Slam competitions distinguish themselves from other poetry contests by giving equal weight to both writing and performing. In other words, they reward poets not only for what they say but also how they say it. Sometimes slight variations on the official rules are allowed, but here's how a slam typically works.
Credibility gap. On Sunday, July 31, an otherwise incoherent editorial in the Albuquerque Journal offered these words on Mayor Martin Chavez' attempt to ban alcohol at all-ages shows:
Do you know the classic definition of insanity? It goes like this: When something hasn't worked in the past, isn't working now, has no chance of working in the future, but it's repeated over and over again in the faint hope that maybe, just maybe, this time it might pan out—that's nuts.
Dateline: Italy—A woman has fallen prey to the oldest con in the book: phony birth control to guard against satanic impregnation by vampires. Sicilian police say a couple stole 50,000 euros (nearly $60,000) from a woman in Palermo after convincing her they were vampires who would impregnate her with the son of the antichrist if she did not pay them. For four years, a male cabaret singer and his girlfriend sold the woman pills they said would abort the antichrist's son. The pills cost the woman 3,000 euros each. According to local news agencies AGI and ANSA, police uncovered the fraud after the 47-year-old woman's family became concerned when they discovered she had spent all her savings.
Tromatic Events Reoccur—TromaDance New Mexico is now accepting submissions. Burning Paradise Video has once again teamed up with Troma Entertainment to bring back last year's successful three-day festival of low-to-no-budget genre filmmaking. The festival is scheduled to take place October 21-23 at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Legendary exploitation filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger, will attend the festivities. Local filmmakers are encouraged to submit short films/videos as well as features. Any genre is welcome and sex and violence need not be included (though they are certainly welcome). Deadline is October 1. For official rules and entry forms, log on to burningparadise.net or stop by Burning Paradise Video (800 Central SW).
Stella Blue is closed, potentially forever. Nob Hill's premier dead-head bar and live music venue shut its doors a week ago for one reason or another. If you know anything about Stella's disappearance, drop me a line.
Consider putting on Ya Ya Boom Project's Pink Insides before beginning any number of grueling tasks. Whether it's competing in a triathlon or pulling mysterious chunks of hair from your shower drain, Pink Insides will give you the burst of energy you need to complete your endeavor in no time. The record gets most of its mileage from Marisa Demarco's vibrato-heavy vocals that are two parts Gwen Stefani and one part Agent M from Tsunami Bomb. At its core, Pink Insides is a clunker-free album of immediately gratifying and resourceful pop music.
A new exhibit of photographs by Brianna Johnson opens this weekend at Pearls of the Antilles (3716 Central SE) with a party featuring live poetry and drumming. Pearls is a pan-African artist collective that recently opened at the east end of Nob Hill. Rock your little world at the reception this Friday, August 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. Runs through August 31. 315-5341.
If this ungodly summer heatwave makes you want to scream, look no further than I Scream Ice Cream. Burque's newest ice cream shop is super kid-friendly with spill-indifferent concrete floors and tons of nostalgic fun for everyone. Kids are encouraged to adorn their ice cream with the help of "topping tokens," which they can pump into low-set gumball machines filled with fixings like crushed Oreo's, Jelly Bellies and Fruity Pebbles. It's even fun for grown-ups. The "ISIC Wall of Sound," for example, is an impressive wall-mounted collection of records from the '50s and '60s with everything from Hank Williams, Sr., to British invasion imports. Doodads aside, the coolest thing about the shop has got to be the ice cream. All 33 of their hard-packed flavors are made by Creamland, right here in New Mexico. We tried two of them (lime sherbet and butter-pecan), and they tasted remarkably fresh and sweet. ISIC also serves up shakes, splits and other specialty treats to order, and most are between $1 and $5. Cheap! ISIC is located in The Shops at Carlisle (at the intersection of Claremont and Carlisle, just north of the Super Wal-Mart). Call 888-9420 for hours.