Every now and again, my mother will look at my sisters and me with a self-satisfied little smile and declare, “I grew you girls!” Technically, she’s correct. She successfully performed one of nature’s coolest party tricks and produced three other healthy human lives. Furthermore, she suffered no birth-related injuries or residual complications (except for the mild mental derangement that most parents develop). Mom has every right to feel proud of her achievements. But the odds for such happy outcomes were stacked in her favor.
Will a new law protect students from predatory credit card companies?
By Patrick Lohmann
Alicia Elgar got her first credit card before she headed off to college. She quickly maxed it out and, $5,000 in debt, found another offer poking out of her mailbox midway through her junior year at the University of New Mexico. The 23-year-old biology major is $9,000 incredit card debt, swimming in student loans, working two jobs and trying to finish her degree.
No one would give Iran a nuclear congeniality award, but the Washington Post’s coverage of the Islamic republic is starting to look like an unhealthy fixation. After all, Iran isn’t the only Middle Eastern country with nuclear issues.
City councilors urged us to share our hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys and other body parts—and not just when our time on planet Earth is up. Councilor Dan Lewis introduced a proclamation supporting Donate Life, an organ donation organization. This is a family issue for Lewis, who gave a kidney to his brother. Tim Lewis spoke at the meeting along with a handful of other organ recipients. One woman talked about the miracle of her double lung transplant. Another woman said she received a heart and a new life from an 11-year old. There are around 960,000 people who’ve signed up to be organ donors in the state, though the population is about 1.9 million.
In yet another case of my fellow white people embarrassing the bejesus out of me, the Arizona Legislature has passed a fascist immigration bill that allows law enforcement to stop people suspected of being in this country illegally and make them prove otherwise.
Dateline: Australia—A restaurant in a suburb of Adelaide has been ordered to pay a blind customer $1,500 restitution after refusing the man entry under the misguided impression that his guide dog was a “gay” dog. Adelaide’s The Advertiser reported that Ian Jolly, 57, was barred from dining at Thai Spice restaurant in May 2009 after a staff member mistook his guide dog Nudge for a homosexual canine. Restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Ahn Hoang Le said in an official statement to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal that Thai Spice waiters understood Mr. Jolly’s partner, Ms. Chris Lawrence, “to be saying she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant.” Although the restaurant is required by law to accept guide dogs and even displays a sign to that effect, there is no government policy on gay dogs. So, the restaurant refused to seat Jolly, Lawrence and the dog. “The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog,” the owners’ statement went on to say. As a result of the Tribunal’s conciliation hearing, the restaurant owners agreed to provide Mr. Jolly with a written apology, pay him $1,500 and attend an Equal Opportunity education course.
Rallies and marches erupted across the country over May Day weekend in reaction to Arizona’s SB 1070. The measure makes illegal immigration a state crime and requires law enforcement to question people suspected of being in the United States illegally. Without legal challenges, it will become law by August. The Arizona Republic reported that demonstrations in other major cities brought in far greater numbers—50,000 in Los Angeles, for example—than Phoenix. Still, thousands attended a morning vigil and afternoon march in Arizona’s capital.
Registration has opened for the Albuquerque leg of the 48 Hour Film Project. In this annual filmmaking challenge, teams of eager moviemakers are given a few touchstones (a genre, a prop, a line of dialogue, a character) and have just 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and premiere their short films. Albuquerque has had fantastic participation in years past, and several local films have gone on to national and international glory. If you’re interested in getting a crew together and making a run at it, log on to 48hourfilm.com/albuquerque. Screenings of the finished films will take place July 15, 16 and 18 at the KiMo Theatre.
Two weeks ago, just in time for Earth Day, Disney released its family-friendly documentary Oceans. This weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day, Focus Features releases its family-friendly documentary Babies. Like its watery predecessor, there’s no false advertising in Babies. It’s about babies.
