A big thanks to Showcase participants and attendees
Winners and nominees—23 of them— rocked over a thousand attendees at five venues on March 24, 2018. It was a blast and we’ll see you at next year’s shindig. Here for posterity (and your browsing pleasure) are the winners and runners-up.
Heather Wilson's Voting Record Reveals Her True Colors
By Gwyneth Doland and Steven Robert Allen
The Alibi is a progressive newspaper. Congresswoman Heather Wilson is a right-wing congresswoman. So it's not all that surprising that we would disagree with her on many issues, ranging from national security to the environment to women's rights.
Commander-in-Chief. Leader of the Free World. Both have become synonyms for President of the United States of America, and both beg the question: What set of qualifications does one need to hold such an office? Honesty and integrity go without saying, but what about near peerless intelligence and understanding of the underpinnings of politics? What about the ability to lead—not the kind of leadership that comes packaged with a title and billions of dollars in corporate cash—but the kind that comes from possessing a gift for bringing people with disparate views together in a collective effort to serve the greater good; to consider and reflect the will of the people? To quote Spock, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of few." Yeah, it's a cheeseball reference, but it's an efficient, effective summary of what the presidency of this country should be about. But over the past four years, the factual evidence proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the needs of the few have taken priority over the needs of most of the country's populace, not to mention the rest of the world, under the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
By now, every young American has heard about it. Our leaders in Washington have declared the War On Terror an endless war, requiring endless military engagements and endless tightening of security and increased public surveillance back home. Both presidential candidates promise to keep the U.S. militarily involved in Iraq.
Theoretically, by next week we'll know whom the next president of the United States is. But, in all honesty, a close popular race, a conjectured Electoral College tie and what are guaranteed to be weeks of legal challenges could mean a month or more before we're assured of our next commander in chief.
Dateline: Austria—Somewhere in Europe a witch is homeless. Officials in Hietzing have decided to demolish a life-size gingerbread house constructed by a group of eccentric artists. The house, designed by the Austrian Guggenheim movement, was erected to “give locals something cheerful to look at.” Unfortunately, the locals say the structure has been a magnet for hungry rats and noisy birds, who have eaten away most of the gingerbread bricks and tiles. The Vienna-based artists have been ordered to dismantle the house after government inspectors declared it a health risk.
Phantom Film—Southwest Music and the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will be sponsoring two screenings of the 1925 silent film classic The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney at the Central United Methodist Church (1605 Copper NE). Internationally acclaimed theater organist Walt Strony is scheduled to perform accompaniment and “musical enhancement” for the horror hallmark. Screenings will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct., 29, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets for either showing are a mere $5 and are available by calling 881-2232. Seating is limited, so reserve tickets early.
Is Kidman robbing the cradle in this unusual romantic drama?
By Devin D. O'Leary
Birth, at least from the trailers, appears to have the slightly uneasy concept of ravishing beauty Nicole Kidman falling in love with a 10-year-old kid. As it happens, that's not quite the film's plot. But it's close enough for spitting.
Stunning English drama turns controversy into crushing emotion
By Devi n D. O'Leary
Vera Drake, the new film from noted British director Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy, Secrets & Lies), is not the most cheerful film of the year. But it is the first to scream “Oscar me!” in a loud, clear and rather difficult to dismiss voice.
Look, I wish just as much as you do that Albuquerque were overrun with fabulous Jewish delis where you could pick up a quart of whitefish salad for Sunday brunch. I'd love to have a neighborhood full of Italian restaurants that made their own pasta and fought with each other over which served the best cannoli. Who wouldn't love to wander around Albuquerque's version of Chinatown and wander from storefront to storefront nibbling on egg rolls, buns and things we couldn't pronounce? But this is New Mexico, not New York, Chicago or San Francisco. You people who harass me about the lack of lox at your corner coffee cart seem to forget that you moved away from the big city to get away from it all, and sadly, “it all” includes blue crabs and cheese curds. If every city had every other city's culinary treasures then no place would be very special, would it? If Boston had green chile, then our friends who moved there wouldn't come back as often, would they? No and no. So when you go to New Orleans you should eat all the étouffée you can. Hopefully you'll enjoy every minute of it. And when you get back you'll really appreciate your stacked blue corn and beef enchiladas with an over easy egg, red chile and extra onions.
