Lots of baa, but no humbug in this raw, open-eyed elegy for the American cowboy
By Devin D. O’Leary
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash, the husband-and-wife filmmaking team behind Sweetgrass, apparently prefer the term “recordist” over the term “director.” Walking out of the theater as the end credits roll on their latest documentary, you might be inclined to agree.
Yes, it’s time once again to nominate the best local bands, players, albums, venues, engineers and labels of the past year. This time around, nominations for Albuquerque’s reader-powered aural Olympics will be accepted daily through Jan. 24. The second round with high-scoring nominees runs Feb. 14 through 28. And the cherry atop the BOBM sundae is a live showcase of winners on Mar. 24. This thing was a blast last year, so let’s do it again!
You Have Until January 19 to Secure Tickets for Alibi Fetish Events’ Carnal Carnevale on January 20
By Julian Adams Wolf
The Carnal Carnevale is just around the corner, and we can't wait to bare it all for you. It will be a night of adults-only fun in a secret, downtown Albuquerque location. So mask up, and get ready or a night of kinky fun amid the doors of perception.
As Weekly Alibi celebrates 25 years in ABQ, we’re shaking up our annual—and the original—Albuquerque Best Of contest with two rounds of voting. Vote early and often for your favorite Burque businesses, artists & more during BoB 2018 nominations. (You can renominate your faves daily to be sure they place on the final ballot.) Voting starts on Jan. 3 and ends Jan. 31. Vote local and support homegrown!
Dear Albuquerqueros: Ustedes will always have a special place in my heart, since the Alibi was the first paper with huevos to print my ¡Ask a Mexican! column. Unfortunately, I can't live in your wonderful town since my demented homeland of Orange County, Calif., needs me to expose skinheads and pedophile priests on a regular basis. But fate is bringing me back to Albuquerque this week on account of a book I'm working on—Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (And Soon, the World)! It'll be released next year and deal with how "Mexican" food has evolved in the United States—and I'll devote a whole chapter to the Land of Enchantment, because the rest of the States used to like "Southwestern" food until pinche taco trucks became popular.
... and finds true love. The Alibi’s Joseph Baca responds to hard-hitting questions about the Land of Enchantment.
By Joseph Baca
If you’ve never heard of Gustavo “The Mexican” Arellano and his syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican!, printed weekly in 37 newspapers throughout the U.S., you must be living on the hinterlands of pop culture. In his column, which has a circulation of about 2 million, Mr. Arellano uses scholarship, acerbic commentary, irreverent humor, cynicism and simple smarts to break down racist boundaries and answer the most straightforward questions about Mexicans. Questions regarding differences among the broad spectrum of Latinos the world over are addressed. No cultural group is safe from his biting wit, as whites, Chicanos, Filipinos, Guatemalans, Chinese, blacks and even Argentines are all fodder for his humor.
Multi-use art space, coffeehouse and general neighborhood hangout The Kosmos is getting into the movie biz. Kind of. This weekend, The Kosmos will host several screenings of Jamin Winans’ much-praised ultra-indie fantasy film Ink. Ink spins the story of an 8-year-old girl who becomes a pawn in a metaphysical war being fought between the forces of light and darkness. Kidnapped and taken to a freaky alternate dimension, our heroine must fight her way back to the real world and bring salvation to her desperate father. Screenings will take place Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13, at 8 p.m. There will also be a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. The Kosmos is located at 1713 Fifth Street NW. For more info, log on to www.thekosmos.org. To scope out a trippy trailer for Ink, head to their YouTube channel or their website, doubleedgefilms.com.
Comedy Central gets freaky with its new animated series “Ugly Americans.” Like a lot of shows, “Ugly Americans” follows the crummy work environment and lousy personal life of one average American schmuck. In this case, our schmuck is luckless twentysomething social worker Mark Lilly (voiced by Matt Oberg). Mark works for the Department of Integration, a New York agency dedicated to providing job counseling to fresh immigrants. The twist here is that, in Mark’s world, these immigrants are just as likely to include vampires, zombies, aliens, werewolves and giant chicken people as they are to consist of your average Third World refugees.
