Veteran musicians shed their egos in the name of math-rocky, prog goodness
By Marisa Demarco
Battles' first full-length album, Mirrored, is a good ride. Dozens of tiny moving parts engage as a motor that runs a little too hot but always manages to glide. "It sounds really chaotic and intense," says guitarist, singer and keyboardist Tyondai Braxton. "But really it's way simpler than that."
Driving home while thinking about the cultural profoundity of events like Weekly Alibi’s upcoming Best of Burque Music Showcase—which is happening on Saturday evening, March 24, downtown, in case you did not know that fact—led me to the shores of ghetto Smith’s where I repaired to the produce section for some fresh fruit to calm my florid mind.
Some people believe our minds live in no one place. While generally associated with the brain, others believe the mind is everywhere in our bodies, an omnipotent storage facility for memories of every place we've ever been, everything we've ever done and the feelings we have about those things, all accessible with the right coaxing. According to this theory, we know things we don't know we know.
While the realm of hypnosis is vast, wide and malleable, there are a few souls whose legacies have manifested in our collective imaginations. Without their enduring imprints, Western civilization would be void of hypnotizing stereotypes and reputations. Below are some of the modern age's more famous hypnotists.
Street-performer measure wouldn't address amplified music
By Marisa Demarco
"Buskers" is an unusual word in these parts, but it’s cropping up with increasing frequency as a bill makes its way down the pike in the City Council. It means "street performers," and Mayor Martin Chavez was looking to institute a permitting process for them. AJ Carian, deputy director of the city's Cultural Services Department, worked with Councilor Isaac Benton on a measure that would require Albuquerque's street performers to purchase a $7 one-year permit.
“Sopranos” Debate—I'm not here to talk about whether you were satisfied with the ending to the long-running TV series. These days, that subject's reserved for the unending parade of columns and commentaries swarming newspapers and TV stations everywhere.
Chelsea Gerlach liked burning things in defense of Mother Nature. She was part of “The Family,” a cell of The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) responsible for 20 arsons in five states causing more than $40 million in damage.
Dateline: Romania—An elderly man is racing against the clock to change his name, fearful God won’t recognize him come Judgment Day. Scarlat Lila, 78, from Voloseni was adopted at a young age and now wants his birth name, Scarlat Pascal, restored. “It is well known God calls you by the name you were given when you were born, and when you are baptized, and when I die I will need that name,” Lila said. “At my age, I have not got much time left, so I am hoping they do not take too long.” Despite his insistence, local authorities have stated Mr. Lila needs to present more serious grounds for them to approv e the name change. “He needs to give a normal reason for his request,” City Hall representative Teodor Zaharia said. “Saying that you do not want to have problems once you die is not enough for us to approve this.”
Not long ago, Ian McEwan was reading to an audience from his new novel On Chesil Beach, a short, finely observed fable about a couple's ill-begotten wedding night on the English coast in 1962. After McEwan finished, a man stood up from the audience to offer his own story.
Barelas galleries point to an interesting future for Albuquerque art
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Leave it to the weirdos at Donkey Gallery to create a guerrilla fashion show challenge. Adorned by local designers, sonicly catered by gaunt DJs RAP and emceed to beget happening rather than opening, June 8's "The F Word: Donkey Does Fashion" signified a beckoning achievement in the avoidance of taking things too seriously. It also marked a trinity of swell Barelas gallery events.
Josh Jones is sick of hearing people whine about how Albuquerque doesn't have all the creative amenities of bigger cities on either coast. “Look,” he says, “it's not going to happen here if you don't do something about it yourself.”
If we were skiing down a black diamond hill in the Alps, and we hit a tree trunk and blacked out unconscious and woke up buried in a snowdrift with no use of our legs and an aneurysm that was slowly filling our skull with blood, it would all be A-OK—if only a St. Bernard rescue dog was standing over us with a barrel of St. Bernardus Abt 12 around his neck, the spigot frothing forth.
