The most ferocious of prehistoric reader polls is back
What's your favorite New Mexican food? What's your favorite dinosaur? Ok, now put them together and what do you get? An Enchiladodon? A Chileopteryx? A Tacoraptor? A Sopaipillatops? Awesome! Get ready for the T. Rex of “Best of City” contests: The original Best of Burque Restaurants will be hitting Weekly Alibi racks and website on Thursday, Oct. 12. The polls are open now. Vote on your favorite Frito pie, vegetarian food, Japanese restaurant and local brewery. Let your voice be heard! Rawr!
A place for music
Thanks for logging on to Crawlspace—the next frontier in Alibi Crawl technology. Crawlspace is a two-dimensional, fiber-based interactive community of Fall Crawl 2005's live musical acts. When used in tandem with our 2005 Fall Crawl schedule of bands, Crawlspace can assist Alibi subscribers of all musical persuasions in designing their own unique, completely customizable Crawl experience. Here's how:
The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash himself gave these guys his blessing. They've played shows with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver, and sound like a cross between Steve Earle and Old 97's, so I can't even tell you how lucky you are to have the chance to see authentic country-western tonight at El Rey. (JCC)
Between the Buried and Me
North Carolinian metalcore manufacturers Between the Buried and Me have toured with bands like Bleeding Through, Converge and Darkest Hour on their way to establishing a cultish following of devoted underground metalheads. Between the Buried and Me will play the Sunshine Theatre. (SM)
New Mexico in New York—Marcos Baca, whose short film “A Day at the Ditch” played at last year's Alibi Short Film Fiesta, recently had his latest work accepted to the upcoming New York International Film & Video Festival. “The Day the World Ended” is described as a short comedy about the Mora family and their circa 1950 adventures in the Martineztown barrio of Albuquerque. Like “A Day at the Ditch” before it, “The Day the World Ended” is a product of the Youth Development Institute's Digital Outreach and Communication Division. The film was designed as an arts in the community after-school project for children aged 6-18. Congratulations to Mr. Baca and to all the kids at YDI.
Nonsensical bounty hunter biopic mixes fantasy with ... more fantasy
“This film is based on a true story,” informs Domino's pre-credit crawl. “... Sort of.” To which I would add, “... Very sort of.”
You ever feel like strapping on a homemade suit of armor and seeing if you could withstand a savage assault from a pissed-off grizzly bear? Me neither. In fact, I get edgy when I come across a stray dog while out jogging. But luckily for pansies like us, a full-on grizzly bear attack is exactly what Canadian tough-guy Troy James Hurtubise has in mind. And even better, he wants us to watch while it happens. This little exercise in madness is the subject of Project Grizzly, a rarely seen gem of a documentary that is definitely worth hunting down.
Cancellations around the dial
It's early October and the ringing shout of “You're outta here!” can be heard around the television dial. No, it's not a result of the ongoing baseball playoffs. Rather, it's the sound of network executives cutting underperforming shows from their roster.
The Week in Sloth
Oh, Mama—Failed actor Christopher Gill is haunted by his recently deceased mother, a famous Broadway actress. It's a rough relationship, with Mama scowling down at her loser son from her life-sized portrait, chastising him for not living up to the family name. It would be enough to drive any boy crazy. Christopher decides to take out his Oedipal frustrations by dressing up in different disguises and embarking on an epic killing spree targeting victims who in one way or another resemble his Mama.
Connect Combine Integrate Replicate at the Yale Art Center
Marissa Glink never planned to be a gallery owner, but when Casey Greenling made it known to her that he wanted to unload his Yale Art Center, Glink jumped at a golden opportunity. "It was one of those unexpected surprises," she says. "The space is great. It's got excellent track lighting. I just thought there were endless possibilities."
Harwood Art Center
This Friday, Oct. 14, the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW) will host one of its twice-yearly open studio evenings during which the numerous artists who work and play at the center will open their studios to the community. It's something like visiting the zoo except without the bars. (I mean that in a good way.) To quadruple your pleasure, that same night Susan Byrnes, Bruce Shortz and Dan Noyes will host receptions for their full-scale solo exhibits at the Harwood. The fun begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until approximately 8:30 p.m. 242-6367.
Can flood control and cultural preservation find harmony in the South Valley?
By the time I arrived at Gloria Maldonado's house, the rain had almost stopped. Yet evidence still remained in side-street puddles and muddy ditches, making it easy to imagine what 2.3 inches of rain could do.
The state's Environmental Improvement Board will hold hearings on the dangers posed by a household sweetener
Stephen Fox can be a real pest. The Santa Fe gallery owner is a familiar presence in legislative hallways, at public hearings of regulatory bodies and in letters to the editor sections in newspapers around the state. It is a safe bet that if New Mexico's top dozen corporate lobbyists sat down and ranked their 10 least favorite citizens in the state, Fox would make all 12 lists. We owe him big time.
