Hardy har-har. Oh, God, it's so painful. On New Year's Day, the Albuquerque Journal published their Cowchip Awards, an "annual rundown of the weird, wacky and only-in-New Mexico stories of the past year." What's "wacky" is that they gave a cowchip award to Dr. Sam Slishman of Endorphin Power Company—the same guy we named an “Albuquerque All Star” one week earlier.
The Albuquerque Journal took aim at the Planned Growth Strategy (or PGS) recently in a three-part series that explored the explosion of growth outside Albuquerque. Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties have seen their populations double since 1980 while Bernalillo County has only (only!) had a 33 percent increase, according to the paper.
Dateline: Russia—Russian lawyer Vladimir Osipiv has staked a claim on all the world's clouds. According to reports in the Russian media, Osipiv has now posted a legal claim to the world's clouds in 150 separate nations. The 48-year-old lawyer is hoping that he can sell the clouds to environmentalists, who will then take legal action against governments that allow clouds to be polluted. Osipiv is using the same law that allowed an American man to claim the moon. In 1980, Dennis Hope staked a claim on the moon and has since sold plots of land there to more than two million people. “It is probably incomprehensible for the vast majority of people that clouds can be privatized,” said Osipiv. “However, I am absolutely sure that I will get support both in Russia and in the international community.”
Closet Celebration—Closet Cinema, Albuquerque's foremost promoter of gay and lesbian film and founder of the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, will be hosting its first ever winter benefit on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The benefit will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Laru Ni Hati (3413 Central Ave. NE). There will be a Cuban buffet feast and a cash bar courtesy of Café Cubano. There will also be lots of great prize giveaways from assorted participating businesses. Following the party, there will be a screening of the Sundance Film Fest favorite Tarnation next door at the Guild Cinema. The film documents the tumultuous life of writer/
If you happen to read the Alibi blog, “Nerdstream,” on our website, then you already know that long-time collector and specialty mainstay Merlin's Record Workshop shut down two weeks ago, in the same seven-day period in which 103.3 The Zone, owned by Citadel Communications, suddenly and without warning became 103.3 FReD FM. Visit www.alibi.com for more information. ... Local labels Socyermom Records and Little Kiss Records will pit a pair of bands on each of their rosters “against” each other on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Launchpad in a rock battle. See this week's “Lucky 7” calendar for all the details. ... I have it on reliable authority that local space rock faves The Oktober People will soon be invited to participate in and represent Albuquerque at this year's South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. No word yet on the several other local bands that registered, but I promise to keep you posted. ... For those of you full of hate and pent-up aggression, you can donate it at the Launchpad on Saturday, Jan. 15, as Misery Signals, Remembering Never, Emery and Eighteen Visions are scheduled to set up more than a few stacks of Marshall and Mesa-Boogie amplifiers with which to implode your eardrums. ... That same night, Santa Fe's 100 Year Flood will rock you out of holiday hibernation at the Paramount with special guests No Address at 9 p.m.
Pictures From the Street (Asphalt-Tango)
Preconceptions of accordion music as hokey or limited vanish upon playing this mind-opening disc. Featuring original compositions by members of Poland's Motion Trio, the music ranges from uptempo, high-spirited affairs to others that bubble along in a manner reminiscent of Nino Rota's music for Fellini.
Former Apricot Jam co-frontman Lewi Longmire's debut solo album is as much a revelation as it is a blast from the past. Longmire's songwriting has grown leaps and bounds since the AJ days, encompassing classic country music that's steeped in Jerry Jeff Walker and full of that good ol' Charley Pride. And with a band that includes the immense—and sorely missed—talents of Caleb Miles (A Murder of Crows) and Chris Hutton (Venus Diablo), Longmire's significant gains in the composition department are brought to vibrant, soulful, epic and oft times heartwrenching fruition. Albuquerque's painful loss is once again Portland's gain.
Can you smell the sweet scent of testosterone wafting through the clear winter air? Then you must be Downtown on Fourth Street. Follow the smell to the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW) for the He Show, an exhibit of work by New Mexican photographers, all of whom happen to be male. The show, which just went up last week, features innovative images by some very talented photographers such as Barry McCormick, Steve Malavolta, David Ondrik, Lincoln Draper, Pat Berrett, Kip Malone, Rick Scibelli, Wes Naman, Benjamin Winters and Steve Bromberg. The center is located at 105 Fourth Street SW. For details, call 242-1983.
The dining room at Monte Vista Fire Station has closed and will reopen in a few weeks as Gruet Steakhouse and Wine Bar. This is a little confusing, so pay attention, OK? See, the building (at Central and Monte Vista) is owned by Kerry Raynor and his partners, who include Ski Martin, the owner of the Owl Café on Eubank NE. (A few weeks ago, I interviewed Ski because he had partnered with Frank Marcello, of Copeland's and Zea Grill, on another Owl Café location in The Shops at I-25!) Raynor had been approached a number of times by people who wanted to put their own restaurants in his building, and always refused. It was a combination of events that finally made him change his mind.