Alibi Volume 14, Number 47
November 24, 2005
Albuquerque has the potential to lead the way in renewable energy—so what are we doing to make it a reality?
If the city's politicians can turn policy into reality, Albuquerque could someday be The City Renewable.
What the governor is doing for renewable energy
In the past few years, Gov. Bill Richardson has repeatedly been quoted saying he plans to make New Mexico the “Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.” So how is the former Energy Secretary keeping his promise? And what—besides declaring New Mexico a “clean energy state” and mugging through photo ops while switching from a Lincoln Navigator to a hybrid Ford Escape SUV—has the governor done to make New Mexico a more efficient, more alternative energy kind of state?
Signed into city law last September, the initiative has nine main goals, which include:
• To develop a program that provides tax incentives and credits to companies that manufacture solar energy products or technologies.
• For all city-owned buildings and facilities to use 15 percent renewable energy within seven years—and for all new city-owned buildings over 100,000 square feet to be equipped with renewable energy technologies that would generate 25 percent of the building's energy.
• To expand current city investments in energy efficiency and to add investments in renewable technologies. (Currently, the city spends 1 percent of its capital improvements money on energy conservation projects.)
Gov. Richardson wants to slash the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent, but is that an impossible task?
A plan to cut 75 percent of New Mexico's greenhouse gas emissions in 45 years sounds like the premise for a science fiction novel. Yet an initiative signed by Gov. Bill Richardson has set such a plan in motion. Along with 20 other states, New Mexico is now working on a strategy for confronting climate change.
Ernest Hemingway once said that Paris is a movable feast: That if you're lucky enough to have experienced Paris as a young man, then wherever you go Paris goes with you. Having seen Paris, I think I would agree with him (despite the bad lighting and grainy quality of the video, which left something to be desired). Although I've never actually been with the iconic heiress, from what I can gather it would seem the old man was on to something.
Pathetic fear-mongering in our local media
It was an amazing example of television broadcasting creating ... or better, fabricating ... a story out of thin air. Unfortunately, for all of us, the mischief that entrepreneurial journalism of that sort can gin up is enormous.
Dateline: Japan—A giant white radish that won the hearts of the Japanese people was in critical condition at a town hall in western Japan late last week after surviving a murder attempt by an unknown assailant. The daikon radish, similar to a giant carrot, first made news a few months ago when it was discovered poking up through the asphalt along a roadside in the town of Aioi, population 33,289. Last week, residents were shocked and even moved to tears to learn that the beloved vegetable, nicknamed “Gutsy Radish,” had been decapitated. TV talk shows seized on the attempted vegecide as a hot topic of discussion and a day later, the top half of the radish was found near the site where it had been growing. A town official said last Thursday that the top half of the severed radish had been placed in water in an attempt to keep it alive and possibly to get it to flower. Asked why the daikon, used as a garnish in traditional Japanese food, had so many fans, town spokesman Jiro Matsuo told reporters, “People discouraged by tough times were cheered by its tenacity and strong will to live.”
“Pobresito Albuquerque”—we're better than that
Congratulations, Albuquerque. According to the city's own website, we are near the top of every list of the cheapest places to do business. We are a leader on the who's who list of cheap labor, cheap office space and cheap real estate. No wonder so many Americans from other cities think we are still part of Mexico.
What would it take to be a 21st century “Rosie”?
Scanning aisle after aisle of men's work clothes and accessories at the local Kmart, I spotted the treasure I needed to complete my Halloween costume—a bright red bandanna. Later, a friend demonstrated how women used to tie those bandannas on their heads in the '40s. All I needed to complete the picture was a dark blue coverall—with sleeves rolled up ready to work—and a Westinghouse Electric employee badge pinned to my collar. I was set.
