I think maybe Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani have the coolest marriage ever. The pair not only travels back and forth between homes in Tokyo and Santa Fe, but they’re both writers and translators with a host of titles under their respective belts. I recently had the chance to chat with Leza via email about a new young adult novel she and her husband worked on together, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind (Tuttle, $17.99). The first in a planned trilogy, it’s both a balls-out adventure tale and an intriguing portrait of multiple cultures. It’s also the recent winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, putting it in company with folks like Ruth Ozeki, whose A Tale for the Time Being won for Adult Fiction.
Using a combination of wind instruments and percussion to describe the essentially airborne, song-like life of birds, composers John Luther Adams and Shirish Korde have succeeded in creating musical interludes that signify the delicate balance and struggle involved in the natural existence of the avians with whom we share this planet. On Sunday, Aug. 3, at 10:30am at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW), Chatter presents a concert of airy music of these composers’ works, as well as delving into a selection of sonatas by Bach. This musical experience is preceded by a poetry reading by John Macker.
The concert, featuring flautists Jesse Tatum and Shelley Brown, as well as Alexis Corbin, Hovey Corbin and Jeff Cornelius on percussion, focuses on naturalistic interpretation as well as the ornate restraint typical of Bach’s sonatas. The musicians will perform Adams’ songbirdsongs, Korde’s Tenderness of Cranes and “Trio Sonatas” from The Musical Offering. While Pulitzer Prize-winner Adams' work is directly inspired by nature, Korde took his inspiration for Tenderness of Cranes from Japanese shakuhachi flute techniques, created by a wooden instrument used in the Edo period and by Zen monks. The elegant subtlety of the Sonatas provide a rich counterpoint to the proceedings. As always, the prices range from $5-$15, and the happening includes gratis espresso. The Kosmos • Sun Aug 3 • 10:30am • $5-$15 • View on Alibi calendar
Now that summer is slowly starting to wind down and those Back to School sales are picking up speed, there's no better way to bask in the tidings of the season than a good run. If you're the kind of person who likes to climb rocks, walk on tightropes or take your dog for a 5K, then the Helping Dogs Helping Heroes 5K is right up your alley. In an effort to kick off International Assistance Dog Week, Paws and Stripes have put together this little fun run for those who want to show their athletic chops and those who want to do something special with their canine companions, all while supporting military veterans, of course.
The event will have food trucks, family activities and dog washes. The run itself is dog-friendly, so you and your barking buddy can go for the gold together. The sprinting commences Sunday, Aug. 3. Check-in is at 7:30am, and the race starts at 8am at the Aperture Center Park at Mesa del Sol (5700 University SE). To participate, adults pay $30, and it's $15 for young ones ages 10-15. Be sure to stretch. Aperture Center, Mesa del Sol • Sun Aug 3 • 8am • $15-$30 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Will you ever look back on rightnow with longing? When Ewen Wright and Laurel Butler left Burque for San Francisco in 2011, the couple—longtime performance collaborators—found themselves unexpectedly thrown out of sync as they tried to stay afloat in the pricey, tech-obsessed city. “We both had jobs that put us in front of computers most of the day,” says Wright, “and then had phones that we looked at on the way home, and then computers we could get in front of for the evening.”
Their burgeoning disconnection ultimately led to a new act that incorporated dance, physical theater and poetic narrative into absurdist vignettes about memory and togetherness. “We began to imagine having a sense of nostalgia, in the future, for all of the things as they are now—smartphones, Facebook, Buzzfeed, apps, etc.,” Wright says. September: A New Show by Laurel and Ewen captures real and imagined eras in a couple’s lifespan, and “gluing it all together is the outline of a love story.” The show comes to the Box (100 Gold SW) on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 10:30pm, and Sunday, Aug. 3, at 7:30pm. Get your $10 tickets at theboxabqtickets.com. Box Performance Space and Improv Theatre • Sat Aug 2 • 10:30pm • $10 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
An Albuquerque man tried to stretch the family food budget by killing, then butchering the family dog. Which was a chihuahua, by the way, which could feed maybe one person? I don't think this guy thought things through.
And the Duke City is due to become the Cake City this weekend. Cake kind of sounds like Duke and it’s the best I could come up with before my coffee hits bottom. Also, I’m still thinking about that witchcraft thing. And the pot thing. And the dog thing. Is there something wrong with the state this week?
Two more mysterious holes leading to the blackest depths of the Earth have opened up in Siberia. Scientists think it’s happening because of an eruption of gas, but the Internet thinks it’s probably mole men.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Toadies will perform Rubberneck in its entirety at Sister (407 Central NW) tomorrow night. Lazily categorized as “post-grunge,” the songs that comprise their platinum-selling debut album are more intricate and timeless than this subgenre would suggest. It's a clever balance of slightly progressive roughness with a Southern-fried tinge, all wrapped up in a sinister bow, thanks to the macabre, cerebral lyrics of frontman Vaden Todd Lewis. Without a single weak track, it only seems proper that the album be played front to back. The first two legs of the Rubberneck Anniversary Tour were so well received that a third leg was added with a stop in the Duke City.
The Toadies are still going strong, having released two noteworthy albums since reforming in 2008. In a recent Alibi interview with drummer Mark Reznicek, he touched on the band's signature sound, created by the tendency to veer away from standard 4/4 time. “Initial ideas can sound too straight,” Reznick said, so they'll add a couple beats every few measures to make it interesting. “It can come naturally or by accident,” but the goal is for the listener to “not even know it's odd. If there's away we can screw up a time signature and make it work, we'll explore it.”
Get there early for Ume (pronounced “ooo-may”), a three-piece outfit that joined Toadies and Helmet on a prior tour. Speaking of their front woman and guitarist, Lauren Larson, Reznicek boasts, “You won't believe that all that sound comes from one small lady.” With doctored crap being passed off as music these days, it's easy to become cynical about live music. Rest assured, Toadies will get that vampire blood pumping through your veins, raise the hair on the back of your neck and leave you at the end of it all with a dirty, satisfying feeling. The 21-and-up show costs $20, and the music kicks off at 9pm. Sister • Tue Jul 29 • 9pm • $20 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar