Alibi Volume 14, Number 34
August 25, 2005
Albuquerque may be dirt-ass poor, but at least we're filthy rich in a few other respects. (Hint: It's not dirt.) I'm talking about our passion. And if there's one thing that Burqueños are passionate about, it's our music. Whether we're at a show, getting all worked up over the all-ages debacle or pressing "repeat" on our newest CD-obsession, we're hopelessly devoted to the music that moves through our city. Hell, we can't even drive down the street without getting an earful of "what's hot" at decibels that would shatter the skull of a canary. Hey, that's passion!
The Albuquerque Wax Museum
"Seven inches of pleasure/Seven inches going home."
—Grace Slick, Across the Board: 1973
Call me an elitist bitch (it's been done), a techno snob (probably) or a digital-fearing Luddite (for sure), but there's nothing like the sound, feel and package of the seven-inch vinyl record.
As youngsters, we called 'em 45s, the RPM speed at which they were played. In the past decade and a half, they might also be 33s (more grooves, more playtime, same amount of space), or both, one speed for either side; some even purposely mislabeled to laugh at the Maximum Rock and Roll review hacks who couldn't tell the difference.
And Bring Us Your Finest Meats & Cheeses, while you're at it.
Albuquerque would have a bleak music scene without Joe Anderson, co-owner of the Launchpad and longtime man-behind-the-local-music-curtain. Here he talks with the Alibi about his more-or-less dormant record label, Science Project, and what it takes to run a record label here in the Kirk.
Gómez and Sanchez spar over residence issue
Politics can get nasty. But when two elected officials nearly come to blows in a middle school parking lot, you know something's amiss. That was the case nearly two years ago, when City Councilor Miguel Gómez and former two-time County Commissioner Ken Sanchez came inches away from a brawl following a Westside neighborhood coalition meeting nearly two years ago. It took a burly city employee, James Lewis, the mayor's chief administrative officer, to break up the ruckus. The argument stemmed from a dispute over the 2003 city road bond, which failed to pass due to the controversial extension of Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument.
At the Aug. 15 meeting, Councilor Craig Loy's bill banning cruising Downtown and Councilor Sally Mayer's massive revision of the city's animal ordinance were postponed. Another Mayer bill that added foxtails to the list of banned weeds passed.
In some ways the Alibi food editor probably ought to be the one writing about this year's City Council races because there are enough tasty prospects involved in them to tempt even jaded political palates. There are some recipes for disaster mixed in, as well.
An interview with State Education Secretary Veronica Garcia
When New Mexico voters created a state secretary of education back in Sept. 2003, Gov. Bill Richardson promised that the new position would be an integral part of his administration's education reform initiative. Richardson pledged that a cabinet-level secretary would hold public schools accountable for how state funds were spent, ensuring that the lion's share went into the classroom and not administrators' pockets.
Mothers Challenge Bush's War
Dixie Prowell had never done anything like it before. Prowell, 58, an Albuquerque CPA, was moved by Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's hobby ranch. Sheehan wants Bush to explain exactly what her son died for in Iraq. While Prowell doesn't agree with all Sheehan says, "I agree with her quest for the truth. She has been able to say he lied in such a poignant way. Her ’emperor has no clothes' story really appeals to me."
Dateline: Sweden—Bored with books? Last weekend, the Malmoe Library in southern Sweden initiated the Living Library project. The project enables people to “check out” a real live human being and is designed so that people can confront their prejudices. Nine people, including a homosexual, an imam, a journalist, a Muslim woman and a gypsy were all available for members of the public to “borrow” for a 45-minute conversation in the library's outdoor café. “Maybe not all journalists are know-it-all and sensationalist, just unafraid and curious. Maybe not all animal rights activists are angry and intolerant, but intelligent and committed,” librarian Ulla Brohed told the AFP news organization. The Living Library project only lasted through the weekend, but officials are considering running it again later this year.
Media for the Mix Age—Describing their genre as “neo-vaudeville,” the performers of Immortelle will be at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) this Friday night mixing up the worlds of film projection, theater and live music. Inspired by the classics of “original sinema” the performance promises to take the audience to “a place reminiscent of the silent film era.” Doors open at 10 p.m. for this intriguing after-hours mash-up. The evening starts with 15 minutes of local short films, followed by the interactive Immortelle performance and then closing out with a live local band. Tickets are $7 in advance or $8 at the door.
An interview with comedian-turned-director Paul Provenza
Stand-up comedian Paul Provenza and his pal, magician Penn Jillette, didn't set out to make the filthiest film ever shot. They simply wanted to gather up a bunch of their show biz friends and document them performing their own twisted take on an infamous, antiquated insider joke, the punch line of which is simply, “The Aristocrats.”