A big error in judgment sank the minimum wage hike
Memo to supporters of raising the minimum wage: Instead of condemning the opposition for winning, get real about why you lost and at least learn something from defeat.
Let's relive all the gory details of last week's election, shall we?
Given that only 31 percent of eligible voters came out to the polls for the recent election, it's probably safe to assume that most of you—yeah, I'm lookin' at you, smarty butt—have been living under a rock. With this in mind, we thought we'd fill in the clueless regarding the outcome of the citywide races, and maybe dish up a few half-baked predictions along the way. Hey, at least that way you can seem to be an involved, civically minded person next time you find yourself in a room full of people who give a crap about such things.
New leadership at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting promises an interesting ride
On the heels of a leadership rearrangement at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), last month two Republican activists were appointed as chair and vice-chair. On the board of eight, charged with managing America's public television and radio, only two Democrats remain.
Dateline: Belgium—A woman is finally being allowed to take the physical portion of her driver's license test after failing the written portion 37 times in a row. The 38th time was the charm for the woman, who finally passed the exam last month. The woman, unnamed due to Belgian privacy laws, had paid approximately $15 in fees for each of her previous attempts. She told Belgian newspaper Het Laatse Niews that she blames her string of failures on “nerves,” but says she believes she will pass the driving test with flying colors. That remains to be determined.
The Hot Spot—Have you noticed a white plastic banner that says "The Hot Spot" draped over the Ned's Downtown sign? As of yet, it's pretty much the only indication that the bar has changed hands to new owners, but I've been told that some other (and more noticeable) changes are in the works. I spoke with the Hot Spot's VIP services director last week, and he assured me that "The Ned's spirit isn't gone, it's just changed." He said the bar's focus will shift to an ultra-lounge club with a mix of live and deejayed music, VIP seating and European bottle service (you get a full bottle of booze, plus a selection of mixers for one flat fee). He also said that he wants to do "label scouting nights," where local bands can arrange to perform in front of record label executives from some big-name companies. But maybe he was just blowing smoke up my ass on that one ... it's hard to tell. More on that later.
Serious tunes to make you laugh
Bassist Chris Frain says a Tanuki is a type of "raccoon-dog" found in Japan and in parts of Northeast Asia. Frain's band Tanuki is an instrumental, psuedo-improv power trio with no interest in writing pop songs. "If we tried to write instrumental pop we'd probably be horrible at it," Frain explains. What they are good at, however, is making music that's a little odd, somewhat mischievous and, at times, pretty darn hilarious.
Help Tanuki release their debut CD on Oct. 14 along with The Bellmont, Captain Standish, and Acids & Bases. 9 p.m. at the Launchpad. $5. Legal adults only. (LM)
Thursday, Oct. 13; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over): Detroit doesn't really exist any more. It's a ghost town. Go Downtown sometime and you'll see what I mean. There are no people—just row after row of decaying tract housing, auto part graveyards and factories that produce, well, nothing. But as the American auto industry sputters, shudders and shimmies into a coma, it childrens are emerging out of the vapors at night; taking that same, sad dance and making it their own. Making it alive.
with Bob Collum and The Welfare Mothers, and Captain Bringdown and the Buzzkillers
Wednesday, Oct. 19; Atomic Cantina (21-and-over): The last time Low Skies (not Los Guys) played in Albuquerque, the show was a solitary performance by singer/guitarist Chris Salveter. It is rumored that the band fell apart on the road, leaving Salveter to finish the tour alone. Whether or not this is true, and perhaps it was just a metaphor for the weary bleakness of Low Skies, they/he was excellent as a one-man band.
Former American Music Club front man releases his first new album in four years: I call it "creepy" and "amazing." Others call it "sadcore." The album was created mostly by electronic apparati, and results in strange music beds and soundscapes (though Eitzel was able to collaborate with Calexico on one of the tracks). Strange and successful combinations like this one (singer/songwriter and electronica here) are hard to come by. Plus, how can you argue with songs titled "My Pet Rat St. Michael" and lines like "I play him Mariah Carey so there's butterflies and rainbows in the air?"
Goodbye pizzeria, hello continental dining
Dining out can be much like running into your high school sweetheart—you might be pleasantly surprised at how much they've matured over time; maybe enough to make you take a sweeping second glance at the classy, well-attired adult they have become.
This Saturday, Oct. 15, join Slow Food Rio Grande for a celebration of tea tasting from small producers around the world and accompaniments. The featured speaker is Sebastian Beckwith, a ranking tea authority based in New York. He teaches educational tea seminars at New York City's China Institute and the Institute of Culinary Education, as well as at museums and other venues. He also leads presentations with the internationally known, integrative health expert Dr. Andrew Weil at New York City's Columbia University.
Did someone order an extra side of sass?