I don’t know about you—but with “BSG” dead and gone, only three episodes of “Lost” remaining, “V” still waffling around for a tone and “Heroes” just begging for a burlap sack and a swift river—I’m desperately searching for the next TV obsession. ABC has kindly offered up “Happy Town,” a serialized drama that seems to want to combine elements of “Twin Peaks” and Fargo. So far, I’m mildly intrigued but unconvinced it’s going to be worth my weekly investment.
In his autobiography, Sam Cutler—tour manager for The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead in their raucous heydays—seems coy about the path his life took after splitting with the Dead about 35 years ago. But it’s obvious that a lengthy hangover must’ve ensued. From snorting cocaine with Janis Joplin to dropping acid with Jimi Hendrix to chugging Southern Comfort with the Dead’s Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Cutler spent his time as “rock ‘n’ roll nanny” in the company of some seriously self-centered and out-of-control stars, nearly matching their risky behavior and living to tell the tale. Just be careful—you may not be a fan of some of your favorite classic rockers after reading this.
A musical installation gently leads audiences down the garden path
By Summer Olsson
Garden is a three chapter series of performances, incorporating live music and video projection, exploring themes of night, place and the intersection of humans with their environment. Albuquerque music lovers can catch chapter one, “Night,” this weekend. Chris Jonas, the Santa Fe-based composer and multimedia artist behind Garden, hopes to give audiences a richer, more layered experience than a standard concert would. Meshing music with art installation, he’s working with different musicians and artists for each piece of his trilogy.
Years ago Kate Mann traded her New Mexico home for Portland, Ore. She’s just returned to Taos, guitar in hand, packing a songbook full of brilliant lyrics and discreet melody. Often backed by a rotating cast of musicians known as the Calamities, this week Kate plays her welcome-home set as a solo.
Guitarist Ila Cantor's trio finds new routes to familiar destinations
By Mel Minter
Listening to the variety of compositions penned by guitarist Ila Cantor, you get the sense that she is as comfortable in Brooklyn’s new music scene as she would have been filling in for Charlie Christian at Minton’s, that Manhattan crucible of bebop, in the ’40s. Then again, she might have been equally at home subbing for Barry Melton, Country Joe and the Fish’s lead guitarist, at San Francisco’s Fillmore in ’67.
Despite having a name that might suggest Americana, Willy J and the Storytellers plays lively and cathartic alternative rock, and the members cite acts like Pearl Jam, Incubus, Rage Against the Machine and Oasis as influences—smells like '90s revival. The band’s front man, a shaggy-haired painter from Montana by way of Tennessee, says the name suits the quartet. "Our songs are stories,” says Willy J, “and the songs I like the most are the ones that do have a story behind them." Find out what it's all about on Friday, May 7, at Low Spirits when the band releases its first album, Chopping Trees. Listen and find out more on alibi.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
David Hevener is a preschool teacher and the guitarist, vocalist and mystic rattle player for Santa Fe’s Gnossurrus. The robe-cloaked mystic-prophecy metal band is releasing its first album, Beast of Destiny, this Saturday at Burt’s. To get a feel for some of Gnossurrus’ inspiration, take a look-see at five random tracks from Hevener’s collection.
Before it was a film featuring the cold, dead eyes of Julia Roberts, Closerwas a wildly successful British play staged at the Royal National Theatre. Written by Patrick Marber, it follows failed writer Dan, doctor man Larry, photographer Anna and the professionally mysterious Alice as they fall in love, lust and hate with each other. Prepare your scorecards, because the betrayals are as constant as they are compelling. RyBan Productions and director Christy Lopez bring the play to The Filling Station (1024 Fourth Street SW) May 7 through May 23. Tickets are $16, or $12 for students, seniors and Albuquerque Theatre Guild members. Fridays are couples night ($10 for each half), and actors rush tickets for $10 are available on Sundays. Want more discounts off of the regular full price? Bring your own red or green apple (so, no rotten ones, kids) and get $2 off. Or follow in the footsteps of obituary writer Dan and bring your self-penned death notice. Grim? Maybe, but it'll get you $5 off. Call 507-0598 for reservations, and go to fillingstationabq.com for more details.
