Mexican perspectives on Mexican immigration to the U.S.
By Katy June-Friesen
Of all people, New Mexicans should understand that borders aren't simply about physical boundaries of land and territory; they're also about people and cultures that can shift and change. In the past few weeks, massive pro-immigrant rallies have forced the U.S. to publicly address the growing cultural and economic contributions of peoples from countries south of our border.
Estela stands beside her washer and dryer and tells a group of American students the story of her family. Her cinderblock home hugs the side of a ravine in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The group sits in one room of the tiny home, under a corrugated plastic roof. Four beds, a couch, a refrigerator, a small stove, boxes, a TV and a stereo crowd the upper level of the room. Estela stands on the level below. Behind a curtain is a bathroom with a barrel of water for pouring down the toilet. On the walls are two guitars, a tennis racquet, a plastic NFL clock and a crucifix with a white Jesus.
Ofelia Laureano was born in a rural village in the state of Puebla where her parents were farmers. The family was poor, and her parents had trouble supporting all their children. Every day, the family ate tortillas and beans. Ofelia took care of the younger children while her siblings worked in the field.
Moonshine Champagne—What is this magnetic force that attracts people to banjos, barefeet and overalls? I haven't been able to quite figure out what it is, but you guys can't seem to get enough bluegrass in this city. And now there's a permanent home for the stuff at the Windchime Champagne Gallery (Downtown, just east of Sixth Street on Central). Windchime mastermind G. Larribas says the gallery will host traditional and contemporary bluegrass performances every Wednesday night from here on out, starting with The Duke City Swamp Coolers on April 19. Keep an eye on our “Music Calendar” listings for new acts each week.
Free show, Friday, April 14, at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe (1814 Paseo de Peralta, all-ages). The text at the bottom says, “1. Zombie rock. Mothers lock up your daughters. 2. Albuquerque's finest. 3. A behemoth slab of destruction. Members of The Battle's End, Bravura Corvid, The Cherry Tempo, Black Water Flood, etc. 4. Do you like crying? Because they do. 4. Do you like Satan? Debut show.” We totally love you guys. (LM)
The second installment of the Emergenza Festival in Albuquerque returns to the Launchpad this Thursday. With a stellar lineup of local mainstays like Caustic Lye, The Dirty Novels, Hit by a Bus and The Gracchi, you'll stay entertained until “hangover Monday” rears its discombobulated head. What follows is a breakdown of the action intended to give you some idea of what to expect on each of the four nights. Like all good competitions, however, unpredictable scheduling changes are inevitable and it should be noted that the intricacies of all the bands cannot be adequately espoused in the amount of space that this “Show Up” provides. Here, then, is your night-by-night summary of what's to come:
Vanilla Pop croons over three years at Martini Grille
By Amy Dalness
Here's a common scene: A young man leans against the bar, making a phone call to, let's say, his roommate. He chats for a minute, tells his buddy to come over for a drink and puts the phone away. A simple scene, causing no general hubbub or hilarity—unless it's at the Martini Grille on Wednesday night.
Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, Puccini's Golden West Saloon (21-and-over); $5: “Metal lives!,” so sayeth Albuquerque. This city's always been a fan of the genre. It's in Burqueños' teeth, in our bones, and no matter what incarnation it takes on, it outlasts most other rock genres built on chintzy tin and fickle fans.
Wednesday, April 19, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: Listening to the Sic Alps is a little like watching a race car with wobbly wheels. It's the precursor to a wreck, but for now, the thing's still traveling.
There's been a lot of talk swirling around the Flying Star lately--Confusion over policy enforcement, a new vice president hired on from out-of-state and two enormous locations in the oven (including a proposed adjoined 10,000-square-foot shopping center) are a few of the things you're talking about.
I have frequently been given the monumental task of choosing a representative New Mexican restaurant for both out-of-towners and Burque newbies. There are so many places here with so many different types of food and atmospheres, and picking one is akin to choosing a mate: It's important to be careful and conscientious, while being aware that good looks do matter. Lucky for me, my figurative engagement ring just got a big, fat diamond placed in the middle of it in the form of La Fonda del Bosque, the brunch spot of champions located inside the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
The first night of Passover falls on Wednesday, April 12, this year. Passover, or Pesach (say “PAY-sahch,” with a "ch" as in the Scottish "loch"), is a ritual feast that commemorates the freedom of the Israelites from ancient Egypt. It's an important time for Jewish folks all over the world, celebrated as a high holiday when family and friends come together to reflect on their collective past ... and, above all, to eat.
UNM researchers are on the forefront of a vaccine that could end cervical cancer
By Marisa Demarco
It's the culmination of a lifetime of work for University of New Mexico professor Cosette Wheeler, and it could be the largest development in women's health since the advent of the birth control pill. After studying the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for two decades, she will likely see a breakthrough vaccine for the virus released to the public this year. The hope is that this vaccine could potentially prevent more than 80 percent of cervical cancer cases.
