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.
The Alibi's 14th Annual Haiku Contest
As summer heads for the highway with its slimy pink tail tucked between its trembling legs, Albuquerqueans have several causes for consolation. The soul-crushing heat is finally over. The brats are finally back in school. The giant watery brown serpent that winds through the center of our city will soon be rimmed with bright golden cottonwoods. Best of all, though, you're holding the Alibi's annual haiku contest in your hands, and that's reason enough to celebrate.
The talent on display this year is almost as mind-boggling as the vast quantity of entries we received from all over the country, with a few coming in from foreign lands. I hope you enjoy reading the winners and honorable mentions half as much as we enjoyed judging the contest. Special Alibi Haiku Command Unit 56-1A—made up of Christie Chisholm, Jessica Cassyle Carr, Laura Marrich and myself—labored for several agonizing days over the submissions. I think you'll be pleased with the results, and if you aren't, then whining, as usual, will get you nowhere.
Finally, special thanks to Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, 344-8139), the District (Fourth Street and Copper, 243-0003), Ralli's (Fourth Street and Central, 243-1093) and the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE, 255-1848) for sponsoring this year's contest.
A couple more Republican presidential administrations, and there won't be any more nature worth haikuing about. So enjoy it while it lasts! Grand Imperial Mistress of Haiku Gail Miller gets a $25 gift certificate to Bookworks, a $20 certificate to the District and two passes to the Guild Cinema for a haiku that I suppose could best be labeled neotraditional. Whatever you call it, it's a beauty.
The rain falls in code—
Wet spidery penmanship
That demands cracking.
An empty can glides
Across shattered asphalt lots
Eight pigeons take flight
Over bleached salt flats
Ten blackbirds flapping north change
To a tar-smoke cloud
Strands of green kelp, locked
In late tide's rock pool, bracelet
Arms of a red star
A leaf falls, twig snaps
I think about winter air
Frogs freezing in mud
Oranges tossed upon
A river after New Year:
Souls or good fortune?
Late frost fingers pinch
Buds, plump like ladies' bottoms,
Blue where pink belongs.
—Janet S. Harris
Albuquerque has a reputation for being a gritty, down and dirty sort of town—just the sort of town, in other words, to inspire delectable haiku. Rhoda Kunin tells us that, to be fully appreciated, her winning haiku must be recited in the accent of a Transylvanian vampire. She wins a $40 certificate to Ralli's and two passes to the Guild Cinema.
I suppose it's to be expected that the only cheerful haiku we received in this category came from unemployed poets. Working can suck. No doubt about it. Hell, even I know that, and I work at the Alibi, which is a crazy, fun-park, merry-go-round of unadulterated orgiastic bliss compared to most jobs out there. (I once got a foot rub and wrote an article about it. You call that work? Please.) John L. Orman's grotesque haiku wins hands down (yeah, pun intended). He gets a $40 certificate to the District and two passes to the Guild Cinema.
Crank up wood chipper—
Full day of hacking up bark.
Blood! Look ma, no hands!
—John L. Orman
Telephones scream like
Wailing children with flashing
fluorescent light bones
Smells bad I'm greasy
My boss is a fat weenie
I hate Schnitzelhut
When you work down in
the bowels of the brown earth—
dark, deep shit happens.
—John L. Orman
For me to hate my
Job would require me to seek
What is it about the humble fish stick that's capable of inspiring such a lyrical outpouring of insight into the human experience? Honestly, I'm not quite sure. All you've got to do is wave a thawed finger of breaded substandard fish in front of mediocre poets and suddenly they're spouting rapid-fire liquid verse like Shakespeare on amphetamines. Go figure. Gail Miller wins a $40 certificate to Ralli's and two passes to the Guild Cinema. We don't know what the heck her haiku means, but we love it anyway. Sue us.
In his wax canoe
Fish Stick glides through polar ice
While Eskimos weep.
A fish stick is like
A British man: pasty white
With a crusty shell.
Not my specialty, but they're
Neither fish nor sticks
I hate the sweet ooze
that comes out of burnt fish sticks.
What the hell is it?
Went to the river
Dropped my line in the water
No fish sticks in there
I wonder if fish
Ever thought of human sticks?
Or is that just gross?
From sea to the mold
More stick than a fish
A lot of fish sticks
Going to eat all of them
Not going to share
We got a lot of variations on the old "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs" chestnut from high school typing class. Good golly, you people are lazy. Come on—this is a literary contest. We're looking for some freakin' originality, people. Leslie Rottach's haiku packed the most punch. (I think I'm going to rename my band Expunge the Jackal.) She wins a $40 certificate to the District and two passes to the Guild Cinema.
Vote counts fade from view
Zoos require mob rule they say
Expunge the jackal!
Black xylophone quail jumper
A raw Dresden fugue
—Randy Stogsdill and Abby Dozier
Jacques' xylophone shack.
Crazy markdowns! Free french fries.
Save big at "Le Shack."
I sure hope I'm wrong about this, but it looks like we're in for a long bloody haul that will only result in a lot more hatred toward our nation and make our country a lot less safe from terrorists. Nice work, George. Sue McGilpin encapsulated the situation best. For that, she gets a $40 certificate to Ralli's and two passes to the Guild Cinema.
Spiral from the highest branch.
To fight about what
Half wants to happen and half
Do not; it's called war
—Lauren Henn (sixth grader, Sandia Prep)
Children's corpses rot
In calculated rubble.
No child left behind?
Waging war for oil:
Making the rich get richer
While the poor get killed.
—Tommi Lin Tejeda
We lied to invade,
Now we are stuck in Iraq!
Will we lie to leave?
Near Mosul: churning the bones
Of murdered infants
Wreck Iraq for fun.
Like the father, like the son
Buy oil and sell guns.
