Alibi Volume 13, Number 08
February 19, 2004
It's time to venture Out ch'Yonda
It's only a hop and a skip away, but it still seems like a world apart. An easy 10-minute walk from downtown Albuquerque takes you to Out ch'Yonda, a hip, relatively new performance and exhibit space located in the heart of Albuquerque's historic Barelas neighborhood. A little over a year ago, local artists Stephanie Willis and Virginia Hampton opened shop in the pleasantly ramshackle building, creating a venue to promote work by artists of color. It's an experiment in grassroots arts and activism that's a much-needed addition to Albuquerque's cultural landscape.
African Americans: From Freedom to Slavery to Freedom
Vivid images of intolerance and cruelty toward humankind are revealed in a new exhibit that reflects just one of humanity's many vices. “By the age of two a child has been taught how to hate and how to discriminate,” said Werner Gellert, president of the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum and Study Center, as he and his fellow employees set up a new exhibit titled African Americans: From Freedom to Slavery to Freedom.
City moves to condemn proposed Bosque Wilderness Subdivision
From a bird's eye, it's just the Bosque. You have to get down real close to the dirt to see the property markers and barbed wire fence lines that separate the proposed Bosque Wilderness Subdivision from the plain old Bosque wilderness. But the line markers are there. And when news of the proposed subdivision circulated publicly a few weeks back, public officials began to take more than the bird's-eye view of the situation and started working on getting some money together to buy the property.
Cry us a river. In a lame-ass attempt to convince folks that she cares about something other than lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of America's senior citizens and under the guise of extending "a prescription drug benefit" to the very people that are actually getting screwed by inflated drug costs, Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M., unfortunately) literally cried foul on Wednesday as a House Telecommunications Committee spent two hours chastising Viacom president Mel Karmazin over this year's Super Bowl halftime festivities.
Interview with Rick Smith, former acting superintendent of Yellowstone National Park
Richard Nixon is remembered mostly as a disgraced liar, but by today's standards (summed up in four words—Dick Cheney Energy Czar) he was one helluva Republican environmentalist. After all, Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, signed the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. The first President Bush was no Nixon, but he did sign the 1990 Clean Air Act.
Win the battle councilors, and you'll win the war
It's one of life's more poignant ironies: Everyone wants into heaven—it's the part about dying that's a drag. On similar lines, many of our elected officials say they want greater infill and redevelopment of the existing city and less of the current Westside growth pattern. But whenever the political heat from area neighborhood associations gets a little too hot, all those lofty ideals go straight to hell.
Heather Wilson's bizarre outburst misses the point
I keep hearing about "media literacy" and find I'm intrigued by the concept. I heard a presentation on it by an Albuquerque Academy teacher and a panel of students a few years ago and my curiosity has grown ever since, whetted by occasional references to it.
Dateline: Taiwan—A 57-year-old motorcyclist was struck in the head with more than 20 million in Taiwanese dollars as he passed under a highway bridge in a Taipei suburb. The cash, bound up in two plastic garbage bags, had been tossed off the overpass by the relatives of a kidnap victim, just as the kidnappers had instructed. According to the United Daily News, the bags knocked out 57-year-old Lu Fang-nan who was on his way home at the time. The bags were immediately picked up by the kidnappers, who were waiting nearby. Lu regained consciousness a few minutes later and was hospitalized with bruises and a swollen leg. He did not realize that he had been cold-cocked by flying cash (worth some 600,000 in U.S. dollars) until television reported the kidnapped businessman's safe return and the delivery site of the ransom payment. “What does this have to do with me? Why did I get hit? I'm certainly unlucky enough,” United Daily quoted Lu as saying.
Nuke Night at the Movies—The People Before Profit film series presents Do It for Uncle Sam, a new film on New Mexico's 60-year nuclear legacy by filmmaker Candy Jones. Following the film will be a discussion with speakers from the Los Alamos Study Group, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Stop the War Machine and Southwest Research and Information Center. The screening/discussion will take place Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE).
