MarchFourth is not your nerdy high school marching band
By Summer Olsson
If you see a horde of musicians dressed like pirates who raided a band uniform store flood out of a giant touring coach, followed by fire spinners on stilts and sequined dancing girls, you’re probably about to witness the concert extravaganza that is the MarchFourth Marching Band. On Monday, June 7, the band will stage a huge performance at the El Rey Theater. Adults and children alike have the chance to be wowed by the music and spectacle this band is known for.
Richard Rono is a member of two communities—and both have troubles. The Kenyan runner has lived in Albuquerque for about 12 years, and he sees that children in the U.S. struggle with obesity. Back in Kenya, the children suffer serious health problems resulting from a lack of sanitation and money. So Rono had an idea—he will train people here to run and help them lose weight naturally. The money he raises will go to Kenya to build latrines and help prevent cholera and other diseases.
So you stuck your bike on the Rapid Ride* and went up to the Northeast Heights to visit Grandma? The utilitarian Paseo del Nordeste will get you back home. The trail begins at Pennsylvania, where your enjoyment of the wide, well-marked bike lane will undoubtedly be mitigated by at least one jerkface parking a car on it. Cars! Fuck ’em! Heading west means heading downhill. Since you won't be occupied with pedaling, amuse yourself by admiring the Hahn arroyo on the north side of the trail or peering into the backyards that line the south side. (Confidential to homeowners whose properties abut the trail: Could you guys do more nude sunbathing, please? Betty Sprocket craves trailside titillation.) Be smart and slow way down at the low-visibility road crossings, and you'll have a quick and easy ride to the junction of the North Diversion Channel trail.
I recently attended my first fancy dinner that was paid for by a pharmaceutical company. Before the dinner, I reminded myself that I was walking into an infomercial. When health care providers are treated to a free meal at an upscale restaurant, it’s because drug reps are going to talk to them about a new pill or product the company is trying to sell. I was determined not to trust anything said any more than I’d trust the claims of those hilarious late-night “male enhancement” commercials that come on after "elimiDATE."
Dateline: France—A fashion model by the name of Zoe Renault is suing French automaker Renault over its proposed new car model, the Zoe. Zoe Renault, a 23-year-old from Paris who is not connected with the automaker, said she hates the idea of being compared to a car for the rest of her life. “I could not bear to hear ‘Zoe’s broken down’ or ‘We need to get Zoe overhauled,’ ” she was quoted in Le Parisien newspaper as saying. Renault isn’t the only Zoe suing Renault, either. David Koubbi, Zoe Renault’s lawyer, is drafting a class action lawsuit on behalf of several other Zoes. Koubbi said he had sent a letter to Renault’s chief executive arguing that the plans to release a Zoe vehicle were an attack on the rights of his clients. The proposed Renault Zoe ZE would be an all-electric, “zero emission” vehicle with a proposed launch date of 2012. A Renault spokesperson told reporters the company has produced several cars named after women but that Zoe was not a “definitive choice.” The word Zoe, which means “life” in Greek, was chosen to highlight the car’s environmental credentials.
You just can’t argue with animal hats. Especially kitten hats wearing hats. Get in on the fun Friday, June 4, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at OFFCenter (808 Park SW) where you can see a performance by JASPER, “a three piece rock n roots band,” while enjoying art, coffee and refreshments. We can assume this free event is all-ages in nature. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Good as Dead is an Albuquerque band that's been rocking for what’s nearing a decade. But in May, the group raked in three new honors at the New Mexico Music Awards for its 2009 album Learn to Swim (get your hands on the disc at cdbaby.com). To find out a little more about the musical leanings of this award-winning band, we asked drummer Sam Blankenship to shuffle his iPod to see what random items came up. Below are the “goofy” results.
The 23rd Annual Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque happens June 9 through 13. Among the many dance-based activities is the premiere of the feature-length documentary Flamenco School, the work of Albuquerque filmmakers Brent Morris and Reinhard Lorenz. It screens June 8, 10 and 12 at Keller Hall on UNM campus. Flamenco School takes an in-depth look at the world-renowned programs of the National Institute of Flamenco right here in town. The film covers music, rehearsals and the rigorous training process required to become a professional flamenco dancer. The first screening on Tuesday, June 8, is at 6 p.m. A Q&A with the directors and NIF personnel gets underway after the end credits roll. Admission is $7 general or $5 children/students. Tickets are available at the UNM Box Office (online at unmtickets.com or by phone at 925-5858).