Regret is a terrible emotion with which to live. It can gnaw at you for years, trapping you in a sad cycle of longing and self-recrimination. Do not let this happen to you. The deadline for our seventh annual Photo Contest is nigh. Go to alibi.com and click on “Photo Contest 2010” for all you need to know about how to enter. Get your submissions in by 11:59:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 14. Like most things that happen on the Ides of March, late entries are unlucky and will not be considered. The Photo Contest issue hits the streets on March 25. Don’t hate yourself for missing out.
Juli Hendren may not have sought to change our perceptions of violent activism when she started composing Waste Her, her new one-woman show playing at Tricklock Space. But she clearly intended to explore how people move from enthusiasm to extremism, and why they come to view destruction as the only viable solution to the world’s ills. Inspired by the real-life exploits of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) between the early '90s and the early Naughts, Hendren conceived of Waste Her after reading Outside’s September 2007 interview with Chelsea Gerlach.
Haptic technology is to our sense of touch what graphics are to our sense of sight, explains Tom Anderson, CEO of Albuquerque company Novint. “Our technology gives you a sense of touch in computing,” he says. “You hold onto the handle of our device, and you can move it right and left and forward and backward like a mouse, but you can also move it up and down.” It controls a cursor on the screen, Anderson describes, and when that touches something, motors in the device turn on. It gives the operator the sense that they’re touching virtual objects.
The special session of the Legislature accomplished in four days what was impossible in 30: reaching an agreement on how to plug a $600 million gap in next year's budget. Legislators did it because the pressure was on—and because a lot of preliminary work was done the week before. That work at least provided a starting point for heavy negotiations.
Spectators entered the courtroom, greeted one another and chatted animatedly while they waited for the jury. Some hugged the plaintiffs, the 11 demonstrators who had been among hundreds in Albuquerque on March 20, 2003, to protest the war in Iraq. Seven years later in District Court, after two weeks of testimony, the verdict was due. The news vans were parked outside. Would the jury find that the Albuquerque Police Department stepped over the line that night by donning riot gear, launching tear gas grenades, and shooting pepper-ball guns and beanbag rifles?
Dateline: England—A sales assistant at a WH Smith store in Chichester, West Sussex, refused to sell a woman a pair of children’s safety scissors over fears that the mother might allow her daughter to use them unsupervised. Nadine Martin was at the store purchasing art supplies for her 3-year-old daughter. When the youngster placed the plastic scissors, which were marked “3+” on the checkout counter, a female sales assistant asked, “Will you be supervising her?” Mrs. Martin told the Telegraph newspaper, “She called another woman over and said it was company policy that because my daughter had put the scissors on the counter it called into question whether she would be supervised using them. I can’t believe a parent can’t buy plastic scissors. They were clearly labeled and had ‘3+’ on them. There was a queue of about four people and it was embarrassing.” In protest, Martin left the store without purchasing any of the items she and her daughter had picked up. “Customer safety is of paramount importance to us,” a WH Smith spokesperson told the Telegraph. “To that end, we insist our staff complete regular training updates to remind them of their obligations both legally and in accordance with our own policies.” The spokesperson went on to admit that, “On this occasion a staff member may have been a little overzealous in their interpretation of that training and we apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment that may have been caused.”
SXSW season has arrived, and you know what that means: During the next couple of weeks a disproportionate number of touring bands will be making pit stops in Albuquerque on their way to and from Austin. Among the packs of troubadours is a little piece of old Albuquerque. Two thirds of Mighty Tiger, a dreamy rock band from Seattle, is comprised of one half of the late Oh, Ranger!—Boyd Reno and Luke Heath. Imbued with the Reno-and-Heath touch—sad guitar and cheeky lyrics placed in a squirming pop context—Mighty Tiger is ever-so-slightly reminicent of their earlier local projects, but with more mature, higher fidelity results. See Mighty Tiger perform live on Tuesday, March 16, at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) with fellow Seattleite Grand Hallway, along with Albuquerque's Bellemah and The Giranimals. The show begins at 9 p.m. and $5 gets you in.