Harrowing high-altitude doc is as easy as falling off a mountain
You know when you're watching a horror movie and you want to scream out to the people on screen, “No! You freakin' idiots! Don't go into the basement”? It's never going to produce any results, but you're seized by the urge nonetheless. Well, the new docu-drama Touching the Void is a lot like that. Though it's based on a true story, viewers will undoubtedly wish they could climb up onto the screen and warn the subjects about what is clearly going to happen next.
Sympathy for the Devil
The list of honorees at this year's Academy Awards is certainly one of the most depressing in years. It's not the quality of work that's depressing. In fact, the quality is outstanding. Rather, it's the subject matter. With films like Mystic River, 21 Grams, House of Sand and Fog, Cold Mountain and Monster on the slate, Academy members can be forgiven for their sullen expressions and overall feeling of existential ennui.
While the name “Friday Night Debut” is something of a mystery, the special show scheduled Friday night, Feb. 20, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon should be one hell of a local rock event. The bill features Once Misguided, an acoustic set by Mosquito to Moscow, Soular and Breaker 19. ... Speaking of Breaker 19, someone please inform guitarist and radio blowhole Michael Moxey that his band will also be performing on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Atomic Cantina with simple. and a hack bluegrass band consisting of several members of the Alibi staff. Bring veggies to throw. ... There's still time to break your bank account and attend the 16th Annual International Folk Alliance Conference in San Diego, Calif., Feb. 26-29. It'll cost you roughly $500, but if folk music is your thing, this is certainly the event for you. Visit www.folk.org for more information. ... Or, for an additional $50 and a rock fetish, you can check out South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, March 17-21. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 bands from all over the world will perform during the five-day event, including our very own 12 Step Rebels and Fivehundred (a.k.a. Mr. Spectacular). Try www.sxsw.com for information. ... Weekly Alibi is proud to sponsor phenomenal French guitar master Pierre Bensusan on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Outpost Performance Space. A full preview of the concert will appear in next week's issue, but there's a good chance it'll be sold out by then, so get your tickets now at the Book Stop in Nob Hill (268-8898) or at the Outpost (268-0044).
For the past decade or so, vocalist extraordinary Cassandra Wilson has become most widely known for her "popification" of jazz—gently blurring the chalky line that separates pop from jazz until it blends with the colors on both sides, creating countless ghostly hues with a peerless contra-alto voice and supreme melodic sensibilities. And it's inside that no-man's land that Wilson seems most comfortable, flirting with funk, soul, jazz, pop and blues until she finds just the right combination for each song.
On Glamoured, her new Blue Note release, Wilson strips away the horns, pianos and orchestrations that marked some of her previous releases in favor of groove-oriented instrumentation, and the organic combo of guitars, upright bass and percussion—and the occasional harmonica and banjo—serves both her original material and eclectic selection of covers extraordinarily well. In Wilson's hands, Willie Nelson's "Crazy," Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" and Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away" emerge from the trappings of timelessness as rekindled souls. But it's Wilson's original compositions that transcend, from the Latin essence of "Heaven Knows" to the blues-inflected "On This Train."
Jason Lakis' (a.k.a. The Red Thread) debut was built on understated alt.country pop numbers that flirted with the broad, windswept soundscape tendencies of bands like Lanterna and the folk-heartedness of the Idahos and Haydens of the music world. Tension Pins doesn't stray far from that elegant formula, but Lakis nonetheless sounds more confident, more in-the-moment and startlingly more relevant with regard to both lyrical content and compositional skill. These 11 songs harbor a dreamlike quality that enables the vilified notions of soft rock to coalesce with indie aesthetics and inklings of countrified pop. Incredible songwriting and unpretentious instrumental prowess. Killer.
