Bridget Jones' Creator Takes a Stab at the Thriller Genre
By Samantha Scott
Helen Fielding, the best-selling author of Bridget Jones' Diary, has borne a new literary work. Chardonnay swilling working gal Bridget has stepped aside to allow Olivia Joules passage into the annals of her story.
Rio Grande High School is the Albuquerque Public School system's trouble child. Years of lackluster graduation rates, well below national average GPA scores and one of the highest dropout rates in the state prompted APS in 2002 to try a radical approach to turning the school around. What has transpired since is a seesaw battle that has divided the South Valley community into two opposing factions and a situation that many say stinks of cronyism.
Bush Iraq plan makes for inane headlines. Following the president's speech to share his "five-point plan" for Iraq, USA Today, on Tuesday, May 25, ran this headline: "'Occupation will end' soon; troops remain indefinitely." The ensuing article, of course, did not attempt to analyze the myriad problems in Iraq, but the headline implied enough.
For nearly 12 years, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey was a dedicated, some say gung-ho, Marine. For three years he trained fellow Marines in one of the most grueling indoctrination rituals in military life—Marine boot camp.
Downtown neighborhoods struggle with gentrification
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Walking through the precincts that surround downtown Albuquerque is an educational experience. These historic residential areas are on the brink of enormous change. The direction in which that change takes them will mark their character for the next 50 years.
There is currently a discussion among some Catholic bishops about refusing the sacraments to Democratic Sen. John Kerry for not opposing abortion, thus doing the Republican National Committee's work for it.
Dateline: England—Britain has announced an independent investigation into training methods used by the country's armed forces following the death of four recruits who all allegedly killed themselves in one of the barracks. However, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram ruled out a full public inquiry into the deaths at Deepcut barracks in Surrey. Six separate investigations have looked into the deaths of Privates Sean Benton, 20, Cheryl James, 18, and Geoff Gray and James Collinson, 17. The last investigation, a 15-month probe by police, uncovered no evidence that the soldiers were murdered. Nonetheless, families of the dead soldiers have consistently refused to accept that the deaths were self-inflicted. This belief is due, at least in part, to the fact that Gray died from not one but two separate gunshot wounds to the head, while Benton allegedly killed himself by pumping five bullets into his own chest.
Get OUT—The Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe is hosting its inaugural Way OUT West festival, which the center hopes will become Santa Fe's premier queer film festival. Progressive, exciting and—most of all—entertaining, the lineup of this year's festival looks like a great start.
Stylish sequel transforms pedestrian plot into movie magic
By Devin D. O'Leary
Given the near incalculable popularity of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, it's probably a given that any film based on them—no matter how simplistic or slapdash—would be a huge box office success. We should probably be thankful then that the two films produced so far—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets—have proved to be such bright entertainment. With spot-on casting, imaginative production design and zippy direction on the part of Chris Columbus (Home Alone), the films have made themselves able companions to Rowling's brilliant literary creations.
Sharp Italian thriller says the kids are not all right
By Devin D. O'Leary
Remember when you were a kid and you got out of school for summer break? Freed from educational and parental constraints, you and your preteen compatriots were free to roam the neighborhoods, invent rules to your own impromptu games and set up your own Lord of the Flies-style empires—at least until September. I'm Not Scared starts out that way, with 10-year-old Michele and his friends spending the long days of summer bicycling around the countryside, playing in the wheatfields and generally doing whatever they please until some parental unit shouts out that it's time for dinner.
I've spent the last several months trying to figure out why poker is suddenly the “in” thing. I mean, poker is great, but why the sudden flood of poker-based TV shows? Why is it now the cool thing for celebrities—everybody from Ben Affleck to Tobey Maguire—to be spotted at the poker tables of Vegas?
