Raw posts and updates from our writers with info too timely or uncategorizable for print. What, we said something stupid? Chime in, buddy.
A Lousy Robot Must Be Human
By August March [ Wed Jan 27 2016 9:26 PM ]
"Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves." — Stephen Daedalus
Jim Phillips was a musician from Albuquerque. He directed the creative activities of a band called Lousy Robot. When he died unexpectedly last spring, Phillips left behind a body of work notable for defining a fragile, yet brightly expressed nexus of what it means to be human.
Invoking the wide and melodically winsome swath carved out by power-pop adherents like the Easybeats, Big Star, the Cars and Elvis Costello, singer/guitarist Phillips and his ensemble (Ben Wood, keyboards; Joey Gonzales, drums and Dandee Fleming on bass) added intensity and a profound sense of dark realism to their rocanrol stew.
The result included unforgettably haunting recordings like 2011's Hail The Conquering Fool.
This week, Lousy Robot bassist Fleming reached out to Weekly Alibi to tell about a new collection of recordings by Lousy Robot, available at Bandcamp.
Fleming wrote, "Before his death Jim and the band had been working on collecting outtakes and rarities from previous recording sessions in hopes of putting out a collection of weirdness titled Oddities, Obscurities & Obscenities. The work started with a cover of “Dead Flowers” and an iPhone remix of “Peacocks." During this time, I continued to work on remixes on several other songs. After Jim’s death, I found two songs that the group had demoed but never completed. I edited and restructured those songs and sent them to friend and long-time producer John Dufliho to complete.
The result is a work of complex beauty; the circumstances—rendered as music, hopeful and dire—that make up human life.
Former TWA Employee Talks Poetry
A signing event for "Dirt Roads: Poetry and Memoirs"
Barbara Jean Ruther, former corporate speaker for Trans World Airlines (TWA), will be at Page One Books 3pm Sunday, February 21, to talk about and sign her new book of poetry, Dirt Roads: Poetry and Memoirs.
The book touches on life, love and memories.
Ruther was a corporate speaker and writer for Trans World Airlines. She wrote destination travel programs, and gave presentations and seminars to travel groups. She is a poet and has been published in small press publications. She also has written a novel, Saving Snowflakes in My Pocket. Barbara was born in New Mexico, has lived in New York and Chicago, and is now back home, living in Santa Fe.
Page One Books is located at 5850 Eubank Blvd NE, Suite B-41, in Albuquerque's Mountain Run Shopping Center (southeast corner of Eubank and Juan Tabo). The Ruther event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 294-2026 or visit www.page1book.com.
The Daily Word in the Oregon standoff, black holes, and Hugh Jackman
By Cerridwen Stucky [ Wed Jan 27 2016 11:20 AM ]
Black holes are invisible, but scientists hope to be able to find and view a shadow of one.
The tiny pocket in your jeans and why it's not totally useless.
Rumors of Hugh Jackman filming Wolverine in New Mexico.
Developments in the anti-government standoff in Oregon, but it doesn't seem to be over.
The Daily Word in Incest, no one riding the bus and beer whispering
By geoffrey Plant [ Tue Jan 26 2016 2:30 PM ]
Bus ridership is down in Albuquerque.
The Forest Service is seeking funds to thin New Mexico's Forests.
Rapper B.o.B. is on a crusade to convince us the Earth is flat.
Winter Ducks of the Rio Grande
As good a time as any to head to the bosque
By Maggie Grimason [ Tue Jan 26 2016 1:00 PM ]
I'm lucky enough to have had the opportunity to spend several mornings and evenings along the middle Rio Grande bosque counting songbirds and waterfowl. Along with the season's emblematic Sandhill Cranes, there is an abundance of birds that are easy to spot, easy to identify and which there is plenty of to see along Albuquerque's sliver of the mighty river.
Among these, perhaps the most common is the Mallard Duck. Both males and females- usually mated at this point in the year- swim through the acqueias and the river proper. These ducks are endemic the whole world through and the males- with a glossy green head and shades of brown feathers down their wings, backs and chests- are easy to spot. More often than not, if you spot a male, there will be a better camouflaged female nearby.