Welcome to the 2005 Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll! We look forward to this issue every year because it combines two subjects that are very dear to our hearts: food and local businesses. This time around, we've completely revamped the poll to reflect the changing tastes and growing appetites of our beloved Duke City. We've trimmed away some of the staler categories (Best Juice Bar) and fattened it up with more of you favorite foods (Best Enchiladas, Best Use of Chocolate). And because we know you love getting the inside industry scoop, there's even a Chef's Day Off section. Let it be a window into the minds, hearts and stomachs of your favorite local celebrity chefs.
The beauty of the RCRP is twofold: Reward the best local restaurants with recognition, and provide our readers with an invaluable guide to the best food our city has to offer. Now all you've got to do is keep eating and voting. We think it's a great system. Bon appetit!
When it comes to ethnic eateries, it's all Greek to you, Albuquerque. The Duke City has a fine and flourishing selection of Grecian goodies, and respondents chimed in on everything from casual diners to fancier digs. Nonetheless, it was Olympia Café that thundered as loudly as Zeus himself, thanks to affordable and filling daily specials, buttery pita bread and Olympic-sized wands of gyro meat. No doubt the serene island scene at Mykonos helped them to nab second place, while Yanni's Mediterranean Bar & Grill puts the "Opa!" back in, uh, "open for lunch and dinner."
We're lucky here in Albuquerque. We have more restaurants per capita than heavy hitters like New York City, and new ones seem to keep popping up every week. Our readers loved lots of new restaurants but they gave the most votes to the carry-out-and-delivery-only pizza masters at Da Vinci's Gourmet Pizza. Our readers also went crazy over Nob Hill's swank new sushi joint Crazy Fish Restaurant, which got second. The meat-lover's paradise over at the Gruet Steak House garnered third.
A pile of steaming-hot cakes, fresh out of the pan, slathered in maple syrup with a dab of butter floating in the center of it all like the unblinking eye of God himself—could there possibly be a more beautiful way to start your morning? We don't think so. And, of course, you can sink your teeth into the winners at Frontier earlier than those at most other restaurants, because everyone's favorite big yellow barn is open around the clock. With three locations scattered throughout the area, it's easy to get your pancake fix at the Range Café and Bakery, too, which is a good thing, since they came in second place. Third went to another University area favorite, the packed and popular Mannie's Family Restaurant.
Bob Peterson, Executive Chef, Seasons of Albuquerque
My house; seriously, I put yogurt in them to leaven instead of buttermilk. They're tender, fluffy and tangy and they always come with real Vermont maple syrup, not the imitation stuff.
Two different kinds of burgers here: For well-done it's got to be Blake's. For medium-rare style, Seasons. It's the wood grill that raises the bar.
I've only had a couple, but when the red chile is good, Perea's on Central is where I take family from out of town. It's mandatory every time they visit.
Gordon Schutte, Chef/Owner, Vivace
Hands-down, it's Mykonos in Mountain Run [Shopping Center]. Their food is truly authentic and the atmosphere is just as good. It feels like the island after which it is named, serene and peaceful.
No question that Jennifer James' Graze wins this poll. She is one of the most creative chefs I know and takes great pain to see that her guests always have a high culinary experience at her restaurant.
Ambrozia wins this election. Chef Sam has done a great job of combining culinary adventure with a subtle ambiance that appeals to Carol and me when we have a night off. The space is cozy and quiet and allows for easy conversation and the privacy we seek.
Heath VanRiper, Executive Chef, Prairie Star
Best Chili has to go to Vic's Daily Café. There is nothing better than well-seasoned chili, and Vic has the winning combination of those seasonings.
Ambrozia has the best Sunday brunch. The amount of creativity they put into their brunch is above and beyond all others.
Jennifer James, Chef/Owner, Graze
I like to drive to the Eastside and hit the Burger Boy—preferably after a long hike, but it's always nice to get out of town, and that's a nice "quickie."
I like to go to Loyola's for a great diner experience; it's close enough to walk to and the light fixtures and the pobrasito burrito make it worthwhile.
Larry Ashby, Chef, Christy Mae's
Uptown Sports Bar—Great bread from Swiss Alps Bakery.
Route 66 Diner.
Juan's Broken Taco on Menaul.
Dos Hermanos. Take your pick.
Pat Keene, Chef/Owner, Artichoke Café
When we're in the mood for barbecue, I usually stop at Rudy's on Carlisle and pick up their baby back ribs and lean brisket. They're delicious. I serve them for dinner at home with my own macaroni and cheese or beans and a salad. Sometimes I pick up macaroni salad, coleslaw or potato salad at the Whole Foods takeout counter to go with the barbecue. They make their takeout food from all fresh ingredients and it's expertly done, so there's no guilt in serving it to your family!