Far-out fantasy isn't Gilliam's finest
Since shedding his skin as a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus and trading it in for a director's chair, filmmaker Terry Gilliam has set himself up as the David in Hollywood's frequent David and Goliath situation. Whether battling a megalithic corporation for control of his ahead-of-its-time artistic vision (Brazil), turning Hollywood hunks into bug-eyed madmen (12 Monkeys) or struggling to shore up a crumbling dream project (check out Lost in La Mancha), Gilliam has been a brilliantly subversive visionary. Even in their most compromised state (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, perhaps), Gilliam's films have been engagingly unique. Odd then, that his latest project should feel so unmistakably Gilliam and—at the same time—so resolutely pedestrian.
“Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on Travel Channel
You could describe Anthony Bourdain as one of those celebrity chefs--except, of course, that he isn't really famous for his cooking. He's famous, mostly, for penning the tell-all, behind-the-scenes exposé Kitchen Confidential, in which the New Jersey-born chef recounts all his smoking, drinking, womanizing--and occasionally cooking--exploits.
The Week in Sloth
Get Your Squawk On--So the inaugural Rocksquawk.com Music Showcase kicks off this weekend with some great local bands at eight locations Downtown. It's our hope that this Saturday's shindig will resonate with local musicians and music supporters alike—you know, turning up the dialogue within our scene and generally rocking all-around. On that note, if you've got something you'd like to say about this event, your band's next gig or anything that's music-related at all, hit up rocksquawk.com and get it out there. Log on, freak out and get your Squawk on!
with Wide Awake and SPOT
Wednesday, August 31; Atomic Cantina (21-and-older), free: Those of you that have ever been in a large-scale school band should be at least somewhat familiar with who I will refer to here as "solo hogs." These are the kids that take every opportunity to jam-out on their instrument; leaving the rest of the band members to wallow in four-note-melody hell. Oregon's own The Sweater Club is composed of six fresh-faced solo hogs that, fortunately for us, are happy to take turns wailing away on their various instruments, just so long as everybody gets a chance to strut their stuff. I'm not sure how the band's songs stay cohesive, but they do so without wasting a drop of any member's skill. Not since Reel Big Fish's Why Do They Rock So Hard? have skyrocketing brass and alt.rock guitar gotten along so well as on The Sweater Club's debut EP, The Exposition. The "Club" sounds a lot like ska/punk/reggae outfit RX Bandits (which makes sense, considering almost every band member cites the Bandits as an influence). The Sweater Club is wise enough, however, to stay away from the pretentious ambient noise that the Bandits seem to have become recently infatuated with. The boys in TSC, by contrast, are only interested in good, clean, new-school-ska fun. That's exactly what they'll bring to the Atomic Cantina this Wednesday when they'll play with Wide Awake and SPOT. Who the hell knows, maybe some fast-paced skanking will even make an appearance.
After a four-year hiatus filled with masters degrees and other bands, Scenester, comprised of Leonard Apodaca on guitar, Roger Apodaca on bass (both formerly of GoMotorCar) and Luke Cordova (Blunt Society) on drums, is releasing their second album, Formula Rock EP. Leonard Apodaca (who you might remember from the Socyermom Records piece in this week's feature) tells all.
with ATG, Caustic Lye, Wisdom of the Leech, Desolate, The Ground Beneath, Suspended, Collateral Hate, Lower Than Dirt, Phalcore, Musik Labb, Aphotic Blitz
Saturday, August 27; The Zone parking lot (2501 San Mateo), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (all-ages): Sure, Ozzfest is not without its overcommercialized charm, but it seems to me that the festival may not exactly cater to the most devout of rock fans. I mean, lets be honest—how hardcore can you be if you're willing to pay $78.50 plus a service charge for a reserved seat? Not very hardcore, would appear to be the answer. It is with this in mind that I present metal fanatics and rock enthusiasts with an alternative. ZoneFest could easily be considered the "anti-Ozzfest." The free event will feature a heaping helping of hard-rocking local ensembles, including the schizophrenically supercharged sounds of Caustic Lye, the punkish, blues-influenced metal of Wisdom of the Leech and an ass-load more. Plus, who needs $6 Journal Pavilion hot dogs when you can have made-to-order barbecue? Finally, there will be merch tents, ticket giveaways, free hookah rentals and piercing specials all day long. So tell your uppity pal who won't let you forget you missed Ozzfest, that you hope he enjoyed paying almost 80 bucks to see In Flames. Screw him! You're going to a real rock show. Hell, you might even get some sort of body part pierced while you're at it. Rock on!
The Dirty Novels are at it again.