Part of the fun of eating Vietnamese is shrouded in adventure: Chomping on ingredients you can’t find at a burger or pizza shack, like an icy drink made with crushed, exotic fruits or a dish of sweet cakes flavored with tuber pulp. Feeling particularly exploratory, I set my compass toward a fairly new restaurant, Pho Saigon, on East Central. I actually went in for dinner the second day it was open in February, but I didn't know it. I remember thinking the service was flawless and the food well-prepared—not hallmarks of a place that's been in business for 48 hours.
Nowadays, food travels in the neighborhood of 1,200 to 1,500 miles to get to your supermarket. Stir in frightening farming methods and rocketing gas prices, and the kiwis in your cart start to look a lot hairier, don't they?
Music + Movies—Sol Arts is accepting submissions from musicians and bands for a film/music performance concept. Chosen bands will perform live in Sol Arts’ backyard while their film is projected for an assembled “drive-in” audience. Films may be shorts, features or favorite excerpts. You can submit your concept via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the following: name and contact number, information about your music and a description of the film including length. Performances will take place over four nights in July. Deadline for submissions is Friday, June 22.
If you’re going to put the word “fantastic” right there in your title—be it a book, a film, a record or whatever—you should probably produce something fantastic. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for some serious criticism. Elton John’s “Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Band” album? Hey, fantastic! Fantastic Voyage? It had Raquel Welch in a skintight wet suit, what more can you say? The Fantasticks? It ran for 17,162 performances Off-Broadway—fantastic in anybody’s book.
Not a lot of people are familiar with S.B. 619, a bill rushed through the California state legislature in the early ’80s and signed into law by then governor Jerry Brown. The law stated simply that each and every short story or novel penned by Stephen King must be turned into a movie before the author’s death. Hollywood has done its best to abide by this tough law, producing something north of 100 features, short films, miniseries and television shows based on his original material. The problem is that King just keeps writing, making it harder and harder for the movie industry to keep up.
Have you ever liked something simply because you were so confused by it that you felt like not liking it would expose you as a dumb person? “John from Cincinnati” isn’t quite like that. But it might as well be. I’ve reserved judgment on the new Sunday night HBO drama for at least the first couple episodes, trying to get a handle on it. I’m fairly confident now that I won’t ever get a sold grip on this thing. But I’m thinking I might like it. Even if I’m not quite sure why.
Down the Rabbit Hole (and Other Underground Things that Hip-hop)—Anyone who's gone looking for jackrabbits as a kid will attest: You can't really tell you're in the thick of them until your leg is halfway down a hole. And that's largely what underground hip-hop is like in this town—insular to the point of looking nonexistent to everyone on the outside. Maybe the local hip-hop community is just bad at outreach. Maybe there's an honest-to-god, concerted effort to keep this stuff buried. Whatever it is, finding the good, underground stuff on your own can be downright impossible. But it's getting easier.
Devil Riding Shotgun is not out to make stoner rock or a specific branch of metal or anything-core. Instead, this three-piece replaces genre with enough stage energy to sustain a set alongside any knob-cranking monorocker in town. "I do like the feeling of standing in front of your amp and having your pants billow from the sound waves," says guitarist Alan Edmonds. "You know something's happening behind you."
Rio Rancho library kicks off a music-themed summer reading program for teens
By Jenny Gamble
Teenagers like music. Libraries are beginning to catch on to the idea. In fact, more and more bands are jumping on board with the concept and have scheduled tours throughout the United States that specifically focus on playing library shows. Deimosa Webber-Bey, 29, teen librarian of the Rio Rancho Library, has taken the concept even further. “I decided it was more cost effective to just book local bands for events at our library," she says. "It gives teens a chance to eventually become supporters of local bands when they're old enough to go see them at a venue that only allows 21-and-older to attend.”