For breakfast, I love to go to Frontier. I love their huevos rancheros, fresh tortillas and red chile. I also pick up their carne adovada to go and make burritos for dinner with it. Their fresh orange juice is also the best. I won't go to breakfast anywhere that doesn't serve fresh orange juice.
Rob Wells, Executive Chef, Scalo
I haven't been there in a long time, but the best quiet little spot for a romantic dinner in Albuquerque, in my mind, would be Le Crepe Michel in Old Town. You feel like you're in a different world sitting on the patio.
A friend and I stopped at Gulp on a whim, and had a couple (too many) drinks and ate a really great trout gratin, and a couple of buffalo brats on Rainbo buns that were awesome.
Tony Nethery, Chef/Partner, Relish Cheese Market & Sandwich Shop
To be honest, I prefer to stay at home and cook (breakfast, lunch and dinner). It's my way of researching and developing and also making sure the family eats well.
My favorite is Robb's Ribbs. Good clean food, friendly atmosphere, good wine and beer ... Rob has an amazing smoker and kitchen facility; everyone should eat there.
These have to go to Ted Niceley (currently at Zinc). I've worked with Ted for a few years now and plan to work more with him in the future—he is a good friend and an outstanding pastry chef. He is creative, thoughtful and studies; keeps up with the times. I really enjoy Ted's ideas.
Wayne Leach, Executive Chef, Le Café Miche
Perea's. They kind of have the "build your own" philosophy. Your choice of corn or flour, hash browns or beans, red or green. Just the best in town and faster than McDonalds!
Giovanni's. Good, basic, East Coast-style pizza. Fold a slice in half and see what I'm talking about.
Orchid Thai. Each dish is made with the freshest ingredients—perfect curries and the best green papaya salad in town (maybe the only green papaya salad in town).
More Music for Katrina—A whole slew of New Mexico arts and music organizations have banded together for another benefit concert in the name of Hurricane Katrina's victims. Titled "Chicory and Chile," the show will feature a huge variety of performances from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at the historic KiMo Theatre this Friday, Oct. 7. Admission is free, but any donations you can afford will go on to benefit three very worthy causes: The American Red Cross, Gulf Coast Musicians and the Humane Society of the United States. Performers include Bayou Seco, Priscilla Baca y Candelaria, Christian Orellana, Jenny Bird, classical composer Rahim Al Haj, Tony Rio & Voodoo Chili, Danny Solis and the 2005 National Poetry Slam Championship Team, Bonnie Bluhm and Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, author of The Dirty Girl's Social Club. For more information, log on to abqmusic.com.
with Alchemical Burn, Cobra//group and AGL
Thursday, Oct. 6; Wherehouse, (all-ages), $5: Noise musicians Raven Chacon (composer, founder of the local experimental improv collective Cobra//group and a former Albuquerque resident) and Bob Bellerue (Los Angeles "noise artist"), also known as Halfnormal, will visit Albuquerque this week on their West Coast Noise Tour. Halfnormal and others in the field create a type of music that is both aural and physical, as well as detrimental to your hearing, with a myriad of homemade instruments like theremin guitars and gutted pianos (and some moogs, I'm guessing). Being old pals (sort of), me and Raven recently had a ding-a-ling of a chitty chat.
The year was 1975 and somewhere in Ipswich, England, four guys with nothing better to do decided to make some music, never knowing they would eventually make musical history as the longest-surviving punk band out there.
with Prurient, Alchemical Burn and Manhole
Sunday, Oct. 9; the Launchpad (21-and-over), $7: If you ever find yourself lying in bed, unable to get up and worried that you'll spend the entire day under the covers, grab your CD player remote and put on Wolf Eyes' Burned Mind. After a few moments, your new thought process should be something like: "I can't lay here all day. I've got to get up and stab someone in the throat!" Using homemade instruments/noise-producing contraptions, Wolf Eyes works in the medium of textural sound to produce tangible feelings of pain, anxiety and impending doom. As tense as the record makes you feel, there is something strangely cathartic about listening to 70 minutes of continually pulsating racket. This isn't music to get the party started. (Unless your party revolves around ritual suicide.) It's a demonic sermon or perhaps a sadistic wake-up call. The Ann Arbor trio was fortunate to be recognized by leading independent label Sub Pop as more than just adroit noisesters. Wolf Eyes has somehow managed to combine musical extremism with something that even rock purists can get wound up about. I start to tense up when I think about what a live Wolf Eyes show might be like; even listening to Burned Mind on low volume can make me break into a sweat. A few things are for certain; it will be loud, grating and a true sight to behold.
They may never receive the heavy rotation of hip-hop heavyweights like Jay Z or Kanye West, but the Dirtheadz' latest release is about as commercially viable as underground hip-hop can get. The Movement has the high-pitched hooks and unflinching swagger that characterizes so much of popular rap today. But the record amounts to more than music for the masses. The track "No Names With Names" in particular merits critical as well as widespread approbation for its combination of immediate likability and salient flows. Give Kanye's Late Registration a break and check out what the Dirtheadz have to offer.