La Montañita Coop will proceed with plans to take over Santa Fe's Marketplace Natural Grocery. My previous story on the subject incorrectly stated that the proposed deal would be subject to a vote by the membership. In fact, the decision on whether or not to bring the Marketplace under La Montañita's wing was made by the coop's board of directors. According to the Coop's Michelle Franklin, three community meetings the Coop hosted in Albuquerque and Santa Fe during October garnered enough positive feedback for the board to give the project the green light. Franklin says the deal is moving ahead slowly but that papers should be signed by January 2005. The Marketplace is now privately owned by Jill Markstein; by joining with La Montañita, it would become, like the coop, community-owned.
Instant, quick or old-fashioned, the words on the label make a big difference
By Gwyneth Doland
Organic instant oatmeal. Here is one instance in which doing what I thought was the right thing was a terrible, terrible mistake. Now I've got a pound of the stuff and I'll use it to spackle the holes in my kitchen walls before I eat another bowl of that gummy goop. Where did I go wrong? Well, it wasn't the organic part, I'm fairly sure, so it must have been the instant part.
What to do with all those extra pumpkins after Halloween
By Gwyneth Doland
You buy one, your roommate buys one, then your mom brings one over ... next thing you know you've got three pumpkins on the stoop and not one of them's been carved. You can't just let them rot. Cook with them! Here are a handful of recipes culled from new cookbooks that won't make you think of pumpkin pie and won't ruin Thanksgiving a month early.
Fittingly, local psychobilly-ists 12 Step Rebels will celebrate the release of their debut album, Go Go Graveyard Rockin' with 12 Step Rebels on Dead Body Wreckerds at the Launchpad on Halloween night (Sunday, Oct. 31, for those of you smoking too much chronic) with special guests Machine Gun Symphony, Feels Like Sunday and Abandon All Hope. This one's all ages. Go for the live music, stay for the costume contests. FYI: The Rebels' CD, which is sure to be on sale at the party, is pants-shittingly awesome! ... Also that night, El Rey Theater will present the “Rocky Horror Zombie Ball,” an event that includes a showing of the infamous film and performances by Darker Vision and horror rockers, Creepshow. And yes, there will also be costume contests. ... The Metal Movement Tour, featuring Kittie, Otep and Crisis, will be unleashed at the Sunshine Theater on Tuesday, Nov. 2 (that's Voting Day, for those of you huffing too much paint). Locals KI will open, in keeping with the female-fronted theme. ... The inaugural “Frostbite Food Drive" will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). Highlights include performances by Pipe Hustlers, 20/20 Blind, EvenKeal, the Dirty Baby Dolls and Frostbite, and the opportunity to donate nonperishable (that means canned-goods for those of you sniffing too much glue) food items to Roadrunner Food Bank for New Mexico families in need. Don't worry, I'll remind you of all the particulars next week.
When the dust settles on the 21st century and people begin to sift through the past for those artists whose work will most certainly reverberate for decades to come, Geoff Muldaur will be near the top of the list when it comes to the blues and folk traditions. Of Muldaur's chameleon-like voice, folk hero and Fairport Convention founder Richard Thompson has been quoted as saying, "There are only three white blues singers—Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them." Comedian (and accomplished guitarist himself) Martin Mull once commented that Muldaur is one of few white men who should own a guitar. They're both right on target.
Friday, Oct. 29; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Clarinetist Don Byron got his musical start thanks to instructions from his childhood doctor, who had diagnosed the Brooklyn-born youth with asthma and recommended that he take up a wind instrument for therapy's sake. It wasn't long before a young Byron was excelling on the instrument and absorbing the sounds of his neighborhood, which boasted a large Jewish population. It's no surprise, then, that Byron first came to notoriety as a Klezmer musician. And ever since those early days of his career, Byron has taken special care to absorb, adopt and/or adapt to any number of musical styles.
