A couple weekends ago, I ran into some friends standing outside a club against a backdrop of Downtown cruisers in near-deadlock. “What's up?” I asked. “Nothing,” one replied, nodding at the barely moving cars, “just watching some people who are obviously more bored than we are.”
Saturday, August 19, noon-9pm
It's Aug. 19, 2017. You're getting evaluated by a real medical doctor. You're making tie-dye. You're learning more about your medicine. You're supporting legalization of a useful plant. You're eating delicious food. Where are you? At the first annual New Mexico HempFest of course! Entry is totally free, and parking is a measly $1 per car at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park. You are roaming around enjoying live music from local bands, a Hemposium tent with exciting speakers, a kids' activity area and dozens of regional artists, farmers, educators, plus lots of tasty food trucks. You're with all your friends and family at this all-ages, family-friendly event and having an absolute blast celebrating New Mexico's hemp industry.
Wednesday, August 23 beginning at 6pm
The low-down on an art form
Lowriders emerged in the Chicano communities of Southern California during the late ’40s and spread throughout the Southwest. Outsiders sometimes make the unfair assumption that lowriders and cruising represent antisocial behavior, associating them with drugs, violence, gangs and other wayward societal misfortunes. But those who've tracked the history of lowriders see it as an art form with important societal implications: There are parallels between cruising lowriders and the paseo which was a practice in Mexican villages wherein unmarried men and women walked in opposite directions, checking each other out. The elaborately decorated lowrider is also seen as a 20th century translation of the elaborately decorated Moorish horse in Spain.
It takes an understanding of the politics of local car clubs to put a safe, smooth show together
“When I see a place, it's a parking lot. It's a building. It's steps. I see the steps as seating capacity. I see the walkways. I can see gold and chrome and paint,” says Squirrel Montoya, producer of some of the biggest lowrider shows Albuquerque has seen since the mid ’80s.
Alex Montaño can remember when these parking lots along west Central would fill with lowriders, banter and impromptu hydraulics competitions. The Sonic under the neon Route 66 overhang would be jammed with nothing but lowriders, and you'd drive through to holler at your friends, show off your car and, of course, pick up girls, he says.
Two-year-old Alexandria is suffering from Sticklers Syndrome, which causes blindness and hearing loss. Route 66 Promotions will be raffling off a lowrider bike at the car show, and all proceeds of the raffle will go toward aiding Alex's family with medical expenses. $1 off every ticket to the show will also go toward helping Alex. Anyone wishing to donate additional money can send it to: Bank of America c/o Alexandria Rodriguez, Cindy Rodriguez, Account #00430460770.
My Fantasy Lowrider
Fantasizing about cars is one of my favorite daydreams (and it’s a damn good thing my dreams don't come true because if they did, I’d have a volume of Plymouths, Volvos and dune buggies on my hands). So when asked to dream up a lowrider for myself, with no consideration for the logistics, difficulty, time and coin that actually goes into creating any work of art, it was a no-brainer. I immediately decided on a Polynesian theme: a pineapple exterior and a luau interior. Pineapples taste good to me, their shape is hilarious and their golden ratio proportions are enticing. They also summon thoughts of tropical beaches, drinks, sunsets and the aloha lifestyle. The same can be said for the luau that would take place on the interior of my lowrider.
He has a tattoo of a squirrel running up one leg and coming back down the other with two nuts in its mouth. That's what he says, anyway. You'll have to ask someone else if it's true—although the word “Martha” with a red “Void” stamped over it is displayed prominently on his upper arm.
A rare 1963 Impala. A gold-plated engine. An anaconda-skin ragtop. Twelve painters. One-hundred and fifty master craftsmen. $170,000 in materials. Nearly 10 years of work. What do you get when you combine all these things? Anaconda, the most famous lowrider in the world.
Rolling through Española
The northern New Mexico town of Española is located not far north of Santa Fe, between Los Alamos and Taos. Approximately 10,000 people live in the town that was originally established in 1598 by Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate. Being surrounded by an amalgam of attractions and having its own arts community, Española is a tourist stop. However, the town is best known as the lowrider capital of the world; it supposedly has more lowriders per capita than any other place on Earth. While there isn’t necessarily any solid evidence that would confirm the town's claim to fame, there isn’t any evidence to refute it.
