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Here, Piggy, Piggy: 11th Annual Pork & Brew BBQ State Championship

Last weekend, the geeks had their annual "prom" at Albuquerque Comic Expo. This weekend, the carnivores will reign supreme at the 11th annual Pork & Brew BBQ State Championship, a three-day celebration of all things meaty and grilled. There will be beer, wine tastings, eating contests and samples galore, and if you don't go through an entire case of wetwipes by the end of the first day, you're doing it wrong. The event starts tomorrow and continues on Saturday, July 5, from 11am to 8pm both days, and Sunday, July 6, from 11am to 5pm. Tickets range from $20-$60. Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho • Fri Jul 4 • 11am-8pm • $20-$60 • View on Alibi calendar

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Bravely Said: 4 Voices on the 4th

Manchester City Library CC by 2.0

It makes sense to welcome the 4th of July with stirring words artfully arranged—poetry seems to run in America’s veins. It connect us with our ideals and national hopes, whether or not we’ve yet achieved them. In 4 Voices on the 4th, the Museum of the American Military Family presents the voices of veterans and their family members woven into a powerful, poetic “collage performance.”

They join a long literary history. “The Yankees will hang their heads up high,” acknowledged a British officer in “The Battle of Bunker Hill,” written after a 1775 military clash that proved American troops wouldn’t be easily routed. Boston poet Robert Lowell connected the Civil War to his own milieu in 1960’s “For the Union Dead”: “The stone statues of the abstract Union Soldier/ grow slimmer and younger each year—/ wasp-waisted, they doze over muskets and muse through their sideburns…” At 2pm, hear Caroline LeBlanc, Circe Olson Woessner, Karin Bradberry and Jacqueline Murray Loring at the Museum of Nuclear Science and History (601 Eubank SE), and while you’re there, visit the Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family exhibit, honoring the sometimes unacknowledged heroes of our nation’s defense. See nuclearmuseum.org or call 245-2137 for more info. Before you head out for fireworks and beer on Friday, take some time to remind yourself why we’re celebrating. National Museum of Nuclear Science and History • Fri Jul 4 • 2-3pm • Included with regular admission • View on Alibi calendar

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Go Forth on the Fourth

Via Wikimedia

Now that Independence Day is looming, it's time to start planning with the family. What are we gonna do? Your parents' house or mine? BBQ? It can be exhausting, especially if you have kids who want to relive the whimsical wonder of witnessing fireworks à la that scene in The Sandlot. So here are a couple of events for those who can't decide what to do. Head to the BioPark Zoo (903 10th Street SW) tomorrow morning, between 6 and 10am. Yes, it's early, but you get in for free during this time because 100.3 The Peak's Tony, Jackie and Donnie are broadcasting live, interviewing zookeepers and providing a morning of informative fun and leisure. It's regular admission for those who can't get up on time. On Friday, July 4, head to Balloon Fiesta Park (5500 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy.) for the Freedom 4th celebration. The festivities happen at 3pm and go through the night. Well, roughly 11pm. Hear music and see the state's largest display of fireworks. But if you want something more low-key, head over to Isotopes Park (1601 Avenida Cesar Chavez SE) and take in a baseball game on the 4th. The Albuquerque Isotopes will take on the Las Vegas 51s at 6:05pm. What better way to celebrate being an American than a good old-fashioned home run … assuming they knock it out of the park. Tickets for the game run $7-$28. So enough planning, more doing. After all—as Martina McBride says—“It's Independence Day!” ABQ BioPark Zoo • Thu Jul 3 • 6-10am • FREE • View on Alibi calendar

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Now Hear This: Sam Miller CD Release Party

Ex-Albuquerqueño Sam Miller—who's actually from the Northwest—returns from Seattle for his first solo release, You Need To Hear It, which was ably mastered by Sean McCullough of Sad Baby Wolf. When last we saw him, Miller was fronting the pleasantly uncategorizable Jenny Invert, a band that spun off from the somewhat categorizable (ersatz-Americana?) Grand Canyon. If this sounds somewhat equivocal, it’s not intentional.

While listening, I jotted down some notes: pseudo-Slavic mariachi country and Western piano party-pop wrapped in a game show-theme with Sam as dashing host—“Come on down!”—but deadly earnest. It’s a shame this description comes off so damn messy. Although his sound comes from incredibly disparate sources, Miller makes it blend like a chef adding just the right dash of thickener to a sauce that could otherwise be a lumpy mess. Rather than the pedestrian cornstarch an amateur might use, Miller employs a grand beurre manié, which is really just butter and flour but oh so elegant. Much of this album shouldn’t mesh, but it does. You Need To Hear It is a heroic dish anchored by compelling piano work, handsome voice and clever—never stupid—songwriting with sweeping but tasteful Queen-like production. Hear it at Burt's Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) tomorrow night at 9pm. $5 gets you in. Burt's Tiki Lounge • Sat Jun 28 • 9pm • $5 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar

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Superhero Worship at ACE 2014

If you still lack a reason to skive off work the afternoon of Friday, June 27, ACE will save you. Obviously you can’t work; that is the first day of the Albuquerque Comic Expo. A diligent skiver will make good use of the 2-6pm window of awesometunity. Opening day is themed Comic Creator Day, and visitors to the NE/SE Exhibit Hall of the Albuquerque Convention Center (401 Second Street NW) can hobnob with local talents like Robert Saiz (Mythica) and John Sumrow (Buddha Bot, Infinite Bacon), as well as farther-flung creatives Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn), Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Rat Queens), and Darick Robertson and Rodney Ramos (Transmetropolitan). Panels and fan-squee and autographs, oh my!

