Village Idiot—[CORRECTION: Some alternative weeklies in the Village Voice Media chain (formerly the New Times chain) do in fact have media criticism columns. An incorrect statement about this has been removed from this article. The error was made by the columnist. Apologies all around.] Management changes are always difficult, especially when some wunderkind's shadow darkens the door, towing with him ideas about how things should be done at your Pulitzer-winning alt weekly. That's what Democracy Now! is calling a "shakeup" at the Village Voice.
Dateline: Germany—A German man has taken legal action against the Easter Bunny for grievous bodily harm. Eccentric Berlin-based performance artist Karl-Friedrich Lentze--who also sued the Pope, filed a patent for straight bananas and tried to open a restaurant serving breast milk cakes--has filed a complaint with prosecutors, accusing the holiday icon of causing addiction to chocolate which leads to heart attacks, obesity and strokes. “The Easter Bunny is a sadistic and unscrupulous offender who preys on people's sweet tooth,” said Lentze in a public statement. “Find this evil bunny, handcuff his paws and remove him from shops in time for Easter.” Public prosecutor spokesperson Christian Avenarius said, “We will act upon this complaint with speed and diligence.” Despite the pledge, it is believed that Lentze's latest campaign will meet with as much success as his petition to ban Santa Claus.
Casting the Coens—There will be an open casting call for the new Coen brothers film No Country for Old Men this Sunday, April 23, at the Student Center Ballroom on the Highlands University Campus in Las Vegas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Coen brothers (makers of such fine entertainment as Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona) will shoot the film in Las Vegas, Santa Fe and Albuquerque beginning on May 24. Casting directors are looking for strong characters, including bikers, Native American, Hispanic and Anglo. The casting call will also be on the lookout for cars built before 1980 (the year in which the film is set). No Country for Old Men is based on the recently published novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy and concerns a rural sheriff hunting for a suitcase full of money and a demented killer. If you go, be sure and tell Joel and Ethan that The Dude sent you.
FHM CD Release Party--Fast Heart Mart bring their street performance aesthetic and a brand-new album to Harlow's (NE corner of Central and Carlisle) on Friday, April 21. This show will be the official jumping off for An Orange Album, the lightning-quick follow-up to the group's 2005 The Red Record.
Requiem Mass, Tetelesti, The Ground Beneath, Suspended, Torture Victim, Aphotic Blitz and Natural Reaction provide the soundtrack to the best free barbecue of the season at The Zone Smokeshop (2505 San Mateo, just south of Menaul). Plus, they're giving discounts to people with this flyer, so take a copy of the Alibi with you and score some incense on the cheap. Saturday (which is actually 4/22) at noon. (LM)
Day of the Book—Homosexuals have Gay Pride Day. Groundhogs have Groundhog's Day. Daylight has Daylight Savings Day. And books? Books have UNESCO's World Book Day, an international celebration of all bookish things. Here in Albuquerque, we're celebrating Sunday, April 23, with a reading by three local poets—Patricia Clark Smith, E.A. (Tony) Mares and Diane Thiel—at Alfredo's Coffee House (2104 Charlevoix SE) in Old Town. The event takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. According to the organizers, on this day, by custom, adults are asked to donate a book to a young person. Bring a book to the event, and it will be donated to Dolores Gonzales Elementary School and Washington Middle School for use in classes. For more information, call 266-0262 or go to www.abqreadfest.com.
It might not be an art gallery by name, but it has the same spirit. Nearly every wall of the UNM Mental Health Center is adorned with colorful paintings and portraits—all finely framed and signed by the artists. Each piece has its own unique story of how it came to be on these walls. Some were donated by past and present patients. Some were commissioned. One has been hanging on the back wall for as long as anyone can remember. A particularly striking impressionistic rendering of Vincent van Gogh standing under an umbrella brightens a dark hall on the second floor—a portrait of a man with whom many artists in the mental health community identify.
Lights Out for Marta?--It seems Marta's Camino Real, a plucky and thoroughly delicious New Mexican spot in the UNM area, has closed. The restaurant has gone dark in the last few weeks and the phone is disconnected. How sad. If you know what happened, please drop me a line.