You’re not alone if you hear the word “Idaho” and your brain replies “potatoes,” but I am going to let you in on a little secret. Recently coerced into a trip to Boise (long story), I discovered it is actually a very cool little city. The locals we met were friendly, stopping what they were doing to have long chats with us. Cabbies were cheerful and gave unsolicited, but appreciated, history lessons. Beautiful brick buildings from the late-19th and early-20th centuries comprise the downtown, and street art—some municipally sanctioned—is prevalent. The compact city center is host to dozens of independent coffee shops, restaurants and bars, many using local ingredients. One of my favorite (and weirdest) discoveries was that the Bittercreek Alehouse—besides offering delicious local food and brews in a classy atmosphere, keeps a huge worm farm in the basement where almost all of the waste of the establishment is recycled.
Old soul presents music from new album
One Wednesday night last summer, guitarist/vocalist John Maestas, bassist/vocalist Asher Barreras and drummer Enrique Chavez were hanging at Vernon’s Jazz Club, each looking to get up and play with saxophonist Doug Lawrence in the weekly jam. Lawrence called them to the stage at the same time, and something clicked.
A little something for everyone
After my last mission to find Downtown dance parties [“Aural Fixation: A Quest For Thursday Night’s Ultimate Downtown Dance Party,” Feb. 24-March 2] I was anxious for another adventure—this time seeking out Nob Hill’s live music scene and dance parties.
Lovers is a Portland synth pop act made of three super-talented ladies (find downloads for a couple of songs here: bit.ly/portlandlovers). The trio is in the midst of a massive U.S. tour and stops in at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) on Monday, May 9. Animals in the Dark opens the free, 21-and-over show at 10 p.m. Find out what Lovers loves below, where vocalist Carolyn Berk has put her MP3 player on random shuffle.
It is time once again for me to bid you, my fair reader, adieu.
I am moving back to Oklahoma, a state apparently bent on my destruction. I had some great tornado jokes lined up for this column—real grade-A material.
Alas, I woke up the other morning and the damn things had laid waste to most of Alabama. Severe weather humor is horribly inappropriate at this particular juncture.
So we’ll skip the tornado jokes.
An exceptional pair of plays
Take two of the city’s finest actors, shake them together with an inspired and masterful theater company, slather on a large dollop of Academy Award-winning talent, and the chances you’ll end up with something satisfying and delectable are all but guaranteed. Such is the case with Mother Road Theatre Company’s newest offering, Virtual Reality.
An inconclusive report on the lifestyles of the rich and famous
Three easy asparagus recipes your mamma will love
Students seek Gay-Straight Alliance
Starting a new club at Clovis High School is usually a routine process: Fill out forms, get approval from the administration, find members and establish meetings. All of this seemed to be going well for Steven De Los Santos, who spearheaded a Gay-Straight Alliance at Clovis High School—until administration postponed approval.
Demonstrators from around the state gathered on a cold, windy afternoon in Clovis, N.M., to show support for LGBT student rights.
Did UNM’s top dog sucker the regents into paying him too much?
With President David Schmidly’s late-April declaration that he will be stepping down next year, the time has come to contemplate what kind of pay might be appropriate for future UNM administrators.
Public broadcasting breathes a sigh of relief
Albuquerque City Council will once again feature adoptable shelter animals. At the Monday, May 2 meeting, two dogs and a cat were shown via photos instead of being brought into the Council chambers, as they used to be under Councilor Sally Mayer. Either way, it is good to have the furry friends back.
New Visions / New Mexico Contract Award-winning filmmaker Federico Reade and community activist Richard Moore (founding member of the Black Beret organization) will discuss their documentary-in-progress American Blowback: New Mexico’s Black Berets on Thursday, May 5. The presentation will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at Los Jardines Community Space (803 La Vega SW) and will be hosted by Bianca Encinias of the Southwest Network for Environmental Justice. The film focuses on the historic Chicano movement here in New Mexico and was a recent winner of a New Visions / New Mexico Contract Award from the state.
