It's that time of year. A time for flowers, candy, stuffed bears and romantic dinners … or if you're anything like me, a night of staying in, Chinese food, a bad movie marathon and maybe a little Sonics to improve my mood. Regardless, some may view Valentine's as nothing more than an excuse to splurge on the one person who already eats up their wallet, but hey, who are we to judge? As Janis Joplin once said, “get it while you can.” But for those of you who aren't “getting it,” so to speak, there's an event that can make you feel good about yourself without having to sit at home, whining and pining for a nonexistant person.
It's called the I Heart the Bosque Valentine's Day Clean-Up. Granted, it's not today, but tomorrow, so you can actually partake in both the traditional festivities as well as this environmentally sound clean-up. Participants will be split into teams, and commence cleaning up the Bosque. People are encouraged to bring their own water, gloves, sack lunch, etc. Ps. The winning team gets a prize. And there will also be an educational walk at noon. So, if you're interested in sending a “valentine to the Bosque,” meet at the parking lot at Tingley Beach (1800 Tingley Dr.) at 10am. For more information, call Camilla at 715-8388. Tingley Beach • Sat Feb 15 • 10am-2pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Envision the spirited festivals of the small villages that dot Eastern Africa. Red dirt under dancing bare feet. Brightly-colored clothing clad in beads, shells and feathers. Drums and songs and bright smiles from everyone.
Now imagine you didn’t have to take a 16-hour flight to see all this. If dinner and a movie are becoming too commonplace for your Valentine’s weekend, or if you need to travel to forget about the holiday, consider a trip to Santa Fe’s Greer Garson Theater (1600 St. Michaels Dr.) to experience international performing troupe the Spirit of Uganda.
The show, which is tomorrow at 7pm, is a 2-hour folkloric musical and dance performance featuring the group’s 21 performers, all 12 to 20 years old. The performance is produced by Empower African Children, a nonprofit that benefits the youth of Uganda.
The cast and some of the crew have benefited from the organization as either orphans or at-risk youth; these include Santa Fe University alumni Peter Kasule. “I have always wanted to leave a mark in every community, and this is a great opportunity for me to be back in Santa Fe,” Kasule said. “Long live the arts.” Tickets, available at ticketssantafe.org, are $25 and benefit Empower African Children. Greer Garson Theater, Santa Fe • Sat Feb 15 • 7-9pm • $25 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Randol Bass conducts the New Mexico Philharmonic in a presentation of the music of Gershwin, his contemporaries and successor tomorrow. Gershwin and Company features guest pianist and University of Michigan professor Logan Skelton. Skelton will perform the American Modernist masterpiece “Rhapsody in Blue,” along with companion piece, “An American in Paris.” The philharmonic will also tackle selections from Porgy and Bess, as well as compositions by Ferde Grofé, Duke Ellington and “Sleigh Ride” composer Leroy Anderson.
Grofé is significant here because he was responsible for orchestrating “Rhapsody in Blue.” His arrangement of the piece is considered a key moment in the development of 20th century American music. His signature piece, “Grand Canyon Suite,” is an orchestral standard. The Philharmonic will perform a selection from this deep slice of Americana, as well as Anderson’s notable celebration of American business, "The Typewriter." A medley of Duke’s wide-ranging work, arranged for orchestra, begins the second half of the evening’s program. Tickets for this event, starting at 6pm at Popejoy Hall, range from $20 to $68, and that’s a bargain to spend the evening with such legendary names and their combined sonic output. Popejoy Hall, UNM Center for the Arts • Sat Feb 8 • 6pm • $20-$68 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Recently I got back in touch with a college friend with whom I hadn't communicated for more than 15 years. She told me that we had once visited a psychic who had predicted how she would meet her future (now present) husband. To this day, I have no recollection of the visit, but I have no reason to doubt either her or the intuitive power of the universe. Just in time for the year's most indelibly romantic weekend, Abitha's Apothecary (3906 Central SE) hosts a Valentine's Psychic Faire tomorrow, where you can get readings from Abitha's expert, friendly family of readers for an affordable $1 per minute.
With any reading or a henna tattoo by Have On Art, you get a free package of "Love" incense. A little extra love in your life—what's to lose? Take a forgetful friend and go find your future spouse, get a henna tattoo or browse the shop for all manner of metaphysical items, including tarot cards, essential oils and altar supplies. Abitha's has been in business more than 25 years, so you'll be helping support a local, family-owned business. The readings go from noon to 7pm. Abitha's Apothecary • Sat Feb 8 • Noon-7pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Perhaps you’re actually in the market for a thousand-dollar etching. (If so, this is your lucky month.) Or maybe you’re more like, “Upon which exotic flavor of ramen shall I be feasting tonight?” It really doesn’t matter. Because world-class fine art—for all its exquisite technique and rarefied materials—exists for the same reason as any art: to be appreciated. And right here, in nearby Nob Hill, Matrix Fine Art (3812 Central SE) is showcasing the work of two brilliant Japanese artists for the benefit of all and sundry.
