Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
I don't know about you, but the first thing I asked myself was: Who in the heck are Anderson and Abruzzo? As it turns out, if you weren't born and raised in Albuquerque, that's a very interesting question. If you were, and you're over the age of 30, you probably think I'm a complete idiot for even asking the question in the first place.
1882—In previous years, carnivals occasionally came through Albuquerque featuring hot air balloons. In 1882, however, a local saloon owner named Park A. VanTassel used coal gas to fill a 30,000-cubic-foot balloon. Over the two days it took to fill the balloon, enthusiastic coal gas customers volunteered to go without gas service. On July 4, VanTassel floated above the city, marking the first hot air balloon ascension by a local in Albuquerque history.
Here's the whole enchilada—a full roster of Fiesta events that includes descriptions of a few special happenings that might not be self-explanatory. Tear this out and staple it to your chest for easy reference.
Entrance to Balloon Fiesta Park is $6 general, free for kids under 12. You can buy advanced tickets in packs of five for $25. General parking is $5 per car. An all-event parking pass costs $30. (The Fiesta's park-and-ride service will save you a lot of stress. Details at aibf.org.) To order tickets over the phone, call (888) 422-7277 ext. 303. Keep in mind if you're a cheapskate that there will be lots of good views of balloons located all over town where you won't have to pay a dime.
Want to go for a ride yourself? All paid balloon rides are coordinated through Rainbow Ryders, 823-1111. Also, if you volunteer as a member of a balloon chase crew, you might be able to milk a freebie out of a pilot. You can register at the park or online at the Balloon Fiesta website. For more information, go to aibf.org or call 821-1000.
Balloons rise up from various elementary schools throughout Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Anyone who thinks city elections don't matter, or that they pale in comparison to national politics, hasn't been paying attention. Truth is, they're probably even more important than the glorified, glossy presidential elections that harangue us every four years, replete with spin-doctors, million-dollar TV ads and men behind the proverbial curtain. They also allow you to exert much more influence as a voter.
Regrettably, councilors failed to conduct their business in buccaneer lingo on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Sept. 19. But they didn't completely forego lusty swordplay. Councilor Debbie O'Malley asked why the $500,000-plus for the Tricentennial Towers the city is building at the I-40 and Rio Grande intersection didn't come before the Council. John Castillo of the Municipal Development Dept. said the money came from a variety of sources, including G.O. bonds, rather than the 1 percent for the arts funding overseen by the Council.
Ten days before the polls close on the City of Albuquerque's 2005 election season, an eerie quiet cloaks the campaign. By the time you read this piece, it is possible all hell will have broken loose, but I've given up waiting around for that to happen. I guess our mayoral challengers this year are just too nice to turn up the heat under this pot.
Dateline: Japan—A 32-year-old Japanese woman who called police to report an unreliable hit man was arrested last Wednesday for incitement to murder. The Daily Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday that the unnamed woman contacted a private detective through a website last November and paid him $9,000 in cash to murder her lover's wife. The 40-year-old detective accepted the money and suggested he would carry out the job by chasing the victim on a motorcycle and spraying her with a biological agent in a tunnel. Police also arrested the private detective and found the alleged target unharmed, the newspaper said.
Unanswered questions about Mayor Marty's money machine
“This could be the same old wolf in a new, improved merino wool coat,” former Albuquerque City Councilor Hess Yntema told me. He was talking about a noteworthy feature of Mayor Martin Chavez' re-election campaign. Of the more than $860,000 in cash raised by Chavez, $105,000 has been paid to his former chief of staff, Teri Baird, and her brand new consulting company.
Listening to the KUNM call in show last Thursday morning while getting ready for work, I perfected the art of brushing my teeth with various degrees of intensity, at times stopping completely in order to hear what was being said. The living wage, pros and cons, yadda yadda, we've heard all the arguments ... or so I thought.
The door's open but the ride it ain't free
And I know you're lonely
For words I ain't spoken
But tonight we’ll be free
All the promises'll be broken
–“Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen
I have always yearned to be a judge, a news anchor or a high school girls' volleyball coach. Why? Because these are careers that do not require pants. Judges have robes, anchors have desks and the coaches get probation. Thankfully, pants are essential to American politics. And it isn't just because without them the only thing between you and molten retinas is the lectern on C-SPAN.
