Dateline: India—Hampered by setbacks and budget shortfalls, the Indian government has stepped up its security forces during this month’s Commonwealth Games in an attempt to appear safe and secure under the glare of the international spotlight. In addition to fending off potential terrorist attacks with surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns spread throughout New Delhi, 100,000 security guards have been drafted into service. As if that weren’t enough, 38 monkeys have been hired to keep an eye out for any simian wrongdoers. Earlier this month, India’s NDTV showed off members of an elite squad of fierce, black-faced Hanuman langurs. The highly trained monkey guards—named after a Hindu deity—have taken up positions around two stadiums in the city, defending athletes and spectators from potential attacks by smaller, wild monkeys. Eric Randolph, a correspondent for The National, an Abu Dhabi newspaper, explained to readers that, “the new contingent of langurs is expected to focus on the swimming complex, seen as a likely target for primate shenanigans.” Wild monkey attacks are not uncommon in New Delhi. The city’s deputy mayor died after a monkey attack in 2007.
The Vintage Poster Gallery in Santa Fe is opening an exhibit called Reel Power: Great Vintage Film Posters featuring more than 300 rare film posters from The Rosenberg Collection. The show opens with a reception this Friday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through Jan. 30, 2011, so you’ve got plenty of time to get up there and check it out. Vintage Poster Gallery is at 901 Canyon Road, Santa Fe.
Long before the local clubs would demean themselves by booking punk bands (and before “punk” became a genre and not an outlook), Albuquerque had a seething, seamy musical underbelly of garage bands that actually gigged in garages, cellars and even frat houses. These shows were sometimes promoted by hand-scrawled flyers but mostly by word of mouth. There was a DIY record label (Resin). There was a record store that sold Resin releases (Bow Wow). And there were bagels, lots of bagels, and shows in a Nob Hill basement near sweltering ovens (Fred’s Bread & Bagel). There was also a man who counted a cast of characters among his friends, acted as their attorney and confidant, and hauled in mountains of crawfish from the Gulf for band parties. This Friday, friends of New Orleans native Gary Wayne Nelson (who is seriously ill) will be on deck at the Launchpad to return his many favors with a benefit show.
More and more, our remote, wild Western burg is proving to be an oasis of music and art that explores new frontiers. Nay, you say? Here’s evidence: Albuquerque Experimental is a two-day festival composed of 25 performances. The lineup is largely local with notable out-of-town troubadours sprinkled throughout (NYC psych pioneer Silver Apples; John Dieterich of Deerhoof, who’s performing with New Mexico’s own Raven Chacon). This event, masterminded by KUNM music host Peter Mezensky, will take place at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m. Two-day passes go for $20, while single passes are $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. For a full lineup and more information, go to albuquerqueexperimental.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
On Wednesday, I walked into The Normal Gallery in Barelas to view Scott Williams’ installation With Great Abandon. “Man,” I said with a good deal of exasperation. “That is some weird shit right there.” Williams laughed and said, “That’s the reaction I like.” Scott has placed two space coyotes, yes, space coyotes, in the middle of the gallery. Two stuffed coyote heads have been retrofitted to Williams’ handcrafted astronaut bodies. They’re shaking hands, but eyeing each other suspiciously. I don’t know if there is any way to make stuffed coyote heads eye one another suspiciously or if they do that naturally. Either way, they made my day. Scott said he’s making a statement on the fear people have that humanity won’t survive. He looks at the coyote as a symbol of survival; they flourish even when other species are in decline. Scott is holding out hope for people. Personally, I think we’re doomed, but that’s why Scott is an artist and I’m a writer. You must go see these coyotes. Come between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 24, or by appointment. Scott can be reached at 908-5526. The gallery is located at 1514 Fourth Street SW. They have a cat.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Until recently, no cricket had ever been observed pollinating a flower. All the evidence showed, in fact, that crickets don't help flowers—they devour them. Then one night last January on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, researchers discovered that the species known as the raspy cricket was responsible for pollinating wild orchids. They even caught the magic act on film. I regard this turn of events as akin to an upcoming development in your life: Someone or something that you've never thought of as a fertilizing force for you will become one.