Your friends at the Alibi love to vote. We love it so much, in fact, we're encouraging all of you eligible voters to get on board and feel the rush. Early voting has already begun and between now and election day you can walk into the County Clerk's office on the sixth floor of Civic Plaza (call 768-4085 for hours) or you can log onto www.bernco.gov to locate an early voting location near you. Or, you can go vote on Nov. 2 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No matter when you choose to do it, though, it is your civic responsibility as an American to vote—don't make us send a car!
Richard Romero: The Real Deal versus a Placebo
To receive our endorsement, candidates must meet with our editorial board. It's not complicated. We ask difficult questions and we expect informed, detailed answers. We like candidates with intelligence and enthusiasm, folks with a strong attachment to the community and a desire to work hard in the public's interest.
Albuquerque Republican attorney Ned Fuller is challenging incumbent Supreme Court Justice Ed Chavez, an Albuquerque Democrat, for the only contested seat this year on the state's highest court.
Republican Paul Barber, an Albuquerque attorney, is challenging incumbent Democrat Michael Vigil, also of Albuquerque. Barber is running on the identical "rescue the courts" platform as Ned Fuller. If you believe there is a crisis of public confidence in the state judiciary, that activist judges are rewriting the laws while issuing rulings based on partisan favoritism, and that the rumors are true about judges partying after hours, Mr. Barber is your man. Hopefully, if you do believe this, you have witnessed it with your own eyes or through honest experience of others.
One of the biggest howlers in this year's local election is the Bernalillo County Clerk's race. With all the cries of improper voter registration coming from the state Republican party over the past six weeks, guess who is running for County Clerk on the GOP ticket? Nobody. That's right, if the GOP operatives put half the effort into running a candidate that they've put into creating the illusion of a voter fraud scandal, maybe the next County Clerk would be a Republican and all our problems would be solved.
What is the PRC exactly? A fast food chain? A standardized test for nursing students? An obscure department within the CIA?
Vote “Yes” for Runoff Voting
Constitutional Amendment 3 will permit Albuquerque to hold runoff elections in all future mayoral and city council races any time a winning candidate receives less than 40 percent of the popular vote. If you think it's a good thing to elect our local officials based on a majority, then vote for this amendment. We think the public deserves better than electing a mayor out of a crowded field with approximately 30 percent of the votes, which is how Marty Chavez took office in 2001 and Jim Baca was elected in 1997. Runoffs would give the public the satisfaction of electing our mayor and city councilors by majority, and we wholeheartedly support the idea.
While there are a great many reasons to support city/county unification, apparently the main reason to oppose it is the threat of higher taxes. That at least is the conclusion you might reach from listening to the barely audible debate on one the most important issues facing Bernalillo County voters this year.
Retain incumbent judges, do away with partisan judicial races
This year, you'll find six contested races for judgeships in the Second Judicial District on your ballot and four contested races for Metro Court. And you probably know little or nothing about any of the candidates. Well relax. We have a simple solution for you to consider. Each race pits a sitting judge against a challenger. We don't care what the party affiliation is of any of these candidates, because we are endorsing all the incumbents.
It's ridiculous that we are going through this same boondoggle for a second time in 12 months. But unfortunately that's the kind of incompetent leadership you get in Albuquerque sometimes.
"What did the little bird say as it flew over Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre?" Answer: "Cheap! Cheap!"
Dracula at the Tricklock Performance Space
As might be expected, a black coffin stretches across the middle of the room. As might not be expected, an attendant darts around the theater right before the show warning everyone in the front row that they'll probably get doused with blood. "Don't worry, though," she says. "It washes out." This is supposed to comfort us?
Yeah, it's got 18 syllables, but don't let that daunt you. G. Narendra and Mahalakshmi along with 14 other talented performers will bring this classic of East Indian literature to life through dance. This amazing show is being brought to Albuquerque by the New Mexico chapter of the Association for India's Development. Proceeds will help fund economic development programs in India. It all goes down at the KiMo Theatre this Friday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. $30, $25, and $15. $5 discount for students, kids under 12 years and Outpost members. 768-3522.
Outpost Performance Space
David Meltzer fell in with the Beats at the very beginning of the movement, reading his poetry in clubs and coffee houses in the late '50s in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. In Beat Thing, released this year by Albuquerque's La Alameda Press, he reflects on the accomplishments of his generation and the commodification of all things Beat. Meltzer will read from this far ranging poem on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the Outpost, accompanied by bassist David Parlato. $5 suggested donation. Students free. 268-0044.
Nicholson Baker's Checkpoint
Em and Lo's Nerve's Guide to Sex Etiquette
You've seen it a hundred times before: a handwritten sign taped to the stall door, reading, "Please do not flush tampons or sanitary napkins." In fact, you've probably seen it so many times that you don't even think about it anymore, except maybe to wish you didn't have to be reminded about sanitary napkins in the middle of your dinner. Eeeeewww, right? But I recently saw a sign that went a little further. It asked patrons not to flush tampons but then explained that it costs a lot of money to have plumbers come out all the time to unclog the toilets. It suddenly occurred to me that I had to call plumbers out to my house twice in the first two years I owned it—before instituting my own no-flush rule. The first episode cost me $250 (it was a holiday weekend); the bill was $125 the second and final time. Imagine how many times your toilet gets flushed compared with the toilet at a busy restaurant. There's a big difference. I talked to Curt at TLC Plumbing who confirmed that tampons are the cause of 80 percent of toilet clogs. He also said that the busiest restaurants sometimes call for help every month or so. Brutal! Look, it's yucky and I hate to have to say this, but wrap 'em up and throw 'em in the trash can, ladies. Your 30 seconds of convenience could cost your favorite restaurant hundreds of dollars.