Latin surf/jazz combo Rio Duende will perform alongside a vintage cartoon screening at 7 p.m. $5 gets you in, popcorn included. (LM)
Nate Smith gets his pie manhandled in the name of local music
It's been more than two years since the Rock Outside the Box compilation ripped 14 up-and-comers from the streets of downtown Albuquerque and crammed them into one precocious little jewel case. The album was organized by Feels Like Sunday guitarist Nate Smith. He says he did it to "promote unity in the scene." At the time of its release, our own Michael Henningsen said, "Not since Socyermom's Ouch! compilation has a collection of songs by local bands struck such a bright glimmer of hope."
Have a meal in Auntie Marta's kitchen
Remember when you were a kid? And you had that special auntie who could playfully tease you one minute, gently scold you the next, and still make the best enchiladas in the tri-state area in between? Well, you no longer have to suffer through a family reunion to get that old feeling, because Auntie Marta serves it up daily at Marta's Camino Real.
With a national energy crisis looming in the near future, where does Albuquerque stand on quality public transportation?
It would seem that all our worst predictions are catching up with us: Overpopulation, global warming and now, in the wake of two nasty hurricanes that bombarded our oil-rich Gulf Coast, a looming energy shortage, evidenced by the president's plea last week for people to start conserving precious fossil fuels. It would also seem that the time has come to stop making predictions, and start acting on solutions.
As a longtime Journal subscriber, I'm used to a certain level of meanness pervading the majority of the Journal's news coverage. This year's mayoral profiles were typical Journal fare, although Chavez, the paper's chosen one, seemed to escape the brunt of the paper's fury. Maybe that's because during the last mayoral election cycle he got absolutely smeared in the Journal's election profiles.
As I get older, I find I am spending almost as much time reading the obituaries in the morning newspaper as I am reading the sports page. The obituaries can be dull, inspiring or frustrating, much like the people whose passing is being noted. But I've gotten very fond of scanning them daily.
Getting ready to settle in for the night and discuss the day's outcomes with a colleague over a glass of wine, I made my way to the Las Cruces hotel bar to borrow a wine opener. (They don't stock the rooms with them, unfortunately.) As I passed the newspaper machines, a headline caught my eye and I was suddenly transported back to my role as an extra on the J-Lo movie, Border Town, shot in Albuquerque earlier this year.
Dateline: Poland—An armed man stormed into the Tschenstochau Salon in the southern Polish town of Czestochowa and demanded a free haircut for his girlfriend. The man, who has not been caught, forced the salon's owner to dye, cut and style his girlfriend's hair at gunpoint. The hair-crazed gunman was obviously unhappy with the results, however, as he returned the next day, gun in hand, and demanded that the hairdresser fix his girlfriend's do. This time, he insisted on hair extensions to fix the length.
An interview with Diane Rimple, a doctor from the University of New Mexico Hospital who spent 10 days in the aftermath of Katrina
A college professor once told me that in order to write about big ideas, one first had to write about small ones. Everyone wants to tackle love, or life, or the profound influence of one's mother, she said, but hardly anyone can do it well, or in a way that a thousand others haven't done it before. To get there, one has to start with threads, buttons, the way her rosary smelled. The small things paint the scenery. The subject is implied.
State treasurers' prosecution is good news
The arrests of New Mexico State Treasurer Robert Vigil and his predecessor, Michael Montoya, brought a big smile to my face.
Movie Mecca—The Second Annual New Mexico Middle East Film Festival will take place Friday, Oct. 7, though Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Guild Cinema. Additional screenings will be held Oct. 8 and 9 at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. The timely festival will feature more than 30 films from countries across the Arab world. Film selections include narratives and documentaries that explore the themes of women, history, art, religion, war and occupation, human rights and the representation of Arabs and Arab-Americans in the media.
An interview with Tom Laughlin, the creator of Billy Jack
Tom Laughlin began his career as an actor, doing small parts in mainstream films (Gidget, South Pacific). As the turbulent '60s came to an end, however, Laughlin turned his head to writing, producing and directing. Beginning with the 1967 film Born Losers, Laughlin launched one of the most successful independent film series in movie history. It wasn't until the 1971 sequel Billy Jack that Laughlin's creation achieved its full pop cultural icon status, though.
Genial comedy/drama proves “chick lit” isn't just for chicks
The crazy, irresponsible sibling paired with the stable, reliable sibling is as predictable a Hollywood character duo as the immature, free-spirited parent paired with the precocious, overly serious child. Or the hotheaded, young rookie partnered with the gruff, about-to-retire cop. Or ... well, you get the idea. Despite the cliché at its heart, the new comedy/drama In Her Shoes does workmanlike duty, finding appealing actors to fill the roles and a witty, emotion-soaked hankie of a script from which they can work.