Don’t miss this chance to share a little love with someone who created comic magic. Find the juicy details at abqcomicexpo.com, and remember that—for good or evil—not all cosplay wardrobe malfunctions get sorted before opening day. If you are directly involved in a non-profit organization, keep an eye out for ticket giveaways! Tickets range from $20 for a day pass to $150 for VIP. Expo continues on Saturday and Sunday. Albuquerque Convention Center • Fri Jun 27 • 2-6pm • $20-$150 • View on Alibi calendar

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Waves and Prances: 2014 Miss New Mexico Pageant

It's time to roll out the red carpet … to cast your votes (actually, you might not need to do that one) … to get all dolled up for the major festivities that encompass the 2014 Miss New Mexico Pageant. Feminists, it's time to balk, but for everyone else, enjoy seeing a group of young women duke it out onstage with various talents including singing, dancing, hula hooping (we hope!), baton twirling and God knows what else! And if it's anything like the film Drop Dead Gorgeous, you know there won't be a dull moment. One can only hope that Kirstie Alley will make an appearance, whilst changing her signature lines from Mt. Rose, Minnesota's American Teen Princess to Miss New Mexico! It probably won't happen, but hey, what's wrong with wishing?

Some contestants include Amelia Linde from Northern New Mexico, Marissa Livingston from Rio Rancho, Jessica Burson from Roswell and more. The pageant starts tomorrow night at 7pm, continues on Friday, June 27, at 7pm and concludes on Saturday, June 28, at 8pm, when the winner will be announced. So head over to Spencer Theater (108 Spencer Rd.) in Alto, N.M., to see who gets crowned. Tickets for Thursday and Friday range from $29-$39, and it's $39 for the grand finale. Spencer Theater, Alto • Thu Jun 26 • 7pm • $29-$39 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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Lavender, Sweet Lavender

Via Wikimedia

What's all this talk about lavender? First of all, it's gorgeous. Secondly it's a reminder that the summer is upon us. And what better way to celebrate than an Herb and Lavender Fair. An event like this allows you to peruse the various flora that make New Mexico a vibrant home to the natural wonders of the world. Well, that and its open skies. Gotta love those. The fair happens at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (334 Los Pinos Rd.) in Santa Fe, so you not only get to smell the sweet smells of natural remedies, but you can also appreciate the Desert Southwest in all its glory. Experience some garden tours, talks, hands-on activities and products tomorrow and Sunday, June 22, from 10am to 4pm both days. Admission to the lavender-ific get-together is $8 (general admission), $6 (teens and seniors) and free for kiddies 12 and under. You get a whiff of that? That's the summer calling your name. Don't miss it. El Rancho de las Golondrinas, Santa Fe • Sat Jun 21 • 10am-4pm • $6-$8, FREE for children 12 and under • View on Alibi calendar

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Star-Cross’d Lovers’ Nights: Shakespeare on the Plaza

What is it about Shakespeare’s work that’s so well-suited to summer eves and outdoor performances? Maybe it’s the great Bard’s mellifluous meter or his plays’ timeless knack for capturing the intoxication of young love on blossom-scented nights. Decide for yourself and catch his masterpiece of love and loss performed under the nascent stars. Opening tomorrow at 7:30pm and running Thursday through Sunday for four weeks, the Vortex Theatre presents Romeo and Juliet on the outdoor stage in Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza (400 Marquette NW). It promises good fun for young and old alike as the budding director Billy Trabaudo leads this timeless epic. If you hew more toward the slapstick comedy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that fairy-laden comedy will be running on alternate nights. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students) with Thursday prices rebated to $10 and $5. For more info and scheduling, visit vortexabq.org. Civic Plaza • Fri Jun 20 • 7:30pm • $5-$15 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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Gospel of Juneteenth

Even though folks had the telegram, news was slow coming to Texas after the Civil War. Freedmen there didn't hear of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation until June 19, 1865. That day of discovery and freedom is a time to celebrate black history. Juneteenth is celebrated in Albuquerque with a variety of events. Foremost is Gospelfest, which manifests at the African American Performing Arts Center (310 San Pedro NE) on tomorrow at 7pm. The concert features performances by the Faith Tabernacle Full Gospel Church Choir, The Sons of Shiloh, One Accord and solo artists Norell Banks and Lemar. Traditionally these sorts of commemorative concerts feature a reading of Lincoln’s historic proclamation as well as presentations of work by notable African-American writers and artists. Admission to this popular yearly event is free, and the gathering serves as a poignant reminder to reflect on the outcome of that terrible war and to ensure the battle for civil rights continues unabated. For more information, call 453-4865. African American Performing Arts Center, Expo NM • Fri Jun 20 • 7pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar

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A Tea-rrific Journey

via Wikimedia

In ye olden days, Western adventurers like Marco Polo had to mount up on camelback and journey far to the East if they wanted to learn more about the tea culture of China and how the leaf made its long way back to Europe. But you, you lucky 21st century human, only have to plonk down a handful of bills and journey to the Fragrant Leaf Tea Boutique in Nob Hill (3207 Silver SE) to do the same. And instead of saddle sores, you'll get a three course afternoon tea service, with samosas and Afghani meatballs among other delights, while attending a mini-lecture entitled "The Traveling Tea Leaf—Journey to the West." That, my friends, is progress. This all happens on Sunday, June 15. The tea tastings are scheduled for 1pm and 4pm, cost $33, and prior registration is required to attend. No walk-ins. Fragrant Leaf Tea Boutique • Sun Jun 15 • 1-2:30pm • $33 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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    High Mountain Hideout8.31.2014