What do you know, we've got an Afghan market! Nabi Yari, an Afghan native who moved here from California, opened Marco Polo Market last Wednesday at 607 San Mateo NE (255-1325). The market is just a few doors down from the Mediterranean Café, the new but misleadingly named Moroccan restaurant. Most interestingly, the market includes a small bakery where they make traditional Afghan bread, a puffy flatbread (no, puffy and flat are not mutually exclusive) about 33 inches long and 13 inches wide. What do you do with a big, long, flat bread? Well, you put stuff on it. What kind of stuff? Stuff you find at the Afghan market, duh. Marco Polo stocks Afghan and Iranian spices, rice, juices, yogurt drinks and cheeses. It's open from 9:30 a.m. until about 6:30 p.m. every day.
A visitor from New Jersey finds hope, and a warning, in Truth or Consequences
As we checked out of our Socorro motel at 6:00 a.m.—so that we could catch the sunrise at Bosque del Apache—I asked the desk clerk if there was a spot to pick up some breakfast and a good cup of coffee on our way. She gave me a wide-eyed look and said, "I wish!" Surely the local hotel clerk who has lived here all her life must be mistaken. Our East Coast tourist mentality made us sure that we would find an adorable little café or something along the way. Or there would be a nice little cafeteria there. Open at 6:00 a.m. With fresh coffee. And yummy homemade baked goods.
What the ban means for ducks, chefs and foodies
On Sept. 29, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that would ban the production and sale of foie gras in California as of 2012. The bill provides seven and a half years for California's only producer, Guillermo Gonzales of Sonoma Foie Gras, to come up with an alternative method for fattening the livers of his ducks. At issue is the practice of force-feeding ducks (and geese, which Gonzales does not raise) to produce the enlarged, fatty livers that have been prized by gourmets for centuries. But the spotlight shining on foie gras should also be illuminating the larger issue of how we think about the food we eat and how we believe animals should be treated.
Highland students meet their Muslim neighbors
The shy girls at the Salaam Academy trickled into the room one by one, eyes only briefly glancing up from the floor to take in the table full of strangers, heads uncovered, there to greet them. It was Friday, the Islamic Sabbath, and the girls wore their best clothes to school. Brocaded lavender dresses, cream-colored silken hijabs and black chadors trimmed with gold wrapped the young girls in an elegance and modesty fit for the afternoon's prayer services.
Why so angry? Bill Maher weighed in on the debate over Mary Cheney's lesbian lifestyle with words, perhaps, many Americans might find comforting. On his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, Maher said: “But my question about that whole flap, that the Republicans are very angry. Dick Cheney said, ’I'm an angry father.' If it's not shameful to be gay, why are their panties in a bunch about this? I mean, they talk about her like she's some retarded monster they have chained in the attic, you know.... And it is an issue. (Bush and Cheney) made it an issue. It's an issue in this election. Don't talk about my daughter who we are trying to discriminate against in a constitutional amendment.”
Your friends at the Alibi editorial office love to vote. Try it and you will to. In fact, early voting has already begun and between now and election day you can walk into the County Clerk's office on the sixth floor of Civic Plaza (call 768-4085 for hours) or you can log onto www.bernco.gov to locate an early voting location near you. Or, you can go vote on Nov. 2 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. But just VOTE!
... and did you hear Cheney has a gay daughter?
This is the Alibi's election issue so let's get the preliminaries out of the way. On Nov. 2, George W. Bush will be re-elected president. The popular vote is going to be close—in the 51 percent range for Bush—but the electoral college won't. Bush will take that with at least 284 electoral votes, although don't be at all surprised if he goes over 300, which is the magic number our oracles are predicting.
Dateline: Croatia—An 18-year-old Croatian has been arrested for stealing his father's police uniform and stop sign and using them to collect fines from motorists. The unnamed teen from Bisko stopped drivers and told them they had broken traffic laws and then fined them approximately $15 apiece. He was eventually exposed and arrested when a man on a motorcycle refused to pay the fine and alerted other officers when he became suspicious.
Gay Film Fundraiser—The Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will be hosting a fundraising party this Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Graze by Jennifer James in Nob Hill. Tickets are $20 or $10 for Closet Cinema 2004 members and volunteers. There will be great Graze food, prizes and lots of local film lovers to rub elbows with. If you aren't already a member of Closet Cinema, the organization (which puts together the SG&LFF) will have membership information on hand. For more details, log on to www.closetcinema.org.
When Kurly Tlopoyawa, owner of Albuquerque's only cult video store, Burning Paradise, met Lloyd Kaufman, the notorious president of Troma Films and director of such trash classics as The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo & Juliet, it was a match made in Heaven. Or slightly south of there.
An interview with Around the Bend writer/director Jordan Roberts
Around the Bend, an emotional little family drama/comedy being released by the newly formed Warner Independent label, was shot in and around Albuquerque over the course of six weeks last fall. The film, which tells the story of four generations of men (Michael Caine, Christopher Walken, Josh Lucas and young newcomer Jonah Bobo) on a cross-country quest to reconnect with their estranged past, was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Jordan Roberts.
