From grease-stained, alt.country superheroes like Breaker 1-9 to the grungy atmospherics of the Oktober People to the orgasmic tribal percussion of Concepto Tambor, Albuquerque is bursting at the seams with musical talent. If you've spent the last 10 years sitting on your lazy butt at home, reading about all of our town's blistering musical happenings in the Alibi without ever witnessing anything firsthand, it's time for a lifestyle change.
We gave up trying to profile every band playing the Crawl a long time ago. There are just too damn many to do the bands justice. So nowadays we just give our readers a taste of some of the highlights. Enjoy!
Our cast of local crawlers will help you get started
By Michael Henningsen
Can't decide which bands to see at Alibi Spring Crawl 2005? Well, that's why we've put this handy little grid together: so that the undecided among you might take suggestions from our somewhat random panel of local music enthusiasts.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. You've heard that before. And sometimes it's true. For example, a quick scan of the headlines generated from this year's South by Southwest music showcase in Austin, Texas, follows a similar theme, the same theme in fact that the music press has rehashed now for the past five years.
Quote of the week. Santa Fe City Council member David Pfeffer, angered by an April 5 AlbuquerqueJournal article titled "Pfeffer Wants to Patrol Border," responded to the story in a letter published in the Journal on April 6 claiming the reporter, John T. Huddy, was guilty of ye olde "complete fabrication."
Leninists and corporate shills make odd bedfellows at the Legislature
By Jim Scarantino
Impact fees have amazing powers. They can restore sense to the city's growth policies. But did you know they also induce pathological behavior? Impact fees can turn right-wing Republicans into Leninists and glib liberals. They also have a strange effect on populist Democrats, turning them into shills for corporate favoritism.
The APD Party Patrol genuinely seemed like a good bunch of people. And so well-behaved. Of course, I was a reporter with a microphone in my pocket, but all the same they seemed perfectly pleased to have me along for the ride. It was fun that night, getting the chance to watch our local party busters in action, even though we didn't break up any raucous events. It gave me a newfound respect for their team—these guys really were the cream of the crop, hand selected to serve in the overtime program that was supposed to save teenage lives and keep the peace. They deserved the extra bucks they were making off the shift—they knew how to deal with kids—they were calm, respectful, yet authoritative (in a good way). All that extra training seemed to be paying off. And so when I wrote my story on the Party Patrol a few days later ["Laying Down the Law," March 24-30], that night stayed with me.
Dateline: Australia—Despite recent crackdowns on passengers and the items that they are allowed to carry on to planes, airport security continues to suffer setbacks. Take for example, the story of David Cox, who was waiting inside the terminal at Sydney Airport last week. He happened to glance outside the window, and what should he see but a baggage handler wandering around the runway wearing the camel costume that he had packed in his luggage. On Friday, Qantas Airways Ltd. suspended the handler in question after a video revealed the unnamed man opening the passenger's bag, donning the camel's head and wandering around the airport tarmac. According to Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon, the baggage handler could be fired pending further investigation. “We are acutely aware of heightened community concerns around security of baggage,” Dixon said in a statement. “What has happened is completely unacceptable and is unacceptable to the vast majority of decent, hardworking Qantas employees.”
An interview with Jay Frank, programming director of Yahoo! Music
By Tim McGivern
On the final day of this year's South by Southwest music showcase, I stumbled into a convention center ballroom that promised a lively discussion on the state of the music industry in the United States. I figured no sane member of the music press would pass that up, right? There's just so much to talk about. You've got satellite radio, Internet downloads, peer-to-peer file sharing technology, the iPod, eMusic, iTunes, reggae tone, ringtones, Britney Spears ... you name it. So I went in search of enlightenment.
Calling All Zombies—Necroville, a locally produced, low-budget horror comedy shooting here in Albuquerque, is attempting to film the largest zombie siege ever lensed in the state of New Mexico. Hence, all zombie wannabes are asked to attend the Zombie Siege Day, taking place Saturday, April 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Anyone interested is asked to lumber their way to the SolArts Theater (712 Central SW) that morning. Pizza and soda will be provided for lunch. The theater will afford adequate shelter, water and bathrooms. C.R. Productions, makers of Necroville, recommend bringing a fold-up chair, a book, a Gameboy and other luxuries to pass the day. Zombie makeup is water soluble, but extras are advised to wear their best beat up/throw away clothing. If you have any questions, you can direct them to director Billy Garberina at email@example.com
Heart-tugging documentary proves that prejudice has a cure
By Devin D. O'Leary
Prejudice is an equal opportunity disease. Even the most prejudiced people in the world are not immune to being stereotyped and misunderstood themselves. Take, for example, rural Southerners living below both the Bible Belt and the poverty line. They're all a bunch of racist rednecks, aren't they? Not so fast, says the eye-opening new documentary Paper Clips.