The slacks don't make the slacker—the pockets do. No pants, no pockets. No pockets, no ... Hey! Get your hand out of there.
For all of you out there who crave the early holiday 411, here's the skinny on a fat seasonal store, the New Mexico Food and Gift Showcase. Pivotal vendor Debi Barnes, purveyor of Uncle Mabe's Barbeque Sauce, assures us that their holiday haven will be packed to the rafters with local goodies like salsas, sauces, coffees, jellies and jams, spices, seasonings, soup and dip mixes, and the list goes on. With upwards of 500 products from 60 vendors, there's probably something for everyone. (At least for the people who really dig green chile-roasted nuts and chipotle jelly.) The shop is located in Cottonwood Mall's lower level, between Foley's and the M.V.D. We asked Barnes if there was a downside to being in the holiday goodie business, to which she gave a Santa-esque belly laugh and said, "Yes—when you get Habañero up your nose." The Showcase is scheduled to open on Oct. 28, and will disappear like Christmas fudge by Dec. 31.
It's been a hard day's night—you should be eatin' like a king!
Watching balloons float through the cold, autumnal predawn does a lot more than inspire awe in those who witness it—it also stirs up a brisk and compelling appetite for things that comfort us. For the enthusiasts who come out to Balloon Fiesta Park each year, there are plenty of autumnal mornings to be had; and for each of them there's an egg and cheese breakfast burrito, a four-pack of cinnamon rolls, a steamy cup of hot cocoa. Bliss.
Cajun Invasion in the Land of Enchantment—Washed out of Louisiana, the feature film The Flock is pulling up stakes and moving to New Mexico. The project will bring crew members with it from Louisiana and will employ an additional 72 New Mexicans.
Bullet-riddled Belgian thriller gives American crime a run for its money
America all but invented the crime film back in the '30s and '40s--blame Warner Brothers and James Cagney for its universal appeal. The French took it over in the '50s and '60s, giving us the likes of Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Delon--blame them for the very term film noir. Since then, it's been an all-out battle royale over who's got the toughest guys and the most fatale femmes. Is it the Italians with their violent thrillers? Or the Asians with their high-caliber bullet operas? Or the Americans with their Tarantino-esque pulp?
Rancid high school satire can't seem to figure out who it hates
Director Marcos Siega has your typical Hollywood resume: He directed a bunch of music videos (Blink 182, 311, Weezer), cranked out a couple TV show episodes (“Fastlane,” “Veronica Mars”), tried his hand at a hip indie film (Pretty Persuasion), then got roped into directing some generic vehicle for tween star Nick Cannon (the blink-and-you-missed-it Underclassman). It's hard to tell which came first, Siega's hip vanity project or his summer movie sellout. In the end, it doesn't really matter. Pretty Persuasion, hitting theaters on the not-so-hot heels of Underclassman, does everything it can to score cred as a sharp black satire for snarky high schoolers. Unfortunately, Pretty Persuasion goes to a well already tapped-out by the likes of Heathers, Election, Cruel Intentions, Mean Girls and countless others.
“Everybody Hates Chris” on UPN
United Paramount Network, still stinging from the failure of its “Star Trek” franchise, has been struggling to find its identity. For years now, the network has been content to set up a few nights of low-rated “urban” sitcoms and leave the rest of the week to the sharks. This season, however, finds the network on the verge of what could be its biggest breakout hit. The amusingly titled “Everybody Hates Chris” draws on the comedic star power of Chris Rock to form the backbone of a solid sitcom property.
