Alibi Volume 13, Number 10
March 4, 2004
Neil Young's Greendale
Neil Young's latest turn behind the camera is completely free of name-actors, pretentiousness and, to the delight of fans of Young's music, dialog. It's also mostly free of appearances by Young, unlike director Jim Jarmusch's 1997 Young biopic, Year of the Horse, in which Young's presence, along with that of Crazy Horse members Frank “Pancho” Sampedro, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina, serves only to make the viewer uncomfortable for inexplicable reasons. In Greendale, Young and his Crazy Horse cohorts tell the tale of the Green family off-camera in song—10 of them, some clocking in at the signature Crazy Horse minute mark of a dozen or more—while actors mime the story, occasionally lip synching to Young's third-person lyrics. As a movie experience, it's bizarre, yet fully engaging, like a silent film with a soundtrack instead of subtitles.
Neil Young's Great American Novel
Shows with love and affection/Like mama used to say/A little Mayberry livin'/Can go a long way
Work in Santa Fe "isn't all about me."
It wasn't just the miniature chocolate bundt cake with whipped cream and raspberry sauce that created the sanguine mood during last week's Roundhouse wrap-up at the Sheraton Old Town. The excitement—at least from the podium—stemmed from what MC Carol Radosevich of the Albuquerque Association of Commerce and Industry called "a fabulous session for economic development." The approximately 400 professionally attired and relatively sedate lunch-goers seemed to agree, judging from the perfunctory standing ovations given to one legislator after another who came to speak.
Heather Wilson's media tour continues. More hilarious news and analysis trickled in from the Internet regarding Congresswoman Heather Wilson's meltdown during a House Telecommunications Committee hearing last month.
Not a blank check
As one of the strong supporters of the Planned Growth Strategy (PGS) on the city council, I worked hard alongside City Councilor Michael Cadigan to make sure the public understood how the PGS would affect development patterns in the city. During the planned growth debate we attended numerous community and neighborhood association meetings and amended the PGS ordinance to take into account neighborhood concerns.
And other observations you might have missed
I don't watch TV as much as I used to, which may be why I had a tough time fathoming a couple of fast-food spots over the weekend. First were the commercials for Sonic Drive-In where two "30-something" guys spend the bulk of their day either: a) hanging out at the drive-up window, dumb-struck by the marvels of Sonic cuisine or, b) haranguing minimum-wage employees at other fast food joints for not having the same menu as Sonic. Really, has anyone without a pledge paddle hanging in their room gone to Sonic after watching these two dorks in action?
Racial profiling at the heart of the matter
Not many years ago Albuquerque's cops had a reputation rivaling Los Angeles' for biased, prejudiced treatment of minorities. In that unenlightened, pre-Citizen Police Oversight Commission era, our city's finest actually seemed proud of the notoriety their get-tough tactics had earned.
Dateline: New York—Last Tuesday afternoon, Tabitha Bracken, 27, of Toronto arrived at the Delta Airlines ticket counter at the Buffalo airport looking for a package from Accel Graphics. She was mistakenly given two packages shipped from Cryolife, an Atlanta medical agency. One of the packages contained a pulmonary valve being shipped to a young person in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital. The other contained a vein intended for a coronary bypass surgery at a Buffalo hospital. When the mistake was discovered a short time later, investigators hit a dead end trying to locate the woman who had been given the items. It was soon determined that she had presented fake identification at the airport. The correct packages from Accel Graphics were located and opened and discovered to contain 119 pounds of marijuana wrapped in plastic and newspapers and smeared with mustard. When Delta received several telephone calls from a man interested in picking up the Accel packages, DEA agents staked out the airport. Shortly before midnight, Dalvan Robinson, 43, arrived pushing the two transplant boxes on a luggage cart. Both Robinson and Bracken were arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The wayward body parts were quickly turned over to the awaiting hospitals for transplant.
Maori Movie—The UNM Department of Anthropology will be welcoming special guest Maori filmmaker Mereta Mita to town as part of the International Indigenous Film Festival. The New Zealand native will be on hand Thursday, March 4, at 7 p.m. to screen and discuss her feature-length drama Mauri. The film centers on the trauma of a disturbed Maori man who confronts his tragic deception with courage and humility. The screening will take place in the anthropology lecture hall, north of UNM's Maxwell Museum. Tickets are $12 at the UNM box offices or at Tickets.com outlets. You can also obtain tickets by calling the Anthropology department at 925-5858. Proceeds will benefit the UNM Anthropology Graduate Student Scholarship Fund.