Ando Shinji’s delicate and meticulous botanicals, imbued with swaths of soft color through a paper-fusing technique called chine-collé, have made him and his prints internationally revered. Takahiko Hayashi’s abstracts are very different but equally impressive, churning, swirling and coiling with lines, simple shapes and often luminous color. Both artists are flying in from Japan for the First Friday reception tomorrow, from 5 to 8pm, which means you have the chance to mingle with living, breathing masters and appreciate their skill up close. Besides, a little bit of beauty always makes the ramen tastier. Matrix Fine Art • Fri Feb 7 • 5-8pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Having Wayne Shrubsall as an American studies professor at UNM was a rare privilege. Shrubsall’s wide-ranging knowledge of American culture, especially of the musical forms and instruments developed on this continent, is a game-changer. In my case the result was a paper on the Grateful Dead and the realization that writing and studying would become more than an avocation. In addition to his storied academic background, Shrubsall is a helluva banjo player. His work with the Adobe Brothers and numerous other local bluegrass outfits is legendary; the band’s gigs are still numerous and popular in the city and region. It’s fitting that this local cultural treasure will present a lecture and demo on the banjo in American music at Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center for Performing Arts Little Theater (6400 Wyoming NE) on Monday, Feb. 3. The evening’s program begins at 6:30pm. It's titled “Ring, Ring The Banjo” and is free to the public, but RSVP is required. Shrubsall will discuss the historical roots of the banjo while demonstrating techniques “on fretless, gourd-body, parlor, plectrum (4-string), folk and bluegrass banjos.” Expect exceptional insight and probably some dancing in the seats, too. Simms Center for the Performing Arts, Albuquerque Academy • Mon Feb 3 • 6:30pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
Here’s a sweet thought: Keep a little love in your heart (and your community) this Valentine’s Day by shopping early and buying local. Don’t wait until you’re on your way home from work on Feb. 14 to buy your beloved a box of drugstore chocolates and a Garfield card; instead, swing by Factory on 5th this weekend to find a perfect one-of-a-kind gift that’ll speak volumes about your true feelings. The Valentine’s Day Art Market takes place this Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, Feb. 2, from noon to 5pm in the 5G Gallery (1715 Fifth Street NW). With over 30 local makers participating, you’ll find goodies like unusual vessels repurposed as terrariums containing locally-sourced plants by Lucca and Lenny Designs; natural soaps, lotions and other scrumptious body products from Sunshine Garden; baskets woven from recycled irrigation tubing by Full Circle Baskets and Accessories; and, of course, nommable treats from Elixir Boutique Chocolates. Come make a party of it—the market’s opening reception tonight from 7 to 10pm, includes Sage Harrington and the Happy Gland Band, fire spinners from the New Mexico Burning Man Chapter, Sebastiano’s and Rustic food trucks, Pop Fizz Palatería and more. 5G Gallery • Fri Jan 31 • 7-10pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
Granted, I'm not much of an auto enthusiast, but when you see a slick ride changing lanes on Central, it's pretty darn noticeable. And in that moment, you ask yourself why you're driving a practical Toyota 4Runner instead of a pimped-out 1967 Chevy NOVA. Well, you might not be able to find one that easily, but you can always step over to the 23rd Annual Route 66 Casino Hotel SuperNationals. This is considered to be the “Southwest's largest indoor hot rod & custom car event” and will feature over 200 hot rods, cars, trucks, muscle cars and motorcycles. I'll pass on the motorcycles, but that Chevy NOVA sounds like something I could get behind the wheel of. The event will have various commercial booths, featured builders (including Mitch Peacock, Steve DeMann and more) and, of course, some sweet rides. Vehicles being showcased include a 1919 Ford “Jail Bird Express,” a 1939 Zephyr and a freakin' Hydro Car, which can go “on land or water.” The event takes place at the Lujan Complex at Expo New Mexico (300 San Pedro NE) tomorrow from noon to 9pm, Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10am to 9pm and on Sunday, Feb. 2, from 10am to 6pm. Tickets will run you $15 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Expo New Mexico • Fri Jan 31 • Noon-9pm • $4-$15 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
While away an evening with rock and roll renaissance man Leon Russell this weekend. Russell will pound out his gloriously melodic, raucous and sometimes plaintive sounds at The Dirty Bourbon Dance Hall & Saloon (9800 Montgomery NE) tomorrow night. Don’t let the fact that this show is way up in the Heights discourage you from coming out to see and hear one of America’s legendary musicians. Russell has performed and recorded with just about everyone who is anyone in the music biz—from Bob Dylan to Elton John. A prolific songwriter and pianist, Oklahoman Russell is noted for his eclectic approach to rock and roll, saying, “I like all kinds of music, and I hate to do the same thing all the time.” Leon’s repertoire is as danceable as it gets, and The Dirty Bourbon has a killer dance floor to boogie the night away. Tickets are 28 clams in advance and $33 on day of show. This 21-plus gig revs up at 7:30pm. Dirty Bourbon • Sun Jan 26 • 7:30pm • $28-$33 • View on Alibi calendar
Most people might hear the word matanza and not know that it can be a cause for celebration. Granted, its literal translation means “killing,” so to go to the 14th Annual HCVC Matanza might not sound like the most fun outing. But don't let the name throw you. They don't mean to kill you; they mean to roast some pigs and make some delicious comida. This event is considered to be the largest matanza in the world and is Valencia County's biggest one-day event of the year. So don't miss it. The matanza (happening tomorrow from 6:30am 'til about 3pm) will have all-you-can-eat, matanza-styled food; there will be some fun competitions, including a red/green chile cook-off and a contest for best biscochitos (which we call pan de polvo where I'm from). And aside from the cooking/good food, there's great music. The lineup for this tasty event includes the Kevin Michael Band, Remedy and New Mexico legend Al Hurricane, along with Al Hurricane Jr. The festivities take place at Eagle Park (305 Eagle Ln.), just north of Belen High School; tickets will run you $10, but children 12 and under get in for a mere buck. So bring the kids for some great food, good tunes and a whole lot more. Eagle Park, Belen • Sat Jan 25 • 6:30am-3pm • $10, $1 for children 12 and under • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar