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Rhapsody in Burque

Chapter Four: The Man Who is Still King

I'll get right to the point: That Dick Dale show was amazing. He blazed into Sister Bar last Monday night and completely melted my brain.

Perhaps I was still feeling a little raw from the heartbreakingly geriatric Meatloaf concert at Route 66 Casino this past winter, having watched a once-monumental performer heave, pant and stumble his way through a set list. Perhaps I read last week's August March interview and learned that Mr. Dale, now 79, suffers from advanced diabetes and chronic pain. Turns out he only tours to raise money for medical bills. Perhaps I just hadn't seen a very good show in awhile.

Suffice it to say, I was managing my expectations, keeping the bar comfortably low. I would go to the show not to be impressed, but to support this extraordinary man and pay homage to his legacy, to what he once meant to the world of rocanrol ...

The night began with a droning and danceable set by gnarly, surf-infused Phantom Lake from Rio Rancho. After a long lull for load-out/in, a lovely platinum blonde (who turned out to be Dick's wife, Lana) took the stage and gave an ignorable intro (sorry, Lana). I was ready to be underwhelmed.

Suddenly, the room magnetized and everyone's hair stood on end. You could feel him before you saw him, and then there he was: our hero Dick Dale towering above his people, welcoming a boisterous round of applause. Like a hot knife through a stick of butter, the thick, piercing rip of pick on metal strings started slicing into the crowd. With fingers smoother than silk and faster than bullets, with swaggering, sinister melodies soaring with the guttural snarl of an angry bass and the thunderous bang, boom, splash of the drums, Dick Dale overtook the packed house with the gale force and magnitude of a hurricane. His stance was stoic and mighty, his energy commanding, his tone sharp and furious, and his powerful, masterful musicianship utterly jaw-dropping.

For two hours, he dazzled the masses with a medley of originals and covers, taking us on a roller coaster ride of rowdy party tunes, gritty ballads, fiery anthems and sultry swings, all with a dynamic range as wide as the sky is tall.

And oh, the tricks up his sleeve. He started off by slamming his guitar neck down his mic stand and using it as a slide. Ultimately, he joined the drummer on the kit for an old-style drum battle à la Gene Krupa, then crossed the stage and started playing the bass like a dulcimer/drum, hammering the strings and body with the drumsticks and erupting into a monstrous solo that would make John Entwistle weep.

In short, Dick Dale was a revelation. I left in a daze that has not worn off even a week later. To witness true greatness in such an intimate setting was an honor and a privilege I'll never forget. And the next time he comes anywhere within a 100-mile radius, I'll be first in line for the show. I suggest you do the same.

The Daily Word in Shakespeare, Giraffe Evolution and Hallucinogens

The Daily Word

Caught red handed! A group of Olympic participants get in trouble for conducting forbidden experiments.

College Shakespeare professors are probably going bonkers over this. A London archaeological team proves their geometry knowledge and reveals a chunk of history no one knew was missing.

Technological advancements sometimes give me the heebie-jeebies. I remain skeptical about this “safe” form of texting while driving.

These gentle giants have genes specially designed for pumping blood two meters up to the brain. Good work, natural selection. Scientists decode the genome to learn more about these mysterious creatures.

Thanks, Obama.

Lake Michigan is shrinking substantially, leaving only a few feet of sand on the community's beloved dog beach. Still think global warming is a myth?

There's a fine line between good intentioned and stupid and these guys crossed it. Keep the wildlife wild, ya dummies. Poor Bison baby was doing just fine before you insisted on knowing what was best for him.

Never lose hope, but if you do, never underestimate the power of magic mushrooms. Psychedelic experiences might be the cure for the incurable.

Dream Blog #361

I walked down a long, white, carpeted hallway away from the olympic-sized swimming pool. As I passed the last window with a view of the pool room, I thought back to a few minutes earlier. I had just seen my friend Dylan, he told me he was living in the pool. I wasn't surprised, he basically lived in the pool in high school (he was on the swim team). Before you know it, I thought, he'll be growing fins.

