Human suffering is alluring. Struggle. Loss. Torment. Misfortune. Misery. It thrills us to a point of disgust and retreat, then enthralls us again. There's a subtle beauty in anguish—a beauty Kevin R. Elder attempts to capture in Black River Falling.
Just because they spend most of their waking hours in pajamas doesn't mean they're lazy. Far from it. In 2004, Albuquerque's beloved homegrown comedy duo The Pajama Men got picked up by legendary comedy producers The Second City. They moved to Chicago. Many people wept.
We turned photographer Tina Larkin loose on the streets of Downtown to capture Saturday's Crawl, and these are just a few of the brilliant images she brought back. We at the Alibi would like to send out our heartfelt thanks to all the bands, clubs and music fans that made this weekend's Spring Crawl a success. We'll see you on Saturday, August 25, for Fall Crawl!
With the end of the schoolyear fast approaching, students will soon be finished with roughly nine months' worth of hard work and perseverance. Other than a summer vacation and, at best, a diploma to be received at a later date, there isn’t much in the way of a tangible reward for the efforts of New Mexico’s academics.
Charmed splits the bill with Erika Luckett at the Outpost
By Mel Minter
Local folk duo Charmed—Bambi Jackson (guitar, keyboard, vocals) and Alicia Ultan (viola, guitar, vocals)—regularly take on love and death; and with a turn of phrase, a deft melody and a wicked sense of humor, they carry listeners beyond the heartache and pain to the mystery and healing.
If you want to really feel that you’ve gotten your wristband’s worth, it’s probably best to arrive at the Crawl by at least nine. I had an added incentive however, for a relatively early arrival as local electronic/booty rock band Rap was slated for the 9 p.m. slot at Burt’s Tiki Lounge.
Arrrrrrbuquerque—Everybody's favorite swashbuckling musical comes to UNM's Popejoy Hall Wednesday, May 9. If Gustavo “The Mexican” Arellano isn't quite your bag (see the books section in this week's Alibi), this classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta should satisfy your more traditional entertainment instincts. The plot's pretty simple: Our hero Frederic is apprenticed to a band of pirates after his nursemaid misheard instructions from Fred's father, who asked that he be apprenticed to a pilot. Hijinks ensue. England's Carl Rosa Company mounts this rum-soaked spectacle to the accompaniment of a full orchestra. Tickets range from $25 to $42. Order by calling 925-5858 or going to unmtickets.com.
Photographer Diane Alire will discuss and sign her new book, The Cross Garden, at New Grounds Print Workshop on Friday, May 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. In the book, Alire documents a Christian roadside attraction in Prattville, Ala., created by the self-ordained Reverend W.C. Rice, who, under instructions from God, painted his fiery proclamations on everything from refrigerators to abandoned vans and placed them in his oddball garden. The book is an engrossing and often disturbing collection of images in which Alire faces up to her own background as a former Southerner and Baptist. Prints from the book will be on display through May 26. For more information, call 268-8952.
Love him or despise him, Albuquerqueans have paid close attention to the inflammatory wisdom of Gustavo “The Mexican” Arellano since we began running his column last year. He just published a new book called ¡Ask a Mexican!—a hilarious compendium of his finest columns. He's traversing the solar system on a monster tour to promote his new baby.
Leeks aren’t onions, but they’re in the onion family. Their tough-ass stocks are great for braising. After playing with leek rings, we’ve decided they’re great for frying too. Usually when we cook with much of the green part (further up the stock) we opt for methods that will help wilt it, but here we tried to use most of the leek to get a variety of ring shapes.
Cookbook explores the cupboards and kitchens of your favorite bands
By Marisa Demarco
Maybe you, like me, are one of those people who imagines reverse personifications. For example, if that lady were a vegetable, she would totally be an eggplant. Perhaps you look at friends and see colors (Bob's just blue, you know?), animals (I'm an osprey) or brands of cola (Sally is so Mr. Pibb).
The Daily Grind doles out sage wisdom and savory treats
By Kate Trainor
Nancy Rogers bakes the best scones in the city—sans any Queen Elizabeth snobbery. Like Nancy, the scones are sweet but laced with a tart, teasing bite that beckons customers back for seconds. Her favorite phrase? Shut the hell up. It’s not difficult to comply, especially with a mouthful of buttery baked goods.