Bertolucci takes us on a historical tour of sex and the cinema
At age 64, Bernardo Bertolucci (Stealing Beauty, The Sheltering Sky, The Last Emperor, 1900) is one of the last surviving members of the second generation, postwar filmmakers—those young lads from England, Italy, France, wherever, who grew up besotted by the product that Hollywood cranked out in the '30s and '40s. Throughout the '50s, educated young teens like Bertolucci, Casavettes, Godard, Antonioni, Pasolini, Fellini, Truffaut were raised on a steady diet of Ford, Capra, Hawks, Hitchcock, Lang, Keaton, Welles. The works these “New Wave” directors eventually produced were part homage, part angry response. But unlike the filmmakers of the earlier generation, whose only point of artistic reference was the legitimate theater, the postwar filmmakers of the '60s and '70s were all about the silver screen.
Son's quest to understand father's love is built to last
Last Sunday, My Architect lost out to Fog of War at the Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category. Their inclusion in the 76th Annual Academy Awards was not the only similarity between the two films, however. Both are cinematic portraits struggling to define controversial historical figures. Fog of War is certainly the splashier of the two, since the figure in question (Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara) is far more controversial, and he's still alive to explain himself. My Architect, on the other hand, is far more personal, tracing the journey of filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn to understand his long-dead father, famed architect Louis I. Kahn.
If you've been paying attention you already know that Club Rhythm and Blues (3523 Central NE) is reopening on March 4. This is a huge and wonderful announcement for local performers and music connoisseurs alike. Along with a regular line-up of great acts and open mic nights, Club R&B will feature its New Artist Series, hosted by yours truly.
Although she's been considered a significant presence on the jazz scene for decades, Jessica Williams doesn't enjoy the name recognition she deserves. Following years spent playing piano with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet and sharing stages with such luminaries as Bill Evans, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Sarah Vaughn, McCoy Tyner and a host of others, not to mention her extensive discography, Williams remains largely under-recognized outside of critics and rabid fans of classic bop-influenced keyboard work.
With chops that invoke the playing of Thelonious Monk and an incredible command of the keyboard, Williams based herself in San Francisco in the late '70s, where she established herself as a powerful musical force. Inexplicably, she disappeared from record for a short time, only to re-emerge in the '80s as an acoustic soloist. And while generally identified within the bop idiom, Williams' latest album, the demure, hauntingly lovely Plays for Lovers (Red and Blue Records), is a quiet tribute to relaxing at home either with a lover or with a lover on the mind. Nine of the album's 11 tracks are jazz standards (the exceptions are John Lennon's "Love is Real" and her own "Flamenco Sketches), and all of them feature Williams alone at her piano, performing the music as though she were at home.
Sunday, March 7; AMP House Concert (all ages, 6:30 p.m.): Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, welcome to one of the craziest shows on Earth. Feast your eyes on four ladies who know what putting on a captivating show is all about ... the Dolly Ranchers have all their bases covered when it comes to rockin' a crowd and getting a rip-roarin' hoe-down started.
It would be easy to write "noveau" flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook off as the acoustic guitar world's Kenny G—a Paco de Lucia for soccer moms. But Cook's versatility, polished technique and visceral command of Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish and Moorish music make him far more intriguing than your average cracker with an instrument and the ability to make middle-aged white women swoon as if they're having some kind of cross-cultural epiphany. That's not to say that Cook doesn't employ a certain degree of the cheese factor, just that his music is worthwhile even as far as audiophiles are concerned.
The glamor! The glory! The loot! Professional photographers seem to have it all, don't they? Hob-nobbing with sexy models. Traveling to exotic locales filled with white sand, blue water and toucans. Sniffing up dangerous chemicals in a dark room with poor ventilation. Is it too much to imagine yourself with such an exalted career? Of course it isn't, but you have to start somewhere. And that's where your trusty neighborhood Alibi comes in.