Sunday, May 28
Sandia Motor Speedway
100 Speedway SW
Doors open at noon
Includes: cars, trucks, bicycles and a special appearance by the Anaconda and a car-hopping exhibition
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door
Get them in advance at:
Record Roundup 2529 San Mateo NE
Gotcha Covered 3004 Second Street
Alberto's Tire Shop at 2500 Isleta SW
El Segunda 1810 Central SW
Call 203-9807, 242-4800, 452-9205
Saturday, May 27-Sunday, May 28
Two nights of jet car racing and shows.
Silence is Golden—The second annual Santa Fe Live Music Silent Film Festival gets going (quietly) this weekend at the Lensic Theater just off the Santa Fe Plaza. This year, the festival will kick off with a special conference on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m. This Film-Music Gathering is intended to highlight the potential opportunities that the expanding film industry may offer to local professional musicians, composers, producers and technicians. Keynote speakers include Dave Grusman, who has scored such films as Gidget (1966), The Graduate (1967), On Golden Pond (1981), The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) and Mulholland Falls (1996). Following the speakers will be a question and answer session. This free event is presented with cooperation from the New Mexico Film Office, the New Mexico Music Commission and the Santa Fe Economic Development Department.
A movie about a guy making a movie about a book about a guy writing a book (sort of)
Written in 1760, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is considered to be the first postmodern novel in English literature--which is quite a feat, considering the author had a couple hundred years to go before there was anything modern enough to be “post-” about. The book concerns the efforts of one upper-class Englishman, Tristram Shandy by name, to relate his life story. Over the course of several hundred bawdy and highly satirical pages, Mr. Shandy never quite seems to get past the circumstances of his own birth. If the book is “about” anything, it is the inability of something as rigid as art to encapsulate something as chaotic and amorphous as this thing called Life. The book, though considered a classic of English literature, has long been labeled “unfilmable.”
Columbia Pictures wasn’t in any big hurry to screen The Da Vinci Code for critics. The film didn’t even make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival until the middle of last week, a mere couple of days before its massive worldwide opening. Mixed review from audiences at Cannes fueled speculation that Columbia didn’t want bad press leaking out before the opening, but the simple fact of the matter is that The Da Vinci Code is this summer’s guaranteed box office champion. Who needs publicity when you’re adapting one of the hottest books ever published? If everyone who picked up the novel (some 40 million people and counting) comes to the theater to buy a ticket, you’ve got a certified blockbuster. Add in all the people too lazy to actually sit down and read a book, and you’ve got one of the biggest films in box office history. So who needs reviews? Clearly not the audience for The Da Vinci Code. Here’s one anyway.
Fall season shapes up around the dial
Last week, while viewers were busy watching the big season finales, the broadcast networks were engaging in an annual ritual known as “upfront presentations.” Upfronts are the time when the networks announce what their fall season schedules will look like. So, what shows have been given the boot and what new content we can look forward to this September/October?
The Week in Sloth
Shorty Pants—Director Kristen Loree will be delving into some of the less conspicuous short pieces in the Mark Twain canon, such as “Was it Heaven? Or Hell?,” “Carnival of Crime and Connecticut,” “Eve's Diary,” “Advice to Girls,” “Adam's Diary” and other brief work by the master of socially incisive humor. Twain Shorts apparently takes plenty of artistic license with Twain's work. Odds are pretty high this will be a hoot. The show opens this weekend at Sol Arts (712 Central SW). Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., through June 4. For more information or to make reservations, call 244-0049.
An interview with Ann Bromberg
For the past year and a half, artists Ann Bromberg and Steve Teeters collaborated on Migrating Feast, a new exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum that celebrates families who immigrated to the Southwest from all over the world. Teeters, based in Lubbock, Texas, and Bromberg, based in Albuquerque, use old photographs, notes and recipes to create their sensual pieces. With these artifacts, the two have created magnificently collaged images that are incorporated into and on beautiful antique suitcases, spice cabinets, pot racks, violin cases and a handmade ferris wheels—to name just a few items. It's fascinating, poetic work.
Is the level of arsenic in Albuquerque’s drinking water cause for concern or apathy?
As Albuquerque’s Water Utility Authority (WUA) works to bring down arsenic levels in the city’s drinking water, the importance of doing so depends on who you ask.
Recounts in New Mexico just got a whole lot cheaper
Before last Tuesday, only a rich man could get a recount in New Mexico.