Drunk driving and mental illness need better solutions
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
The hearts of our local policymakers must brim over with optimism. I can think of no other possible explanation for why they're falling so gullibly for such goofy silver-bullet solutions for complex social problems, such as Kendra's Law and an ordinance requiring the publication of DWI offender photos in newspapers.
Dateline: Australia—A naked man may be a little less of a nature lover after suffering burns to one-fifth of his body while trying to set fire to a spider at a nudist resort in New South Wales. The 56-year-old Sydney man tried to kill what he thought was a funnel web spider by pouring gasoline down the spider's burrow and igniting it with a match, CareFlight rescue copter service told the Sydney Morning Herald. Unfortunately, the fuel exploded, burning the man on his upper leg and buttocks. Resort staff treated the man before paramedics arrived. The man was flown by helicopter to Sydney's Concord Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition with burns to 18 percent of his body. Resort guests told emergency crews it was probably a harmless trapdoor spider and not a deadly funnel web. The man's lack of clothing probably contributed to the extent of his burns, the rescue chopper service said.
Correction--Last week, Reel World ran a crew call for the new low-budget horror film Gimme Skelter, which will be lensed this spring by local moviemakers Exhilarated Despair Productions. Seems they're looking for a reliable makeup effects person willing to get down and dirty with the film's many blood-soaked scenes. The e-mail address we ran, however, was incorrect. If you're interested in showing off your skills alongside such horror legends as Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), you should send your résumé to email@example.com.
You could say that Zoe and Ignacio Edwards are a happily married couple. Except that they aren't. At least not the “happily” part. After spending a few minutes inside their household, viewers of La Mujer de Mi Hermano will realize that--despite owning a successful factory, having an ultramodern house complete with indoor/outdoor pool and generally looking like a couple of models straight off the pages of GQ--the Edwards have a fairly chilly relationship.
The 1st Annual Independent Indigenous Film Festival
By Devin D. O'Leary
In many ways, the Guild Cinema is the perfect place to host the Independent Indigenous Film Festival. The word “indigenous” is defined as, “Belonging to a place: originating in and naturally living, growing or occurring in a region or country.” Being the only independent, locally owned movie theater left in Albuquerque, the Guild is a unique belonging of our local arts scene. Would you hold a festival celebrating and fostering indigenous cultural values and identity in a vast megaplex owned by an out-of-state corporation, or would you place it firmly on the screen of a theater that has been living and growing in our city for the last 40 years? ... Yeah, so would the organizers of the 1st Annual Independent Indigenous Film Festival.
Bryan Konefsky, lecturer in the University of New Mexico's Media Arts Department, vice president of local arts organization Basement Films and self-described “media archeologist,” will be taking over UNM's SouthWest Film Center this weekend to present two days worth of “visionary cinema and un-dependent moving image art.”
The Deuce is Wild—I'm going to do you a favor. (I know, I know—I'm very giving. Just thank me and let's move on.) I'd like to suggest a couple especially interesting art shows for you to peruse this weekend. The first is over at Artspace 116 (116 Central SW, Suite 201), which is located Downtown next to the Century 14 movie theater. The exhibit is a 20-year retrospective of work by Ken Saville, a longtime Albuquerque arts fixture who is a “permanent substitute teacher” at an elementary school down in the South Valley.
Private Lives at the Cell Theatre and Dangerous at Sol Arts
By Steven Robert Allen
Intimate human relationships are always a tricky business. Throw a little romance and sex into the mix, and some degree of heartache and pain is almost inevitable. We're built to love, though—most of us, anyway—so there's no sense in whining too much. If we fall flat on our faces, over and over again, we usually have no one to blame but ourselves.
When Francesca Duran got pregnant at the age of 16, an Albuquerque judge decided it was a violation of her recent release from a youth detention center. "I pleaded with the judge," says Duran, now 20, “but to no avail.” Duran, who had already spent ages 12 to 15 behind bars, was sentenced to another two years.
You got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away And know when to run. You never count your money When you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' When the dealin's done.
Why do we include picks for eats and drinks in our annual Best of Burque? Because we can. And also because without the fantastic food and luscious libational offerings here in the 505, we'd be just as boring as those other cities with no red or green. So read up, keep eating it up, and expect a full-on report for your esculent sensibilities in our annual Reader's Choice Restaurant Poll coming up in the fall. And remember, being in Albuquerque is a lot like being in Valhalla, only with tortillas and horchata.
So here we are again. It's a new year, folks, and with it comes a new summation from our readers on the best (and in many cases worst) aspects of life in our beloved city. Who do we blame for the failures of our simple metropolis? Who do we cheer for getting things right? And, perhaps most importantly, where should we go for the best knock-down, drag-out night of bowling this side of Santa Fe? (Please tell me it's a place with karaoke.)
