An easy guide to the City of Holy Faith with our favorite patron saints
By Amy Dalness
Let’s get this right out into the open: Santa Fe is a touristy town. The art, the architecture, the history—Santa Fe has been selling itself as a world-class vacation destination, and people are buying. There’s no point in denying the facts, and tourism in Santa Fe is a fact. Another fact is that tourism isn’t the city’s only commodity. Now, now, don’t let your bias get in the way. Santa Fe isn’t only for rich yuppies with money to burn, nor is it full of stinky hippies who wish it was still the ’60s. And you Santa Feans—you know you harbor bias toward the Burqueños, too. Albuquerque is not void of culture, nor is it a cesspool for crime. There are plenty of reasons for residents of both cities to visit the other, from cultural events to culinary decadence, artistic gatherings to outdoor adventure. The long-standing sibling rivalry may never end, but isn’t it nice to sit and have a chat with your slightly overbearing sister over tea, even if you go straight home and bitch about her yappy dog? You know she’s talking smack about your hairdo, but family is family.
See You at the Crossroads--“Variety keeps up busy,” explains Crossroads lead singer Joy Baca. Well, that and extensive touring throughout the Southwest, two CDs and a working pedigree that stretches back almost 20 years must keep all eight members pretty busy too. But maybe Baca's referring to the enormous range of styles the group spans.
Sunday, Aug. 13, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: One unfortunate thing about Albuquerque is that it's an inconvenient stop on a band's tour—kind of out-of-the-way, really, depending on where the group is coming from. That's a big deal when you're on the Cheetos-til-you-puke, pocket-change-equals-another-mile tour. It means you might not want to spend a precious big-money Friday or Saturday night in a town that's a few hundred mile off-the-trek diversion from middle America to California or Phoenix.
Tuesday, Aug. 15, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: Imagine yourself on a bus with no one on it except you and the driver. Suddenly, the bus lurches forward and the bus driver reaches back to where you’re sitting and places his hand on your knee. He tells you, “We’re going to be OK,” as he gives you a yellow-toothed but sincere grin. With that, he launches the bus, careening out of control, until finally you go crashing through a glass-walled building. As the bus comes to a halt, you realize that, save for a few glass shards in your lap, you are completely unscathed and after seeing that your body is intact, the driver shoots you another grin as he exits the vehicle.
Mark Pickerel played drums for the Screaming Trees, laid down studio time with Nirvana and collaborated with Neko Case. Now he’s coming through on a solo project, supporting his debut Bloodshot Records release, Snake in the Radio. See this quintessential man-about-Washington on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge, with Sin Serenade and The Grave of Nobody’s Darling.Free. 21+. (LM)
Ice, Ice, Baby—So, the other day I'm riding my bicycle over to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to see the exhibit they've got on display about Antarctica. It's the middle of the afternoon and hot as hell. I'm really sweatin' it up. Pedaling madly in that insane heat, I'm not even at the show yet, and I'm already daydreaming about emperor penguins and big, wide, white plains of frigid Antarctic ice. Once I finally get inside, it only takes a few minutes to feel fully immersed in that other world. They've even piped in Antarctic sounds—howling winds, creaking ice—to aid in the illusion.
Janet Lippincott, one of the few remaining New Mexico Modernists, settled in Santa Fe more than 50 years ago. Before calling New Mexico home, Lippincott received formal training in New York and Colorado and became familiar with Picasso’s cubistic innovations while living in Paris with her family. After serving in the Women’s Army Corps during WWII, she attended Emil Bistram’s Taos Art School. Janet Lippincott: Six Decades of Works on Paper is a collection of Lippincott’s abstract and figurative ink-and-watercolor paintings on paper from the '40s through the '60s as well as monotypes printed in the '70s through the '90s. The show opens with a reception on Aug. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. and runs through Sept. 15 at Artspace 116 (116 Central SW, Suite 201) Mondays-Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 245-4200 or visit www.artspace116.org.
