And the band is still as greasy and delicious as a Spam sandwich
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Between the mid-’90s and mid-aughts, you could frequently find Red Earth concocting its “tribal stew” of funk and reggae-laced hard rock all around New Mexico. While the band hasn’t performed since 2006, this week it reunites for two shows—one at the Gathering of Nations and the other as part of the Rock the 9 Native Music Festival. Last week we asked lead singer and guitarist Ira “Icemon” Wilson questions via e-communiqué.
Politics aside, I am my father's daughter—and proud of it
By Maren Tarro
The last time my father and I attended a tea party, my stuffed cat Aida was the guest of honor and the tea was served in Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit teacups. Politics certainly wasn’t a conversation topic. Twenty-something years later, I’ve become a Liberal while my father is a Libertarian. And instead of doilies and cucumber sandwiches, the tea parties of 2010 are serving discord and controversy. One lump or two?
Tea party figureheads share their message with the Alibi’s readers
By Maren Tarro
While I was having a pleasant afternoon with my father at the tea party in D.C., I was able to sit down with several of the rally’s speakers. I asked them what they wanted the Alibi’s readers to understand about the tea party’s message and what us liberals just weren’t getting. Most were more than happy to speak directly to you. Here is what they had to say:
Cleveland indie psych band mr. Gnome writes songs about vampires and pirates. San Francisco gravelly-voiced accordionist Mark Growden writes songs about Saint Judas and singing stars. Together with Albuquerque power pop / indie rock band Lousy Robot and Billy Bellmont spawn Janksder, they create flyers that look like a medieval tarot card. All four of these fine acts perform on Saturday, April 24, at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). This free show begins at 10 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Peer into Megafaun’s world through songs from Brad Cook’s collection, selected at random
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Bearded folksters Brad Cook, Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund are the meat and bones of Megafaun. Taking an oddball approach to traditional American music, the band’s compositions are an endearing, organized cacophony of guitars, banjos, fiddles, horns and harmonica. Megafaun hails from North Carolina (and Wisconsin, originally), and is touring in support of its second album, Gather, Form & Fly. On Saturday, April 24, the trio makes a stop in Albuquerque to perform at Low Spirits.
North America’s biggest powwow happens on April 22, 23 and 24, at the University of New Mexico Football Field (University and Avenida Cesar Chavez SE), beginning at 10 a.m. each day. Massive amounts of Native musicians, songwriters and storytellers begin to perform on Stage 49 on Friday. Music includes traditional, blues, rock, jazz, folk, country, hip-hop, metal and reggae. Wristbands for the powwow, Indian Traders Market and music events on Friday and Saturday are $15 per day at the gate (cash only) or $30 for a two-day wristband.
Seventeenth century poet Robert Herrick's oft-quoted line "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" is actually an encouragement to virgins to stop being so damn coy and live it up (or give it up) while they're young. But for this week, let's take it to mean that we should all get to these one-time only performances before they're gone. Leave the virgins in peace.
Though it’s not widely known, Boba Fett is an important figure in Native American art. At least, he is in the art of Ryan Singer. Originally from Tuba City, Ariz., in Navajo country, the Albuquerque artist is working on a portrait of the infamous Star Wars bounty hunter, armed and gunning for the viewer, alongside a wolf haloed by the Fett insignia.
UNM’s Words Afire Play Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary
By Julia Mandeville
Though it’s an honor just to be nominated for an award, we all know that it’s even better to win. And for each of the last 10 years, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in UNM’s dramatic writing program has received top recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival—the university-level equivalent of winning a Pulitzer for literature or an Oscar for film. Perhaps the most stunning element of this growing legacy is that the program is only a decade old; it’s been producing nationally renowned emerging playwrights for the whole of its existence.
Local attorney represents Guantánamo prisoners in a changing political climate
By Marisa Demarco
Mohamedou Ould Salahi has been a Guantánamo prisoner since August 2002, but he's never been charged with a crime. Salahi was arrested in his home country, Mauritania, on suspicion of having ties to al Qaeda. He was deprived of sleep for more than 60 days, according to a report by the Senate Armed Services Committee, and one of his lawyers, Nancy Hollander, says he was subjected to torturous interrogation tactics.