There are so many new CDs being released by local bands that it's becoming difficult to keep track of them all. But that's a good thing. And speaking of new CDs, Belen-based band Conspiracy will host their CD release party for their debut, Cannot be Tamed, Friday, June 4, at the Launchpad with special guests ATG, Anesthesia and Stimulus. ... In more CD release news, local eclectic quartet Alpha Blue have put the finishing touches on their new platter, titled Agave Summer, and plan to celebrate its release with drink specials on Friday night, June 18, at the Range Café in Bernalillo. In the meantime, you can get your copy of Agave Summer by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting Natural Sound in Nob Hill. ... Our very own Atomic Love Medicine (whose guitartist/vocalist/Neal Ambrose-Smith happens to be a top Alibi designer) have been chosen to represent the rock genre in Cliff Castle Casino's “Spotlight on Native American Music” to be held Sunday, June 6 at the casino in Flagstaff, Ariz. ATM will play from 6 to 9 p.m. for the chance to win $1,000 and entry into the Native American Music Awards. The other three finalists representing various genres will appear at the Cliff Castle Casino consecutive Sundays throughout June. All showcases are hosted by award-winning Native American recording artist Micki Free. Congratulations to Atomic Love Medicine, and good luck!
featuring Cursive, Saul Williams, Planes Mistaken for Stars and Mike Park
By Michael Henningsen
Saturday, June 5; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m., advance tickets at Natural Sound): There was no rock record released in all of 2003 that was more compelling than Cursive's blistering tomé to conceptual effort, The Ugly Organ (Saddle Creek). Sexually, emotionally and sonically intense, it's a record just about any rock band would be proud to stand behind. Marking the arrival of cellist Gretta Cohn to the Cursive fold (a revolving door that's seen no less than 20 band members arrive and leave), The Ugly Organ finds the band reaching new heights—from wildly dissonant to wondrously gentle—making them the band to watch if you haven't already.
Rock duos are nearly a dime a dozen these days, but none—and I do mean none—are as compelling as Beaverton, Ore.'s Helio Sequence. Three years after releasing their Beatles-meet-My Bloody Valentine masterpiece, Young Effectuals (Cavity Search), guitarist/smooth-as-silk vocalist Brandon Summers and Benjamin "I Play Live with Modest Mouse, Too" Weikel have evolved a more blues-drenched aesthetic that's also dipped in psychedelica and bristling grooves. Love and Distance is an all-occasion indie rock record: not too sad, not too happy and, most importantly, not too melodramatic or Stooge-rivative. Easy like a Sunday morning yet deeper than the deepest ocean.
Friday, May 28; Atomic Cantina: How could I miss a chance to rage on Rage Against Martin Sheen after our little e-mail exchange of the past couple of week. Problem is, there's very little to rage about. The band began their set with perhaps more original songs than I'd ever heard them play previously in a single set. And said songs were surprisingly tight and punchy. The parodies eventually came, of course, and even those came off tighter than they do on record and have in the past in the live setting. All in all, the three-quarters of the Rage set I saw left me with a different perspective on the band, and I'm not even kissing ass here: I still think they're whiny babies, but at least they're rock is improving.
Mixed-media artists and instructors from around the country will be converging on UNM starting Wednesday, June 9, for a unique five-day event designed to encourage creative collaboration and provide a fertile educational environment at the same time. Art Universe takes place in UNM's swanky new Student Union Building, Dorm Hall and cafeteria. Classes will be held from Thursday, June 10, through Saturday, June 12. Sas Colby, the event's keynote speaker, will give a lecture on Thursday, June 10, at 7 p.m. $15. There will also be an art sale open to the public on Friday, June 11, from 7 to 10 p.m. For details, call Phoenix Forrester at 243-1937 or log onto www.phoenixforrester.com.
Cuentos y Encuentros at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
By Steven Robert Allen
Ray Martín Abeyta grew up in a tiny northern New Mexican town with a larger-than-life name—La Villa Real de Santa Cruz de la Cañada. As a teenager, Abeyta attended high school in Española, the low rider capital of the universe. Later, he studied art in an academic setting at UNM, and he also traveled extensively in France, Guatemala, Panama and Peru. An upbringing saturated in New Mexico's provincial Hispanic culture combined with a deep exposure to global art affected Abeyta's later work on many complex and subtle levels.
In 2001, a vandal damaged approximately 600 books at the San Francisco Public Library. The destroyed books were apparently chosen by topic, those which included gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, HIV, women's health and other "controversial" manuscripts. The vandal reshelved the books, and it took some time before they were noticed. Luckily, the man was caught and sentenced to community service, probation and a fine of $9,600.
Take three artists who are in the thick of their self-realization phases, put their art together for one grand exhibit, and you'll have a gallery full of abstract beauty that may give a new face to art through the eye of the self.
With more than 40 books on the Southwest to his credit, Marc Simmons has been called New Mexico's historian laureate. Although this isn't an official title, it's one he richly deserves. For decades Simmons has dug deep into our region's past and come up with striking and highly readable books on local history.