This category seemed harmless enough when we first thought of it. Somehow, though, it ended up being enormously disturbing. Perhaps the most disturbing haiku of all was Liz' winning entry. For her creeped-out honesty, she'll receive a $40 certificate to the District and two passes to the Guild Cinema.
He bought me ice cream
Like a dentist treating me
For being so still
We discovered each
Other like strange lands—we saw,
We conquered; he came.
—Erin M. Daughtrey
Dumb and sweet, we were
amateurs softly cruising
Passion on high, brain on low
Baby on the way
Fear—not of the dark—
But of the Virgin Mary
Being real pissed off.
Tell us what you think of us in 17 syllables. No, really, we want to know. Don't hold back. Don't kiss our butts. We're much less insecure than we might seem. We got heaping hymns of praise along with plenty of haiku scorn. Steve Bishop seemed to best capture the essence of the Alibi, so he gets the prize, a $40 certificate to Ralli's and two passes to the Guild Cinema. (By the way, who's Dennis D. O'Leary? That name sure sounds familiar.)
So very much time,
And so many typewriters.
The monkeys did it.
I do not believe
The semi-nude wrestler is
Officer, I swear
I wrote haiku that whole night.
Check the Alibi.
Want the juiciest stories?
Try the Alibi.
—Devin Hight (Albuquerque High student)
I dream of sleeping
With Dennis D. O'Leary
And wake up screaming
—Kelsey Atherton (Albuquerque High student)
Oh, dear Alibi
Where would I be without you?
Most likely prison.
—Kelsey Atherton (Albuquerque High student)
I missed the last Crawl.
Please, put advertisement near
This Modern World.
Ignoring my poems since
My vote for scariest farm animal is certainly the goat, yet for whatever reason I'm also oddly attracted to our voracious, horned friends in much the same way churchgoing good girls are attracted to big smelly bikers. Oh, goat, you're soooooo bad. My daddy wouldn't like you at all. Elaine Almquist's goat poem was the best entry in a very competitive category. She wins a $40 certificate to Ralli's and two passes to the Guild Cinema.
When I was a kid
A billy goat ate my belt
And my pants fell down.
The old horse took my
Fingers between his teeth, held
Tight, licked off the cheese.
Oh God! That donkey
Is humping his mom again.
Please, spare the children.
Psycho tom turkey
Has messed up your mind
Two-ton hog cornered
A full grown man and ate him
Least that's what I heard
Bad-ass male turkey,
Running full speed at my junk!
Who wouldn't be scared?
Goats I fear the most
They work with the government
To keep taaabs on me
What doesn't he know?
Black eyed, sentient sausage.
He judges and shames.
A methane build-up,
A lit match. Moo, moo, KABOOM!
Hey, it could happen.
A goat chewed off my
Pants, I walked home in a great
deal of discomfort
—Chadwick Reinicke (sixth grader, Sandia Prep)
Ah, miscellaneous. You win us over with your worldliness. You seduce us with your sophistication. You charm us with your wit. Gail Miller won this category, too. (That's got to be some kind of Alibi Haiku Contest record.) For that, she gets a $40 certificate to Ralli's and two passes to the Guild Cinema.
Oscar Wilde's gravestone
Is frescoed in red lip prints,
Not flowers, but breath.
Damn thee, vile haiku:
Poetry's cheap whore.
This haiku knows it's
A haiku. It wants schnitzel.
It hates being so short.
If a cat laughed jazz
In a 3 a.m. gin joint,
Would anyone hear?
Butter flies downward
Off the knife towards the floor
Avoiding the toast
Bum steps in my path
He tries to sell me a watch
Given up on time
10 sunflower seeds.
100 hungry sparrows.
I don't want to watch.
Way overdue for a bath
Pays fare in pennies.
—Brian K. Hansen
I know two poems,
One is "the road not taken,"
The other isn't.
The first insect bike
Race, my kitchen's Tour de Ants
Leading ... Ants Armstrong
—Jarrett Stotts (sixth grader, Sandia Prep)
No more messes or ouchies,
Old guys can use them!
—Travis Shepherd (sixth grader, Sandia Prep)
"Euphoria" and Pulse Part Ways—New Mexico's premier gothic and industrial dance party is moving on to darker pastures, so to speak. Promoter Brad Cole says that after several years at Pulse Nightclub, "Euphoria" has been dissolved, renamed and relocated to Downtown's OPM Nightclub. The move is being engineered by Cole and resident DJs Kentifyr and Church, all of whom are deeply rooted in Albuquerque's gothic and industrial scene. And like a macabre phoenix risen from its own jet-black ashes, "this night has already gone through many types of incarnations and names, and no two are ever the same," Cole says. "It's always a little different, which is a good thing."
with Racine & Kreyol
Saturday, Sept. 10; El Rey Theatre (21-and-older): Tiempo Libre plays the type of music that makes you feel justified for spending hours with your partner taking Latin dance classes. As Tiempo's unabashedly piquant brass and layered percussion invades your eardrums, you'll want to know the proper maneuvers when your waist (through no fault of your own) starts winding this-way-and-that. If you do not have the necessary training, don't be surprised if your hips feel like shit in the morning. Tiempo plays a unique style of Cuban music called timba, which differentiates itself from most other forms of Latin music by using a full drum set, as well as the more traditional congas and timbales, to form the rhythm section. The band's latest release, Arroz Con Mango, proves the band can go low-key by utilizing lounge-ish keyboard and cooled-out percussion. The primo Tiempo cuts, however, are filled to capacity with complex arrangements and frenzied tempos that can't help but elevate your mood. Tiempo's distinctive authenticity (which stems from the fact that each of the band's seven members are originally from Cuba) has cultivated a following in such unexpected places as Southeast Asia. As for the fear of not having the right moves on the dance floor, Tiempo's bandleader and pianist Jorge Gomez offered some comforting words to the Chicago Tribune: "We're just trying to encourage people to get up and feel free; that's the secret of timba." Just bring a few ICY HOT Sleeves™ to the show and you should be fine. Call 249-7638 for ticket information.
