Albuquerque’s Drinking Water Project goes into effect next year. Do you know what’s in your glass?
“Doesn’t it taste great? If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was Aquafina!”
“Doesn’t it taste great? If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was Aquafina!”
In Albuquerque’s high schools, students are more likely to sign up for military service than join the student senate. The armed forces are as popular as any school sport and, on many campuses, military recruiters and the JROTC are a more prominent presence than college or career scouts.
In many respects, ours is a throwaway society. We use untold disposable widgets: Razors, pens, lighters, napkins. Restaurants and households toss out foodstuffs like there's an unlimited supply. Cars break and are indifferently junked. Functional buildings are torn down and replaced with new ones. Lasting objects, underneath it all, seem to be an affront to this ever-revolving door, relentlessly enticing its consumers with new and better goods. As a result, landscapes are marred with dumps that teem with the discarded, both legitimate refuse and salvageable goods.
Bad Science, Bad News—I hope by the time this is published, it is but one more voice in a symphony of angry letters and editorials directed at the top story on the front page of Friday's Albuquerque Journal. The story, "Lean to the Left? It May Be Mommy's Fault," succeeds on no level. It's a bad headline on a bad piece of reporting about some bad science.
On May 21, Mayor Martin Chavez promoted his FY08 budget at a press conference outside City Hall, while inside councilors prepared to amend the mayoral package to reflect their own priorities. The amended FY08 Goals bill passed unanimously, and the Council's appropriations bill passed 6-3, Councilors Sally Mayer, Craig Loy and Ken Sanchez opposed.
Let’s run through this one more time. Maybe then it’ll make some sense to me, ’cuz I gotta say, so far this brouhaha over cutting the city’s share of gross receipts taxes seems like mayoral foolishness and not much else.
Dateline: Germany—Police are trying to decide whether or not to charge a wheelchair-bound man with drunk driving after he was found weaving down the road near the northeastern city of Schwerin. The unnamed 31-year-old was found to be 10 times over the legal alcohol limit for drivers. “He was right in the middle of the road,” a police spokesperson told reporters. “The officers couldn’t quite believe it when they saw the results of the breath test. That’s a life-threatening figure.” The intoxicated man told police he had been out drinking with a friend and was just trying to get back to his home some two miles away. Police said that because the man was technically traveling as a pedestrian, it is unlikely that he will be charged with a driving offense. “It’s not like we can impound his wheelchair,” the spokesperson said. “But he is facing some sort of punishment.”
Get Educated—This weekend, the Continuing Education Center at the University of New Mexico will present its annual Digital Arts Conference. “Photography and Filmmaking: Your Future on Camera” is an all-day conference designed to help participants explore current topics in digital photography and filmmaking. They’ll explore hands-on learning in state-of-the-art computer labs and learn how to initiate or expand specific careers on either side of the camera. Conference topic choices include makeup and costuming, screenwriting, camera operation, lighting, motion graphics, character animation, post-production, Photoshop techniques, executive portraits, digital SLR techniques and more. There will be a keynote presentation by award-winning Hollywood filmmaker Phil Nibbelink and demonstrations by Apple and Adobe.
After the two-and-a-half-hour cliff-hanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion that is Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. While that might seem like a daunting prospect for even the most ardent pirate lover, PotC:AWE is actually a rollicking good action flick—so far, the least disappointing tent pole release of the summer movie season.
The ’80s and ’90s were good to Kevin Costner, providing him with a string of blockbuster films including Silverado, The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK, The Bodyguard and Wyatt Earp. That all changed in 1995 when Costner gave us the perennial punch line Waterworld. Since then, the actor’s films—some good, some bad (Thirteen Days and The Upside of Anger the former, 3000 Miles to Graceland and Dragonfly the later)—have failed to capture the high-flying vibe of decades past. What’s an aging heartthrob to do?
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of Tyler Perry. I don’t trust people who slap their name on everything, like Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion (the Ruth’s Chris Steak House of movies). I find Perry’s harmless, well-intentioned Christian-tinged morality plays perfectly suitable for Sunday morning sermonizing, but far too ham-handed for mainstream viewing. I’ve learned from past experience that criticizing the guy leads to all sorts of angry letters from rabid Perry disciples levying accusations of racism and anti-Christian sentiment. But honestly, it all boils down to one thing: I just don’t think the guy is funny.