“Night Stalker” on ABC
Seedy supernatural journalist Carl Kolchak first came to life in a 1972 TV movie called The Night Stalker. The clever tale of a reporter (crusty Darrin McGavin) hunting vampires in modern-day Vegas became the highest-rated TV movie to date. A sequel (The Night Strangler) was conjured up a year later, while the inevitable “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” TV series followed in 1974. Though the series never quite lived up to the potential of the movies, it left a lasting impression on early-'70s TV watchers, including “X-Files” writer Frank Spotnitz who, along with “X-Files” creator Chris Carter, drew significant inspiration from the old show. Carter and Spotnitz even recruited McGavin for a major guest spot on “X-Files.”
The Week in Sloth
It's Autumnal—Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE) rings in the fall season with a new show featuring jewelry by Kristen Diener, sculptures by Lisa Smith and mirror creations by Leroy Archuleta. Upstairs in the adjoining Galerie E, there'll also be a Dia de los Muertos exhibit with work by Ken Saville, Maria Moya, Jeff Sipe, Kevin Burgess and others. Both shows open Friday, Oct. 7, with receptions from 5 to 8 p.m. They run through Oct. 30. 268-6828.
¡Arte Caliente! at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
Wouldn't it be nice to have the spare cash to really collect art? Wherever you happened to be, if you saw a piece of art that yanked your chain, you could just whip out the plastic and buy it on the spot. Joe A. Diaz has just such a luxury. The San Antonio-based businessman might not be able to buy every piece of art he's ever wanted, but for the last decade and a half he's had the resources to develop an astonishing art collection mainly consisting of masterpieces of Chicano art from the Southwest.
With a title like this, Paul Rudnick's play had better be pretty freakin' fabulous. By most accounts, this campy gay Bible story about the adventures of two couples—Adam and Steve, Mabel and Jane—is a hoot. A new production of The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told opens this weekend at UNM's Rodey Theatre. It includes sex, foul language and nudity, so you might want to leave the kids at home. $15 general, $10 seniors, $8 students. Call for dates and times. To order tickets, go to unmtickets.com or call 925-5858.
For his new exhibit at the Donkey (1415 Fourth Street SW), Rourke has created a small, mirrored tower-like structure and placed it in the middle of the gallery's parking lot. It's designed to stimulate interaction with visitors to the show. Inside the gallery itself, Rourke will display models and drawings used in the design stage. This odd little exhibit opens Friday, Oct. 7, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. that will include music by DJ Lukaduke and heaping, steaming troughs of delicious food. The show runs through Oct. 29. 242-7504.
An interview with Tracy Kidder
Tracy Kidder's tour of duty in Vietnam may have unfolded to a soundtrack of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, but that's about all it shares with Hollywood portrayals of that war. In fact, Kidder's experience as a young army lieutenant is notable for what it lacked. There were no blazing firefights, no elaborate crying jags beneath slowly turning ceiling fans. He was even turned down by one prostitute and never once fired his gun.
Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
I don't know about you, but the first thing I asked myself was: Who in the heck are Anderson and Abruzzo? As it turns out, if you weren't born and raised in Albuquerque, that's a very interesting question. If you were, and you're over the age of 30, you probably think I'm a complete idiot for even asking the question in the first place.
1882—In previous years, carnivals occasionally came through Albuquerque featuring hot air balloons. In 1882, however, a local saloon owner named Park A. VanTassel used coal gas to fill a 30,000-cubic-foot balloon. Over the two days it took to fill the balloon, enthusiastic coal gas customers volunteered to go without gas service. On July 4, VanTassel floated above the city, marking the first hot air balloon ascension by a local in Albuquerque history.
Here's the whole enchilada—a full roster of Fiesta events that includes descriptions of a few special happenings that might not be self-explanatory. Tear this out and staple it to your chest for easy reference.
Entrance to Balloon Fiesta Park is $6 general, free for kids under 12. You can buy advanced tickets in packs of five for $25. General parking is $5 per car. An all-event parking pass costs $30. (The Fiesta's park-and-ride service will save you a lot of stress. Details at aibf.org.) To order tickets over the phone, call (888) 422-7277 ext. 303. Keep in mind if you're a cheapskate that there will be lots of good views of balloons located all over town where you won't have to pay a dime.
Want to go for a ride yourself? All paid balloon rides are coordinated through Rainbow Ryders, 823-1111. Also, if you volunteer as a member of a balloon chase crew, you might be able to milk a freebie out of a pilot. You can register at the park or online at the Balloon Fiesta website. For more information, go to aibf.org or call 821-1000.
