Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.
We got game. In a glowing review of last month's grand opening of the National Hispanic Cultural Center's new Roy E. Disney performing arts center, a Los Angeles Times caption on Sept. 21 asks: "But why couldn't it be in Southern California?"
While Mount St. Helens threatened fireworks, the Oct. 4 Council meeting considered Albuquerque's own volcanoes, went sub-ballistic regarding a missile, and saw two of the city's most level-headed officials vent giant steam clouds at each other.
Dateline: Brazil—A rancher accused of ordering the murder of four government agents inspecting claims of slavery has been released from jail after being elected mayor of his home town. Anterio Manica was let out of prison last Tuesday night after his landslide victory for mayor of Unai, a rural town 90 miles from the capital of Brasilia. A Brazilian court ruled that Manica could take office on Jan. 1 while the justice system investigates federal police accusations that he and his brother hired the gang that executed three labor ministry inspectors and their driver earlier this year. The agents were ambushed near Unai as they were looking into reports of forced labor on a black bean plantation owned by Manica's brother Norberto, who is one of the world's top bean growers. Although Norberto remains in custody, Anterio is free to pursue his political career. “As he was elected mayor, there is little concern he would try to flee,” said a Federal Police spokesman.
Outdoor Activism—A new documentary titled Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America will open Oct. 15-17 at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque in Santa Fe. The film profiles legendary environmentalist David Brower, who is credited with halting construction of dams in the Grand Canyon and helped establish both Redwood National Park and Point Reyes National Seashore. On Friday, Oct. 15, director Kelly Duane and former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, who worked under LBJ and JFK, will be in attendance at the film's premiere. Immediately following the film will be a post-screening party in honor of Udall. For complete information on times and tickets, call CCA Cinematheque at (505) 982-1338
Last Thursday night's Mountainside YMCA local band showcase was a smashing success. The second event of the “Band-It” showcase series featured Camden, the Ryan McGarvey Band, Someday, Gingerbread Patriots and Unit 7 Drain. All of the above gave spirited performances, but the surprise of the evening, at least as far I as was concerned, was 17-year-old blues guitar prodigy, Ryan McGarvey. With a little more vocal seasoning, just a tad more experience and a few additional original tunes, this kid's gonna be as jaw-dropping a performer as Alex Maryol. The YMCA's “Band-It” series will resume in the spring. ... El Paso's Cantina Flys will appear at Pucinni's Golden West Saloon on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 9 p.m., after appearing on KUNM's “Ear to the Ground” program at 7 p.m. ... and right next door at the Launchpad, you can catch the Punx Unite Tour, featuring The Casualties, Lower Class Brats, Frontline Attack and The Visects. Children of all ages are welcome at this one, but details regarding just what the “punx” are uniting for or against are hazy as of press time. ... Acclaimed axman Greg Osby is slated to appear on Monday, Oct. 4, at the Outpost Performance Space at 7:30 p.m. If Joe Anderson bought bigger ads, I'd have more space to tell you all about this show, but you'll have to settle for calling 268-0044 for more information.
To say that Samite's journey thus far has been difficult would be to understate the enormity of loss and struggle that has marked the Ugandan musician's life throughout. Extraordinarily, though, Samite has distilled the whole of his experience—the good and the bad—into lyrics and melodies that seem to have very definite healing powers. Not in that slightly creepy standard “new age” way, rather in a visceral, primal, beating-
Forgive me for weighing in rather late on this one, but I honestly thought it would grow on me. It didn't. As one of the last vestiges of the infamous (and quite infamously overrated save for Neutral Milk Hotel) Elephant 6 collective, Elf Power's seventh record is about as average as they come. If the whole Elephant 6 phenomenon isn't completely out of gas at this point, then Elf Power have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's running on fumes at best. Walking ... isn't a bad record, but it's lackluster and boring to say the least.
It's hard not to love a story about the blood-sucking undead. Bram Stoker's immortal story has been made and remade into so many different forms it would be impossible to list them all. A campy theatrical version called The Passion of Dracula transports the story to the English countryside in 1911 where several young girls have died under mysterious circumstances. Could the new neighbor, a long-in-the-tooth fellow named Count Dracula, possibly be responsible? No, of course not. Don't be silly. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $18 general, $15 seniors, $13 students. Runs through Oct. 31. 242-4750.
You know what's weird? About half of the way through Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow—the retro-future film in which Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow save the world from robot attackers—I realized that so far nobody had eaten anything. I made a bet with myself that nobody would, either. I mean, what is retro-future food? In case you haven't seen the movie, Sky Captain has the look and feel (mostly computer generated) of a film about the future made in the '40s. Somehow, it seemed unlikely that the director would sway the viewers' attention with the introduction of pot roast pellets or tuna casserole injections. Would Sky Captain pause before climbing into the cockpit, pull out a small plastic case and place on his tongue a dissolving film, not a breath-freshening mint, but one that releases the full flavor of turkey and all the trimmings? Probably not. The only two foods I did notice in the film (and honestly, I had to go to brandcameo.com to recall them) were Coke and Dubble Bubble. Maybe imagining Jetsons-style meal-replacement mints was silly. If there's any food that will make it into the future, it's certainly going to be Coke. And if Dubble Bubble, the gum with the flavor that disappears after a minute of chewing, is still going strong after 80 years, it'll still be here when the giant robots come to kill us all.
Downtown's El Chamizal Mexican restaurant (Fifth Street and Central) is now Paco's New Mexican restaurant. After taking over at the end of September, the Aviles family quickly painted over the El Chamizal logo and simply added "New" to the words below it. They later repainted the entire sign, but for most Downtown lunchers the temporary fix was good enough. (The Central Avenue corridor has been without a New Mexican restaurant for a while now, though many cafés serve New Mexican items on their menus.) Paco's is a family business, Marisol Aviles said last week. She and her siblings—sister Gabriela and brothers Martin and Paco—run the place together. They agreed to name the restaurant after Paco because he's the cook, and the one with 18 years of experience in the restaurant business, most recently at Garcias Kitchen, Marisol said. The Aviles Family have also drafted Mom, Dad and various nieces to help out, the guys in the kitchen and the ladies out front. The family grew up mostly in Mexico but most members have been in the States for years. Marisol said they decided to focus on New Mexican food because of its simplicity and Paco's experience with the food. Paco's serves breakfast all day, including pancakes and omelets alongside huevos and breakfast burritos. Speaking of breakfast burritos, the tortillas here are notably delicious. They're thick, fluffy and taste suspiciously homemade—because they are! Marisol informed me that they make all of the tortillas in-house as well as the dough for sopaipillas and Indian tacos. A few dishes on Paco's menu, the flan, sweet rice and salsa are made in the traditional Mexican fashion from family recipes. Paco's serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday; and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday. Check it out when you're in the mood for a really nice tortilla.