Our Banana Republic. Politics can be a downright pitiful exercise in nepotism. In New Mexico, the latest obvious example was a bill sponsored at the Legislature by Reps Dan Silva and Kiki Saavedra that was championed by their sons, who both happened to be lobbyists for the cause.
City councilors began the April 4 meeting an hour early, shunted 14 bills to a land use meeting and slogged past the 10:30 p.m. deadline, but the last few weeks' backlog of bills just piled higher. The single thing councilors didn't discuss, having vented earlier at an afternoon press conference, was the current APD ruckus.
The Terry Schiavo tragedy just won't let go of my imagination. It is tempting to move on, to shift our focus, to look for the next public circus to distract ourselves from the painful truths opened by the still-fresh experience in Florida. But until we've teased out a few answers for ourselves, the contradictions are too extreme to set aside comfortably.
Dateline: Louisiana—Rapper C-Murder, in jail for the 2002 murder of a teenager, has changed his stage name because he thinks he is misunderstood. “I am not a murderer,” the rapper, whose real name is Corey Miller, said in a statement released last Tuesday. According to his publicist, Giovanni Melchiorre of New York-based Koch Records, the incarcerated musician will now go by the name of C Miller. “People hear the name C-Murder and they don't realize that the name simply means that I have seen many murders in my native Calliope projects neighborhood,” the rapper explained. The state of Louisiana disagrees, however. Miller was convicted of second-degree murder Sept. 30, 2003, in the death of Steve Thomas, 16, a fan of the rapper who was shot inside a nightclub in the New Orleans suburb of Harvey. Miller faces a mandatory life sentence without parole. Earlier this month, a state appeals court upheld Miller's conviction. His defense lawyer, Ron Rakosky, has said he will appeal to the state Supreme Court.
CineQuixote—The National Hispanic Cultural Center in conjunction with Instituto Cervantes will present a screening of Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about Terry Gilliam's aborted attempt to film Cervantes' classic novel. The screening will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at NHCC's Wells Fargo Auditorium (1701 Fourth Street NW). Entrance is free and open to the public.
It's been a tough scene for our blues guys and gals ever since Club Rhythm & Blues closed its doors for good, taking one of the best open mics in town right along with them. But if there's a silver lining to be found here, it's that artists like Michael Holt are strengthening their own scene from the roots up. Holt and his Hollywood Holt Band host a new weekly open mic just for blues and R&B performers at Ned's Downtown. The Wednesday night showcase is a step up from traditional blues jams, with a nice stage, a full sound setup and professional live mixing. Holt says his motivation springs from when he first cut his blues teeth at open mics under the tutelage of Darin Goldston, front man of the Memphis P. Tails. “They say you've got to give it away if you want to keep it, and this is my way of giving it back.”
By the time he'd reached the ripe old age of 23, Connecticut-bred pianist Kevin Hays had already toured for a year with the Harper Brothers, worked with Joshua Redman and Benny Golson to name but a few, and waxed his first record as a leader, El Matador (Evidence). Considering that most of us spend the period of our "professional" lives between college graduation and the age of 25 spinning in the wind, Hays' comparative beeline toward the pinnacle of post-bop piano craft stands as an even more miraculous feat. And just wait until you hear him play.
Wednesday, April 20; UNM Sub Mall (all ages, noon): The Slow Signal Fade's exotic and dark vocals are what make them stand out from the pack. The Los Angeles-based group formed in 2002 and in a short amount of time have managed to craft a polished sound and, from what I've heard, a stellar stage performance.
She's only 19 and she's co-written her debut CD, Chain Letter. About half of the CD sounds like any number of female R&B/pop artists on the market, but Valentine takes a few risks and rises above the countless others with some mesmerizing and distinguishing hits. Songs like "I Want U Dead" and "Blah Blah Blah" have distinctive beats, while the music is hauntingly aggressive, not blatant slap-
I can't say I'm thrilled with their goofy new name, but who cares, really? Their latest show is better than ever.
Who wants to have dinner with Amy Goodman, co-host of Pacifica Radio's “Democracy Now”? Goodman will be in Santa Fe this week with East Timor native and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta for a discussion on peace and democracy in general, and East Timor in particular. The discussion, called a Peace Jam, takes place at St. John's College on Saturday, April 16. Twenty lucky lefties will join Goodman for an intimate late afternoon dinner before the Peace Jam. New Mexico's KUNM 89.9 FM is distributing the 20 tickets through an auction held on their website, www.kunm.org. The minimum bid is $125, but a bid of $1,000 will automatically win you a seat at the table. The dinner, including food, wine and very lively conversation, will take place in a private dining room, the location of which will only be disclosed to auction winners. Proceeds from the auction all go to benefit KUNM. Tickets for the Peace Jam cost between $12 and $20. Call the Lensic Box Office at (505) 988-1234 for tickets and information.
Anticipation makes everything more exciting, doesn't it? We've all been excitedly awaiting the opening of Crazy Fish, the much-hyped sushi restaurant in Nob Hill (3015 Central NE, 232-3474, next to the Lobo Theater). Owner and sushi Chef Seigo Ono, a former Albuquerque resident, came back to open his own place after a decade away. The lunch menu is accessible and affordably priced, with selections like the teriyaki salmon lunch box ($6.95): salmon served with miso soup, rice, salad or stir-fried vegetables. Other options include calamari salad ($6.25) and a barbecued eel bowl ($7.25). At dinner the menu is more exciting but not that much more expensive. A starter of edamame will run you $3.50 and creamy Asian mushroom udon pasta is $10.50. There's also a full sushi bar. Stop in and try it out. Let us know what you think.