Describing the work of Alfred Darlington, known on stage as Daedelus, is no easy task. The experimental Los Angeles-based, Ninja Tune-backed electronic musician and producer inhabits realms of emerging technologies, oxymoronic juxtapositions and avant sound. A vanguard concerned with invention, he was among the first to use an instrument called a Monome box in live performance, all the while dressed like a 19th century sophisticate. Prior to his first performance in New Mexico, we questioned Darlington by means of electronic communiqué.
The Scrams, The Dirty Novels and Broken Water at Burt’s Tiki Lounge
By Captain America
How long has it been since a band has not only hit Burque but hit it over the head, taken it hapless prisoner in a trashed garage and subjected its collective ears to hip-swivel rock? Fifteen years and change I’d say, harking back to the lo-fi ruckus of The Drags when it was acceptable to not only rock but to roll. The Scrams haven’t forgotten that a band can maintain dance-worthy melody while playing as loose as a pair of two dollar shoes. No costumes, no front, no shtick but a pure adrenaline injection to your spinal cortex that dares your feet to stay still. You can see it happen live this Saturday on a triple-threat bill at Burt’s.
During the last half of this month, various underground entities will do their best to jointly exploit the talents of local lunatics and the wealth of weirdos traveling to Texas in an event known as Albuquerque Southwest by No Fest. Show info can be found at www.myspace.com/albuquerquediy.
Because I had to be out the door in 45 minutes, the hostess at Seasons recommended I sit at the dining room bar, where I took the bartender’s recommendation on a Silver Coin margarita, and focused on the menu.
Not with a bang, not with a whimper, not even with your favorite local beer blogger (yes, me) writing for the Alibi. No, there is an even surer sign of the end times than boiling seas and Sarah Palin: Golfer John Daly has all but given up beer. The man who made it cool to be a golfer has found religion, sobriety and a slimmer figure, after Lap-Band surgery allowed him to shed 115 pounds. The surgery makes it difficult to ingest carbonated drinks, and Daly says it takes him an hour to finish a beer, which he rarely craves anymore. How could a man who named one of his children after a rehab center he attended reject the liquid that greets me in the morning and tucks me into bed at night? A man who once used a beer can as a golf tee, who was arrested for being passed out at Hooters, who sported a mullet before some hipsters tried to make them ironically cool, though still hideous? (What makes Daly’s mullet cool is the fact that he rocked one while playing professional golf alongside robotic stuffed shirts.)
A grand old building that’s full of welcome surprises
By Ari LeVaux
Fujiyama, a new Japanese/Korean joint on Central, inhabits the building that used to house the legendary New Chinatown. The space feels slightly haunted—you can sense its history in the echoing, cavernous foyer that connects to large dining rooms through arched doorways.
Here is the complete ballot listing of all this year’s Academy Awards nominees. For the top eight categories, we’ve included the accolades that have already been won, as well as the current betting odds (as provided by historic London bookmaker Ladbrokes), in case you wanna place a little wager on the winner. Plus, we’ve added our own Should Win vs. Will Win picks.
The big news for this year’s Academy Awards is that the Oscars have gotten, well, bigger. Starting this year, there will be 10 feature films nominated in the Best Picture category. While it might have been wise to separate them into Comedy and Drama categories (as the Golden Globes do), it’s still nice to see more films getting the chance at Oscar glory.
Albuquerque Little Theatre (ALT) is celebrating its 80th season this year. As a fundraiser for the historic theater—located just off Central between Downtown and Old Town—ALT is opening up its facilities and hosting an Oscar night party. So why not get out, get dressed up and share the glamour of the Academy Awards with members of Albuquerque’s arts community?