Madcap martial arts epic blends Bruce Lee with Bugs Bunny
By Devin D. O'Leary
Stephen Chow, star of some 50-odd films, is a certified superstar throughout Asia. In fact, he'd probably be a bigger name here in America if Miramax hadn't completely bobbled the stateside release of his worldwide smash Shaolin Soccer. Thankfully, he's got another shot at adding America to his international fanbase with the release of his newest sensation, Kung Fu Hustle.
In the past few weeks, some casual television observers may have been shocked to find FOX's more-hyped-than-happenin' medical drama “House” suddenly knocking at the door of the weekly Top 10. In a world where new shows get booted after a week or two of weak ratings, “House” is the latest example of a network actually giving audiences time to ease into a series.
After the release of their second full-length album, Icecaves (Little Kiss Records), and a smashing unofficial debut at South by Southwest, FOMA is finally getting some attention from the music media at large. I'll be the first to admit that self promotion can be a tricky, dirty business, but the FOMA crew has appeared effortless at subtly charming our pants off, whether it's through e-zines, college radio spots or glowing reviews from as far abroad as Norway. They're already back in the studio working on a new album, which they plan to support with a United States tour in August. See what Venus Magazine'sspring edition has to say about the group at venuszine.com. ... Now that just about every respected radio station in Albuquerque has been blasted to smithereens, I can't help but picture all of our now-defunct DJs panhandling for change by the freeway. Luckily for all of us, I just got a bead on one ex-local radio announcer, and he seems to be doing just fine. You can catch Bill Royal, formerly of 104.1 World Class Rock, in his new gig as front man of a classic rock and blues cover band. Strange Brew is playing at Back Street Bar & Grill this Saturday, April 23. ... The Ben Martinez Project took a break from the dinner-and-jazz circuit this weekend to record their next CD, The Urban Bug. Ben says he hopes to debut the album at the 45th Annual Texas Jazz Festival (October 21-23), marking their 10th consecutive year at the event. Godspeed, gentlemen. ... Congratulations to Raising Cane for making it in to the National Bluegrass Playoffs in Victorville, Calif. The ho-down (or is it ho-off?) is the crown jewel of the Huck Finn Jubilee, an early summer festival with lots of clout in the national bluegrass community. Raising Cane will represent New Mexico as one of four bluegrass bands from the Southwest, which also includes California, Colorado and Nevada. "We're so excited to be asked to participate in this event," says Don Grieser, mandolin player for Raising Cane. "People really respond to our original material, and we think that was a big factor in being invited to the playoffs. It's a chance to showcase the band with some of the best in America."
Friday, Apr. 22; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): Culture is defined as the behavior patterns, arts, beliefs and all other forms of human work and thought as expressed in a particular community. This is hip hop, a culture, complete with an entire entertainment network of painters, dancers, musicians and more. I am constantly impressed at hip hop events by the cohesion they seem to possess within their community, within their culture. Two of the talents I have watched grow and develop within this network are the fabulous 2bers. Sticky Moco Productions and 2bers will be introducing their new CD, The History of Our Future, at Burt's on Friday, an event that is certain not to disappoint.
It is said that a band has its whole life to draw inspiration for its debut album, but only a few hectic years to record the often-disappointing sophomore one. Judas Priest offer a second-generation debut here, courtesy of a 15-year hiatus. The Birmingham, England, metal icons knock the dust off their leathers and slip into their comfort zone with relative ease on Angel of Retribution, offering up a fully satisfying album rock experience. This is classic and improbably classy. Calculated modern production subdues the sharp edges and highlights the band's thoughtful metal mathematics, a trait usually hidden behind its sideshow demeanor.
Tuesday nights in Albuquerque can be unnerving, especially when you are looking for something to do other than watch television or stare into space. But then there is that diamond in the rough, that glimmer of hope, a free show at Burt's Tiki Lounge with great entertainment. I was happily surprised to take time to check out a decent line-up of rock music at Burt's Tuesday, April 12, with local bands Q's Revenge, Dead on Point 5 and Seattle-based band, Murdock.
For a good decade and a half, Magnífico sponsored a juried exhibit designed to showcase the best contemporary artists the Albuquerque area has to offer. Yeah, the event had its share of detractors, but, for my own part, I usually enjoyed it. The show was a messy grab bag of disparate art, but that was always the biggest part of its appeal.
Every year when the weather turns warm, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream seems to sprout up everywhere. Like bright yellow dandelion heads in a green spring lawn, it's one of the surest signs that we've finally put winter behind us.
Lea Anderson, a graduate student in the art program at UNM, recently took a leap away from rectangular canvasses. A new show at Trevor Lucero Studio (500 Second Street SW) incorporates a series of round canvasses ranging from 12 inches to four or five feet in diameter. The show also includes a series of three-dimensional sculpture paintings that will hang from the ceiling, along with an organic work that will be painted directly on the studio wall. They Grew opens this Friday, April 22, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Runs through April 30. 244-0730.