This poster came hand-delivered with a sweet little note: "I submit for your approval a poster myself [Heath Dauberman] and Mancle Anderson of The Tattersaints designed for our upcoming show at Burt's Tiki Lounge on Saturday, June 23. We just finished silkscreening it today at Little Kiss Print Studio ... I apologize if it seems illegible but every project is an experiment at this point. I hope you like it OK.” We certainly do! With Strawberry Zots, (The Return of) The Tattersaints and Polaroid Pornography. (LM)
Mother, I feel victimized by this contest's success. The pile of entries we received this year was freakin' gigantic. Consequently, the task of judging almost overwhelmed me. Thankfully, I had some grade A help from a judicial panel that included Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco and Laura Marrich. Thanks, ladies. Couldn't have done it without you.
From her living room window, 85-year-old Mary Trujillo has a full view of her newest neighbor, the Duke City BMX track. Her husband, 89-year-old Felix Trujillo, can hear announcements over the stadium loudspeaker booming through their bedroom, which is nestled in the middle of the house. Every Sunday, after morning mass, the Trujillos avoid going home, so as not to feel harassed by the noise, crowds and traffic BMX brings to their block. The open-air arena, which launched last fall, was erected to keep kids off the streets. Meanwhile, it’s driving the neighbors out of their homes—and into court.
See For Yourself—You've seen this picture: An angry Arab youth with a rifle, or dust from an explosion rising from bombed-out buildings while people run scared through the streets. Violence, anger and war riddle the images we see coming from the Gaza Strip and Iraq.
How New Mexico deals with legacy waste at Los Alamos
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
In 1943 the United States was in need of a centralized place to host the Manhattan Project, a two-billion-dollar military undertaking staffed with hundreds of thousands of employees racing to develop the atomic bomb before Nazi Germany. Sixty-four years later, with the war that established the lab long over, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) continues to develop nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, these operations have been to the detriment of soil and groundwater, as the 36-square-mile lab now houses hundreds of waste sites contaminated with dangerous substances, some of which have already shown up in water supplies. Currently the lab is in the midst of what might be an even larger undertaking than building the bomb: Cleaning up decades of dumping, over acres and acres of land before 2015.
The mayor-Council showdown over a tax cut delay amounting to about $9 million headlined the June 4 meeting. Three other bills, all deferred, put the amount involved into context. A proposed new software system for the administration would cost $25 million. A proposed restriction on tax increment development districts in fringe developments could keep hundreds of millions in the city's tax base. And tighter energy conservation standards for construction would lower city utility bills for decades.
Congress is once again considering the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. That’s been going on periodically for most of my conscious life, but until I finished reading Michael Pollan’s devastating analysis of American agriculture, TheOmnivore’s Dilemma, a month ago, I have to admit I never paid much attention to the issue.
Dateline: India—Wildlife officials in India have found a high-tech way to trap wayward leopards—with cell phone ringtones. So far six leopards that have strayed too close to villages have been lured into traps by ringtones playing the calls of roosters, goats and cows, said H.S. Singh, chief conservation research officer in the western Indian state of Gujarat. “Now instead of using live bait, sounds of animals have been downloaded as ringtones on mobiles, which are attached to speakers kept behind cages and then played at regular intervals,” Singh said last Tuesday. “The leopard drawn by the sound is an unsuspecting victim,” Singh said, adding that the trick only worked at night. All the leopards were later released unharmed in forests away from the villages, Singh said.
Thousands of people lined up along Central on Saturday, June 9, to take part in Albuquerque's biggest parade—and, from all appearances, the largest Albuquerque Gay Pride Festival in its 30 year history.
It’s a small misnomer to label this new book by MacArthur "Genius" fellow Lydia Davis a collection of stories. Many of the pieces are a paragraph long, some less. And Davis doesn’t often follow a story from one place to the next. There are certainly no cliff-hanger endings.
Cornstalk—The Alibi's editorial staff voted the Cornstalk Institute the “best nonprofit you've never heard of.” The South Valley organization provides experiential education and prevention programs to local middle and high school kids. We're talking everything from ropes course training to outdoor adventuring to organic gardening. A fundraising event for Cornstalk is going on this Saturday, June 16, from 11 a.m. to midnight. Tickets are $30 (two for $50) and include live entertainment by Burqueños such as Daddy Long Loin and Damien Flores as well as out-of-towners like New York's Emory Joseph and Tucson's Greyhound Soul. There'll also be a silent auction for a Fender Stratocaster signed by both Robert Cray and Eric Clapton. The institute is located at 3011 Barcelona SW. Tix are available at Bookworks and Natural Sound. For details, e-mail email@example.com.