The Week in Sloth
Party Hard and Help, N'Awlins Style—It probably won't help your hangover any, but going Downtown this Thursday, Sept. 29, might just make you feel a whole lot better about the world. That's because when you buy a $5 wristband from a participating bar (Maloney's, Sauce/Raw, OPM, Ned's, The Library or the Launchpad), you'll effectively donate your cash to the American Red Cross Katrina Relief Fund. Plus, it's all Mardi Gras-themed, so you might catch sight of some boobs in the name of charity. (LM)
Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m.; National Hispanic Cultural Center (all-ages): Reggaeton is hot right now, people. There's no way you haven't heard it—either on "Latino and Proud" Mega 104.1 FM, or pouring out from vehicles that are ... uh, tuned to Mega 104.1 FM. Essentially, the genre is a combination of fierce dancehall reggae, electronic beats and rapid-fire Spanish rap. The end result is reggaeton's signature "dem bow" sound—a clubby, understated shuffle that has the power to make young people of all national origins get nasty. Hot! Surely this hypnotic backbeat is the secret weapon of Pokoloko, a hunky bilingual threesome who've gotten great acclaim for their "machine gun-style" reggaeton. Honestly, I have yet to lay ears upon them—but why should I have to? Just look at Machete's glistening, rock-hard abs! And, mira! You cannot escape Axion's bulging biceps, nor can you shake Alex-J's intense "I want u, girl" gaze. I'm already overcome with the urge to "shake it." I must ... get ... down. Tickets for Pokoloko are $10, $15 and $20 (with a $5 NHCC member discount available) at the NHCC Box Office, Ticketmaster locations, and at Ticketmaster.com. For additional show information, contact the NHCC at 724-4771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Detach Records Showcase this Friday at Burt's Tiki Lounge is sure to be brimming with independent rock music and perhaps even a few sea shanties. We recently forced this pop quiz on Detach band The Mindy Set. Next, I will force them to dance a jig.
"It's not ratted, it's feathered," say hellion hair-hoppers Scenester, Shoulder Voices and Romeo Goes to Hell. Well, whatever you call it, it's a hair don't.
Get in touch with your inner hippie dude
Tathata (pronounced Tah-thah-tah) started when members of a backup belly-dancing group crossed paths with some fire circle attendees. The result, according to their press release, is "Albuquerque's grooviest pagan dance band." The release says Tathata "pulls from various local scenes such as festival, foot stomp and frolicking feast" but many might be tempted to label them as a "jam band."
Notice the nervous laughter
Henry Rollins plans to take his "25 Years of Bullshit" all over the country, and this week, on his second stop, he brings it to Albuquerque.
Stick a Cork in It—South Valley artist and humanitarian Corky Frausto opens up his spacious hacienda this weekend for the second annual CorkFest, a full day of art, music and assorted entertainment. It's a DIY backyard art festival designed to shine a spotlight on some of the best local artistry currently being concocted in our city.
The Maids at SolArts
It's so difficult to find adequate help these days, don't you find? Servants simply don't have the same respect for their employers that they had in previous generations. If the butler isn't raiding the liquor cabinet, the valet is taking the Rolls for joyrides, the nanny is mistreating the children, or the maids are trying to kill you.
This year has already seen a pestilence of floods, fires, bombings, plane crashes, a tsunami that killed almost a quarter million people, and this nation's worst natural disaster. It would seem that Mother Nature and our own bad selves have trumped the ability to imagine anything bigger or worse. Fittingly, the fall and winter of this publishing season are notably thin on fiction, but large on hulking works of nonfiction that might help us catch up with this out-of-control bobsled called planet Earth. Here are a few soon-to-be-released titles that are especially notable.
The most telling aspect of the debate over Albuquerque's proposed living wage ordinance, up for referendum early next month, is how little honest public debate is actually taking place
A proposal to increase the minimum wage in Albuquerque to $7.50 per hour and the hourly wages of tipped employees to $4.50 will appear on the Oct. 4 municipal ballot. Proponents say this measure could lift some 30,000 to 40,000 people in our city out of poverty and that passage of the law is a moral and economic imperative.
A brief primer on the art of the fallacy
It was in Ancient Greece during the fifth century BC that rhetoric—the art of public speaking—began to be taught in the ancient cities of Athens and Syracuse as the need arose for citizens to argue effectively and persuade their fellows in the jury courts and political assemblies. Rhetoric was also used on ceremonial occasions such as funeral orations. The study of rhetoric involved the use of different types of arguments. The appeal to reason involved the use of logic, and Aristotle was the first to formalize this discipline.
Speed humps in Four Hills Village impact District 9 Council race
Sometimes everything comes down to a good, old-fashioned hump. Er, speed hump, that is. At least, that may be the case in Four Hills Village in District 9, where residents are getting all riled up over a familiar issue just in time for the Oct. 4 city election.
