Which Albuquerque business caught fire? Campaign contributions from a questionable source. Who's being named in a civil suit? And Los Alamos National Labs may be ...
Government-funded abstinence-only education may finally be on its way out. Twelve years after the national program started, only slightly more than half the states are still on board, according to a June 24 Associated Press article. The rest decided in recent years to wash their hands clean of the poorly performing initiative, with New Mexico jumping on the common-sense bandwagon at the end of 2007.
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are vying for the title of Change Agent in Chief because they recognize that Americans want the country to take a different direction from the course we’ve wobbled along on for eight pain-filled years. The public opinion polls clearly point out the despair the majority of voters feel over where we’re headed as a nation.
DATELINE: China—The most celebrated pig in China has added another chapter to his charmed life. The Chengdu Business Daily reports that Zhu Jianquiang (or “Pig Strong Will”), an animal that survived for more than five weeks on rainwater and charcoal while trapped in rubble caused by earthquakes in Sichuan in May, will be adopted by the Jianchuan Museum. The museum promises to care for the pig for the remainder of his natural life. In an official announcement, a Jianchuan Musuem curator stated that Zhu Jianquiang was “a symbol of Chinese endurance” and that an application would be filed with Guinness World Records officials. Said the pig’s owner, Wan Xingming: “When my wife fed him, two lines of tears dropped from his eyes.” Biographical movie proposals are reportedly in the works.
Starting with this issue of the Alibi, you may notice a distinct decrease in the amount of work coming from our normally reliable film editor, Devin D. O'Leary. Mr. O'Leary has neither died nor given up caring about his job. For the next five weeks, he will be on an extended sabbatical. He has shipped off to the Far East to teach an intensive summer course on Hong Kong film to a group of students from New Mexico State University's Creative Media Institute. While in Hong Kong, this group will be meeting with members of the local film industry, visiting famed filming locations like the Shaw Brothers' studio and viewing as many Asian films as humanly possible. By August, these students will return to New Mexico ready to apply all they've seen and learned to our state's growing film industry. By August, Mr. O'Leary will return to writing snide comments about Adam Sandler movies. (DO’L)
If you've ever been in a band, chances are you've got 900 pressings of your first album stashed away in someone's closet. That was the finding on a recent RockSquawk thread, anyway. Almost all of our self-produced collections are collecting dust in inaccessible armpits of the city. Meanwhile, just as many of us would love to comb through someone else's pile. ( ... The wax is always blacker on the other side.) So, what would happen if we all unearthed our ancient jewel cases, cassettes and vinyl and traded them for stuff we actually want to hear?
New Orleans pianist Tom McDermott has to rank among the most fluid, inventive and technically robust pianists radiating the 88s today in the traditional syncopated musics of the Americas—from ragtime to choro to tango, from Jelly Roll Morton to James Booker—and he’s a beguiling composer besides. The eloquently understated Connie Jones may be the Crescent City’s most respected cornetist. Neither man knows how to play a false note. They combine beautifully on this collection of reinvigorated standards (“Tishomingo Blues”), McDermott originals (including the lovely solo piano reverie “Song of Bernadotte”), jazz from Freddy Chopin (title track) and more. Meanwhile, Parnassus Records has had the good sense to reissue McDermott’s 1996 solo effort, All the Keys & Then Some. This collection of 24 piano miniatures (one in each key) plus 14 portraits of friends for piano and synthesizer—by turns prankish, tender, audacious, bemused—showcases an adventurous and delightfully eccentric musical imagination.
At least that's the title for now, according to Danny Solis, the man behind the reason Tuesday is the new Thursday. The Big Poetry Show kicks off on Tuesday, July 15, at One Up Lounge (301 Central NW) at 8 p.m., but this isn't your average slam. On top of the usual open mic and slam bouts, there'll also be music by Cultura Fuerte, a featured performance by poet/roustabout Buddy Ray McNiece, crazy big prizes (Solis says bikes, grills and trips to Las Vegas have been discussed—no joke) and the first-ever "Sake Slam"—an event designed by Solis to challenge poets to create poetry on the spot with music, in haiku form and other brain-expanding ways. After July 15, The Big Poetry Show (or whatever it's called in the future) will continue every Tuesday night at One Up, with a grand shindig once a month.
It's unofficially the doldrums of summer, when things like job performance and precise maneuverings in time and space take backseat to the more important goals of porch-sitting and pool-seeking. And coming in a close third: cold beer-sipping. Traditionally, this activity should be done from an icy, sweating can.