Philosophical comedy is fundamentally confused
David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees is a parable of orderly excess, of curiosity taken to dire extremes, and, if nothing else, its bravery lies in its blatant disregard for organic deliberation. A mixture of the intellectual and the absurd, the film plays out like some confused, hung-over Sunday morning coffee klatch between Charlie Kaufman and Immanuel Kant.
“Lost” on ABC
Something very strange has happened in the first month of the new fall season. NBC, last season's big network, has taken a huge plunge in ratings. That isn't the shocking part, though; with the loss of “Friends” and “Frasier,” everyone expected a certain decrease in stature for the long-reigning champ. No, the shocking part is the suggestion of who might be the new number one network: ABC.
The Week in Sloth
Jason Daniello will celebrate the release of his latest CD on Friday, Oct. 22, at the Launchpad with Oktober People, Spybox and Alex Rose (formerly of Mistletoe). Regrettably, I haven't heard the record yet, so there's not much more to say except, “Show up!” ... In other exciting news, the Launchpad will host an introductory party on Saturday, Oct. 23, for Albuquerque's brand new independent record label, Detach Records. Described by local musician and Detach officer Jeremy Fine as a co-op of sorts, involving the money, effort and other resources from friends and other parties interested in creating a community in which the bands themselves decide their ultimate fate.
featuring Mariana Montalvo, Totó La Momposino and Bêlo Velloso
Thanks to the United States' installation of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1973, singer/poet Mariana Montalvo was forced to leave her home at the age of 20 for exile in Paris, where she has lived and worked ever since. “I've lived less than half my life in Chile,” says the 51-year-old Latina artist, who insists that her heart never really left the country. “The clay that I'm made from came from Chile, but it was cooked in Europe,” she continues. And it is her roots in Chilean music that helps to keep her pan-European cache of artistic influences grounded in tradition. That said, Montalvo's latest CD, Piel de Aceituna (Harmonia Mundi/World Village) spans a musical gamut from indigenous roots to tropical dance to reggae.
with Fireball Ministry
Monday, Oct. 25; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): According to Ronnie James Dio's publicist, he's got perhaps the strongest voices in metal. He's also perhaps the biggest cheeseball still working in the genre. But now that his days of battling eight-foot pneumatic spiders with a broadsword are over and he's found himself comfortably on the Sanctuary Records roster with every not-quite-washed-up '80s metaler you can think of, he's managed to make a hell of a record. Master of the Moon is a representation of pre-thrash classic metal at its finest, in no small part due to the return to the Dio fold of guitarist Craig Goldy, who filled the shoes of Scottish guitar god Vivian Campbell when he left Dio back in the day. Other current members include drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC) and former Ozzy/Quiet Riot/Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo (former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson played on the record). It's no Mob Rules, but it's better than most of the shit that passes for old-school metal today.
Saturday, Oct. 23; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): Frankly—and this is nothing new—there are few things on God's green Earth that annoy more than most later Primus albums. One of those things happens to be the ubiquitous Buckethead, whose mere presence rivals his guitar playing on the annoying scale. That said, Les Claypool's latest project featuring (fucking goddamned) Buckethead, former Primus drummer Brain and Parliament/Funkadelic organmeister Bernie Worrell kicks some serious funk ass. The latest Claypool platter, The Big Eyeball in the Sky (Prawn Song) is chock full of Claypool's virtually unlistenable vocal nonsense, ridiculous lyrics and gratuitous overplaying from every member but Worrell, but I still love it for reasons I can't fully explain. And in a live setting, I can't imagine this particular group of personalities and extreme talents being anything but jaw-dropping.
with Alexisonfire, Planes Mistaken for Stars and Moments in Grace
Sunday, Oct. 24; Launchpad (all ages, 7 p.m.): Crossing elements of D.C. hardcore, dusky Midwestern emo and New York-style prog-core, Gainesville, Fla.'s Hot Water Music have been making bristling, isolationist punk rock since 1994. But over the course of nine full-length recordings and a handful of EPs and compilation appearances, they never seem to be the same band twice. Which has turned out to be a very good thing for band and fans alike.
featuring Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink
Monday, Oct. 25; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 7:30 p.m., call 268-0044 for tickets): No, not Insane Clown Posse. In this case, ICP stands for Instant Composers Pool, headed by pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, and consisting of eight additional musicians who engage in “instant composing” and “conducted improvisation.” If that sounds like a recipe for musical chaos, that's because it is. Audiences will either find the ICP Orchestra's musings completely unlistenable or exercises in pure musical genius. And while I can't claim to know or understand much about the music on ICP's most recent recording, Aan & Ing (ICP), there's no question that all players involved are highly evolved. At times, tunes border on cacophony. At others, very definite melodies and rhythmic cycles are apparent. It's music that requires the full attention of the listener, and it can be a chore. But there are enough jovial moments of beauty and intrigue to pique the curiosity of just about any seasoned jazz fan.
On one hand, Chet Atkins was largely responsible for the slicker-than-shit “Nashville sound” that to this day makes fans of traditional and outlaw country cringe. On the other, he's part of the reason country music ever made it out of the juke joints and rural communities of the '50s. And as a fingerpicking guitarist, Atkins was and remains without peer. By the '80s and '90s, Atkins had turned his attention largely toward jazz, resulting in some of the most wondrous instrumental guitar music ever put to tape. Much of it is included here. The Essential just that. A must-have.