with The Deathray Davies and The Mindy Set
Monday, Sept. 12; The Launchpad (21-and-older), $8: After a six-year hiatus, The Posies found themselves in a recording studio in February of 2004 with three weeks to put together a full-length release. The fruits of their labor came in the form of 2005's Every Kind of Light, a beautifully crafted, 12-song LP with a level of quality that gives no indication of the album's rushed construction. EKOL most definitely does not leave the band's past work in the dust. But The Posies are careful to avoid the treacherous path traveled by some bands that erroneously cling to a past that no longer holds any creative nectar (I'm looking at you, Sonic Youth). The band takes the playfully distraught tone of Nada Surf, and combines it with Elliot Smith-ish vocals and Weezer-esque guitar to produce eccentric tracks that never lose their pop presence. The Posies are the type of musical outfit that would get their fair share of radio play if we had more than one decent goddamn radio station in this state (KUNM can only carry so much of the burden). But never mind the lack of airtime; your chance to hear The Posies live arrives on Monday. The 21-and-older show at the Launchpad will also feature Albuquerque's The Mindy Set, whose songs should complement The Posies new, more indie sound quite nicely.
Country riffs and ballads about pretty girls, combined with '60s pop percussion and organs, create an atmosphere like that of a dance in the old high school gym. When Johnny can't muster the courage to ask Suzy to put her back into it—er, shake a leg—he huffs off to his '48 Buick to take a few swigs of hooch. Later at Inspiration Point, Johnny gets to first base. Way to go, Johnny! The Volebeats hail from Detroit, have singer/guitarist Matthew Smith in common with Outrageous Cherry and have been making country-esque pop rock since 1988. With their simplicity, lo-fi recording and tales of romantic triumph, Like Her is both nifty and swell.
Why the hell isn't your band's flyer here? Because you didn't post one up at alibi.com/ads, like the Ya Ya Boom Project did. They're playing an over-21 show this Saturday, Sept. 10, at Burt's with the Bellmont and the Giranimals. (LM)
Actually, for it to really be shocking, I'd have to chop your head off
While Alice Cooper really needs no introduction, the rockstar-golfer-radio personality-sportsbar owner is still alive and purveying blood and guts in front of live audiences around the world. He and his guillotine will be visiting Albuquerque this week, and recently the Alibi was allocated 15 minutes to speak with him. Welcome to our nightmare.
The proposed Wal-Mart on Wyoming and Menaul heats up the District 7 race
Wal-Mart carries with it three reputations in Albuquerque: It has really low prices, pays really low wages and every time they put in a new one, it causes quite a stir. At least when it comes to this last generality, the proposed Supercenter on Wyoming and Menaul proves to be no exception. Only this time, Wal-Mart is shaking up more than the local neighborhoods, it's wedging its way right into the District 7 race for City Council.
The horror, devastation and misery of Hurricane Katrina cannot be escaped. My wife and I sit riveted in front of the television screen watching astounding images as an incredible, beautiful and very special American city, a place we had grown to love, full of people we know and care for as friends, is literally erased from existence.
Money, money, money in the mayor's race
With this mayoral election, lil' Albuquerque has caught up to many larger cities. Maybe it's a rite of passage in graduating from "cow town with a dollop of sleaze," as one national magazine described us in the '80s, to a spot on the "best of" lists of Forbes and Money. But unlike other milestones in our city's history, we should leave this one out of our Tricentennial celebrations.
Dateline: Hungary—A district mayor in Budapest has proposed a strict new dress code for City Hall employees, which would allow only women with “pretty legs” to wear short skirts. Gyorgy Mitnyan, the conservative mayor of the city's 12th district, is also trying to ban skirts that are shorter than 2-3 centimeters (one inch) above the knee. Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky called the proposal simply “crass.” Demszky issued a statement to the Hungarian state news agency MTI, dismissing Mitnyan's “pretty legs” proposal. “I flatly reject the idea in the name of City Hall, which employs hundreds of women workers,” he said. The proposal is nevertheless scheduled for debate this week.
The readers write.
Architecture on Screen—As part of Albuquerque's ongoing Tricentennial celebration, the city is sponsoring a night of short film screenings at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. September has been named Architecture Month, so the city has teamed with the American Institute of Architects-New Mexico to present “In Focus: Architecture in Film.” The screening will consist of three short documentaries, each concentrating on one of the architecture world's most famous figures. Antonio Gaudi (designer of Barcelona's Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia), Frank Lloyd Wright (designer of Pennsylvania's Falling Water) and Frank Geary (designer of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles) are the three subjects. The films are simple introductions to and interviews with the subjects at hand, so an advanced knowledge of architecture is not necessary--just an appreciation of beautiful buildings. Yours truly, Alibi's humble film editor, will be on hand to introduce the films and to give a (decidedly) uneducated perspective on the proceedings. The screening starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. The event is free and open to the public. Call 260-0571 for more info.
Laura Linney is “Perry Mason: Paranormal Litigator”
After a summer of stultifyingly formulaic films, it rests on the shoulders of the fall movie season to provide some relief. To give credit where credit is due, writer/director Scott Derrickson (writer of Urban Legends: Final Cut, director of Hellraiser: Inferno and lover of colons) has come up with an arguably original idea--namely, the world's first courtroom horror drama. Instead of the hoped-for Reese's Peanut Butter Cup combination of chocolate and peanut butter, however, Derrickson's film ends up as an unholy mixture of oil and water.
Eye-opening look behind the Bamboo Curtain shows North Koreans just want to dance, dance, dance
According to President George W. Bush, North Korea is a founding member of the Axis of Evil. Aside from that rather broadly unhelpful description, what do we as Westerners know about the country? Well, not much, really.