On April 18, the Santa Fe River was named America's most endangered river of 2007 by American Rivers, a Washington D.C.-based national river advocacy group. The river, a tributary of the Rio Grande that runs across 46 miles of Northern New Mexico high-desert and mountain terrain, passes through Santa Fe and provides the city with about 40 percent of its water supply. The river has been mostly dry for decades. The declaration was made due to a severe lack of water.
How to be an American Journalist: Part I—Dan Rather says it best. “We didn’t do a good job.” On Bill Moyers’ 90-minute dissection of U.S. media in the run-up to military action in Iraq, “Buying the War,” Rather’s shown crying on Lettermen when discussing Ground Zero, saying he’ll get in line where the president needs him to get in line.
We were searching for our KI, which, if LuAnn our instructor was correct, was nestled in the midpoint of the lower balls of our feet. We stood, knees bent slightly, pelvis tipped forward, eyes closed and, most importantly, feet hip-width apart, legs anchored to the wood floor.
“Every time you exhale, roots extend out of your KI and into the ground,” LuAnn encouraged. “Breathe. Feel your roots grow.”
David Broder, the syndicated Washington Post columnist, blasted Sen. Harry Reid last week for daring to state publicly that the war in Iraq has been lost. Broder, who apparently doesn’t get out much, avers that Reid’s statement was “an embarrassment to the Democrats.”
Monday, April 23: Today we found out via a press release from the governor's office that Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich is taking a leave of absence from his post as state Natural Resources Trustee to consider a congressional run against Leather Heather. Since Wilson won re-election to the U.S. house by the narrowest of margins in 2006, and has since been named in the Iglesias scandal, some folks think 2008 will be the year Wilson's reign of doom is brought to an end.
Dateline: Canada—Police in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia (Bathtub Racing Capital of the World), arrested a man after he was found walking around naked with a swastika taped to his body. Police were called to the scene last Friday by concerned residents. When questioned, the man told police he was “honoring Hitler’s birthday.” He was detained and will undergo a psychiatric assessment. Hitler was born on April 20, 1889.
Vaudeville on Film—On Saturday, May 5, from 2 to 3 p.m., stage-to-screen historian Frank Cullen will give a presentation/lecture on “Film Roots” at the Albuquerque Public Library Auditorium (501 Copper NW). The presentation will cover the world’s first mass market entertainment, Vaudeville, through to its immediate successor, motion pictures. Cullen is the author of Vaudeville Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in Americaand founder of the American Vaudeville Museum. “Basically, without Vaudeville, film would not have been the industry it was,” argues Cullen. “Vaudeville supplied the pillars of the business: the venues, the distribution network, the talent, the publicity machine, the trade papers.” Cullen’s lecture is free and open to the public and leads directly into ...
An interview with writer/director Salvador Carrasco
By Devin D. O’Leary
These days, Mexico City-born filmmaker Salvador Carrasco is an instructor at the Los Angeles Film School. Back in 1998, he made his feature film debut with the epic historical drama The Other Conquest (La Otra Conquista). At the time of its release, it became the highest-grossing Mexican film in history.
Verhoeven goes from Hollywood to Holland to make war sexy once again
By Devin D. O’Leary
Paul Verhoeven is a strange cat. The Dutch director started out his career with a wealth of well-received European films, including the 1977 Golden Globe-nominated Soldier of Orange—an unflinching look at the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War II. A decade later, Verhoeven kicked off his Hollywood career with a bombastic string of hits—from 1987’s RoboCop to 1990’s Total Recall to 1992’s Basic Instinct to 1997’s infamous career-crusher Showgirls. Add another 10 years to Verhoeven’s resumé and we arrive at 2007’s Black Book (Zwartboek), a modestly budgeted indie drama shot back home in the Netherlands.