The week before a play’s opening, most theaters work overtime to fine-tune performances and get the word out to potential audiences. But the week and a half before the premiere of Auxiliary Dog Theatre’s production of Wonder of the World found the theater dealing with an additional imperative: keep the doors open.
Corinne Tippett never cared one way or the other about chickens. She harbored no childhood dreams of becoming a farmer, an egg seller or a butcher. But one day in 2004, without much planning, the Northern New Mexico resident found herself with a roost full of more than 100 birds—chicken, ducks, geese, quail, pheasants and a myriad of other tiny, feathered hatchlings.
Breaking up the long menu at Saigon Far East are bold descriptions of the food that lack neither color nor modesty. Consider the bun bo hue: “We are proud to introduce this famous spicy bowl of soup which was located in Central Vietnam,” the menu crows. “A combination of sliced and well cooked beef shank and slowly cooked pork hock sliced. This bowl will spark your imagination and take you far away.”
I can’t remember any of their names, but they are all my best friends. That’s how I regard the thousands of beer geeks who made the pilgrimage to Munster, Ind., for the annual Dark Lord Day. Not the Satanist convention it sounds like, Dark Lord Day is a holy grail trek for people like me. It’s the one-day release of Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout, a 13 percent ABV beer that ranks among the highest-rated and hardest to find beers in the craft world.
Although the band's been performing since 2001, Shoulder Voices never officially released an album. This week, however, the eclectic Albuquerque group—powered by Little Bobby, The Musk and a rotating cast of characters—will unleash its first proper, non-CDR collection of recorded material. In Space! is a concept album rooted in '70s psychedelia, as well as a means of furthering the band's aggressively festive shows.
On May 5, 1862, a small army of about 5,000 ill-equipped Mestizos and Zapotec Indians defeated the French army at Puebla, a small town in southern Mexico. The nearly miraculous Mexican victory temporarily stopped France’s progression toward Mexico City and its ultimate goal of an empire in Mexico. Unfortunately, the triumph was short-lived. As soon as Napoleon learned of the humiliating defeat, he deployed an additional 30,000 troops. Within a year, he'd taken over Mexico City and installed the Archduke Maximilian of Austria as ruler of the new empire.
Reports are on the rise but resources are spread thin
By Christie Chisholm
You probably know someone who’s been raped. In fact, you probably know several people who’ve been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives; and if you’re a woman, there’s a one in four chance one of those people is you.
I meet Gus and his two horses at an empty dirt arena in Santa Fe. It’s a cold morning but the sun is bright. The nearby mountains are capped with snow. There are rows of vacant stables alongside the arena. I move slowly, wrapped in a cloudy haze from lack of sleep. The horses look sleepy as well, tethered to their trailer nodding off. When they yawn, they seem on the verge of speaking. “Get away from me,” I imagine them saying. “What's that, an apple? Give it here.” Such teeth. Such manners.
Dateline: England—A British man has been arrested for drunk driving after being caught in the driver’s seat of a small, battery-powered Barbie car. Paul Hutton, 40, was spotted—hands on the wheel, knees tucked up under his chin—by a police patrol car in Essex, in the southeastern part of the country. According to The Sun, Hutton admitted in Colchester Magistrates’ Court to being a “complete twit.” Hutton, who was found to be over the legal limit, was banned from driving for three years as a result of the incident. “I was very surprised to get done for drink-driving, but I was a twit to say the least.” The former Royal Air Force aeronautical engineer had modified the 2-foot-high, pink plastic Jeep with his son as part of a college project. It has a top speed of 6 kilometers per hour. Speaking after the hearing, Hutton said, “You have to be a contortionist to get in, and then you can’t get out.” Hutton was allegedly driving the kiddie car to a friend’s house to show off his work when he was pulled over.
