An interview with Nancy Snow, author of Propaganda, Inc. and Information War
By Steven Robert Allen
His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed. Even to understand the word "doublethink" involved the use of doublethink.
Being lied to sucks. Bankrolling the production of lies with our own tax dollars really sucks. But mendacity, unfortunately, seems to be the preferred political tactic when the Bush administration promotes its policies, brushing off each lie as if it were just a joke.
1. Truth is not the absence of propaganda; propaganda thrives in presenting different kinds of truth, including half-truths, incomplete truths, limited truths, out of context truths. Modern propaganda is most effective when it presents information as accurately as possible. The Big Lie or Tall Tale is the most ineffective propaganda.
with Spitalfield, Down to Earth Approach and The Forecast
By John Hult
Sunday, July 3; Launchpad (All-ages): You like synth-pop. Don't lie about it. Even if you were a teenager in the '80s (when the stuff was almost too popular to be hip), it's hard to deny that there is something singularly stellar about the material decade's signature sound. You like Tears for Fears. You like the Cars. You really like Depeche Mode. If this is true for you, Action Action should be your new favorite band. Spit in the wind these days and you'll hit some sort of revivalist, but Action Action is one of the few who actually get the feeling right and expand on it. Don't Cut Your Fabric to This Year's Fashion, their February debut, is great for a lot of reasons—dark songs so catchy you might never notice the darkness, for starters—but the production work stands out. William Wittman, Cyndi Lauper's exclusive producer, turned the nobs and gave guts and depth to songs a lesser producer would have turned into indie mush. Check out "Eighth-Grade Summer Romance" to hear what I mean. Wittman can't take credit for the songs, though. That goes to former Reunion Show vocalist and songwriter Mark Thomas Kluepfel, Action Action's prolific principal songwriter. He already brought his new band to Albuquerque once this year, opening for the All American Rejects at the Sunshine Theater. This time they get the fat time slot all to themselves, headlining Sunday at the Launchpad. Check it out and fill up your senses with all the plastic zen your '80s-loving ass can handle.
Bassist Zimbabwe Nkenya won't tell me what kind of jazz he plays. He says most jazz categories are superficial, and that only two really exist: good and bad. This invalidates my need to define what he does with genre placement, but oh well—with my petite knowledge of the original American music, perhaps I would have only been confused if he'd told me his style was a fusion of avant-garde and hard bop (it's not). Besides, he doesn't really like the word "fusion" and neither do I.
with Mystic Vision, One Foundation, La Junta and Zac Freeman
By Jenny Gamble
Friday, July 1; Launchpad (21 and over): What better place to launch a California tour than at the "official" Launchpad? Christian Orellana, Concepto Tambor's front man and last original member, promises a going away party that Albuquerque music fans will talk about long after their van pulls out of town. Concepto's third generation lineup is bigger and better than ever before, complete with high energy rhythms and sultry vocals. They round out their South American percussion style with traditional Spanish and English lyrics that invite even the most hard-pressed critic to get up and shake a cheek. But wait, there's more; a rocking roster of the best musicians our fair city has to offer: Mystic Vision, One Foundation, beat box enthusiast Zac Freeman and newcomers La Junta. This is it folks, after this performance, you won't see Concepto until fall, and a lineup like this is a rare and exceptional occasion.
After 14 years and eight full-lengths, Glaswegians Teenage Fanclub give us Man-Made, which can be best described with the adjective most commonly applied to them: melodic. Perhaps it's the '60s pop song structures blended with the guitar tones, synthesizers and layering of '70s Big Star-esque rock. Or maybe it's the three-vocalist combination which creates an effect reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" (don't laugh, BOC rules). Whatever it is, Man-Made comes off with a beautiful and bittersweet, somewhat tragic feel which I recommend for long trips by road or plane, sitting alone by water and general introspection.
Laru Ni Hati is one of the Duke City's top unisex hair salons. In fact, it was named No. 1 Hair Salon by Alibi readers in this year's Best of Burque poll. The name means “clear blue sky” in one of the native languages of the Caribbean. Partners Greg Chakalian and Alan Schechner have created more than a hair salon; they've also provided a great place to hang out. Now you can even enjoy a little slice of Cuba at their café, whether you're there getting beautified or not.