Monday, Nov. 1; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Grindcore progenitors Napalm Death returned last month with their second scalp-tingling tribute to classic hardcore and thrash metal, and the world is a better place for it. From the brutal recasting of Cryptic Slaughter's “Lowlife” to a thoroughly crushing take on Agnostic Front's “Blind Justice,” the 22-year-old band prove themselves not only to be masters of death metal, but well-versed in all of the different sub-genres the music they pioneered eventually became during the first decade and a half of their career.
Of course, you can expect plenty of trademark Napalm Death songs on this tour, as well as a smattering of the covers represented on Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (Century Media). Time to dig out the Die Kreuzen T-shirt, kids.
Why not refer to Brian Wilson's latest CD as simply Smile? Because, essentially, it isn't that record. Smile, as pretty much anyone with even a passing interest in pop music is aware, was shelved by an increasingly mentally ill Brian Wilson in 1967. And, for all intents and purposes, it remains there, forever unfinished. Brian Wilson Presents Smile is a recasting of the original material, finished and finally assembled 37 years later by Wilson, original lyricist Van Dyke Parks and Wondermints' keyboardist Darian Sahanaja. Splitting hairs? Not really. This, the first officially sanctioned compilation of the tracks written for the Beach Boys' follow-up to Pet Sounds, isn't the record the Beach Boys would ultimately have made. Without Carl Wilson, without Bruce Johnston, without Al Jardine, without Mike Love (whether you happen to love him or hate him) and, to a lesser degree, no Dennis Wilson, there's no Beach Boys. And with no Beach Boys, there's no infamous Beach Boys Smile album. All that aside, however, Wilson's presentation of his self-proclaimed "teenage symphony to God" is not without merit by a longshot.
Like Jim Cosgrove, local recording artist John Grant makes children's music that's designed to keep the adults engaged, too. But where Cosgrove's recordings sometimes veer into the land of children's television homogenization, Grant (a.k.a. Ticklefish) writes semi-acoustic upbeat rock songs with lyrics geared toward the kids. But his melodies and arrangements are clearly inspired by the modern “adult” world of the singer-songwriter. Icky Sticky is truly an “everyone's” record—with plenty of appeal for mom and dad, and enough camp, silliness and general oddness for the little ones. It's the perfect rock 'n' roll introduction for Junior. Available at www.ticklefish.net.
For the fifth year in a row, the Words Afire theater festival sets Albuquerque ablaze with a host of new work by up and coming UNM playwrights. From 10-minute wonders to full-length plays, Words Afire presents some of the best theater UNM's prestigious Robert Hartung Dramatic Writing Program has to offer. Every piece is written, directed, designed and performed by over 100 UNM students.
We can dream, can't we, of some better world where art rather than money is king? Sure we can. Allan Rosenfield isn't some lazy armchair artopian, daydreaming about impossible societies built on a foundation of art. Since last year, he's succeeded in transforming his modest Near Northeast Heights home into his very own bona fide Artopia.
There'll be a whole lotta shakin' goin' on when the Bellydance Superstars and the Desert Roses return to Albuquerque on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. to present one of the biggest belly dance spectacles on Earth. Performing a cross-section of Tribal, Egyptian and Cabaret styles, this popular show has rock star cred because it's produced by Miles Copeland, who served as manager for acts ranging from the Police to the Sex Pistols to REM. This one should be a doozy. $25 advance, $30 at the door. (800) 594-TIXX.
Just in time for Big Brother Bush's re-election, the folks at ConLab—Conspiracy Laboratory Theatre—are putting up a staged version of George Orwell's chilling negative utopian novel, 1984, adapted by playwright Wayne Rawley. Directed by Rafael Gallegos, this multimedia production, which incorporates work by video artists and sculptors, should offer a nice escapist relief from pondering the dire consequences of a second Bush term. The show will occur at SolArts (712 Central SE) every evening at 8 p.m. through Nov. 2 with an additional show on Halloween at 2 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 244-0049.
Your friends at the Alibi love to vote. We love it so much, in fact, we're encouraging all of you eligible voters to get on board and feel the rush. Early voting has already begun and between now and election day you can walk into the County Clerk's office on the sixth floor of Civic Plaza (call 768-4085 for hours) or you can log onto www.bernco.gov to locate an early voting location near you. Or, you can go vote on Nov. 2 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No matter when you choose to do it, though, it is your civic responsibility as an American to vote—don't make us send a car!