Sick Obsession--It's nothing new that tastelessly told human drama stories permeate TV broadcasting like incurable viruses, but it seems as though this trend has recently gone to a whole new level. I’ve noticed an unusual amount of stories in the last few weeks on network television dealing with children who’ve been sexually abused and adults who are sexually attracted to children and teens. It’s a topic to take seriously, and one which has affected more people than most of us would like to imagine. But from its excessive coverage, pedophiles and sexually exploited children have become analogous to the proverbial car crash.
APD's anti-cruising campaign begins
Drive by a Downtown traffic control point three times in two hours this weekend, and you might get slapped with a ticket.
Dateline: Scotland—Volunteers cleaning up the peak of Britain’s highest mountain were puzzled last week to come across a full-sized piano, abandoned near the 4,418-foot summit. The piano was recovered last weekend by 15 volunteers from the John Muir Trust, a conservation charity that owns the Scottish peak known as Ben Nevis. “It’s a 4,000-foot mountain. It’s very steep. It’s rough ground. ... To get a piano up there is pretty good going,” Nigel Hawkins, director of the John Muir Trust told AFP. He said it appeared to be an upright piano, with its cast-iron frame and strings intact. Unfortunately for music lovers, the keyboard was missing. The charity has put out a public appeal to find out how the piano went up the mountain and why. The only clue as to the instrument’s origin was an empty cookie wrapper found underneath it with a “best-before” date of December 1986. Some 120,000 people climb Ben Nevis every year.
Musings on zoo transportation
On a recent Saturday, in fulfillment of one of the most critical components of the social contract, I took four grandchildren to the zoo. I was assisted in this task by two other adult men.
The Return of 500--Ready for some complicated math? Local hard rock outfit 500 (or Fivehundred, depending on who you talk to), which is made up of former members of Fatso and used to style themselves Mr. Spectacular, is back after calling it quits last year. Still with me? It seems they've filled out their sound with another guitar player, ratcheting up the supercharged trio to a four-piece. 500's triumphant returning show was at the Atomic Cantina a few weeks ago, but you can witness their undeniable face-rocking this Friday, May 26, at the Launchpad. It'll be a night of local breadwinners with Scenester and SuperGiant.
Tokyo’s much heralded post-rockers pay Albuquerque a visit
There’s a litany of adjectives that are almost always used when describing a band that fits, however loosely, into the realm of instrumental post-rock. These adjectives include: lush, layered, hypnotic and soaring, just to name a few. MONO can certainly be described using these terms, but what the words don’t properly convey is the profound influence of emotion that pervades MONO’s sound.
with Reverend Deadeye and The MindySet
Saturday, May 27, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: Ray Jackson and his compatriots from Lomita started off with the straightforward intentions of being a country band. Like greedy kids in a candy store, Lomita’s hunger for multiple genre num-nums caused them to branch out and create music that combines ambient tones with pseudo-psychedelia and pedal- and lap steel-aided riffs, which give the band a twanged-out indie rock flavor. Think of the band as a darker version of Pavement.
Saturday, May 22, Isleta Casino (12-and-over [seriously]); $20-$40: Did you know that Kenny Loggins is “a sonic pioneer in the smooth jazz genre,” has achieved 12 platinum albums during his career and won a 1980 Grammy for best male pop vocalist? (But his people want you to know that “the true measure of this man cannot be weighed in platinum and gold.” The tiniest of tears just came to my eye.)
SuperGiant, 500 and Scenester do the triple Friday night high-five. See this week’s “Music to Your Ears” for slightly more info. Cover is $5 and it’s not all-ages. Sorry, children. (LM)
Underage, overage or lying-
about- your- age— this venue is all about the scene, not the green
Just about a year ago, Mayor Martin Chavez shoved the term "all-ages venue" into the mouths of every musician and music fan in town. With the simple threat of banning all-ages shows at venues that sell alcohol, a huge debate was sparked, music supporters marched and regulations passed enforcing precautions to prevent underage drinking. But all-ages shows have not been banned. The debate has polarized both sides—the city nearly accusing every all-ages show of directly contributing to underage drinking, and the music community screaming that banning alcohol sales will kill the all-ages scene. It isn't over.
I'm happy to report that Wrangler's (Fifth Street and Lead), a cherry of an inexpensive Downtown breakfast and lunch spot, has been approved for their liquor license--They've already added a small, umbrella-shaded patio to the front of the restaurant and hope to begin a dinner service with beer and wine later this week. They also have plans to open for dinner on the weekends with hours that compete for the bar crowd, until 1 or 2 a.m. Call 842-1600 for an update.