Hurricane Katrina around the dial
Admit it. You treat The Weather Channel like one of those ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends you look up once a year when you're desperately horny and looking for a booty call. You never even think twice about The Weather Channel. OK, maybe you'll flip past it when you're going on vacation--just for a second to see if you need long or short sleeves. Other than that, you ignore it completely. Until a hurricane shows up. And then you're glued to it like weather porn.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
Worldly Art—The Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW) has put together an ambitious exhibit consisting entirely of artists from Korea—53 of them, to be exact. The Downtown art space will host the exhibit through the end of the month. For details, call 242-1983.
Don't lend Chad Person any money. The UNM art graduate has created arresting images from shredded American dollar bills. An exhibit featuring some of his latest work opens at the Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW) this Friday, Sept. 9, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Person explores the spirituality of material goods and the American obsession with monetary wealth and material accumulation. Friday also marks the one-year anniversary of the Donkey Gallery, so there's an added reason to celebrate. For details, call 242-7504.
The Adobe Theater presents Comedie of Erors (yes, it's intentionally misspelled), a comedy by William Shakespeare running Sept. 9 through Oct. 2. Directed by Rick Wiles, the play explores identity theft among two pairs of twins. They unknowingly come upon each other in the same town after years of separation. Chaotic multiple-identity madness ensues. The Adobe Theater is located at 9813 Fourth Street NW. For dates, times and ticket prices, call 898-9222.
The Albuquerque Slam Team
The children's eyes shimmer
Even after they realize
the world won't
An interview with Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves
Some people might say the women's health movement began with a book. It wasn't a particularly fancy document—no smooth pages filled with colored illustrations or shiny, plastic cover. But it was pivotal to the way that many women, over the last 35 years, would come to understand their bodies.
From Farm to Table—The New Mexico State Fair kicks into gear this weekend, and with it comes parking-lot green chile, Navajo tacos and batter-dipped novelty foods out the yin-yang (Twinkie-on-a-stick, anyone?). But you must not—cannot—step foot off the fairgrounds without a visit to the New Mexico Country Store, located in the Agriculture Building at Expo New Mexico. The store is an ephemeral courtyard market, organized by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and home to a statewide harvest of prized produce and cottage-industry products. It's the closest thing we've got to a culinary cross section of our state. Stop in for some apple-sweet onions or bag of blue corn-piñon pancake mix. You will not be disappointed.
"Where the %$@# is the Frenchman?" growled Black Dog, pacing in front of his half-built mushroom dryer. Last news we had, the Frenchman was near Watson Lake, Yukon. When the Frenchman drops off radar, it's usually because he's armpit-deep in morels. The Frenchman's absence was doubly disturbing to Black Dog, because we weren't.
Everything you need to know about this year's featured performances
If you've ever listened to KUNM's Sunday afternoon program "Singing Wire," you may have already heard Black Eagle. Since 1989, this Grammy award-winning group from the Pueblo of Jemez has been performing traditional and original Powwow songs in the Towa language.
Thirteen Acts. Five Continents. Two Men.
It's easy to get carried away when you talk to Tom Frouge and Neal Copperman. The two music promoters are easygoing, friendly and focused. They're also very big on ideas. So big, in fact, that they had the audacity to conceive, plan and execute the biggest "world music" event ever to grace an Albuquerque stage—all in the span of just nine months. It's an amazing feat. Still, organizing Globalquerque almost sounds easy once you get talking to them.
The possible sale of Westland Development may have far-reaching implications
It's not every day that someone sets about selling a city; or, at least, a potential city. It's also not every day that someone tries to sell a birthright. Yet, on the cusp of our very own metropolis, such a proposition is underway.
The City Council's special meeting on Aug. 22 adjourned in less than two hours so that councilors could attend the Rosary for slain APD officer Michael R. King.
Of all the lies the Bush administration has propagated, perhaps the most dangerous is the falsehood that we have no choice in Iraq right now; we simply have to stay the course. Our national honor, our security, our historic mission—they all demand it of us.
Proposal to staunch sale of alcohol at all-ages shows smells like a put-on
On the surface, it sounds like a reasonable plan. Mayor Martin Chavez wants to protect the children of Albuquerque from the "bad element" Downtown, so he asked the state Alcohol and Gaming Division to ban alcohol sales at all-age live music events hosted at bars like the Launchpad and Sunshine Theater and 18-and-over theme parties at the Colosseum nightclub.
Dateline: Thailand—Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is furious over news that one of his Cabinet ministers has had penis enlargement surgery. The allegations came from a woman who is being sued by a plastic surgery clinic for defamation after she claimed it gave her a face-disfiguring silicon injection. The woman, named Rawiwan Sitharat, claims that a prominent member of Shinawatra's Cabinet had received a penis enlargement injection at the same clinic and urged him to come forward as a witness for her defense. Sitharat held a press conference on the steps of Government House last Tuesday and said to the unnamed politician, “The problem with my face is bigger than the problem with your penis.” According to The Nation newspaper, Shinawatra demanded to know who had the manhood-enhancing procedure at Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. “This has affected the reputation of the Cabinet, because the news went around the world. I don't want the people to think the Cabinet members are obsessed with this kind of thing,” the newspaper quoted Shinawatra as telling his ministers. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Agriculture Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan said no one had owned up to the enlargement.
The readers write.
On the train line from Paris to Frankfurt, a well-known novelist comes into contact with one of his biggest fans in Yasmina Reza's play The Unexpected Man, opening Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Cell Theatre (700 First Street NW). Directed by Jacqueline Reid and starring Gary Houston and Laurie Thomas, the play is the latest production by the Fusion Theatre Company, one of our city's most reliably excellent theater groups. The Unexpected Man runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., through Sept. 25. Tickets are $22 general, $17 students/seniors, with a $10 student rush (with valid ID) and $15 actor rush (with professional résumé) on Thursdays that excludes the catered opening reception. For details, call 766-9412.