To receive our endorsement, candidates must meet with our editorial board. It's not complicated. We ask difficult questions and we expect informed, detailed answers. We like candidates with intelligence and enthusiasm, folks with a strong attachment to the community and a desire to work hard in the public's interest.
Republican Paul Barber, an Albuquerque attorney, is challenging incumbent Democrat Michael Vigil, also of Albuquerque. Barber is running on the identical "rescue the courts" platform as Ned Fuller. If you believe there is a crisis of public confidence in the state judiciary, that activist judges are rewriting the laws while issuing rulings based on partisan favoritism, and that the rumors are true about judges partying after hours, Mr. Barber is your man. Hopefully, if you do believe this, you have witnessed it with your own eyes or through honest experience of others.
One of the biggest howlers in this year's local election is the Bernalillo County Clerk's race. With all the cries of improper voter registration coming from the state Republican party over the past six weeks, guess who is running for County Clerk on the GOP ticket? Nobody. That's right, if the GOP operatives put half the effort into running a candidate that they've put into creating the illusion of a voter fraud scandal, maybe the next County Clerk would be a Republican and all our problems would be solved.
Constitutional Amendment 3 will permit Albuquerque to hold runoff elections in all future mayoral and city council races any time a winning candidate receives less than 40 percent of the popular vote. If you think it's a good thing to elect our local officials based on a majority, then vote for this amendment. We think the public deserves better than electing a mayor out of a crowded field with approximately 30 percent of the votes, which is how Marty Chavez took office in 2001 and Jim Baca was elected in 1997. Runoffs would give the public the satisfaction of electing our mayor and city councilors by majority, and we wholeheartedly support the idea.
While there are a great many reasons to support city/county unification, apparently the main reason to oppose it is the threat of higher taxes. That at least is the conclusion you might reach from listening to the barely audible debate on one the most important issues facing Bernalillo County voters this year.
Retain incumbent judges, do away with partisan judicial races
This year, you'll find six contested races for judgeships in the Second Judicial District on your ballot and four contested races for Metro Court. And you probably know little or nothing about any of the candidates. Well relax. We have a simple solution for you to consider. Each race pits a sitting judge against a challenger. We don't care what the party affiliation is of any of these candidates, because we are endorsing all the incumbents.
As might be expected, a black coffin stretches across the middle of the room. As might not be expected, an attendant darts around the theater right before the show warning everyone in the front row that they'll probably get doused with blood. "Don't worry, though," she says. "It washes out." This is supposed to comfort us?
Yeah, it's got 18 syllables, but don't let that daunt you. G. Narendra and Mahalakshmi along with 14 other talented performers will bring this classic of East Indian literature to life through dance. This amazing show is being brought to Albuquerque by the New Mexico chapter of the Association for India's Development. Proceeds will help fund economic development programs in India. It all goes down at the KiMo Theatre this Friday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. $30, $25, and $15. $5 discount for students, kids under 12 years and Outpost members. 768-3522.
David Meltzer fell in with the Beats at the very beginning of the movement, reading his poetry in clubs and coffee houses in the late '50s in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. In Beat Thing, released this year by Albuquerque's La Alameda Press, he reflects on the accomplishments of his generation and the commodification of all things Beat. Meltzer will read from this far ranging poem on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the Outpost, accompanied by bassist David Parlato. $5 suggested donation. Students free. 268-0044.
You've seen it a hundred times before: a handwritten sign taped to the stall door, reading, "Please do not flush tampons or sanitary napkins." In fact, you've probably seen it so many times that you don't even think about it anymore, except maybe to wish you didn't have to be reminded about sanitary napkins in the middle of your dinner. Eeeeewww, right? But I recently saw a sign that went a little further. It asked patrons not to flush tampons but then explained that it costs a lot of money to have plumbers come out all the time to unclog the toilets. It suddenly occurred to me that I had to call plumbers out to my house twice in the first two years I owned it—before instituting my own no-flush rule. The first episode cost me $250 (it was a holiday weekend); the bill was $125 the second and final time. Imagine how many times your toilet gets flushed compared with the toilet at a busy restaurant. There's a big difference. I talked to Curt at TLC Plumbing who confirmed that tampons are the cause of 80 percent of toilet clogs. He also said that the busiest restaurants sometimes call for help every month or so. Brutal! Look, it's yucky and I hate to have to say this, but wrap 'em up and throw 'em in the trash can, ladies. Your 30 seconds of convenience could cost your favorite restaurant hundreds of dollars.