I used to live in South Florida and still miss the many forms of tropical fruit not often found outside of the subtropics. Every time I return to Miami for a visit, as soon as I leave the airport I head directly to La Palacia de Las Frutas, a phenomenal fruit stand/juice bar on nearby Red Road, for a batido, a Cuban tropical fruit shake. These outrageous milkshakes come in a wide variety of incredibly delicious flavors but mamey is the king of batidos. It's made from the fruit of the mamey sapote (Calocarpum sapota). The mamey fruit is huge and takes up to 18 months to ripen, which often causes folks to protect their valuable crop with razor wire fences, no joke. When the flesh of this highly prized fruit is ripe, it turns a lurid salmon/orange color. Its unique flavor is hard to describe but tastes a little bit like raspberries with a slightly tart citrus twist. Try it, you'll love it. Not to worry, you don't need to book a flight to the tropics to enjoy the joys of mamey. Talin World Market carries mamey and other tropical fruit pulps in the frozen food section of the store. I've included a traditional recipe for the batido mamey, but you can substitute any ripe tropical fruit or pulp. I also love guanabana (often called sour sop), which tastes sort of like pineapple with a touch of vanilla.
Animal activists grow impatient with city over shelter evaluations
By Christie Chisholm
It's our anniversary. No, I'm not talking about the Tricentennial. I'm talking about a much quieter and unnoticed passage of time. It's been five years since the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) came to our city to evaluate the Albuquerque Animal Care Center (formerly known as the Albuquerque Animal Services Division) and found widespread instances of animal cruelty at both of the city's animal shelters. After that visit, evaluators laid forth a hefty set of recommendations and since then the city has continually promised to bring them back for a reevaluation. Five years later, they still haven't returned, and local animal rights activists say that conditions at the shelters haven't improved much, despite political promises to the contrary.
Published in 1949, George Orwell's novel 1984 follows the life of Winston Smith, who lives in London, a city in the country of Oceania, and works for his government's Ministry of Truth. A sense of twisted harmony exists in this fictional world. The other national offices in Oceania are Ministry of Peace (concerned with war), Ministry of Love (concerned with law and order), and the Ministry of Plenty (department of economic affairs).
"I've brought you all together," the famous British detective said, glancing meaningfully around Mayor Marty Chavez's conference room, "because I believe I've come to the end of my, ahem, investigation into the missing evidence."
Dateline: Romania—A young nun has died after being bound to a cross, gagged and left alone for three days in a cold room by several other nuns and a priest at her convent. Police say members of the convent in Northeastern Romania claim Maricica Irina Cornici was possessed by evil spirits and that the crucifixion had been part of an exorcism ritual. According to the BBC News, the 23-year-old nun was denied food and water throughout her ordeal, had been tied and chained to the cross and had a towel shoved in her mouth. A postmortem is to be carried out, although initial reports say that Cornici died from asphyxiation. A priest and four nuns have been charged with imprisonment leading to death. The priest, Father Daniel, is accused of orchestrating the crime, but remained unrepentant in the local media. “I don't understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this,” the AFP news agency quoted Father Daniel as saying. “God has performed a miracle for her. Finally Irina is delivered from evil.”
The History of Shooting—The KiMo Theater Art Gallery, located in downtown Albuquerque, has teamed up with the Duke City Shootout to present a quirky multimedia exhibit dedicated to the homegrown film festival's history. For five years, the Shootout--previously known as Flicks on 66 and DigiFest Southwest--has challenged writers, directors, actors and editors to shoot, edit and premiere a short digital film in just one week. The KiMo's multimedia exhibit will feature a continuous roll of cinematic shorts and documentary footage from previous years. “The Duke City Shootout: Photographs, Films & Commentaries” opens on Friday, June 1. Continuous showings of the festival's best cinematic shorts, photographs by festival shooters John Maio & Jim Klukkert and insightful commentary by critics, survivors and other ne'er-do-wells should get your appetite properly fixated for this year's Duke City Shootout, taking place July 22-30. Log on to www.dukecityshootout.com for more info.