“I’m a subversive,” declares Dr. Marion Nestle, author of the new book, What to Eat. Dr. Nestle, a professor of nutrition and public health, voiced her comments this week in Albuquerque at the Fourth Annual UNM Obesity Symposium.
Meals that will complete you
I have a confession to make about Mexican food. I am originally from the Midwest (gasp) and I have always loved that region’s version of Mexican food (gasp again). I grew up cooking and eating what residents of New Mexico might charitably refer to as “Tex-Mex”-style food, the characteristics of which include enchilada sauce, black olives and massive quantities of sour cream. Nothing made me happier as a kid than for my dad to declare it taco night, because that meant rows of crunchy Old El Paso taco shells, mountains of refried beans out of those little yellow cans and Mexican rice loaded with tomatoes, bell peppers and that strangely intoxicating vinegary taste. We even had “fiesta corn” (translation: bell peppers mean fiesta). Stop gasping now; you may get brain damage and I could be blamed.
with The Dirty Novels and The Roxie Harts
Monday, May 22, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: The Demolition Doll Rods’ “Take You Home” (There is a Difference, Swami, 2006) is like a hard punch in the gut that’s equal parts love and raw power. Fisticuffs aside, there is something strangely polite about the grimey soulfulness that permeates the Demolition Dolls’ Detroit Rock City revelings. They’re not out to make your ears bleed, just to wake you up a little with a hard slap on the back; trying to keep you from choking on too much geniality.
Summer movie guide
While the summer movie season doesn’t officially start until Memorial Day, Hollywood has been opening the window of opportunity wider and wider each summer. Couch-hopping Tom Cruise pretty much shattered it this season, leading his Mission: Impossible III team into theaters a full month before Memorial Day. Not to worry, though; there are plenty more blockbusters to ogle--from a certain code to a familiar pirate to the return of a man in a heroic red cape.
Happy Birthday, Launchpad!--Whether you call it Launchy, The Pad, Lawn Chair or any other pejoratively endearing name, the Launchpad will celebrate nine years in the biz this Saturday, May 20. In their traditional style, Albuquerque's most venerable rock club will host a shitload of bands (visit www.launchpadrocks.com for the full lineup; there were 21 at last count, I think), with free food and cheap drinks all the live-long day. The live music starts at 10 a.m. and keeps it coming until 2 a.m. Due to the high number of under-21 musicians in this year's lineup, Launchpad supporters of all ages will be welcome to join in the music up until 5 p.m. Those over 21 with valid IDs will be permitted to come and go as they like. That's all for a one-time cover charge of $5, a portion of which will be donated to the Rio Grande Chapter Red Cross. You are defenseless. Just go.
with the Epoxies, Teenage Bottlerocket and Romeo Goes to Hell
Sunday, May 21, Launchpad (all-ages); $10: The Phenomenauts bought their way onto the Warped tour with breakfast burritos, played the sidewalk outside of the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco and are now on their way to the Launchpad for an all-ages show that’s sure to leave you full of joy and covered in toilet paper. It is clear that Commander Angel Nova and his loyal space-traversing crew have a sincere love for the live show--and that love pays dividends for those lucky enough to see their live performance. With the help of their “Theramatic-Helmerator” (a helmet with a theremin attached to it) and their trusty “Streamerator” (a leaf blower that shoots toilet paper at the crowd), The Phenomenauts create an atmosphere that’s beyond compare ... on this planet, at least.
Ex-Albuquerque composer brings her new quintet to Outpost’s Creative Soundscape Festival
Guitarist, composer and Albuquerque native Lily Maase has been living in Brooklyn, N.Y., for about 10 months now, yet she’s accomplished what sounds like 10 years’ worth of work already.
Ageism-free progressive rock since 2003
Hidden carefully within many sock drawers are deep, haunting secrets. Tales so mystifying that only dear diary can understand. Poems written to an unattainable love. Confessions of who it really was that stole the cookies from the cookie jar. Stories you want to forget, but remember years later through fits of laughter. Some stories never make it to the plastic-bound pages under layers of hosiery—they go straight to vinyl.
Pencil it into your schedule: The Kronic Obsession, The Attic Banned, Vertigo Venus and Dyings Destiny on Sunday, May 21. Show starts at 6 p.m. at SolArts. (LM)
All over the city, local hip-hop shined last Saturday.
