When Frank Gilmer says he has "a feel for Albuquerque and my neighborhood," he might be underestimating the power of his institutional memory. Mr. Gilmer is a deacon at the First Baptist Church on the corner of Broadway and Central, which sits across the street from the retired Albuquerque High School, whence he sprang as a member of the class of '46. He'll tell you about the days when Broadway was the main commercial street in the city, with its parallel access to the bustling railyards and medians plush with grass and shade trees. He remembers the fountain in the middle of the Broadway and Central intersection, placed there for thirsty horses providing transport along Route 66 in the dust bowl days of the Great Depression.
A Tale of Two Editorials. On Monday morning, I had the great misfortune of receiving two editorials in an e-mail, side-by-side, regarding the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as our next attorney general. The contrast was striking.
Dateline: Michigan—Tony J. Young wasn't about to lose his customized 2003 Ford Mustang Coupe for a second time, so when he found the person who stole it, he grabbed it and held on for dear life. Young noticed his car had been stolen after he woke up at a friend's house last Thursday morning. While getting a ride to work, Young spotted his beloved car at a stop sign and clamped on. As soon as Young grabbed the dark gray car's rear spoiler, the thief hit the gas, and took the 35-year-old owner on a chase through the snowy streets of Flint. Despite speeds that reached up to 80 mph, Young held fast, even managing to pull out his cell phone and dial 911. City 911 dispatcher Holly Wilson encouraged Young to let go of the car. “Sir, you can get another vehicle,” Wilson noted. Fearing that letting go of the vehicle at such high speeds might kill him, Wilson held on, announcing streets signs to police as they whizzed by. At one point, Young announced that he had just passed downtown Flint's police station. Flint police eventually caught up with the car and gave chase, along with Genesee County Sheriff's deputies and state troopers. Young lost his cell phone, though, when the Mustang made its way on to Interstate 475. “It got scary toward the end,” Young told The Flint Journal, “People on the expressway were tripping.” The chase finally came to an end when the thief stopped the car and fled on foot. He was caught about 10 minutes later. Amazingly, Young escaped the incident uninjured-
Big Stink—The locally made zombie flick The Stink of Flesh, written and directed by Scott Phillips, has finally been picked up for nationwide distribution. The film will be released by Tempe Entertainment on a special edition DVD, set to hit store shelves May 24. U.K. distribution will follow shortly thereafter, meaning Scott's Stink will now be seen (smelled?) around the world. If you caught the film last year at one of its sold-out screenings at the Guild Cinema, there are plenty of reasons to pick up this new version. The special edition DVD will feature tons of groovy extras, including the “making of” documentary, outtakes, a 5.1 SurroundSound mix, a bunch of cool shorts and two feature-length cast and crew commentaries (including yours truly, who appears in the film as the unseemly soldier Lt. Vega). For updates on this and other trashy horror flicks, log on to www.tempevideo.com.
Time this week for another installment of Gen'esis for the Arts. On Saturday, Jan. 22, the celebration will take place at El Rey Theater and Pucinni's Golden West Saloon, and it'll include live music by sometimes Dave Matthews sideman and virtuoso guitarist Tim Reynolds, Jenny Gamble, Twenty 5 South, Feels Like Sunday, Rage Against Martin Sheen, The Blue Room, Buddha Betties, Shiva, Mike G, Scarlett's Playdo and so many others I simply don't have space to mention. Call 242-2353 for more information and advance tickets. ... While Alibi Spring Crawl still seems pretty far off, the calls and e-mails are already starting to come in seeking information on how to “apply for” or get booked into the event. So once again, here's the standard, honest answer: There is no application process. We do not require demo tapes or take into consideration that you once opened for Quiet Riot at the Bennigan's St. Patrick's Day Bash. So forget all that. Each participating venue provides us with a “wish list” of bands they want to play in their respective rooms. From those lists, we book 95 percent of the Crawl slots. So you'd better get out and play some gigs Downtown, share bills with better-known bands and endear yourselves to venue owners and talent buyers so they'll ask for you by name. After all, if the Crawls don't work for the venues, they don't work at all. So book, promote, play and make your band as visible on Central and Gold between First and Seventh streets as possible.
Not a single manmade musical instrument exists that can be as colorful, inspiring and versatile as the human voice. Granted, such a voice is rare and must be capable of conveying intense emotion coupled with pristine melodies, harmonies and the subtle nuances that amount to the difference between fine singers and enormously gifted artists. Multiply that formula by six and you've got Sweet Honey in the Rock. Simply put, they sound like a miracle—a cappella angels who adorn their songs with brilliantly colored wings, giving them flight and then sending them soaring overhead in a rush of fantastic harmony and reverent soul.
Canadian-born Harry Manx sounds as if he grew up simultaneously on the Mississippi Delta and the banks of the Ganges, which is actually pretty close to the truth. After spending five years in India becoming a master of the mohan veena, a 20-stringed cross between a sitar and a guitar, Manx returned to Vancouver and set about the business of melting the blues of the South and traditional Indian music in the same pot. The result on his latest disc is a lazy afternoon blues sound that's colored with the vivid hues and spirituality of world music. Subtle, but amazing.
It's been a hugely successful experiment that hopefully will be repeated for many years to come. New Mexico Books & More is a co-op that was located in the Cottonwood Mall during the holiday shopping season. Operated entirely by volunteers, the store sold books exclusively from and about New Mexico. According to the organizers, the co-op ended up selling more than 3,400 volumes in 40 days. Not too bad, eh? To make matters even better, the store will be donating much of its profits to local literacy groups. For details, call 344-9382.