Gorilla Cinema Success—The 1st Annual (hopefully) Gorilla Tango Film Festival went smoothly this last weekend. The festival featured three blocks of short film from filmmakers around the state. When the voting settled, Ryan Denmark's “Date 1.0”came out in first place, followed by Cyndi Trissel's “Phone Friends” in second place. Matt Page's “Shootin' for Love” and Jason Witter's “One Hour Conspiracy” tied for third. Matt Page's “Dial the Devil” locked down fourth place, while Phillip Hughes' “Yellowville” rounded out the top five. Congratulations to all the filmmakers who participated. Thanks to all the folks at Gorilla Tango for supporting local film. And a big “muchas gracias” to all the audience membes who came to check out the local talent.
All musicals are, by their very nature, fantasies. They require audiences to believe in an alternate universe in which ordinary people are prone to burst into song at the drop of a hat. The success of a musical depends, largely, on how quickly and how comfortably you believe in this world in which street gangs take out their aggressions by dancing and Nazi officers can carry a tune.
Hijinks ensue in a house full of kids. (Wacky hijinks, mind you.)
Following Hollywood's current trend of repetition and regurgitation, Yours, Mine and Ours is a remake of an obscure 1968 Lucille Ball vehicle which most people have never heard of and were not, therefore, clamoring for a remake of.
Thanksgiving Around the Dial
Every time a holiday rolls around, I imply that you hate your relatives and would rather spend the holiday avoiding them and watching TV. I realize now that that is wrong. After all, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to spend your holidays staring at the Idiot Box. You could, for example, be a misanthrope with no family or friends.
The Week in Sloth
Jasper Brown gets Down—Little Kiss recording artist Jasper Brown will release his debut CD on Saturday, Nov. 26, at a semi-private party on the 200 block of Cornell. Edith Grove, The Backseat Rockers and others are set to perform next to Jasper—so if you haven't gotten an invite, I suggest you start making some phone calls. Or just buy the album. Jasper's The Plan is nine original tracks of Americana, folk and slack-rhythm rock that spirals out from the spare beauty and desolation of his Southeast New Mexican upbringing. Give it a few spins, and you'll be saying "she's got a thing for Jesus" in that same gentle tremolo of his. Look for the album any day now on the Little Kiss website (www.littlekiss.com) and www.cdbaby.com.
Sticky Moco's Monthly Get Down presents local hip-hop favorites Garbage Pail Kidz, Zach Freeman, Bles from the 2bers and DJ Chach. That's the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 25) at Burt's Tiki Lounge. 21-and-over. Doors open at 9 p.m., and it's free! (LM)
The soundtrack to your epiphany
Think back to the latest dramatic film you've seen. Fast forward to the scene where the main character realizes everything he's ever wanted is right there in front of him or, when he figures out what it takes to conquer impossible odds. Now, forget the music was playing in the background. Moments like these should really be scored by Leiahdorus' Parallel Universe.
Audiences will be made to witness the torture and humiliation as evil robots force JBOT to rock hard
You may not realize it, but robots are the biggest problem humans face in the 21st century. Their take-over and annihilation of humanity could be only a few short decades or days away. JBOT's miserable situation is just one sign that evil machines will soon rule the earth.
with At Fault and The Dirty Novels
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m.; Winning Coffee Co. (all-ages), $5: St. Louis' own glam-psychobilly foursome the 7 Shot Screamers are perhaps best known for their roles in the Original Sinners—an alt.country group backed by the Screamers and fronted by punk goddess Exene Cervenka (formerly of X). However, with a dab of glam and a smidgen of garage rock, the Screamers have created a sound all their own: a bit like Mike Ness' experimentation with rockabilly, minus the Social Distortion influence and supplemented with psychedelic elements of the Clash. Their song "Hooker" sounds almost like a demented Big Bopper cover of "Johnny B. Goode" and "Keep the Flame Alive" is reminiscent of a decheeseified version of the Kaiser Chief's' "I Predict a Riot." The Screamers will also be joined by new-ish cogendered local rock outfit At Fault, as well as The Dirty Novels. As if that weren't enough, Wednesday's show will take place in the extremely intimate (and hardwood floored) Winning Coffee Co. As with the last Winning-hosted performance by The Hard Lessons, the Screamers show is one in a series of concerts brought to us by Paul from the Dirty Novels. Let him know you appreciate his efforts to give Albuquerqueans the chance to see first-class bands in a unique setting by getting your ass to the show. We promise you'll be glad you did.