The living dead are back in town and ready to chow down
By Devin D. O'Leary
These days, there are two camps of horror movie fans: those who speak in reverent tones about past masters of the genre like George Romero, Tobe Hooper and Dario Argento and those who had no idea that recent films Dawn of the Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre were remakes. Believe me, I've had my tent set up in the first camp for a long time and treat everyone in the second camp with the same disregard I reserved for those dorks at Hummingbird Music Camp when they dragged me and all the other prepubescents at Camp Shaver over for stupid “recitals.” Clueless bastards.
E.T. goes bad in Spielberg's scary new space flick
By Devin D. O'Leary
After introducing the world to the ugly-cute aliens of Close Encounters and E.T., director Steven Spielberg vowed never to create a film with evil space invaders. But in the wake of 9-11 (and a host of crappy alien films like Signs), Spielberg decided it was time to give the world a dose of scary spacemen. Surprisingly, he turned not to his legendary long-unfilmed “Hopkinsville Goblins” project (based on the “true story” of a Kansas farmhouse besieged by nasty green men from space), but to the classic work of British sci-fi writer H.G. Wells.
Summer movie season is in full swing, and the box office is broken down
By Devin D. O'Leary
The first serious sign of trouble, a dark disturbance in the Force, came in the third weekend of May. George Lucas' long-awaited final film in the Star Wars saga, Revenge of the Sith, debuted with record-breaking numbers. The film hauled in $158.4 million in its first week of release. The film's Friday-Sunday numbers ($108.4 million) made it the second biggest movie debut in history, right behind 2002's Spider-Man. ... And yet, it wasn't enough for the American box office to break its (then) 12-week slump.
What is it, America? Heat stroke? Mad cow disease? West Nile virus? C'mon, I'm just looking for a rational explanation as to why you've gone and made the D-list-celebrities-do-salsa series “Dancing With the Stars” the runaway smash hit of the summer. ... Paint fumes? Is it paint fumes?
The best teachers eagerly admit how much they learn from their students. There's no shame in that. No one can be a teacher all the time. Sometimes you might be a mentor. Sometimes you might be an apprentice. On any given day, most people are probably a little of both.
Federico Garcia Lorca's belief in the poetry of the theater—and the emotional possibilities of art—have often become buried beneath his reputation as a political figure and symbol of freedom. When he was executed by the Spanish Fascists, Lorca at once became a martyr for political and artistic liberty.
Ralph Greene began his art career in New York and has spent the last 15 years making art in New Mexico. He is a longtime professor of art at TVI and a proficient navigator of the academic and commercial art worlds. His work straddles the line between figurative and abstract, relying heavily on the human form. On Friday, July 1, at 6 p.m., he'll give a demonstration and talk at the MoRo Gallery (806 Mountain NW) entitled “My Life in Art.” For more information, call 242-6272 or go to www.moroart.com.
Last October, while the public eye focused on the presidential election and the battle over extending Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument, a notable piece of legislation quietly passed the City Council on a 6-3 vote. At the time, there was barely a whisper about the city's new system for charging impact fees to residential developers, but when the law takes effect on July 1, it will symbolize a new era in Albuquerque's history.
Oil for Film—The Peace & Justice Center (202 Harvard SE) is sponsoring a special film/lecture this Thursday, June 23. From the producers of Hidden Wars of Desert Storm and Plan Colombia comes the documentary The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror. This film examines the not-so-subtle link between oil interests and current U.S. military interventions. The film was shot over a four-month period in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Producers Gerard Ungermann and Audrey Brohy--both of whom recently returned from the Middle East--will be there to discuss the film and its surrounding issues. Everything gets underway at 7 p.m. and seating is limited.
Filmmaker/artist Hayao Miyazaki has often been called “the Walt Disney of Japan.” While that title is meant to reflect the creativity and popularity of this legendary animator, it shortchanges both filmmakers just a little. Disney's skill was in creating a product and generating a marketplace. He was, in essence, the Henry Ford of the cartoon biz. His films, more often than not, centered on plucky orphan girls called upon to fend off unrepentant evildoers with the help of assorted woodland creatures and nonsexually threatening princes. Miyazaki, at least in his native Japan, has created just as much of a marketing empire as Uncle Walt. But his films are almost a polar opposite of Disney's (still) formulaic roster of Americanized fairy tales.