Prelude to Spanish Modernism: Fortuny to Picasso at the Albuquerque Museum
I've heard a lot of people griping about how much the Tricentennial celebration is costing our city. Get over it. Question: How often does the city's 300th birthday come around? Answer: Only once in 300 years. We've got reason to celebrate.
An exhibit celebrating the 10-year history of the art group Mezcla opens this weekend at the KiMo. Mezcla banded in 1995 to explore their diverse styles of work in and around Albuquerque. Since then, they've also shown their work in Florida and Denver. Methods of art-making include pastels, sculpture, cut paper and pointillism. There also will be a public forum on Friday, Sept. 2, at the South Broadway Cultural Center on 1025 Broadway SE from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in which everyone is invited to meet the artists and discuss their work. Attend the group's reception at the KiMo the next day from 10 a.m. to noon. For details, call Patricia at 232-8900.
Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre
Tonight, the Eat, Drink and Be Larry comedy troupe performs a madcap parody of Batman at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre, located Downtown between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Batman Starts or Something will be partly scripted and partly based on suggestions from the audience. Everyone's going to be there—Joker, Riddler, Catwoman, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Superman and Aguaman! Bring the whole family, the in-laws, the outlaws—everyone. Kids can come dressed as their alter-ego superhero. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. ($10) and Sundays at 6 p.m. ($8) through Sept. 11. 245-8600.
SWFC Schedule—The SouthWest Film Center at UNM has just reopened for the fall semester. The SWFC has been a treasure trove of classic cinema, foreign films and independent fare. Over the decades, I've been exposed to dozens of great films hunched in the dark of UNM's Student Union Building basement. The Killer, Hardboiled, Akira, Peking Opera Blues, The Kingdom, Institute Benjamenta, Suture, Le Samourai, Diary of a Lost Girl, Six-String Samurai, Shallow Grave, The Underneath, Cold Fever, Public Access, Capitaine Conan and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls are just a sampling of the great films I was exposed to there throughout the '90s.
Satyrical sub-indie comedy finds the funny in frozen food
Shooting like a rocket out of that red-hot mecca of filmmaking, Tempe, Ariz., comes writer/director Sean Anders' subculture-skewering mockumentary Never Been Thawed. Not content to lampoon average everyday dorks, nbt--as the film is more casually known--invents its own oddball obsession. The title refers to the pristine condition favored by the socially retarded members of a Mesa, Ariz., frozen TV dinner collecting club--or “frozen entree enthusiasts” as they prefer to be called. (And no, potpies are not considered frozen entrees, so don't ask again!)
Southern-fried drama mixes sweet and sour for a refreshing change of pace
A hit on the film fest circuit (multiple award nominee at Sundance) and a sleeper in theaters, Junebug is just the sort of intimate, slow-moving, sotto voce ensemble character study you need to clean the overbearing, sticky-sweet taste of summer movie residue from your mouth.
Network meets Silence of the Lambs in offbeat import.
In his first Spanish-language film, American comedian/actor John Leguizamo plays an oily news reporter working for a Latin tabloid TV show in Miami. Manolo Bonilla (Leguizamo) is a good-looking, fast-talking media-age vampire, winging his way through South America looking for blood to suck. He finds a plentiful supply in Ecuador where a serial killer known as “The Monster of Babahoyo” has raped and murdered dozens of young children.
BK loves BJ?
Aside from that hour you spent huffing Vick's VapoRub beside a Walgreen's dumpster before your last Narcotics Anonymous meeting, have you ever had what the 12-steppers call “a moment of clarity”? You know what I'm talking about--one of those tiny tremors in time where you suddenly see it all and you think, “Good lord, am I the only sane person on Earth?” ... I have them all the damn time.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
Make Some Noise, Get Involved—Nora White, author of this week's "Spotlight" column, invites you to get involved in forming a solution to the all-ages debate. You can start by bringing your ideas to the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Sunday, October 23, at 3 p.m., for a Musicians And Parents (MAP) meeting. The group was formed as a way to "map" out how our representatives can support a viable, nonalcoholic, all-ages music venue Downtown. And you can still submit written comments to the state Gaming Division until September 30, 2005. Send yours to PO Box 25101, Santa Fe, NM 87504-5101. Check out rld.state.nm.us/agd/ for updates on the final outcome of the hearings. For more information on any of this stuff, you can contact Nora at email@example.com.
Musings on this weekend's Rocksquawk.com Music Showcase
Because we thought the Rocksquawk.com Music Showcase turned out to be totally rad, a few of us here at the Alibi thought we'd reflect on the matter.
Saturday, September 3; 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe Opera (all-ages): Although Lyle Lovett's base has always been country music, including the influence of musicians like Guy Clark and the late Townes Van Zandt, his songwriting put him on pop and country charts alike. But both "pop" and "country" are too one-dimensional to describe Lovett. In the last two decades, Lovett has garnered a cult of Lyleophiles who feed on the genre lines he continually toes. Building on the careful lyric and melody found in Clark and Van Zandt's work, Lovett has developed a distinct, country-tinged blend of gospel, folk, blues, swing, bluegrass, jazz and pop. In the end, Lovett's success has everything to do with his literary talent and the voice he uses to deliver it. Seriously ladies, forget the huge bouffant he teased in the '80s. That voice and those songs could woo any woman. And we must be clear on one thing that is central to this cowboy's craft: Lyle Lovett is a weird man. His art is deeply invested in people's quirks and the irony of so-called normal life. Lovett is tongue-in-cheek even while singing earnestly; true Lyleophiles know there's always more than one layer to a Lovett song. His recent albums are less the odd ballads and more straight-ahead country. It's music that follows a history of smart songwriting, and although the sound is definitely country, the lyrics far surpass most of what's passing for country today. Lovett's latest album, My Baby Don't Tolerate, may tell the secret of his success: "I live in my own mind/Ain't nothing but a good time."
with Transmogrophy, Los Brownspots and Oktober People
Friday, September 2; Atomic Cantina, 10 p.m. (21-and-older), free: Guitar music has never sounded so good, as it takes the form of a side project known as Black Tie. The new local incantation is powered by Roger Apodaca (Scenester) and made possible by seven supplemental musicians assisting with vocals, drums, keyboards, cello, electronic programming and other sounds. These songs are a collection of brooding and spacey guitar-driven compositions that have the power to catapult the listener into an otherworldly state of hypnosis. And while Black Tie undoubtedly references Mogwai, integrity remains intact as the music maintains its uniqueness and conveys its own euphonious narrative. The album in celebration, At Dawn, will probably not appeal to pop fans, but will instead capture the hearts of musicians and all who appreciate indie experimentation.