The sun goes down. The city lights up. We pour out into the night, our day's pay burning holes the size of pint glasses in our pockets. We look for a quiet corner, a little action or a night on the town. A slice of heaven right here on earth or something just a bit naughty. We love the night life. In this year's poll, you spoke up about your favorite Albuquerque haunts--whether you're out for a rollicking night of live local music, after-work cocktails with the girls, a game of pool at the Anodyne or a double feature at the Guild. It's all here. On the off-chance you don't see a category or business you feel deserves some attention, don't feel shy about sending us your suggestions. We work hard so you can play hard, all night long.
On the face of it, Burque seems like an ordinary, blue-collar, beer-steak-and-potatoes kind of town. Of course, for those who know it well, nothing could be further from the truth. Scratch a couple millimeters beneath its dusty surface, and you'll find a whole wide world of weird.
By Marisa Demarco, Simon McCormack, Amy Dalness and Steven Robert Allen
It's the American way. Indeed, many of this year's voters have a predilection for venturing down the florescent aisles of the megachains—which is also the American way. But this is the Best of Burque, folks. So you're going to have to let the giant franchises go. Trust us. They can take care of themselves. Instead, raise your glass and swipe your credit card for the local businesses with unique goods and funky flare. Here's to the stores that have snagged your hearts—and a little something from your pocketbooks.
Doug Montoya—Manager/Performer at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre
Best Wine Shop
Trader Joe's. I like the selection. You can get good wine at a cheap price. Two Buck Chuck is my favorite.
Best Downtown Bar
Anodyne. The bartenders are not stingy with the alcohol. It's just a nice environment to hang out. A huge variety of people hang out there.
Best Outdoor Mural
I love the mural on the corner of Tenth Street and Coal. It's an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a little girl in a cornfield. I just think it's cool. It's refreshing to be driving around in that area and see it. It's been there for a while.
Best Architectural Gem
The building on the northeast corner of Third Street and Central. I guess they're calling it The Banque. It's beautiful architecture. I'm so pleased they're preserving it. A very attractive building, very classic.
Aaron Brown--General Manager of Century Downtown 14
Best Elected City Official
I'll take Brad Winter just so I can be different than everybody else. I think Brad Winter is the most up-front guy on the old City Council. I don't really know the new Council. He takes care of his constituents the best he can and tries to do what's best for Albuquerque.
I'd say the Frontier. The year I spent in California was miserable because I couldn't have a Frontier breakfast burrito.
Best Candy Store
Theobroma. It's truly the best chocolate I've ever had anywhere. And I've been everywhere. I lived in San Francisco and had plenty of Ghirardelli, and I think this is better. And I do like it too much.
Joaquin Falcon--Executive Liason at DW Turner Strategic Communications
Best Use of Local Tax Dollars
I thought the late-night Rapid Ride in the summer was awesome. It provided a big-city service in a small town. I think they should get that going year-round. I used it weekend nights. I live Downtown, but it allowed me to go to Nob Hill, see friends, have a couple drinks and go back Downtown without the use of my car.
Sunday brunch at Ambrozia. If you're willing to splurge, it is the best brunch you've ever had. It's just laid-back, mellow, with eclectic choices.
Jenica Houlberg--Server/Bartender at Brickyard Pizza
Irysh Mac's is definitely the best coffee in town. We always get it from them on my shifts. We go just before they close. I always get a breve latte with a shot of vanilla. Sometimes I get a raspberry mocha. Keeps me going through the night.
Best Local Microbrew
I like Kelly's. It's inexpensive. I can go there with five dollars and get a couple pints. I like their imperial stout. I like dark beers. It's got to be amber or darker. I haven't had a bad beer there yet.
Best Downtown Bar
Anodyne. It's a cool place. I like that it's pretty dark up there. And they've got pool. Sometimes you have to wait for a pool table, but you can get a couple drinks while you wait. It's a relaxed atmosphere. The Star Wars table is my favorite.
I've seen Carlos Contreras perform a lot over the past few years, but at the 2005 National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, this guy really came into his own. Contreras can slam into silence the rowdiest of crowds.
Dominic. He's affordable, talented and fun to talk to. He's operating out of Ten O Two Park Avenue. Don't view the mess on my head as an example of his work. I haven't voyaged for consultation with this hair guru in a while.
Best Item You Can Make Out of a Copy of the Alibi
So hard to pick one. There's the standard pirate hat. You could stuff your bra with it. And though it's not a testament to the quality of the writing, you can use your handy Alibi to pack dishes. I do.
The Distillery. The upstairs pool hall is nice. It's a good place to run into old friends.
The one by the Sunshine Theatre painted by the mayor's art program because I was part of it. It's a figure, he's kind of emerging. It's a little abstract. I wish I knew the name of the artist, but I don't.
