Alibi Volume 15, Number 07
February 16, 2006
A village without music is a dead village. —African proverb
Only physicists and dancers can explain the energy created by a booming beat, extending beyond the dance floor with the power to make even the most left-footed among us shake her rear. From the parking lot nearly a block away, the sound coming out of the Maple Street Dance Space was distinctive—the beat of multiple drums, stomping feet, the hoots and hollers of an excited audience. No one could mistake it for anything other than a party full of energy, life and people having fun.
Maple Street Dance Space
111 Maple SE
Maple Street is a great place to begin learning African dance or continue your study. The space offers classes in mixed-level African dance, Haitian dance, Capoeira, Afro-Cuban dance, multiple levels of African drum and lots more. To check out a schedule, visit www.maplestreetdancespace.com.
The Alibi sits down with the Guv
Gov. Bill Richardson has never been a man for small undertakings. Rather, as his nickname, Big Bill, implies, he tends to aim for ... well, bigger accomplishments. It started with a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1983, and continued into the position of U.S. Ambassador to the UN in 1997, which landed him three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. From there, his ambitions snagged him a job as the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and eventually landed him back here in New Mexico in the governorship. Now, with recent speculation about his interest in the White House, it seems as though Big Bill's tendencies aren't going to downsize anytime soon.
Councilor Brad Winter called for a second hearing on his comprehensive ethics bill to allow time for the administration to discuss their concerns. Councilor Debbie O'Malley introduced a group of Valley High School students who made a very polished presentation about the potholed road to their school. The road's condition results in part from confusion over whether APS or the city is responsible for it. Councilors elected the current acting director of the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations, Carmen L. Kavelman, as the permanent director. Mayor Martin Chavez' appointment of engineer and developer Augustine "Gus" Grace to the Joint Air Quality Control Board won approval on a 6-3 vote, Councilors Michael Cadigan, Isaac Benton and O'Malley opposed.
Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the corrosive influence of money on our public policy. I'm not just talking about the shenanigans inside the beltway of our nation's capitol—that Congress is for sale to the highest bidder has unfortunately become a practically accepted tenet of the American belief system.
Dateline: New Zealand—Organizers of a vintage car rally came up with a novel solution to an age-old problem--by hiring karate experts to protect vehicles from marauding parrots. According to the New Zealand Press Association, around 40 members of a local karate club were enlisted last Sunday to protect 140 classic cars set to pass through an alpine village near Mt. Cook on New Zealand's South Island. The martial arts experts were there to protect the cars from Keas, sharp-beaked native parrots that have been known to damage vehicles in their search for shiny objects. Organizers assured bird lovers that the karate fighters would not hurt the parrots, which are a protected species, but would simply scare the birds away. Local wildlife ranger Ray Bellringer said the karate fighters were unlikely to deter the Keas. “They will fly around and laugh,” he told the NZPA.
Submit to the Gorillas—The 2nd Gorilla Tango Film Festival will take place Saturday, March 11, at 8 p.m. The mad programmers down at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theater are looking for films/videos of any length for inclusion in their sophomore public screening. All submissions must be sent on DVD, VHS, SVCD or VCD. There is a $10 nonrefundable submission fee per film. Submission deadline is Thursday, March 9. Prizes will be awarded to the top films as decided by a panel of local judges. For more info and a complete submission form, log on to www.gorillatango.com.
Disney adventure drama goes to the dogs
Based very loosely on a true story (not to mention the 1983 Japanese film Antarctica), the Disney adventure drama Eight Below harkens back (sort of) to the days of Disney's “True-Life Adventure” dramas--from the notorious, documentary-like White Wilderness (1958) to the Rex Allen-narrated eco-adventure Charlie the Lonesome Cougar (1967) to the fully anthropomorphized Incredible Journey (1963). Over the years, Disney has tried to replicate this old family-friendly formula with only intermittent success (1983's Never Cry Wolf, for example).