All right, all you art-savvy hipsters. This one's for you. Magnífico Young Collectors is a membership organization serving youngish art lovers ages 21 to 40. If you fork out some cash for a membership the money goes to support the arts in Downtown Albuquerque. The fee for this year is $100.
The Taming of the Shrew at the Cell Theatre
After centuries of painstaking refinement, shrew taming finally went out of style in the Western world in the late '60s. The feminist movement convinced most men and women that such behavior was barbaric. It's still practiced in some quarters, of course, but only by smelly miscreants and losers.
Feast your eyes on this. The Seventh Annual Artfeast comes to Santa Fe this weekend. Thirty art galleries and restaurants will present an array of exhibits and extravagant cuisine to benefit Artsmart, a nonprofit organization that brings arts education to public schools. The big event will occur on Friday, Feb. 20, during the Edible Art Tour. For $25, you can take part in a walking tour offering access to all kinds of great art and grub. For details, call the Santa Fe Gallery Association at (505) 982-1648.
Congregation Nahalat Shalom
Dip your cute little toes into the steaming stew of Klezmer culture when the annual Klezmerquerque festival comes to Congregation Nahalat Shalom. From Friday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 22, there'll be more dancing, music, classes and straight-up Klezmer-style partying than you'll know what to do with. It should be a genuine certified guaranteed hoot for all concerned. For a full schedule, give Nahalat Shalom a call 343-8227.
Excerpts from Charles Becknell's forthcoming book No Challenge, No Change
Born in 1941, Charles Becknell grew up in rural southeastern New Mexico, attending a segregated school until 1954, the year the U.S. Supreme Court found such schools to be unconstitutional. After finishing graduate school, he founded and directed the Afro-American Studies Program at UNM and later served as Secretary of Criminal Justice under Gov. Jerry Apodaca.
There's nothing like looking through food magazines to work up a wicked hunger. After a week of drooling all over copies of the latest foodie rags I've somehow managed to lose my appetite for anything that isn't actively glistening, steaming or oozing juices. Also, I only want to look at my food in the warm light of a fire's glow, preferably as I lay on a fluffy Persian lamb rug at my house in Aspen (or wherever it is these food magazine people hang out in February). If firelight doesn't do it, I know I can also try holding a bite below a tungsten bulb and looking at it up really, really close. I'm not sure why, but for some reason extreme close-ups of food seem to make me drool. In Gourmet I flip past a long shot of croissants but am stopped dead by a larger than life Triscuit topped with cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream. I don't even like Triscuits but I think I can actually see the grains of salt shimmering within the wheaty woven cracker and it makes my mouth water. If only there were a team of 10 prepping my every morsel and I never had to leave my furry perch in front of the fire. I guess I'll just have to pump up the glisten factor of my teriyaki chicken bowl with extra sauce and eat it by the warm light of the TV.
“On Corrales Road, just past Hooters but before you get to Applebee's.” That's how Narendra Kloty describes the location of Bombay Grill, the Indian restaurant he hopes to open at 3600 Corrales Road this April. Kloty is also the owner of Santa Fe's India Palace, a much-loved city institution located a few blocks south of that city's plaza. He says that Bombay Grill's menu will include more grilled items and more Atkins-friendly dishes than familiar Indian menus do. Right now renovation is underway, a process Kloty describes as “de-Orientalizing” the place. Of course he could leave all of the dragon-paned lanterns hanging and put Dan “The Automator” Nakamura's Bombay the Hard Way disc on shuffle/repeat but that might be a little too postmodern for Rio Rancho.
The District Bar and Grill's owner on Wi-Fi, food and “flair” bartenders
With full-service bars both inside and on the patio, free Wi-Fi access and a funky, global menu, The District (115 Fourth NW), promises to shake up the city's lunch, dinner and late-night scenes. The menu, created by Chef Jeff Cordova, looks creative and approachable, with Jamaican steak frites salad, slow-roasted pork carnitas and pan-seared potstickers but no hamburgers.