New Yorker Linda Lerner says she's got a problem with authority, but don't let that stop you from coming by the Albuquerque Press Club (201 Highland Park Circle SE) this Friday, April 22, to hear some of her blistering rebel poetry. Lerner is the author of nine collections of poetry. Her essay on the state of American poetry, "Poems from the Crypt Don't Speak to Living People," is in the current issue of the New York Quarterly. Lerner will be joined by local poets Lisa Gill, Todd Moore and Mitch Rayes. The event, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will also include an open mic. 243-8476.
Drinking too much impairs your judgment—long before you do something so lethally stupid as getting behind the wheel of a car. For example, your no-smoking regime? Worked great until beer No. 2; by beer No. 4 you were bumming from the bartender. Remember that time you rode your bike home drunk, crashed and broke your two front teeth out? Oh God. Or the time you went home with that drummer, the one you promised yourself you wouldn't go home with because you'd already slept with the bass player and two guys in one band is one too many? Booze can wreck your waistline, too, and not just because it's full of empty calories. One-and-a-half margaritas can be all it takes for you to give up on your diet completely. One Malibu and Diet Coke makes chips and salsa look really good. Two Vanilla Stoli and sodas make an order of chicken strips sound like a great idea. After several rounds of birthday (or bachelor, breakup, baby, whatever) B-52s (or blowjobs, car bombs, whatever) and you're demanding the designated driver take you through the Whataburger drive-through for a Whatacatch with onion rings and a side of cream gravy. Noooooo! What a nightmare. I'd rather wake up between the drummer and bass player than with the hazy recollection of a Whatadrivethru binge.
Mexican food moves into Rio Rancho. Federico Cardenas is a San Diego native who grew up in a restaurant family—his parents are from Michoacan and have been in the business 30 years—and finally saved up enough money to move away and open his own place. Offhandedly, I asked him why he chose to move to Albuquerque. He told me he chose not Albuquerque, but Rio Rancho, specifically because it was a city with very few Mexican restaurants. “It's paying off so much!” he told me with a level of enthusiasm and satisfaction that is unusual for the owner of a brand-new business. Adding to the attraction of this big fish in a little pond is the fact that Federico's Mexican Food (1590 Deborah SE, near Kmart, 891-7218) is open 24 hours. To the best of Fred's knowledge, Taco Bell is the only other all-night restaurant in the area. No wonder he's got folks lining up for full-pound burritos at 2 a.m.! Oh, did I forget to mention? Federico's specialty is burritos that he uses 14-inch tortillas and stuffs them until they weigh a pound. Even the breakfast burritos weigh a pound. He's also got flautas (fried rolled tacos, sometimes called taquitos), menudo (Saturdays and Sundays), and churros. The churros are the only menu items that aren't made from scratch. One thing he doesn't have: sopaipillas. “My distributor said, ’Oh, I can sell you sopaipillas,' but if I don't know how to make them, then I'm just not going to serve them.”
A few words with Richard Agee, the guy behind La Crêperie Roulante
By Gwyneth Doland
So you're a hot dog guy now, huh?
Yeah, right [snarls menacingly].
Seriously, you make beautiful crêpes and yet all the drunk people stumbling out of the bars ask you for hot dogs. Does that bother you?
Naw, that's why I got hot dogs, cuz there's guys who pull their last two dollars out and I'm happy to take 'em. But I do use Alpine Sausage House Vienna sausages for my hot dogs. I use Alpine for all my sausages.
What other sausages?
I got Polish, Italian, and then I rotate between knockwurst, bratwurst and turkey green chile brats. I doctor up my sauerkraut by soaking it to get the brine out, then cooking it again with white wine and caraway seeds. That's an old German method. They brine the kraut to preserve it, but that doesn't mean that's how you're supposed to eat it.
El Viva Mexico is brimming with life and the authentic sabor of Mexico. From the moment I turned off Wyoming into the crowded dirt parking lot, it felt somehow like I was south of the border. Once inside, it could have been Juarez, with murals of sunny Mexican vistas on every wall, lots of candy vending machines and knickknacks here and there. A steady stream of families with lots of kids kept tables filled, while a television set emoted Mexican soap operas from a high corner. Mariachi music streamed from the kitchen. A small display case with authentic Mexican candies and other sweet treats reminded me of bygone days and penny candy stores.
I've received quite a few frantic phone calls over the last couple weeks from people wondering just where the @#$*&!! our photo contest went. Yes, we originally planned to run the winners in our March 24 issue, but the contest got pushed back a couple weeks due to some scheduling mumbo jumbo that wouldn't interest you (trust me). We advertised the extension repeatedly in the paper, but several of you seem to have missed it.
Coronado Mall's plan for redevelopment raises air quality questions
By Christie Chisholm
People hate bad city planning. Which is why, nearly 25 years ago, Albuquerque's City Council decided to put an end to it, at least in one part of our city. The Uptown district, which is well-known for its sea of asphalt, undeveloped space and semi-empty strip malls, also has the worst air pollution in the city and is, for the most part, pedestrian unfriendly. And so, in an effort to curb these characteristics and transform Uptown into a thriving urban area, in 1981, the Council created the Uptown Sector Plan.