What do you know, we've got an Afghan market! Nabi Yari, an Afghan native who moved here from California, opened Marco Polo Market last Wednesday at 607 San Mateo NE (255-1325). The market is just a few doors down from the Mediterranean Café, the new but misleadingly named Moroccan restaurant. Most interestingly, the market includes a small bakery where they make traditional Afghan bread, a puffy flatbread (no, puffy and flat are not mutually exclusive) about 33 inches long and 13 inches wide. What do you do with a big, long, flat bread? Well, you put stuff on it. What kind of stuff? Stuff you find at the Afghan market, duh. Marco Polo stocks Afghan and Iranian spices, rice, juices, yogurt drinks and cheeses. It's open from 9:30 a.m. until about 6:30 p.m. every day.
A visitor from New Jersey finds hope, and a warning, in Truth or Consequences
By Elaine Kaufmann
As we checked out of our Socorro motel at 6:00 a.m.—so that we could catch the sunrise at Bosque del Apache—I asked the desk clerk if there was a spot to pick up some breakfast and a good cup of coffee on our way. She gave me a wide-eyed look and said, "I wish!" Surely the local hotel clerk who has lived here all her life must be mistaken. Our East Coast tourist mentality made us sure that we would find an adorable little café or something along the way. Or there would be a nice little cafeteria there. Open at 6:00 a.m. With fresh coffee. And yummy homemade baked goods.
On Sept. 29, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that would ban the production and sale of foie gras in California as of 2012. The bill provides seven and a half years for California's only producer, Guillermo Gonzales of Sonoma Foie Gras, to come up with an alternative method for fattening the livers of his ducks. At issue is the practice of force-feeding ducks (and geese, which Gonzales does not raise) to produce the enlarged, fatty livers that have been prized by gourmets for centuries. But the spotlight shining on foie gras should also be illuminating the larger issue of how we think about the food we eat and how we believe animals should be treated.
The shy girls at the Salaam Academy trickled into the room one by one, eyes only briefly glancing up from the floor to take in the table full of strangers, heads uncovered, there to greet them. It was Friday, the Islamic Sabbath, and the girls wore their best clothes to school. Brocaded lavender dresses, cream-colored silken hijabs and black chadors trimmed with gold wrapped the young girls in an elegance and modesty fit for the afternoon's prayer services.
Why so angry? Bill Maher weighed in on the debate over Mary Cheney's lesbian lifestyle with words, perhaps, many Americans might find comforting. On his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, Maher said: “But my question about that whole flap, that the Republicans are very angry. Dick Cheney said, ’I'm an angry father.' If it's not shameful to be gay, why are their panties in a bunch about this?I mean, they talk about her like she's some retarded monster they have chained in the attic, you know.... And it is an issue. (Bush and Cheney) made it an issue. It's an issue in this election. Don't talk about my daughter who we are trying to discriminate against in a constitutional amendment.”
Your friends at the Alibi editorial office love to vote. Try it and you will to.In fact, early voting has already begun and between now and election day you can walk into the County Clerk's office on the sixth floor of Civic Plaza (call 768-4085 for hours) or you can log onto www.bernco.gov to locate an early voting location near you. Or, you can go vote on Nov. 2 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. But just VOTE!
This is the Alibi's election issue so let's get the preliminaries out of the way. On Nov. 2, George W. Bush will be re-elected president. The popular vote is going to be close—in the 51 percent range for Bush—but the electoral college won't. Bush will take that with at least 284 electoral votes, although don't be at all surprised if he goes over 300, which is the magic number our oracles are predicting.
Dateline: Croatia—An 18-year-old Croatian has been arrested for stealing his father's police uniform and stop sign and using them to collect fines from motorists. The unnamed teen from Bisko stopped drivers and told them they had broken traffic laws and then fined them approximately $15 apiece. He was eventually exposed and arrested when a man on a motorcycle refused to pay the fine and alerted other officers when he became suspicious.