Eu-Can Bowl. I like it because the bowling area is nonsmoking, but you can still smoke in the gallery part. It makes everybody happy. It's a good mixture for smokers and nonsmokers. And, of course, they have galactic bowling.
Best Wine Shop
Has to be Quarter's on Wyoming and Montgomery. They have the best prices.
Best Thrift Store
Goodwill in Rio Rancho. They have an awesome selection. They'll work with you on the price. The staff is really friendly, and the place is clean.
Donnie Chase. I listen to the radio all the time. I think morning shows with him are funny. He's just a funny guy. I like it when he gets together with the husband-and-wife team on The Peak.
Copper Lounge. Because it's where my friends go, and I like how it's laid-back. You sit in a booth and vegetate. It's not that crazy. Most people think it's a dive bar, but it's pretty cool. Nice and clean. Good waitresses.
Best Karaoke Bar
Sneakerz. There's nothing like a bunch of drunken sports guys singing, especially when they break out "Feelings."
Best Venue to Hear Live Music
That's a tie between The District and Ralli's. I like that The District is giving a lot of young bands a chance, whereas the other bars are like, "sorry."
Vietnam comes to UNM—Well, sort of. Hungry college students won't have to hoof it all the way up East Central every time they get the munchies for boba tea or an order of shrimp spring rolls. A new Vietnamese lunch counter called Green Jasmine has moved into the space at 120 Harvard SE (the one that used to be occupied by Pepperjack Monterey's, and before that, the even more short-lived Salsa Fresca). Green Jasmine offers Vietnamese sandwiches and noodle dishes, as well as a few boba “smoothies” from a large dining room and a pleasant outdoor patio that overlooks the Harvard mall. Great location! The food, on the other hand ... well, it's got some catching up to do. At least, when we went it needed to. For starters, the bulk of the fresh vegetable garnish I got for my pho consisted of shredded iceburg lettuce, supplemented by a sprig of basil and a small clump of mung beans; and there wasn't a single lime to be found on the entire property. The “boba tea” we ordered turned out to be a disturbing layer of mealy, florescent green balls that sat decomposing at the bottom of our ice-packed iced tea glasses. I don't know if they were old or just cheap or what, but it wasn't worth the extra $.75. So, its pricier portions are skimpier and the ingredients just aren't as good as something you'd find after an eight-minute drive up Central to Little Saigon. But that's just it: You don't even need a car to get to this place from campus. Long story short, if you're willing to exchange some quality for convenience, there is definitely no shame in eating there. I think I'll pass for now, though.
Ahoy, mateys! There’s Corona in them thar fishes! My recent trip to Los Equipales made those fake butter-laden Long John Silver’s lobster bites that I wolfed in the car last week simply pale in comparison. The idea of authentic Mexican seafood has always intrigued me, but until recently, I’ve had no real experience with the good stuff. Gumbo, chowder, the occasional shrimp paella have all passed through my lips, but none of them come close to the hot, rich, totally succulent bowl of soup I enjoyed at 4500 Silver SE.
Media Maneuvers—Here's the back story: Knight Ridder, previously the second-largest publishing company in the United States, was recently bought up by McClatchy, a company only a little more than a third the size. To understand what this means for the industry, I called Dennis Herrick, an instructor at UNM's Communication and Journalism Department who used to be a newspaper broker, owned a daily for 12 years and who authored Media Management in the Age of Giants.
Fancy doing something out of the ordinary this weekend? For a look into how “the other half” lives, park yourself over at the greatest show in town: under the big top at the lovely, luxurious University of New Mexico Hospital emergency room. It will be a show you won't soon forget. Good as any traveling three-ring cable reality show. Blood, guts, poverty, drug addiction, an occasional brawl. As the kids say, “it's sick.”
Best of Burque snaps a Polaroid of the likes and wants of Duke City citizenry. But before you dive into your fellow Burqueños' tips on deals and desires, take a look at where Albuquerque places on some national lists.
By Marisa Demarco
Big Fit City
Albuquerque's in good shape when it comes to physical fitness, according to Men's Health Magazine. For the second straight year, we've made their list of fit U.S. cities, though we dropped three places in 2006 and came in at No. 13 of 25. According to the magazine's report card, our citizens don't watch much TV, and we aren't particularly sedentary.
I have a small flock of chickens and a wife in the medical field. Naturally, in these uncertain times, that leads to discussion about avian influenza, aka bird flu. My wife recently brought home a copy of the World Health Organization's (WHO) (www.who.int/en) February 2006 “Avian Influenza Fact Sheet.” And the question she also brought home was: What are we going to do with our chickens when the virus reaches North America?
Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.
