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Press Release

Justice Department Schedules Community Meetings to Obtain Input Regarding Reforms for Albuquerque Police Department

ALBUQUERQUE – The Department of Justice issued findings that the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force, including deadly force, on April 10, 2014. The City of Albuquerque has agreed to enter into negotiations to reach agreement on a blueprint for reform.

Because it is important that any agreement reached reflects the concerns and ideas of all communities that make up the City, over the coming weeks, DOJ representatives will be meeting with community stakeholders, police officers, and police and city officials to gather insights and recommendations on how APD should be reformed. DOJ has scheduled the following meetings to provide members of the community at large with the opportunity to have input into this process:

Monday, April 28, 5 to 7pm, Alamosa Community Center, 6900 Gonzales SW

Tuesday, April 29, 5 to 7pm, Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE

Wednesday, April 30, 5 to 7pm, Cesar Chavez Community Center, 7505 Kathryn SE

Community members, however, do not need to wait until April 28 to share their concerns or insights about APD and to submit recommendations for implementing reform in APD. DOJ continues to monitor the APD community hotline, which is available for both English and Spanish speakers, 1-855-544-5134, and the APD community email address at community.albuquerque@usdoj.gov. Individuals who wish to meet with DOJ representatives during the week of April 28 also can schedule meetings through the hotline and community email address.

DOJ’s full report on its investigation of APD and other related information can be found at justice.gov/usao/nm/APD.html and justice.gov/crt/about/spl/findsettle.php. For more information about DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, please visit justice.gov/crt/.

news

The Daily Word in five-0, blue meanies and The Man

The Daily Word

The cop at the center of the latest APD-involved fatal shooting lied about his role in another shooting, says the LA Times.

Here is a story about shooting victim Mary Hawke’s short life.

The Grey Lady reports “Chief Gorden Eden said at a news conference that the officer’s lapel camera had not captured” the latest officer involved fatality here in Burque.

Gwyneth Doland of Al-Jazeera reports on the ineffective use of police body cameras among members of Albuquerque’s finest.

Discussions are underway to make lapel camera use by APD an enforceable requirement.

The UN Human Rights Committee reports that among human rights violations in the USA, criminalization of the homeless is a pressing issue.

Lit Oblivion

The mind-bending imagination of Felisberto Hernández’ Lands of Memory

Felisberto Hernández is one of the rare writers who, through the sheer strength of their imagination, can rewire your brain and melt your perception of reality. I first came across his name years ago in an essay by Roberto Bolaño where he reminisces about authors who were important to him in his youth yet eventually fell into oblivion. And when I read Hernandez’ Lands of Memory, a collection of stories by the Uruguayan author originally published in 1942, it blew my mind.

Despite his decades of obscurity (Lands of Memory wasn’t published in English until 2002, and even in Latin America he remained mostly unread outside elite literary circles), Hernández was a huge influence on several important writers who championed him over the years. In the US, Francine Prose was an early advocate, and wrote the preface for a reissue of another collection of his, Piano Stories. Gabriel García Márquez admitted, “If I hadn’t read the stories of Felisberto Hernández in 1950, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.” And Italo Calvino wrote in 1973, “Hernández is a writer like no other: like no European, nor any Latin American. He is an ‘irregular’ who eludes all classification and labeling, yet is unmistakable on any page to which one might randomly open one of his books.”

Felisberto Hernández
Felisberto Hernández

This “irregularity” might explain his obscurity (and the difficulty categorizing him), but it doesn’t excuse it. Lands of Memory, a mind-bending collection of four short stories and two novellas, confounds what we think we know about reality. Hernández was a pianist who played the smaller concert halls of Uruguay and Argentina, and gave recitals and private performances. His life as a pianist and the human interactions therein inform his work and serve as a foil for the strange abstractions that riddle the prose, as if life itself were an improvised tune full of eerie modulations. In a passage from the opening story, “Around the time of Clemente Colling,” the young narrator is visiting “the long-lived ladies,” three elderly sisters whose nephew was a piano prodigy. “The mystery of that place wasn’t crouched in shadows or in silence. It lay, rather, in certain turns, rhythms or bends that suddenly took the conversation to places that didn’t seem to be part of reality.”

Pianos and performances recur regularly throughout the stories. The narrator might be taking lessons from an eccentric piano teacher whose house becomes a kind of living museum, or serving as a personal musician for a crazy wealthy lady. The hulking instrument might be passive: “The big, black grand piano, like a somnolent old animal crouched on its thick paws, meekly endured the hands that slammed down on its yellow teeth and filled its innards with loud noises.” Or dangerous: “I would try to hang onto that piano as if I were fishing and had caught a shark. Who knew what might happen! Perhaps shark and audience would both be disconcerted by my audacity.”

