Alibi Volume 13, Number 12
March 18, 2004
Roberta Flack Performs at Popejoy Hall's Gala Fundraiser
When you've booked a star that shines as brightly as Roberta Flack, you're bound by cosmic law to make the event more special than usual. Which is exactly what Popejoy Hall's Leadership Team did. Rather than simply produce another in a long line of remarkable Ovation Series events, Popejoy's powers-that-be felt they were faced with the perfect opportunity to host their first-ever fundraising event.
Of all past University of New Mexico presidents, Thomas L. Popejoy ranks among those least likely to be concerned with the construction of new buildings, much less with having one named after himself. Popejoy served as UNM president from 1948 (although he wasn't officially inaugurated until June 5, 1949) to 1968, the longest term in the history of the university. Unlike most of his predecessors, Popejoy concerned himself less with new buildings and programs than he did with what he believed was the heart of the university—its faculty and students. In fact, when first approached about the possibility of having the very concert hall that now bears his name dedicated to him, Popejoy refused, saying that no one on the university's payroll should have a building named after him or her. Popejoy's love for the university ran deep. Born near Raton, N.M., in 1902, he attended UNM as an undergraduate from 1921-25, majoring in economics and playing football. When he became the first native New Mexican to become the university's president, UNM had a student body of roughly 4,400. By the time Popejoy retired, the number had increased to nearly 14,000.
College Republicans discover UNM faculty leans liberal
Last week, Scott Darnell, a well-groomed and articulate spokesman for the New Mexico Federation of College Republicans called a press conference in the UNM Student Union Building to announce the political affiliations of undergraduate professors at UNM. An accompanying pie chart revealed 83 percent of the undergraduate faculty registered to vote are Democrats, while 11 percent are Republicans.
Sticking Larry Ahren's brain up a bug's ass would be like sticking a BB in a boxcar, part 2. According to his website, Ahrens, the voice of 770-KOB AM's local morning show, is "Albuquerque's morning radio legend." According to today's “Thin Line,” he's a jackass.
When the president filled out his enlistment papers, those forms included a checkbox asking whether he wanted to serve overseas or not. The president checked off the box labeled "I Do Not" volunteer to serve overseas.
Dateline: Indonesia—Couples caught kissing in public could face jail time thanks to stiff new legislation in Indonesia. A new anti-pornography ban before the nation's parliament includes a ban on kissing on the mouth in public. According to Britain's Sky News, the bill also bans public nudity, erotic dances and sex parties. "I think there should be some restrictions on such acts because it is against our traditions of decency," said Aisyah Hamid Baidlowi, head of a parliamentary committee drafting the bill. Anyone caught in a public lip lock could face a maximum penalty of five years in jail or a fine of $25,000.
Silence turns to despair in the streets of Spain.
On the way to visit my friends in Barcelona this evening I took the red and white Cercanías train, line one, the line that goes up the coast, the line that has become so much a part of my life since I moved out of the city. This is the same kind—the exact same kind—of well-built, efficient electric train that was blown up in Madrid only two days ago. I, along with thousands of others who live in outlying towns, take these trains every day. Old, young, rich, poor—everyone moves in these trains. They are the long legs of urban Spain.
Taos Take Two—While the famed Taos Talking Picture Film Festival is dead and gone, in-state film lovers can rest assured in the fact that the First Annual Taos Picture Show has risen from the ashes to replace it. The festival, although brand new, is loaded with familiar faces. Taos County Film Commissioner and director of the Taos Mountain Film Festival, Jonathan Slator has climbed on board as the Taos Picture Show's inaugural festival director. Kelly Clement and Jason Silverman, who served as program director and artistic director of the late, lamented TTPIX, have joined up to help program this year's event. Right now, it looks like 14 films will be included in the April 1-4 event. Local film fans will be pleased to note that two made-in-New Mexico films will be among the offerings. Blind Horizon, a thriller starring Val Kilmer and Neve Campbell, and Thief of Time, the newest Tony Hillerman mystery starring Wes Studi and Adam Beach, will both be screened at the festival.