Salsa, Salsa and More Delicious Salsa—“What do you think came first, the dip or the dance?" This question was recently posed at a Tuesday morning editorial meeting and is the kind of query that is either asked by: 1) A slack-jawed cretin, 2) One of many cloistered Americans, totally oblivious to Latin culture, 3) Both 1 and 2, or 4) A drowsy editor, exhausted from hours of mulling over every single word in the paper. The question in this case was asked by 4 (you know who you are). There, there, everyone says dumb things sometimes.
Glue your eyes to the rink as Albuquerque’s own Munecas Muertas knock the snot out of Minnesota Rollergirls away team, the Rockits. Saturday, June 2, at Club Fantasia (4901 McLeod NE). $5 in advance (www.dukecityderby.com), $7 at the door (opens at 3 p.m.). (LM)
Maybe you're craving something different, a little fever to fill your soul, an experience that stands out and stands alone in your next musical outing … seems like you're craving The Ringers. Promising more than your average rock show, this little band from Los Angeles is dedicated to high kicks and headlocks every time they take the stage.
It wouldn't be a stretch to say the boys of Rap have a mean case of retrophilia. One of their main musical inspirations is the 1989 NES game Ninja Gaiden. Keytars are essential at every show. Both Brandon Bethancourt and Hari Ziznewski wear large aviators, vintage Reebok shirts and nylon track pants—even when not performing. And for their first album release, they're going pure plastic with the classic white cassette tape.
Albuquerque trumpeter Justin Ray misses his car. It’s the price he pays for living in Brooklyn, N.Y., a spawning ground for young musicians.
Extended Run—Eat, Drink and Be Larry’s new comedy spectacular, Macbeth in Space, gets an extended run this weekend at the Box Performance Space (1025 Lomas NW). The production is directed by Jason Witter and features the Alibi’s own Devin O’Leary. It tells the story of a frozen Macbeth who wakes up 400 years in the future and starts murdering people. Sound like a good time? You bet. Check it out Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, at 8 p.m. $8. 404-1578.
How funny that the most famous New Mexican who ever lived just happened to be a ruthless killer. If we lived in a sane universe, you might think this would be bad for tourism. Luckily, we don't live in a sane universe. Most people might not realize New Mexico is part of the United States, but once they learn how William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, got embroiled in a Shakespearean revenge plot in Lincoln County in the 1870s, they're eager to visit our fine state, buy Billy the Kid T-shirts by the dozen, and revel in every detail of the outlaw’s bloody exploits and youthful demise.
Sara Paretsky has been worrying a lot lately. To a certain degree, this is nothing new. “I’m a pessimist by nature,” the 59-year-old creator of the V.I. Warshawski detective series says. “Some people say the glass is half empty, some say it is half full. I say: ‘I didn’t even get a glass!’”
New Perennial Favorites, Part One—It should be enough that chefs work punishing, 80-hour weeks and still manage to create beautiful plates of food. If they can come home and, still reeking of garlic and grease traps, find the romance—and energy—to produce a brood of their own, so much the better for the human race. (That's survival of the fittest in action, folks.) In the event these chefs survive that lethal combination and can create another fine restaurant to preside over, it's a near-miracle. And that's the sweet spot some of Albuquerque's brightest chefs are working themselves into right now. This multi-part edition of "The Dish" is devoted to Albuquerque chefs who are burning the candle at both ends, stepping up to the range at old favorites and new projects alike. If our beloved chefs don't keel over from heatstroke, we'll be eating well this year.
“What do you put in this stuff, crack?!” I asked restaurant co-owner Hector Alcarez while peering at the ice left at the bottom of my glass.
The population of homeless women and children across the country is growing, says Lisa LaBrecque, director of policy for the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. Albuquerque's no exception. Families with children make up an estimated 40 percent of the city's homeless population, according to LaBrecque. The housing market booms. Rents jump. Affordable housing dwindles.