Metamorphoses at Theatre X
I'm told the production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses that opened a couple years ago Off-Broadway in New York was quite a spectacle. Legend has it that Zimmerman's adaptation of some of Ovid's best tales incorporated a magical set with a rectangular pool built right into the stage. Even though the pool was only a few inches deep, the characters floated across it, and ships were destroyed in storms on the open water.
The Studios @ 500 2nd
In a new show at The Studios @ 500 2nd (located—you guessed it—at 500 Second Street), Gwendolyn Beachy combines her fascination with the Rio Grande Bosque and vaginas into an exploration of our environment and sexuality. Mixing recorded sound, text, clay, metal, found objects and material collected from the Bosque, River-Yoni-Egg-Story sounds nothing if not ambitious. Come see how Beachy pulls it all together by attending a reception this Friday, March 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. If you miss that one, a closing reception will be held on Friday, March 19. During the rest of the run, you can arrange to view the work by calling the artist at 507-8345.
Nob Hill Art Complex
The Nob Hill Art Complex over at 3812 Central SE is hosting an open house where artists invite you to stop by and view them in their natural habitat. Vicki Bolen, Bobi Chenhall, Sarah Karnes, David Klausen, Lia Lynn Rosen, Patricia Malcolm, Jacob Matteson and Gayle Van Horn will present oils, watercolors, paper arts and ceramics. The New Grounds Print Workshop offers up an exhibit of new work by Reginald Gammon. The Coleman Gallery will exhibit drawings by Barbara Bock, collages by Ron Evans and photographs by Clark Waterman. The reception occurs Friday, March 5, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the exhibits run through March 27. 268-8952.
It took me a while to figure out that my dog's food was giving him an excessive amount of Vitamin F. Unlike Ren and Stimpy's superhero friend Powdered Toast Man, my little buddy's pants don't puff up when he gets a distress call. It's pretty obvious though. Corn meal makes my dog fart so much he could power a hybrid SUV. If only we could harness the power! It took me a while to figure out what was causing these noxious emissions but, as it turns out, many dogs digestive systems aren't able to process corn very well. Hey, even humans aren't able to break corn down completely. (Does this sound familiar? I know you know what I'm talking about.) The trick to turning off Sparky's gas is finding a dog food that doesn't contain corn or soy—another common culprit. Grocery stores don't often stock a very large variety of dog foods but at Clark's Pet Emporium (or any good-sized pet store) you'll find a handful of formulas for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. Common combinations are lamb and rice or some kind of meat and potatoes. Read the ingredient label carefully to make sure corn and soy aren't listed. The only drawback? You won't be able to blame your own farts on the dog anymore.
Sure, from the outside Azuma (4701 San Mateo NE) still looks like a Black Eyed Pea, but inside every trace of country kitsch has been erased and replaced by a serene Japanese theme. The teppan and sushi restaurant, which opened earlier this month, is owned by Frank Su, who also owns both China Star mega-buffets (4710 Montgomery NE and 2001 Juan Tabo NE). Half of Azuma is devoted to teppan tables where patrons can sit and watch as a cook prepares their dinners with a few flashy tricks. On the other side of the restaurant, booths are separated by pretty panes of frosted glass and a line of stools hug the sushi bar. In addition to sushi, Azuma's menu offers many cooked items including noodles and a variety of grilled meats and vegetables that will ensure the place's appeal to nearby families and folks who are new to Japanese food. Sushi aficionados might compare Azuma to Samurai Grill (Montgomery and Eubank or Gibson near Lovelace Hospital), a comparison that would be more flattering to Samurai.
You can taste it in the food and see it in the face at the door
Ruth Reichl, who was a restaurant critic for The New York Times before becoming editor of Gourmet magazine, recently wrote a column for The Times in which she lamented the closing of one of New York's most famous and long-standing French restaurants, Lutèce. The demise of this much-loved institution has been the subject of a flurry of gushy eulogies in print and on the Web. Many of the writers tried to explain the unfortunate outcome but none did it as eloquently as Reichl. This is obvious even to someone, like me, who never had the opportunity (or money) to eat there.
I understand you guys will be bringing your Uncle Mabe's Ruby Red Barbecue Sauce to the upcoming Fiery Foods Show. Tell me about the sauce and what kind of flavor you were going for in creating it.