V.24 No.25 | 06/18/2015
A telegram from the Southern lands
By August March [ Sat Jun 20 2015 10:46 PM ]
This time round the sun, June’s solstice falls upon the same day as the American holiday called Father’s Day, on the 21st day of the month.
The same coincidentally calendrical conjunction came to pass 23 years ago; the day called twenty June nineteen hundred and ninety two was the last day of spring in Albuquerque. Practically everyone dwelling amidst the middle latitudes of the North American continent celebrated fatherhood the day after. I’m sure they did that here too or so I was told.
I was in Cuenca, Ecuador where the earth was preparing for winter, though you sure as hell couldn’t tell at the latitude of 2 degrees south. It was hot and humid all over that damn country and I had to carry around a cotton kerchief to keep the sweat off my eyes. I kept the towel in a pocket with my father’s Swiss Army knife. It was the fancy kind with a fork y todo. He told me at the Sunport it would come in handy in the jungle and I couldn’t wait to use the goddamn thing on a tasty lizard or a stubborn piece of bamboo.
I planned to stay a couple of rotations and then drive down from the highlands to the northeast, where the Amazon Jungle crept up into the land. There was a town called Macas out there; I had already chartered a plane to ride me out along the Rio Pastaza to an indigenous settlement in the rainforest. I’d be working for some anthropologists as a sound recordist.
I wandered around Cuenca. There was a fine pizzeria. For a 10 more Sucre, patrons could have their pies topped with small purple potatoes or guinea pig meat. Being a bit nervous about consuming either, I opted for the four-cheese pie.
The long distance service was spotty back then. The cook told me I could send a telegram from the police station. I walked over there, regailed the machine-gun carrying officials with my shitty Spanish and sent a telegram to my old man. I told him I was having a grand time and wished him a happy Father’s Day.
The city also had a magnificent plaza built around a mountainous cathedral. The church had gold accouterments, baroque domes. The Andes rose up behind the basilica like a greater order of magical edifices imposed upon the viewer for the sake of comparison.
Come Saturday night there was big party in the center of town. Many citizens walked down to the plaza holding hands, singing songs about the sun and the land. One of them stopped me, asked me where I was from, guessed that I was Israeli or Persian. I tried to tell him I was an American from Albuquerque, but he ran off, laughing and pointing at the sky.
My hotel, the Inca, was nearby to the church – which by now was surrounded by people filling and releasing paper lantern/balloons into the air. The paper bags, each lit by a candle, drifted around the cathedral like angels might and then floated away, towards the mountains.
I picked up an old copy of Time Magazine in the lobby and took the stairs to my room. As I settled in to read a fine article about 1977’s Man of the Year someone pounded on the door. I opened it. The man on the other side had a gun. He flashed an identification card, told me to come with him and waved the gun around like it was just another celebratory instrument of the solstice.
Downstairs, there was a car waiting. I turned around to protest and realized the gun had been gently pressed to the back of my head for what I reckoned were at least two very long minutes. I was urged to take a seat in the back of the car.
By now, night had fallen. It was dark as hell. We drove around and around the outskirts of Cuenca while the driver and the gunman argued. Occasionally the latter, wearing a dirty Adidas baseball cap, turned around to face me, brandished the gun, winked and smiled a toothy smile. Finally we were on the road out of town. I began to think of my father as two paper balloons passed by the windows of that automobile.
Remembering I had his knife in my front pocket it occurred to me that I could stab Mr. Adidas in the neck and thereby save myself. But as the vehicle slowed down to cross a bridge, I came up with another idea. I quickly unlocked the backseat door, opened it, yelled “Fuck It Dude, Life’s a Risk!” at the top of my lungs and rolled out onto the highway.
Mr. Adidas and his friend screeched the car to a halt. I hid under the bridge and covered myself in mud. After a few minutes splashing around the creek rather angrily, the two stormed off, still cussing and yelling. I remained absolutely still when I saw the muzzle flash from the receding coche.
Soaking wet and tired as crap, I walked along the highway until I came upon a farmhouse. There was a phone there. The farmer offered me a drink and a cigarette while we waited for the police.