Gov. Bill Richardson’s veto pen struck down the food tax and blew a giant hole in the state budget. So the need to destroy a mythical “budgetary fat” monster is sitting heavy on the shoulders of New Mexico lawmakers. Take it from me, a senator on the Senate Finance Committee.
Dateline: Georgia—If at first you don’t succeed ... . Police in Albany were surprised to find themselves arresting the same man twice in one day on the exact same charges. The 26-year-old man was arrested around noon last Friday following a routine traffic stop. According to the Albany Herald, he was charged with possession of marijuana and sent to Dougherty County Jail. Four hours later, he was released on bond. Shortly after that, the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit received a tip that the man was trying to set up a drug deal. The suspect was arrested again around 6:30 p.m. after he was found with two ounces of marijuana in his possession. He was charged for a second time with possession of a controlled substance and sent back to Dougherty County Jail. This time, however, he was held without bond.
Local filmmakers: If you’ve waited until the last minute to submit your film (short or feature) to this year’s New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase, then that minute is upon you! You have until 5 p.m. this Thursday, April 22, to hand-deliver a copy of your film to Guild Cinema in Nob Hill (3405 Central NE). To download an application form (which must accompany each DVD submission), log on to nmfilm.com. This is a non-juried festival and all submissions are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The Filmmakers Showcase itself is free and open to the public and will take place May 13 through 16. Stay glued for more details.
Ever entertain ideas of participating in some multimillion-dollar art museum heist? Who hasn’t? But how would one go about accomplishing such a task outside the confines of a swingin’ ’60s French crime film? Well, if you’re curious, The Art of the Steal details exactly how that sort of crime is accomplished in the real world. Sadly, it doesn’t involve leather catsuits, handheld suction cups, laser security systems, smoke grenades or sexy sidekicks. It just takes a handful of politicians, a bunch of lawyers and a whole lot of paperwork.
The day after its debut episode aired, HBO picked up the new series “Treme” for a second season. That should give you a decent idea of how much confidence the network has in the show. And it’s not at all misplaced.
Marble’s (Not) Terrible Twos—Before April of 2008, I didn’t even know there was a Marble Street in Albuquerque. Who would have guessed that two years since its opening, Marble Brewery (111 Marble NW, 243-2739) would make that street one of the most visited in town? And that location (along with the stellar beer, of course) may be a key reason why it’s become such a success: Far enough away from the chaos that is Central Avenue, you can sit on the patio and actually make eye contact without getting threatened with a beat-down.
Food is not a priority at sports bars. In fact, it’s usually little more than a fried piece of beer sponge. But at The Fox and Hound, hidden behind a tangled sprawl of restaurants west of I-25 at Jefferson, the food is taken seriously—frequently with good results.
Let’s be honest about this: Poetry scares people. It can be a challenge to understand and refers to French people a lot. School doesn’t help, since most of the time teenagers are forced to read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and count syllables in Robert Frost’s work. While I now, as a poet, enjoy both of those things (in terribly small, occasional doses), at 16 I would have rather read transcripts of “The Lawrence Welk Show” than study poetry.
All this wonderful verbal poetry activity Albuquerque enjoys is the icing on the cake that came before it. In coffeehouses like the Purple Turk across from Johnson Gym, Louis Greenfield’s Bookstore & Coffeehouse downtown, The Grave near Old Town, poetry readings started to pop up here in Albuquerque following the San Francisco Renaissance late ’50s. The University reading performances such as Allen Ginsberg in the Anthropology Hall packed to the ceiling energized young poets. Robert Creeley teaching at UNM was a magnet for poets as was his home in Placitas visited constantly by major poets crossing the country. Bookstores—the Yale Street Grasshopper run by Phil Mayne which turned into the Living Batch Bookstore, Salt of the Earth & Full Circle Bookstores —featured almost endless readings & gatherings.
Hundreds showed up at the Soul Rio Church to rock out in honor of the resurrection of Jesus. The church is tucked in a strip mall in southern Rio Rancho, and the pastor is Dan Lewis, Albuquerque’s Westside city councilor.
He stood under the spotlight in front of 150 audience members at UNM’s Student Union Building. He cleared his throat, tugged at his short, lacy black dress, straightened his tights and grabbed the microphone with painted fingernails. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, Ruby Sanchez.”