The mainstream art world can be dirty, deceptive and painfully exclusive, especially for scrappy unknown artists struggling to make names for themselves. For whatever reason, money too often trumps artistic merit, and nepotism seems to rule the day. Thankfully, events like this weekend's We Art The People Folk Art Festival exist to pull the arts back down to Earth where they belong.
You've got to be some kind of literary masochist to be willing to take a long, unflinching look at your own personal history—warts, cold sores, pimples and all—then share what you find with a bunch of complete strangers. All the best memoirs in the world, though, are fueled by precisely this kind of fearlessness, and J.R. Moehringer's stunning memoir, The Tender Bar, is no exception.
Africa, written by the most acclaimed and widely produced playwright in Korea, Tae-Sok Oh, will have its premier performance in the United States performed by Rough Theater at N4th Theatre. Rough Theatre is committed to creating new works that reflect, explore, inspire and challenge, which makes them an appropriate theater company to perform Oh’s Africa. The play deals with themes of global terrorism and the absurdity of racism and religious hatred. Africa opens Aug. 11 and runs through Aug. 27, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 general, $8 students and seniors. After the Friday and Saturday shows, stay to see The Entrapment Zones at 10:30, a late-night series modeled after the "Twilight Zone." Tickets $5. For all tickets and information, call the N4th Theatre (4904 Fourth Street NW) at 345-2872 or visit www.vsartsnm.org.
Bat Boy Eats Writers—Where the heck are the wacko conspiracy theorists behind Trust No One News? The Rio Rancho tabloid-style monthly hasn't put out an issue since its third at the beginning of June as best I can tell. Given its content, I'm thinking alien abduction.
Bill to raise the nation's minimum wage passes in the House but dies in the Senate
By Marisa Demarco
A measure that would have propelled the federal minimum wage up to $7.25 an hour failed in the Senate on Thursday, Aug. 3, with New Mexico's senators split strangely on the issue. Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman voted against it, while Republican Sen. Pete Domenici voted in favor of it.
Dateline: India--If you’re Indian, you fight fire with fire and monkeys with monkeys. In an effort to keep marauding monkeys off the nation’s trains, India’s Delhi Metro has started up its own monkey squad. On June 9, a monkey boarded a subway at the underground Chawri Bazaar station and reportedly scared passengers by scowling at them for three stops. The monkey disembarked at Civil Lines station. In the wake of that most recent incident, officials at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation have hired a langurwallah--a man who trains and controls langur monkeys--to patrol the train cars in an effort to scare off freeloading primates. “It started working about a month ago, and since then we’ve not had a single incident,” Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal told the Hindustan Times. The langur handler is being paid a retainer of 6,900 rupees ($160) a month and “will be called whenever there is a monkey problem.” Langur monkeys are already employed around the grounds of parliament and some government buildings in New Delhi.
There's a tired old adage in American politics often attributed to former Democratic House Speaker Tip O Neil: “All politics are local.” It means that even for members of Congress engaged in making decisions about American foreign policy, what folks and donors at home think is often more important than what is in the national interest of America.
Trained 10 years ago as a massage therapist, Cheney was thrust into the position of researcher when her son Raja was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. A seemingly normal child until about a year and a half into life, aside from inexplicably intense colic, Raja began to withdraw. He didn’t speak and was highly destructive.
Get Your Chones On!--On Thursday, Aug. 10, the Yale Art Center will host its second “Thursday Night Chones,” an open-sheet screening of local short films/videos. Come see the work of Albuquerque’s talented local motion picture artists and meet people in the field of film. Thursday Night Chones takes place on the second Thursday of every month. For more info, log on to www.yaleartcenter.org. Yale Art Center is located at 1001 Yale SE.
An interview with the director of World Trade Center
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s been a long, hot summer filled with heatwaves, monsoons and that pesky war in the Middle East. But Oliver Stone is sitting in a hotel room in Seattle looking surprisingly comfortable. Following one of his most high-profile failures (Alexander), Stone is about to shepherd the release of what looks to be his most controversial film to date, a real-life examination of the events surrounding 9/11. And yet, the famously contentious filmmaker is at ease, cheerfully answering questions about his successes and his shortcomings. What gives?