with The Oktober People and Gingerbread Patriots
Friday, Nov. 25; Atomic Cantina (21-and-over), free: See how inbred Albuquerque's musical gene pool actually is this Friday as Boyd Reno is John Center (Oh, Ranger!) returns from Seattle with a new ensemble cast. The high concept musical act—where each band member plays a character and each album is a movie—performs at Atomic Cantina with other former Albuquerque residents Westin Glass (Mistletoe) as Don Juan Diego de Mondragón and Jessica Roberts as Nora Bangkok. Joining them in place of bandmates/costars who can't make it down to the Kirk will be Gil Sanchez (Oh, Ranger!) and Noelan Ramirez (Oh, Ranger!, Romeo Goes to Hell). What characters will they play? We don't know ... you'll have to go to the show to find out. What we do know is that Friday's special cast of characters will be performing songs from both John Center projects: Heart Positions (recorded and released in Albuquerque) and the very recent Soul Explosions (recorded and released in Seattle).
So, as someone who has seen all aformentioned bands live, my calculations suggest that this show will be a special collision of some of the best in Albuquerque rock tradition, make-believe screen icons and surprise.
Versify—2002 National Poetry Slam team champion Blair will make an appearance at the Blue Dragon Coffeehouse (1517 Girard NE) during the Collage of Verse Poetry Slam on Friday, Nov. 25. He of the Single Name is the poetry editor of The Furnace Magazine and is also a poetry instructor in the Detroit public school system. Blair has performed his spectacular live verse all over the world, and we're very lucky doggies to have him here in Albuquerque for an evening. A host of local slammers will be poeticizing into the Blue Dragon mic as well. Show starts at 7 p.m. 268-5159.
Pearls of the Antilles
Haiti and Cuba have competing claims to the title "Pearl of the Antilles," explains Emmanuelle Sainte, co-founder of a Pan-African artist collective of (roughly) the same name that opened its doors on the east end of Nob Hill eight months ago. Sainte, along with partner Ken Smith, thought the moniker Pearls of the Antilles would be perfect for their collective. The name not only exudes a certain poetic exoticism, but it's also a fine symbol for the complex history of African peoples, a history that's brought so many descendents of Africa to the New World.
O'Niell's Gets a New Lease on Life!—Robert O'Niell, proprietor of Albuquerque's much-missed O'Niell's Pub, called me up last week to say that he'd found a new space for the bar/restaurant at 4310 Central SE. You may remember O'Niell's Pub closed its doors on Dec. 31 of last year, after the landlords who controlled the space at 3211 Central SE in Nob Hill chose not to continue O'Niell's lease into 2005. "I've been looking for a new building since I couldn't renew my lease at the old place," O'Niell says. Along with four other business partners, O'Niell was recently able to purchase the short-lived Empire nightclub building (one block west of Washington on Central). "We're trying to do something that complements the neighborhood." With the Tricklock, Q-Staff and Highland Theaters all within walking distance, that area is beginning to transform from a graveyard of Route 66-era motels to a thriving and culturally diverse theater district. A new O'Niell's Pub would certainly be another positive addition to the neighborhood.
Sandwiches by any means necessary
Ernest and Jo Ann Roybal are serious sandwich people. They've gotten kicked out of a shopping mall, driven insane distances and even tagged their own wall—all in the name of bringing homemade sandwiches and salads to hungry Albuquerqueans. And they've done it all with a smile and a side of potato salad.
Three ways to beat the leftover turkey blahs
To be perfectly honest, the best way to polish off a mountain of Thanksgiving leftovers is by piling them high on a sloppy, succulent sandwich. You know the drill: A slab of bread lined with butter, cranberry sauce, stuffing, turkey ... maybe a dab of gravy for moisture. No shame in that! But, according to the National Turkey Federation, turkey can go south after just three or four days in the fridge. And not a moment too soon: That's just when those kitchen sink sandwiches start to loose their appeal. But wait—don't throw your turkey baby out with the bath water! Extend the life of your leftovers with a simple stock or soup preparation.