Now I was on my way to visit my new neighbors. I had just moved to this rec-center-like-building. Earlier that day, I ran into them in the hall outside my door. They were an elderly couple; nice to me but always bickering. When I arrived I knocked loudly so they would hear me. A few moments after a muffled yell, the male counterpart opened the door.

Their apartment walls were white like the hallways. Though it was windowless, the room was bright because of their supplied décor. The interior was vibrant and bright. Upon entering, their very large and eager dog bounded over and inspected me to check if I was the type of person who pets dogs. I looked down and pet its smooth head.

Its body was made of black, overstuffed pillows with string tassels stacked one on top of the other. The head was one square, medium sized pillow, the body three large, rounded pillows, and each leg a dozen tiny, rounded pillows and so on. Its beady eyes looked me over and its pink tongue slipped out as it began to pant.

I followed my neighbor as he slowly brought me to the living room. I sat down on some bright, comfortable cushions and the dog laid down next to me, resting its head on my lap. The female counterpart brought me tea and asked if I thought I would be able to care for the dog while they go away on vacation soon.

I said yes and continued to chat with them. Eventually they left for their vacation and I remained, happily petting the pillow pup.

I wake up.

The Daily Word in Psi-Q, Swarm AI and Real-Life Frankenstein

The Daily Word

Some crafty blogger has taken an ancient (1983) computer code from a book called Test Your Psi-Q and converted it to javascript. Now you can test your own Psi-Q (or not, since the post also explains why this method doesn't actually work).

Eat your heart out, George Jetson. Elon Musk's "Hyperloop" had its first propulsion system test last week. The goal of a 700 mile-per-hour transportation system is closer than ever.

Get your pitchforks and torches ready. The first (living) human head transplant is slated to go down next year in China.

For the first time in two decades, Sandia Labs' managing contract is up for bid. Maybe the new boss can do something about that toxic soup they still have brewing.

There are only three northern white rhinos left in the entire world, but scientists are going to use stem cell technology and surrogate parenting to try and save them from the brink of extinction. The only problem: activists say it doesn't fix the issue that endangered them in the first place, and it might encourage laziness in the conservation efforts of the future. I'll give you two guesses as to which side the northern white rhino is taking.

A tech company has developed an AI that correctly predicted the winner of the Kentucky Derby by using "swarm AI."


The Daily Word in super humans, robot humans and synthetic humans

The Daily Word

"A school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity." What a concept.

Native Americans face some of the highest rates of suicide, poverty and sexual assaults.

Pfizer drugs no longer allowed to be used in lethal injections.

Puerto Rican superhero? Yes, please.

What if your TA was a robot? Wonder no more.

Humans created with synthetic genome could become a reality.

What's up, Friday the 13th.

Jack's Back! One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at KiMo

Continuing the series "AFI Greatest Films Countdown" at the historic KiMo Theatre, the award-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest will screen on Saturday, May 14 at 2 and 6pm, and Sunday, May 15 at 2pm.

In the story, McMurphy (played by Jack Nicholson) has gotten himself into trouble and is sentenced by the court. To escape labor duties in prison, he pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for those deemed mentally ill. Once there, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates.

McMurphy and the other inmates band together to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious nurse. Louise Fletcher's Oscar-winning performance crafted Nurse Ratched into one of the most reviled characters in movie history. Nicholson won the first of his three Best Actor Oscars for this film.

The supporting cast features Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd and Scatman Crothers, and was the second film to win all five major Oscars for the 1975 film (Best Picture, Actor and Actress in a Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay), an accomplishment by only two other films, It Happened One Night in 1934, and later in 1991 for The Silence of the Lambs.

Now considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is No. 33 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list. In 1993, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress
and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Don't miss this chance to see an outstanding story and award-winning performances on the big screen at the historic KiMo Theatre. The film is rated R: Ages 17+.