If you have a headache, most likely you're dehydrated. Try making that noggin' stop throbbin' by drinking a couple tall glasses of water. The pain will probably be gone before the ibuprofen would have kicked in. Likewise, if you're feeling like a cranky old hag you might do well to eat something before you flip out and go loco in line at the gas station. Yeah, I know, everybody's on a diet. But part of “watching what you eat” means watching that you eat. Grab a Power Bar at the convenience store. Put a bunch of bananas on your desk every Monday morning. Stick some yogurt in the office fridge. Me, I rarely have this problem because I am constantly snacking. One warning: snacking all day long on Doritos and Hershey's Kisses will give you a caboose Amtrak would envy. Believe me, I know. But it's easy to control what you snack on if you shop for the stuff after lunch. Try picking up some snap peas, baby carrots, beef jerky or Cheerios. Candy bars and other super sugary snacks will only make you crash worse later. Eat protein or a small amount of carbs and you'll satisfy those mid-meal cravings while doing the body some good. Plus, you'll spare yourself the agony of a low-blood sugar-induced midday shitfit.
Cocina de Manuel is the name of a New Mexican restaurant in the old Rex's Hamburgers space at Coors and Central. Manuel Chavez, of the eponymous restaurant, was formerly the owner of El Camino Dining Room (6800 Fourth NW), which he sold after 21 years at the helm. “I sold it and then I took a year off to golf and fish,” Chavez explained, “but even golfing and fishing get boring after a while.” Though Cocina de Manuel, housed in a strip mall, doesn't have the old Route 66 charm of Los Ranchos' El Camino Dining Room, Chavez says he's cooking pretty much the same stuff he used to and that he's tried to replicate the friendly feel of his old place. El Camino Dining Room is still open and catering to much of the same neighborhood crowd it has always served. Check out Cocina de Manuel for good old-fashioned New Mexican breakfast or lunch, Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 831-4435 for take-out orders.
Americans have no shortage of things to be prejudiced against: races, religions, men who cut the sleeves off their shirts. Quietly, a new type of discrimination has swept the nation. Not only are the slurs and harassment painful, but they're dividing us—we're rapidly choosing sides, making meaningful debate nearly impossible.
Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen Prepare for Prime Time
By Steven Robert Allen
Two clean-cut lads stumble onto a brightly lit stage in their pajamas. They look out at the packed audience, then glance nervously at each other. After several moments of awkward silence, it becomes clear that they have no idea what they're doing there. It's like a bad dream, except funnier because it's happening to someone else.
Will the city ever get serious about managing growth?
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
I recently walked a mile in another man's shoes. Or more accurately, I drove 10 miles on Coors Boulevard during rush hour, and must say I have a better appreciation for what Westsiders go through every day.
Romero and Nelson contend for a shot to unseat Wilson
By Tim McGivern
Supposedly, Bernalillo County Democrats are flaming mad about the current state of affairs in Washington, D.C., and are geared up, actually more than years past, to defeat Republican Heather Wilson this November. After all, she is a special case, because unlike most incumbents, she's vulnerable. They say Wilson is a phony like George W. Bush—she says she's for jobs, health care, environmental protection, education and supporting the Bill of Rights, and blah, blah, blah, but when you look at the record, all that rhetoric is just a sham. In reality, she's more like a sycophant in Dick Cheney's court than an independent, genuine New Mexican. And enough is enough!
There are a whole host of Republican and Democratic primary elections happening on Tuesday, June 1, which means it's time to do your civic duty and go to the polls. If you're not registered, or think you are but don't know what party you belong to, then you should stop reading now and go back to your feckless, vanity-bit existence.
The May 17 council meeting passed legislation revamping the Police Oversight Commission, updating a property wall ordinance, and authorizing budgets, bonds and goals. Chief Financial Officer Gail Reese's report on negotiations with developers of a proposed downtown arena raised serious questions about the eventual cost of the project. But the gut-wrenching, crowd-drawing issue at the seven-hour meeting was the proposed Paseo del Norte extension through the Petroglyph National Monument.