Starting at 11 a.m. at Los Altos Skate Park, a free concert and barbecue attracted skaters, bikers, and music lovers. Samuel Tobias Bryant, a 28 year old entrepreneur and his partner Nathaniel Carson were responsible for the all-day picnic. The duo opened a BMX shop across the street from the skate park called Burque Bikes, and were looking for a little promotion.
“We want everybody to get off their ass, ride their bikes, enjoy some sun, be happy and be human again,” Carson said.
Word. The music wasn’t all hip-hop, although just about every local emcee was on the list. Dirtheadz, One Foundation, Garbage Pail Kidz, 2bers and reggae/ hip-hop artist Kev Lee got down all day, until everyone had their fill of green chile tortilla burgers.
The Shining Town—OmniRootz Productions presents a new production of Owen Vincent Dodson's play The Shining Town, opening this Friday at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW). The OmniRootz crew did a production of the play a couple years back in the KiMo, and it was a big artistic success for them. They'll pump new life into the script by the Harlem Renaissance playwright—mixing in jazz, hip-hop and poetry. The play runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m., through May 27. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. An open dress rehearsal on Thursday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. is a pay-what-you-can performance. 385-5634.
Colección FEMSA at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
Several people have approached me over the last couple weeks with variations on the same question: “Dude/Steve-o/Your Highness, have you seen the new show over at the National Hispanic Cultural Center? It so rocks.”
The Navajo Elks Lodge
The United States has never declared a Malcolm X holiday, probably because of the type of leader he was, says Ejypt Clough, a local poet. “Maybe he was too much of a rebel, and he wasn't always peaceful. Maybe it's because nobody really got together and fought to have it,” she says.
‘‘I am an American, Chicago-born," announced the narrator of Saul Bellow’s classic 1953 novel The Adventures of Augie March. If that book were published today, Augie might also utter Stuart Smiley’s immortal line: "I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me!"
Police on Segways, prisoner transport and curbing intoxication
It’s not a crackdown, says Sgt. Juan Griego of the state’s Special Investigation Division. But at a meeting held last Tuesday, May 9, by the Downtown Action Team, the topic of choice was public safety. At the event, the city rolled out its plans for Downtown enforcement this summer. And it goes a little something like this:
Paper ballots are the wave of the future in New Mexico
During the 30-day State Legislative session earlier this year, a bill requiring all precincts in the state to use paper ballot voting systems (SB 295/HB 430) passed in the Senate and House. The legislation was later signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson. Now state officials are in the midst of trying to meet the new requirements (uniform paper ballot voting systems across the state and an adequate number of voting machines) before this fall’s midterm election.
No yellow-brick road here--it's strictly numbers and dollar signs. The primary election is just around the corner and candidates have filed campaign reports with Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. The reports make all the gritty details of financing an election accessible to the public, including total contributions, names of contributors, loan amounts and where all the money is going. This table includes the big numbers--how much money each primary candidate has received for the 2006 election up until the file date of May 8 in the form of monetary donations and goods, plus the gubernatorial candidates running in the general election in November. For complete details, visit the Secretary of State's website: www.sos.state.nm.us.
Hey, This Isn't "My"Space—Raise your hand if you read the Terms of Agreement before signing up for stuff online.
The vote on the fate of Westland Development draws near
To say that Westland Development is a piece of land is to say the United States is nothing more than divided earth. To say that the fate of Westland will help sculpt the future of Albuquerque also does not give it justice. To say the company’s proposition is historic, monumental, a deal that could not only permanently affect the region but also the lives of thousands and generations to come edges closer to the truth. To say that Westland Development is a living piece of heritage whose destiny is teetering precipitously on the outcome of a few thousand votes is to call it what it is: a past, a present and a potential.
America’s assassin training program
Since only 16 percent of Americans have a passport, what most of us know about how the rest of the world sees us is indirect: filtered information derived second- or third-hand from print media or television.
Will Albuquerque and the rest of New Mexico’s towns find their heart?
Wanna have some fun with the locals? Pretend you're a tourist and start asking people where the center of town is. Most people in Albuquerque will respond, “You mean Downtown?” Then you should say, “Well, the place where people interact, the place that sort of sums up the town.”
