3, at the Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW) with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Fine grub and rocking music from 6 Foot Fender will juice up an evening of excellent art from the likes of Kiki Athanassiadis, Che Chen, Christine Chin, Rick Clarahan, Dierdre Harris, Will Lichty, Danielle Rae Miller, Doug Morris, Tricia O'Keefe, Luke Painter, Matthew Rana, Valerie Roybal, Peter Voshefski, Fritz Welch and Alexa Wheeler. Flat Out Spectacular: Work from the Flat Files runs through June 26. Call 242-7504 for more information.
There isn't a single place on the planet where water isn't important, but here in the desert it's our lifeblood. Wetlands in our region of the country are cauldrons of fertility. In his new book, photographer and naturalist Lucian Niemeyer documents areas as diverse as Mexico's Cuatro Cienegas Basin, Arizona's San Pedro River, Utah's Escalante River, Texas' Big Bend National Park and New Mexico's own Bosque del Apache. In the process, Desert Wetlands celebrates the value and necessity of moisture in our dry-as-dust pocket of the world. Niemeyer will make an appearance on Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at Page One Books (11018 Montgomery NE, 294-2026) to sign and discuss this fascinating book.