The last time the Writers Guild of America went on strike was 1988. The strike lasted more than 5 months and paralyzed Hollywood, forcing TV networks to pack schedules with unscripted news shows and pushing film studios to release films three to six months later than expected. In 2001, the Guild threatened to strike again over upcoming contract negotiations, but the work stoppage was narrowly avoided. Now, with contracts once again up for renewal, Hollywood is whispering the “s”-word, and it’s got some people nervous.
The Alibi talks to Lisa Graybill about the U.S.’s year-old policy of detaining immigrant families and children
By Marisa Demarco
In one facility in Taylor, Texas, about 45 minutes outside of Austin, the kids don't pretend they're teachers or doctors. In their prison garb, they play guard-detainee, where the guard screams in the detainee's face as the detainee cowers and cries. That's the picture lawyer Lisa Graybill paints of the T. Don Hutto Center, a prison converted last summer to detain immigrant families.
Tank tops and flip-flops, the smell of cut grass, and bleary eyes from another bout of debilitating allergies—telltale signs that springtime has returned to Albuquerque and, with it, the all-American pastime that is Spring Crawl.
Killer Press Kit—He got everything right. From the handguns to the black T-shirt to the vest to the black, backward baseball cap. He posed. He spoke in short sentences--perfect for sound bites and pull quotes. Cho Seung-Hui made a press kit, a video and nearly 50 head shots and sent it off to NBC. It was accurate. He knew what a killer is supposed to look like, and he crafted his image carefully to match.
Why isn’t the United States working to make Iran a close ally? Iran has enormous natural resources, a rich culture, an educated populace and a strategic position in the Middle East. In many ways, compared to its neighbors, Iran is a bulwark of civilization.
A friend forwarded an e-mail containing a link to a website that documents what we are spending on the Iraq adventure. The numbers change each second as the totals are updated in real time. The figure spins as wildly as an odometer during a sports car test drive, reflecting the cost’s exponential climb.
At the April 16 meeting, councilors debated various issues but postponed votes. Two land use appeals opposed the Development Review Board's (DRB) approval of a subdivision plat near the Embudito trailhead. The DRB ruling allows construction on individual lots to exceed the sector plan's requirements regarding density and slope as long as averages for the entire area meet guidelines. Councilors will hear the appeals in May.
Monday, April 16: The head of Albuquerque's 311, the city’s non-emergency information service, resigned today. Michael Padilla was accused of creating a hostile work environment and insulting lady employees, allegations that Padilla has denied. The call center was taken over by former second in command, quality and training manager Esther Tenenbaum.
Dateline: Japan--Talk about a hot seat!Japan’s leading toilet manufacturer is recalling some 180,000 bidets because they have a tendency to burst into flames. Toto Ltd. is offering free repairs on the Z series electric bidet after wiring problems caused three separate toilets to catch fire between March 2006 and March 2007. According to company spokesperson Emi Tanaka, the high-tech toilet sent up smoke in 26 other incidents. “Fortunately, nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out and there were no injuries,” Tanaka said. “The fire would have been just under your buttocks.” The popular Z series toilet features a pulsating massage spray, a power dryer, built-in-the-bowl deodorizing filter, a “Tornado Wash” flush and a lid that opens and closes automatically. The model, which retails for between $1,680 and $2,600, is not sold in the United States.
Poetry Weekend—How much poetry can you cram into a single weekend? Well, you won't know till you give it your best effort, will you? April is National Poetry Month, and Albuquerque aims to end the month of prime versifying with a final blaze of glory.
Out of the Underground at the Jonson Gallery and 516 Arts
By Steven Robert Allen
Larry Bob Phillips' 12-panel hallucinogenic freakfest “Landscape for Merle Haggard” will make your head spin. At first glance, you might even feel a twinge of nausea. The piece boasts hues similar to those found in neon breakfast cereals aimed at the 4- to 8-year-old demographic. You might be tempted to lick it. You might find yourself wondering what would pop out if you donned 3D glasses.
Youth Explosion—The 25 Color Collisions film and video festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29, at the CCA Cinematheque in Santa Fe. Billed as the first “youth-produced youth festival in the country,” 25 Color Collisions will feature 25 films by artists 25 years of age and under. Described as “works from the macabre to the magnificent complimenting each other in one incredible weekend,” 25CC will expose the views and express the opinions of youth filmmakers from around the world. Films and videos will be screened in a variety of mixed categories, including documentaries, fiction, animation and experimental.