[Hernández’] life as a pianist and the human interactions therein inform his work and serve as a foil for the strange abstractions that riddle the prose, as if life itself were an improvised tune full of eerie modulations.

The physical world in Hernández’ prose is strangely fluid, with objects taking on a life of their own. It’s as if the physical world has traded places with memory, which, as the title of the collection suggests, takes a central role in the stories, and memory itself becomes the solid form of reality. “Around the Time of Clemente Colling” revolves around the young narrator and a blind piano teacher with bad hygiene who serves as his mentor. In one passage, “The memories come, but they don’t keep still. And some very foolish memories clamor for attention, too. I don’t yet know whether, despite their childishness, these have some important connection to the other memories, or what meanings and reflections memories exchange among themselves. Some seem to protest the selection the intellect claims to make among them.”

In “The Crocodile,” a story about a stocking salesman who finds that his uncontrollable crying jags boost sales, a concerned proprietor of a store where the narrator is making a tearful sales pitch, says, “But compañero, a man’s got to have some spirit.” The narrator replies, “I’m fine, really. I have lots of spirit! It’s just that sometimes this comes over me; it’s like a memory … ”

Finally, in the title story, which concludes the collection, we get a glimpse at the dynamic that fuels Hernández’ narrative. “I was disappointed … by what had happened between my body and me as a result of the performance of a piece of music. At no time could I dismount from my body. And this forced coexistence exposed me to all sorts of risks. I certainly didn’t want to be rid of [my body] or even to neglect it … and my body was also what furnished me with the comforts I needed in order to penetrate the mysteries to which my imagination was drawn.”

It’s that tug of war between mind and body, the imaginary and the mundane, the present fixed world and the fluid landscape of memory that defines Hernández. And thankfully for us, the strength of his creativity saved him from oblivion.

---

Ian Wolff is a writer living in Albuquerque. He has two self-published collections of prose available online through the iBooks store, and his prose, essays and a film based on one of his short stories can be found at ianzwolff.com.

Lands of Memory

By Felisberto Hernández
Paperback, $16.95
New Directions
Alibi Picks

Circle in the Trees

Tomorrow YOU will play Sister (407 Central NW). Not necessarily the person reading this preview—although that's certainly possible—YOU is actually a chunky, four-piece outfit from Albuquerque that combines psych influences with blues-inflected rock stylings that are guaranteed to have you alternatively grooving along, reflecting dreamily or yearning for release.

This show at Sister is an album release party, celebrating the outfit’s latest, Ambivalence. This new work is infused with a sound that effectively transits the uncanny valley. The fourth track on Ambivalence, “Young Witch Eternal Gliss,” is a potent psychedelic anodyne, while tunes like “Saturday Night” prove the group can handle bluesy rock with serious aplomb. Baton Rouge, La.-based band Moon Honey—recently produced by Deerhoof—are touring with YOU; As In We and DJ Caterwaul start the evening off with their own brands of sonic intensity. Tickets for this 21-and-up cosmic exhibition are only five silver talents, and the metaphorical curtain rises around 9pm. You should be there. Or be square. Sister • Thu Apr 24 • 9pm • $5 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar

Alibi Picks

The Art of Rabble-Rousing: Reception for WE HONOR

Believers in the power-cum-responsibility of art to change lives, attitudes and public policy, take heart—an exhibit opening tomorrow, wears its ideological zeal on its sleeve. With an impressive range of artists and artistic collectives whose work amplifies public awareness, WE HONOR: The Art of Activism promotes ecological reverence and justice for indigenous peoples. It’s hosted by Honor the Earth and Honor the Treaties, two Native-led activist organizations that invest in and benefit from connections to the art community.

Eminent environmentalist, author and two-time Green-Party vice-presidential candidate Winona Laduke speaks at the opening from 6 to 7pm. Contributing artists include Shepard Fairey, recognized for his iconic red-and-blue Barack Obama “Hope” poster; Gregg Deal, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe best known for “The Last American Indian On Earth,” a performance piece in which he explodes racial stereotypes by embodying them in mundane settings like grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants; and Nani Chacon, the local muralist behind the magnificent “She Taught Us to Weave” in Wells Park and co-curator of this exhibit with Kim Smith. Traditional foods will be served during the free opening reception, which starts at 5pm. Everything happens at Warehouse 508 (508 First Street NW); see bit.ly/wehonor for more info. Warehouse 508 • Thu Apr 24 • 5-8pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar

news

The Daily Word in King Arthur's parliamentary run

The Daily Word

Good morning, it's Wednesday, April 23, 2014

and some jerk robbed my bank yesterday,

a UNM football player has been charged with rape and kidnapping,

and APD would like to point out that they "worked hard" to not shoot and kill a man who was upset that APD had shot and killed his fiancé.