Congratulations are in order. SEMBENE!, the locally produced documentary about leading African filmmaker Ousmane Sembène, was selected to take part last week in the prestigious Tribeca All Access Program. The program is part of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. SEMBENE! is directed by Samba Gadjigo and Santa Fe filmmaker Jason Silverman. The film was one of only 20 selected as part of this year’s All Access Program, which was created to “cultivate relationships between filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities and film industry executives.” SEMBENE! is a work in progress. The filmmakers hope to have it completed by 2011.
Comic book-turned-movie turns up the boom-boom-pow
By Devin D. O’Leary
With Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk all chugging along in their own successful movie franchises (plus Thor, Captain America and Green Lantern busy filming their debuts), it’s no surprise that Hollywood is running out of A-list comic book characters to exploit. Lately, the poor movie industry has had to make due with relatively unknown properties like Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of fantastic stories on the back shelves of your local comic book store. (As both comic and movie, for example, Kick-Ass is bloody good fun.) But movie studios hoping for a little name recognition are S.O.L. when it comes down to stuff like Surrogates. (Yes, that non-successful Bruce Willis sci-fi film you didn’t see was based on a comic book you’ve never heard of.)
Pay cable movie channel Starz has been following in the footsteps of HBO and Showtime, introducing a slate of original, hour-long dramas (“Crash,” “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”) and half-hour comedies (“Gravity,” “Head Case”). Last week, Starz launched the second season of its successful sitcom “Party Down.” That, my friends, is a good thing.
In the pack of snarling dogs that is a music scene, scraps of praise, stage time and fans are hard-won. Somehow, Black Maria finds itself with more meat than it can eat. You won't see members badgering social networking friends with notices or merch. Fans spread the word, and they do it well. A Black Maria gig doesn't happen all that often, and when it does, it's an event of towering amplifiers, volume you can feel in your chest cavity and a big, rowdy audience.
This week we honor a flyer designed in-house by Jeff Drew for our Cinco de Mayo party. [See this week’s feature for more historical and cultural dirt on the holiday.] The Alibi plans to observe May 5 by sitting outside, enjoying music, micheladas, Mexican sweets and other treats. Oh yeah, and free Frito pies while they last! Join us on the Blackbird Buvette patio (509 Central NW) on Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Little Bobby is an avid runner, vegetarian and fan of psychedelic music. His band Shoulder Voices is realeasing its first album this week. Peer into his Technicolor mind by way of the randomly selected songs below.
On its cross-country tour two years ago, Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog—a quirky, lovable indie-soul band—packed bars that held 200 people when the fire department wasn’t looking. Last year, Dr. Dog electrified crowds at 400 to 500 capacity clubs, and this spring the endearing, addicting band is filling even bigger theaters. Luckily for New Mexicans, Dr. Dog still loves to play the rare smaller gig, and getting bigger certainly hasn’t made the band cocky.
While dystopic visions of a world in which technology has gotten the better of us are in vogue, they aren't new (hello Frankenstein) either. The just-opened show at 516 ARTS, Artificial Selection, is mindful of this. The exhibit nods to the past with a play off of an old theory, that of Charles Darwin's natural selection, but with a few decidedly modern twists.
It’s a Cold War-era warhead that Griffin has emptied of explosives and packed with poems—and it’s headed our way. The Poetry Bomb and its L.A.-based bombardier will zero in on Albuquerque for two performances this Sunday, May 2, as part of a five-week cross-country onslaught.