Our Banana Republic. Politics can be a downright pitiful exercise in nepotism. In New Mexico, the latest obvious example was a bill sponsored at the Legislature by Reps Dan Silva and Kiki Saavedra that was championed by their sons, who both happened to be lobbyists for the cause.
City councilors began the April 4 meeting an hour early, shunted 14 bills to a land use meeting and slogged past the 10:30 p.m. deadline, but the last few weeks' backlog of bills just piled higher. The single thing councilors didn't discuss, having vented earlier at an afternoon press conference, was the current APD ruckus.
The Terry Schiavo tragedy just won't let go of my imagination. It is tempting to move on, to shift our focus, to look for the next public circus to distract ourselves from the painful truths opened by the still-fresh experience in Florida. But until we've teased out a few answers for ourselves, the contradictions are too extreme to set aside comfortably.
Dateline: Louisiana—Rapper C-Murder, in jail for the 2002 murder of a teenager, has changed his stage name because he thinks he is misunderstood. “I am not a murderer,” the rapper, whose real name is Corey Miller, said in a statement released last Tuesday. According to his publicist, Giovanni Melchiorre of New York-based Koch Records, the incarcerated musician will now go by the name of C Miller. “People hear the name C-Murder and they don't realize that the name simply means that I have seen many murders in my native Calliope projects neighborhood,” the rapper explained. The state of Louisiana disagrees, however. Miller was convicted of second-degree murder Sept. 30, 2003, in the death of Steve Thomas, 16, a fan of the rapper who was shot inside a nightclub in the New Orleans suburb of Harvey. Miller faces a mandatory life sentence without parole. Earlier this month, a state appeals court upheld Miller's conviction. His defense lawyer, Ron Rakosky, has said he will appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Campaign contributions put legislation into perspective
By Jim Scarantino
Handicap these odds: An important piece of legislation is before the New Mexico Legislature. Lined up on one side are all of Albuquerque's neighborhood coalitions. On the other sideline huddles a handful of lobbyists. Who wins?
It's been a tough scene for our blues guys and gals ever since Club Rhythm & Blues closed its doors for good, taking one of the best open mics in town right along with them. But if there's a silver lining to be found here, it's that artists like Michael Holt are strengthening their own scene from the roots up. Holt and his Hollywood Holt Band host a new weekly open mic just for blues and R&B performers at Ned's Downtown. The Wednesday night showcase is a step up from traditional blues jams, with a nice stage, a full sound setup and professional live mixing. Holt says his motivation springs from when he first cut his blues teeth at open mics under the tutelage of Darin Goldston, front man of the Memphis P. Tails. “They say you've got to give it away if you want to keep it, and this is my way of giving it back.”
By the time he'd reached the ripe old age of 23, Connecticut-bred pianist Kevin Hays had already toured for a year with the Harper Brothers, worked with Joshua Redman and Benny Golson to name but a few, and waxed his first record as a leader, El Matador (Evidence). Considering that most of us spend the period of our "professional" lives between college graduation and the age of 25 spinning in the wind, Hays' comparative beeline toward the pinnacle of post-bop piano craft stands as an even more miraculous feat. And just wait until you hear him play.
Wednesday, April 20; UNM Sub Mall (all ages, noon): The Slow Signal Fade's exotic and dark vocals are what make them stand out from the pack. The Los Angeles-based group formed in 2002 and in a short amount of time have managed to craft a polished sound and, from what I've heard, a stellar stage performance.
with Jennifer Gentle, The Outcrowd and Jealous Gods
By Brett Bakker
Wednesday, April 20; Launchpad, 21 and over, 10 p.m.)
Paisley's not dead, it's just discreetly tucked under jackets. This isn't your childhood paisley (Prince) or your dad's (Blues Magoos), but a night of four distinctly different takes on modern psychedelic music.
Dead Meadow is cold funk, a grim and smoky version of the psychedelic experience 20 minutes before it turned narcotic. The flowers aren't still in anyone's hair at this point, although they're just as colorful in the mind.
She's only 19 and she's co-written her debut CD, Chain Letter. About half of the CD sounds like any number of female R&B/pop artists on the market, but Valentine takes a few risks and rises above the countless others with some mesmerizing and distinguishing hits. Songs like "I Want U Dead" and "Blah Blah Blah" have distinctive beats, while the music is hauntingly aggressive, not blatant slap-you-in-the-face hip hop. And Valentine seems even stronger when accompanied by rappers such as the late Dirt McGirt, Lil' Jon, Big Boi and others. Valentine threads her way from lust to love to hate, and leaves a trail of men battered and beaten behind.
CineQuixote—The National Hispanic Cultural Center in conjunction with Instituto Cervantes will present a screening of Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about Terry Gilliam's aborted attempt to film Cervantes' classic novel. The screening will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at NHCC's Wells Fargo Auditorium (1701 Fourth Street NW). Entrance is free and open to the public.