When Paul Greengrass' 9/11-inspired film United 97 hit theaters earlier this year, many moviegoers asked the question, “Are we ready for this?” People wondered if, as a nation, we were ready to confront that tragic day head-on. Given the relatively positive response the film received, the answer seems to be, “Maybe.” But now comes Oliver Stone’s high-profile tackling of that delicate day, World Trade Center. And, again, the question is being raised: “Are we ready for this?” Having seen and digested the film, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that’s the wrong question to be asking.
The way I see it, Cartoon Network’s Sunday night showcase of mature-minded cartoons--known far and wide as Adult Swim--is something akin to Bell Labs in the ’60s. It’s sort of an experimental haven in which radical new ideas are carried out--sometimes with disastrous results, sometimes with earth-shattering import. You never know what will result from this mad tinkering, but occasionally you end up with a carbon dioxide laser ... or an episode of “The Venture Brothers.”
C is for Correction—One cake-loving reader saw that I incorrectly listed Patisserie C's old address on Central in last week's “Alphabet Soup” feature. Baker/store owner Susan Caplan says they moved more than a month ago to 9577 Osuna NE (in Bear Canyon Plaza at Osuna and Eubank), because they needed a bigger space with better parking. “It was a fun place for three years, but I outgrew it quickly,” she says. “The [lack of] parking was tough for the customers.” Susan's creative cakes and cookies are still available by appointment only, but now you can at least order tins of fresh cookies for pickup or shipment to your home at www.patisseriec.com. Visit the website for an eye-popping photo catalog of her other specialty items or call 247-3131 to set up a personal meeting in the new store.
A season forecast of the Santa Fe area’s fruitful growers’ markets
By Laura Marrich
Stuffed and contented is the food-lover that finds herself in Santa Fe. There are the world-class restaurants, to be sure, and the rogue, rule-bending chefs that have put them on the map. There are bedrock institutions like The Santa Fe School of Cooking, the pervasiveness of ingredients like piñon and blue corn, and community action groups like Kitchen Angels that feed souls as much as stomachs. Those are each well-worth the trip alone.
Malls scare the hell out of me. Ever since I was a child, I was terrified of going to the mall. They appeared to be huge, noisy castles with scary ladies pelting me with perfume, and I never once believed that the guy in the red suit was really Santa. So when I made the trek over to the First Plaza Galleria, I was appropriately apprehensive. As it turned out, I had no reason to be because the place seemed awfully uninhabited—empty storefronts, an out-of-service escalator and a few stragglers outside smoking cigarettes by the fountains. The mostly deserted castle did have a little bright spot in the corner, La Esquina, which apparently has been there since the ’70s (the current owner and staff have been there since 1985), but doesn’t get a lot of press due to its indistinct location.
Of all Shakespeare's 38 plays, it's his last one, The Tempest, that seems the most logical candidate for a mutation into opera. For one thing, the play is already riddled with music. For another, The Tempest's absurdly bombastic plot and spectacular characters seem tailor-made for the operatic stage.
Looking for the best food in the Duke City? It’s as easy as ABC.
By Laura Marrich and Jennifer Wohletz
People ask us all the time, “What’s your favorite dish/restaurant/grocery store in Albuquerque?” To which we respond with something like, “Good lord, where do I start?” or “I couldn’t choose one--they’re like my children!” We’ve been trying to change the subject for years. Still, voracious, inquisitive readers like you don't seem to take “I don't know” for an answer.