Dateline: Denmark—Warehouse staff at the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen staged a series of walkouts last week in protest of a new company policy limiting beer-drinking at work to just lunch breaks. Jens Bekke, a spokesperson for Carlsberg, told England’s Sky News, “We think times have changed and we need an alcohol policy that is accepted by society—93 percent of Danish companies have an alcohol policy.” Last Wednesday, beers were removed from all refrigerators at the brewery. “The only place you can get a beer in future,” said Bekke, “is in the canteen at lunch.” In response, 800 workers walked off the job. By Thursday, at least 250 remained off the job. The Confederation of Danish Industry and trade union 3F agreed the strike was illegal and would impose fines on workers. Although warehouse staff is now on the wagon, drivers for the brewery are still allowed “up to three” beers a day outside of lunch hours. According to Bekke, alcohol locks on Carlsberg’s delivery trucks prevent the drivers from drinking too much and getting behind the wheel.
Blue Cross customers battle price hikes against a backdrop of health reform
By Jason Marks, public regulation commissioner
The national debate on health care hit home for 40,000 New Mexicans with individual coverage through Blue Cross. In February, customers received notice of premium increases as high as 30 percent. Some of them have contacted my office to say they’ve already been forced by earlier premium increases to switch to less generous coverage plans and higher deductibles. They have no options left and can’t afford more increases. The Public Regulation Commission directed Morris Chavez, the superintendent of insurance, to give the Blue Cross hikes a formal review. The increases were suspended pending a Monday, April 26 hearing that will be held at the PRC’s offices in Santa Fe.
Imagine: You’re a legendary archaeologist. You embark upon a dig that quickly becomes the most extraordinary of your career. As you stumble upon one singularly exceptional artifact after another, you leap about (very careful not to break anything), overcome by the remarkable knowledge you’re unearthing. Then you remember that you can’t keep any of it. You’re excavating an important spiritual site, and though you’ve been granted permission to explore, you have to return every found thing to the people who hold the land sacred. You understand—but you’re devastated at the informational, educational and historical records that will never exist. Until you realize that Fab Lab ABQ has a solution, and you resume your joyful leaping.
The White Sands International Film Festival kicks off this Thursday, April 15, in Las Cruces. Among the local features screening are Justin Evans’ action thriller A Lonely Place For Dying and Rod McCall’s coming-of-age drama Becoming Eduardo. There’s also a wealth of New Mexico-shot shorts, like Luke Fitch’s sci-fi drama “Black Gold 2051,” Paul Porter’s postapocalyptic tale “Res Q” and Wes Studi’s horror comedy “Good Night, My Zombies.” In addition to the 18 features and 26 shorts being screened at the sixth annual festival, there are several panel discussions featuring filmmakers, actors and other industry professionals. For a complete schedule of screenings, workshops and parties, log on to wsiff.com.
Are inspirational sports dramas actually inspirational, or are they just a cheap and easy shortcut for lazy filmmakers to evoke an emotional response? Are they simply the Y chromosome equivalent of romantic dramas in which one of the two leads is dying of some incurable disease? (Love Story, I’m looking at you.)
Are They Trying to Kill Me?—In case you haven’t heard, Kate Gosselin (who still hasn’t managed to get kicked off “Dancing With the Stars” somehow) is getting handed not one but two new reality shows this year. First up is TLC’s “Twist of Kate,” a positively disastrous-sounding 12-part summer series in which the 35-year-old occasional mother of eight will answer fan mail and give “parenting advice” to her legions of worshippers. (Which is who, exactly?) Also on tap is a string of “Kate Plus 8” specials—a continuation of her previous TLC show with ex-husband Jon’s name scrubbed off the title. Sounds awesome—assuming Jon doesn’t succeed in his current bid to have her stripped of child custody. I truly wish these hateful, wretched people would go away, but they aren’t. So, I guess we’d better just get used to it.
I didn’t go to the show when The Ettes played at a free bar Downtown early last year. The Nashville-based band wasn’t on my radar anyhow, so I felt no regret about missing it ... until a week later when I finally opened the 12-inch record that a friend, knowing I would like it, had bought for me at the show as a souvenir. Bright yellow in color, the LP—2008’s London-recorded Look At Life Again Soon—contained 11 distortion-heavy, ’70s glam-tinged tracks of female-fronted rock and roll. Since then, that record—now a prized possession—has received heavy rotation by me at home and in public drinking establishments.