An informed opinion on last week's all-ages forum
A new music movement has just begun in Albuquerque. It is made up of intelligent, creative and articulate youth who have come to the political table regarding the health of their music community, and they are demanding that their so-called leaders listen. Simply put, this can only be a good thing. The kids are more than alright.
Washington state, home of Schoolyard Heroes, is full of the kind of thick, damp forests perfect for shooting B-grade horror films. Fitting, indeed. What we have here are 10 mathy prog-punk tracks reminiscent of the soundtrack to an old-school Nintendo game, eerily reimagined with buzzing, hyper-charged Dick Dale-style guitar riffs and thick, heavy bass lines. To this foundation, add a banshee chanteuse of the macabre (Ryann Donnelly), wailing passionate, frightful narratives about the children of the Hydra, the party habits of serial killers, undressing wounds to lick the sores and several other healthy portions of schlock cinema imagery, and you've got Fantastic Wounds. Fan-bloody-tastic.
Harry from Unit 7 Drain made this flyer with only his two bare hands and Photoshop. He wants you all to know that his band (Unit 7 Drain) will play this (Friday), Sept 2, at Burt's Tiki Lounge along with Oktober People, The Mindy Set and Love Overdose. And that it's free, as always. And that you must be 21 to party. (LM)
Wine festival season is upon us and drunken gluttony is the name of the game! This unique breed of harvest celebration has been going strong in New Mexico for nearly two decades, starting with the the New Mexico Wine Festival, which kicked it all off 18 years ago. You can continue the tradition this Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. at the Bernalillo Wine Festival Grounds. And if you happen to go on Saturday, be sure to stop by the Anasazi Fields Winery booth, where Andy Sandersier, author of the excellent The Wines of New Mexico, will sign his book from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information call 899-3815. Then there's the Harvest Wine Festival at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds in Las Cruces. Highlights include hourly grape-stomping competitions that only get better as the day wears on. For more information and driving directions, log on to nmwine.com.
TVI's Culinary Arts students show us what they're made of
This past Sunday, the city wrapped up its Tricentennial celebration of cuisine and agriculture with "A Taste of Albuquerque" at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Booth after booth offered up exquisite foods from the area's best restaurants, but the real stars of the evening were hard at work, preparing gourmet meals on a tight schedule for the "TVI Culinary Challenge." Students enrolled in the TVI Culinary Arts program got to compete in a two-hour battle that included a strict scoring system and a "mystery basket" of ingredients. Sysco Foods of New Mexico, Bueno Foods and Southwest Wine and Spirits provided the food, equipment, prizes and scholarship money that was awarded to the top three up-and-coming chefs. They were: Melissa Moore in first, Pat Klaurens in second, Ernest Andazola in third and Tim Wood as first runner-up. Congratulations!
Albuquerque may be dirt-ass poor, but at least we're filthy rich in a few other respects. (Hint: It's not dirt.) I'm talking about our passion. And if there's one thing that Burqueños are passionate about, it's our music. Whether we're at a show, getting all worked up over the all-ages debacle or pressing "repeat" on our newest CD-obsession, we're hopelessly devoted to the music that moves through our city. Hell, we can't even drive down the street without getting an earful of "what's hot" at decibels that would shatter the skull of a canary. Hey, that's passion!
The Albuquerque Wax Museum
"Seven inches of pleasure/Seven inches going home."
—Grace Slick, Across the Board: 1973
Call me an elitist bitch (it's been done), a techno snob (probably) or a digital-fearing Luddite (for sure), but there's nothing like the sound, feel and package of the seven-inch vinyl record.
As youngsters, we called 'em 45s, the RPM speed at which they were played. In the past decade and a half, they might also be 33s (more grooves, more playtime, same amount of space), or both, one speed for either side; some even purposely mislabeled to laugh at the Maximum Rock and Roll review hacks who couldn't tell the difference.
And Bring Us Your Finest Meats & Cheeses, while you're at it.
Albuquerque would have a bleak music scene without Joe Anderson, co-owner of the Launchpad and longtime man-behind-the-local-music-curtain. Here he talks with the Alibi about his more-or-less dormant record label, Science Project, and what it takes to run a record label here in the Kirk.
Gómez and Sanchez spar over residence issue
Politics can get nasty. But when two elected officials nearly come to blows in a middle school parking lot, you know something's amiss. That was the case nearly two years ago, when City Councilor Miguel Gómez and former two-time County Commissioner Ken Sanchez came inches away from a brawl following a Westside neighborhood coalition meeting nearly two years ago. It took a burly city employee, James Lewis, the mayor's chief administrative officer, to break up the ruckus. The argument stemmed from a dispute over the 2003 city road bond, which failed to pass due to the controversial extension of Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument.
At the Aug. 15 meeting, Councilor Craig Loy's bill banning cruising Downtown and Councilor Sally Mayer's massive revision of the city's animal ordinance were postponed. Another Mayer bill that added foxtails to the list of banned weeds passed.
In some ways the Alibi food editor probably ought to be the one writing about this year's City Council races because there are enough tasty prospects involved in them to tempt even jaded political palates. There are some recipes for disaster mixed in, as well.