Looking for a laugh? The Friends of Film and Video Arts (FoFVA) is hosting LOL Friends of Film Funny Film Fest, a night of “improv, silly hosting and funny flicks” on Friday, March 5. The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the UNM Continuing Education Building (1634 University NE). Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. In addition to the juried screening of Laugh Out Loud (that’s what LOL stands for, Luddites) short films, there will be street entertainers and comedians throughout the evening. For more info, log on to filmvideoarts.org.
Plastic playthings spring to life in anarchic anti-Toy Story
By Devin D. O’Leary
“H.R. Pufnstuf,” “Teletubbies,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Yo Gabba Gabba!” Every few years a self-described “kids” show pops up that holds a peculiar, hypnotic appeal for adults—particularly those under the inhaled influence of certain recreational substances. The latest series to add its name to this surrealist list is the oddball Belgian-born creation known as “A Town Called Panic” (or “Panique au village” in its native tongue).
A whole galaxy of Hollywood stars will be in attendance, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will share hosting duties, and at some point, somebody’s bound to show up on stage painted Avatar blue. (My money’s on Robin Williams.) But this year’s Academy Awards telecast boils down to one simple question. It’s the same question that comes up every year, and it’s the only one people actually care about: Who’s gonna win?
Photogs, clicksters, soul-capturers—what are you waiting for? The seventh annual Alibi Photo Contest is well underway, but lucky for you there's still time to enter. Head over to alibi.com and click on “Photo Contest 2010.” You'll see mucho info on categories, rules and submission guidelines. Winners, selected by a panel of Alibi staffers and honest-to-goodness photo experts, will score a heap of fabulous prizes, courtesy of local merchants. And this year, for the first time ever, you can visit our contest page on Flickr (flickr.com/groups/alibiphotocontest2010) to see what others are entering. The photos submitted so far have set a pretty high bar. Will this be our best contest ever? I hope I'm not jinxing it when I say absolutely totally without a doubt completely. Deadline is Sunday, March 14.
Once upon a time, two papas—an emperor penguin and a sea horse, to be precise—took a tandem ride. But they had neither an ordinary bicycle nor an ordinary purpose. Their contraption, though the size of any old ten-speed, was perfectly outfitted for the tiny stature of a penguin captain, while the back seat generously accommodated the winged legnessless of a sea horse passenger. Perched high above their heads, in a kitchen sink converted to cradle a bird’s nest, were three eggs. Their eggs. And they embarked upon this expedition to bring their babies into the most beautiful world they could discover.
Wisconsin native Kirk Farber moved out west after college looking for new experiences and, as a bonus, found the literary agent who would make the dream of publishing his first novel a reality. Postcards from a Dead Girl was launched Feb. 16, and independent booksellers have voted it as one of their favorite 20 new releases; it’s an “Indie Next” pick for March 2010. The irreverently funny novel chronicles the experiences of an eccentric telemarketer named Sid who receives postcards from an old girlfriend who has died. Or has she?
One of the books I remember best from my childhood is a picture book about women’s suffrage. Although it may not have a place in the kids’ book hall of fame alongside such heavyweights as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are and The Berenstain Bears, I think it probably had more influence over me than that literary triumvirate. As my mother read it to me, she would pause to talk about how relatively recent women’s liberation was; how she had been the only woman in her math and science classes in college; how her generation had fought for equal rights, equal pay and equal respect, all of which are still not always granted. It made me appreciate what my mother’s and my grandmother’s generations endured, and it taught me that I should never settle for less than what I deserved.
Curtis Trafton had never been to a protest before. He was 50 when the war in Iraq began, and he went with his wife, adult daughter and father to the March 20, 2003 demonstration that began in front of the UNM Bookstore. "I felt that the war was being waged against the wrong people for the wrong reasons," he said. He made a sign out of poster board that said "No War" and found a serious but upbeat crowd when he got to the university.