I was still a snot-nosed little twerp when I first saw the commercial for Night of the Comet playing on the living room TV. I remember thinking to myself, “Cool, a movie where kids inherit the Earth. That would be fun.” Little did I know the only reason these kids get handed the keys to our planet is because everyone else has either turned into a pile of dust or become zombies. Bummer. This was way back in 1984, and I wasn’t exactly in the position to choose which movies my family went out to see at the Albuquerque 6. As a result, it wasn’t until much later that I was able to catch the flick as a rental. But for a kid brought up on Herschell Gordon Lewis, George Romero and Lloyd Kaufman movies, it was well worth the wait. Now, thanks to MGM, the wait is over for all of us.
There was a time, not so long ago, that NBC was the top network on TV. You don’t even have to go back as far as the halcyon days of “Must See TV” when “The Cosby Show,” “Cheers” and “Seinfeld” ruled Thursday nights in order to find NBC perched atop the weekly ratings game. But, oh, how the mighty have fallen.
It was your average rabies call. Dr. Octagon was paged to Room 109, unaware of his looming demise. “I’ll tell you what,” spat Dr. Dooom as Octagon entered. “Take this, motherfucker. Take two of these and call me in the morning.” And thus, the good doctor was capped. Cause of death? Multiple GSWs (gunshot wounds) from a nemesis Octagon never saw coming.
Garage rock is a tricky genre. From listening to the intentionally lo-fi recordings and simple song structures, you might be tempted to think anyone can pull it off. Goodness knows a lot of bands have tried, but few have managed to stand out enough to gain more than just local recognition. Still others, such as Southern California’s The Willowz, struggle to break out of the tightly confined space the genre allows without losing what made them successful in the first place.
I have a dilemma. I want pineapple, and I’m already sweating the fact the fruit I want needs to be shipped from far away, releasing greenhouse gases into the environment and contributing to global warming.
Still, I want my pineapple bad enough to buy it anyway. So here’s my question: should I buy my sinful pineapple from a can, or fresh?
—Pining for Pineapple
A: Dear Pining,
That’s a really good question, and bravo for pondering it despite resolutely caving in to your abusive desires.
Bento boxes are those lovely partitioned lacquered wood meal containers from Japan. I picked one up at a yard sale years ago but had no idea it was meant to carry a light lunch—I thought the beautiful container’s inner shelves were meant for girly doodles like earrings and pots of lip gloss. I had only seen bento boxes without lids. So the little black-lidded box serenely sat on my nightstand until I visited a Japanese website to buy imported snacks and realized my earring caddy should have been filled with cooked rice and bits of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
Fat Slice—Have your cake and eat it too this weekend when the Readymade Dance Theater Company (RDTC) debuts Version 2.0, a streamlined, user-friendly contemporary dance performance choreographed by RDTC founder and director Zsolt Palcza.
A friend of mine likes to tell (and retell) the story of an early failed romance. Back in elementary school, the story goes, an eager suitor gathered a bouquet of dandelions in an attempt to woo her. The offering was met with scorn.
Thanks to Joran Viers, NMSU faculty adviser to the master gardener program in Bernalillo County, for providing information about several other delicious weeds. If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact him at email@example.com and 243-1386. Generally speaking, the younger the weed the better it will serve as food, and don't eat anything you haven't clearly identified. Also, remember to only eat weeds growing in soil that hasn't been nuked with pesticide.
Why your front yard is the next big thing in sustainable agriculture
By Laura Marrich
Look up the word "vital" and you might see a picture of Eric Gattetson smiling right back at you. At 49 years, Eric has the energy of someone half his age. Eric is the director of the Albuquerque Downtown Growers' Market, a local agriculture advocate and a business owner. Three years ago, he merged a lifelong love of farming with his 10-year-old landscaping business. New Mexico Foodscapes was born.
Make wildflower seed balls, newspaper potting cups, noisemakers and scarecrows at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture off Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe from 1-4 p.m. Guided walking tours of the Avanyu Trail will be ongoing throughout the afternoon as well.