Pianist Omar Sosa’s Afreecanos Quartet communes with the spirits
By Mel Minter
Cuban pianist, marimbist and composer Omar Sosa plays up and down the tree of music, sounding its deepest African roots and the greenest buds in its ever-spreading canopy. Every note summons listeners to a joyful ceremony of communion.
Have you ever walked into a bar intimidated by the row of hogs and Harleys parked out front? Wondered about the reception you’d get from the bikers partying down inside? It wasn’t quite that way with the dozen Vespa, Lambretta and Velocette knockoffs lining the sidewalk in front of the Fabulous Dingo Bar (now Burt’s Tiki Lounge) when UV Transmission was headlining. Rather than wielding chains and wearing leathers, these riders sported one-button blazers, Cuban heel boots and M65 parkas with the Royal Air Force insignia on the back. The crowd was there not to pogo or mosh (thankfully!) but to dance.
The scary little people hidden in the trees want to you know that Monday, April 19, sees performances of animal-sound music and different forms of drone by Infinite Body, EARN, Lab Rat and Postcommodity. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Thundermind Corrective, and for $5 you might find out what “intense loud doom drone” means. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
A Duke City food critic in the land of milk and butter
By Ari LeVaux
An Albuquerquean foodie visiting Paris for the first time could find himself justifiably intimidated by the city’s fabled cuisine. If that’s you, I suggest you begin with a visit to one of the many restaurants in Paris that belong to the chain called “Indiana Café.”
When vocalist Gretchen Parlato performs a song, she doesn’t so much inhabit it as become inhabited by it, living and breathing a musical and emotional life that is inseparable from the artist. Her singing is personal, and therefore it’s immediate and resonant—and because of that, apparently artless.
Welcome to Best of Burque, the Alibi’s user-generated guide to Albuquerque! If you’re an old hand at this issue, you’ve probably already skipped ahead to Best Pet Store, or Best Art Gallery, or Best Anything We Forgot (which is magnificent this year). But if you’re new to BoB, please allow us to make a formal introduction.
Don't worry, we didn't forget the restaurant categories. The Alibi has a whole issue for that—you can vote for Best of Burque Restaurants in the fall. In the meantime, here are the notes you sent us about the categories we stupidly left out. (These are not official categories, and the entities listed are not official winners or titleholders. No voting determined this list. These are simply reader write-ins ... probably from our moms, because they’re so very proud of us.)
The chance to work with the city employees—just working with dedicated people who get up every day and try to make the city a better place. They're all over. They're at the Solid Waste Department, the Fire Department, they're in the administration at City Hall. I just run into people over and over again who bring so much energy to their jobs. Plus, you get a chance to sit with people who are creative and have good ideas on how to move the city forward.
How will New Mexicans be affected? An insider explains.
By Whitny Doyle, RN
Navigating health reform legislation is no small task. This enormous Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does everything from impose a 10 percent tax on tanning salon services to reworking the country’s massive Medicare program. That’s why the Alibi turned to health policy expert and seasoned clinician Nancy Ridenour, Ph.D., RN. (Read web extras here, and see a list of basic terms defined here.)
After 16 years on the job, top City Attorney Bob White is retiring. White, also known as an actor in local theater, served under several mayors. He will be replaced by Rob Perry, who was former Gov. Gary Johnson’s corrections cabinet secretary.
Dateline: Florida—According to the Pensacola News Journal, Google Earth helped a sheriff’s department bust a major litterbug. Deputy Gregory Barnes used satellite images from Google Earth to hunt down the owner of an 18-foot boat which had been dumped in an undeveloped subdivision about 15 miles north of Pensacola. Authorities were able to identify a fuzzy image of the boat in question parked at Dwight Everett Foster’s house. When police questioned him, Foster admitted to dumping the old boat. The police said it would have cost Foster $18 to dispose of the vessel at a local landfill. He now faces a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Fighting two costly wars, massively expanding the federal role in health care and adding trillions of dollars to America’s national debt—sounds like President George W. Bush, right? Well, it does describe Bush’s policies, but unfortunately, it also describes President Obama’s track record more than a year into his presidency.