Toasting Bush's Incompetence
Osama Bin Laden just celebrated his fourth anniversary as the motivator of 19 men who murdered 3,000 Americans. Somewhere in the mountains of Central Asia, he and Dr. Zawahiri, his chief strategist, might have observed Sept. 11 with tea and sweets. Perhaps they received a congratulatory note from Mullah Omar, the one-eyed Taliban leader who sheltered Al Qaeda while it plotted attacks on Manhattan and Washington, and who also continues to enjoy his freedom. He even has a spokesperson operating openly in Pakistan.
Dateline: Holland—A 31-year-old dutchman returned home from work to find a strange car parked in the driveway of his home in Pieterburen. Two children were sitting in the backseat, so the man asked them where their father was. According to Nu.nl, a local newspaper, the children said their father was “robbing” the man's house. The homeowner rushed inside to find a man and a woman who immediately ran out and drove off with the children. The homeowner could not catch the burglars, who did not have time to steal anything, but he was able to describe the entire family to police.
Read It and Weep—If you're one of the three or four people left in Albuquerque who haven't read Rudolfo Anaya's classic tale Bless Me, Ultíma, then Albuquerque Readfest is about to present you with a golden opportunity. Actually, if you have already read it, do yourself a favor and read it again. Anaya's novel is featured as the next selection in the city's innovative experiment in communal reading. Here's how it works.
New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Offices
Three founders of the Digital Fine Art Society of New Mexico will exhibit their digital paintings at the offices of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (4007 Menaul NE) from Sept. 23 through Oct. 18. The reception will be on Friday, Oct. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. Computers allow these artist to mix and merge mixed media and photography (digital and darkroom) with their paintings. Weird and wacky stuff. For more information, call 881-9590.
Go! Downtown Arts Festival
"It's four days on the streets of Downtown Albuquerque," says Amy Turner, one of the organizers of this year's Go! Downtown Arts Festival. "Rapid Ride has been rerouted. Basement Films will be projecting on the side of one of the buildings. There'll be lots of belly dancers and other performers. It's bigger than it's ever been."
Mystery Movie—Burning Paradise Video is holding a “mystery” fundraiser for the upcoming TromaDance New Mexico Film Festival. It takes place this Friday at 11 p.m., the Guild Cinema. Though I can't spill the beans on the film's title, I can assure you it features Japanese schoolgirls, high-powered weaponry and assloads of action. This film has never been released in America and has yet to make the leap to DVD in this country. It is one of the most talked-about international films in the last 10 years, and you need to see it on the big screen. Tickets are a mere $5. All proceeds go toward TromaDance New Mexico.
Animated musical weaves delightfully dark spell
Teenage Goth girls, feel free to rejoice. There's finally something new to buy at Hot Topic. Tim Burton, high priest of all that is oddball, offbeat and scary-cute, has finally completed Corpse Bride, his long-awaited follow-up to 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Rest assured, heavily pierced stock clerks are working overtime to get Corpse Bride merchandise onto store shelves nationwide.
Mesmerizing documentary picks up the rhythm of life
In 2001, German filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer created the closest thing to a cult sensation on the art house circuit when he wrote, edited, directed and acted as cinematographer on Rivers and Tides, a breathtakingly gorgeous documentary about sculptor/photographer Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy, the burly British poet of sticks and rocks, was a magnificent subject for a documentary, but Riedelsheimer took it a step further, creating a film that served as a perfect artistic complement to its subject.
“Supernatural” on The WB
I give The WB credit for one thing: Its ratings may not challange the Big Three networks, but it sure knows how to cater to an audience. Since its inception, The WB has been a breeding ground for attractive teen soap stars (the kind who appear in “7th Heaven,” “Everwood,” “Gilmore Girls,” “One Tree Hill” and even the soaped-up “Smallville”). From there, these young hunks and hotties are free to populate the dozens of cheap teen horror movies that Hollywood cranks out with wearying regularity these days. Where would the remake of House of Wax have been without you, WB?