A bill was introduced at the Monday, March 1 Council meeting that would rein in the Albuquerque Police Department's policy of letting officers take home squad cars on the public's dime. Joey Segala, the police union president,told the Council during public comment that the perk of take-home cars is part of the union contract. He also said police cars in home driveways is a safety bonus for some taxpayers who like having a visible police presence in their neighborhoods. There was no action or discussion by councilors on the squad car costs, but they will talk about this at the next meeting on Monday, March 15.
Dateline: England—A theme park in Surrey is on the hunt for England’s smelliest urine in hopes of lending authenticity to a new movie-themed thrill ride. On Friday, Feb. 26, Thorpe Park, near Chertsey, asked members of the public to submit personal water samples. The person with the country’s most pungent pee will win a £500 ($760) prize and have his or her signature scent immortalized in the park’s new SAW Alive attraction. Based on the popular Saw film series, SAW Alive is billed as “the world’s most extreme live action horror maze” and will feature “six traps depicting the most grisly and iconic scenes from the six Saw films.” The much-sought-after urine will be pumped into the attraction’s bathroom scene, recreating a “realistic and truly gut-wrenching sensory experience.” Thorpe Park’s entertainments manager Laura Sinclair is responsible for choosing the most eye-watering whiz. “We want SAW Alive to be as authentic and terrifying as possible to make visitors feel as if they are living in a real-life horror film,” Sinclair told journalists. “To do this, we need to really push the boundaries of what our guests experience from a sensory point of view.” Sinclair went on to say that the park needs the help of the public to “create the most realistic and unsavory urine odor. We are looking for a sample that will really get the public gagging.” SAW Alive is expected to open in Spring 2010.
Everybody loves to get something for nothing. But let’s say you went to Blake’s yesterday and bought a Lotaburger. Then let’s say you went back today and ordered a Lotacombo, which includes a Lotaburger, fries and a Coke. But when it came time to pay, you deducted the price of the Lotaburger from your bill, explaining that you didn’t need to pay for it again because you’d already paid for a Lotaburger yesterday. You might receive some choice words, but you would not get your food.
Tenacious D’s Southern rock spin-off pulls into town
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Do you love bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top as much as you love a fine woman with a towering perm who wears jeans cut so high the fabric reaches past that perm? Would you rather drink a six-pack of Bud on a lawn chair in the bed of your truck than sip wine at one of those fancy Olive Gardens? Does your arm bear the symbol of freedom that is an eagle sheathed in the American flag? If you answered any of these with a spirited “Shit Yeah!,” then read on, y'all.
We’re not so sure what’s pictured in this flyer, but we’re guessing it’s some kind of Eastern European art car. Except everyone knows they don’t have cars in Eastern Europe—just vampires and Yugos. On Wednesday, March 10, Zoltan Szekely[xurl] and Josh English celebrate their birthdays. Beginning at 6 p.m., Black Market Goods (114 Morningside NE) hosts the music of Zoltan Orkestar, Le Chat Lunatique, Squash Blossom Boys and Totem. This all-ages show is $5. Happy birthday, lads. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Returning from a hiatus, Song Roulette sought out the random selections of Ms. Jill McArthur—former drummer extraordinaire for a handful of lauded local bands including The Foxx, The Grave of Nobody’s Darling and The Mindy Set. (She’s also a stylist responsible for many beautiful haircuts, and she’s a snappy dresser, too.) At the end of this month Jill picks up and moves to New York City. We bid her a fond farewell and wish her the best of luck in the big city.