Dateline: England--A pet fish has been blamed for burning down a family home in Poole, Dorset. Kipper, an 8-inch catfish, is thought to have triggered the freak accident when it fought with a rival in its tank. According to an article in England’s The Sun, fire investigators believe that water splashed out of the aquarium and landed on an electric plug below. That sent a power surge up the tank’s light cable, causing the plastic lid to burn, which melted and dripped onto a leather sofa, which finally burst into flames. The flames soon engulfed the family’s living room. Luckily, a smoke alarm woke the building’s landlord, who rushed 25-year-old Sharron Killahena and her two children out of their upstairs bedrooms. The home was destroyed and all six fish in the tank died, but, “at least we are here to tell the tale,” said Killahena.
Governor’s Cup Runneth Over--Governor Bill Richardson announced last week the four winners of the 2006 Governor’s Cup Short Screenplay Competition. Last time the Governor’s Cup happened, it took the form of a statewide short film festival, the winners of which went on to compete for the best short in New Mexico. This time around, the Governor’s Cup focussed on writing. According to the State Film Office, more than 400 entries were sent in from all corners of New Mexico--from Farmington to Lovington, from Raton to Chapparal. “We were delighted by the response from the writing community,” said Lisa Strout, director of the New Mexico Film Office, in a press release.
The early stink of summer movie b.o.
After last year’s abysmal box office performance, executives from Hollywood’s movie studios are standing on pins and needles waiting to see what moviegoers will think of this summer’s cinematic offerings. Will the summer of 2006 soar like Superman (the hero and the movie), or will it sink like Poseidon (the ship and the film)?
The 2006 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase
Getting to work in downtown Albuquerque proved to be a bit of a chore last week. Employees trying to negotiate Central found themselves routed around the city’s downtown hub. The reason? John Travolta, Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence were busy filming their new middle-aged biker comedy Wild Hogs for Touchstone Pictures.
Season enders around the dial
Having waded through approximately half of this spring’s 28-day May Sweeps Month (officially coming to an end on Wednesday, May 24), I’ve come to one conclusion: Season finales deliver a lot more tease than climax. With assorted sitcoms, dramas and reality shows coming to their season (and in some cases series) closers, May has subjected us to more cliffhangers, question marks and “will he/she or won’t he/she” dilemmas than an entire week of soap opera programming. But does all this conclusion leave us salivating for more, or merely burned out on the conventions of the medium? Do we even need season finales anymore?
The Week in Sloth
Starting this week, NYPD (Second Street and Central) will expand their hours until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday--Not only that, you'll finally be able to take advantage of the huge new back room from 5:30 p.m.-midnight on the same days. The new space is outfitted with vintage 1980 tabletop arcade games, several beers on tap, flat screen TVs and a discrete outdoor patio. Just wander back through the parking lot to the north of the existing NYPD, or ask for help from a friendly NYPD employee like Stuart.
Where’s the best place to buy wine? There are several “good” stores in town, but there are very few exceptional wine shops. In all honesty, it depends on your level of wine knowledge and what type of person you are. What are you into? What are you looking for? No, I’m not hitting on you. Let me break it down.
Cauliflower and love … with wine
I can still remember when all Bono really did was sing. The “Mysterious Ways” video with its Middle Eastern flair was just one of the many reasons that former high school top 40 pop junkies like myself found a crooning hero in the U.N.-happy lead singer of U2. Since he’s a bit tied up these days, I’ll have to go back to worshiping Lemmy from Motörhead.
The bicycle might well be the most perfect invention of all time. Quicker than walking, healthier and better for the environment than driving a car, more versatile than riding a train or bus, bicycling is an ideal mode of transportation. Best of all, riding a bike is fun. It gives your body a workout when you're heading uphill. Even better, it gives your mind a cheap thrill when you're rolling down.
Tales in pedaling
The response usually goes something like this: “Wait. How did you not learn how to ride a bike until now?” At which point I realize it’s not all that easy to explain.
An old Schwinn's journey from the thrift store to the bike lane
Maybe it's creativity. Maybe it's being cheap. Maybe it's insanity. Whatever the reason, as soon as I saw the old Schwinn hidden among the tattered sofas at Goodwill I knew it was destined to be my new ride. For 25 bucks, it was atop my bike rack—complete with imperfections, disintegrating tires and a flaking paint job. The Schwinn wasn't in such terrible shape. It had wheels, pedals, brakes, gears, a seat, all the basic components one needs for a working, usable bike—except that it wasn't. My mission: to get it out on the asphalt again, back to its natural habitat of road and wind.