You know that old saying that goes, “Hell hath no fury like a one-eyed woman pumping your sorry ass full of shotgun shells”? Well, after watching Thriller: A Cruel Picture, it's pretty freakin' obvious where that particular nugget of knowledge came from.
Working with sentiment is like working with nitroglycerin. Use just the right amount and you can treat a heart condition. Use too much and it's gonna blow up in your face, taking a whole lot of people with you. Get it right and you come up with a classic weeper like Old Yeller. Get it wrong and you end up with a manipulative horror like Pay It Forward. It takes an alchemical precision to work with heart-tugging sentiment, and few Hollywood people really have the skill for it.
Last week, PBS perennial “Sesame Street” kicked off its 36th season. Thirty-six years of teaching kids the letter “D” is, I guess, enough to drive even the most dedicated of educators mad. (“D! It's a D! Don't you get it already?!?”) How else to explain the shocking revelation that--I can hardly bring myself to say it--this season, Cookie Monster will be cutting down on the cookies?
The 11th Annual Juried Graduate Student Exhibition at the Jonson Galley
By Steven Robert Allen
One problem with this year's UNM graduate student art show is that viewers are going to want to play with a lot of the art. In most cases, though, this show isn't any different from a traditional exhibit. Touch the art, and you will be punished.
You know this month is poetry month, don't you? Even if you turn a deaf ear to poetry during the other 11 months of the year, you have a moral duty to stand up and pay attention from now through April 30, at which time you can go back to playing with your Sony Playstation 14 hours a day. Get into the poetic spirit at La Luna Llena a variety show in celebration of poetry month occurring this Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Harwood. Arizona poet Richard Shelton will be a featured performer along with a host of talented local poets, musicians, dancers and at least one Kerouac impersonator. A fine time will be had by all. $7 general, $5 students/seniors. 242-6367.
Abstract expressionism is one of those artistic innovations that probably won't ever completely go out of style. Working Classroom visual art apprentices under the tutelage of artist Gary Eugene Jefferson explore this unrestrained free-form aesthetic style in a new exhibit opening this Friday, April 15, at the Visiones Gallery with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. catered by Whole Foods Market. Come on by, chaw on some high-class snacks and take in the wild creations of Jefferson and his talented young students. Runs through May 27. 242-9267.
Boys of 9 or 10 often know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Some want to be firemen; others worship race car drivers. John Ashbery, however, had his own unique career ambition. "I was living in Rochester," says the 77-year-old poet in his New York City apartment, wind whistling loudly off the Hudson River. "I saw all these paintings from the famous surrealist show at the MOMA in Life magazine, and I decided then and there I wanted to be a surrealist when I grew up."
Who wants to have dinner with Amy Goodman, co-host of Pacifica Radio's “Democracy Now”? Goodman will be in Santa Fe this week with East Timor native and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta for a discussion on peace and democracy in general, and East Timor in particular. The discussion, called a Peace Jam, takes place at St. John's College on Saturday, April 16. Twenty lucky lefties will join Goodman for an intimate late afternoon dinner before the Peace Jam. New Mexico's KUNM 89.9 FM is distributing the 20 tickets through an auction held on their website, www.kunm.org. The minimum bid is $125, but a bid of $1,000 will automatically win you a seat at the table. The dinner, including food, wine and very lively conversation, will take place in a private dining room, the location of which will only be disclosed to auction winners. Proceeds from the auction all go to benefit KUNM. Tickets for the Peace Jam cost between $12 and $20. Call the Lensic Box Office at (505) 988-1234 for tickets and information.
Anticipation makes everything more exciting, doesn't it? We've all been excitedly awaiting the opening of Crazy Fish, the much-hyped sushi restaurant in Nob Hill (3015 Central NE, 232-3474, next to the Lobo Theater). Owner and sushi Chef Seigo Ono, a former Albuquerque resident, came back to open his own place after a decade away. The lunch menu is accessible and affordably priced, with selections like the teriyaki salmon lunch box ($6.95): salmon served with miso soup, rice, salad or stir-fried vegetables. Other options include calamari salad ($6.25) and a barbecued eel bowl ($7.25). At dinner the menu is more exciting but not that much more expensive. A starter of edamame will run you $3.50 and creamy Asian mushroom udon pasta is $10.50. There's also a full sushi bar. Stop in and try it out. Let us know what you think.
You'll want to stay all night in this soul kitchen
By Scott Sharot
A new soul food kitchen has sprung up in the South Broadway neighborhood. Matriarch Katherine Bradford, aka Aunt Babe, has made the business a family affair, with three generations of the Bradford clan as helpmates. Warning: Finding the place could be tricky. You might pass right on by this nondescript white frame building. Navigate yourself to the Northwest corner of Broadway and Gibson, and look for a small, humble sign. (I'm told it will be replaced with a larger one very soon.)