Dateline: Canada—A notorious Ottawa drunk driver was found not criminally responsible on his latest impaired driving charge after invoking the age-old “Shania Twain” defense. According to CBC News, Matt Brownlee was arrested last October after police spotted a pickup truck speeding along a busy street in downtown Ottawa. The 33-year-old man told psychiatrists that he knew the legal repercussions of his actions, but believed that country pop singer Shania Twain was helping him drive. Brownlee pleaded not guilty to four charges, including impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving while disqualified. Last Monday, the judge in the case agreed with Brownlee, drawing on several psychiatric assessments that the man was not criminally responsible for his actions because he suffers from delusions that female celebrities are communicating with him telepathically and controlling his actions. Ten years ago, Brownlee was given a seven-year prison sentence and barred from driving for the rest of his life after he killed an Ottawa woman and her 12-year-old son while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Earlier in March, a psychiatrist told the court that Brownlee suffers from psychosis resulting from a brain injury caused by that 1996 car crash.
I'm Back!--Go on vacation for a week and see what happens? They clean out your desk and replace you with some pompous twit named Maxwell K. Lionidas. Rest assured, based on the groundswell of reader outrage and the ass-kicking I administered to him, Mr. Lionidas will no longer be gracing the pages of the Alibi. You're stuck with me for the long haul, folks. ... Now, if only I could get the stench of patchouli and corduroy jackets out of my office.
Governor/State Film Office push for more local films
By Devin D. O'Leary
It's no secret that New Mexico has been reaping some impressive benefits from the Hollywood film industry. Currently, there are nine feature films shooting around the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area--from the low-budget horror flick Living Hell to the high-dollar comedy Used Guys with Ben Stiller and Jim Carrey.
Crime may not pay, but it almost always looks cool. At least in the movies. Back when James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson were turning the exploits of real-life gangsters into sanitized action tales, crime seemed like the business to be in for hot dames and bullet-riddled action. In the '70s, the Godfather films forever solidified the image of the well-suited Italian Mafioso. In the '80s, Scarface provided generations of rap stars a lifestyle to which they could aspire. It wasn't until the '90s, though, that crime achieved the ultimate in cinematic cool, thanks to the films of Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction). British director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) briefly added some over-the-top energy to the mixture, but today's crime films are all more or less permanently indebted to Tarantino's nerdy-cool style, blackly comic wit and sheer pop cultural obsession.
If FOX's groundbreaking action series “24” leaves television with one lasting legacy, it will be the viability of telling short story arcs. Until relatively recently, stories on TV were told in one of two ways: the sitcom method (in which each episode is perfectly encapsulated and bears little relevance to what comes before or after it) and the soap opera method (in which stories evolve ad infinitum with no discernible conclusion). TV has occasionally experimented with the idea of relating season-long narratives (notably in Stephen J. Cannell's '80s series “Wiseguy”), but it took a hit like “24” for networks to take notice. Now every channel is looking for their “24,” their “Prison Break” or their “Lost.”
Let the Spring Crawl Countdown Begin—Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 29, this year ... less than one month away! Clear your schedule and prepare for 100 music acts (give or take a few), including nationally touring bands Guttermouth, Bullet For My Valentine and Attractive at the Sunshine Theater and Stereotyperider at Launchpad. This is all subject to change, of course. Now, for those of you who are still trying to figure out how to apply for a slot: Er ... you can't. You cannot audition, submit yourselves for review or put a bug in someone's ear about playing any of the Crawls. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way. What does work is playing live gigs Downtown as much as humanly possible, bringing in a good draw (people who come specifically to see you) and being polite, punctual and easy to work with—because it's the venues who decide, not us. See, after working with you guys for the past six months or more, each participating venue submits a “wish list” of bands they'd like to have play their respective rooms during the Crawl. We just do our best to schedule it all smoothly. Make sense? I sure hope so ... now get gigging!
Revelation recording artists Shook Ones and Sinking Ships perform a monster set with local newbs Outlaw and Excruciation. $5 show starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at Sol Arts (all-ages, 712 Central SE). (LM)
The thing about Four Shillings Short is that they're so unique, writers who attempt to explain their sound have gone to great lengths to describe them in likewise original ways. Sure, they're amazing folk musicians who travel around the world in a white van stuffed with an array of instruments. Sure, both Aodh “g” Tuama and Christy Martin are talented, well-educated musical entrepreneurs. Their traditional Celtic yet Indian-influenced bluesy American folk is just so undeniably good, and they're obviously far from "short" on anything—where'd "Four Shillings Short" come from?
Monday, April 10, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: For over 25 years, El Aviador Dro has been a fixture of the synth pop community of Spain and other parts of Latin America. In their native land, they are as important to the scene as groups like Devo and Front 42. But, as with so many non-English speaking, semi-noncommercial bands, Aviador Dro have remained largely unnoticed by the American underground music community and non-Spanish synth poppers alike. That has changed, however, since Omega Point, an electropunk indie label in the United States, released an Aviador Dro compilation that spans the group's entire musical history and also includes a few bonus tracks for those already in the know. The band's earlier work can loosely be compared to Duran Duran and is especially similar to Devo, while their more current material is in-style enough to win the hearts of today's modern synth pop devotees. So don't let the Español scare you, come on out to Burt's for the best synth pop you've never heard.