Dateline: Germany—A couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight childless years of marriage have been advised to try a radical new approach to impregnation: sex. Doctors at the University Clinic of Lubek subjected the couple to a series of examinations and found they were both apparently fertile and should have had no trouble conceiving. It took some time, but doctors eventually got to the root of the problem. According to a clinic spokesman, “When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank and said, ’What do you mean?'” The devoutly religious couple apparently had never gotten the “birds and the bees” talk. “We are not talking retarded people here,” said the clinic spokesman, “but a couple who were brought up in a religeous environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate.” The 30-year-old wife and her 36-year-old husband are now being given sex therapy lessons at the clinic.
Louie's Relocates—Louie's Rock-N-Reels, Albuquerque's premiere destination for movie posters, celebrity photographs and all sorts of cinematic memorabilia has long been a Nob Hill staple. Long-time customers may have noticed that the store's location next to the old Lobo Theater has looked a tad empty in the last couple of weeks. That's because owner Louie Torres has packed up his posters and moved to a brand new location. After eight years in Nob Hill proper, the landlords decided they had different ideas for the Rock-N-Reels space, and Louie was forced to move on to (hopefully) greener pastures. The new store is located directly across from the UNM campus at 105 Harvard SE (right behind The Zone). Louie calls the new space “a little bit more intimate,” but promises that all your favorite classic and current movie posters will still be on display. In order to celebrate the new location, Louie will be giving away some very rare promotional posters. Come by the store and register to win a Lenticular 3-D Spy Kids poster or metallic foil Matrix Reloaded poster. The drawing will be held July Fourth weekend.
Coal-black Chinese film noir digs deep into economic desperation
By Devin D. O'Leary
Blind Shaft, a sparse film noir drama out of China, spends much of its time looking like a WPA photography project from the Great Depression. Shot documentary style on 16mm, the film feels painfully authentic. Which is more than appropriate. Bleak, barren and robbed of all but the most ashen of colors, the film trains its eye on China's poorest, most downtrodden citizens.
Fast food documentary gets to the bottom of an American problem
By Devin D. O'Leary
Last month, McDonald's dropped its long-standing “Super Size” promotion, featuring gigantic French fries and towering sodas. The company says the decision had nothing to do with the Morgan Spurlock's scabrous but entertaining new documentary Super Size Me, which implicates McDonald's (and the entire ubiquitous fast food industry) in the super-sizing of American asses. Perhaps, as McDonald's says, the timing is just coincidental. Still, it makes you think.
By the time this column hits the streets, the third season of “American Idol” will be over. We'll know whether Diana DeGarmo or Fantasia Barrino will perform at next year's Super Bowl and then vanish from our pop culture radar. This season may be remembered a microsecond longer than the others, however, due to a swirl of timely controversy.
Man, if there's one thing El Paso's Lylah should never have done, is cover a Cure song, especially “Love Song.” But all's (mostly) forgiven, because the rest of their forthcoming album, New Religion, is solid and original. They'll be foisting said record upon the public on Saturday, May 29, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon or El Rey Theater (the press release was unclear). The record is also available at the angry teenager headquarters, Hot Topic, and Lylah will perform on the 2004 Vans Warped Tour. ... Speaking of new local records, The Mindyset (pictured above) releases theirs this week and the best band in the world called the Saddlesores have dropped their third release in 14 years on us. Titled Let it Suck, the album will be officially partied into existence on June 19 at the Atomic Cantina with Fast Heart Mart and the Rivet Gang in tow. Preview to follow in the coming weeks. ... Also on the new local album radar is Nels Andrews, who thus far has provided me with two copies of his new album that refuse to play on any CD player I own. However, if his live show is any indication, Andrews' record is one of the best local releases out there. ... Oddly, The Foxx still do not have a record deal. The world is stupid. ... Saw Dark Lotus last week (ridiculous, but funny) at the Sunshine. Also saw Unit 7 Drain (killer set plagued by early sound problems) open for the semi-acoustic New Model Army (boring!) at the Launchpad. Can't fucking wait for the Rage Against Martin Sheen show on Friday, May 28! Review forthcoming.
Outpost Ends its Spring Season with Gospel and Blues
As God and just about everyone in the Western world relish the seventh day as one of rest, televised sports, worship and/or yard work, brothers Chuck and Darick Campbell of the Campbell Brothers are hard at work. With the former on pedal steel and the latter on lap steel, the Campbell Brothers (also featuring brother Phil on guitar, his son Carlton on drums and gospel vocalists Denise Brown and Katie Jenkins) turn traditional African American gospel tunes into works of divinity—combining otherworldly energy and miracle talent to achieve a degree of spirituality through music few will ever achieve by any means. This is no average blues-gospel band. The Campbell Brothers, as the deeply religious occasionally say, are touched.