Yeah, it makes me cringe, too. I’ve got bad memories of cross-country road trips where I wasn’t smart enough to plan ahead and have good beers at the ready. The low point may have been the time I had to buy 3-2 beer (that’s half-strength 3.2 percent alcohol beer—and this was Dos Equis, no less!) from a Wal-Mart in El Reno, Okla. I learned that it is biologically impossible to get drunk from 3-2 beer. Dry counties also seem to haunt my road trips. One otherwise forgettable journey, I was ready to stop for the night after a 13-hour drive took me to Nowhere, Ark. When I pulled into a gas station for my own personal fuel, I was told that there was no beer to be had for another 60 miles. I hastily drove to the next sane county. (Unfortunately, I had to settle for Icehouse, which left me feeling kind of dirty in the morning. Like if I stayed at a motel on Central and agreed to some “entertainment.”)
Stepping into the pragmatically named Thai Cuisine II is like taking a 15-hour plane ride in the blink of an eye. While it’s not exactly Thailand inside, the dining room is a pleasant sanctuary, warmly painted in earthy red and sunset orange, and hung with near-florescent paintings of colorful, idyllic scenes. You quickly forget that you just walked into a red metal roofed A-frame that looks like an old Dairy Queen.
Politics aside, I am my father's daughter—and proud of it
By Maren Tarro
The last time my father and I attended a tea party, my stuffed cat Aida was the guest of honor and the tea was served in Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit teacups. Politics certainly wasn’t a conversation topic. Twenty-something years later, I’ve become a Liberal while my father is a Libertarian. And instead of doilies and cucumber sandwiches, the tea parties of 2010 are serving discord and controversy. One lump or two?
Tea party figureheads share their message with the Alibi’s readers
By Maren Tarro
While I was having a pleasant afternoon with my father at the tea party in D.C., I was able to sit down with several of the rally’s speakers. I asked them what they wanted the Alibi’s readers to understand about the tea party’s message and what us liberals just weren’t getting. Most were more than happy to speak directly to you. Here is what they had to say:
Local filmmakers: If you’ve waited until the last minute to submit your film (short or feature) to this year’s New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase, then that minute is upon you! You have until 5 p.m. this Thursday, April 22, to hand-deliver a copy of your film to Guild Cinema in Nob Hill (3405 Central NE). To download an application form (which must accompany each DVD submission), log on to nmfilm.com. This is a non-juried festival and all submissions are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The Filmmakers Showcase itself is free and open to the public and will take place May 13 through 16. Stay glued for more details.
Ever entertain ideas of participating in some multimillion-dollar art museum heist? Who hasn’t? But how would one go about accomplishing such a task outside the confines of a swingin’ ’60s French crime film? Well, if you’re curious, The Art of the Steal details exactly how that sort of crime is accomplished in the real world. Sadly, it doesn’t involve leather catsuits, handheld suction cups, laser security systems, smoke grenades or sexy sidekicks. It just takes a handful of politicians, a bunch of lawyers and a whole lot of paperwork.
The day after its debut episode aired, HBO picked up the new series “Treme” for a second season. That should give you a decent idea of how much confidence the network has in the show. And it’s not at all misplaced.
And the band is still as greasy and delicious as a Spam sandwich
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Between the mid-’90s and mid-aughts, you could frequently find Red Earth concocting its “tribal stew” of funk and reggae-laced hard rock all around New Mexico. While the band hasn’t performed since 2006, this week it reunites for two shows—one at the Gathering of Nations and the other as part of the Rock the 9 Native Music Festival. Last week we asked lead singer and guitarist Ira “Icemon” Wilson questions via e-communiqué.
Cleveland indie psych band mr. Gnome writes songs about vampires and pirates. San Francisco gravelly-voiced accordionist Mark Growden writes songs about Saint Judas and singing stars. Together with Albuquerque power pop / indie rock band Lousy Robot and Billy Bellmont spawn Janksder, they create flyers that look like a medieval tarot card. All four of these fine acts perform on Saturday, April 24, at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). This free show begins at 10 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Peer into Megafaun’s world through songs from Brad Cook’s collection, selected at random
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Bearded folksters Brad Cook, Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund are the meat and bones of Megafaun. Taking an oddball approach to traditional American music, the band’s compositions are an endearing, organized cacophony of guitars, banjos, fiddles, horns and harmonica. Megafaun hails from North Carolina (and Wisconsin, originally), and is touring in support of its second album, Gather, Form & Fly. On Saturday, April 24, the trio makes a stop in Albuquerque to perform at Low Spirits.