Sunday, April 9, Launchpad (21-and-over), Free: Like Johnny Cash with throat cancer or Flogging Molly's Dave King on a whiskey binge, Two Gallants' lead singer Adam Stephens belts out dust-covered vignettes over muted guitar and flower-petal-soft symbol crashes. This is the windswept landscape of Two Gallants' “Nothing to You” off of the band's debut release The Throes. Stephens and Tyson Vogel borrow the unmistakable intimacy of Bright Eyes mastermind and Two Gallants' mentor, Conor Oberst, and take it to a murky, half-chaotic place that's uninhabited by most but oddly familiar to many.
Singer, songwriter, fictionist and former Stanford attendee Mark Ray Lewis grew up the son of a country preacher in Hannibal, Mo. Lewis' family, which included his gospel-adoring mother, Betty Jo Lewis, who released her own 8-track in the '70s, cultivated in him a profound respect and love for music as well as an irrepressible spiritual consciousness.
Surrender to Storm—For the third year in a row, the Harwood Art Center will celebrate National Poetry Month (that's this month, comrades) with a collaborative art and poetry exhibit. Surrender to Storm combines Cynthia Fusillo's mixed-media work with complementary poetry by Barbara Rockman for a unique show merging word and vision. The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 8, with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. 242-6367.
Drawing doesn't get a lot of respect in the hoity-toity art world. For whatever reason, curators, gallery owners and critics often stereotype it as too simple, too basic, too childish even to merit serious consideration. Aspiring artists might spend much of their time doodling in the margins during boring middle school history classes. After that, though, they're expected to quickly graduate to oils and acrylics. If they use drawing for anything, it should be merely to sketch out ideas to be finalized in other media.
Hamlet: The Vampire Slayer at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre
By Steven Robert Allen
Albuquerque has Hamlet on the brain. An excellent traditional staging of the play is now showing at the Vortex Theatre (see Performance Review, “The Prince of Darkness,” March 30-April 5). Meanwhile, over at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre, the wackjob jokers from the Eat, Drink and Be Larry comedy troupe have masterminded a—how shall I put this?—somewhat less traditional late-night version of Shakespeare's Danish revenge saga.
The TVI Theater Department is hopping into the local theater scene with both feet. The department's inaugural offering will be This Could Be You, a series of brief one acts by Harold Pinter along with six other shorties from the Humana Festival of short plays at the Louisville Actors' Center. The show is directed by some talented veterans of Albuquerque theater—Susan Erickson, Frank Melcori and Marty Epstein. It runs one weekend only in Janet Stromberg Hall on the main campus. Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. $5. Come on out and see what TVI's theatrical talent has to offer. For more information, call Melcori at 262-4124 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the talk of the town with the Alibi's guide to "hot" spring fashions
By Mark Chavez and Jessica Cassyle Carr
Sure, there are those out there who think fashion is something that's reserved only for the vain and the idle rich, but when you take into account the fact that first impressions tend to be based on appearance, who can afford not to care about personal adornment? I mean, most people are just as shallow as you are, anyway.
They won our contest. They went to SXSW. They reported until the breaka-breaka dawn. This is the story of three young women and one enormous music festrival in Texas. Rock on, ladies.
By Lucille King, Margaret King and Aja Brooks
End of An Ear is a small, somewhat hard to find record store in Austin, Texas. It is also home to one of the great memories of our South by Southwest (SXSW) week. After much searching and driving, not to mention a few phone calls, we found the little shop. We milled around the premises for a little while and then headed inside for the main event. We were going to see Phosphorescent perform and it was going to be amazing. We stood about four feet away from frontman Matthew Houck, along with a handful of other people. We took in his soft voice, cracking with guitars, trumpets and percussion that accompanied him. The sound was incredible. Just another day in Austin, Texas, at SXSW.
By Roblyn Crawford (aka Fast Heart Mart's drummer)
There were so many big name acts from all over the world in Austin for SXSW 2006 that the new, young unsigned groups from the little 'ol Southwestern U.S. (for which the festival originated so many years previous) had no chance of being heard.
I had been planning on going to South by Southwest since November 2005. With a quick 500 word essay and the generous folks at the Alibi, I was thrown into a whirlwind of music and V.I.P. access. I was able to talk to bands, take pictures anywhere, and obtain inside information about parties and the underground secrets of SXSW. Let's not forget to mention free magazines, CDs, tickets and other glamorous things.