Briefer is Better—The annual 3-Minute Film Fest returns to The Screen at College of Santa Fe this weekend, April 20-22, to dazzle those of you with short attention spans. According to organizers, this year’s edition saw a record number of entries from ports as far away as Hungary, Canada, Mexico and Australia (not to mention plenty from the good old U.S. of A.). A total of 36 films, all under three minutes in length, were selected for screening in this year’s festival. The Opening Night Awards Gala will take place on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and will include a screening of the program followed by a reception for the filmmakers during which a jury will determine festival winners. Tickets for the Opening Night Gala are $20. A wine and hors d’oeuvre reception will follow the screening. Tickets for the regular screenings, April 21-22, are $8. All events will be held at The Screen at the College of Santa Fe (1600 St. Michael’s Dr.). If you need additional info, you can give ‘em a ring at (505) 473-6494 or log on to thescreen.csf.edu.
Given New Mexico’s cultural history and its rather close proximity to Mexico, you’d think Spanish-language cinema would be rampant in this state. Aside from the odd Pedro Almodóvar screening and the occasional Spanish film series at the Hispanic Cultural Center, however, non-English cinema is still a relative rarity. For five years now, the annual Sin Fronteras Film Festival has tried to fill that gap.
Then-and-now documentary explores the repercussions of growing up hippie and otherwise
By Iris Keltz
Have you ever wondered what happened to those innocent urchins running barefoot through San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in the ’60s? Though it gives us a concrete then-and-now example, Following Sean is neither a scathing indictment of the ’60s nor a romantic look back. Anything but simplistic, the film is a 30-year exploration and the culmination of a life’s work by documentarian Ralph Arlyck, Following Sean’s director, cameraman, narrator and secondary subject.
Apparently, Cannonball Runcasts a longer shadow than film history would have us believe. This month alone, audiences were greeted with Redline, a cross-country car chase movie featuring the personal exotic car collection of producer Daniel Sadek, and “Drive,” a hype-heavy midseason action drama with an ensemble cast and a whole lot of vehicles.
Spank You Very Much, Gordy—Some argue that Gordy Andersen helped launch Albuquerque's independent music scene as we know it. Way back in 1978, he and some friends gave Albuquerque a nascent taste of hardcore punk, in the form of a little band called Jerry's Kidz. Nearly 30 years later, Gordy's still blowing out eardrums across the Duke City in your favorite band (for the second year running, according to our Best of Burque poll), Black Maria.
One review described metal/industrial/punk duo/quartet Vertigo Venus as "What Nine Inch Nails would sound like if Trent Reznor had a sense of humor." It's appropriate to use the "don't judge a book by its cover" adage when discussing the band but, frankly, just based on looks, I don't think anyone could tell what the hell they sound like. Even after giving the band a listen I'm not so sure. It's a highly volatile mix of synthesizer, B52-ish vocals and ’80s metal guitar. The band's music is written by brothers Chris and Jeffie Cannon, who are joined on stage by a drummer and bassist to fill out the live sound. The brothers spoke with the Alibi and provided some insight into what makes their eccentric ensemble tick.
Drummer looks to leave a good-time sonic residue behind
By Mel Minter
Good drummers keep time and move things forward. Great drummers also sculpt sonic space, expanding and contracting it, shaping it to the musical purpose at hand. Matt Wilson belongs to the latter category.
State agencies come together for the Continental Divide
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
While a continental divide is simply the separation of watersheds where water goes toward one body of water or another, in America, theContinental Divide is where rivers and streams either flow east toward the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean, or west toward the Pacific. It's the backbone of North America, a dividing line that strikes the imagination with the spirit of exploration and the sublimity of our natural world.
Many of us have fond memories of our younger siblings biting us on the leg, stealing our favorite shirt or telling lies to implicate us in some household crime. (At least, I do.) But the boys of Albuquerque are missing out, due to a dearth of Big Brothers. Kerrie Copelin, marketing and partnerships director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico, talked with the Alibi about the program’s two-year waiting list, its need for volunteers and her own Little Brother. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves thousands of kids in New Mexico and, statistics show, helps them keep their little noses clean of trouble.