10th Annual Alibi Short Film Fiesta
Yes, believe it or not, this year marks the 10th Annual Alibi Short Film Fiesta. For an entire decade, the Alibi has labored to present a showcase for homegrown independent filmmakers and to show off that talent to local film-loving audiences.
Saturday, Oct. 16 (3, 6, 9 p.m.)
Total run time of program: 101 minutes
Directed by: Ryan Denmark
Length: 13 minutes
In this sci-fi/romance/comedy, two mad scientists engage in a bizarre form of flirting: engaging in a high-tech competition to see who can build the most heartbreaking dating simulation robot.
Directed by Jeff Drew
Length: 7 minutes
This unique blend of live-action and stop motion animation tells the sad tale of a man and his loving relationship with the perfect woman, who just happens to be a 12-inch fashion doll.
Directed by Chris Kientz & Simon Jones
Nader supporter inflames Michael Moore
No great moment comes without toil. As proof, before Michael Moore was introduced to an exuberant crowd of 7,500 people at the Pit on Sunday, he was subjected to a press conference with our local media. Just minutes, in fact, before Moore walked across the Pit floor to his podium, greeted by a sustained standing ovation, he had to contemplate this inane question from a local TV newsman: "Why do people like George W. Bush?"
We got game. In a glowing review of last month's grand opening of the National Hispanic Cultural Center's new Roy E. Disney performing arts center, a Los Angeles Times caption on Sept. 21 asks: "But why couldn't it be in Southern California?"
While Mount St. Helens threatened fireworks, the Oct. 4 Council meeting considered Albuquerque's own volcanoes, went sub-ballistic regarding a missile, and saw two of the city's most level-headed officials vent giant steam clouds at each other.
Personally, I prefer neither
Dick Cheney, we now know, is either one of the most deluded people in America—so senile that he can't remember meeting John Edwards—or one of the nation's most brazen liars. I'm talking about his statement during last week's vice presidential debate: "I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9-11."
The Case of Mordechai Vanunu
Few people in the US know the name Mordechai Vanunu. 19 years ago, working as a scientist in the then secret Israeli nuclear weapons program at its Dimona facility in the Negev, a desert region in southern Israel, Mordechai Vanunu, in a brave act of conscience, revealed the existence of this program to the rest of the world. For this service to humanity, Vanunu, who traveled to London to give his story to the Sunday Times, was eventually drugged and kidnapped in Rome by agents of Mossad—Israel's equivalent of the CIA—taken back to Israel and imprisoned for 18 years, 11 of those in solitary confinement. Released from prison on April 21st of this year, Vanunu remains under tight Israeli control, unable to leave the country and forbidden to speak with foreigners. He stays in East Jerusalem in a guest house at St. George's Cathedral, spending his days reading, answering emails, walking around East Jerusalem and the Old City and, in open defiance of his captors, talking to as many foreigners as he can.
Campaign ads put a smile on voters' faces
If the Heather Wilson for Congress campaign has made one thing crystal clear, it's that Democratic challenger and current State Sen. Richard Romero hates children. Especially yours. And he hates the adults who attempt to educate and care for them.
Dateline: Brazil—A rancher accused of ordering the murder of four government agents inspecting claims of slavery has been released from jail after being elected mayor of his home town. Anterio Manica was let out of prison last Tuesday night after his landslide victory for mayor of Unai, a rural town 90 miles from the capital of Brasilia. A Brazilian court ruled that Manica could take office on Jan. 1 while the justice system investigates federal police accusations that he and his brother hired the gang that executed three labor ministry inspectors and their driver earlier this year. The agents were ambushed near Unai as they were looking into reports of forced labor on a black bean plantation owned by Manica's brother Norberto, who is one of the world's top bean growers. Although Norberto remains in custody, Anterio is free to pursue his political career. “As he was elected mayor, there is little concern he would try to flee,” said a Federal Police spokesman.
You know what's weird? About half of the way through Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow—the retro-future film in which Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow save the world from robot attackers—I realized that so far nobody had eaten anything. I made a bet with myself that nobody would, either. I mean, what is retro-future food? In case you haven't seen the movie, Sky Captain has the look and feel (mostly computer generated) of a film about the future made in the '40s. Somehow, it seemed unlikely that the director would sway the viewers' attention with the introduction of pot roast pellets or tuna casserole injections. Would Sky Captain pause before climbing into the cockpit, pull out a small plastic case and place on his tongue a dissolving film, not a breath-freshening mint, but one that releases the full flavor of turkey and all the trimmings? Probably not. The only two foods I did notice in the film (and honestly, I had to go to brandcameo.com to recall them) were Coke and Dubble Bubble. Maybe imagining Jetsons-style meal-replacement mints was silly. If there's any food that will make it into the future, it's certainly going to be Coke. And if Dubble Bubble, the gum with the flavor that disappears after a minute of chewing, is still going strong after 80 years, it'll still be here when the giant robots come to kill us all.