Late in life (in his 70s), widely famed Russian novelist Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy (known to his friends as “Leo Baby”) turned his attentions away from fiction and dabbled in the creation of a number of utopian communes. These live/work communes were based on Tolstoy’s own particular philosophy—one that espoused nonviolence, the abolition of private property, a strict vegetarian diet and an adherence to the principals of celibacy. (Yeah, sorry, Leo Baby, but you lost me on that last one.) Though the Tolstoyan Movement didn’t last very long, it allegedly influenced the thinking of such latter spiritual leaders as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
It was Day 30. The mood in both chambers sagged. Legislators spoke testily and lacked the buoyant friendliness that usually accompanied the morning announcements, introductions and notes. Reporters settled in for a long day and night, one that wouldn't end until after 4 a.m. The final hours of the session ticked away, and Wednesday, Feb. 17, looked to be dreary, long—and surreal. A stuffed oryx head sat in a chair on the Senate floor. A Catholic priest had been at the Roundhouse in the morning hours providing ashes for Ash Wednesday. A poor version of "God Bless America" rang through the chamber with senators trailing off after the first verses.
As promised, here’s a list of bills that passed the House and Senate. Click on the links to read them for yourself. (To look at all the measures that were in play during the regular session, click here.)
Filmmaker (Slumber Party Slaughterhouse), author (Direct Your Own Damn Movie), SAG stuntman (Gamer) and occasional Alibi contributor Kurly Tlapoyawa will conduct a Film Fighter Workshop on March 7, 14 and 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. This three-day intro to fighting will focus on the basic principals of planning, blocking and executing fights scenes for film and television. The workshop will take place here in Albuquerque. Cost is $200 and space is extremely limited, so the sooner you sign up, the better. A $50 deposit will be required by Monday, March 1, in order to secure your place. To get your name on the list or to acquire more information, call 307-8597.
Although it still produces enough laughs to keep me watching, HBO’s “Entourage” has suffered a certain loss in quality over its many seasons on the air. Perhaps it’s just the inevitable signs of age any TV series exhibits over time. More likely, though, it’s the fact that the show has lost a bit of the creative spark it had when it started. Originally, the show was about a quartet of knockabout best friends from New Jersey who stumble into the Hollywood high life after one of them becomes a flavor-of-the-month movie star. Despite the mansions and the limos, our four main characters were still those good old neighborhood boys from back in Jersey. Six seasons in, though, the boys find themselves surrounded by an increasing numbers of celebrity guest stars, making it harder to spot their non-Hollywood origins.
Art, education and eating are, essentially, my entire life. Oh, and wine. It's good to see I'm not alone in setting these as priorities. The New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is joining Through the Flower to hold an event on Sunday, Feb. 28, to raise funds for Through the Flower's K-12 Dinner Party Curriculum. The curriculum's goal is to ensure that women's history becomes a standard component of children's education. Join them in their mission at Scalo Northern Italian Grill (3500 Central SE) at 3 p.m. Tickets to the event—which will include food, drinks, entertainment by the Santa Fe Women's Ensemble and a talk by Judy Chicago—are $75 and can be bought at ticketssantafe.org. The first 50 teachers who buy tickets can get them for $50. As Scalo owner Steve Paternoster is a significant supporter of women in the arts, the restaurant is also donating an in-home cooking demonstration. This limited-seat dinner with Judy Chicago, held Sunday evening, is $250 (price includes the afternoon event). All proceeds go to benefit the Dinner Party Curriculum. For information, call Susannah Rodee at 864-4080.
Daniel Beaty is no one-trick pony. The Yale grad is a composer, poet, playwright, actor, singer and screenwriter who's received numerous awards, including the 2007 Scotsman Fringe First Award for the best new writer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the 2009 NAACP Theatre Award for best actor. It's tempting to think that this is all due to some Faustian bargain with the devil, or he’s perhaps the result of a top-secret government experiment (like the Six Million Dollar Man, but for art instead of spying). Instead, it's far more inspiring to realize that Beaty is simply a vastly talented and committed artist, and zero percent cyborg (as far as we know).