The Week in Sloth
Visions of Bob Dylan—As part of the PBS "American Masters" series, this Monday and Tuesday night at 9 p.m. KNME (Channel 5) will air the two-part Martin Scorcese-directed documentary Bob Dylan: No Direction Home. The film covers the singer-songwriter's life and music from 1961 to 1966, and includes rare and never-before-seen footage and new interviews with the artist himself as well as Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez. We deem this mandatory viewing. (JCC)
Oh, Canada, is there no end to the brilliant music born of your cold, cold womb and exported from your exotic land? Here, the sound of the Ontario province is somewhat post-punk and similar to the Afghan Whigs (which is cemented by the vocal likeness to Greg Dulli). Tournament of Hearts is epic in scope and embodies a strange tone which has the power to summon dark delusions and desperate entreatments, an album which is good in its entirety.
Or, Matisyahu in tha houuuuse!
We've seen a wellspring of Jewish culture bubble up in popular music over the past few years. (Somewhat ironic given that Judaism has been around for, what, six millennia? But I digress. ... ) These days, even the pickiest of Jews can choose between schticky rap, shtettle-infused indie and "klezcore" punk. And now, thanks to a guy named Matisyahu, there's one more exodus from the norm—Orthodox Jewish reggae. You heard right. Instead of toking herb and praising Jah, this Hasidic New Yorker is all about the Torah—and he's good at it, too. Last week, the Alibi sat down for a phoner with Matisyahu, the world's first Hasidic reggae star.
Uh, it's embarrassingly obvious here how little I know about hip-hop. Hey, don't blame a girl for trying.
Bay Area two-man rap act Blackalicious, made up of Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab, will not only put on a show for Albuquerque this week, they're releasing their fifth full-length studio album, The Craft, on Sept. 27. Gift of Gab recently spoke with the Alibi's hip-hopically challenged Jessica Cassyle Carr.
Hey kids! Wanna join the FOTW Poster Posse? Send your flyers to email@example.com, post one up for free at alibi.com/ads or drop one off at 413 Central NW. Sorry, decoder rings are no longer included. (LM)
The Return of Tony Nethery—After a stint as sous chef at OLA Steak in Miami, Fla., Tony Nethery has returned to the Duke City. The former Monte Vista Fire Station executive chef says that working under OLA's Chef Douglas Rodriguez was an amazing learning experience, but that, ultimately, he and his wife wanted to raise their new baby back on New Mexican dirt. Nethery is the not-so-silent business partner of Johnny Orr, the chef and owner of Relish Cheese Market & Sandwich Shop. With plans for a second Relish location in Downtown Albuquerque, Nethery knew that he had to come home and look after his other "baby," too. Although he's only been back a few weeks, the team is already hard at work on the new shop's menu, which won't open until sometime in October. Until then, you can find Nethery slinging sandwiches in the Northeast Heights at Relish (8019 Menaul NE, 299-0001).
Election Day is Oct.4
As the saying goes, there's wisdom in crowds. We trust then that you, Albuquerque voters, have good sense, want to be well-informed and will attend a neighborhood mayoral forum or City Council debate. Seeing and hearing these candidates in person is always revealing in ways that reading descriptions of them in a newspaper cannot be. But if such a task is too much of a strain on your busy schedule, we'll do our best to assist in the only way we know how. We'll call it like we see it, and you can take or leave our advice.
A handy clip-out guide to bring to the polls on Tuesday, Oct. 4
Mayor: Eric Griego
City Council Races
District 1: Miguel Gómez
District 3: Isaac Benton
District 5: Michael Cadigan
District 7: Marianne Dickinson
District 9: Chris Catechis
Public Campaign Financing: Yes
Living Wage Ordinance: Yes
Voter ID: No
We support the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in Albuquerque.
As you know, we're not economists. But, to be sure, we don't want to see any local businesses harmed. In fact, the Alibi is a local business and part of our business is to support other local businesses through effective, widespread advertising. When we say we care about the local economy, it's because our livelihood depends on it.
We realize this is a controversial decision and some folks in the restaurant, retail and service industries are fearful of its ill-effects. But since other cities such as San Francisco, Madison and Santa Fe have already led the way, we suggest folks consider the outcome in these parts and put their fears aside.
Let's not mince words here. The Voter ID proposal that will be on the ballot on Oct. 4 is a straight-up political sham. This isn't to say that requiring voters to show an ID when they go to the polls is a bad thing. It isn't. But as it stands, the current proposal leaves much to be desired.
The Alibi enthusiastically endorses City Councilor Eric Griego to be our next mayor. We believe his four years on the Council have given him the experience to make Albuquerque a safer, more efficient and economically vibrant city. We believe his vision, candor and enthusiasm will serve the city well in its pursuit of a diversified economy, better planning and honest government.