According to Albuquerque municipal bike laws, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists on the road. They have the right to take up a lane of traffic as well as the responsibility to obey streetlights and stop signs. Sometimes the safest way to ride is by taking up the entire right-most lane, says Julie Luna, former president of BikeABQ, a local nonprofit bicycling advocacy group. This is especially true, she says, when the lane is small enough that a cyclist's presence forces autos to change lanes to pass.
What amazes me the most about these restrictions is that they show how badass cyclists can be. The fact that our city had to make regulations about some of these biking activities draws a picture for me of a speeding circus bear holding packages in each hand, breaking the sound barrier and barreling down the walkways on a unicycle. Here are five of the most interesting Albuquerque bike laws.
Among lovers of the great outdoors, New Mexico is renowned for its rugged and breathtaking terrain. This reputation is mainly due to the fact that the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains cuts through much of the state, creating an ideal environment for outdoor activities—mountain biking being one of the most popular.
Michael Chavez just began work as an account executive at the Alibi last week. He's probably the most hardcore cyclist we've ever had at the company.
Got bike, will travel? Here's a totally non-
comprehensive list of upcoming biking events around the state. Races, bike swaps, fun rides—it's biker heaven in New Mexico. You have no excuses. Just get out and pedal.
A list of especially useful biking websites
A New Name for Morning Wood XXX--It's been eight years since one beloved local ska (or, by their own definition, "chill-out-skip") outfit formed under the titillating moniker of Morning Wood. I guess that's where all the trouble started.
with Zach Freeman & Ants Have Voices
Friday, May 12, District Bar & Grill (21-and-over, 8 p.m.); Free: With his extraordinary song writing ability, Brent Barry should have left the northern reaches of Taos long ago. He is backed with some fantastic musicians, including the rhythm of Jack Wilson on bass guitar. This is the kind of danceable sound you can’t put your finger on, and the kind of music you won’t be able to get out of your soul. Monsoon, their first album, showcases Barry’s amazing song-writing skills and musical arrangements with a production element that ties it into a nice neat little package. I don’t know who Abe is, or if he is honest or not, but I do know that Brent Barry’s music is some of the most honest I‘ve heard, and this album is about as honest a production as you can get. See for yourself at the District Bar on Friday night, and get your own dose of the Brent Barry and Honest Abe vibe; you will not be disappointed.
with DJ Spark, Dreeg, Physics and Marco Montana
If Albuquerque hears its belly rumbling for hip-hop, there's good reason.
with Billa and Lunarsequence
It’s a common misconception that Mormons aren’t allowed to dance. It’s true that you can’t drink or smoke. No tea or coffee, either. It’s sort of a no-no to date inside your gender. You’ll have to stay away from any of those hard-to-pronounce, acronymized, serotonin-rushing designer drugs that were so popular in the late ’90s--and for that matter, most things people tend to do on those drugs--but, happily, it turns out you get a pass on the dancing.
with The Giranimals and The Cherry Tempo
Monday, May 15, Launchpad (21-and-over); $6: Things have been solidifying for Aloha. It used to flow. Composition was loose. Improvised sections were built into songs. Now they've hardened a bit.
The band soon to be formerly known as Morning Wood XXX invites you to witness their rebirth at Burt’s on Saturday, May 13. They’ll be joined by brilliant hip-hoppers Mantis Fist, Rod Shot Band, Trans-gender Manblender and host Nick Fury. Free at 9 p.m., but you must be of legal drinking age. (LM)
Details on the Zimmerman Library fire
A little piece of history was singed the night Zimmerman Library's basement caught fire.
When journalists pursue a story, it's their job to ask themselves two important questions: “Why now?” and “so what?”
At the May 1 City Council meeting, citizens packed the underground chamber to argue over Councilor Sally Mayer's long-deferred, massive HEART ordinance designed to control treatment of animals in the city. Meanwhile, up on Civic Plaza, "Day Without an Immigrant" marchers filtered in from Tiguex Park, a film company's trucks ringed the plaza and the Convention Center was actually busy.
Dateline: The Philippines—Although he claimed he could see the future, an eccentric Filipino judge was surprised recently when he was fired by the country’s Supreme Court. “They should not have dismissed me for what I believed,” Florentino Floro, a trial judge in the capital’s Malabon northern suburb, told reporters after filing his appeal. Floro was sacked last month and fined 40,000 pesos ($780) after a three-year investigation found he was incompetent, had shown bias in a case he was trying and had criticized court procedure. In addition to his ability to see into the future, the judge told investigators that three invisible mystic dwarves named Armand, Luis and Angel helped him carry out healing sessions during breaks in his chambers. The Supreme Court agreed with the court clinic’s finding that he was suffering from psychosis.