Jingleballs—Feeling lucky? Keep your eyes peeled and you might just see a trio of new Powerball commercials that use local musicians to promote the lottery tickets. New Mexico talents The Hollis Wake (Burque), Vanilla Pop (Taos) and Sol Fire (Santa Fe) each perform a song about how incredibly huge the jackpot is becoming (to my understanding, the lyrics are canned but all the music is original), recorded and mixed by award-winning sound engineer Doug Geist at Santa Fe Center Studios. The commercials will air on local programming only when the winnings total $60 million or more. So far I've only seen The Hollis Wake spot--which features a “poptastic” 30-second jingle based off of one of bassist Sarah's songs--and I can't wait for the others. Especially since learning that one half of Vanilla Pop, Al Dente, went to the High School of Performing Arts in New York, and was cast in 1980's Fame. As if those wierdos weren't fascinating enough.
Singer-songwriter touched the hearts of all who knew him, from Albuquerque to New Orleans and beyond
By Marisa Demarco
In 1987, Emilee Holt learned what a good cappuccino was. She learned it at EJ's Coffee & Tea Company, one of two places in town where you could find espresso. She also learned what it really means to have a social conscience and a thing or two about kindness.
Saturday, Aug. 5, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: Durango’s Stellar Interlock (who formerly donned the much better, but already utilized name Pop Shove It) plays aggressive, resonating indie punk with a surprising amount of ‘tude for a bunch of clean-cut everyday Joes from the Southwest. Their sound seems as though it’s caught somewhere between the grunge era’s Jane’s Addiction, the Ramones’ style of quick-hitting punk and Queens of the Stone Age’s brand of neo-alt rock--all with an indie tilt.
Saturday, Aug. 5, Santa Fe Brewing Company, $20-$25: Admittedly, I have more than slight apprehension about anything that involves the word “mystic.” It just seems like a pretty obvious warning that trustafarians (aka trust fund rastafarians) talking about spirituality are near. But let’s just forget about that for now.
A safe place for the kids to head-bang--six years strong and still kicking
By Simon McCormack
The theory that metal is the root of all evil will be put to the test this week as 30 bands (some of which make Cannibal Corpse look like Kelly Clarkson) converge at the Compound for the sixth annual Gathering of the Sick.
Chances are you're already familiar with Barry Moser's work. He's one of the best illustrators of our time, illustrating over 300 titles in his career, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Moby Dick. This Thursday, August 3, Moser will present a free slide lecture and talk at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe (706 Camino Lejo). The event is presented in conjunction with Lasting Impressions, an exhibit at the Palace of the Governors (105 W. Palace Ave.) that examines the history of New Mexico presses. For more information, call 476-5100 or visit www.palaceofthegovernors.org.
Erin Currier crosses cultures, religions, geographic boundaries and political lines to celebrate the strength of the human spirit. She forces viewers to honor those who are too often ignored and rejected as human refuse. By bringing to life those who are invisible, Currier makes us question who we are, what we value, and what and who we toss aside. With her bold colors, multimedia collage techniques and striking images she makes us see beauty and pathos where we once saw only a void. Currier’s new exhibit, From Vietnam to Venezuela: Bandits and Beauty Queens, is showing at Parks Gallery (127 Bent Street, Taos) August 5 through Sept. 4. For more information, call 751-0343 or visit www.parksgallery.com.
Five in One—This Sunday, Aug. 6, would be a fine time to head over to the Albuquerque Museum. As usual, admission is free on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Even better, that day the museum will debut a grand total of five sparkly new exhibits. Expect a little somethin' for everybody. There's an exhibit on Latino immigration to the U.S. There's another on the history of poster art in Puerto Rico. And a complementary show consisting of posters from WWI and WWII culled from the museum's permanent collections. More? You want more? The Pastel Society of New Mexico will host a show for the first time at the museum. And the final exhibit consists of Frank Ettenberg's unique paintings, composed on top of his voluminous collection of exhibit announcements. If you go, remember to pace yourself. Drink plenty of fluids. Know your limits. The Albuquerque Museum is at 2000 Mountain NW. 243-7255, www.cabq.gov/museum.