Wishy-washy romantic comedy will leave you blue
“Game of Thrones” vs. “Camelot”
It’s good to be the king. Or is it? Given the wealth of information available in fantasy literature, it seems like being the king is a lousy job. Take two new pay-cable series as evidence: HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Starz’ “Camelot.”
The Week in Sloth
Those little trophies are heavy. They must weigh about 15 pounds, laughs Melissa Sanchez. She should know. She helped organize their arrival in Albuquerque for a presentation at the Gathering of Nations this year.
Parties, exhibits, markets and more around Albuquerque
Symposium pitches nuclear energy in New Mexico
Do you work as a below-the-line crew member in the New Mexico film industry? Are you a grip looking to make that big career leap to best boy? If so, you might want to pay attention to a meeting scheduled for this Saturday, April 30, in Santa Fe. Tobi Ives of the New Mexico Film Office will be conducting a “review’ of the New Mexico crew programs available to below-the-line crew. Learn how you can take advantage of the Film Crew Advancement Program, discuss upcoming policy changes and review the pre-employment training program. As things stand, FCAP allows production companies to be reimbursed 50 percent of a qualifying crew member’s wages in a “specialized craft position.” The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Center for Justice & Progress (1420 Cerrillos Road, next to the IATSE 480 union office).
We get heroic with Super filmmaker James Gunn
James Gunn started out his career writing the trashtacular 1996 Troma film Tromeo and Juliet. By 2002, he was penning the family-friendly hit Scooby-Doo for Warner Bros. In between, he found time to script the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. He’s currently racing around the country promoting his latest writing/directing effort Super. In it, a pathetic fry cook adopts the mantle of a violent superhero after his wife dumps him for someone more interesting. Though shot on a shoestring budget, the film boasts an impressive cast, including Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler.
We got your royal wedding coverage covered
If you’re like me and completely sick of all the royal wedding coverage dominating the television airwaves in the last couple of weeks, you’ll be happy to know it all ends this Friday. If, on the other hand, you can’t get enough of diamond tiaras, hand-embroidered ivory wedding dresses and horse-drawn carriages, then rest assured it’s all coming to a head this Friday. Either way, you win.
The Week in Sloth
Your guide to the three-night Native music festival
Dance, meditate, muse, romance, reflect and boogie
Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is obviously not on the email lists of music publicists. Press releases for new recordings swamp the inbox daily. Here’s a handful of recent local and national releases, culled from the flood, that deserve attention.
Random tracks from North America’s Josh and Jesse Hasko
Twin brothers Josh and Jesse Hasko are the post-dance, psych rock duo North America. On Friday, April 29, the Albuquerque band hosts its spring/summer tour Push Off Party at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW). The show starts at 9 p.m., admission is $5 and The Fertile Crescent opens. Peer into the Haskos’ shared music collection via the random tracks below.
The “sheeeeeeeee ... wwwuuuhhh” of filmic astronaut breath might be among the sounds you hear at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) on Tuesday, May 3, beginning at 10 p.m. The free show features the psychedelic sounds of Minneapolis’ Daughters of the Sun and local noise purveyors Luperci, Black Leaf #40 and Alan George Ledergerber. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Just in time for Gathering of Nations, Native American artists Jaque Fragua and Ryan Singer present their joint effort, Vision Quest.
New theater tandem aims for empowerment
Big things can start in small places. That’s the driving philosophy behind Albuquerque’s newest artistic foray, Rainbow Studio Theater Company.
Taos author settles on northern California for her sophomore effort
Summer Wood’s novel Wrecker is set in the heart of Humboldt County, Calif. But don’t let the location fool you. It’s not about that.
Flavorful forks in the road
Though the plating and presentation of the food at Café Trang is classy, the place has a no-nonsense pragmatism that’s just as pronounced. The walls of the clean, open dining room are nearly barren, sending the message that all artistry is reserved for the food. And the drink options are at the top of the menu, rather than the bottom where they’re usually found—a refreshing bit of sensibility given that your drink order is the first thing the server asks of you.