An interview with State Education Secretary Veronica Garcia
When New Mexico voters created a state secretary of education back in Sept. 2003, Gov. Bill Richardson promised that the new position would be an integral part of his administration's education reform initiative. Richardson pledged that a cabinet-level secretary would hold public schools accountable for how state funds were spent, ensuring that the lion's share went into the classroom and not administrators' pockets.
Mothers Challenge Bush's War
Dixie Prowell had never done anything like it before. Prowell, 58, an Albuquerque CPA, was moved by Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's hobby ranch. Sheehan wants Bush to explain exactly what her son died for in Iraq. While Prowell doesn't agree with all Sheehan says, "I agree with her quest for the truth. She has been able to say he lied in such a poignant way. Her ’emperor has no clothes' story really appeals to me."
Dateline: Sweden—Bored with books? Last weekend, the Malmoe Library in southern Sweden initiated the Living Library project. The project enables people to “check out” a real live human being and is designed so that people can confront their prejudices. Nine people, including a homosexual, an imam, a journalist, a Muslim woman and a gypsy were all available for members of the public to “borrow” for a 45-minute conversation in the library's outdoor café. “Maybe not all journalists are know-it-all and sensationalist, just unafraid and curious. Maybe not all animal rights activists are angry and intolerant, but intelligent and committed,” librarian Ulla Brohed told the AFP news organization. The Living Library project only lasted through the weekend, but officials are considering running it again later this year.
The readers write.
Whether you're a little tyke in tights or a full-grown mama in a tutu, the Ballet Theatre of New Mexico will soon be putting up two productions, and they're looking for someone just like you. Auditions for The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night's Dream will be held Saturday, August 27, at the Ballet Theatre of New Mexico offices at 6913 Natalie NE. Dancers ages 9 to 14 will audition from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Older dancers from 15 to adult will audition from 3 to 4:30 p.m. You must have a minimum of two years of ballet training and be currently enrolled in at least two classes per week at any studio. For more details, call 888-1054 or go to btnm.org.
Trevor Lucero Studio
Over the past two years, Trevor Lucero Studio has been host to a broad spectrum of art, as well as music and video performances. Unfortunately, the space will soon be closing its doors. "It's really expensive to do free things for the public," Lucero said about the studio's closing. The last exhibit opens this Friday, August 26, with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. and will feature Santa Fe artist Eli Levin who is best known for his satirical bar and dance hall scenes. At the reception, Levin will be signing a book called Scenes of Santa Fe Nightlife consisting of his etchings done over the past 20 years. Lucero calls it Levin's lifetime achievement. Trevor Lucero Studio is located at 500 Second Street SW. 244-0730.
Bad Habits at the Vortex Theatre
Some of us smoke. Some of us drink. Some of us cultivate elaborate perverted fantasies involving gigantic purple bunnies. Even the most straitlaced people in the world have a bad habit or two they wouldn't mind discarding. Of course, getting rid of bad habits is like getting rid of the in-laws; sooner or later, they'll almost certainly be back—with a vengeance.
Nighttime is prime time to get creative. On Friday, August 26, from 10 p.m. to midnight, Gorilla Tango (519 Central NW) will be holding a contest for playwrights. Writers have two hours to write a play, which will then be performed the next day. If you want to participate but don't care for writing, they also need directors and actors. Auditions for those positions will be on Saturday, August 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You'd better be a quick study, because the performance of these plays will be at 8 p.m. that same night. Prizes will be awarded to the plays that get the most votes from the audience. Playwrights must pay a $5 entry fee. For details, call 245-8000.
Chasing the Rodeo: On Wild Rides and Big Dreams, Broken Hearts and Broken Bones, and One Man's Search for the West
Media for the Mix Age—Describing their genre as “neo-vaudeville,” the performers of Immortelle will be at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) this Friday night mixing up the worlds of film projection, theater and live music. Inspired by the classics of “original sinema” the performance promises to take the audience to “a place reminiscent of the silent film era.” Doors open at 10 p.m. for this intriguing after-hours mash-up. The evening starts with 15 minutes of local short films, followed by the interactive Immortelle performance and then closing out with a live local band. Tickets are $7 in advance or $8 at the door.
An interview with comedian-
turned- director Paul Provenza
Stand-up comedian Paul Provenza and his pal, magician Penn Jillette, didn't set out to make the filthiest film ever shot. They simply wanted to gather up a bunch of their show biz friends and document them performing their own twisted take on an infamous, antiquated insider joke, the punch line of which is simply, “The Aristocrats.”
Far-out fantasy isn't Gilliam's finest
Since shedding his skin as a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus and trading it in for a director's chair, filmmaker Terry Gilliam has set himself up as the David in Hollywood's frequent David and Goliath situation. Whether battling a megalithic corporation for control of his ahead-of-its-time artistic vision (Brazil), turning Hollywood hunks into bug-eyed madmen (12 Monkeys) or struggling to shore up a crumbling dream project (check out Lost in La Mancha), Gilliam has been a brilliantly subversive visionary. Even in their most compromised state (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, perhaps), Gilliam's films have been engagingly unique. Odd then, that his latest project should feel so unmistakably Gilliam and—at the same time—so resolutely pedestrian.
“Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on Travel Channel
You could describe Anthony Bourdain as one of those celebrity chefs--except, of course, that he isn't really famous for his cooking. He's famous, mostly, for penning the tell-all, behind-the-scenes exposé Kitchen Confidential, in which the New Jersey-born chef recounts all his smoking, drinking, womanizing--and occasionally cooking--exploits.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
Get Your Squawk On--So the inaugural Rocksquawk.com Music Showcase kicks off this weekend with some great local bands at eight locations Downtown. It's our hope that this Saturday's shindig will resonate with local musicians and music supporters alike—you know, turning up the dialogue within our scene and generally rocking all-around. On that note, if you've got something you'd like to say about this event, your band's next gig or anything that's music-related at all, hit up rocksquawk.com and get it out there. Log on, freak out and get your Squawk on!
with Wide Awake and SPOT
Wednesday, August 31; Atomic Cantina (21-and-older), free: Those of you that have ever been in a large-scale school band should be at least somewhat familiar with who I will refer to here as "solo hogs." These are the kids that take every opportunity to jam-out on their instrument; leaving the rest of the band members to wallow in four-note-melody hell. Oregon's own The Sweater Club is composed of six fresh-faced solo hogs that, fortunately for us, are happy to take turns wailing away on their various instruments, just so long as everybody gets a chance to strut their stuff. I'm not sure how the band's songs stay cohesive, but they do so without wasting a drop of any member's skill. Not since Reel Big Fish's Why Do They Rock So Hard? have skyrocketing brass and alt.rock guitar gotten along so well as on The Sweater Club's debut EP, The Exposition. The "Club" sounds a lot like ska/punk/reggae outfit RX Bandits (which makes sense, considering almost every band member cites the Bandits as an influence). The Sweater Club is wise enough, however, to stay away from the pretentious ambient noise that the Bandits seem to have become recently infatuated with. The boys in TSC, by contrast, are only interested in good, clean, new-school-ska fun. That's exactly what they'll bring to the Atomic Cantina this Wednesday when they'll play with Wide Awake and SPOT. Who the hell knows, maybe some fast-paced skanking will even make an appearance.
After a four-year hiatus filled with masters degrees and other bands, Scenester, comprised of Leonard Apodaca on guitar, Roger Apodaca on bass (both formerly of GoMotorCar) and Luke Cordova (Blunt Society) on drums, is releasing their second album, Formula Rock EP. Leonard Apodaca (who you might remember from the Socyermom Records piece in this week's feature) tells all.
with ATG, Caustic Lye, Wisdom of the Leech, Desolate, The Ground Beneath, Suspended, Collateral Hate, Lower Than Dirt, Phalcore, Musik Labb, Aphotic Blitz
Saturday, August 27; The Zone parking lot (2501 San Mateo), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (all-ages): Sure, Ozzfest is not without its overcommercialized charm, but it seems to me that the festival may not exactly cater to the most devout of rock fans. I mean, lets be honest—how hardcore can you be if you're willing to pay $78.50 plus a service charge for a reserved seat? Not very hardcore, would appear to be the answer. It is with this in mind that I present metal fanatics and rock enthusiasts with an alternative. ZoneFest could easily be considered the "anti-Ozzfest." The free event will feature a heaping helping of hard-rocking local ensembles, including the schizophrenically supercharged sounds of Caustic Lye, the punkish, blues-influenced metal of Wisdom of the Leech and an ass-load more. Plus, who needs $6 Journal Pavilion hot dogs when you can have made-to-order barbecue? Finally, there will be merch tents, ticket giveaways, free hookah rentals and piercing specials all day long. So tell your uppity pal who won't let you forget you missed Ozzfest, that you hope he enjoyed paying almost 80 bucks to see In Flames. Screw him! You're going to a real rock show. Hell, you might even get some sort of body part pierced while you're at it. Rock on!
The Dirty Novels are at it again.
No, I don't mean this CD release show (with the usual suspects: raucous Romeo Goes To Hell, lovely Unit 7 Drain, and stomp 'n' roll the Gracchi, plus Cellophane Typewriters—a new one on me, but I hear they're psych/garage).
And no, not the handful of new tunes on the 11-song Stealing Kisses.
Let's face it, it's been a while since good rock music came out of Australia. But the glory days, like those of Men At Work, INXS and most importantly, The Church (yes, they are from Australia), can be relived with Youth Group, honestly one of my favorite new bands. Like its predecessors, Youth Group has cultivated a complex, shimmery, pulsating pop rock sound, reinterpreted to create something that sounds very new and evokes a strong sense of place. The songs, though, are still mostly about relationships, which makes the record good for diffusing fullness of heart.
Watch with rapt disbelief as Sean McCullough, fabled sweetheart of the Albuquerque scene, plays in two different bands at the same show! Sean will open up tonight's set with Weapons of Mass Destruction, take a quick Tecate break and then return to headline with the Oktober People. Things Fall Apart from Chicago will play somewhere in the middle. That's Tuesday, August 30, at Sol Arts. Cost is $5 and this one's all-ages! Hoot!
Popeyes' Preamble. Two hawk-eyed readers e-mailed me to point out that the forthcoming Westside Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits isn't the first of its kind in Albuquerque. Apparently, Popeyes moved to the Duke City in the mid-'80s, but quickly folded due to a watery chicken-based market. "With New Mexico's taste for chile, Popeyes' spicy cayenne chicken seemed like a winner," says chowhound Rick, "but with its high prices and four other competitive chicken places within blocks, it didn't stay in business." Ex-pat Gino also remembers the chicken shack's short shelf-life on Juan Tabo and Lomas, and fondly recalls his application for employment there when he was just "a pimply-faced teenager." Gee, when you put it like that, maybe losing yet another fried-food establishment wasn't such a bad thing after all.
John Mickey, chef/owner of the new Da Vinci's Gourmet Pizza, talks about food, family and pizza in the digital age. The Alibi eats it up.
So, Da Vinci's is tucked away up in the far Northeast Heights, right?
Yeah, we're way up here in the Shops at Mountain Run. We do lunch and dinner for carry out and delivery only.
Why did you decide to do that?
Partly because the space up here wasn't that large, and I didn't want to take up much more room [with a dining area]. And we're trying to keep it simple, to focus on one thing and do it right. Also, I wanted to focus on the Far Heights, High Desert, North Albuquerque Acres—basically where there are not a lot of delivery options.
That's pretty considerate of you.
Well, it's where I grew up.
That's right—I actually went to high school with two of your siblings.