General Admission for each screening is $6 to 8. Tickets are available at Tickets are also available at the KiMo Ticket Office, 505-768-3544. Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 11am to 8pm, Sunday 11am to 3pm. Concessions available.

Jack Snell / Creative Commons

Event Horizon

Classic Albuquerque

Sunday, May 15: 32nd Annual New Mexico Council of Car Clubs Classic Auto Show

Hundreds of antique, classic, exotic and sports cars, along with trucks, motorcycles and vintage camper trailers are on display in the museum parking lot.


Poetry and Prose at Local Book Store

Jeanne Shannon, born on a farm in Virginia, will be at Page One Books at 3pm on Sunday, May 15, to talk about and sign her book of poetry and prose, Summoning.

The book is described as such: "A collection of poems and hybrid works that hover at the boundary between poetry and prose, and that range from the abstract and experimental to the concrete and accessible. Employing imagery that is vivid and frequently surprising, the author addresses subjects that include the natural world (especially the plant kingdom), art and music, the dreamlike regions of memory, and the mysterious—the 'dissolving forms' that tell us the world is stranger than we might suppose. In the title poem and others, she summons recollections of her early life in 1940s southwestern Virginia, 'the heart of Appalachia.'"

Shannon was born on a snowy morning on a farm in southwestern Virginia, “the heart of Appalachia,” when the Sun was in Aquarius and the Moon was in Taurus. She has lived in the west (Arizona and New Mexico) for most of her adult life. She writes poems that she characterizes as paintings—often impressionistic, sometimes abstract. It's hard to find one that does not contain a reference to a member of the vegetable kingdom, be it tree, weed or flower. She is pleased to claim Robert Beverley, historian of early Virginia whose name appears in Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Painting by Georgia O'Keeffe, as a maternal ancestor.

Annual Heritage Day Activities Planned at Casa San Ysidro

Created in 1998 by the Corrales Historical Society, the annual Heritage Day returns to Corrales on Saturday May 14, 10am to 4pm. This is a free community event for all ages that celebrates the village's history and agrarian heritage.

Casa San Ysidro: Gutiérrez/Minge House (973 Old Church Road, Corrales, NM 87048) is partnering with the Corrales Historical Association to highlight the history in your backyard. Activities at Casa San Ysidro focus on the tangible aspects of local history and culture such as wool production, blacksmithing, traditional music and art. Families may visit with multi-horned churro sheep and serene pack burros to learn about the importance of these hard working historic breeds to New Mexico's past.

"We are really excited about new performers to Heritage Day," says Emily Stovel, the new site manager of Casa San Ysidro. "An all-female mariachi band will be performing - they are totally awesome! And this will be the first time we've had pueblo dancers. The day really captures the total breadth and depth of our New Mexican communities and arts."

Performances at Casa San Ysidro

11am Mariachi Buenaventura, all female mariachi group

Noon and 2pm Arrieria, the ancient craft of packing and droving, with burros Freighter and Amiga

1pm Haak'u Buffalo Dancers (Acoma)

All day: Churro sheep, blacksmithing, horno bread baking, spinning, hands-on art project.
Art display: Tinwork, colcha, encrusted straw, and retablos
Heritage Day at Casa San Ysidro is supported in part by Wells Fargo.

Casa San Ysidro is a historic building managed by Albuquerque Museum. The c. 1875 home, restored and expanded by Dr. Ward Alan and Shirley Minge, combines traditional building techniques and architectural features that evoke New Mexico's Spanish Colonial past. Located in the farming village of Corrales, just north of Albuquerque, the museum is listed on the State Register of Cultural Properties and El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail.

Summer tour hours run from June through August, Tuesday through Saturday 10:30am, noon, and 1:30pm.
Tour Fees: $4 Adults, $3 Seniors (65+) and students (13+), $2 Children (12 and under), Albuquerque Museum Foundation Members are free. Group and school tours by reservation only. Call (505)898-3915.

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