North America’s biggest powwow happens on April 22, 23 and 24, at the University of New Mexico Football Field (University and Avenida Cesar Chavez SE), beginning at 10 a.m. each day. Massive amounts of Native musicians, songwriters and storytellers begin to perform on Stage 49 on Friday. Music includes traditional, blues, rock, jazz, folk, country, hip-hop, metal and reggae. Wristbands for the powwow, Indian Traders Market and music events on Friday and Saturday are $15 per day at the gate (cash only) or $30 for a two-day wristband.
Local attorney represents Guantánamo prisoners in a changing political climate
By Marisa Demarco
Mohamedou Ould Salahi has been a Guantánamo prisoner since August 2002, but he's never been charged with a crime. Salahi was arrested in his home country, Mauritania, on suspicion of having ties to al Qaeda. He was deprived of sleep for more than 60 days, according to a report by the Senate Armed Services Committee, and one of his lawyers, Nancy Hollander, says he was subjected to torturous interrogation tactics.
Gov. Bill Richardson’s veto pen struck down the food tax and blew a giant hole in the state budget. So the need to destroy a mythical “budgetary fat” monster is sitting heavy on the shoulders of New Mexico lawmakers. Take it from me, a senator on the Senate Finance Committee.
Dateline: Georgia—If at first you don’t succeed ... . Police in Albany were surprised to find themselves arresting the same man twice in one day on the exact same charges. The 26-year-old man was arrested around noon last Friday following a routine traffic stop. According to the Albany Herald, he was charged with possession of marijuana and sent to Dougherty County Jail. Four hours later, he was released on bond. Shortly after that, the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit received a tip that the man was trying to set up a drug deal. The suspect was arrested again around 6:30 p.m. after he was found with two ounces of marijuana in his possession. He was charged for a second time with possession of a controlled substance and sent back to Dougherty County Jail. This time, however, he was held without bond.
Seventeenth century poet Robert Herrick's oft-quoted line "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" is actually an encouragement to virgins to stop being so damn coy and live it up (or give it up) while they're young. But for this week, let's take it to mean that we should all get to these one-time only performances before they're gone. Leave the virgins in peace.
Though it’s not widely known, Boba Fett is an important figure in Native American art. At least, he is in the art of Ryan Singer. Originally from Tuba City, Ariz., in Navajo country, the Albuquerque artist is working on a portrait of the infamous Star Wars bounty hunter, armed and gunning for the viewer, alongside a wolf haloed by the Fett insignia.
UNM’s Words Afire Play Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary
By Julia Mandeville
Though it’s an honor just to be nominated for an award, we all know that it’s even better to win. And for each of the last 10 years, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in UNM’s dramatic writing program has received top recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival—the university-level equivalent of winning a Pulitzer for literature or an Oscar for film. Perhaps the most stunning element of this growing legacy is that the program is only a decade old; it’s been producing nationally renowned emerging playwrights for the whole of its existence.
Marble’s (Not) Terrible Twos—Before April of 2008, I didn’t even know there was a Marble Street in Albuquerque. Who would have guessed that two years since its opening, Marble Brewery (111 Marble NW, 243-2739) would make that street one of the most visited in town? And that location (along with the stellar beer, of course) may be a key reason why it’s become such a success: Far enough away from the chaos that is Central Avenue, you can sit on the patio and actually make eye contact without getting threatened with a beat-down.
Food is not a priority at sports bars. In fact, it’s usually little more than a fried piece of beer sponge. But at The Fox and Hound, hidden behind a tangled sprawl of restaurants west of I-25 at Jefferson, the food is taken seriously—frequently with good results.