Neighborhood drama paints vivid portrait of people, places and prejudices
By Devin D. O’Leary
The low-budget indie drama La Mission sure smells like a Hollywood vanity project. It’s produced by and stars Benjamin Bratt. And it’s written and directed by his older bro, Peter Bratt. But don’t let the nepotistic credits fool you.
TBS is jumping on the “adult” animation bandwagon with “Neighbors From Hell.” While the show isn’t the funniest or most innovative comedy on TV, viewers can at least rest assured in the knowledge that it—as opposed to everything else on TBS—isn’t produced by Tyler Perry.
When my trusty Twitter feed alerted me to a collaborative musical effort between Christina Aguilera and M.I.A., I tried, really tried, not to click the link. But I did, and I found a nice danceable song I’ll probably hear in a club sometime soon but will forget about in six months. “Elastic Love,” from Aguilera’s new album, did get me in the mood for teamwork and shared experience, though. (Bonus: As far as I know, unlike in M.I.A.’s “Born Free” video, no gingers were harmed in the making of those beats.)
For Musical Theatre Southwest, it isn’t a question
By Patricia Sauthoff
Theater requires transformation. Just as Erik converts from creepy, underground stalker to crestfallen, understanding admirer in The Phantom of the Opera, it is onstage metamorphosis that keeps curtains rising.
From late 1999 to early 2000, Lynette Chiang traveled by folding bicycle through Cuba. An Australian, Chiang wasn’t subject to the restrictions on visiting Cuba that Americans are, giving readers a detailed look at the forbidden land. Her memoir, The Handsomest Man in Cuba, published in 2007, details her solo travels around the island in a quirky first-person account, taken from Chiang’s diary. The Alibi caught up with Chiang in advance of her rolling through Albuquerque for a slide show presentation and talk.
Q: Cleaning out the freezer, I'm finding things like deer kidneys and elk livers that seemed like a good idea at the time, but I don't think I'll be getting to. Is it OK to feed meat scraps to my chickens? I've got turkeys and guinea fowl this year, too, and they're supposed to be getting more protein than the layers. Will meat taint the eggs and meat? Will the taste of blood make the kids go postal?
Since opening in September, Sushiya has gained a loyal following, and it’s easy to see why. The menu is a polished combination of Chinese and Japanese classics, with many twists—and some entire dishes—you probably haven’t seen before.
“The Local Edge,” that venerable half-hour of New Mexico-grown rock on 104.1 FM The Edge, has a new overlord. Since May 2, the show has been hosted by Matt Orio, former drummer for Mechanism Of Eve, Ki and HalfGauge. Now Orio is calling for bands that make “all sorts of alternative / indie rock” to submit program fodder and postable flyers. To do so, e-mail email@example.com or drop off music (labeled with attention to Orio) at the station—5411 Jefferson NE, Suite 100. For more on the show, or to see photos of bottle blondes with boob jobs in bikinis, go to 1047edgeradio.com. Listen to “The Local Edge” Sunday nights from 9:30 to 10 p.m.
Hollywood has gotten to the point where it’s making more 3D films than there are 3D screens available. (Witness the recent multiplex traffic jam that was How to Train Your Dragon, Clash of the Titans and the last lingering shreds of Avatar). As a result, theater chains are rushing to install more digital projectors and more special 3D screens in order to show as many of these cash cows as possible.
The Albuquerque-lensed superhero parody Defective Man! will have its premiere this Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29, at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). The film is directed by D. Ryan Mowry and stars Paul Alsing, Arturo Negro, Stephen W. Eckles and Josh Saavedra. The gleefully campy, proudly lowbrow, resolutely Troma-esque comedy follows the adventures of an inept crime-fighting quartet led by an overweight, middle-aged superhero in Spandex. You can check out the yock-filled trailer by logging on to sb-films.com. Screenings start at 10:30 p.m. Cast and crew will be there in person. This one’s been a long time in the making, so come show your hometown support and wallow in your love of trash cinema!
In Sex and the City 2, a group of elderly New York hookers travels to the shifting sands of the Middle East where they encounter a hideous mummy who ... oh, no, wait. That’s just Sarah Jessica Parker. Never mind.
Last week, broadcast networks announced their prime time schedules for next season. We’ve got to wait until fall to actually see the new shows. But we can get disappointed just reading their descriptions now!
Let’s get this intro thingy out of the way. Hi! I’m your new friendly neighborhood arts and lit editor. Things I like: video art, Smokey Robinson, cats, red wine, vinyl records, bicycles, Shiva, stripes, crafting, bacon and the color orange. Things I dislike: not using turn signals, humidity, spiders, lavender, predator drones, cleaning my room, spandex, pickup lines and lights on when I sleep. Things about which I am indifferent: anime, boxers vs. briefs, Christmas decorations, manicures, BitTorrent, apple juice, Montana, plate tectonics and hedge funds. Some of you will love me; some of you will hate me. This is great! Send valentines / hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; I hang out in the twitterverse @gitagovinda. Also, don’t forget to read the Alibi every week, all of it, not just artsy stuff. Great. That was painless, no? Now, in honor of all 25 students who put up with my Japanese philosophy class last semester at the College of Santa Fe ...
Once upon a time, in a museum far, far away, I had my iPod on random. I wandered through galleries listening to Genesis P-Orridge gently sing into my ears until, suddenly, a man spotted a Monet. His excitement was so infectious I followed him over to one of Monet’s “Water Lilies.” Without notice, the track ended, and my world was forever changed.
A billowing mass of dark smoke enshrouded the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s 16-acre campus the afternoon of Monday, April 5. The smoke came from a wind-fed Bosque fire that raged as close as 200 yards away.
In the large, open dining room of El Rodeo, I sat by a painted mural of what appeared to be a successful serenade in progress. Near the front counter, a woman sat at a table evaluating me as if I was serenading her granddaughter. After the server took my order, the abuela ambled behind the counter and began patting out some fresh tortillas.
If m’lady is hankering to pedal her penny-farthing down a bucolic country lane, I'd advise her to stay away from the North Diversion Channel. This trail runs alongside the enormous eponymous arroyo, and the views are all concrete and desert sky. The trail starts at Balloon Fiesta Park, but you can pick it up at Paseo del Norte and head south, looking out over that mysterious industrial area around Jefferson where you've never had any reason to go in your car. (Has anyone?) After you cross Menaul, the urban terrain gets really interesting when the North Diversion Channel converges with another massive arroyo. You'll negotiate a swoop, twirl and dive through an underpass on your bike. I like to pretend that cars were never invented and all roads look like this miniature version of a mountain highway. You'll start to gain altitude and crest near the Big I. Gaze down upon all the pollutey motorists and enjoy a surge of smug cyclist's superiority. The trail ends at UNM's North Campus, but you'll be so close to the Frontier, it'd be foolish not to go get some huevos. You have to fortify yourself for the ride home, don't you?
Dateline: Italy—Investigators in Naples are looking into the possibility that pizzas in the famed city are being baked with wood stolen from a local cemetery. “Pizza, one of the few symbols of Naples that endures ... is hit by the concrete suspicion that it could be baked with wood from coffins,” wrote Italian daily Il Giornale. Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a stone oven over an oak-wood fire. The newspaper reports that local police believe criminals may be offering smaller, low-end pizza shops a cheaper alternative. “A gang might have set up a market for coffins sold to hardhearted owners of bakeries and pizzerias looking to save money on wood,” Il Giornale said. Naples’ historic graveyard has long been a target for thieves. Last year, some 5,000 flowerpots were looted from the cemetery grounds.
Okkervil River helps pioneer of psychedelic rock tell his stories
By Summer Olsson
After a decades-long saga of legal troubles, drug abuse and mental illness, Roky Erickson—frontman of The 13th Floor Elevators, the ’60s garage bandoften credited with inventing psychedelic rock—has released an album that is both redemptive and cathartic. True Love Cast Out All Evil is a selection of songs written by Erickson over his entire career,chronicling an emotional journey—from incarceration in a prison for the criminally insane to his self-imposed isolation in a squalid housing project, and beyond.
Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse, a classy restaurant on North Fourth, has done very well pretending to be a speakeasy. Advertising has been low-key—what else would you expect from a speakeasy?—and you’ve got to know the password to get in. The windowless dining room looks and feels like a well-appointed back room in a Chicago basement, what with its elegantly polished black diamond plaster walls and period paraphernalia, and the speakeasy charade—complete with the “What’s the password?” routine—adds a little spice and corny fun to an evening out.