It was dawn on the first day of summer when we arrived at the police station. One of the policemen took me aside and said, “You’re that hombre from Albuquerque, no? I replied I was and wondered how he knew that, since my passport didn’t mention it. He told me my father had replied to my telegram, that I could pick up his telegraphic response on my way out.
The telegram from my father was succinct. It was too hot in Burque. He was going to have Father’s Day Brunch with my sister at the Rancher’s Club. He hoped the knife he had given me came to good use, out there in South America.
V.24 No.20 | 5/14/2015
How to Take on the World
Four concerts light the way
By August March
Show Up! delivers deets on the hottest indie rock, blues, psych-rock and swamp-tech concerts happening this week in Albuquerque. Now with A/V!
Crib Notes: May 14, 2015
By August March
What do you know about last week’s 505 news? Find out with our weekly pop quiz.
M. Night Shyamalan moves to “Wayward Pines,” “Mad Men” ends, and Bravo exposes us to “Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live!”
V.24 No.19 | 05/07/2015
Albuquerque Festivals Worth Checking Out
By Amelia Olson [ Mon May 11 2015 2:35 PM ]
So much to do! So much to taste! So much to sing! So much to drink! Take a look at a few festivals happening in Albuquerque.
V.24 No.19 | 5/7/2015
Fox Film Corporation
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Punk, metal and beyond, walk like an Egyptian to these shows.
Summer Guide 2015
Swimming Holes, Cement Ponds and Summer Reading
Get your RDI of sunshine and prose
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Summer reading so good you’ll unburden yourself from gravity and float through the heat waves.
Sing along to PItch Perfect, watch the season finale of “American Idol,” catch the premiere of “Sing it On” and witness the grisly truth behind The Case of the Cannibal Cop.
V.24 No.18 | 4/30/2015
Crib Notes: April 30, 2015
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Got the 411 on the 505? Test your news knowledge with the Alibi‘s weekly pop quiz.
“Psychic Matchmaker” debuts, Hallmark serves up Murder, She Baked, and CBS celebrates “David Letterman: A Life in Television”
V.24 No.17 | 04/23/2015
The Daily Word in university woes, sex clubs and The Ridiculous Six
By Mark Lopez [ Fri Apr 24 2015 9:31 AM ]
Valdosta State University is shutting down today because of a huge flag protest.
A sex club is calling itself a church so it can open next to a children's school.
The folks over at an Ohio university thought some “straight pride” posters went “beyond free speech.” So they removed them.
The University of Florida is investigating allegations that some of its fraternity members spat on wounded military veterans.
Albuquerque Public Schools has approved a three-year contract for new superintendent Luis Valentino, and the dude is gonna be making $240,000 a year. Get it!
Some Native American actors walked off the set of Adam Sandler's new film The Ridiculous Six, which is shooting in New Mexico, because they felt offended and disrespected.
A man was taken into custody after allegedly shooting his girlfriend in the back last night in northeast Albuquerque. APD said the woman is undergoing surgery and is in stable condition.
Bernalillo County Manager Tom Zdunek plans to retire this summer after 45 years in business and government. Vacation!
V.24 No.17 | 4/23/2015
Crib Notes: April 23, 2015
By August March
What do you know about last week’s 505 news? Test your recall with the Alibi pop quiz.
SuperGiant On to the Stars · ICUMDRUMS The Girdle · Big Sad Guy Big Sad Guy II
By August March
This week we listened to new, local releases by SuperGiant, ICUMDRUMS and Big Sad Guy. Now with A/V!
Bruce Jenner gives an interview to Diane Sawyer, the giant crocodile from Lake Placid fights the giant anaconda from Anaconda, and J.K. Rowling goes wizard free.
V.24 No.16 | 4/16/2015
In Good Faith
Concerts you can believe in
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Show Up! delivers deets on glam insect metal, post-punk, no wave, experimental, stoner rock, funk and 4/20-friendly party rock gigs happening this week in Burque.
Latin Night with VDJ Dany at SkyLight
Get Pop Cultured: 1950s Throwback Thursday! at Barnes & Noble, Westside
4th of July Appetizers and Healthy Dinners Cooking Workshop at The Studio SpaceMore Recommented Events ››