Chala at Ya, Corrales—The Flying Star Café will open its first Westside location just north of Coors and Alameda (10700 Corrales NW at Cabezon) on Monday, Aug. 7. It's a “soft opening,” meaning the Flying Star people don't want media people like me heralding its arrival just yet. (Sorry, not happening.) What they do want you to be aware of is the public grand opening on Aug. 19, when they'll have all the kinks ironed out, live music and other fun stuff from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
I worked at the Olive Garden right out of culinary school—I was young, I needed the money—so I had a pretty thorough grounding in the mass production of Italian food. I used to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to make 50-gallon tanks of meat sauce, and bread row after row of chicken Parmesan and little mozzarella triangles. Then it all changed. Prepackaged came, saw and conquered, and instead of the fresh, handmade favorites on the menu, there were bags of premade frozen mozzarella patties and chicken parmigiana. This really bugged me, but I did not know why at the time.
It’s a regular Sunday evening at the Cadigan house. The family is doing the post-weekend, pre-work week juggle. Dad, City Councilor Michael Cadigan, is looking ahead to the next day’s Council meeting. Kids, Megan, 10, and Mason, 7, are arguing loudly in the background. Michael mediates for a second and returns to another task at hand—answering this reporter’s questions about the latest ball tossed into the increasingly complex Cadigan routine—the fact that his wife, coworker and campaign manager Traci is now also a candidate.
The Thin We're In—Morally superior robots should read no further. This one's for the rest of us who find ourselves almost unconsciously turning the pages of the likes of Life & Style, a weekly gossip rag.
An Albuquerque peace activist is stranded near Tyre
By Christie Chisholm
I met Mahassen Shukry on a warm day in early March. Her house smelled of spice, and potted plants, and that indescribable, earthy aroma that accompanies any true home. I was running a few minutes early, and so her daughter, Nidhal, and young grandson, Ziad, kept our staff photographer and me company while Mahassen finished getting ready. Ziad was extremely curious about my recorder, and while he eyed it, Nidhal eyed him and chatted with us about vacationing and the unusually dry weather.
One-time presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey was fond of pointing out that the truest measure of a society’s success should be not how its wealthiest citizens fare but how that society provides for its neediest: the poor, the elderly, the infirm and the children.
Environmentalists shoot at Heather Wilson, and miss
By Jim Scarantino
The New Mexico Wildlife Federation, the Coalition for Valle Vidal and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance have run big ads in the Albuquerque Journal to thank Rep. Heather Wilson for protecting New Mexico’s environment. Not long ago she won headlines for wrestling with the Department of Defense to maintain access for hikers and mountain bikers in Otero Canyon in the East Mountains.
Dateline: England—A man arrested in Central London’s Trafalgar Square last Tuesday on suspicion of taking lewd pictures with a hidden camera informed police he was actually an antiterrorist detective working undercover to videotape al-Qaeda suspects. Turns out the man, nabbed by a plainclothes team watching out for perverts and pedophiles, was actually a married Scotland Yard surveillance expert with more than 20 years’ experience. Unfortunately, when the officers went back to their station and looked at the detective’s “surveillance” tape, captured on a camera hidden inside a sports bag, they found “the pictures were not of terrorist suspects planning a bombing, they were of knickers.” A police spokesperson told London’s Daily Mirror, “the officer used surveillance techniques for his own perverted hobby--taking pictures up women’s skirts.” The spokesperson went on to say, “It was one of the hottest days and Trafalgar Square was packed with young women in skimpy clothes. When officers moved in, he told them he was a cop on an anti-terror operation.” The officer was arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance. He has been suspended from Scotland Yard.
Hollywood Southwest--Last Monday, the Mesa del Sol development south of Albuquerque’s Sunport announced one of its first major commercial tenants, a 50-acre film and television production facility, which will be known as Albuquerque Studios. The project, expected to be up and running by next spring, is the work of Pacifica Ventures, a California-based company, which runs the historic Culver Studios in Hollywood.
Fictitious story based on a true lie can’t find the reality of its fabrication
By Devin D. O’Leary
Has America become a nation of liars? You might think so watching the evening news. Politicians, of late, have raised deception to a high art form (with Dick “I Have Not Suggested There is a Connection Between Iraq and 9/11” Cheney as the Picasso of Prevarication). Notorious newspaper man Jason Blair proved you don’t have to leave your apartment to be a good reporter, while infamous author James Frey showed you can deceive some of the people some of the time, but it’s not nice to fool Mother Oprah. Famed transgendered, teenage, HIV-positive author/screenwriter JT Leroy (The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, Gus van Sant’s Elephant) was, in late 2005, revealed to be a 40-year-old woman from Brooklyn named Laura Albert. Earlier this year, much-praised Native American memoirist Nasdijj (The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, The Boy and His Dog are Sleeping, Geronimo’s Bones) was exposed as a mere fabrication of gay-erotica writer Timothy Patrick Barrus.
One of the more puzzling aspects of our current war on terrorism is how little tangible support for the troops seems to come from people who claim to support the troops. “Supporting” our troops, apparently, means sending them into a dangerous situation with inadequate numbers, outdated equipment and a near total lack of clear-cut goals and then keeping them there indefinitely. So long as you’ve attached a little yellow bumper sticker on the back of your Ford F-1000, though, they’ll be just fine. Perhaps, supporting our soldiers--regardless of whether your motivations are pro- or anti-war--might entail making some attempt to understand what it is they’re doing. The president has explained it very clearly and concisely: They’re defending our freedom abroad. But, one suspects, there’s a little more detail to it. What, on a day-to-day basis, are these men and women actually doing?
This is just a guess, but I’m pretty sure there are no instructions for use printed on the side of the homeopathic topical headache relief product HeadOn. After all, anyone who’s spent any time surfing the cheaper commercial hours of basic cable (especially daytime CNN) has run across the HeadOn commercial at least a hundred times in the last couple of months.
A University shopping district looks at a major facelift
By Marisa Demarco
It's a quirky part of town, a loosely associated collection of little houses used for shops and restaurants on Harvard near the university. When the relatively new owners of the area, the Harvard Mall Partners LLC, are finished with them, eight of the structures on the west side of the street near Winnings Coffee will be demolished. In their stead? A mixed-use apartment complex with about 7,500 square feet of retail spaces on the ground floor.
Office exercise for the desk-ridden white-collar worker
By Mark Chavez and Jessica Cassyle Carr
Hey, you frumpy slobs. You overweight, under-perfect nine to fivers. Yeah, we're talking to you, Dave, and you, too, Britney. It's time to finally do something about that ever-expanding gut, those unsightly thighs and that excess skin that pours out over those jeans you'd be well-advised not to wear.
Policing the Police—After her arrest, Jenny Gamble headed home, changed clothes and went to work. She hadn't slept for 17 or 18 hours when she logged onto the Web and blogged about the events of the night before. Since that night, she's had more than 2,000 hits on her blog, she says, and people from all walks of life are writing to her of their own police horror stories. "The thing that's kind of strange about all of this is that I never intended to be a martyr for civil rights," she says.
Warren Hatch is an enthusiast and ultimate defender of the dying hobby of model railroading. A model railroader since the age of 7, Hatch found a way to make a career out of what he loves by opening Trains West Inc., a vast store that sells only model trains and their accessories, 14 years ago. The entrepreneur sat down with the Alibi to talk about model trains and the community that surrounds the hobby.
New tax credits encourage home and business owners to go solar
By Simon McCormack
New Mexicans now may find it a little easier to harness the power of the sun. House Bill 269, signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson in March, offers tax credits to individuals who purchase solar systems for their home or business. Such systems cost thousands of dollars to install. The tax credits would cover 30 percent of the installation cost, up to $9,000.