Gay Film Fundraiser—The Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will be hosting a fundraising party this Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Graze by Jennifer James in Nob Hill. Tickets are $20 or $10 for Closet Cinema 2004 members and volunteers. There will be great Graze food, prizes and lots of local film lovers to rub elbows with. If you aren't already a member of Closet Cinema, the organization (which puts together the SG&LFF) will have membership information on hand. For more details, log on to www.closetcinema.org.
When Kurly Tlopoyawa, owner of Albuquerque's only cult video store, Burning Paradise, met Lloyd Kaufman, the notorious president of Troma Films and director of such trash classics as The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo & Juliet, it was a match made in Heaven. Or slightly south of there.
An interview with Around the Bend writer/director Jordan Roberts
By Devin D. O'Leary
Around the Bend, an emotional little family drama/comedy being released by the newly formed Warner Independent label, was shot in and around Albuquerque over the course of six weeks last fall. The film, which tells the story of four generations of men (Michael Caine, Christopher Walken, Josh Lucas and young newcomer Jonah Bobo) on a cross-country quest to reconnect with their estranged past, was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Jordan Roberts.
David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees is a parable of orderly excess, of curiosity taken to dire extremes, and, if nothing else, its bravery lies in its blatant disregard for organic deliberation. A mixture of the intellectual and the absurd, the film plays out like some confused, hung-over Sunday morning coffee klatch between Charlie Kaufman and Immanuel Kant.
Something very strange has happened in the first month of the new fall season. NBC, last season's big network, has taken a huge plunge in ratings. That isn't the shocking part, though; with the loss of “Friends” and “Frasier,” everyone expected a certain decrease in stature for the long-reigning champ. No, the shocking part is the suggestion of who might be the new number one network: ABC.
Jason Daniello will celebrate the release of his latest CD on Friday, Oct. 22, at the Launchpad with Oktober People, Spybox and Alex Rose (formerly of Mistletoe). Regrettably, I haven't heard the record yet, so there's not much more to say except, “Show up!” ... In other exciting news, the Launchpad will host an introductory party on Saturday, Oct. 23, for Albuquerque's brand new independent record label, Detach Records. Described by local musician and Detach officer Jeremy Fine as a co-op of sorts, involving the money, effort and other resources from friends and other parties interested in creating a community in which the bands themselves decide their ultimate fate.
featuring Mariana Montalvo, Totó La Momposino and Bêlo Velloso
By Michael Henningsen
Thanks to the United States' installation of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1973, singer/poet Mariana Montalvo was forced to leave her home at the age of 20 for exile in Paris, where she has lived and worked ever since. “I've lived less than half my life in Chile,” says the 51-year-old Latina artist, who insists that her heart never really left the country. “The clay that I'm made from came from Chile, but it was cooked in Europe,” she continues. And it is her roots in Chilean music that helps to keep her pan-European cache of artistic influences grounded in tradition. That said, Montalvo's latest CD, Piel de Aceituna (Harmonia Mundi/World Village) spans a musical gamut from indigenous roots to tropical dance to reggae.
Monday, Oct. 25; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): According to Ronnie James Dio's publicist, he's got perhaps the strongest voices in metal. He's also perhaps the biggest cheeseball still working in the genre. But now that his days of battling eight-foot pneumatic spiders with a broadsword are over and he's found himself comfortably on the Sanctuary Records roster with every not-quite-washed-up '80s metaler you can think of, he's managed to make a hell of a record. Master of the Moon is a representation of pre-thrash classic metal at its finest, in no small part due to the return to the Dio fold of guitarist Craig Goldy, who filled the shoes of Scottish guitar god Vivian Campbell when he left Dio back in the day. Other current members include drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC) and former Ozzy/Quiet Riot/Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo (former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson played on the record). It's no Mob Rules, but it's better than most of the shit that passes for old-school metal today.