It's amazing that with over 1,100 bands playing various shows all over Austin during South by Southwest, the Albuquerque crew always seemed to find each other. On my must-see list was the New Mexico Music Showcase and performances by the three Burque bands playing sanctioned showcases: Beirut, A Hawk and a Hacksaw and The Gingerbread Patriots.
Three For Free--The Cortes Femininos Film Series returns to the Bank of America Theater at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Thursday, March 30. Beginning at 7 p.m., a series of Spanish language (English subtitled) short films will be screened. Among the shorts in this outing are “Terrones,” “Las Hijas de Belen/Belen's Daughters” and “Di Algo/Say Something.” Admission is free and open to the public. For more info, log on to www.hccnm.org.
Free Enterprise: Five Year Mission Extended Edition
By Kurly Tlapoyawa
Back when I was a kid growing up in Colorado, my favorite time of year was winter. You see, unlike Albuquerque, winter in Pueblo always meant snow--assloads of it. Every morning, my mom would bundle me up in multiple layers of clothing and I would trek across the frozen tundra of my neighborhood to the park, where vast stretches of pristine, untouched powder lay before me. As humongous flakes fell from the sky, blurring my vision, I would stagger around for awhile and finally collapse in a heap, dragging myself forward and muttering, “Ben. ... Ben. ... Dagobah.” And wouldn't you know it, Obi Wan himself would appear to me and impart his Jedi wisdom, saying, “Get your ass home, drink some hot chocolate and watch cartoons, boy; it's freezing out here!”
Inner-city dramedy mixes historic neorealism with ghetto fabulous culture of today's gangsta lean scene
By Maxwell K. Lionidas
ATL is, in the truncated argot of both hip-hop performers and airport baggage handlers, slang for Atlanta. Used as the title of this new inner-city dramedy, it is as much an appellative declaration of geographic sympathy as it is an appeal to the streetism inherent in today's dominant youth culture.
I've seen a lot of infomercials in my time, for products ranging from exercise equipment to popcorn makers, wrench sets to stereo systems. My level of fascination with these staples of late-night TV largely depends on how much bourbon I've guzzled that evening. Until now, though, I've never actually been tempted to pick up the phone and buy something.
Latin Night—The National Hispanic Cultural Center opens its next big art exhibit this Friday, March 31, with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. The show boasts an exciting range of 20th-century art from 56 Latin American masters, courtesy of Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Browse through the new exhibit, then head over to the center's auditorium for a performance at 8 p.m. by Albuquerque's own Yjastros of its newest flamenco production, A Nuestro Aire. Admission to the art reception is free. Tickets to the performance are $20 to $30. For more information, go to 246-2261 or visit www.nhccnm.org.
The Fusion Theatre Company will dive into its fifth season this weekend with a production of Noel Coward's Private Lives at the Cell Theatre (700 First Street NW). In this comedy, a divorced couple meet in a French hotel with their new spouses, leading to a pair of very messy honeymoons. As always with Fusion productions, expect to be dazzled by some of the most polished theater in town. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Runs through April 23. $22 general, $17 students/seniors. Thursdays (excluding opening night) feature a $10 student rush (with valid ID) and $15 actor rush (with professional résumé). To reserve tickets, call 766-9412.
Edye Allen's Exposé Dance Company will perform its 2006 concert at Sandia Prep Theatre (532 Osuna NE) this Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. Allen's troupe isn't quite like any other dance group in town, presenting accessible, contemporary, multimedia dance shows set to everything from country to jazz to good ol' rock 'n' roll. Come on by and check them out. And if you're a dancer, ask Allen about the dance scholarships she's currently offering. 610-6064, www.dancexpose.org.
Edmund White has been HIV positive and healthy for 20 years. So far, he is one of the lucky few in whom the virus does not progress, leaving him stranded in the so-called post-AIDS world with a legion of memories and a sense of carpe diem. "In spite of what my doctor says, I have never been able to refuse a second piece of cake," says the portly 65-year-old. "Even when I know it's bad for me."
All stories have an end. But for the Atrisco Land Grant, the climax is still building.
Occupying tens of thousands of acres on the southwest cusp of our city, the future of the 300-year-old land grant is intimately tied to the future of Albuquerque.
In 1967, 57,000 acres of this hereditary land was converted into Westland Development, Inc., a for-profit corporation with the goal of planning and leasing the lands to further the economic and social development of Atrisco heirs. In August of last year, Westland announced plans to sell the land to an unnamed buyer, who was later revealed to be ANM Holdings, a Delaware-based company that was incorporated nearly a month after the announcement.
In the Papers: Megachurch Gets Mondo Coverage--Initially, I defended the Albuquerque Journal's coverage of Calvary Chapel's interior bickerings, which grabbed A-section headlines throughout the month of March. A friend complained to me. “Why do I have to see it every single day?” she asked. And I said something to the effect of, “They have lots of members. That's why it's important.”