Buddy Cianci was one of the country’s most successful mayors. He took a struggling post-industrial Providence, R.I., and rebuilt it from the ground up. A new thriving downtown. A booming new high-tech industry and a renewed sense of civic pride. But a not-so-funny thing happened to Buddy Cianci on the way to his success. Buddy Cianci was convicted of public corruption.
Dateline: Germany--Police in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt were stunned when a thief they had just released from custody was caught stealing one of the officer’s bicycles on his way out of the police station. “They could scarcely believe his cheek,” said a spokesman for Ingolstadt police. “It’s almost impossible to beat.” Police had earlier arrested the 22-year-old man after he was caught stealing handbags. The man was soon released on the condition he report back to them later. As he exited the police station, an observer in the parking lot spotted the man helping himself to a bicycle. Police gave chase and quickly re-arrested him. “He claimed he thought it belonged to a friend,” added the police spokesman. “He won’t be getting out of jail so quickly this time.”
Shootout: Take Two--The Duke City Shootout continues into this weekend. Last Saturday’s shotgun start launched seven teams of filmmakers on a weeklong race to cast, shoot and edit seven short films. The films will premiere at this weekend’s gala final event. Until then, however, the Shootout still has a few surprises up its sleeves. For a complete listing of events, log on to www.dukecityshootout.com.
Environmentally aware documentary provides fuel for conspiracy theories
By Devin D. O’Leary
Did you know there were more electric vehicles on the road 100 years ago, when the automobile was making its first inroads into American culture, than there were gasoline-powered vehicles? After all, electric vehicles are far cleaner, cheaper and more easily repaired than their internal combustion cousins. And yet, here we are a century later, and electric vehicles remain nothing more than a “pipe dream.” Why? That’s just one of the juicy think nuggets presented in the sober new documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, a perfect companion piece to Al Gore’s global warming call-to-arms An Inconvenient Truth.
Satyrical TV show graduates to theaters with consistent laughs
By Devin D. O’Leary
Fans were no doubt happy to learn that Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert finally got around to crafting a feature film version of “Strangers With Candy,” their three-season-long series on Comedy Central. The show went off the air five years ago, but continued to resonate with viewers and has only added to its loyal cult following a comprehensive DVD release of all three seasons. Of course, Colbert’s recent success with CC’s “The Colbert Report” makes now a fine time to introduce the show into the mainstream.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: See, there’s this artificially intelligent robot head who works as a top-secret super spy for Abraham Lincoln combating assorted supernatural and extraterrestrial threats to the nation, particularly those levied by his reanimated manservant-turned-archfiend Emperor Zombie. Helping our titular head are his new manservant Mr. Groin, a talking, three-legged dog named Mr. Dog and a collection of super-duper, steam-powered bodies onto which the Amazing Screw-On Head can, well, screw himself. ... No, I’m not making this up.
MTV, Get Off the Air!--Despite the Dead Kennedys shouting for them to go away for the last 21 years, as of Aug. 1, MTV will have been on the air for 25 years. So, in the spirit of the unsatiated desire of the Dead Kennedys, I’m compelled to start off by blurting out the clichéd affirmation that “MTV sucks.” Just go to mtv.com right now and see for yourself. It’s basically corporate radio in television form with an added bonus of obsessive celebrity worship. The station rarely plays music, but simultaneously has incredible influence on the music industry. But most of us know this already.
Crouching deep inside Jim Phillips' cerebrum is a kid with his hands between knees. Let's call him Ned. Ned is busy counting the number of syllables you've just said to Jim. Now he's making a rule about it. It's called “The Disguise of Changing Scenery,” or something equally splendiferous and literary. Now he's humming the idea back to Jim in musical Morse code, which is being broadcast onto the back of Jim's skull like a home movie. The colors bleed onto everything. And now Ned's resetting the whole thing back to zero, like winding a clock.
Wednesday, Aug. 2, Launchpad (21-and-over): Straddling the line between an indie band with screwed-up time signatures and long periods of straight instrumentation and a rock band with a Yo-La-Tengo-without-the-bite style of play, Brooklynites Dirty on Purpose are poised at the verge of quasi-stardom and indie acclaim.