Balloons rise up from various elementary schools throughout Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Anyone who thinks city elections don't matter, or that they pale in comparison to national politics, hasn't been paying attention. Truth is, they're probably even more important than the glorified, glossy presidential elections that harangue us every four years, replete with spin-doctors, million-dollar TV ads and men behind the proverbial curtain. They also allow you to exert much more influence as a voter.
Regrettably, councilors failed to conduct their business in buccaneer lingo on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Sept. 19. But they didn't completely forego lusty swordplay. Councilor Debbie O'Malley asked why the $500,000-plus for the Tricentennial Towers the city is building at the I-40 and Rio Grande intersection didn't come before the Council. John Castillo of the Municipal Development Dept. said the money came from a variety of sources, including G.O. bonds, rather than the 1 percent for the arts funding overseen by the Council.
Ten days before the polls close on the City of Albuquerque's 2005 election season, an eerie quiet cloaks the campaign. By the time you read this piece, it is possible all hell will have broken loose, but I've given up waiting around for that to happen. I guess our mayoral challengers this year are just too nice to turn up the heat under this pot.
Dateline: Japan—A 32-year-old Japanese woman who called police to report an unreliable hit man was arrested last Wednesday for incitement to murder. The Daily Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday that the unnamed woman contacted a private detective through a website last November and paid him $9,000 in cash to murder her lover's wife. The 40-year-old detective accepted the money and suggested he would carry out the job by chasing the victim on a motorcycle and spraying her with a biological agent in a tunnel. Police also arrested the private detective and found the alleged target unharmed, the newspaper said.
Unanswered questions about Mayor Marty's money machine
“This could be the same old wolf in a new, improved merino wool coat,” former Albuquerque City Councilor Hess Yntema told me. He was talking about a noteworthy feature of Mayor Martin Chavez' re-election campaign. Of the more than $860,000 in cash raised by Chavez, $105,000 has been paid to his former chief of staff, Teri Baird, and her brand new consulting company.
Listening to the KUNM call in show last Thursday morning while getting ready for work, I perfected the art of brushing my teeth with various degrees of intensity, at times stopping completely in order to hear what was being said. The living wage, pros and cons, yadda yadda, we've heard all the arguments ... or so I thought.
The door's open but the ride it ain't free
And I know you're lonely
For words I ain't spoken
But tonight we’ll be free
All the promises'll be broken
–“Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen
I have always yearned to be a judge, a news anchor or a high school girls' volleyball coach. Why? Because these are careers that do not require pants. Judges have robes, anchors have desks and the coaches get probation. Thankfully, pants are essential to American politics. And it isn't just because without them the only thing between you and molten retinas is the lectern on C-SPAN.
The slacks don't make the slacker—the pockets do. No pants, no pockets. No pockets, no ... Hey! Get your hand out of there.
Stick a Cork in It—South Valley artist and humanitarian Corky Frausto opens up his spacious hacienda this weekend for the second annual CorkFest, a full day of art, music and assorted entertainment. It's a DIY backyard art festival designed to shine a spotlight on some of the best local artistry currently being concocted in our city.
The Maids at SolArts
It's so difficult to find adequate help these days, don't you find? Servants simply don't have the same respect for their employers that they had in previous generations. If the butler isn't raiding the liquor cabinet, the valet is taking the Rolls for joyrides, the nanny is mistreating the children, or the maids are trying to kill you.
This year has already seen a pestilence of floods, fires, bombings, plane crashes, a tsunami that killed almost a quarter million people, and this nation's worst natural disaster. It would seem that Mother Nature and our own bad selves have trumped the ability to imagine anything bigger or worse. Fittingly, the fall and winter of this publishing season are notably thin on fiction, but large on hulking works of nonfiction that might help us catch up with this out-of-control bobsled called planet Earth. Here are a few soon-to-be-released titles that are especially notable.
Cajun Invasion in the Land of Enchantment—Washed out of Louisiana, the feature film The Flock is pulling up stakes and moving to New Mexico. The project will bring crew members with it from Louisiana and will employ an additional 72 New Mexicans.
Bullet-riddled Belgian thriller gives American crime a run for its money
America all but invented the crime film back in the '30s and '40s--blame Warner Brothers and James Cagney for its universal appeal. The French took it over in the '50s and '60s, giving us the likes of Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Delon--blame them for the very term film noir. Since then, it's been an all-out battle royale over who's got the toughest guys and the most fatale femmes. Is it the Italians with their violent thrillers? Or the Asians with their high-caliber bullet operas? Or the Americans with their Tarantino-esque pulp?
Rancid high school satire can't seem to figure out who it hates
Director Marcos Siega has your typical Hollywood resume: He directed a bunch of music videos (Blink 182, 311, Weezer), cranked out a couple TV show episodes (“Fastlane,” “Veronica Mars”), tried his hand at a hip indie film (Pretty Persuasion), then got roped into directing some generic vehicle for tween star Nick Cannon (the blink-and-you-missed-it Underclassman). It's hard to tell which came first, Siega's hip vanity project or his summer movie sellout. In the end, it doesn't really matter. Pretty Persuasion, hitting theaters on the not-so-hot heels of Underclassman, does everything it can to score cred as a sharp black satire for snarky high schoolers. Unfortunately, Pretty Persuasion goes to a well already tapped-out by the likes of Heathers, Election, Cruel Intentions, Mean Girls and countless others.