Saturday, Oct. 23; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): Frankly—and this is nothing new—there are few things on God's green Earth that annoy more than most later Primus albums. One of those things happens to be the ubiquitous Buckethead, whose mere presence rivals his guitar playing on the annoying scale. That said, Les Claypool's latest project featuring (fucking goddamned) Buckethead, former Primus drummer Brain and Parliament/Funkadelic organmeister Bernie Worrell kicks some serious funk ass. The latest Claypool platter, The Big Eyeball in the Sky (Prawn Song) is chock full of Claypool's virtually unlistenable vocal nonsense, ridiculous lyrics and gratuitous overplaying from every member but Worrell, but I still love it for reasons I can't fully explain. And in a live setting, I can't imagine this particular group of personalities and extreme talents being anything but jaw-dropping.
with Alexisonfire, Planes Mistaken for Stars and Moments in Grace
By Michael Henningsen
Sunday, Oct. 24; Launchpad (all ages, 7 p.m.): Crossing elements of D.C. hardcore, dusky Midwestern emo and New York-style prog-core, Gainesville, Fla.'s Hot Water Music have been making bristling, isolationist punk rock since 1994. But over the course of nine full-length recordings and a handful of EPs and compilation appearances, they never seem to be the same band twice. Which has turned out to be a very good thing for band and fans alike.
Monday, Oct. 25; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 7:30 p.m., call 268-0044 for tickets): No, not Insane Clown Posse. In this case, ICP stands for Instant Composers Pool, headed by pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, and consisting of eight additional musicians who engage in “instant composing” and “conducted improvisation.” If that sounds like a recipe for musical chaos, that's because it is. Audiences will either find the ICP Orchestra's musings completely unlistenable or exercises in pure musical genius. And while I can't claim to know or understand much about the music on ICP's most recent recording, Aan & Ing (ICP), there's no question that all players involved are highly evolved. At times, tunes border on cacophony. At others, very definite melodies and rhythmic cycles are apparent. It's music that requires the full attention of the listener, and it can be a chore. But there are enough jovial moments of beauty and intrigue to pique the curiosity of just about any seasoned jazz fan.
On one hand, Chet Atkins was largely responsible for the slicker-than-shit “Nashville sound” that to this day makes fans of traditional and outlaw country cringe. On the other, he's part of the reason country music ever made it out of the juke joints and rural communities of the '50s. And as a fingerpicking guitarist, Atkins was and remains without peer. By the '80s and '90s, Atkins had turned his attention largely toward jazz, resulting in some of the most wondrous instrumental guitar music ever put to tape. Much of it is included here. The Essential just that. A must-have.
Yes, believe it or not, this year marks the 10th Annual Alibi Short Film Fiesta. For an entire decade, the Alibi has labored to present a showcase for homegrown independent filmmakers and to show off that talent to local film-loving audiences.
No great moment comes without toil. As proof, before Michael Moore was introduced to an exuberant crowd of 7,500 people at the Pit on Sunday, he was subjected to a press conference with our local media. Just minutes, in fact, before Moore walked across the Pit floor to his podium, greeted by a sustained standing ovation, he had to contemplate this inane question from a local TV newsman: "Why do people like George W. Bush?"
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.
Dick Cheney, we now know, is either one of the most deluded people in America—so senile that he can't remember meeting John Edwards—or one of the nation's most brazen liars. I'm talking about his statement during last week's vice presidential debate: "I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9-11."
Few people in the US know the name Mordechai Vanunu. 19 years ago, working as a scientist in the then secret Israeli nuclear weapons program at its Dimona facility in the Negev, a desert region in southern Israel, Mordechai Vanunu, in a brave act of conscience, revealed the existence of this program to the rest of the world. For this service to humanity, Vanunu, who traveled to London to give his story to the Sunday Times, was eventually drugged and kidnapped in Rome by agents of Mossad—Israel's equivalent of the CIA—taken back to Israel and imprisoned for 18 years, 11 of those in solitary confinement. Released from prison on April 21st of this year, Vanunu remains under tight Israeli control, unable to leave the country and forbidden to speak with foreigners. He stays in East Jerusalem in a guest house at St. George's Cathedral, spending his days reading, answering emails, walking around East Jerusalem and the Old City and, in open defiance of his captors, talking to as many foreigners as he can.
