Darren, what were you thinking? Ah summer! Your mind goes numb in the blazing heat, your body gets even lazier than usual and the average news day is just plain slow.
Dateline: Sweden—Teenagers at a three-day music festival got their mouths washed out with soap—but it was entirely voluntary. It didn't take long for revelers at the Baltic Sea Music Festival in Karlshamn to figure out that the liquid soap used in the portable toilets contained 62 percent alcohol. Carbonated beverages spiked with the detergent soon became the drink of choice over the long weekend. “I suspected something was wrong because the soap went like hot cakes,” Anders Persson, whose company Bajamaja was hired to provide 65 portable latrines, told the Associated Press. Most of the soap dispensers had been smashed open and emptied by the end of the festival. One 14-year-old girl was briefly hospitalized with a minor stomach ache after pouring too much soap into her soda. Access to alcohol is strictly regulated in Sweden, with the state monopoly selling spirits only through a national chain of retail outlets.
Guild Goes Monthly—The Guild Cinema in Nob Hill has finally gotten around to producing their long-promised monthly film schedules. These handy oversized calendars hearken back to the good old days of Albuquerque's late, great repertory theater Don Poncho's. The first schedule features a full two month's worth of Guild films at a glance. Mark up your calendars with all the great foreign, indie and documentary films (not to mention crazed Alibi Midnight Movie Madness selections) that you want to see in the coming weeks. You can pick one up at the Guild Cinema box office, Bound To Be Read, Title Wave, Charlie's Records and Tapes, Il Vicino and Alphaville video.
A movie succeeds or fails based on its own merits. If a film is trying to be a dumb movie, and it undoubtedly is (like, say, Airplane), then it must be deemed a success. If a film is trying its damnedest to gross you out, and it's succeeding (There's Something About Mary, for example), then it is—for lack of a better word—a “good” movie. Given this argument, we can't simply dismiss a film like Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Yes, it looks rude, crude and incredibly juvenile—but it's trying really hard to be rude, crude and incredibly juvenile. And in this respect, it is a rousing success.
Upon arriving home from a brief trip to San Diego last week, I was informed via e-mail that Brewster's Pub, the longstanding watering hole Downtown on Central between Third and Fourth streets, Malarky's and Rebar (formerly Sprockets and Fat Chance) had rather unceremoniously closed up shop. No further information was available at press time and attempts to reach Steve Brewster at his Brewster's establishment in Amarillo, Texas, were unsuccessful (that location remains open), but it does appear that all three local venues have gone home to be with our Lord. Additionally, McGilveray's is said to be closed for remodeling, but their phones are disconnected. Hmm. ... Burt's Tiki Lounge will host one of four billion garage bands on Saturday, July 31, in the form of Las Vegas, Nev. quartet The Black Jetts. Thankfully, they're better than about three billion of their brethren. ... Ani DiFranco will perform at Santa Fe's Paolo Soleri amphitheater on Sunday, Aug. 1, with Andrew Bird. Considering the performers we're talking about here, $29.50 is pretty damn cheap for what is likely to be one of best concerts of the summer. Call 883-7800 for more information. ... If you're looking for some horror punk on Wednesday, Aug. 4, head to the Atomic Cantina for a dose of Day of the Sick from Oklahoma, whose CD is so lo-fi it's almost unlistenable. But I could still hear the passion and anger, so I predict a hell of a live show.
Listening to Magic Slim's latest Blind Pig release, Blue Magic, it's hard to believe that one of the greatest living exponents of the Chicago blues (by way of Torrence, Miss.) once left Chicago after deeming himself not skilled enough to compete with Chi Town's big boys in the mid-'50s. For nearly 10 years, the story goes, Slim hunkered down back in Mississippi to hone his chops before reintroducing himself to a roundly stunned Chicago blue community in 1965. Granted, a lot can happen in a decade, but in Slim's case, the evolution was, well, magical to say the least.
Thursday, Aug. 5; Club Rhythm & Blues (21 and over, 8 p.m.): If it weren't for Putnay Thomas, host of KUNM's “The Blues Show” and the man behind the Blues Bizness production company, Albuquerque wouldn't have enjoyed half the legendary blues artists it has over the years. Now, following a brief sabbatical, Putnay's back, and this time he's got Louisiana bluesman Larry Garner in tow.
He's been called the Paul McCartney to Will Cullen Hart's John Lennon, but, as a Wings fan and unashamed McCartney-ite, I have to say that I'd much rather listen to Bill Doss' post-Olivia Tremor Control output (The Sunshine Fix) than Hart's (Circulatory System). But, frankly, I'm about as bored as I can get with the Elephant 6 collective and their overly saccharine pop of late. TSF's second release is more palatable than their previous, and significantly less campy, but it's got no teeth. Nice melodies, pretty arrangements and nothing else to keep me interested.
Winos—this one isn't for you. Despite the name, this Saturday's Corkfest 2004 has absolutely nothing to do with the fine art of wine-making. The brainchild of artist Corky Frausto, this groovy backyard shindig is designed to showcase some of the best visual artists from the South Valley and beyond.
The lovable Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives and third man in line for the presidency, makes a rare appearance at the Coronado Mall branch of Barnes and Noble (6600 Menaul NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, 883-8200) on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at noon. He's taking a break from wrecking the nation for a few days to promote his new book, Speaker: Lessons from 40 Years in Coaching and Politics. In it, Hastert shares buckets of wisdom gathered from long careers as a wrestling coach and political hack. Expect lots of creepy secret service types, sporting sunglasses and long black coats, sweating their federal balls off in the August heat. Please stop by to tell Mr. Speaker what a wonderful job he's doing for our country.
“Ohh, this cabbage is so spicy!" a friend of mine recently exclaimed over dinner in uptown Minneapolis. Her Nordic eyes were ablaze and beginning to well with tears, bulging with the intensity of someone who had just plowed into her first bowl of kim chi. But this was no case of Korean cabbage. This was clearly laughter, and she was definitely making fun of me. I guess I can't say that I blame her. As a native New Mexican, I've developed a pretty cavalier attitude about how other states season their food. Heartfelt attempts at salsa and "chili" are cute at best, but ultimately all are met with my snorting rebukes. "Not enough heat," I boast, dousing my plate with hot sauce. "Yessir," this seems to say, "I am one spicy badass." So while visiting friends in Minnesota, I took it upon myself to prove that the Midwest is also the world capital of flavorless cuisine. How did I do this? By brazenly knocking back what was hands down the spiciest Bloody Mary of my life, choking on it and finally snorting out a nostril full of Clamato-infused magma onto my shirt. I swear to you, my lips were numb for 10 minutes. So, here it is, Minneapolis: I was wrong. Turns out the Midwest really can take the heat.
All the cool kids are going to Belen for dinner. Well, not really, but there is a new restaurant there that might make you want to go. The Wild Boar Steakhouse is the creation of Kenneth Grey and his three sons (the beginnings of a culinary Brady Bunch?). Every member of the family has worked in the restaurant biz before, and they have combined their efforts into one super-project, hoping to create a reason to stay in or migrate to Belen for your next great meal. Grey told us that all of their food is made from scratch, from the salad dressings to hand-patted burgers and a fresh batch of sauce for each pasta order. They cut their own steak and encrust it with chile, devein their own shrimp, and marinate their own filets. Look for Wild Boar Steakhouse at 301 Rio Communities Blvd., between State Road 304 and Highway 47 in Belen. Call (505) 864-7788 for more info.