Teachings from a mean eraser
At the all-boys school in which I spent my formative years, I several times witnessed an “education moment” take place suddenly, practically instantaneously.
Media in the Movies—The Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will be offering the local premiere of Portland, Ore., director Tonje Hessen Schei’s new documentary Independent Intervention. The film will show twice only, on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14, at 2 p.m. Schei will attend the May 14 screening for a question and answer session. Independent Intervention focuses on the human cost of the war in Iraq by analyzing its U.S. media coverage. Among the people interviewed in the film are Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Norman Solomon and others. Tickets are only $5 and can be picked up at the Guild box office (3405 Central NE). Check out www.independentintervention.com for more info (including a trailer).
Historic movie house thrives in southern New Mexico
Do your summer plans include hitting the back roads of New Mexico to unearth some of the funky, out-of-the-way treasures our state has to offer?
Disaster flick remake manages to stay afloat
Back in the ’70s, the term “disaster movie” referred to an honest-to-goodness genre and not merely to an overly budgeted film's box office potential. The certified king of the ’70s disaster movie genre was producer Irwin Allen, who gave audiences such high-body-count hits as The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure (not to mention TV movie classics like Flood!, Fire! and Cave-In!). Over the years there have been sporadic attempts to revive the disaster movie genre (Armageddon, Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow), but few have been able to fully replicate Allen's patented formula.
Da Vinci around the dial
Are you one of those rabid history-headed readers who plowed through Dan Brown’s gazillion-selling novel The Da Vinci Code like a German tourist at a Las Vegas buffet line? Have you read all the “true story” books that have sprung up in its wake? (Plug in “Da Vinci Code” at Amazon.com and you’ll be greeted with 233 different titles--from “The Gospel Code” to “The Diet Code.”) Finally, are you champing at the bit to see Ron Howard’s big-buck adaptation of the book, hitting movie theaters on May 19? If so, sit tight--TV has got you covered.
The Week in Sloth
Keshet—Several nationally acclaimed choreographers—Henning Rübsam of Sensedance in New York City and Maggie Bergeron of Minneapolis' Shapiro and Smith Dance, as well as Keshet Dance Company's founder and artistic director, Shira Greenberg—have created a series of original new works specifically for Keshet Dance Company. These new pieces will be featured at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) on Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m. during Keshet's inaugural repertory concert, Delirious Whisper. “This is the first time we're having a production that is purely focused on our professional company,” says Greenberg. “Before this, we've always incorporated mixed ability dancers from the community.” Next year, Keshet plans to tour a new repertory concert to the Minnesota Fringe Festival and several places in Mexico. Greenberg is particularly excited about the idea of touring in Mexico. “That way,” she says, “we can sit on the beach between shows.” Tickets to Delirious Whisper are $16 general, $12 students/seniors. 224-9808.
Ben Lowney lets me take his antique bikes for a spin
My job isn't always a big sloppy barrel of monkey fun. Last week, though, when Ben Lowney let me take his antique bikes out for a roll, I honestly felt like I had the best job in the world.
Bumble Bee's Sweet New Spot in Nob Hill--OK, I admit it: I'm a taco junkie. I'm addicted to soft corn tortillas (never fried!) stuffed with fish or shrimp or shredded beef, and fresh, small-diced onions and tomatoes. The combination of textures, flavors and temperatures just makes my spine tingle. After a little shower of fresh lime juice, it's a damn-near perfect package.
Ain’t no mountain high enough
I have this tradition I engage in at the close of every semester (yes, I am still a lowly collegian) where I watch The Man from Snowy River in my underpants. It started out as a joke, but after months of midterms, finals, ass-kissing, no sleep and a jackpile of bad coffee, I came to realize that relaxation comes in many forms. And besides, who wouldn’t want to do an Ed Bundy on the couch and watch men doing man things. And mountains are just cool.
Life on a New Mexico cattleman’s ranch
Nine generations of cattle ranchers have patrolled this same 30-parcel ranch near Corona, in the northern tip of Lincoln County. Mack Bell, the ranch's acting patriarch, has nearly 30 years under his belt alone.