If the Heather Wilson for Congress campaign has made one thing crystal clear, it's that Democratic challenger and current State Sen. Richard Romero hates children. Especially yours. And he hates the adults who attempt to educate and care for them.
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.
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.
New Mexico wine purveyor Dan Murray quits the corporate life to take a big chance
By Gwyneth Doland
Dan Murray, a successful salesman for large and powerful wine distributors, has been a familiar figure in New Mexico's wine business for a decade. But now Murray has quit his corporate gig and, with a small group of investors, bought a small Santa Fe company called Boutique Wines. Last week we chatted about wine, working for The Man and the transition to working for yourself.
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
Dance movie remake generates less steam than a “Solid Gold” reunion.
By Ari Aster
The spectacle of new films chewing ravenously on the entrails of old (and, in this case, not so old) movies should no longer come as a surprise to American audiences. Still, I cannot help but balk at the molded plasticity of films of such low ambition as Shall We Dance?
The 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell casts a long shadow in pop culture. Its violent futureworld of downloadable consciousness, urban blight and invasive biotechnology provided a crazy quilt of science fiction textures for later creators to swipe and rework. The Matrix is only the most obvious example of its pervasive influence.
Future TV historians, debating cultural “jump the shark” moments, may very well conclude that reality TV most likely burned out as a genre right around the time FOX broadcast “The Littlest Groom.” Just because reality TV ran out of ideas several seasons ago doesn't mean that the genre is showing any signs of slacking off. Networks are still scrambling to stuff their schedules with cheap-to-produce reality series, most of which demonstrate only the slightest variation on the theme: Witness NBC's “The Apprentice” vs. ABC's “The Benefactor” vs. FOX's “The Billionaire.”
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.
Friday, Oct. 15; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): G. Love (a.k.a. Garrett Dutton) got his sauce back; that is, in reviving his career, he had the foresight to re-enlist the formidable contributions of original Special Sauce ingredients James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on upright bass and Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens on very sparse drum kit. The resulting album, The Hustle, soon to be released on San Francisco's Brushfire Records, is a return to the urban hip hop-meets-ragged Delta blues sound that proved to be one of the freshest things to happen musically or otherwise in the mid-'90s. (There are, after all, very few among us who can honestly claim to not have sung out loud the chorus of “Baby's Got Sauce” out of pure delight for the song.)
Singer and Multi-instrumentalist Samite's Healing Music
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-to-the-rhythm-of-your-own-heart way.
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.
"All art is ultimately social," Lorraine Hansberry once said. She put that belief to the test during every stage of her tragically brief literary life. The 1959 stage version of her famous play, A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier, was the first by a Black woman to ever be produced on Broadway. The 1961 movie version—also starring Poitier, in one of his most iconic roles—cemented this complex but accessible play's well-deserved position in the pantheon of American theater. James Baldwin praised A Raisin in the Sun, which tells the story of a Black family struggling for survival on the South Side of Chicago, for putting "the truth of Black people's lives" on stage for the first time.
Think of it as the Lollapalooza of the literary world. Instead of squealing guitars, sweaty singers with weird haircuts and tour busses loaded with illegal drugs, five rising rock stars in the fiction world will descend on Albuquerque for a literary show unlike any our little village has ever seen.
When soldiers returned from Vietnam, they had plenty to say, but few Americans back home were willing to listen to them. Many of these veterans found a necessary vehicle for expression in art. The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago is the only art museum in the world whose primary focus is exhibiting art created by Vietnam War combatants. An exhibit of work from this museum's collection goes on display this week at the UNM Art Museum and UNM's Jonson Gallery. A reception will be held at both locations on Friday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. The shows run through Jan. 7. 277-4001.
For four years now, environmental artists have put together an astonishing outdoor exhibit called The Land on a beautiful 25-acre site near Mountainair. This year's show is a little different. Interested parties are invited to pick up a CD of audio art at either La Montañita Coop (3500 Central SE) or Bound To Be Read (6300 San Mateo NE). Directions to the site are attached to the CD. Folks are advised to listen to this CD on their drive to the site to prep them for the amazing outdoor installations they will encounter. The Land is open to visitors on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31. This year's show explores the theme of death. 242-1501.