Gross misuse. These are strange times, and there's nothing stranger than the state of our nation's mainstream corporate media and its insidious and self-destructive relationship with the White House. In a July 7 New York Times article entitled "Reporter Jailed After Refusing to Name Source," Adam Liptak reports on the incarceration of his coworker, Times investigative reporter Judy Miller. Liptak even quotes his editor and publisher in what amounted to an embarrassing attempt to elicit sympathy for Miller, because she refused to divulge the name of the White House official who "outed" covert CIA agent Valerie Plame to several media sources, thus committing what I would call a treasonous felony.
At this rate the October city election ballot could be as lengthy and complicated as the one that daunted voters in last year's general election. Not only will the usual array of multiple City Council and mayoral candidates be listed, along with a menu of municipal bond issues totaling over $120 million, but this year three controversial citizen referenda have been added to the ballot as well.
Dateline: Montenegro—In the Adriatic nation of Montenegro, a WWI soldier has been called upon to do his civic duty once again and perform jury service. Unfortunately, the gentleman in question died some 90 years ago. Had he survived the war, Jocko Popovic would have been 126 years old right now. The court in the town of Bar said that, since it had no record of his death, it assumed he was still alive and able to do jury duty. Popovic has no surviving relatives and it was left to local media to point out the court's error.
Biker Flicks—The upcoming Duke City Shootout--a seven-day film festival designed to create seven on-the-fly short films right here in Albuquerque--is revving up with an early event. Christopher Coppola's Biker Bonanza will consist of a motorcycle caravan from Albuquerque to Roswell and back again. The caravan will be led by filmmaker/
Star Wars fans will score this fall with an interstellar night of music from all six of the beloved films (though I suppose the term “beloved” does not apply to all six). The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Chorus will perform Symphonic Star Wars on September 23 and 24. So why am I bringing this up now? Because tickets went on sale last week and these things tend to sell out quickly. The concerts will include laser light shows, costume contests and other "space opera touches." I don't know about you, but I'm dying to find out what the other space opera touches are. Tickets are $15 to $45 and can be procured by calling 881-8999. Or I suppose you could just use the force.
Monday, July 18; Atomic Cantina (21 and over): If you've been watching MTV Canada lately, you might have caught a video by Calgary's Falconhawk (a video on MTV? Canada is sounding more and more like a true paradise). But since you probably haven't heard of this band, much less caught them on Canadian television, let's just put it this way: If this were the mid '90s, Falconhawk would probably be on Matador. What they've really done is moved past the '80s, through the '90s and towards the present, picking things up along the way to create a delicious cornucopia of music for our generation. Their subtle keyboards combined with piano, drums and a vocalist who sounds like a more relaxed Kristin Hersh (à la Throwing Muses) make for an uncomplicated, pleasantly indie feel.
Norwegian hipsters zZz probably think they're a lot cooler than anyone that would ever buy their album. Even so, the band's latest LP is chalk full of first-rate fashionable dance tracks that would serve one well on a late night road trip. Just try falling asleep at the wheel with lead singer Bjorn Ottenheim vociferously barking at you. zZz combines soulful omnipresent organ and static drums with vocals reminiscent of a coked up Jim Morrison. It's probably not as good as Ottenheim and organist Dean Schinkel think it is, but it's still worth a listen.
If the fizz of Mountain Dew could be translated into music, it would sound exactly like Danny Winn and the Earthlings: exhilarating, high-energy and really, really bubbly. Leave it to those catchy, filled beats or maybe even the infectious bass lines, and before you know it there'll be a pit of fans in front of the stage skanking like there's no tomorrow.
Despite Spain's advanced age, the country only became a democracy in 1975 after a long hard struggle. The history of that struggle is commemorated in a new exhibit called The Art of Democracy: Fifty Years of Spain's Political Posters (1930s-1980s). The show is exactly what it says it is, marking roughly the period from the Spanish Civil War right up through the country's transition to democracy. The exhibit opens this weekend at UNM's Zimmerman library and will remain on display through Sept. 7. For details, call Teresa at 277-1010.
We're smack-dab in the middle of July, which pretty much guarantees two things in Albuquerque: 98 degree highs and cockroaches the size of baby fists. So when you need a massive jolt of caffeine to make it through your day, what are you going to reach for? A hot cup of coffee? Think again, pit stains! You need something cold. Something in a can. Dare we say, something ... extreme? We dare. We also went to work with an armload of the most ballsy energy drinks we could find and drank them over the course of one day. Each of us kept a "scientific" log of our findings, which we've reproduced parts of right here.