Saturday, July 29, Puccini's Golden West Saloon (21-and-over); $5: They would go out on the weekends to bars like Tumbleweed, Fantasia or Bandito Hideout restraurant. Spanish rock lived in those joints--on the radio, but never live.
Drown out the impending global war--and the stately, blathering shitheads who’ve brought us to the brink of it--this Saturday, July 29, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge! The Prids (see “Show Up!”), The Foxx and Unit 7 Drain are along for the handbasket ride. (LM)
As We Liked It—Last weekend, I tried my luck with Sol Arts' production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Colleen McClure. Honestly, it took me a while to get into the spirit of the thing. In my experience, most Shakespeare productions in New Mexico suffer from uneven performances, and this one was no exception. I dug the music, though, both live and canned, and hot damn if Kristen Loree didn't play a smokin' Rosalind.
What is a zarzuela? Glad you asked. It's a form of Spanish opera that got its start in the mid-1600s and is usually short and comic. Director Salomé Martínez-Lutz and conductor/pianist Pablo Zinger have put together a showcase of this classical music genre that features a variety of zarzuela music consisting of archetypal Spanish beats as well as Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Perhaps best of all, special seating will be available to enjoy a glass of wine during the performances at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1707 Fourth Street SW) this Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The show is produced by Teatro Nuevo México. Tickets are $10 to $25, available in person at the NHCC box office, or through Ticketmaster at 883-7800 or ticketmaster.com. For more information, call 724-4771.
Hilarity is an art. It takes skill, hours of creative energy and constant rehearsal to be a stand-up comic. Comedians must also be memorable. If they aren't funny, confident and original, they're forgotten as soon as the lights dim. It's a cutthroat industry, and for anyone looking to make a living in stand-up, it takes the same thing every wannabe in Hollywood needs: a big break.
A unique combination of Southwestern landscape, pop culture and ancient mythologies come together in New Mexican artist Shawn Pham-Warrick’s exhibit, War Paint. Opening this week at N4th Gallery (4904 Fourth Street NW), the show is composed of large allegorical paintings that explore timeless issues such as greed, violence and relationships to the natural world. There will be an opening reception on Friday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. and an artist talk on Saturday, July 29, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both are free and open to the public. Runs through Sept. 2. 345-2872.
Signing for Her Supper—Friend and former Alibi Food Editor Gwyneth Doland can add one more notch to her crumb-speckled belt, as she's just become a published cookbook author! The book is Cilantro Secrets (Rio Nuevo, paperback, $12.95), which she'll launch at a signing event on Thursday, July 27, at Jennifer James' Gulp (3128 Central SE, 268-4729). From 5:30-8:30 p.m., the girls next door (that is, the Graze chefs) will prepare a selection of herby snacks from the book, offered to the guests of Ms. Doland at no extra charge. Settle into a cilantro mojito and pick Gwyn's brain about mole, the subject of her next book in the Cook West single-ingredient series. Oh, and buy a book. She's got a pile of cilantro-inspired grocery receipts that aren't paying for themselves. “I will write anything on the title page of that book if you pay me $12.95,” she says. Cash or check are perfectly acceptable.
At 7:30 p.m., people begin to stand two bodies deep at the bar, popping out through knuckles of space like olives in a fist. It's an impressive draw for a weekend night, let alone a Thursday. It's just short of amazing when you consider that this particular bar opened one week ago.
Rabieng Thong? What’s in a name, anyway? I can recall my school years like they were yesterday, and I don’t think I had a single teacher who ever pronounced my last name correctly without a linguistic tutorial beforehand. I got some pretty festive variations like “Whirlitz,” “Whoo-letz” and my personal fave, “Whore-letz.” It’s Wohletz (Wall-letz), dammit. So I know how the cats at Rabieng Thong feel. It’s hard to have name recognition when people keep jacking it up.