One of the most unfortunate aspects of modern American politics is that it often takes a bloody political brawl to get voters to pay attention to an election. For better or worse, the battle for District 1 has shaped up as a vocal fight between two vehement political rivals with diametrically opposed visions for the future of both their district and our city.
In recent decades, fundraising in federal, state and municipal elections has ballooned to absurd proportions. Consequently, there's an increased and very real danger that wealthy donors and organizations will exert an unfair influence on the candidates they've showered with money. This is bad for our democracy, and it's bad for the future of our city.
District 3 is comprised of a diverse cross section of neighborhoods stretching from UNM, throughout Downtown and across to the Westside. It's the literal heart of the city, an anchor for the tourist and entertainment industries, centralizing the city's so-called "string of pearls," made up of cultural amenities like the KiMo Theater, BioPark, Explora, Old Town, Natural History Museum and the rapidly transforming EDO corridor. Intertwined with these areas are some of the city's most established, historic neighborhoods like Huning Highlands, South Broadway, East San Jose and Barelas.
District 5 can fairly be described as the northwest quadrant of Albuquerque. The area, unfortunately, is a testament to the American dream gone fatally wrong in the form of sprawl, inept urban planning and transportation gridlock.
Marianne Dickinson is hands-down the best candidate running for District 7 and might be the best candidate running for any office in this year's municipal election. She's intelligent, savvy and comes with a wealth of experience in community development rooted in Albuquerque for more than 20 years.
The bad news for District 9 is that incumbent City Councilor Tina Cummins is seeking re-election. The good news is you get to vote for someone else. The even better news is you can have a candidate genuinely informed on the issues and passionate about the area—two requisites sorely lacking in Cummins. Your choices are between Vivian Cordova, Don Harris and Chris Catechis, three candidates who cited Tina Cummins' lack of responsiveness to the district's needs as reasons for running.
Euphoria: Back in Black—Actually, it never went anywhere. Pulse manager Lisa VanDyke says that the gothic/industrial dance party does and will continue to have a home at Pulse on Thursday nights, just as it has for the past seven years. VanDyke says Euphoria is not affiliated with any other venues, and despite the recent exodus of a few employees, it's still going strong at Pulse. In fact, she says "it's only going to get better!" VanDyke and founding member DJ Vladmira plan to turn up Euphoria's voltage with local and national guest DJs, special performances and a fresh injection of electroclash into Pulse's already potent gothic/industrial cocktail. Party on, children of the night!
featuring The Folks, Anonymous Victims, Last Fifteen, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Jealous Gods, One for Hope, Scenester, Baked, The Mindy Set, Of God and Science, simple. and Feels Like Sunday
Monday, Sept. 19; the Launchpad, 7 p.m. (all-ages until 11 p.m.), $8 (proceeds go to the Hurricane Relief Fund): When the going gets tough, the tough grab a guitar. This Monday, the Launchpad plays host to a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the show will feature much more than just a smattering of local talent. Whether you're looking for the indie rock of The Mindy Set, the Zeppelin-inspired sounds of Jealous Gods or the country twanged-out pop-punk of Scenester, there's something to keep everyone in the groove. It's been said that rock and roll has the power to heal. On Monday, rock and roll—and you—have the power to help. Please do what you can, for goodness sake, and have a freaking great time doing it!
Saturday, Sept. 17, at Expo New Mexico's Ford Pavilion
Even though I'm convinced that Expo New Mexico ripped off my idea for chile relleno corn dogs, there are a few attractions at this year's fair that have managed to suspend my distrust of those midway hucksters, at least for the time being. Indeed, the New Mexico Music Commission Talent Showcase signals that better and brighter things are to come, not only at the State Fair, but for New Mexico music in general. The showcase is presented by the New Mexico Music Commission, a group that was signed into existence just last April by Governor Bill Richardson. According to its organizers, the commission's main objective is to work with local musicians in promoting their "continued creativity," and by assisting the state's music industry "in reaching its full potential." It's a step in the right direction, to say the least.