The Esther Bone Memorial Library (950 Pinetree SE in Rio Rancho) will host a free screening of The Concert for Bangladesh on Thursday, April 8, at 6 p.m. The film is a recording of George Harrison’s groundbreaking charity concert from 1971. Among the performers captured in the classic concert film are Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar and Ringo Starr. For more information, contact the library at 891-5012.
Delivering bad news makes for good drama in quietly powerful indie
By Devin D. O’Leary
Earlier this year, an independent film called The Messenger very quietly racked up two Oscar nominations—one for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Supporting Actor. That’s appropriate for a film as quietly powerful as The Messenger. Hopefully, as the film slowly rolls out across America, more people will get to see it.
Like it or not (not!), we live in a world over-saturated by reality television. In that respect, NBC’s heavily hyped, Jerry Seinfeld-produced reality show “The Marriage Ref” is hardly the worst thing on television. But let’s not kid ourselves. It’s still crap.
Zoe Boekbinder makes music for people who like to wear sequins to the library
By Summer Olsson
When I first heard Zoe Boekbinder’s beautiful Artichoke Perfume, I thought it sounded like the musical child of Jolie Holland and Joanna Newsom had joined the circus and made an album. Not only do other people compare her to Holland, Boekbinder (pronounced “Bookbinder”) lists the musician as an influence, too. But the Oakland-based Canadian is hesitant to label her sound.
She beckons with her ... eyes. Also, her tetas. One of the best things about Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) is that there’s continuously been local art on the punk rock bar’s walls since it opened in May 2003. (Do we smell a birthday coming on?) Atomic’s not afraid to hang pop art, risqué or abstract, along with other beautiful and weird works by 505 faves. This month, drop by to see paintings by Christina Aristmuño, David Gatt, Megan Cronin, John Henry Hansen, Amanda Banker, Heather Cronin, Sunita Aristmuño, George Evans, Rodney Ibarra, Jay Smithline and Melinda Casey; photography by Crystal Sims, John Salazar and Nathan Paolinelli; ink work by Jeff Hayes; and mixed media by Kevin Hopper and Sharon Chang. (Marisa Demarco)
The 10th Annual Global DanceFest, presented by the VSA North Fourth Art Center and NewArt New Mexico, returns with its spring iteration. This weekend, see The Good Dance—dakar/brooklyn by New York dance company Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group and Andreya Ouamba/Compagnie 1er Temps, from Senegal via Congo-Brazzaville. What does all that mean? An explosion of movement that examines the cultures of the American Mississippi River and African Congo River area and explores their similarities. Performances at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Ireland is a country of heartbreaking contrasts. Romanticized for its physical beauty and the humor of its people, it’s also marked by centuries of colonization and desperate poverty. In much of Irish literature, this seeming incongruity is expressed through characters who are both fiercely loyal to their home and who dream endlessly about leaving it.
Keshet Dance Company’s Ani Ma’amin at the KiMo Theatre
By Christie Chisholm
Memory is tricky. With some memories, we owe it to ourselves and those around us to mull over and share them, at which point they stop being memories and become information. And eventually, as they pass from one person to the next, from one generation to the next, they lose their immediacy and, in many ways, their effectiveness. They become history—and we all know what happens to those who don’t learn from history.
On a recent Wednesday evening, a youngish crowd gathered on the banks of Paris' Seine River to catch a ride to a nearby island. After the short crossing, they sat on blankets and pillows amid crackling fire pits and ate Irish tapas. There were plates of salad greens tossed with Clonakilty blood sausage, thick with oats. Bowls of chunky seafood chowder with smoked salmon were followed by creamy mocha hazelnut meringue—all of which helped absorb a variety of whiskey-based drinks, including whiskey Mojitos. Folksy rock bands played on a makeshift stage, not loud enough to overwhelm conversation. The event was called Foodstock. And while most of the guests were better dressed and better smelling than attendees at the namesake Woodstock festival 41 years ago, both groups shared a spirit of revolution.
Nine all-star New Mexico drafts, two homebrewers and one unlikely location
By ABQ Beer Geek
The only reasons I’ve ever visited the industrial wasteland around Jefferson and Osuna were to pick up an obscure part for a vacuum cleaner and to dispose of trash I had forgotten to put out for two weeks straight. The opening of Hallenbrick Brewery gave me a whole new incentive to actually drive north of Osuna. Of course a beer freak like me would. The question is, would anyone else?