Downtown's El Chamizal Mexican restaurant (Fifth Street and Central) is now Paco's New Mexican restaurant. After taking over at the end of September, the Aviles family quickly painted over the El Chamizal logo and simply added "New" to the words below it. They later repainted the entire sign, but for most Downtown lunchers the temporary fix was good enough. (The Central Avenue corridor has been without a New Mexican restaurant for a while now, though many cafés serve New Mexican items on their menus.) Paco's is a family business, Marisol Aviles said last week. She and her siblings—sister Gabriela and brothers Martin and Paco—run the place together. They agreed to name the restaurant after Paco because he's the cook, and the one with 18 years of experience in the restaurant business, most recently at Garcias Kitchen, Marisol said. The Aviles Family have also drafted Mom, Dad and various nieces to help out, the guys in the kitchen and the ladies out front. The family grew up mostly in Mexico but most members have been in the States for years. Marisol said they decided to focus on New Mexican food because of its simplicity and Paco's experience with the food. Paco's serves breakfast all day, including pancakes and omelets alongside huevos and breakfast burritos. Speaking of breakfast burritos, the tortillas here are notably delicious. They're thick, fluffy and taste suspiciously homemade—because they are! Marisol informed me that they make all of the tortillas in-house as well as the dough for sopaipillas and Indian tacos. A few dishes on Paco's menu, the flan, sweet rice and salsa are made in the traditional Mexican fashion from family recipes. Paco's serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday; and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday. Check it out when you're in the mood for a really nice tortilla.
New Mexico wine purveyor Dan Murray quits the corporate life to take a big chance
Dan Murray, a successful salesman for large and powerful wine distributors, has been a familiar figure in New Mexico's wine business for a decade. But now Murray has quit his corporate gig and, with a small group of investors, bought a small Santa Fe company called Boutique Wines. Last week we chatted about wine, working for The Man and the transition to working for yourself.
A variation on the standard rabbit in plum sauce
Today we celebrate the apple, that sweet, tart and firm-fleshed fruit of autumn. Fragrant like its cousin the rose, the apple blushes but isn't a pushover.
Outdoor Activism—A new documentary titled Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America will open Oct. 15-17 at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque in Santa Fe. The film profiles legendary environmentalist David Brower, who is credited with halting construction of dams in the Grand Canyon and helped establish both Redwood National Park and Point Reyes National Seashore. On Friday, Oct. 15, director Kelly Duane and former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, who worked under LBJ and JFK, will be in attendance at the film's premiere. Immediately following the film will be a post-screening party in honor of Udall. For complete information on times and tickets, call CCA Cinematheque at (505) 982-1338
Dance movie remake generates less steam than a “Solid Gold” reunion.
The spectacle of new films chewing ravenously on the entrails of old (and, in this case, not so old) movies should no longer come as a surprise to American audiences. Still, I cannot help but balk at the molded plasticity of films of such low ambition as Shall We Dance?
Eye-popping sequel is an incredible visual thesis
The 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell casts a long shadow in pop culture. Its violent futureworld of downloadable consciousness, urban blight and invasive biotechnology provided a crazy quilt of science fiction textures for later creators to swipe and rework. The Matrix is only the most obvious example of its pervasive influence.
The Week in Sloth
“He's a Lady” on TBS
Future TV historians, debating cultural “jump the shark” moments, may very well conclude that reality TV most likely burned out as a genre right around the time FOX broadcast “The Littlest Groom.” Just because reality TV ran out of ideas several seasons ago doesn't mean that the genre is showing any signs of slacking off. Networks are still scrambling to stuff their schedules with cheap-to-produce reality series, most of which demonstrate only the slightest variation on the theme: Witness NBC's “The Apprentice” vs. ABC's “The Benefactor” vs. FOX's “The Billionaire.”
Last Thursday night's Mountainside YMCA local band showcase was a smashing success. The second event of the “Band-It” showcase series featured Camden, the Ryan McGarvey Band, Someday, Gingerbread Patriots and Unit 7 Drain. All of the above gave spirited performances, but the surprise of the evening, at least as far I as was concerned, was 17-year-old blues guitar prodigy, Ryan McGarvey. With a little more vocal seasoning, just a tad more experience and a few additional original tunes, this kid's gonna be as jaw-dropping a performer as Alex Maryol. The YMCA's “Band-It” series will resume in the spring. ... El Paso's Cantina Flys will appear at Pucinni's Golden West Saloon on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 9 p.m., after appearing on KUNM's “Ear to the Ground” program at 7 p.m. ... and right next door at the Launchpad, you can catch the Punx Unite Tour, featuring The Casualties, Lower Class Brats, Frontline Attack and The Visects. Children of all ages are welcome at this one, but details regarding just what the “punx” are uniting for or against are hazy as of press time. ... Acclaimed axman Greg Osby is slated to appear on Monday, Oct. 4, at the Outpost Performance Space at 7:30 p.m. If Joe Anderson bought bigger ads, I'd have more space to tell you all about this show, but you'll have to settle for calling 268-0044 for more information.
with Slightly Stoopid
Friday, Oct. 15; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): G. Love (a.k.a. Garrett Dutton) got his sauce back; that is, in reviving his career, he had the foresight to re-enlist the formidable contributions of original Special Sauce ingredients James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on upright bass and Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens on very sparse drum kit. The resulting album, The Hustle, soon to be released on San Francisco's Brushfire Records, is a return to the urban hip hop-meets-ragged Delta blues sound that proved to be one of the freshest things to happen musically or otherwise in the mid-'90s. (There are, after all, very few among us who can honestly claim to not have sung out loud the chorus of “Baby's Got Sauce” out of pure delight for the song.)