The Gadwall Duck- nearly the size of the Mallard, but with more understated coloration and a black bill- is also easy to find in the river this winter. These ducks are nearly as widespread as the Mallard due to their extreme adaptability. They've even been known to snatch food from the beak of other diving ducks.
Looking for something even more adorable? The Coot- technically part of the Rail family- is dark, petite and easy to spot in open water. These birds are black throughout the body, but have a light, even white colored bill, and sometimes show white on the tail. Making them even more endearing, coots have small, rounded wings and are weak fliers, despite their ability to cover large distances when necessary.
Also keep an eye out for the striking Wigeon, too. These birds breed farther north and make their way down to Albuquerque during the winter season. Males are colorful, with a cream colored forehead and jade green highlights while females are grayish overall. I've spotted just one along the Rio Grande this winter, but these are increasingly abundant.
Also found along the river: dog prints, coyote prints, the spine of a large mammal. Winter time is just as wonderful to test the waters of the Rio Grande, particularly when we have such an abundance of beautiful birds floating by for the season.
By Megan Reneau [ Mon Jan 25 2016 4:48 PM ]
We've been talking a lot about the educational system here at the Alibi recently, which you can read more about in the latest issue that's available 'til Jan. 27 (get it while you can). I’m going to recount some of my best and worst educational experiences. My time in the public (and briefly private-ish) educational system was a wild ride, and within most of my memory, not a good one. Let’s see why!
When I was in second grade I was sexually harassed by a boy in my class. Over the school year he gathered other boys to chase me and harass me. When I would complain to teachers they would tell me something like, “Oh he just likes you!” or “Boys will be boys. Ignore him and he’ll stop.” My best friend was the only person who took me seriously. She would chase him and threaten him back, which would stop them for a while, but since she was in the grade above me, she couldn’t always be there. I started dissociating around this time.
In third grade I was placed in the same class as my harasser again, even though I had made many complaints about his behavior. I remember I cried all night the day before classes started because I was so afraid to be in the same space with him again. My mom fought most of the year trying to get the school administration to change their decision but they said all the other classes were full. Because I was in the same class as this kid again, I was nervous and distracted all the time. My teacher would yell at me a lot for a few reasons: I didn’t pay attention, I collected rocks from the playground (which I guess was stealing school property) and because I had a hard time doing math.
Nothing particularly notable happened until middle school (or maybe it did and I just can’t remember because of the dissociation junk). One of my best friends who had an aptitude for math was yelled at by our math teacher because he didn’t show his work. He explained that he didn’t show his work because he could do it all in his head and out teacher said he couldn’t and was probably cheating.
Our humanities teacher, on the other hand, was very funny and somewhat imperious (though, I suppose most adults are at that age). He encouraged me to write like there was no tomorrow. It was his last year teaching at our school, so at the end of the year I wrote him a poem about how I would miss him and how he really helped me and he cried. We both were proud.
My seventh grade science teacher was absolutely ridiculous. I asked her a question about some type of rock and she actually responded, “Because God made it that way, sweetie.”
My eighth grade history teacher was also very encouraging to me as a writer. For a paper about an event during the American Revolution, I wrote it how I thought a journalist during that time would write it, and after I read it to the class she asked me if I plagiarized it. She didn’t mean it to be insulting (though I was offended, cuz I write gr8) she was just incredibly surprised that a young teenager could write like that so convincingly.
At the beginning of high school I went to a charter school. During the first semester, while my humanities teacher was giving a lecture, I raised my hand because I had a question (like ya do), and then she stopped her lecture and yelled at me for interrupting her.
By the time tenth grade began, I started going to a public school. My anxiety and depression were the worst I had ever experienced in my life at that point (within memory). Thankfully all of my teachers were incredibly kind and eager to teach.