With one hand raised against the sublime forces of the sonically mundane, the man in the lizard costume seems to say, “Give heed!” His other hand clasps the record of truth and free expression. Accompanying text beckons the stifled, the weary and the weird to engage in a banquet of 7-inch vinyl at Coalmind (1016 Coal SW) on Thursday, May 27, from 8 to 11 p.m. Hurrah, I say, not hhhrrmmph. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Brent Bagwell is the reeds player for The Eastern Seaboard, a free jazz trio encased in a no-wave package. Formed, appropriately, in Brooklyn during the early Aughts, the band has since dispersed to other locations and is touring the Wild West in support of its fifth full-length, released on the Italian label Black Saint. The trio plays at the Undermind Collective (1016 Coal SW) on Friday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Below you’ll find five random pieces of Bagwell’s nano’s repertoire.
How Arizona's bill to kill multicultural education is a self-fulfilling prophecy
By Michael L. Trujillo
Note, I am not writing as a representative of any academic unit at UNM. Still, you ought to know my position. I am an assistant professor of American Studies and Chicano Studies (I hold a joint appointment in the American Studies Department and the Chicano/Hispano/Mexicano Studies Program).
The mayor invites Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check arrestees
By Marisa Demarco
It's not a policy or a policy change, says Mayor Richard Berry. Instead, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement setting up shop in the newly refurbished Prisoner Transport Center is an agreement. In fact, he says, the old policy is still in place that only allows Albuquerque Police Department officers to check into someone's immigration status if it's relevant to an investigation. But that’s not the case for the feds. Every single person arrested by APD or the county sheriff who ends up at the transport center in downtown Albuquerque will have their immigration status evaluated by ICE. "I want 100 percent of the people checked," Berry says in an interview. "I want racial profiling out of the equation."
One of the most heartening things about the immigrants rights movement today is the involvement by U.S. citizens who are people of faith. Thousands turned out in the streets around the country—side by side with immigrants—to demand humane immigration reform and to express outrage at SB 1070, the Arizona law that cracks down on immigrants. The concern for immigrants’ rights is mirrored in migration theology, a growing area of scholarship that examines what the Bible has to say about how we treat “the stranger among us.”
For New Mexicans to understand the issues pertaining to Arizona’s controversial new law, SB 1070, it’s necessary to grasp the history of how Arizona has dealt with racial issues since its establishment as a territory.
Rudolfo Anaya, New Mexico’s most celebrated writer, gave the Alibi this statement: "The recent anti-immigrants Arizona law is an assault on our basic civil rights. It is most hideous because it targets people of color. It should be protested by everyone. If there ever was a time for civil disobedience, it is now."
Trailer queens. That's what you call classic cars put on trailers and driven to car shows. They live in locked garages, Nan Morningstar says. "People buy antique cars as an investment and spend thousands making them beautiful."
I ask Agnes Dill about the honorary doctorate she'll have received from the University of New Mexico at the Saturday, May 15 commencement. "I guess I'm getting honored for a bunch of things I did," she says. Her extensive list of achievements is the culmination of many years of work. “It’s so long, and I don't know how to tell you," she says. Dill will turn 97 on June 23.
Two resolutions—one to boycott city business with Arizona and another aimed at Mayor Richard Berry's agreement with federal immigration authorities—failed at the Monday, May 17 Council meeting. More than 100 people attended the meeting to decry the mayor's plan to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into the Prisoner Transport Center. There, agents will check the immigration status of everyone arrested for any reason.
Dateline: Australia—A professor from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane recently noticed a glaring error in the Oxford English Dictionary, which has been in place since 1911. While researching an article for science teachers, Dr. Stephen Hughes spotted the OED definition for the word “siphon.” According to the dictionary, siphons use atmospheric pressure to work. In fact, gravity is the force that makes them work. As soon as he made his discovery, Dr. Hughes wrote a letter to the OED’s editors, who pledged to correct the entry in the next edition. Oxford isn’t the only dictionary to get it wrong, either. “I found that almost every dictionary contained the same misconception that atmospheric pressure, not gravity, pushed liquid through the tube of a siphon,” Hughes told the U.K.’s Telegraph. An OED spokesperson said the definition was first written in 1911 by “editors who were not scientists.”
A hundred or so people turned out for the lieutenant governor forum at the Alamosa Community Center on the city’s southwest mesa. The audience included senior citizens, teachers and a handful of young mothers and fathers with their children.