Seasonal microbrews flower around the city
This fine spring weather we’re in the midst of brings out mixed feelings in me. On one hand, I enjoy the freedom to stroll the University and Nob Hill areas without the need to dress like a Sherpa. On the other hand, I’m forced to see a parade of Don Schrader dress-alikes maneuvering their long boards down Harvard. It’s enough to make me forego the sunshine in favor of a dark corner of the nearest brewpub, where our locals are ready and waiting with new beers for the season.
Two very different local acts are releasing shiny new recordings on Saturday, April 23. Read all about it after the jump.
Will changing the city’s building requirements be a boon or a bust?
But on Feb. 7, the City Council unanimously this law, replacing it with older conservation rules. Some green-building advocates worry the move may serve as a bellwether for the city’s attitude toward sustainability and speculate about the larger implications of this change.
Meet Martinez’ new Environmental Improvement Board
Sen. Udall tells the country to get with the program—New Mexico’s program
Sen. Tom Udall has a nickname for his bill: 25 by 25. "We're talking about 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025." Along with his cousin and fellow senator, Mark Udall (D-Colorado), he introduced a measure in early April that aims to set a standard nationally. Utilities around the country would have to use sources such as wind, solar, biomass or geothermal for a quarter of their supply.
The life of Tera Cordova Chavez
News reports haven’t focused much on Tera as a person. This is her story.
Jay Faught of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District briefed councilors at the Monday, April 18 meeting about the upcoming celebration of National Train Day. Faught said on Saturday, May 7, a Rail Runner train, other locomotives and railroad equipment will be on display at the train platform of Downtown’s Alvarado Transportation Center.
An interview with Adam Hurt
Random tracks from local hip-hop artist Justin Hood
Justin Hood is a local hip-hop musician and—once upon a time—was an excellent Alibi editorial intern. On Saturday, April 23, he releases The Falling Season at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). Peek into Hood’s music collection via the random selections below.
On Thursday, April 21, several diverse local acts— Chemtrail Pilot, Bud Melvin, Iceolus, Javelina, Cinik, and Blacker Guise (Alan George Ledergerber)—will form a circle. With the audience in the center, each will play one after another, around and around, until the result is one cacophonous improv session. The all-ages show happens at the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice (202 Harvard SE) from 8 to 11 p.m. Admission is by donation. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
The newly minted Roswell International Sci Fi Film Festival is looking for eager filmmakers to fill out its schedule. Firstly, they’re looking for screenwriters. Submit your 12-page (or less) film script by May 6 (entry fee is $15) and you could be given a $1,500 grant to film your movie, June 25 through July 2, at the festival’s Seven Day Shoot Out. It’s like the Duke City Shootout, only ... in Roswell. You can also register now for a Roswell summer film camp, a 30-day intensive short-film boot camp, or submit a finished sci-fi/fantasy film for consideration. Deadline for film submission is June 10 (and will also run you $15 per entry). The festival itself is scheduled to take place at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in early July.
Compellingly awful adaptation argues the merits of capitalism
Online searches for Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's controversial 1957 magnum opus, spiked recently. It wasn’t some coincidental alignment of college lit classes driving the traffic. It was the surprising theatrical release of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1. The seemingly out-of-nowhere feature debuted in a meager 300 theaters this past weekend, prompting hordes of curious to ask, “Is this what I think it is?”
ABC dumps daytime programming
The Week in Sloth
To paraphrase Jimmy, the drunken misanthrope from the film Art School Confidential, I've been postponing suicide on the off chance I’ll witness some glorious plague inflict unfathomable suffering on my hateful species.
Festival features four new plays by up-and-coming writers
Ballet company tries to change the art form’s image
Behind the observation glass of the studio of Alwin's School of Dance, eight dancers from the New Mexico Ballet Company glide through the air, articulating tiny gestures amid a flurry of footwork. They precisely and energetically execute Valse Fantaisie choreographed by George Balanchine, recently debuted at their last performance Springtime Dances.