TJ Trout gets issue-oriented. In case you haven't noticed, the 94 Rock morning showman launched a new billboard where his mouth and nipples are covered with tape, with the mock-headline, "FCC-friendly radio." He designed the ad himself and, although it made me laugh like a howler monkey, he says it's not all tongue-in-cheek.
Heather Wilson's practiced hypocrisy is exceeded only by her arrogance. In a form letter recently mailed from her office, she responded to signatories of a MoveOn.org petition by saying, "I don't participate in these games, no matter which side of the partisan divide they originate on." The MoveOn petition, which has been signed by over one million people, urged her and other members of Congress to censure President Bush for misleading the American people on the reasons for invading Iraq. Apparently Wilson wants us to believe that when constituents who don't agree with her engage in the political process they're just playing "games."
Dateline: Canada—A routine test of airport security turned into a Marx Brothers routine after security officers mistakenly sent a passenger home with a suitcase full of TNT. The TNT was supposed to be planted in the bags of a Montreal security agent. Instead, it somehow ended up stuffed into the luggage of an unsuspecting overseas passenger who arrived at Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport last Friday. The unnamed passenger went to a friend's house where he found the explosives concealed in a jam jar and placed inside his suitcase. The man immediately called Quebec provincial police. The TNT, which officials say had no detonator attached, was meant as part of a weekly test for bomb-sniffing dogs at the airport. Ironically, the dogs failed to detect the explosives. The passenger and his baggage were able to pass though airport security unchecked. “Our investigation is going to reveal exactly what happened,” airport security spokesman Pierre Goupil told TV network TVA.
Coming Soon (Well, Not That Soon)—Every summer, we like to cast our crystal ball ahead to the far-flung future. By now, we know the films that we'll be drooling over or avoiding like the plague this summer. But what about next summer? What cinematic delights await us in the summer of 2005?
It is with sadness that I report the tragic, untimely death of Morning Wood singer Chris Hotchkiss, who was killed in a traffic accident nearly two weeks ago. I didn't know Chris personally, but I did see his band a few times and know that he was a valued fixture in the Albuquerque music scene. A memorial show in Chris' name at the Launchpad is being planned, as is an article of remembrance and celebration of his life to be published in conjunction with the show in the weeks to come. My heartfelt condolences to Chris' family and friends. ... Fingerstyle guitarist Steven King with host a Taylor acoustic guitar workshop on Thursday, May 20, at the new Grandma's Music and Sound (9310 Coors NW, 292-0341) at 7 p.m. Admission is free! ... Vital Remains (featuring Deicide vocalist Glen Benton) will torture an all ages crowd at the Launchpad on Saturday, May 22, along with Black Dahlia Murder, Cattle Decapitation and Manias. ... Also on Saturday, if you're in the mood for a little jazz, check out Todd Simmons and Mary Birch at Milagro next to the Santa Ana Casino in Bernalillo. ... But if it's T Rex-esque rock 'n' roll swagger you're looking for that night, you might want to head to the Atomic Cantina for Chicago's The M's. ... Thanks to my man Mike Trujillo for the Jim Rome ticket!
Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard Bring Latest Trio to the Outpost
This season's Monday Night Jazz Series will culminate in what promises to be a superb finale performance by one of the finest trios in contemporary jazz. Calling themselves Fly, the collective includes saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, all of who have impressive pedigrees.
Turner's recording career as a leader stretches back to Yam Yam, his 1995 debut, and four later albums for Warner Brothers. Grenadier has played with Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau to name a few, while Ballard has served alongside Chick Corea, Danili Perez, Guillermo Klein and Joshua Redman.
Operating as a collective under the Tangle Eye moniker, roots remix specialists Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds have created their latest project using the field recordings of legendary musicologist Alan Lomax as its foundation. Samples of a dozen or so a cappella performances recorded by Lomax between 1947 and 1960 get married to musical accompaniment courtesy of guests Corey Harris, George Porter, Jr., Dirk Powell and other contemporary roots musicians. The overall effect is stunning; disembodied voices of singers long dead fleshed out over grooves that are at once respectful of that era and uniquely modern. This one's pretty tasty.
Lovelier and lovelier! Set in an attractive 7,000-square-foot loft near the corner of Fourth Street and Central Avenue, Fort 105 Studios contains 16 studio spaces and a large gallery. Since it opened in 1998, this unique cooperative venture has become a staple of Downtown Albuquerque's arts scene, catering to the needs of a wide range of art professionals. Photographers, painters, sculptors, carpenters, jewelry makers and musicians all call Fort 105 home.
As the mercury rises, my yen for sugar seem to skyrocket right along with it. Heat has an alchemical ability to thaw things. In my case, high temperatures unearth a potent blend of desire and memory, awakened by the sweet tastes of summer. The hottest part of my afternoon induces fantasies about bionicos; impossibly fresh chunks of fruit topped with thick, sweet cream, shredded coconut and granola. I used to get them in Los Angeles because they reminded me of home (despite the fact that I have yet to actually eat one here). They were simple but luxurious little packages, improved only by a front porch and friends. The last 20 minutes before sunset is synonymous with my first taste of agua fresca; the summer festival where I sneaked eyefuls of an enormous glass jar filled with real watermelon juice, its big black seeds bobbing seductively up and down. I remember the hollow echo of ice and metal colliding inside as the pink liquid was scooped out and plunked into my plastic cup. It wasn't at all what I expected. Its texture was thin rather than syrupy, its sweetness mild and clean, and slightly soapy. And now dusk is for the paleta man. Every evening, sandwiched between sunset and the last drop of daylight, I can hear the bell of his pushcart moving through my neighborhood. I have to be quick to catch him, though. He's a bit of a ghost.
You won't even recognize the place. Fourth Street Café's transformation into Ralli's is complete and the Downtown restaurant is open for business again. Ralli's (the name is pronounced like Rally's) looks absolutely nothing like the dated, cramped coffee shop that used to take up an unassuming spot on the Fourth Street Mall. Gone are the carpeting, mismatched furniture and bad pastel color scheme, replaced by dark, glossy wood on the floors, tables and bar. Forest green upholstery and accents make Ralli's look like the classy pub it hopes to be. The menu hasn't changed much, though. Ralli's is still serving breakfast and lunch much the same as they always have. Diner standards like omelets, club sandwiches and chicken salads remain the same. The dinner menu is similar to lunch with the addition of bar-food favorites like fried mozzarella sticks and the place is now open from 6 to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, until midnight on Sunday.