Class of 1984
Among the great cinematic achievements of the '50s are the mini-masterpieces known as Juvenile Delinquency films. This underappreciated genre, which includes such greats as High School Caesar and Blackboard Jungle, features slick cautionary tales of youth gone wild, warning us against the perils of drug abuse and violence. For better or worse, the '80s saw a resurgence in this genre, with offerings such as 1987's The Principal starring James Belushi. But these latter-day yarns of reactionary violence all pale in comparison to Mark L. Lester's incredible Class of 1984.
“G.I. Joe: Sigma 6”
I'm just old enough to remember the “real” G.I. Joe: a 12-inch hunk of manly vinyl complete with facial hair and kung-fu grip. In the early '80s, G.I. Joe endured a radical makeover and was transformed into a cheap, 3-inch hunk of hard plastic to coincide with a new cartoon series. Unlike much of Reagan's America, Joe not only survived his downsizing, but thrived. In the toyetic world of the '80s, G.I. Joe became a phenomenon, alongside other TV/action figure crossovers like Transformers and He-Man. To this day, I know grown men who are rabid collectors of '80s-era G.I. Joe toys and all but wept when “G.I. Joe” season one hit DVD. ... Of course, I'm one to talk. (I still have all my Micronauts--plus every issue of the Marvel comic book.)
The Week in Sloth
Thursday is Overrun with All-Ages Shows—Get out of the house, already! There's a full night of under-21 music starting at Sol Arts (712 Central SE, 244-0049) where We Were Born as Ghosts will release their brand-spankin'-new EP, titled Winter. The Overnight and Southpaw round out a progressive indie rock-type lineup. Cover is $5 and doors open at 7 p.m. Next up, five-piece rez rockers Pueblo Revolt are playing the Blue Dragon between 8 and 10 p.m. Admission is ... free? I don't know, don't quote me on that. Then there's the My Bloody Valentine Party at Pulse at 9 p.m., where gothic/industrial kids of at least 18 years can explode into a giggling matrix of post-Valentine's dance fever. Renowned musician, animator, writer and toy designer Voltaire will headline, with local two-man electric riot Vertigo Venus opening. Tickets are $10 at the door, which also qualifies you for a ton of Voltaire goodies valued at over $100.
“But, now the dream is over, and the insect is awake.” Featuring the magnificent two-man Swearing at Motorists (who released their latest album, Last Night Becomes This Morning, just last week), plus The Oktober People, Lousy Robot and Chris McFarland. Friday, Feb. 17, at Atomic Cantina (21-and-over). Free! (LM)
Cowboys, Indians and dolls with soul
Carrying the ethics of punk rock to the movies, Guild Cinema owners Keif Henley and Peter Conheim screen films they believe must be seen, knowing an audience will find them.
with The Cherry Tempo and Shapes and Sizes
Monday, Feb. 20, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: Attention all Modsters and air-guitar-enthusiasts: Your rock 'n' roll fantasy has arrived. Springfield, Mo.'s Thee Fine Lines might look a bit bookish, but rest assured, they'll have you spilling your beer in awe as they drag you into a dirt- and piss-filled gutter of three-chord, louder-than-hell rock 'n' roll. Take "Louie Louie" and the Go-Go's "We Got the Beat," add distorted vocals and a healthy dose of youthful anger and you've got all the ammunition you need to wake up with six stitches above your right eye.
with Kev Lee and special guests David Wade, Pipes, Physics, Vengence and MZ Burd
Friday, Feb. 17, Raw/Sauce (21-and-over): Dreeg, a.k.a. Steven Rodrigue, is eyeing musical stardom. Halfway through recording his first solo effort, Six Months of Solitude, the Dirt Headz standout quit his job so he could concentrate all of his energies on making it in the music biz. Six Months combines the catchy, female-sung hooks and synthetic drum beats commonly associated with mainstream rap and adds down-to-earth emo-rap lyrics similar to those of Atmosphere's Slug.
