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.
At the crowded March 21 meeting, Councilor Craig Loy's ordinance setting fines for drivers running red lights passed, as did Councilor Tina Cummins' ordinance bringing Albuquerque residential building codes in line with water conservation standards now required by state codes. During public comment, nine representatives of city unions spoke about the Labor Relations Board "taking years" to decide cases and said the city had a double standard in treatment for workers and management.
In its final hours before adjournment, the 2005 session of the New Mexico Legislature completed action on a comprehensive election reform measure and sent it to the governor. The measure received no Republican support; not a single senator or representative from the minority party voted in favor of it, but it passed nonetheless.
Dateline: England—Breed animals, lose your dead mother-in-law. Five animal rights extremists were arrested for digging up and stealing the remains of an 82-year-old woman to protest an animal breeding farm in England. A 32-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were seized at a house in Gloucester, while at the same time three men were stopped by police in their car in Newchurch. Staffordshire police had spent five months investigating the desecration of Gladys Hammond's grave in St. Peter's Churchyard in Yoxall, Staffs. Detectives believe the dead woman's remains were stolen in protest against a farm in nearby Newchurch run by Mrs. Hammond's son-in-law, Chris Hall, who breeds guinea pigs for medical research. The arrests followed a series of anonymous letters, suggesting that those responsible might finally be willing to return the body. Detective Chief Inspector Nick Baker declined to say whether that involved any kind of deal, such as the guinea pig farm closing. Animal rights activists have picketed Mr. Hall's business at Darley Oaks Farm for nearly six years.
King for a Night—In conjunction with the Taos Picture Show, taking place this very weekend, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will present a special screening of the film King of the Corner on Friday, April 1. The film's director/
Feels Like Sunday's Nate Smith will begin work on his second Albuquerque compilation this month. The project, Rock Outside the Box Vol. II, is shaping up to be an ambitious follow up to 2003's Vol. 1., which featured 14 tracks from as many bands. The new album will draw heavily from an original roster that included Unit 7 Drain, Foma, Oktober People, Hit by a Bus and Ki. My source hinted that the number of bands may climb in to the low 20s ... perhaps warranting a double disc? Huzzah! If you're still hungry for hot local action, keep your eyes peeled on www.KronikIndustries.com. The production team that brought us Fast Heart Mart's documentary film Arrhythmia is rumored to have a DVD compilation in the works. Nothing's confirmed though. In the meantime, a whole lot of Burque bands can look forward to schlepping back and forth to Santa Fe's Stepbridge Studios, where they'll lay down tracks for Rock Outside the Box.
To guitar aficionados and jazz junkies, the man needs no introduction. For those unfamiliar with his exploits over the last 20-plus years, here's a recap. At the ripe old age of 19, he was tapped by piano virtuoso Chick Corea to join the now legendary fusion supergroup Return to Forever. Dimeola not only held his own alongside such jazz heavyweights as Corea, Lenny White and Stanley Clarke, but went on to make his own brand of Latin/jazz/rock solo albums that set the music world on fire. Over the course of his first five albums, Dimeola was voted Guitar World Magazine's Guitarist of the Year so often they retired him from the category.
This 21-track greatest hits release comes to us from one of pop's most prolific and shapeshifting bands in recent memory. Spanning a decade of EPs, this collection is an excellent starting point for the new SFA listener. Have no fear: included for the seasoned connoisseur are a few obscure, early and hard-to-locate tracks. Pulling influence from everything from The Beach Boys to Brian Eno, this collection is a fairly accurate core sample of what SFA is trying to accomplish as a creative entity. You may need a Welsh translator for some of the track titles, though.
At the 10 a.m. matinee, I found myself floating in the middle of a noisy sea of high schoolers from Cibola and West Mesa. Yikes! Modern experimental theater isn't easy for a lot of adults to handle. For most high school kids, it seems like an experience close to torture.
Book freaks, take heed! The 14th Annual Albuquerque Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at UNM's Continuing Education Center (1634 University NE, 291-9653) this Friday, April 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers say this is the biggest antiquarian book sale in the state. In addition to books on everything from cooking to history to the occult, you'll also find maps, plates, photographs, prints and various other bookish ephemera. The event is a benefit for the library at the university's Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Admission is $6 for both days, or $2 if you plan on only attending Saturday, when all the best stuff will have already been nabbed.
This recipe is by Paula Wolfort, the author of a book called Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. Wolfort got the recipe from Aziza ben Tanfous, curator of the Sidi Zitouni Museum on the island of Jerba, who learned it from her grandmother. It was published in a more recent book, Mediterranean Cooking. You probably don't have a couscous steamer at home, but feel free to use a bamboo or aluminum steamer lined with a layer of cheesecloth. It'll work almost as well.