No, I don't mean this CD release show (with the usual suspects: raucous Romeo Goes To Hell, lovely Unit 7 Drain, and stomp 'n' roll the Gracchi, plus Cellophane Typewriters—a new one on me, but I hear they're psych/garage).
And no, not the handful of new tunes on the 11-song Stealing Kisses.
Let's face it, it's been a while since good rock music came out of Australia. But the glory days, like those of Men At Work, INXS and most importantly, The Church (yes, they are from Australia), can be relived with Youth Group, honestly one of my favorite new bands. Like its predecessors, Youth Group has cultivated a complex, shimmery, pulsating pop rock sound, reinterpreted to create something that sounds very new and evokes a strong sense of place. The songs, though, are still mostly about relationships, which makes the record good for diffusing fullness of heart.
Watch with rapt disbelief as Sean McCullough, fabled sweetheart of the Albuquerque scene, plays in two different bands at the same show! Sean will open up tonight's set with Weapons of Mass Destruction, take a quick Tecate break and then return to headline with the Oktober People. Things Fall Apart from Chicago will play somewhere in the middle. That's Tuesday, August 30, at Sol Arts. Cost is $5 and this one's all-ages! Hoot!
Whether you're a little tyke in tights or a full-grown mama in a tutu, the Ballet Theatre of New Mexico will soon be putting up two productions, and they're looking for someone just like you. Auditions for The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night's Dream will be held Saturday, August 27, at the Ballet Theatre of New Mexico offices at 6913 Natalie NE. Dancers ages 9 to 14 will audition from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Older dancers from 15 to adult will audition from 3 to 4:30 p.m. You must have a minimum of two years of ballet training and be currently enrolled in at least two classes per week at any studio. For more details, call 888-1054 or go to btnm.org.
Trevor Lucero Studio
Over the past two years, Trevor Lucero Studio has been host to a broad spectrum of art, as well as music and video performances. Unfortunately, the space will soon be closing its doors. "It's really expensive to do free things for the public," Lucero said about the studio's closing. The last exhibit opens this Friday, August 26, with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. and will feature Santa Fe artist Eli Levin who is best known for his satirical bar and dance hall scenes. At the reception, Levin will be signing a book called Scenes of Santa Fe Nightlife consisting of his etchings done over the past 20 years. Lucero calls it Levin's lifetime achievement. Trevor Lucero Studio is located at 500 Second Street SW. 244-0730.
Bad Habits at the Vortex Theatre
Some of us smoke. Some of us drink. Some of us cultivate elaborate perverted fantasies involving gigantic purple bunnies. Even the most straitlaced people in the world have a bad habit or two they wouldn't mind discarding. Of course, getting rid of bad habits is like getting rid of the in-laws; sooner or later, they'll almost certainly be back—with a vengeance.
Nighttime is prime time to get creative. On Friday, August 26, from 10 p.m. to midnight, Gorilla Tango (519 Central NW) will be holding a contest for playwrights. Writers have two hours to write a play, which will then be performed the next day. If you want to participate but don't care for writing, they also need directors and actors. Auditions for those positions will be on Saturday, August 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You'd better be a quick study, because the performance of these plays will be at 8 p.m. that same night. Prizes will be awarded to the plays that get the most votes from the audience. Playwrights must pay a $5 entry fee. For details, call 245-8000.
Popeyes' Preamble. Two hawk-eyed readers e-mailed me to point out that the forthcoming Westside Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits isn't the first of its kind in Albuquerque. Apparently, Popeyes moved to the Duke City in the mid-'80s, but quickly folded due to a watery chicken-based market. "With New Mexico's taste for chile, Popeyes' spicy cayenne chicken seemed like a winner," says chowhound Rick, "but with its high prices and four other competitive chicken places within blocks, it didn't stay in business." Ex-pat Gino also remembers the chicken shack's short shelf-life on Juan Tabo and Lomas, and fondly recalls his application for employment there when he was just "a pimply-faced teenager." Gee, when you put it like that, maybe losing yet another fried-food establishment wasn't such a bad thing after all.
John Mickey, chef/owner of the new Da Vinci's Gourmet Pizza, talks about food, family and pizza in the digital age. The Alibi eats it up.
So, Da Vinci's is tucked away up in the far Northeast Heights, right?
Yeah, we're way up here in the Shops at Mountain Run. We do lunch and dinner for carry out and delivery only.
Why did you decide to do that?
Partly because the space up here wasn't that large, and I didn't want to take up much more room [with a dining area]. And we're trying to keep it simple, to focus on one thing and do it right. Also, I wanted to focus on the Far Heights, High Desert, North Albuquerque Acres—basically where there are not a lot of delivery options.
That's pretty considerate of you.
Well, it's where I grew up.
That's right—I actually went to high school with two of your siblings.