Albuquerque Folk Festival comes to Expo New Mexico
By Steven Robert Allen
I have to admit that the term “folk music” gets under my skin, but it’s still the best broadly recognizable label for noncommercial music created in a communal environment. The word “folk” might be annoying, but it signifies a crucial aspect of cultural experience for ordinary people. Participation and sharing becomes more important than competition and wanky virtuosity. Tradition and social conscience get higher marks than mass market fame and fortune.
Apt documentary takes a look at one of the odder, more tragic places in America
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
There was never a story quite like this: In a matter of several years, a dry, salty desert basin in Southern California becomes an unintentional lake. This corner of the Earth gradually transforms from affluent resort to ecological massacre. A century later the place remains a massacre, a "beautifully awful paradise" where "success and failure collide." How American.
The ’80s were a pretty strange decade for horror films. In a way, you could almost say they were the antithesis to the gritty, survivalist-style horror flicks that defined the ’70s. Instead of the raw power of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, horror flicks in the ’80s were frequently accentuated with comedy bits and nudity for the sheer sake of nudity—often with dismal results. But when they worked, damn did these gems of the Reagan era kick a helluva lot of ass.
Let us not lament the loss of what has been and gone (“The Sopranos,” “Rome,” “Deadwood,” “Carnivale”). Let us, instead, look with hopeful eyes toward the future of HBO’s Sunday night lineup. I’m excited for a new season of “Entourage” (beginning this very Sunday). I can’t say I completely getDavid Milch’s apocalyptic “surf noir” series “John from Cincinnati”—but I’m intrigued enough to keep watching. And now I’m happy to welcome one of my favorite new shows to the schedule, the oddly endearing comedy “Flight of the Conchords.”
The Ground Beneath Gets Live—Steve Civerolo, lead singer and guitarist of Burque metalheads The Ground Beneath, called me from somewhere in Missouri last week. It was the second time in as many months I've talked to the band from their touring vehicle, The Van Beneath, while en route to a gig outside New Mexico. This is not a band of slackers. (Steve keeps a complete log of every show the band has played at www.thegroundbeneath.com.) And to put an exclamation point on all the intense touring and promotion they do, TGB is made up of just three people. (Although I like to think of their long, luxurious hair as the group's fourth member. It's silent but violent.)
If you walk through the doors of Royalty Life Records on any given Sunday evening, you won’t see white-collared, middle-aged men discussing ways to dominate the music industry. Instead, you'll see a group of young gentlemen, no older than 23, discussing the agenda of a full-fledged independent recording company.
The first time I saw Black Tie Dynasty was at a little club on the crusty edge of downtown Dallas called The Double-Wide. A little after midnight, the band shoved their way onto the stage as I waited, sipping a drink in the back of the darkened, bunker-like room. Eventually things settled and their set began.
Before pop punk had its balls chopped by blood-sucking MTV clones, there were brash and bratty bands like Screeching Weasel and The Queers. On Wednesday, June 20, The Queers remind us what melodic punk really sounds like, with Italian stallions The Manges, plus The Rum Fits and T.G.M.B. All-ages at the Launchpad. $10. (LM)
The 18+ den hosts bands, belly dancers, DJs and an open jam
By Marisa Demarco
I spent my youth, like most anyone in this town, at smoky, mostly boring house parties or in coffee shops drinking $1.26 refillable cups of joe until my pee ran clear. There's not a lot to do here if you're not of boozing age, unless you start something yourself. Like a band.
New Perennial Favorites, Part Three—This edition of "The Dish" is devoted to established Albuquerque chefs who are stepping up to the range at new projects. Go here and here for first two installations.
