I am alone in Egypt, riding in a cab driven by Gopardo. We are driving through a heavy snowstorm. The streets are icy and the winds are howling. We come to a stop sign and merge onto a highway with a 60 percent grade. The one-lane road climbs straight up the side of a huge, pink and orange sandstone mountain. We are soon above the storm and climbing in a line of other cars past high, billowing clouds bathed in sunset colors. I can feel we are beginning to slow down and I worry that if we slow to a stop we’ll start to slip backwards. I voice my complaint to Gopardo. We finally arrive on top in a small village. I see the Mayor and another city official fishing by the road over a cliff. They get their lines tangled together and in their struggle to get them free, they both slip off their perches and dangle in the air, clinging to their poles. Outside on firm ground, I want to go into the hotel and get a room, but looking down I see that I have bare feet. I hope that my dad was able to retrieve my stuff for me from my last hotel room. Looking down again, I see that I am now wearing my crocks. He must have been successful. I enter a small Greek restaurant and sit down at a picnic table with G and her dad. The menu, when opened, contains small packets of dates and almonds wrapped in clear plastic. I see my co-worker, M, sitting on the floor. I hand him a menu. He explains he can’t be bothered with such small orders. The owner woman emerges from the kitchen carrying a large, cloth-wrapped bundle for him containing wheels of cheese and giant rounds of bread filled with layers of butter and olives.
The power of unity is enough to put a smile on anyone's face, or at least make them sigh with relief that confrontation was avoided. So it's no wonder that Albuquerque can bring people together to celebrate in a way that is not only befitting of the good time-loving Burqueños, but also something that brings a slice of the world right into our front yard, or in this case, Talin Market (88 Louisiana SE). The 5th Annual Albuquerque International Festival kicks off tomorrow, and the event will include such good treats and vibes, you'll wonder why people would leave the warmth of the desert and venture into the cold unknown. The event is free and will include everything from Native American rock to poetry, from ethnic food to jewelry and from karate demos to ribbon dancing. So spread the love and throw some international flavor into the local scene. Talin Market World Food Fare • Sat Sep 28 • 10am-5pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
G and I embark on a freeway trip in separate vehicles. I lead the way in my gratified coupe. I stop at a roadside diner and go inside. The surly teen behind the counter blows snot at me through a straw, smirks and asks how he can help me. I jump over the counter and pick him up by his shirt, which is full of corn flakes. They crumble and crumbs rain out on the floor. I hock up a big loogie, but decide instead to just set him back down. As I do, he jumps up about four feet in the air. I turn to leave and start out toward my car. Outside, I see the old restaurant inspector leaning against the wall around back, so I head toward him. Just then ex-girlfriend, R, and her family arrive. We all say hello to each other, coolly, and they head inside. The inspector is younger now. He wears a sharkskin, velvet-lapeled suit jacket and he's smoking. I start to tell him about the incident inside. He interrupts me and asks if it was the girl who did it. I tell him yes, having now forgotten the facts.
Percussion-heavy, girl-centric supergroup Mala Maña gets audiences moving whenever they play. By virtue of her membership in this band, Alibi delivery driver Alyson Steinman gets nods wherever she drops off the current issue of Albuquerque's free weekly. A veteran musician in the Albuquerque worldbeat scene, every fifth or so time I speak to Alyson, someone else inevitably approaches her asking, “Aren't you in that girl group that plays drums?” Indisputably popular live, Mala Mana now officially offers a recording to accompany your drive to the CNM Westside campus, clean the house by, pull weeds with, dance or sing along to, whatever—and you are hereby invited to their CD release party at Bandito Hideout (2128 Central SE) tonight. There will be dancing. A paltry three clams gets one into this all-ages event beginning at 8 p.m., so most budgets will be able to handle Mexican food and drink as well as some nifty band merch; for the ladies, Mala Maña panties are this season's must-have item. Talented Afropop musicians one and all, these girls play well together, and they do it with a Chicana sensibility that is muy Nuevo Mexico. Bandido Hideout • Sat Aug 10 • 8 pm • $3 • View on Alibi calendar
If you like to dabble in the mod lifestyle, now's the perfect time to dust off your black-and-white-striped boatneck T-shirt, Chelsea boots, French New Wave coiffure skills, customized scooter and, yes, your records. DJs Bea, Cassyle, Zac Webb and Ben Adams spin hot wax selections from genres like garage, glam, rocksteady, power pop, soul and "trashy trash" at Mod Night at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) tonight. Starting at 10 p.m., rock your best gamine heroine or Jean-Paul Belmondo impersonation at this 21-and-over dance party. There's no cover, but false eyelashes aren't cheap. Blackbird Buvette • Sat Aug 3 • 10 pm • free • View on Alibi calendar