Think of lead singer Scott Salvas as a sort of metal-core ambassador. He and his band, Lower Than Dirt (or LTD as the kids call them), are dedicated to pleasing not only neo-metal devotees, but old-school metal, death metal and screamo aficionados as well. "I know every band says this, but we really do try to rock in a different way," Salvas says. "Even if somebody doesn't usually listen to metal, they can still walk away impressed by us because we put on a good rock show."
with God Dethroned, Manntis, Nightrage, Hell Within, Epoch of Unlight, Lilitu and Thine Eyes Bleed
Tuesday, Sept. 20; the Launchpad (all-ages), $15: Whaaaooooaaa! Whaaoooaaaa—just one of the sounds your disgusting ears will hear tonight at the Extreme Music Festival, where morbid black metal and thrash will consume all who embark upon the Launchpad. This dark horror will result from performances by a variety of bands new to the black arts, as well as Swedish dark masters God Dethroned and Swedish/Greek/French pan-European overlords, Nightrage (not to be confused with '80s hair metal band Night Ranger, who would probably be severely augmented if they were to ever encounter Nightrage). You might feel a sense of foreboding as your brain is aggressively disassembled by a bloody onslaught of warp-speed shredding and drumming combined with incoherent, but surely evil, incantations which will come whence forth from the song-master's inner sanctum. Only the dungeons of hell and Warlock guitars could create such cacophony. If, like me, you've heard of the madness which is Northern European black metal and desire to see the massacre as well as its stateside counterpart for your ugly selves, throw the horns, get some goddamn ear plugs and join the unholy festival. Uhhhhhhhhhwwaaa, whoooaaaa, ha, ha, ha!
Minus the Bear's lead singer, Jake Snider, has taken some heat from critics over his somewhat emotionally deprived vocals. But Menos el Oso doesn't have to be about deep-rooted feelings and catharsis for me to get behind it. It's enough that, after the first listen, hearing it again was more appealing than a night of repeated fornication. That may, perhaps, be pushing it, but fornication aside, the ideal amount of programmed beats and synthesizer, together with tremolo-guitar and downright dreamy vocals, make Menos el Oso f—ing terrific!
Thursday, Sept.15, at the Launchpad. See “Lucky 7.”--Get famous! Send us your upcoming show posters! Submissions should be timely, eye-catching, heavy on graphics and light on text. Flyers that are late, very dark or low in resolution won't show up in print. Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post one up at alibi.com/ads in the Gigs/Show Flyers section. (LM)
New Mexico Utilities has maxed out their water rights, which could impact development on the Westside
As we in the Southwest all know, water always comes at a price. But in the near future, for residents and businesses on the Westside, that price could get pretty high. Due to a recent feud between New Mexico Utilities, the for-profit carrier for 13,000 users in the northern Westside, and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Water Utility Authority, a joint public agency, the private company that's been serving the area for more than 30 years may be in trouble. They're currently surpassing their threshold for water rights and that could lead to some costly legal battles.
Republicans scoff at Mayer's re-election bid
What a difference four years makes. When Sally Mayer ran for Albuquerque's District 7 Council seat, hardly anyone in the area knew her. Maybe for that reason she had an easy time defeating incumbent Tim Kline. Republicans accepted her as their candidate while Democrats slept.
A few years ago, the city was in big time financial trouble. It had experienced several consecutive years of flat revenue growth (much of it due to major tax cuts enacted at the state level that severely hobbled municipal income) and a simultaneous growth in citizen expectations for services. The result was a crisis.
Dateline: England—Housing developers in Britain have come up with a novel way to move their merchandise: Buy a house, get a free pig. Property developer Jeremy Paxton has promised to supply a fully house-trained Gloucester Old Spot pig to anyone investing in a home on the exclusive Lower Mill estate, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, southwest England. “It will make a change from having a labrador,” a spokesperson said. The unusual offer has already attracted two new homeowners.
Education in Acting—Frank Zuniga, former head of the New Mexico State Film Office, founder of the SouthWest Institute of Film and Television and longtime film director for Disney, is starting up a series of Red Thunder Film Academy Workshops at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The first is a yearlong Film Acting Workshop starting Saturday, Sept. 17. This 12-week program will explore the spectrum of acting techniques and disciplines used in film acting. Character analysis, subtext, voice, body control, breathing techniques and sense memory will all be integral parts of the introductory program. A comprehensive approach is emphasized in this workshop and participants will walk away with an understanding of agents, lawyers, managers, auditions, networking and other important facets of the actor's life. The fee for the workshop is $200 a month and will be limited to 24 participants. Workshops will take place in the Roy E. Disney Center for the Performing Arts at the NHCC (1701 Fourth Street SW). For more information, contact Frank Zuniga at 898-5838.
Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2005
In only its third year of existence, the Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has grown by leaps and bounds. You'd be hard-pressed to dismiss this year's epic offering as a tiny fringe festival that caters to a local minority. With its third annual outing, the festival has become the kind of all-inclusive arts gathering that bigger cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Miami are lauded for. The festival also goes a long way toward establishing Albuquerque's gay, lesbian and transgender community as a mainstream economic, social and artistic force. In other words: It's huge, it's cool and it's probably good for your property values.
Women's Prison Massacre (1983)
When I was but a young lad, I had the good fortune to see The Big Bird Cage at a friend's house. Written and directed by the legendary Jack Hill (Spider Baby) the film resulted in both my lifelong desire to nail Pam Grier, and my enduring affinity for women in prison films. And when it comes to the women in prison genre, few flicks get it done better than Women's Prison Massacre, directed by sleazemaster Bruno Mattei.
New fall shows around the dial
TV is a numbers game, so let's look at some of this year's numbers. Of the 31 new shows hitting the networks this fall, 10 are sitcoms, only two are reality shows and a staggering 19 are hour-long dramas.
The Week in Sloth
In Memoriam—The late great poet Robert Creeley gets his due in a reading this weekend at the Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas. Creeley died earlier this year of pneumonia following a distinguished career in which he was widely recognized as one of the most innovative poets of the last half of the 20th century.
The Unexpected Man at the Cell Theatre
At the top of my Christmas wish list is a piece of imaginary technology I like to call the Thought Machine. It basically consists of a set of headphones connected to a kind of ray gun. When you aim the gun at people and press the trigger, it shoots out an invisible ray that allows you to listen to their thoughts. I'm hoping that 20 years from now I'll be able to pick up one of these babies at Target for $39.95. In The Unexpected Man, a play currently running at the Cell Theatre, playwright Yasmina Reza uses a similar sort of theatrical technology to crack open the silent thoughts of her two characters.
Pianist Awadagin Pratt is known for challenging the classical musical establishment by forcing his audiences to rethink the way music is heard. He will open the 2005-2006 New Mexico Symphony Orchestra season with performances of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Mahler's Symphony No. 5 at UNM's Popejoy Hall on Friday, Sept. 16, through Saturday, Sept. 17. Come on down and check out an Albuquerque fave. Tickets range from $10 to $60. Call for times. 881-8999.
Harwood Art Center
You may unknowingly be part of Alexander Ferguson's new exhibit, the Albuquerque Pedestrian Project at the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW). He tapes processed film to the ground in certain areas of the city, creating photographic images without a camera. Elements, people, animals and time create the image rather than light. Ferguson also made sound recordings at each site. You can hear these through headphones mounted on the walls of the exhibit, placed beside each corresponding photograph. A reception for the exhibit will be held Friday, Sept. 16, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the Harwood's North Gallery. Runs through Sept. 28. 242-6367.
An interview with Salman Rushdie
In the last decade Americans have watched dumbfounded as the Cold War evolved into the War on Terror. How did this happen? Why did it happen? And who is to blame? Perhaps the most qualified novelist in the world to address these questions is 58-year-old Salman Rushdie. Indian by way of Pakistan and Anglo by way of boarding school in England, Rushdie is a quintessential east-west soul. Born into a secular Muslim household, he experienced the wrath of Islamic fundamentalism in 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini put a bounty on his head for the perceived slights against Muslims in his comic novel, Satanic Verses.
Restaurant Relief for Katrina—Hurricane Katrina has a devastating strangle-hold on the lives of countless people along the Gulf Coast, but the disaster hit especially close to home for Louisiana's hospitality workers. A huge percentage of the state's economy is based in New Orleans' bustling tourist and hospitality industries. Even without the massive appeal of Mardi Gras, New Orleans is a hub for national and international conventions, entertainment and dining. In fact, the city was chosen as one America's top five restaurant destinations by Bon Appétit just last month.