It's too bad that most of the lyrics on Darkest Hour's latest platter are indecipherable from guttural growling and low frequency shrieking, because the band have a whole lot of social commentary to get off their collective chest. The lyrics are printed on the J-card, but you'll need LASIK to read them. On Hidden Hands ... the band have reached a new pinnacle of intelligent, melodic brutality—a perfect balance of thrash, hardcore and death metal. You'll be hard-pressed to find a tighter, more complex set of songs than the nine here.
A couple pieces of wood, a roll of canvas and some oil paint: $104 million. On Wednesday, May 5, at Sotheby's auction house in New York, an anonymous bidder purchased Pablo Picasso's "Garcon a la Pipe" ("Boy with a Pipe") for this whopping sum, making it the new record holder as the world's most expensive painting.
Descartes argued that the human body and the human mind are separate, but his theory never quite held up under close philosophical scrutiny. Given the structure of our nervous systems, it seems obvious to many scientists that the mind and body can't possibly be distinct—one can't exist without the other.
The vague and oft confusing realm commonly known as the unknown can teach us more than we realize—if we let it. Understanding life's accidents can fill in the blanks that everyday, structured reality delivers. At least that's the belief held by the artists featured in the new aldizorontophoskyphorniostikos: beauty in all things exhibit.
Los Angeles native Gary Eugene Jefferson's original, mural-sized still life, figurative and abstract paintings have been exhibited everywhere from New York City to Denmark, and with good reason. Having studied in both America and France, Jefferson combines traditional themes such as slavery, women's rights and African American culture with his European art influnces, which include Michelangelo, Vermeer and Van Gogh. His depictions of history's most troubling and chaotic times, combined with a vast knowledge of art history and an aptitude for abstract expressionism, have touched the hearts of hardcore critics as well as the part-time art lover. Jefferson's exhibit will be shown at the Outpost's Inpost Artspace starting today, and a reception will be held Friday, June 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. Runs through July 9. 268-0044.
I love meeting friends' parents when they come to town. It's often enlightening but it was especially educational last week when I had the pleasure to dine with the parents of a Pakistani friend. His mother cooked a feast and after we'd all been stuffed to the gills with curry, ice cream was served. As we savored bowls of Ben and Jerry's, I cornered the patriarch to talk shop—many years ago he had been the first dairy farmer in Pakistan to pasteurize his milk. After moving to America he continued his dairy work, branching out into yogurt and ice cream. It's not often I get to share a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk with a dairy farmer so I seized the opportunity to ask him some burning questions like, "What is the difference between whipping cream and heavy cream?" The result of our very long conversation is this: cream labels are terribly misleading. Heavy cream is also known as heavy whipping cream, which is actually better for making whipped cream. Whipping cream (or light whipping cream) is capable of being whipped, unlike milk or half-and-half, but it makes a lighter, less stable whip. If none of this makes any sense just look for the percentage of fat on the cream carton. You'll need at least 30 percent fat in order to whip it. Mmm, whip it good.
Nob Hill's Korean BBQ House (Central Avenue and Bryn Mawr Drive) is giving new flavor to the concept of outdoor grilling. This June the restaurant will unveil 11 patio tables equipped with small, Korean-style barbecue grills in their centers. The tables, with stainless steel tops and wooden legs made from reclaimed wine barrels, will allow customers to grill their own meats in the traditional Korean fashion. The BBQ House will also be open for dinner on Sundays starting in June. Call 338-2424 for information.
This month, the Centers for Disease Control reported that their efforts to fight birth defects with folic acid have been largely successful. How successful? In January of 1998, it became mandatory for food manufacturers to fortify grain products (like enriched rice, cereals, breads and pastas) with folic acid. By December of that year, incidences of the birth defect spina bifida had decreased by 31 percent. "Impressive," you say, "but I'm not banking on having kids anytime soon ... what do I care?"
Ice, lime juice, booze. That's our prescription for the ugh-it's-really-getting-hot feeling that seems to have crept up on us all of a sudden. If all you can think about are Otter Pops, Slurpees and sno-cones then these pulverized potions are for you. Have a seat out on the patio, turn the sprinklers on and sip one of these refreshing cocktails. You'll be cooled off (and pretty buzzed) in a flash. Leave out the booze and you've got delish mocktails that'll please kids, twelve-steppers and pregnant ladies.