Oh yeah, and our police force may be compromising our civil rights
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Magicians rely on the principle of misdirection to create the effect of amazing powers. Get your audience to look one place while you slip the coin into your pocket with the other hand and they will be astounded.
I have a thing about huge, national environmental groups. I take offense at Big Green’s ritzy digs in Washington, D.C. and the lavish compensation they pay their staff to ask the rest of us to make sacrifices for the environment.
Icarus Imus—You, like me, might be nauseated at the thought of reading one more word about idiot Don Imus and his three-word verbal folly. Witness, once again, the media defeating itself by becoming a player in a controversial story. Objective observers, my ass. A two-day news cycle, some front-page teasers to A-2 stories, then letting the thing fall to the letter writers who would thoroughly dissect and brutalize Icarus Imus, an ugly old man who flew too close to slang. That would have been appropriate.
Alley gardeners rethink the structure of their group to stay alive
By Marisa Demarco
Think about the forgotten spaces in your neighborhood—a park gone to pot, an empty lot, a rotting alley. Areas like these collect more than trash. The alley behind Amecus England's Barelas home had become a hotspot for doing drugs, she says. "People were just shooting up all the time. I was finding needles. I would go to walk my dog and there would be all these needles."
Sunday, April 8: On the day the Christ rose from the dead, bringing us our chocolaty spring holiday, Easter, Gov. Bill Richardson arrived in North Korea, leading a visiting delegation. The trip seemed to be part honest mission to retrieve remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War while extending an olive branch to the hostile country, and part political showboating while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Either way, the "imperialist's" unofficial propaganda-laden visit with the communists was seen in a positive light nationally. Progress toward resolving the country's weapons situation seemed to be made and the display of experience and professionalism, i.e. showboating, won't hurt his campaign either, which still trails behind Clinton's, Obama's and Edwards'.
Dateline: England—According to a report in London’s The Suntabloid, an English cat has spent the last three months scamming rides from a local bus line in order to reach a neighborhood fish and chip shop. The cat, which hops on the No. 331 service in Wolverhampton, has become a regular sight to bus riders, who have nicknamed it Macavity after the secret cat in a T.S. Eliot poem. Driver Bill Khunkhun, 49, said Macavity catches the bus three times a week and always gets off at the same spot—exactly two stops from his house. “As soon as I open the doors, he jumps on,” said the driver. Passenger Paul Brennan, 19, said Macavity sits at the front of the bus and waits patiently for the right stop. “It was quite strange at first, but now seems normal. He is the perfect passenger,” Brennan told The Sun. “The only problem is he never pays.” Travel West Midlands, which operates the bus line, confirmed the tale, saying, “the cat certainly knows how to use buses and is a regular traveler on the 311.”
The National Hispanic Cultural Center’s newest exhibit, The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present, spans five centuries of Mexico’s “third root,” people of African descent. It's an engrossing and essential exhibit due to the fact that Mexico only officially acknowledged such a legacy in 1992 following the groundbreaking work of anthropologist Dr. Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán. This impressive show opened on March 30 to a culturally diverse record crowd of over 1,000 people. A visit will be well worth your time and energy.
The other Sunday I was celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on what used to be my front lawn. Five years ago I covered an area of the yard with black plastic. Deprived of light and water and cooked by the sunlight-absorbing shield, my lawn was toast.
Our first kitchen mentor, a bear of a man named Joe Parks who instructed us in the college mess hall, used to describe any subpar ingredient from the freezer saying, “Not bad … for a frozen product.” It’s a mantra we’ll always remember. Consequently, we've never championed a frozen, dried or freeze-dried product. It’s fresh or nothing.
An honest-to-god good value is hard to come by these days. The Flowbee I bought for $59.95 came with a promise that I’d be able to “create the most popular haircut styles using the suction power of my vacuum cleaner.” Instead of having titillating tresses, the thing scared the crap out of me and my cats and gave me a bald spot. And then there was the credit card I signed up for, bought a bag of tomatoes with and had a balance of $185 on because of interest and fees that came with the card. So it's with complete confidence that I can assure you that Mick’s Chile Fix does, in fact, offer excellent value for your dining dollar.