An interview with local celebrity Caleb Crump
Caleb and I are standing outside of the office on Central posing for a photo after our interview, both giving the thumbs up, when a passing motorist shouts from his truck, "Caleb!" As one of our most recognizable local personalities, right up there with men like Ron Bell, Don Schrader, Steve Stucker and the mayor, the warm, polite and approachable self-promoting partyer from Baltimore says he gets this all the time.
Point and Shoot—You've got plenty of time, but you'd still be wise to get started now. The deadline for our Third Annual Photo Contest is Wednesday, March 8, at 5 p.m. Trust me, it'll be here before we know it.
The Structure of Dreams at Exhibit/208
While wandering through the current Exhibit/208 show, it's fun to take the title of the exhibit at face value. It sounds New Agey, doesn't it? A little bit hazy and softcore? My thoughts exactly, but I have to admit that this title provides a fascinating filter for Gary Wellman's sculptures.
UNM's Spring 2006 season kicks off in a toxic cloud of cocaine and sex. A student production of David Rabe's black comedy, Hurlyburly, about a group of debauched friends trying to make it in Hollywood, will be performed in Theatre X. The play originated Off Broadway in the mid '80s. It was made into a film in 1998. The show runs through Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Call for specific dates. $10 general, $8 seniors, $7 students. 925-5858.
Yale Art Center
An intriguing one-man show opens tonight at the Yale Art Center (1001 Yale SE), featuring some wild paintings by David Polka. Inspired by graffiti art, Asian religious iconography, illuminated manuscripts and anime, among other things, Polka's work is surprisingly contemplative. The show opens this Friday, Feb. 17, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. with live music and refreshments. 242-1669.
Imagine doing something because you love doing it—not for money, fame or someone else's praise, but because it connects you with yourself, your friends and your world. Now imagine that that something involves poetry.
R.I.P. Doc & Mz. V's—This unfortunate news tidbit comes courtesy of a reader who, thanks to a review we ran (“Doc & Mz. V's Diner: Southwestern Heart and Southern Soul Food,” Jan. 26-Feb. 1) only recently got turned on to the Southern-style South Valley diner. "Encouraged by our tasty lunch last week, a colleague and I headed back this afternoon," she wrote in an e-mail. "The restaurant was dark, chairs upside down on the tables. ... Another one bites the dust." A call to the restaurant confirmed their sudden and unforeseen closure, where an answering machine delivered Mz. V's heartfelt goodbye. "Doc and I regret that we have closed the business down as of Feb. 3," she explained, " ... due to staffing issues that will not allow Doc and I to ... live, breath, eat and sleep the restaurant." Doc & Mz. V's Diner opened in May of 2005, under the care of Dr. Thomas Strain (Doc) and Vanessa Strain (Mz. V). As a final note on her message, Mz. V says, "This has been a real experience for us, to get to know our neighbors and a lot of people who will be our friends in our future. I'd like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you."
Downtown's first—and only—fine dining billiard hall to open March 11
"Look around you—what do you notice about my place?" Ramona Biddle asks as she shows me into the combined dining room, bar and billiard's area. It's difficult to pinpoint where I should start. Ramona, a professional billiards player-cum-restaurateur, has spent the last nine years dreaming up every square inch of the Carom Club, right down to the bathroom countertops (a creamy orange stone in the men's room, semitranslucent blue aventurine for the ladies).
Want some secret recipe chile? Say "Uncle."
How does it feel to get exactly what you want? Imagine a huge oval platter heaped high with a smokin'-hot cheese enchilada, a moist tamale stuffed tighter than a Christmas goose with shreds of spicy meat, a crisp, beefy taco and refried beans whipped to perfection. Now, imagine everything slathered in a thick, deep red chile sauce and sprinkled with cool bits of lettuce and tomato.