“Everybody Hates Chris” on UPN
United Paramount Network, still stinging from the failure of its “Star Trek” franchise, has been struggling to find its identity. For years now, the network has been content to set up a few nights of low-rated “urban” sitcoms and leave the rest of the week to the sharks. This season, however, finds the network on the verge of what could be its biggest breakout hit. The amusingly titled “Everybody Hates Chris” draws on the comedic star power of Chris Rock to form the backbone of a solid sitcom property.
The Week in Sloth
Party Hard and Help, N'Awlins Style—It probably won't help your hangover any, but going Downtown this Thursday, Sept. 29, might just make you feel a whole lot better about the world. That's because when you buy a $5 wristband from a participating bar (Maloney's, Sauce/Raw, OPM, Ned's, The Library or the Launchpad), you'll effectively donate your cash to the American Red Cross Katrina Relief Fund. Plus, it's all Mardi Gras-themed, so you might catch sight of some boobs in the name of charity. (LM)
Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m.; National Hispanic Cultural Center (all-ages): Reggaeton is hot right now, people. There's no way you haven't heard it—either on "Latino and Proud" Mega 104.1 FM, or pouring out from vehicles that are ... uh, tuned to Mega 104.1 FM. Essentially, the genre is a combination of fierce dancehall reggae, electronic beats and rapid-fire Spanish rap. The end result is reggaeton's signature "dem bow" sound—a clubby, understated shuffle that has the power to make young people of all national origins get nasty. Hot! Surely this hypnotic backbeat is the secret weapon of Pokoloko, a hunky bilingual threesome who've gotten great acclaim for their "machine gun-style" reggaeton. Honestly, I have yet to lay ears upon them—but why should I have to? Just look at Machete's glistening, rock-hard abs! And, mira! You cannot escape Axion's bulging biceps, nor can you shake Alex-J's intense "I want u, girl" gaze. I'm already overcome with the urge to "shake it." I must ... get ... down. Tickets for Pokoloko are $10, $15 and $20 (with a $5 NHCC member discount available) at the NHCC Box Office, Ticketmaster locations, and at Ticketmaster.com. For additional show information, contact the NHCC at 724-4771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Detach Records Showcase this Friday at Burt's Tiki Lounge is sure to be brimming with independent rock music and perhaps even a few sea shanties. We recently forced this pop quiz on Detach band The Mindy Set. Next, I will force them to dance a jig.
"It's not ratted, it's feathered," say hellion hair-hoppers Scenester, Shoulder Voices and Romeo Goes to Hell. Well, whatever you call it, it's a hair don't.
Get in touch with your inner hippie dude
Tathata (pronounced Tah-thah-tah) started when members of a backup belly-dancing group crossed paths with some fire circle attendees. The result, according to their press release, is "Albuquerque's grooviest pagan dance band." The release says Tathata "pulls from various local scenes such as festival, foot stomp and frolicking feast" but many might be tempted to label them as a "jam band."
Notice the nervous laughter
Henry Rollins plans to take his "25 Years of Bullshit" all over the country, and this week, on his second stop, he brings it to Albuquerque.
For all of you out there who crave the early holiday 411, here's the skinny on a fat seasonal store, the New Mexico Food and Gift Showcase. Pivotal vendor Debi Barnes, purveyor of Uncle Mabe's Barbeque Sauce, assures us that their holiday haven will be packed to the rafters with local goodies like salsas, sauces, coffees, jellies and jams, spices, seasonings, soup and dip mixes, and the list goes on. With upwards of 500 products from 60 vendors, there's probably something for everyone. (At least for the people who really dig green chile-roasted nuts and chipotle jelly.) The shop is located in Cottonwood Mall's lower level, between Foley's and the M.V.D. We asked Barnes if there was a downside to being in the holiday goodie business, to which she gave a Santa-esque belly laugh and said, "Yes—when you get Habañero up your nose." The Showcase is scheduled to open on Oct. 28, and will disappear like Christmas fudge by Dec. 31.
It's been a hard day's night—you should be eatin' like a king!
Watching balloons float through the cold, autumnal predawn does a lot more than inspire awe in those who witness it—it also stirs up a brisk and compelling appetite for things that comfort us. For the enthusiasts who come out to Balloon Fiesta Park each year, there are plenty of autumnal mornings to be had; and for each of them there's an egg and cheese breakfast burrito, a four-pack of cinnamon rolls, a steamy cup of hot cocoa. Bliss.