"There's a million stories as to why women are homeless," says Jill Criswell, development director of the Barrett Foundation, a system of services that houses the only emergency shelter in Albuquerque for women. There are way more services for homeless men in Albuquerque, because that's how estimates regarding the makeup of the homeless population skew, she says.
Goodnight, Editorial Independence—It's reasonably safe to say that FOX News is slanted and bizarre, its anchors and analysts need only begin donning "I <3 righty, lol" T shirts to confirm what everyone else already knows. Even moderates joke about it, or let out long sighs, slowly shaking their heads at the latest bout of FOX "reporting." FOX owner Rupert Murdoch, who appears only slightly more innocuous and kindly than, say, Darth Sidious, is stalking the Wall Street Journal, his monstrous bags of money ready to snap into their saliva-sticky orifices another morsel of mainstream media. Goodnight, editorial independence.
David Iglesias and I worked together in the Special Prosecutions Division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. That was a long time ago. I went into private practice and David went on to become the United States Attorney for New Mexico.
To get at the truth behind the U.S. Attorney purges, we should listen to former federal prosecutor David Iglesias (see this week's "Talking Points" in the news section): Start at the bottom of the food chain, then work your way up.
Dateline: England—A judge presiding over the trial of three Muslims accused of using the Internet to incite terrorism admitted in court he doesn’t know what a website is. Judge Peter Openshaw brought a halt to the trial as a witness was being quizzed about an extremist Web forum. He told prosecutors at Woolrich Crown Court in east London, “The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a website is.” Prosecutor Mark Ellison tried to help the judge by explaining terms like “website” and “forum.” But the 59-year-old Openshaw admitted, “I haven’t quite grasped the concepts.” Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case. Concluding last Wednesday’s session and looking ahead to testimony on Thursday by a computer expert, the judge told Ellison, “Will you ask him to keep it simple, we’ve got to start from basics.”
Docs Rock—Prior to the shocking declaration that he would be running for president of the United States (who knew?), Gov. Bill Richardson took time out of his busy schedule to announce the winners of the 2007 Governor’s Cup Short Documentary Competition. The Governor’s Cup is part of Richardson’s ongoing initiative to foster local filmmaking talent (along with last weekend’s successful New Mexico Filmmaker’s Showcase at the Guild Cinema).
It’s entirely possible that moviegoers are already burned out on the megabuck sequels trampling their way through America’s summertime cineplexes like so many celluloid Godzillas, Ghidorahs and Mothras. If the likes of Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End have you hankering for a nice, quiet movie with nary a Happy Meal tie-in in sight, then you’ll be pleased to note that the first sleeper hit of the summer season has already arrived.
For decades, singer/songwriter Roky Erickson has been a musician’s musician—the name to drop for industry pros and amateurs alike wishing to score serious street cred based on their meticulously researched list of non-mainstream musical influences.
Last week, the networks announced their “upfronts”—their new schedules for the upcoming 07/08 season. Without further ado, here’s what’s cooking for fall.
Free Ozzy—The Prince of F***ing Darkness is cashing in on another run of Ozzfest, which includes a July 26 stop at Journal Pavilion. Fourteen uneven years after its debut, hope that this festival could retain more integrity than a fatted cash cow seems soundly, painfully extinguished—not least of all by the festival's pandering to "murderous clown" acts like Slipknot. But fans of the Bewildered Evil One have some redeeming incentives to come out this time. (I mean, besides the spectacle of Ozzy's stage handlers dousing his crotch with water at regular intervals ... No sir, no cover for incontinence there!)
At first it was simple pop-rock songs. Well, lighter on the rock, really. "Then things got progressively weirder," says Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear of the Animal Collective. AC members have known each other since grade school in Baltimore, but it wasn't until they all found themselves in New York for one reason or another that things got serious—and weird. If tape manipulations, sound collages and a genre commonly defined as "acid folk" are unfamiliar, "weird" might be a good place to start. Actually, the Collective is unconcerned with defining itself by genre and instead focuses solely on not repeating itself, bringing in elements of modern classical composition, prog-rock, jazz—you name it.