Cannibals can't agree on whether humans taste like pork or beef
By Gwyneth Doland
I sometimes find myself staring off into space, wondering what it would be like to be a man. I imagine being tall enough to see what's on top of the fridge, being so focused on important issues that I never notice my toilet bowl is filthy, and, while we're at it, being hung like Tommy Lee. Right? How cool would that be?
Best Place to Buy Deliciously Large Bars of Soap Lavande Bleu. Walking into this place makes you feel like you just doused yourself in way too much of your mom's perfume. But it's worth it. Never have I seen so much creamy, luscious and utterly huge bars of soap in one place. And the flavors—oh, the flavors. It totally makes me want to wash myself.
It's always tough for us to come up with food-related categories for the Best of Burque poll. We do a Readers Choice Restaurant Poll every year, and that baby's got nearly as many blanks to fill in as this one. But we couldn't rightly say that food isn't one of the best things in Burque. What we probably could do is come up with categories better than Best Place to Eat While Surrounded by People Cooler Than You. So we've already started thinking up some new ideas for next year. How about Best Place to Get a Keg Where They Have a Pretty Reasonable Deposit. Or maybe Best New Mexican Restaurant Where They Make Their Own Tortillas Served With 100 Percent Honey. We're also doing some focus groups with this one: Best Restaurant For a Dinner That's Pretty Nice But Doesn't Cost a Zillion Bucks.
While digging through the stack of ballots from this year's 2005 Best of Burque, a single vote from a single nimrod nabbed my attention more than any other. In the Best Art Gallery category someone answered, “We have those here?” Dude/dudette, please, don't make me choke you.
Best Community Action Group Animal Humane Association serves a great purpose. There are so many unwanted dogs and cats in Albuquerque, and AHA does their best to find homes for these sweet animals. People, please, spay and neuter your animals!
Sure, you might've lost at “Jeopardy,” baby, but don't let that get you down. If you beat out the competition in this year's Best of Burque contest, that's more than enough glory for anyone. As you already know, Alibi readers have the most discriminating tastes, and if they discriminated in your favor, then you won what's behind Door No. 2. Let's see what's behind Door No. 2, Bob.
If there's one thing we humans were made for, it's consumption. The eco-minded among us like to pretend this isn't true, because it makes us feel inherently guilty for living. Well, get over it! You're here, you're human, so unless you're Don Schrader, whip out your pocketbook, because you'll probably need it to survive in our little society. But this doesn't mean that you have to spend your money like a hog-wild lunatic, or that you have to do it in the dark. In the following pages you will find plenty of recommendations from your kindly neighbors, who took the time to let you know about the best places in our quirky city to shop, be it something as necessary as a comfortable place to clean your clothes, or as utterly self-indulgent as the best place to get your legs waxed. Whether you're a live-by-the-land kind of girl, or a self-conscious lad with a hole in his pocket, here are the Burque favorites, so when you do choose to spend your cash, you do it well.
With a wide net cast over the Duke City, this wholly unscientific poll is guaranteed, as always, to be an exercise in profound amusement for some and creative behavior for others, as you shall witness. The ballot counting exhausted our staff, but it was well worth it, and this year the number of votes reached record proportions. So what has life in Burque been like these past 12 months? Well, things are looking up if, for no other reason than we measure success by the amount of snowfall still resting on the Sandia peaks and its imminent plunge into our water tables in the spring. And thank God it's an election year, so if APD and the mayor cannot do the proper house cleaning following the burgeoning evidence room scandal at City Hall, the voters hopefully will. Speaking of the mayor ... let's get started.
Burque loves to burn out the day, then burn out the night. We love livin' for givin' the devil his due. (And we love Blue Oyster Cult.) This year's poll results reminded us what a good time there is to be had in this dust-blown outpost. Rock star karaoke at Atomic Cantina, meeting dates for pool at Anodyne, strokin' to the left, strokin' to the right at The Ranch, low key cocktails at Martini Grille, catching a blistering punk rock show at Launchpad. Good times all around! From what the results show, we're doing a great job at informing you all about what's going on Downtown, where the concentration of people and events is most dense. We promise to work hard in the coming year to cover more events and scenes in other parts of the city. Maybe then we won't get so many people writing in: “There are bars on the Westside?”
The future lies in clean energy—so after this year's legislative session, how well are we keeping up?
By Christie Chisholm
Yippee! The legislative session is finally over. That whirlwind of politics that marks the coming of spring every year has wound down, and as the days get longer and the breeze just a little bit sweeter, we can all be thankful that we don't have to do it again until next year. But what actually happened up there in the Roundhouse? Will it benefit New Mexico? Will it benefit you? And, perhaps most important of all, will it move us forward?
If you judge the results of a legislative session by the weight of legislation produced, the meager output of the 2005 60-day session seems sparse indeed. But this year's tiny mound of bills-transformed-into-laws comes wrapped far more elegantly and was delivered far more efficiently than some of the bulkier, noisier versions of recent years.
The reviews on the past 60-day session of the New Mexico Legislature are in, and they tend to be fairly favorable. Well, maybe it's better to say they aren't too negative despite inaction on some fairly significant legislation.
Dateline: China—An online computer gamer in Shanghai stabbed to death a competitor who stole his cybersword, the China Daily recently reported. Qiu Chengwei, 41, stabbed competitor Zhu Caoyuan repeatedly in the chest after he was told that Zhu had sold his character's “dragon saber” from the popular computer game Legend of Mir 3. The game is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game featuring fantasy characters, many of whom wield enormous swords. According to court testimony, Qui and a friend jointly won the weapon last February, and lent it to Zhu who then sold it for 7,200 yuan ($1,129). Qui went to the police to report the “theft” but was told the weapon was not real and was, therefore, not protected by the law. “Zhu promised to hand over the cash, but an angry Qui lost patience and attacked Zhu at his home, stabbing him in the left chest with great force and killing him,” the court was told. Qui had given himself up to police and has already pleaded guilty to intentional injury. The case follows a rash of recent lawsuits in which gamers have sought monetary recompense for lost or stolen virtual items like weapons, armor and gold.
We should all be thankful the New Mexico Legislature doesn't meet for more than 60 days every other year. Take a look at House bill (HB) 805 and imagine if these guys were still up there screwing around.
Everyone enjoys a pat on the back every once in a while, but it's even better to get an actual award that you can use to impress your friends and taunt your enemies. Every year the Arts Alliance presents Bravos Awards to those artists who have contributed the most to our city's cultural landscape. This year, multimedia artist John Garrett has created a special artwork to be bestowed on the winners at a ceremony taking place this Saturday evening, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Albuquerque Marriott.
The Nerve: A Col-aberration at the Harwood Art Center
By Steven Robert Allen
Lisa Gill strikes me as a woman who can't help but see the world through a poet's eyes. In the wrong circumstances, this might be a curse. Given the ordeal Gill has undergone over the past couple years, though, her special perspective is an enormous blessing, both for herself and those around her.
The Hubba Bubba pink cover art on her new book notwithstanding, Camille Paglia is courting a lower profile these days. "Oscar Wilde was a huge influence on me," says the 58-year-old firebrand on a recent Thursday at the Philadelphia College of Art, where she has taught for two decades. "He believed in the strong critic, and I've done that. I'm there in most of my books; boy, am I there. With Break, Blow, Burn, however, I tried to make myself as invisible as possible."
You Can Call Me Ray—The Big Screen Classics series at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe is celebrating the recent Oscar glory of Ray with a special screening of the musical biopic. The screening will take place on Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Tickets are a mere $5. The Lensic is located at 211 W. San Francisco St. For ticket info, log on to www.lensic.com or call (505) 988-1234.
The new film by low-budget wunderkind Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Spy Kids, From Dusk Till Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) takes as its inspiration the pulp noir graphic novels of writer/illustrator Frank Miller. It's an apt inspiration, really. Unlike the superhero and Spandex-clad “comic book” movies of recent years (X-Men, Spider-Man), Miller's series of interconnecting novels are all based on the hardboiled world of film noir. Bringing them to life on the big screen is sort of like coming full circle.
An interview with actor-turned-director Campbell Scott
By Devin D. O'Leary
Actor Campbell Scott (Dying Young, The Daytrippers, The Spanish Prisoner, Roger Dodger) first tried his hand at directing with a little film called Big Night. Now, some nine years later, he follows up that triumph with an intimate family drama shot right here in New Mexico.
Translating British sitcoms to American airwaves is nothing new. We forget that TV Land classics like “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son” and “Three's Company” were all borrowed from the BBC. But now, unable to come up with a single original idea, poor Hollywood is turning back to Britain with imploring eyes. Although, as the recent crash-and-burn of NBC's “Coupling” (an Americanized version of the BBC hit) will attest, it's not so easy to beg, borrow and steal from overseas these days.
What are you doing this weekend? Why don't you come and see a bunch of Alibi staffers getting drunk and disorderly? Doesn't that sound like fun? This Friday at 9:30 p.m. Burt's Tiki Lounge we'll be celebrating the 30th birthday of Alibi's beloved Web monkey, Jeremy. It is guaranteed to be a night of rock 'n' roll misbehavior, featuring our friends The Misphats (yes, a Misfits cover band whose members wear terry cloth track suits). Some Alibi staffers' bands will also play, including Jocko Agency (graphic designer Neal's trio, formerly known as Atomic Love Medicine), general manager Carl's band The Ant Farmers, and Young Edward (a bluegrass quartet starring arts and literature editor Steve, and our former editor emeritus, Michael). Jeremy says birthday gifts are A-OK: cash, grass or ass only.