Bittersweet mixture of modern love and the mind's eye proves unforgettable
With its unwieldy title taken from a poem by Enlightenment essayist Alexander Pope, it's clear that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is no ordinary romantic comedy. It is, in fact, written by Hollywood mad scientist Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and directed by music video god Michel Gondry (noted for his eye-popping imagery in vids by Beck, Björk and The White Stripes). The two teamed up previously on 2002's quirky failure Human Nature. Someone gave them a second chance, though, and we're all the better for it, because Eternal Sunshine is a startlingly beautiful, consistently surprising, endlessly inventive look at modern love and the mind's eye.
An interview with the cast of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) and directed by music video pioneer Michel Gondry (Beck, The Foo Fighters), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is not your ordinary romantic comedy. The film follows a badly broken-up couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) who use an experimental procedure to erase each other from their memories. The film also features former Hobbit Elijah Wood as a computer technician in charge of scrubbing Carrey's mind, who uses those memories to seduce Kate Winslet. Alibi had the chance to chat with Winslet and Wood during the film's recent premiere in Hollywood.
By the time this issue reaches your hands, I'll probably be sunning myself by the hotel pool, drinking non-alcoholic beer and stuffing my pie hole with barbecue as part of my South by Southwest 2004 coverage. While I'm out of town, there are a few shows going on locally that you should pay particular attention to. For instance ... guitar god and honorary Albuquerquean Eric McFadden will haul his trio back to the Launchpad on Friday, March 19, where he'll host an evening of live music by the likes of himself, Jason (Daniello) and the Argonauts and the next mayor of Albuquerque, Stan Hirsch. ... Icky and the Yuks will perform with the Amputees (formerly the Angry Amputees), the Hollowpoints and Coke is Better with Bourbon on Sunday night, March 21, at the Atomic Cantina. ... On Monday, March 22, head to Sonny's Bar and Grill for a head-splitting, mind-bender of a rock show featuring High On Fire, Dysrhythmia, Black Maria and one of my favorite math bands of all time including national acts, Simulacrum. The Foxx will be back from their jaunt to SXSW in time to make rock at Burt's on Tuesday, March 23. A pretty good week for local shows in Albuquerque if I do say so my damn self! See you next week.
She's been a troubled teen, a runaway, a drug addict, a drunk, resident of a Kansas City jail, an accomplished student of philosophy at Louisiana State University, a graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and founder/owner/chef of the award-winning Dixie Kitchen Restaurant in Boston. But for the past eight years or so, Mary Gauthier (pronounced Go-Shay, the Louisiana way) has focused all of her energy on reinventing herself yet again, this time as a singer-songwriter. And after three albums, each better than the previous, it looks like she's once again scripted her own success.
Saturday, March 27; Super-secret AMP location (call 842-5073 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations and directions, all ages, $10 donation): Talk about cultural diversity. San Francisco-based duo Four Shillings Short meld the traditional music of the British Isles and India with American folk to create a vibrant musical adventure that's as eclectic as they come. Consisting of Cork, Ireland native Aodh Og O Tuama and San Diego-born Christy Martin, Four Shillings Short utilize more than 10 instruments ranging from ancient to modern—tinwhistle, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, dumbek, hammered dulcimer, banjo, sitar bodrhan, etc.—in the creation of folk music that relies on ethnic idioms for its lively character.
Let's keep things simple at the outset: There are kick-ass bands (Osmium, Systemic, Soultorn, Low Twelve, Bite the Hand), mediocre bands (Blessed with Pain, Pro-Pain, Three Headed Moses, PCP, Condemned, Ominous) and kinda lame ones (Slugtrail, Alchymist, Skeptic, Skitzo) on this debut DVD installment from the good folks at Heavycore.org. That said, Roasting Posers: Vol. 1 features videos by 16 heavy ass bands from all over the United States that could kick your ever-lovin' ass, and the whole affair is quite entertaining, even when the videos themselves aren't.
Singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves third record proves once and for all that you don't have to be Texas-born to make pure Texas music. The Maine native's last record, 2000's Broke Down, was hailed by the Austin Chronicle as "the first great Texas album of the 21st century." Difficult as that particular accolade might be to eclipse, Cleaves has done it with Wishbones. Lyrically striking and a writer of visceral, ironic melodies, Cleaves is a near-perfect combination of Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett. Four years between albums allowed Cleaves to go from critics' darling to trustworthy songwriter, and the result rages.