I am confused about which type of utensil to use while cooking. I have heard that plastics can leach cancer-causing chemicals into foods and liquids when heated and cooled. I have also heard that wood cannot be sterilized because it is porous. I know that metal can scratch up and ruin pots and pans. Where does that leave me when reaching for a spatula, ladle or spoon? Any suggestions?
Although “Salsa” is part of its name, the menu at Rio Grande Tacos y Salsas doesn’t once mention that word. Yet the salsa flows, starting with your welcome basket of chips and continuing throughout your meal with as many refills you ask for. Each time, the salsa is different. Sometimes it’s a tomato-y red, sometimes a green chile, and sometimes the waitress brings both.
It was a demonstration that went down as one of the biggest clashes between civilians and police in Albuquerque's recent history. Hundreds gathered on March 20, 2003, to protest the invasion of Iraq. But things grew ugly that night in the University Area. From the Alibi's 2003 report by Adam Brown and then News Editor Tim McGivern:
That is what Westside City Councilor Dan Lewis called federal grant money at the Wednesday, Feb. 17 meeting. The Councildebated whether to green-light an application for a $6.7 million national transit grant. The money would build a Rail Runner / Park and Ride station in the North Valley on Montaño near the railroad tracks. The request passed 6-3 in spite of Lewis’ opinion of federal monies being equal to nose candy. “I am concerned when looking into the future thinking about these grant monies, concerned about our dependency on these grants,” he said. “It almost seems like municipal cocaine.”
Dateline: Singapore—The Southeast Asian nation of Singapore has been accused of hiring “sand smugglers” to steal valuable beaches from its neighbors. A recent report in the U.K.’s Daily Mail notes that the island city-state’s size has increased a suspicious 20 percent since the ’60s, even though sand-exporting bans in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam have cut off supplies. Regional environmental groups claim that several of the 83 islands that border the north coast of Indonesia are in danger of disappearing into the sea in the next decade unless illegal sand smugglers are stopped. Environmental activists claim sand smugglers visit the beaches of these islands during the night in small barges. They dredge the sand and then sail directly into Singapore port, where they sell it to international brokers who work for Singapore’s many land developers. Last month, 34 Malaysian civil servants were arrested for accepting bribes and sexual favors to facilitate sand smuggling to Singapore. Malaysia’s former prime minister told the Daily Telegraph that upwards of 700 truckloads a day of illegal sand cross the border to Singapore. Last Monday, 37 trucks loaded with sand were abandoned on the main highway from Malaysia to Singapore after drivers learned of a customs operation at the border.
Remember when you used to go out on the town almost every night of the week, sampling the ripe fruits of your town’s musical loins? Are those days gone, perhaps replaced by the fruit of your own loins and the responsibilities of adulthood? A new concert series unfolding at the Harwood Art Center aims to soothe the sonic aches of parents in this particular predicament.
It's a good thing that Mr. Robert "Kool" Bell didn't answer his cell phone when I first tried to call him. Had he picked up, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of hearing his groovy voice mail greeting: "You have reached Kool, and it's kool to leave a message."
Not long ago, the musical road between the ’Burque and El Chuco (that’s El Paso, Texas, to you) was well-traveled. It was easy to find records by Paseños such as Faction X, Not So Happy or Fall On Deaf Ears. Since many Tejanopunks were from El Barrio de Ysleta with familia across the border, they also opened that path to exciting Juárez outfits like Setenta Dos Horas. In El Chuco one evening, my greatest regret was having to decline an invitation to a show en otro lado over the Rio Grande. A guero like me couldn’t have asked for a better escort, but being on the New Mexico state payroll I had to work early next morning with a clear head sin crudo.
Soon Albuquerque’s burliest bluegrass band will lose its bass player, Vince Edgerton, to the northerly mecca of Denver. The Porter Draw will continue to perform, but on Saturday, Feb. 27, the bearded ladies gather together for a special final performance with Vince. Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) hosts at 10 p.m., and the show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)