There are several distinct phases that occur when you eat a chicken-fried steak. First is the anticipation. The order is placed, the tummy-tum is rumbling and 15 minutes of cooking time seems like an eternity. Second, there is elation. It’s sitting in front of you, you knock over a water glass to saw off that first bite and eat about half of the fritter as fast as possible. Then comes the “I’m-kinda-full-but-I’m-gonna-keep-going” phase. This turns into the final phase of glassy-eyed, heavy-breathing, hunched over and wondering if the last two bites will make you pass out in the car.
Jason Daniello's back in town for a Naomi-style reunion
By Jenny Gamble
Jason Daniello is always smiling. It’s no act—his smile is molded to that contagious positive attitude of his. And if you saw him perform when he lived here in Albuquerque, you probably caught it, too, along with a head full of songs.
The nuclear family is having a meltdown. Father, mother and 2.5 children were once considered the golden rule for domestic bliss in the United States. But that's changing—fast. Now only about a quarter of all households are considered nuclear. Single people, same-sex couples and, more and more, parents who just don't "fit" into any ready-made classification fill the majority of American homes today. And we think that's great.
Albuquerquephobia—As you probably know by now, I have wandered out into the vast southern desert (Alamogordo) and embarked on a magnificent quest to add weight to my rather skimpy résumé. I hope to one day earn more than a crack whore and attain worldwide fame.
Indie 101.5 struggles on, though it can't outrun consolidation
By Marisa Demarco
Three Santa Feans made a break for it last year, severing ties with corporate radio and declaring their independence on July 4 [See: Profile, "A Signal Apart," Dec. 21-27, 2006]. Ellie Garrett, Sam Ferrara and Michael Warren co-founded Indie 101.5, a commercial station run on idealism, on the hope that listeners would support a for-profit radio station playing more than just the few hundred tunes Clear Channel's been spinning.
Dateline: Japan—A gold bathtub worth nearly $1 million has gone missing from a resort hotel in Kamogawa, south of Tokyo. A worker at the Kominato Hotel Mikazuki notified police that the glittering tub was missing from the hotel’s guest bathroom on the 10th floor. The round tub, worth $987,000, is made from 18-karat gold and weighs 176 pounds. Flanked by two crane statues, the tub had been a main feature of the hotel’s extravagant shared bathroom. Visitors were allowed to take a dip in the tub, but it was only available a few hours a day for “security reasons,” the hotel’s website said. According to local police, someone cut the chain attached to the door of a small section of the bathroom where the bathtub was located and made off with the fixture. “We have no witness information and there are no video cameras,” said a police official. “We have no idea who took it.”
Investigator quests after real info on our myths and monsters
By Marisa Demarco
A woman came to Benjamin Radford a couple years ago with proof of the supernatural, a recording of a child ghost. You've got to hear this, she said. Radford's response: How do you know what a child ghost sounds like? "I wasn't trying to be nasty or facetious," he says. That's just his job.
HD station pushes national pop artists and tries to avoid stereotypes
By Marisa Demarco
Among the last 10 songs played one Friday afternoon on Pride Radio: "I Wanna Sex You Up," Color Me Badd; "Behind Hazel Eyes," Kelly Clarkson; "Summer Love," Justin Timberlake. What makes these tracks particularly gay or prideful? You'd have to do some traveling to find out. The programming for Pride Radio, broadcasting over HD to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, is selected in New York. Clear Channel's Jason Ortiz spoke about the newest addition to our HD roster, a channel geared toward gay and lesbian communities that's been streaming to us from Dallas/Fort Worth since April.
There are two things you're sure to find in abundance during ABQ Pride: queer people and dancing. And lots of queer people dancing. And lots of not-queer people dancing because the queer people are having so much fun dancing everyone has to join in. It's a fabulous cycle.
Barely hugging their 20s, The Leftovers make good music from the bygone pop-punk days even better. These three lads from Portland, Maine, got their start like many other bands—playing basement parties and trying to impress girls. But their loyalty to three-minute songs with catchy hooks has gotten them farther than any backyard makeout session.