With David Chappelle running off to a lunatic asylum (sorry ... “spiritual retreat”) in Africa on the eve of his show's third season debut, Comedy Central suddenly seems starved for sketch comedy. No need to panic just yet, however. Chappelle allegedly met with Comedy Central bigwigs last week, which could signal his return to television, and the network has paired returning sitcom “Reno 911!” with new sketch series “Stella” to beef up their schedule for the time being. That's not nearly enough for those who've already purchased “Chappelle's Show” season one and two on DVD, but it does offer a small respite from “South Park” reruns.
It's time for the Taos Solar Music Festival! Who can resist the lure of mega-watt artists the Indigo Girls, Michelle Shocked, Michale Franti and Spearhead on a huge, solar-powered stage in Taos? Not me! The complete lineup, along with other useful information, is at www.solarmusicfest.com. See you in Kit Carson Park from Friday, June 24, to Sunday, June 26, rain or shine.
Friday, June 24; the Launchpad (21 and over): You guys, I'm so f-in' pumped to go see Enon on Friday. The strange and disjointed synth heavy, somewhat no-wave pop music they create just makes me feel a little bananas, which is a good thing. On tour in support of their new album Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence, a collection of new, old and mostly rare songs released in February of this year, the Brooklyn trio has once again decided to grace Albuquerque with their presence. And with support from Sparrow and Thunderbirds Are Now!, who allmusic.com describe as "Detroit freak-out artists," I feel as though I can safely declare attendance of this performance to be a requirement for any honest fan of peculiar music. Even if experimental electronic pop isn't your bag, as they say, this sort of music tends to attract hipster types, so you can still go to enjoy the fashion show they will undoubtedly put on. One way or another you're bound to be entertained.
Saturday, June 25; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): According to a press release on their website it appears that "new and improved" local band the Ya Ya Boom Project! have transformed themselves into some sort of marketable appliance. The band, according to the press release "now comes with ten optional speeds, a grinder function, multiple attachments and a designer plastic encasement." The release also says "the Ya Ya Boom Project! spices up any room in your house. It comes in three of this season's most fashionable colors: tan, a slightly darker shade of tan, and a slightly pinker shade of tan." Despite this confusing turn of events, and what would seem like a setback to many, the Ya Ya Boom Project! seem to have embraced their new, more mechanical (not to mention deliciously tan) identity and are releasing a new album titled Pink Insides. In celebration of this event, the band will perform at Burt's Tiki Lounge this Saturday, and at the Outpost on July 9. Now, despite being encased in plastic and all-around less anthropomorphic, The Ya Ya Boom Project! still runs on electricity and will still satisfy any urge to move to Flamenco-infused grooves.
Behold, all ye fans of big rock guitars and frenetic rhythm section freak-outs, The Atomic Bitchwax is heading your way! For years Bitchwax has led the way in the stoner rock genre with the craziest power trio antics since Cream put down their sheets of blotter acid.
They got the passion. They got the skill. They definitely got the energy. But what The High Speed Scene clearly lacks in their first full-length release is the creativity to turn a relatively generic indie pop-punk sound into something unique. Redemption is found in a few songs, such as the Hot Hot Heat-inspired "In the Know," as well as in the band's anti-authority sentiment. Despite an obvious appreciation for other influences like The Kinks and The Beatles, The High Speed Scene is predictable, relying on repetitive melody hooks rather than musical ingenuity for their typical, inoffensive sound.
NMSO players and management turn to mediator for help with contract negotiations
By Katy June-Friesen
Musicians in the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra ended their season this month wearing green armbands and passing out flyers to audience members outside UNM's Popejoy Hall. It wasn't the first time. Nearly six months earlier, the players began their campaign to draw public attention to an impasse in contract negotiations. They wore green armbands on stage to signify solidarity.
According to Mayor Martin Chavez, a 4-4 vote by the City Council means a majority voted to pass a bill. That's what he told Jeff Deal, a reporter for KRQE-TV, who, in an honest to goodness example of investigative journalism, broke the news that the mayor had ordered the city clerk to fabricate a document saying the City Council passed the mayor's request to raise garbage collection rates, when, in fact, the bill failed to get the support of a Council majority required to make it law.