Hot weather and high ticket prices tell us that the summer movie season is here. Last year's sequel-glutted schedule actually represented a downturn in profits for Hollywood. Will this year's wider selection prove more profitable? This year, we've got everything from computer-generated ogres to computer-generated cats, from robotic Nicole Kidmans to bleach-blond Tom Cruises, from Princess Diaries to Cinderella Stories.
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?
Epic action flick looks great, feels too analytical
By Devin D. O'Leary
Way back in the day, heroes didn't need no stinkin' motivations. They were heroes. Pure and simple. They killed enemies, knocked over city walls and hunted down magical sheepskins if the legend so required. But in today's “let's all share our feelings with Dr. Phil” environment, storytellers can't resist the urge to examine everyone's inner child. Case in point: The overlong, overanalytical Troy.
It's “upfront” week in Los Angeles and, while the term may not mean much to the average Idiot Boxer, it's one of the most important words in the Hollywood lexicon. Upfront week is when the networks place their orders for new shows. For the past month or so, networks have been looking over the new crop of pilots, testing some of them in front of audiences and generally trying to guess which ones will be hits. This is the week that the networks put their money on the line, shelling out the dough for a full or half season worth of episodes.
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.
Friday, May 21; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): No matter where you go you can do at least one thing: create rhythms. Bang on a pan with a spoon, whack a rock with a stick, put your hand under your armpit and squeeze—you can make beats, grooves, rhythms every and anywhere. I mean, think about it, as long as we are alive our heart beats a consistent rhythm that is as enchanting as it is tribal.
Tuesday, May 11; Burt's Tiki Lounge: I fucking hate it when bands go on late. After all, I do have a day job. But I also fucking love it when bands that go on late make having done so thoroughly worthwhile for the audience. Such was the case this night when Black Maria didn't hit the stage at Burt's until after 11 p.m., despite the fact that there were two bands to follow.
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.
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.
A cook and caterer from Pojoaque brings an updated concept to the old Tito's Tavern
By Gwyneth Doland
Tito's Tavern has been a fixture on the corner of Fourth Street and Menaul Blvd. since the beginning of time (or thereabouts), so when a sign went up announcing a new sandwich shop called Wrap it Up, people noticed. I caught up with Angel Vigil just after a lunch rush. She was out of breath but happy to talk about the new venture.
Environmentally friendly homes on display in Duke City
By Ryan Floersheim
The political talk on CNN this week focused on the "great divide" in America, the dead heat in the presidential polls and the balance of presumed blue and red states on the electoral map. There is a similar divide that gets less attention in the mainstream media, but reflects our nation's attitude toward energy consumption and conservation. In New Mexico, perhaps the best symbol of this division is in Taos, where the state's first solar energy utility is being built in eye-shot of Valle Vidal, a pristine wilderness area that might soon be transformed by some 200 natural gas wells and a spider web of roads.
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.
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.
There's still one week left to catch a three-person exhibit of abstract art at the Coleman Gallery. Diane McGregor paints dreamy wave-like oil canvases. Joyce Shupe specializes in constructing distinctive banded pieces with highly textured surfaces. Don Verynay creates polished vertical works with saturated pigments mixed with lava gel. Flow, a show of work by these three artists, runs through May 29. Swing through the gallery before this exhibit comes down. 232-0224.
Josquin des Prez was one of the finest Flemish composers of the Renaissance. This Sunday, May 23, Música Antigua de Albuquerque, our city's premiere interpreter of antique music will present a concert of sacred and secular music by this distinguished master. As always, the compositions will be performed on period instruments. The show begins at 4:30 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal (601 Montaño NW). $15 general, $12 seniors, $8 students. 842-9613.
Contemporary Arts in the Public Realm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and 516 Magnífico Artspace
By Steven Robert Allen
A couple months ago, a few Albuquerque city councilors and their supporters made a big stink about a sculpture consisting of two giant neon green cones that the city planned to install at the Louisiana and I-40 interchange. Whether you side with the complainers or with Tom Waldron, the project's designer, it's nice to see people get worked up over art for a change. It's the kind of conflict we don't see often enough in Albuquerque. Everyone should care about public art in our city, and we should all be willing to air our own views in public.