Tall Glass of Twine—New Mexico's very own Blythe Eden Dance Company has put together an original modern dance performance that will be staged this week during Wild Dancing West, a three-week dance festival over at the North Fourth Art Center (4904 Fourth Street NW). Twine is choreographed by Eden and features performances by company members Jacqueline Garcia, Allie Hankins and Jesse Wintermute along with original music by Jennifer Ruffalo. The show runs Friday, May 25, and Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 27, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 general, $8 students/seniors. They can be ordered by calling 344-4542.
Laurie Thomas’ Mad Hattr is a jabberwocked reenactment of the biography of Charles Dodgson, the English mathematician, photographer and writer who, under the name Lewis Carroll, authored what are quite possibly the most beloved works of children’s literature ever composed in the English language. For decades, numerous societies and journals have analyzed the impact of this mysterious man, but despite recent scholarship based on new discoveries about his life, Dodgson remains a big question mark, a riddle just as mind-twisting as his books and poems.
Q: Dear Chef Boy Ari,
My German grandmother always had washing machine-sized rhubarb plants, with massive red and green stalks and leaves the size of cookie sheets. Despite adding fish emulsion, horse shit and compost, my rhubarb still remains minuscule.
I've even split up the massive root system, and all have sprouted. But all are small. What gives? How can I make Gramma proud?
Sometimes a girl needs something solid, reliable, even predictable, be it Chinese food or a nice guy. Before the age of 25, a gal like me needed a man who drove a fast car, had a criminal record, and always needed a shave and an aspirin. Guys who called me the wrong name, slept until 5 p.m. and wore leather pants on a Sunday were my specialty. They kept me waiting. They kept me wondering. And they provided me with enough wild, spicy adventure that I seldom noticed in time that my heart (and occasionally my checkbook and hubcaps) was gone.
It looks like the unofficial motto for this summer’s movie season is, “The third time’s a charm!”
A runty Slayer T-shirt is adrift in a lake of beige, blue and gray suits. It floats down through clumps of swollen shoulder pads, finally settling into a bank of black tops.
E-mail This To All Your Friends!—Generally, I don't read past the first few paragraphs of any story in The Onion: America's Finest News Source. The headlines and the wacky lead are the funny parts—the rest is just made-up, tired fluff. As a member of the media, I enjoy scanning its pages to see what big-buzz story parody makes the front page or which cultural absurdity will be thrown under the microscope of comedic scrutiny (i.e. "Women Who Claims Book Changed Her Life Has Not Changed"). And as a member of the media, a recent article threw my industry under the microscope with surgeon-like precision, rife with "made-up, tired fluff" and a heavy dose of reality.
Part two of a two-part series. Read Part one here.
Last week, while I was meeting with a community organizer who works for Albuquerque Interfaith, she asked me, “Who do you think of as your heroes?”
Dateline: England —Homes were evacuated, a main road was closed and a controlled explosion was set off after a “suspicious package” was found attached to a bridge in Pease Pottage, West Sussex. In the end, some bats were mighty pissed. The A23 and the B2110 highways were both closed for several hours after an Army bomb disposal team was called in to investigate. Several nearby homes were evacuated and motorists experienced long delays as the mysterious box was destroyed without incident. The British Highways Agency eventually identified the suspicious package as a bat box being used as part of a wildlife survey. “We are working on ways to improve identification of our property to avoid a repeat of the incident,” a B.H.A. spokesperson told the BBC.
So we shouldn't object to electronic surveillance unless we want to break the law, right? When it comes to red-light cameras, Albuquerque hasn't really made up its mind.
NM Overdose—This weekend is your chance to check out dozens of films shot by fellow New Mexicans. The third annual New Mexico Filmmakers week is sponsored by the New Mexico Film Office and takes place Thursday through Sunday at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Not only can you catch four days worth of cinematic goodness, but all the screenings are 100 percent free.