My class schedule was a bit unusual because I went to a school with a different curriculum the year before. I was kind of behind in science (I had taken the class that juniors took at that school, but I hadn’t taken what freshmen took) and ahead in history. So in my science class I was with a lot of kids who had failed it many times. The kid who sat behind me tried to feel me up one day and the teacher didn’t even write him up. Another kid would bother me constantly about dating him which made me extremely uncomfortable. The teacher was nice but he didn’t protect me, which I resent.
My history teacher was completely different. She was lively, intelligent and treated her students how they treated her. She taught me to be studious, respect myself and to stand up for myself. I felt safe in her classroom.
By the time eleventh grade started, the school system (and therefore a lot of teachers) began to rely heavily on technology. I remember in one class in particular—my English class—if the computer didn’t work for some reason, we weren’t going to be taught that day. This forced technological shift was particularly difficult for me because I’ve always learned best by actually doing something, not reading about doing things or being told how to.
My first English class in college didn’t go well. My teacher talked to everyone like we were children and was noticeably nicer to the guys in class. Once she gave me a paper back telling me to make the exact corrections that she made and I would get an A. I did what she said and got a D on the paper.
My second English class was a completely different experience. My teacher was incredibly kind, exceptionally encouraging and inspirational. It was her last semester teaching, which is a shame because I wanted to take more or her classes.
I ended up giving up on college because—much like the forced technological shift I experienced my junior year—it was too much reading about doing things and not enough doing for me. Regardless of my bad experiences, I’m extremely grateful for the educational opportunities I’ve had because at the end of the day, I learned something.
Martin Droeshout - Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University
The Most Expensive Book in the World
Wednesday, Jan 27: What Is the First Folio Anyway, and Why Should We Care?
By Renee Chavez [ Mon Jan 25 2016 12:00 PM ]
Shakespeare's first folio is on exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art for the month of February.
The Daily Word in Pets, Politicians and Pro Football
By Taylor Grabowsky [ Mon Jan 25 2016 11:16 AM ]
Eastside animal shelter is offering free microchips for 100 pets, today 11am-1pm first come, first serve.
It’s about time. A law is being proposed to require all school employees to pass a background check.
They did the thing with the ball! Hurray sports! Broncos and Panthers heading to the Superbowl.
Hawaii politician reaches out to Tinder to get the vote. Things do not work out as planned.
The Daily Word in Genius, Roller Skates and Trump on Acid
By Joshua Lee [ Sun Jan 24 2016 10:00 AM ]
Self-defense shootings ("justifiable homicides") almost doubled in ABQ last year. A staggering 8! I recommend locking your doors and being distrustful of anyone outside of your immediate family.
Some dummies go to trial after breaking off King Tut's beard and trying to glue it back on.
Author Eric Weiner (no relation) says if you want to make a genius, you need a city with lots of bars and coffee houses, but not too many parents. Oh. And earth-shattering catastrophes help, too.
Weather Warning: X-Files premieres tonight after more than a decade. Nerds prepare for loss of control over all bodily functions. Wear galoshes.
Roller skating is a thing in ABQ once more. It's good to know that junior-high kids will have a place to make out.
There's one thing that keeps me up at night, nursing my regret: I've never been to a Donald Trump rally on acid. Thank you, internet.
Psychiatrists at Columbia University suggest that schizophrenia can be diagnosed earlier by listening to a patient's use of language.
Authorities scramble to rescue two separate groups of lost hikers in the Sandias. Our thoughts go with them.
Technology and Its Discontents
My terrifying nightmare about segmented file transfer on floppy disks
By Kyle Silfer [ Sun Jan 24 2016 8:00 AM ]
Last night I had a dream that man in a mask like the one in Zardoz ordered me to retrieve the data from a mysterious computer kept deep in a lightless cavern. The computer is connected via RF modulator to a CRT television set tuned to channel 3. The hard drive, if you want to call it that, consists of two massive bays where removable cartridges about the size of a stack of copy paper are inserted. The keyboard is a loud, clacky one with mechanical switches. There is no mouse.
Saintseneca • folk, rock • Des Ark at Launchpad
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