Adventures in improvisation often border on the unlistenable. And for a select group of listeners who enjoy nothing more than shedding blood, sweat and tears over difficult music, that's just fine. But most folks, myself included, prefer to enjoy music without having to work our ears to their cochleae, while still being able to appreciate subgenres that are, well, a little left of the mainstream. For that lot in particular, meet the Brooklyn Sax Quartet: an adventure in listenable jazz improvisation.
Saturday, April 9; Studio Broadway (all ages, 10 a.m.): With local music, flame juggling, live glass blowing demonstrations, a bed of nails and DJs, the First Annual Curioso Obscura Trunk Show Carnival is a circus unlike any you've ever seen. Niles Mahlman, UNM sculpture student and Studio Broadway's founder, has created an extraordinary Albuquerque event founded on the simple idea of bringing local artists and musicians together in a mixed media collaboration to present to the general public for hands-on viewing and shameless gawking. Felonious Groove Foundation, Astra Kelly, Unidentified Floating Humans, The James Douglas Show and Mantis Fist are just a few of the many musicians tapped to shake things up. The Silver Board Shop will even be installing a ramp for skateboard thrills and chills. You can get a complete schedule of the day's events by calling the Studio Broadway hotline at 842-8446. Studio Broadway is located at 1814 Broadway SE between Avenida César Chávez and Gibson.
Friday April 8; Stella Blue, (21 and over, 8 p.m.): Branded as Albuquerque's best reggae band, by yours truly, Mystic Vision blends traditional reggae rhythms, dancehall beats and hip-hop. This Friday night, Mystic Vision will introduce their sophomore release, a musical opus featuring local faves such as "40 East," "Con Trails," "Great Trembling," "India" and many more.
Mike Patton's projects are usually hit or miss, but you can't deny that they're innovative. Fantômas, one of Patton's more eccentric groups, deliver an album that's something which might result if Tim Burton did a soundtrack for Loony Tunes, featuring animated sounds mixed with twisted, dark, off the wall noises. Patton's unpredictability as a musician is what keeps him an underground, anti-MTV success. However, Patton goes overboard with Suspended Animation, which is just a collage of sounds that are enough to puzzle even the most devout Patton fans. Patton's other projects—Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle and Lovage—deliver more versatility and show off his incredible vocal style to much better effect.
Once again, the villain of hate has reared its ugly head in the direction of its nemesis, "sexual orientation." Luckily we do have a small league of justice, and our super friends appear in many shapes and sizes: specifically, Claire Dunn and Jenn Williams, and a handful of local rock bands. Wonder twin powers ... activate.
Ask and ye shall receive (champagne)! A few weeks ago I rambled on in this column about silver champagne straws and what a bummer it was that I hadn't seen individual bottles of bubbly anywhere. What I should have said was that I hadn't been offered an individual bottle of sparkling wine in any of the seedy rock clubs I hang out in. (As if I would order anything but Pabst or bourbon!) A passel of classy readers called, e-mailed and came by to let me know that I would have found mini champagne bottles all over town--if I'd bothered to look in wine shops. Jubilation, Quarters, Sunflower Market and Cost Plus World Market all stock at least one brand, but I hear Cost Plus has a selection of eight or nine choices. Most commonly available are Freixenet (say FRESH-uh-NET), Cooks, Pommery Pop and Mumm, but look for the fancy pants Sofia Coppola blanc de blancs in pink aluminum cans. None of them are exactly cheap (they're at least $2.50 each), and most are on the sweet side. What can you do? They're trying to market the stuff to trendy girls in fancy clubs in big cities. Whatever. I still think it's cool. Thanks to Jeff and Sandra for tipping me off, and to Angela for actually bringing in a little bottle of Freixenet!
First, the casualty list. I am getting really tired of reporting on all the great local restaurants that are closing around town. I only wish people got tired of eating chicken strips at Bennigan's. Nouveau Noodles, the multiethnic East Mountains restaurant that was much mentioned in our last Readers Choice Restaurant Poll, has closed. Last week, owner Robert Griego sent a farewell e-mail to his loyal customers, saying, “As many of you may know (or have seen when you are here) that business has steadily declined, and the trends are getting worse rather than better.” The closure means Griego is looking for a new location in which to hold the series of wine classes he had planned for Nouveau Noodles. I expect we haven't seen the last of Griego, who was formerly a manager at Blue Corn Café and Brewery (now known as Chama River Brewing Company).
I get a kick out of this place, and it's not just from the kitschy, retro décor and memorabilia that lines the walls and fills the curio cabinet, or even the music that rockets me back to my adolescence, putting me in the mood for '50s fare. The space is a former gas station that's been converted into a mini malt shop with a short counter and just a few tables, including a couple put out in the parking lot during warmer months.
Pickled eggs don't suck so bad when you make 'em yerself
By Jesse Yancy
Any time you enter a beer joint or beer store in the South, you're likely to find a big jar of pickled eggs on the counter next to the beef jerky, the pieds de porc à l'écarlate and all the other Bubbas that belly up to the Southern sideboard. Pickled eggs are tainted by their dissolute company and brutalized by mass marketing.