By now, few weeks go by without movie announcements from the governor's office, film-related good news in the papers, sets causing novel parking problems for neighborhoods and fistfuls of third-hand celebrity gossip and Steven Seagal sightings. In fact, it was just announced that the political comedy Swing Vote (starring Kevin Costner) and the West Coast swing-dancing romance Love N’ Dancing (starring Amy Smart) will both be shot in the Duke City this summer.
I’ve always been fascinated with the image of Sacco and Vanzetti—partially because I know so little about the actual case that propelled them to infamy. I know them as stoic poster children for the anarchist movement. As potential martyrs to the cause of social injustice. As the subject of countless art projects, posters and folk songs. But I can’t say that I know the exact circumstances that made them such counterculture icons.
Given my assorted weekly drama addictions (“Heroes,” “Lost,” “The Riches,” everything HBO shows on Sunday nights, every other season of “24”), I’m often grateful for a show that requires no commitment from me, the viewer. My head is crammed full of assorted “mythologies,” and I just can’t add another plot-heavy, conspiracy-filled show to the mix. Season finales are here en masse and I’m already getting mixed up: Is Mr. Linderman head of the Dharma Initiative?
Best of the Week—Besides the fine events featured in this week's music section, we'd be remiss if we didn't point you in the direction of these weekend wunderkinds. Good luck choosing between them!
Farmington native Justin Hunt is the brains and guile behind American Meth, a documentary film he wrote, produced and directed. With a gift for storytelling (surely the result of years of hard-knocks experience in television journalism), Hunt attempts with American Meth to shed some light on an inexplicable addiction to a dangerous and faithless drug, methamphetamine. An edgy subject, to say the least.
If you ask Alison Shaw why she's so driven to do the things she does for local music, she'll look at you with an expression that implies, “Why aren’t you?” With less than a week before Hyperactive Music Festival II, Shaw is busy working out the fine tuning on an event she launched last year in June.
The city of Albuquerque contains legions of rock ’n’ roll fans who have witnessed the performances of idols and demigods, experienced life-altering moments of personal heartbreak and triumph and, during its 10 years, more or less grew up at the Launchpad.
Hone your creative edge at a brand-spankin’ new songwriters’ open mic. Southwest Gift Baskets Coffee House (11200 Montgomery NE) hosts the all-ages fun at 7 p.m. (LM)
A Gay Ol' Time—For a quarter century, the New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus has been singing like angels for appreciative audiences in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and beyond. Founded in 1981 as the Brash Ensemble, the group has gone through plenty of changes over the years, but one thing has always remained consistent: the high quality of the music.
Leo Neufeld and Daddy Long Loin make for an unusual duo. Neufeld is perhaps Albuquerque's best-known portrait painter, a soft-spoken neo-realist with an enviable knack for capturing the intellect, personality and emotions of his subjects. As an artist, he strives to do more than merely replicate the outward appearance of the diverse people he paints. You don't look at one of Neufeld's paintings; you look into it.
We all have our favorite drinks, but did you ever stop to think those drinks may point to omens that describe you and predict your destiny? With springtime upon us, we thought we'd add divination and pseudo-scientific mystery to the season's spiritous activities. In the end, what you're drinking might say more about you than "you drink too much."
Adding coconut milk to a dish is a lot like adding Steven Seagal to a movie: They both come on subtle, but eventually take over and overwhelm the opposition. One of the hallmarks of Thai cooking is coconut milk, which is not the watery liquid found in a fresh coconut, but the fragrant, fatty cream taken from the ripe palm nuts (they’re nuts, not actually classified as fruits). It’s used for consistency and flavor, and also to tone down spicy curries by sopping up the hot.
In Creole cuisine, rémoulade is the pride of the po’ boy: a veritable catch-all sauce of ketchup, mayo, mustard, Louisiana mirepoix and spices. In France, the sauce is more refined and its classic accompaniment is celery root. The basic formula for a rémoulade in both the motherland and southland milieu is: mayo, something pickled, herbs and spices. Our recipe is a vegan take on the French version, and we used it as a platform for a classic bistro salad of celeriac. Not familiar with this brute of a root? Don't be surprised when you go from grocer to grocer praying you can avoid a run to Whole Foods for these glorious dirt bombs. You will fall in love with this dish.