To say that Samite's journey thus far has been difficult would be to understate the enormity of loss and struggle that has marked the Ugandan musician's life throughout. Extraordinarily, though, Samite has distilled the whole of his experience—the good and the bad—into lyrics and melodies that seem to have very definite healing powers. Not in that slightly creepy standard “new age” way, rather in a visceral, primal, beating-to-the-rhythm-of-your-own-heart way.
Forgive me for weighing in rather late on this one, but I honestly thought it would grow on me. It didn't. As one of the last vestiges of the infamous (and quite infamously overrated save for Neutral Milk Hotel) Elephant 6 collective, Elf Power's seventh record is about as average as they come. If the whole Elephant 6 phenomenon isn't completely out of gas at this point, then Elf Power have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's running on fumes at best. Walking ... isn't a bad record, but it's lackluster and boring to say the least.
It's hard not to love a story about the blood-sucking undead. Bram Stoker's immortal story has been made and remade into so many different forms it would be impossible to list them all. A campy theatrical version called The Passion of Dracula transports the story to the English countryside in 1911 where several young girls have died under mysterious circumstances. Could the new neighbor, a long-in-the-tooth fellow named Count Dracula, possibly be responsible? No, of course not. Don't be silly. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $18 general, $15 seniors, $13 students. Runs through Oct. 31. 242-4750.
Les Blancs at Out ch'Yonda
"All art is ultimately social," Lorraine Hansberry once said. She put that belief to the test during every stage of her tragically brief literary life. The 1959 stage version of her famous play, A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier, was the first by a Black woman to ever be produced on Broadway. The 1961 movie version—also starring Poitier, in one of his most iconic roles—cemented this complex but accessible play's well-deserved position in the pantheon of American theater. James Baldwin praised A Raisin in the Sun, which tells the story of a Black family struggling for survival on the South Side of Chicago, for putting "the truth of Black people's lives" on stage for the first time.
Think of it as the Lollapalooza of the literary world. Instead of squealing guitars, sweaty singers with weird haircuts and tour busses loaded with illegal drugs, five rising rock stars in the fiction world will descend on Albuquerque for a literary show unlike any our little village has ever seen.
University Art Museum and the Jonson Gallery
When soldiers returned from Vietnam, they had plenty to say, but few Americans back home were willing to listen to them. Many of these veterans found a necessary vehicle for expression in art. The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago is the only art museum in the world whose primary focus is exhibiting art created by Vietnam War combatants. An exhibit of work from this museum's collection goes on display this week at the UNM Art Museum and UNM's Jonson Gallery. A reception will be held at both locations on Friday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. The shows run through Jan. 7. 277-4001.
For four years now, environmental artists have put together an astonishing outdoor exhibit called The Land on a beautiful 25-acre site near Mountainair. This year's show is a little different. Interested parties are invited to pick up a CD of audio art at either La Montañita Coop (3500 Central SE) or Bound To Be Read (6300 San Mateo NE). Directions to the site are attached to the CD. Folks are advised to listen to this CD on their drive to the site to prep them for the amazing outdoor installations they will encounter. The Land is open to visitors on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31. This year's show explores the theme of death. 242-1501.
Alibi Calendars Editor, TVI Culinary Arts student
Pizza Delivery Boy
Assistant Grocery Manager, Wild Oats Community Market
So-called “talent,” 103.3 The Zone
With so many great culinary choices available in the Duke City, it is a wonder that not all Albuquerqueans are fat—or fatter. Since I rarely eat at home (due to code violations I have yet to straighten out with the city), I have a unique opportunity to seek out some of our lesser known eateries. Here is a short list of eating "success-a-pees" (recipes for success!).
Pika Brittlebush, foodie and blogger (www.QuirkyBurque.com)
Party girl, plant pamperer
Public Relations Director, National Hispanic Cultural Center
Applications Specialist, NM Tech Computer Center, foodie blogger
Our annual food poll is intended to do two important things: Guide readers to the finest food establishments in the city and reward restaurateurs for all their hard work keeping our tummies happy.
Former Naomi co-leader and veteran local musician Jason Daniello—as in Jason & the Argonauts—should have copies of his new CD in-hand in a week or so, according to the smilin' little dude himself. A CD release party is, of course, in the works. Stay tuned for more information in issues to come. ... If you're planning to apply to South By Southwest 2005 Music Festival (March 16-20) in Austin, Texas, the time to start getting your shit together is now. By using their online electronic form you receive a $10 discount on the regular application fee. The fee for online applications made on or before Oct. 8 is $10. The fee for online applications made between Oct. 8 and Nov. 8 is $20. All online applications must be completed by or before Nov. 8. Your application will be acknowledged by e-mail, and all acts will be notified of their status (read: “Yay! You get to play!” or “Sorry, you don't get to play!”) no later than Feb. 9, 2005. Go to www.sxsw.com, fill out an application paying close attention to all the rules and guidelines, then put a package together containing a CD with your original material on it, a photo, biography and press clippings and mail it off. Showcasing acts will receive a choice of $175 ($45 for solo or duo acts, including DJs) or a registration package (one badge along with wristbands for each member of the act). You do not need to purchase a registration badge to apply for or to perform at a SXSW showcase. See, Crawl pay for bands isn't really all that bad after all.