Unseen Gallery—a new exhibit space specializing in fantasy, art nouveau, erotica, surrealism and other fringe art—opens this week at 108 Morningside SE, just east of the Nob Hill Shopping Center. During the grand opening from Wednesday, March 17, through Saturday, March 20, you can chow on homemade cookies, fudge, chips and dip and slurp unseen punch while browsing original work by Darla Hallmark, Josie Mohr, Jess Taddick, Daral Crowne and Rita Coleman. Call 232-2161 or log onto unseengallery.com for details.
Memory Boards: Exploring Hybrid Histories at Trevor Lucero Studio Artspace
The primary motif galloping through these paintings is the gaucho, the cowboy of the southern South American grasslands. In these complex, multi-layered images, artist Fabrizio Bianchi, whose parents are Argentinean, explores countless surprising facets of this romantic icon from his ancestral motherland.
Two actors, Max and Mercy, attempt to claw, bite and growl their way to success in the jackal eat jackal world of modern Hollywood. Methods to Madness is a dark comedy about the nasty side of Tinsel Town. The play, written by Joel Murray and directed by Gabrielle Johansen, opens this week at the Vortex. The director promises audiences the recommended daily allowance of sex and violence. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. Sundays at 6 p.m. $8. Runs through April 4. 247-8600.
Isn't it about time Starbucks gave you something back? How about some valuable compost, for free? Yeah, you guessed it, Starbucks, Satellite and most other coffee houses are easily persuaded to save their used coffee grounds for you. Sure, you should already be saving your own grounds but coffee houses produce enough to give your compost heap a real kick start. Call or stop in to your favorite java joint in the morning and ask if they'll save that day's grounds for you. Keep in mind that you'll probably have the best luck at the bean juice bar you frequent most. They may ask you to bring in a clean bucket or they may package the goods up in a plastic bag. You'd be surprised how much can accumulate in a day. Is it too soon to be thinking about compost? Naw. We've got about a month to go before the average last frost but with some days as warm as they've been it's not definitely not unreasonable to start working on your soil. This is the perfect time to buy a new composter or stake out a corner of the yard for a heap. Coffee grounds are high in valuable nitrogen but they're also quite acidic. To maintain balance, combine coffee grounds with crushed egg shells and vegetable trimmings from the kitchen. Work the grounds into the soil or add them directly to your compost heap.
Planning on dinner and a movie? Go to Café Voila and the movie's on them! This charming French restaurant in the shadow of the Marriott Pyramid has partnered with Madstone Theaters to give patrons two clever ways to save money on their dates. Option Number One: If you order full-priced dinner entrées, Café Voila will give you each a free movie ticket. Option Number Two: Bring your ticket stub from a Madstone matinee to Voila that same evening and they'll take the cost of your ticket (usually $5.50) off of your dinner entrée's price. I think it's a brilliant marketing idea for them and a screamin' deal for us. For full details call Café Voila (821-2666) or Madstone Theaters (6311 San Mateo NE, 872-4000).
What is that layer of oil on top, anyway?
My mom always used to buy that "natural" peanut butter that came with a thick layer of oil floating on top of the extra-coarse puréed nuts. I begged for Jiff but having already accepted the seven-grain bread and homemade quince jelly that were to make up the other parts of my PBJ equation I was screwed and I knew it. Now I'm a grownup and I can pick any peanut butter I want. But which one? Why does so-called natural peanut butter have that layer of oil on top? And what makes it different from Skippy?
Chef Kent Dagnall talks about salvation through vegan chocolate chip cookies
Big changes are afoot at the Blue Dragon, the little neighborhood hangout that straddles Girard's jog just south of Indian School. With a fresh coat of paint and some new menu concepts headed by Chef Kent Dagnall, the Dragon is gearing up for spring and their fifth birthday on Mother's Day. I recently dropped in on Kent, a long-time pal and culinary co-conspirator, to pump him for information and split one of their signature pizzas.