In trying to write Culture Shock for this week, I’ve felt like J. Alfred Prufrock: “Then how should I begin ... and how should I presume.” In most respects, I think I’m a bit more realized and less fearful than T.S. Eliot’s cautionary creation, but these lines kept coming back to me as I started to write this, my final column as arts and literature editor.
How big is this week’s series finale sendoff for “Lost”? So big that even TV can’t contain it! In addition to all the reruns, recaps and specials on ABC (see this week’s “Idiot Box” for details), movie theaters across the country will be hosting a one-night-only, behind-the-scenes “Lost” event. On Thursday, May 20, Fathom Events and the New York Times Talks series will welcome the creators of “Lost,” Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. New York Times Entertainment Editor Lorne Manly will interview the duo live from The TimesCenter in New York. This in-depth conversation is likely to be Cuse and Lindelof’s last interview about the show. So, chances are it’ll feature a lot of secret-spilling. The event will take place locally at Downtown 14 and Rio 24 starting at 6 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through fathomevents.com and fandango.com.
Remade myth is way off the mark but still somehow on target
By Devin D. O’Leary
One thing Hollywood has in spades is confidence. And Hollywood is pretty damn sure it knows better than you, me and every other non-celebrity type. That’s why Hollywood is always rewriting, recasting, remaking and test-screening the hell out everything under the sun. There’s nothing—from the prose of William Shakespeare to Heidi Montag’s breasts to actual historical fact—that the movie industry can’t improve upon. It’s why no film version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan has even remotely resembled its source material. And it’s why movie studios are currently putting a reboot up the ass of every movie you’ve ever watched. Liked the original Psycho, The Manchurian Candidate,Planet of the Apes, The Poseidon Adventure,The Pink Panther,A Nightmare on Elm Street? No you didn’t. They sucked, so Hollywood was kind enough to remake them.
Leiahdorus has been in the business of creating sweet, soaring electro-pop since its formation by Jason Smith and Fox Fletcher back in 1998. Gaining keyboardist Darla VanWinkle in 2003 and drummer Ryan Goodman in 2007, the band has focused on evolving and cultivating a uniqueness over the years. With the release of Leiahdorus’ third full-length on Section 44 Records, the Albuquerque band is finding itself more mature and less plugged in. And experimenting with banjos. Leiahdorus on this and more below, via e-communique.
Let's just get that out of the way. When Morrissey performed at the Sunshine Theater last year, at the ripe old age of 50, he didn't hand the people in the crowd a wilted bouquet of gladiolas. He gave them their money's worth. And then some.
After a long hiatus, the always flashy and original Daddy Long Loin returns to the stage with Jon Knutson on “drum set” and Blake Himm on “percussion.” The group—Chicken Noodle Chainsaw—will perform original Long Loin songs, improvisations, Frank Zappa and Tom Waits covers, and who knows what else on the new outdoor stage at Marble Brewery (111 Marble NW) on Saturday at 8 p.m. The show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Fox Fletcher is the guitar player for and a founding member of Albuquerque’s Leiahdorus (which releases its third full-length album this weekend—see right). He also teaches guitar lessons, makes his own guitars and is an avid photographer. Below is a wild smattering of computer-selected tracks from his collection.
Even before I learned of the secret menu at Budai, I was already recommending the small, Taiwanese-owned eatery for the element of surprise its regular menu brings. The non-secret menu is a long and interesting read, full of familiar and unusual Taiwanese and Chinese dishes. If you ask questions about the food, you might get a history lesson from Elsa Fang, who handles the front of the restaurant while her husband, Hsia, does the cooking. And, if you ask her to, she will translate the secret menu from Chinese. But she will do so selectively.
I like my neighborhood. It’s got most of the things I want in a neighborhood, such as a park I never visit and a liquor store I always visit. I don’t know or even think about my neighbors, which makes for the best kind. The only thing missing that would make it a perfect place to live is a good beer bar within walking distance. Since this is Albuquerque, I know that unless I move Downtown or to Nob Hill, I have to drive a ways to anywhere worth drinking. I wouldn’t live in Nob Hill because there's too much to do, and I’d be out spending my Alibi paycheck every night. I can’t live Downtown because, well, I’m not really allowed there anymore. (I don’t want to get into it. It involves drinking.)