There are few bands that can truly be called “unforgettable”—musicians who bring to the stage a collective sound that's magically timeless, whose music sets in motion a chain of events that resonates in the lives of listeners thereafter into infinity. In Celtic circles, Lúnasa are unmatched when it comes to delivering vibrant traditional music folded into contemporary awareness. Their respect for the music's rich history in concert with their virtuosic technical and arranging skill make listening to them more than mildly remarkable.
with Cave In, Between the Buried And Me and Colin of Arabia
Thursday, Oct. 7; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): About 12 years ago, a quartet of angry teenagers got together in someone's Boston garage to take their various shit out on some musical instruments. It wasn't long afterward that the group, now collectively calling themselves Converge, began releasing hardcore albums that spun in all kinds of interesting directions. Using a hardcore foundation as a springboard, vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller leap headlong into the outer extremes of genres spanning metal, thrash, classic punk, progressive hardcore and avant noise. The mix is nothing short of breathtaking, as is made crystal clear on the band's latest platter, You Fail Me (Epitaph).
Considered by many to be among the finest bluegrass and country multi-instrumentalists in history, Ricky Skaggs made his much-heralded return to “pure bluegrass” circa 1997, and has since produced an impressive body of work. But most of it features bluegrass chestnuts by other songwriters. With Brand New Strings, Skaggs ups the ante a little with four contributions of his own among tunes by everyone from Ralph Stanley to Bill Monroe to Guy Clark. Accompanied by his polished band, Skaggs gives peak performances here that come off achingly heartfelt and energetic. A triumph of the high lonesome.
It's always encouraging to see struggling local artists take their creative destinies into their own hands. Case in point: I just received the debut issue of the Donkey Journal. Printed nine times per year, this attractive local contemporary arts periodical comes in the form of a simple folded poster. It's produced by David Leigh, Larry Bob Phillips and Sherlock Terry, three Albuquerque artists who recently opened the nonprofit Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SE) to exhibit their own art and that of other underrepresented artists.
Stacy Hawkinson's Solo Show at the Downtown Contemporary Art Center
Stacy Hawkinson is a big fan of the polka dot. As you walk up the wide stairs just inside the entrance of the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW), the first thing you'll see are brightly painted Styrofoam balls floating above your head like strange interplanetary fruit. Once you get to the top of the stairs, you'll notice brightly colored dots bouncing through the entire exhibit.
Albuquerque's going to get slammed upside the head next year, when the city hosts the 2005 National Poetry Slam next August. You'll get a sweet little teaser this Saturday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. when poet, playwright, journalist and four-time Individual National Slam Champion Patricia Smith comes to the KiMo Theatre. If you love performance poetry, do not miss this event. Smith is universally recognized as one of the greatest spoken word artists on the planet, and she's coming to Albuquerque to raise funds for next year's National Slam. $12. For tickets, call 768-3544.
Barbara Ehrenreich's bestselling 2001 book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Making It in America, chronicled the lives of the working poor in America in a highly effective way. Taking three low-wage jobs for a month each, Ehrenreich tried to make ends meet and soon discovered the task was impossible. Joan Holden has now translated Nickel and Dimed to the stage. A production of Holden's provocative play, directed by the very talented Eugene Douglas, will be staged at UNM's Rodey Theatre beginning this weekend. Oct. 8 to 9 and 21 to 23 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. $12 general, $8 seniors, $6 students. 925-5858 or www.tickets.com.
Revitalization efforts spread to East Central
It seems like anything's negotiable these days. Say, for example, you're so far behind on your water utilities that, in lieu of paying off the debt, you cut a deal with the city to demolish the property instead.
Punked. Immediately following last week's presidential debate, Ken Mehlman, George W. Bush's campaign manager, convened a teleconference with GOP "team leaders" around the country to discuss strategy. An unknown fact to Mehlman, however, was that an Internet blogger named Atrios had circulated the event's phone number and password on his website. And who reads blogs more than other bloggers, right? After Mehlman talked about Kerry's "credibility gap," he offered to take three questions. According to Jack Pine Savage, one of the bloggers who listened in, the first question came from a "young Republican in Washington." The woman announced she thought Kerry won the debate and was now going to vote for him. The second caller, another woman, said Kerry would make a worthy Commander in Chief and the third call criticized Bush for playing-down al Qaeda. "Mehlman apologized to the Bush supporters listening and acknowledged that the call had obviously attracted some Democrats," wrote Savage on his blog.
Early odds for the 2005 mayoral elections
In less than a month, the nation will elect (or re-elect) a president. Everybody and their monkey is speculating on the outcome of that horse race, so why not look little further down the political road?
The debates make all the difference
The week before last Thursday night's first of the 2004 presidential debates we heard a lot about the limitations of this tightly packaged quadrennial ritual: how it isn't truly a debate, simply an opportunity for multiple sound bites; how it is highly unlikely to ever produce a clear-cut winner or loser, and so on.