I like this Elias-Axel Pettersson guy. I like that he's giving a classical piano recital at the El Rey, of all places. I like that his mom called me to tell me how awesome he is. I like that she probably made this poster, too. He's playing at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. I imagine it's all-ages, but I'd like it even more if it wasn't. Just for the weirdness of it all. $15. (LM)
Costner Swings into Tow—A few new pieces of information about the Kevin Costner film shooting this summer in Albuquerque have leaked out. Swing Vote (Costner’s first in N.M. since 1985’s Silverado) is an indie comedy about a contentious, evenly matched presidential election, which ultimately comes down to a single deciding vote. Costner plays the all-important ballot-caster, a single father. The film is being written and directed by Joshua Michael Stern, whose only previous directing effort (the 2005 psychological drama Neverwasstarring Aaron Eckhart and Ian McKellen) was released direct to DVD. Filming is expected to begin on July 23 in Belen and Albuquerque.
Somebody told Hollywood you love penguins. And in a perhaps misguided attempt to satisfy your unquenchable desire for all things penguin-related, the movie studios have responded by providing you (and, by extension, everyone else in America) with a string of penguin-filled films. So far, we’ve had March of the Penguins,Farce of the Penguins, chunks of Madagascar, every square inch of Happy Feet and at least one episode of “Planet Earth.” ... Well, at least they didn’t find out about your love for unicorns.
Aussie drama contemplates topics of love and death (mostly death)
By Devin D. O’Leary
If the plot for the ruminative new drama Jindabynesounds vaguely familiar—a group of men locate a dead woman’s body while on a fishing trip—that’s because it’s based on the Raymond Carver short story “So Much Water, So Close to Home.” Carver’s minimalist tale also planted the story seed for one of the segments in Robert Altman’s L.A.-bound anthology Short Cuts(the one with Huey Lewis’ prosthetic wiener). While Altman’s film expanded somewhat on Carver’s story (which doesn’t run much more than a thousand words), Jindabyne runs away with it, taking it all the way to New South Wales, Australia.
It’s summertime, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the television networks are coasting on fumes. So we can’t exactly fault the summer replacement series “Pirate Master” for failing to live up to the legacy that is creator/producer Mark Burnett’s other tropical-themed, elimination-based, million-dollar reality series. Sure, “Pirate Master” is no “Survivor.” Still, viewed from an it’s-hot-I’m-lazy-and-at-least-this-isn’t-“America’s Got Talent” vantage point, “Pirate Master” may yet unearth enough stupid entertainment to rate as a very guilty pleasure.
More than 60 years down the line, it can be difficult to get all that worked up about Hitler and his dirty deeds. Over the intervening decades, the word Nazi has become tragically diluted. These days, you might call your spouse a Nazi for demanding that you do your share of the housework, or your boss one for refusing to let you make personal calls at the office.
In the past month, several of the nation’s biggest book sections—in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta—have instituted major cutbacks or changes to their coverage. In addition, the AP wire service eliminated its book review, while other daily papers are gradually winnowing their book pages down to nothing.
New Perennial Favorites, Part Two—This multipart edition of "The Dish" is devoted to established Albuquerque chefs who are stepping up to the range at new projects. Click here to read last week's installation on Sam Etheridge's forthcoming Nob Hill Bar and Grill.
My first theater experience was in 1986, when I was marched to an off-Broadway production of Animal Farm with several of my classmates. Since I was much too young to grasp the underlying theme of the plot (this being the gloomy, Orwellian allegorical vision of the Communist revolution), I just enjoyed the idea that animals could walk, talk and do human stuff.
French wine is by far my favorite—a bad French Bordeaux is better than a good California Meritage, and a stinky Burgundy is better than a perfumed Oregon Pinot Noir any day. So when I heard a new French wine-oriented restaurant was opening in Nob Hill, I about wet my pants. To the benefit of my pants and my pride, I was able to pull myself back together when I discovered that Michael Cooperman (creator of the somewhat bloated but nonetheless chock-full-of-great-finds wine menu at Scalo) crafted the wine list at La Provence. Given that brasserie or brewery usually implies a more comfortable and laid-back environment, I thought I would reserve my judgment.