I know. It seems like we rip on the Albuquerque Journal a lot here in Alibi-land. We do. And most of the time it's deserved. But this week, although our beloved daily is still hovering high on our shit list, our beef goes beyond the local media. It goes all the way to the top. Get ready for a mainstream media rant (MSM ... different from MSG but probably just as bad for your brain); but this time, find a safe place in a doorway somewhere ... we're talkin' earthquakes.
Dateline: Germany—Bulgarian Tihomir Titschko became the first European chess-boxing champion last week in Berlin. Chess boxing is described as the newest and most unlikely of “hybrid sports,” designed to test both brains and brawn. A typical match consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of boxing and “blitz” chess sessions. Boxing rounds last two minutes each, while the “blitz” chess style allows competitors 12 minutes on the clock before the match is over. The World Chess Boxing Organization, which trains several dozen boxers twice a week near its headquarters in Berlin, says combining the “No. 1 intellectual sport” with the “No. 1 fighting sport” offers a unique challenge. Although a chess-boxing contest can end with a knockout, the final match between Tihomir Titschko and Andreas Schneider, of Germany, ended with Scheider's concession. Schneider kept pace with Titschko into the seventh round, but his 12 minutes of chess time had nearly elapsed and his king and remaining pawns were in retreat. Chess boxing is the brainchild of Iepe Rubingh, 31, a Dutch artist who lives in Germany.
Writing for Reality—The New Mexico Screenwriter's Speaker Series returns with a Saturday morning seminar titled “Writing Commercial Documentaries Now.” Discover your own inner March of the Penguins with noted documentary filmmaker Craig Coffman. Since 1997, Coffman has produced over 60 hours of documentary programs as a supervising producer, writer, editor or director for The History Channel, Discovery, Food Network, Fine Living, TLC and others. Coffman's seminar will center on what kind of writing is going on in the projects now airing on and sought by cable networks. The event will take place at Rio Grande Studios (6608 Gulton NE), from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. Admission is $15, which includes refreshments and handouts. Full-time student and teacher rate is $10. For more information on the Screenwriter's Speaker Series, log on to www.nmscreenwriters.com.
Crawl Love—Despite the rain—or perhaps because of it—this weekend's Fall Crawl was the most enjoyable that I've ever attended. Central was alive with Crawlers without being uncomfortably overcrowded, and bands still got to play to packed houses. Likewise, the ratio of local to national acts was right-on for my tastes. I'll admit that there were even a few locals that I had never heard before. (I'm talking to you, Cherry Tempo—and I'll see you in November.) At the end of the night the streets weren't asphyxiated with vomit. No, just horse shit from our peace-keeping mounted Albuquerque police units. Thanks, guys! I'm aware that you've probably got your own opinion on how it all went down, and I encourage you to share your experience with us while it's still fresh on your mind. You can do this a few ways: Write a letter to the editor (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), call me personally (346-0660, ext. 260) or rant about it on www.rocksquawk.com. Every bit of information is useful to us as we begin thinking about the next Crawl, six months from now in the Spring. What did you enjoy? What kinks could stand to be ironed out? Tell us all about it. And pray for rain.
The writing on the side says, "The Unholy Ghost of Jesus commands you to come and rock." Obey! The show is with Caustic Lye, Kronow and Lower Than Dirt this Saturday, Oct. 22, at Atomic Cantina. Always free, always 21-and-over, usually evil. (LM)
As you struggle up through sleep, out of a sad dream you can't remember, you might hear the static-muffled sounds of "Forever," the first track on the debut of The Very Hush Hush. The melodious delirium continues, but the pace increases as drum(s)/machines kick in and distorted vocals urgently begin telling you something just beyond your grasp. Created by two classically trained pianists living in a haunted house, the album is spookily familiar ... a good thing. Put some albums by The Faint and Sigúr Rós in the blender and listen as you fall asleep. It'd sound like this.
Rock, Roll and Write—The idea behind the First Fiction Tour is to bring a little rock and roll glam to a staged literary event. Think of it as Lollapalooza for the writerly crowd. The 2005 version of the tour comes to the St. Clair Winery & Bistro (901 Rio Grande NW) this Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. It features three first-time authors, all of whom have a flair for live performance. Lisa Selin Davis is the author of Belly, a novel about an ex-con druggie gambler named William "Belly" O'Leary. Karen Olsson is the author of Waterloo, which tells the tale of a thirtysomething guy who's trying to make sense of a screwed up love life in Austin, Texas. Finally, Victoria Vinton is the author of The Jungle Law, a fictionalized account of Rudyard Kipling's life after he moved to Vermont in 1892. Numerous food and drink specials will be available, so come on down, stuff yourself, get a good buzz going and give a listen to the future of American literature. For more information, call 344-8139.
Gruet at the Grille—Gruet Steakhouse and Wine Bar is just nine months old, but the success of the upscale steakhouse has prompted business partners Frank Marcello, Laurent Gruet and Farid Himeur to expand the Gruet brand to yet another restaurant. The Gruet Grille opened a few days ago in the old Café Bodega building (4243 Montgomery NE), which now boasts an oyster bar and several other renovations. The bistro-style menu pairs fresh fish and high-end comfort foods with an extensive collection of wines. For the time being, lunch is available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., with dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m. Call 888-7004 for reservations—and let us know what you think!