Dateline: Scotland—A man who tried to conduct a job interview while naked has been sentenced to three years probation and placed on the sex offenders registry. Saeed Akbar, 35, was interviewing a female job prospect at Alpha Translating and Interpreting Services in Glasgow. At some point Akbar left the interview room and came back in naked and clutching a clipboard. When the 25-year-old woman refused to strip as well, he put his clothes back on and attempted to continue the interview as normal. The victim fled and filed a police report. Akbar initially told police his strip was a consensual “role play” and was part of his “tough interviewing technique.” Glasgow Sheriff Court was eventually told that the offender--who was held in “high esteem” by his company--was only seeking some excitement in his day. “I wanted a bit of excitement that afternoon, that's purely all it was,” Akbar told the BBC News. Passing sentence, Sheriff Brian Lockport noted that Akbar's partner had left him, he had lost his job and his friends refused to associate with him. “On the one hand, I have to take into account the distress which you caused your victim,” Lockport said in court. “On the other hand, I have to take into account the catastrophic effect this incident has had on your life. You have suffered severely as a result of you actions.” The father of one from Dunfermline pleaded guilty to committing a breach of the peace.
Here's a bizarre little story for you. Last year, local artist Stephanie Lerma drove up to Wink, a beauty salon and lifestyle store in Santa Fe specializing in one-of-a-kind boutique items. Lerma was trying to peddle some of her paper creations. The owners, however, couldn't tear their eyes off her purse.
Tom Waldron's imposing sheet steel sculptures are well-known around town and around the state. You'll probably recall that his recent proposal to install green, conical shapes at the interchange of Louisiana and I-40 was the source of much public contention. Exhibited nationwide, Waldron's work can also be seen at the Albuquerque Museum. New Sculpture, at the Richard Levy Art Gallery, 514 Central SW, includes Waldron's signature steel shapes as floor-standing, tabletop and wall-hanging pieces. This is his first gallery exhibit in New Mexico since 1999. The reception is Friday, June 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., and the show runs through August 12. For more information, call 766-9888 or go to www.levygallery.com.
International flamenco fusion masters Ojos de Brujo (Eyes of the Wizard) bring their driving mix to Albuquerque on Friday, June 24, at 8 p.m. The group's "Jip Jop Flamenkillo" is a digital hybrid of traditional flamenco forms with modern hip-hop, funk and punk. Their live digital dance party is famous on the European festival circuit, and the group is known for its staunch grassroots, anti-corporate philosophy. This is Ojo's first performance in the Southwest. Come experience these Spaniards' fierce navigation of musical decades and genres. Ojos de Brujo is presented by Outpost Productions and the National Institute of Flamenco at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Tickets are $20 to $50 and are available at Outpost Performance Space, NHCC and Ticketmaster. To order yours, call 268-0044 or go to www.outpostspace.org.
Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage at Out ch'Yonda
By Steven Robert Allen
One of the most remarkable things about Aishah Rahman's Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage is that the elaborate 15-word title is almost a literal description of what the play is about. Directed by Stefanie Willis, a new production of Unfinished Women just opened at Out ch'Yonda. This staging has some problems, but the sweet music along with the sheer raw originality of Rahman's vision should hold the interest of many theatergoers.
Le French Corner is not in the business directory under “Le” or “French” nor is it in the yellow pages under “restaurants” or “corners.” It did turn up under “bakery,” which is ostensibly what it is, a French bakery with a small café that serves wonderful French pastries and a limited menu at breakfast and lunch. I drove right on by the first time because it's not actually on a corner as the name suggests. The French pronoun/English combination of Le French Corner scared me a little, but upon further investigation, I came to realize the place is not a faux fancy place with a faux fancy name. It is a place that serves good, honest food that features a combination of French bistro fare with an American accent and the personal vision of the chef.
When I want something light but sinful, simple but complete, it's angel kisses for dessert. This dish is easy, but only if you can buy the meringue shells already made. Luckily, you may special order them at Le French Corner with some advanced notice. I gave up trying to make meringues at this altitude and was very happy to discover I could buy them here. Be very careful transporting the meringues; they are very fragile, as the name implies. Essentially, they're egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar. They must be eaten before they absorb moisture from the air. For that reason, they should be stored tightly covered in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.