Meanwhile,

the US Supreme Court upheld a ban on affirmative action in college admissions,

people who like bad movies and talking robots are buzzing with rumors that MST3K may return,

the New York post revealed that creepy R&B singer R. Kelly has been paying millions of dollars out to "dozens" of women who have accused him of being creepy over the last decade,

and King Arthur, the Raised Druid King of Britain, plans to run for parliament.

dreams

Rowdy’s Dream Blog #344: Telling Jokes on a Furniture Store Bed

I am walking through the mall. I pass my old friend D and her dark-haired Aussie girlfriend. D gives me a severe look. I bow and kiss her hand. She wears a gold band on her finger. She asks me when I'm going to grow up. I tell her it's too late, so never. We are joined on a furniture store bed by four of her friends. I joke in response to some anecdote: “That will kaak in your craw!” This gets a big laugh. One of the girls is playing with my tie. I see where this is going.

news

The Daily Word in horrible mutilations, further annexations and Albuquerque city council quandaries

The Daily Word

Top of the list of "unexpected beer cities? Albuquerque, por supuesto.

The suspect shot by APD yesterday was a woman.

City council is gearing up to kill the Albuquerque Police Oversight Commission in order to create a new system of checks and balances vis a vis citizenry and APD.

A bicyclist was killed Saturday when she was hit by the Rail Runner in Santa Fe.

Among steep competition, rapper Andre Johnson may have committed the most bizarre musician suicide attempt ever. Ever.

Netflix is introducing another kinda-weird price increase.

Sometimes "refined" means fart jokes.

Controversial State of Michigan decision prohibiting race based college entrance was upheld by the SCOTUS.

Crimea is getting strange and Russia is a master of propaganda.

Nothing wrong with thinking about Nudie suits folks.

Alibi Picks

Of the Earth

There's nothing like acknowledging that you are part of something bigger, part of an entire way of life that exists outside your home, town or state. That's why Earth Day is such a big day … it celebrates our entire planet! And this year, there will be a variety of events that highlight Mother Earth in all her glory. Some stuff worth mentioning is the 6th Annual Sustainability Expo & Lobos Growers' Market, the Celebrate Earth Day event at Hotel Andaluz and Earth Day at the Museum.

The first is at the Cornell Mall at UNM's main campus and includes fresh, local produce, music, crafts and food trucks. Now that's a fine way to pay homage to our planet. The event runs from 10am to 2pm tomorrow, and is free, unless, you know, you buy stuff. The second event is Celebrate Earth Day at Hotel Andaluz (125 Second Street NW) and is a free event that features guest speakers (including Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham), a wolf from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and raptors from Avian Ambassadors. That event happens from 10am to 1pm, also tomorrow.

And for those who want to throw a little education into their celebrations, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (1801 Mountain NW) is hosting Earth Day at the Museum (again, tomorrow). This day will have “special celebrations, hands-on activities for all ages and short talks.” And that slice of terrestrial goodness is included with regular admission, which is $7 for ages 13 and up, $6 for seniors and $4 for those under 13. Festivities run from 9am to 3pm. Not bad, eh? Consult our calendars for more events happening prior to Earth Day if these aren't to your liking. But bear in mind that Earth is a lovely place to be, and that's always a reason to celebrate. Cornell Mall on the UNM Main Campus (East of SUB) • Tue Apr 22 • 10am-2pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

news

The Daily Word in bongs, Don Chalmers and another APD shooting fatality.

The Daily Word

APD shot and killed a suspect at Wyoming and Zuni this morning.

Here are the last 38 APD shootings in order.

There was a big marijuana party in Denver yesterday.

Here’s how to clean your bong.

Happy birthday to the Queen of bloody England.

A stowaway teen flew to Hawaii in an airplane’s wheel well.

It’s time for the first post-bombing Boston Marathon.

Here’s what happens when undercover journalists accidentally investigate each other.

Haunted island for sale!

Rest in peace, Don Chalmers.

Submit to Reddit’s ABQ spring photo contest.

What’s going on in Albuquerque today? One might ask.

In my opinion, the pygmy loris is the main attraction at the Albuquerque Biopark. He’s in the Nightwatch exhibit.

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    BUDS AND SUDS TOUR
    BUDS AND SUDS TOUR5.22.2014