At the March 20 meeting, Councilor Don Harris' bill establishing an Interim Development Management Area for the core of District 9 passed unanimously. Also passing unanimously was a bill sponsored by Council President Martin Heinrich and Councilor Isaac Benton placing a moratorium on conditional use permits for residential construction in commercial zones in the south Yale/University sports area until the city can prepare interim guidelines for development.
Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.
Dateline: France—Two pioneers of the cryonics movement, which freezes dead bodies for repair and revivification in the future, have been cremated after an unfortunate freezer mishap. Dr. Raymond Martinot became a science celebrity in 1984 when he had his wife Monique, who died from cancer, frozen and stored inside their chateau in France's Loire Valley. Dr. Martinot died of a stroke in 2002 at age 84, and his son followed his orders to inject him with the same anticoagulants and store him alongside his spouse. It was Martinot's belief that scientists would be able to revive him and his wife by the year 2050. Remy Martinot, son of the cryonics researcher, battled for years to keep his parents freezer-bound. Several French courts had ruled that storing bodies in that manner was illegal. Martinot had vowed to appeal. Unfortunately, the freezer storing Mr. and Mrs. Martinot failed, taking the bodies from a constant -65C to -20C. The bodies were cremated in early March.
More Music for the Coke-Blowing, Denim-Worshiping Set—The battle of the Thursday night DJ residence rages on! In what looks like a direct challenge to Burt's longtime “Universal” dance night, Blu began its own weekly electro-glam dance night last Thursday, called “Popular.” (Is that positive thinking or a subliminal marketing ploy?) “Popular” DJ Ian (who you know as the sex kitten from Pearl's Dive as well as from occasional stints at the “Universal”) describes his set as “hot, partymonster-style dance music” with some new wave, disco and hip-hop thrown into the mix. Ian lists Goldfrapp, Annie, Ladytron, Princess Superstar and Missy Elliot as some of his favorites. Blu is located in the back of Pulse, at 4100 Central SE. Call 255-3334 for better directions.
Kev Lee says "party" with a Caribbean accent. Soak in songs from his upcoming project, Genre—Strictly Reggae and a performance by chanteuse Sina Soul (ex-Los Brown Spots and Nosotros). DJ Speed 1 sets it off at 9 p.m. with a mix of reggae, calypso, hip-hop, R&B and more. Saturday, April 1, at Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over). Free. (LM)
Friday, March 31, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: OK. Watch the watch. You will go to this punk/rockabilly show. And you will have fun. Why? Because these bands are all about a good time. They will show you one. So when I snap my fingers, you will get your lazy behind out of the house for some revelry and rock.
Saturday, April 1, Lobo Theater (all-ages), 6 p.m.; Free: When it comes to making records, Old Man Shattered knows that three's the charm. And with local rockers Ki to support their show, Old Man Shattered is planning a CD release party like no other. For one thing, “It's free,” says David Meyers, vocalist for OMS. “Not just free; it's totally free, and you may get something for free, too.”
with Spirit Bears, Alchemical Burn, Raven Chacon, Peanut Butter Jones, A Black Lux and Alan George Ledergerber
By Marisa Demarco
"A lot of people are afraid of the word 'noise,'" says Ken Cornell, one of Albuquerque's longtime "noisicians." The word so often has a negative association. But for people open to it—folks who can handle dissonance and, usually, a lack of hook or melody—it can be cathartic. "If your eardrums are being pummeled with these tones, if you let yourself go into it, it has something in common with ambience. It floats," Cornell says.
No green chile? To a native New Mexican that’s like telling Hugh Hefner there aren’t any boobs or smoking jackets. Still, there are distinct differences between Mexican and New Mexican food, and Federico’s is a south of the border treat that makes a nice change from the usual red or green.
Your guide to turning this little-known delicacy into the purr-fect dish
By Brenda and Steve
It's sweeping the nation. Cats and chefs across America are getting frisky for cat food—an easy-to-use, inexpensive, yet delicately flavored food. We thought we'd get in on the action, just in time for those spring soirées!
'Tis the Season for Torta de Huevo—I'm not Catholic, but I was born and raised in New Mexico, which is pretty close. (“I was born here all my life, eh?”) Likewise, I don't observe Lent, but I still get into that whole “no meat on Fridays” thing with a similar religious fervor. Why? The Lenten special. A traditional New Mexico Lenten special is either a fish-based dish, or a plate of torta de huevo (like a small, open-faced omelet or frittata), quelitas (stewed greens), calavacitas (sliced, sautéed zucchini, corn and green chile), fideos (marinated spaghetti noodles) and red chile, served with tortillas. It's only served on Fridays during the season. Then it's gone. See this week's “Chowtown” for suggestions on what's available right now. Of course, if you're observing Lent and you need a break from tradition, do what my drummer and his fiancée do on Fridays ... go out for sushi. Lent ends on April 8, though, so eat it up while you can.