Dateline: Japan—According to the Shukan Gendai newspaper, an inventor has come up with a cell phone ring tone that will increase a woman's breast size. Hideto Tomabechi, who first made a name for himself in Japan by deprogramming brainwashed members of the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult, says, “Most would think it's a lie, but the techniques involved in the process have been known for some time and are the result of research I carried out in the '80s and '90s. I use sounds that make the brain and body movie unconsciously. It's a technique involving subliminal effects.” Amazingly, more than 10,000 people have scrambled to download the ring tone in its first week. “I listened to the tune for a week expecting all the time that I was being duped,” Chieri Nakayama, a 19-year-old pinup model, told Shukan Gendai. “But, incredibly, my 87-centimeter bust grew to 89 centimeters! It was awesome!” Tomabechi says he's already got plans for ring tones that improve memory, reduce baldness, help people quit cigarettes and increase attractiveness with the opposite sex.
Bring on the Burley-Q!—This Friday and Saturday night, Alibi Midnight Movie Madness at the Guild Cinema will break from tradition and present a combination film/live performance event known as the “Stag Night Smoker featuring BellaDonna Burlesque.” The event will incorporate beautiful dancers, risqué comedy and naughty old film shorts. Albuquerque's own retro-loving 'teaser troupe BellaDonna Burlesque will be on hand twirling their tassels, and the Guild will be screening historical erotica from the '40s and '50s courtesy of San Francisco's Oddball Film + Video. The show starts at 11:30 p.m. on both nights. Tickets are $8 for this special event and they can be purchased in advance at The Guild Cinema, Martha's Body Bueno or Burning Paradise Video. Seating is limited, so act quickly!
Taos Mountain Film Festival
Film festivals work best, perhaps, when they reflect the community around them. In the artsy resort enclave of Park City, Utah, for example, you'd expect to find the quirky, homegrown indies of the Sundance Film Festival. In the exotic European destination of Cannes, France, it's a collection of highbrow international art films that rule the Cannes Film Festival.
Based on a popular Icelandic novel, The Seagull's Laughter is undoubtedly a more powerful offering for those born and raised on the chilly volcanic island. Those separated from the film's subject matter by time and space may not find quite as much to identify with, but--like the island nation that spawned it--it radiates such an unexpected amount of life that most foreign film friendly audiences will at least walk out humming (if not boisterously singing) the film's praises.
“Desperate Housewives” on ABC
Suburbia has been the playground of television at least since the days of “Leave It to Beaver.” Now, ABC (yes, that ABC) has scored itself a critical and ratings hit with “Desperate Housewives,” a nasty shredding of the myth of suburbia in post-Martha America.
The Week in Sloth
It's a pot scrubber! In last week's Alibi, I asked readers to identify a mysterious object that Film Editor Devin D. O'Leary had unearthed at a yard sale. With a riveted metal handle attached to a wide mesh made of linked metal rings, it had confounded us for weeks. Suggestions from readers poured in, most of them guessing that it was a rug beater, something we were sure was impossible; the thing was just to flimsy to be any good at beating dust out of a sturdy rug. But two astute readers (first Susie Rodee and later, Jerry Monarch) e-mailed within hours of each other to identify the utensil as a vintage pot scrubber, specifically for dredging bits of food from the bottoms of cast iron pans. Once we had this lead, it was easy to confirm. A simple eBay search revealed two similar items and one nearly identical. The good news is that we estimate the pot scrubber to be from about the '30s and, according to eBay, it's worth about $20. The bad news is that O'Leary refused to part with the thing and now I have to go buy one on eBay. The whole search and discovery was fun, though, so I'll be posting more mystery gadgets and giving out more prizes in the near future.
Looking for a really special piñata for your next party? Wouldn't you just love to ram your fist up Dick Cheney's throat and stuff him full of candy or cram Dubya's noggin with mini bottles of Jim Beam? Well now you can. Two local artists have begun crafting their own smashable papier-mâché effigies of our lovable leaders. Bush costs about $50 and Little Dick costs $30 or $75 for the pair. Buy two. Give one to the dog! Make sure someone's videotaping and you'll be able to enjoy the event over and over again. The creators, Crash and Jada, make each piñata to order and they can custom-make pretty much any shape you want, from football helmets to Frankenstein heads to sacred hearts. To get your own, call Crash at 401-8794.
Winning wines from the past year
With election season upon us, it's time to get serious about voting. But forget the race for president just now; I'm picking winners in the world of wine. I've offered up several deserving of high office, hoping you consider them for your drinking pleasure. (Note: These winners were chosen from tastings over the past year. Prices are approximate.)
More than 50 famous bakers share recipes in a book to benefit hunger-fighting group Share Our Strength
Michael J. Rosen is an author, editor and illustrator who is also a member of the national board of Share Our Strength, a hunger-fighting agency that works closely with the food, restaurant and kitchen supply industries to raise funds for their efforts. Last year, Rosen released Cooking from the Heart, a volume of collected recipes from 100 high-profile chefs who contributed dishes that were closest to their hearts. Share Our Strength receives a portion of the proceeds from that book and this follow-up, Baking from the Heart (Broadway, hardcover, $29.95). Since the recipes in this book come from professional bakers, it could have easily become a pretty but rarely used volume that collected dust on a shelf. But Rosen managed to procure from these chefs recipes that are more likely to be familiar to your grandmother than they are to grace the cover of Modern Pastry Chef. There are gingerbread cupcakes, plum tarts and fudge brownies, recipes that are relatively simple but definitely show the benefit of a chef's tinkering. They may be brownies, but they'll be the best damn brownies you've ever had.