Alibi Volume 15, Number 11
March 16, 2006
Where we are after three years in Iraq
“Iraq is finished.”
They tell me this as Americans. Not as war heroes or foreigners or extremists or patriots or traitors or vigilantes, but as U.S. citizens with deep-rooted connections to the Iraqi community and the war. They tell me many things about the state of Iraq, post-Saddam, post-“Mission Accomplished,” post-elections. The picture they paint is one that has been primarily hidden from ordinary American citizens—sealed off by a veil of media smoke. The imagery is of bombs, kidnappings, lootings, killings, rape, hunger and fear. It is not democracy. It is not freedom. And it has, in their words, destroyed a 5,000-year-old civilization.
A new Sandia study shows that a contaminant from the Mixed Waste Landfill could reach the Albuquerque aquifer as early as 2010
War is known for its potential to breed damage. Sometimes that damage is emotional, psychological, physical or political. Other times, it takes the form of pollution. The Cold War left behind a long trail of abandoned bombshells, nuclear reactors and fission products, and a fair amount of them ended up in our backyard.
At the March 6 City Council meeting, Councilor Ken Sanchez moved a bill setting the Council's one-year budget priorities. Councilor Isaac Benton amended the bill to add pedestrian-friendly language. Councilor Michael Cadigan amended it to encourage walkways over the now four-lane, high-speed Montaño. Councilor Debbie O'Malley's bill requiring a stoplight at the intersection of Griegos and San Isidro passed 8-1, Sanchez opposed, despite the objection of the administration that traffic volume did not warrant a signal. But after a flurry of deferrals, most bills dealt with who gets to build what where.
A new book offers a fresh political perspective
I just read Rabbi Michael Lerner's book, The Left Hand of God, and it has me very excited about his upcoming appearance in Albuquerque at the UNM Continuing Education Center. Anyone interested in seeing American politics transformed from its current malaise should read the book—or at least come out to hear Lerner speak.
Dateline: South Carolina—Mere weeks after a Florida man beat his roommate to death with a sledgehammer over an argument about toilet paper comes word that two motel maids in South Carolina got into an armed duel with a plunger and a mop over the selfsame substance. The women accused one another of taking toilet rolls from each other's cleaning carts at a motel in Charleston. Police were called after the fight left one of the women, 52, with a welt requiring hospital treatment, reports the Post and Courier. The other maid, 47-year-old mop-slinger Deloris Smith, told police she was only defending herself from her plunger-wielding opponent. She was charged with assault and taken to jail.
Spanish Shuffle—Due to scheduling conflicts, the lineup of films at the National Hispanic Cultural Center's Spanish Civil War film series has been altered slightly. Instead of starting on March 2, the films will kick off Thursday, March 23, with Julio Medem's Vacas. The series will continue April 6 with Fernando Trueba's Belle Epoque and April 20 with Jose Luis Cerda's La Lengua de las Mariposas. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. The film screenings are scheduled to run at least twice a month through June 8. For more info, log on to www.nhccnm.org or contact the Spanish Resource Center at 246-2261 ext. 125.
Clear-eyed documentary exposes the business of war
Why We Fight is among the most sober, clear-eyed and thought-provoking of America's recent spate of politically oriented documentaries. Directed by Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger), the film adopts as its launching point the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. As he left his second term of office in 1961, Eisenhower warned--in no uncertain terms--against the rise of the military-industrial complex. It's a point worth reiterating: Eisenhower was a Republican president, a five-star general in the U.S. Army and the former Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe during World War II. And he used his farewell address to the country to warn Americans about the growing global “business” of war.
Rebellious action film goes for the jugular
Back in 1982, two angry young English lads named Alan Moore and David Lloyd channeled their hatred for Margaret Thatcher's regime into a comic book screed against totalitarian governments. The edgy series V for Vendetta perfectly captured England's post-punk desperation, wrapping it up in an adventurous, illustrated tale of high adventure and vigilantism.
It was bigamy--it was big o' you, too!
HBO continues to push the envelope of its ratings-grabbing, attention-garnering Sunday night shows. Now that “The Sopranos” is back on the air and soaking up a record viewership, HBO has paired it with “Big Love,” a controversial new drama/comedy(ish) about a suburban polygamist with three (count 'em, three) wives.
The Week in Sloth
SXSW Rock 'n' Report—No one is sleeping in Austin right now, not even your grandma. The South by Southwest music festival and conference is going full force, and one lucky Alibi reader is reporting about it. Lucille King is the proud, press-pass carrying Rock 'n' Report contest winner, armed with a reporter's notebook and a March 23 deadline to produce some damn good copy. Lucille and her two friends, Aja and Margaret, road tripped it to Austin for their virgin SXSW experience, and we'll get all the gritty details. For daily, late-breaking information from the trenches of SXSW, check out our blog at alibi.com. It'll be the next best thing to being there yourself. Next time, just write the freakin' 500-word essay, won't ya?
Local psych-rockers Death Valley Days take codeine bong hits for breakfast. Heaaaavy. See this week's "Sonic Reducer" for Hypatia Lake's deal. March 19 at Atomic Cantina. A great Sunday show, and a free one at that. (LM)
with Cul De Sac, Circle and Aurora Covert
Sunday, March 19, Launchpad (21-and-over); $8:
Q: What does a kinky dance party sound like when the expensive designer drugs really, really kick in? A: An Albatross.
Celebrated for their explosive, one-minute, synthesizer-soaked songs and their tendency to encourage impromptu audience participation in their live shows, An Albatross are a stirring thing to behold. Their We Are the Lazer Viking LP clocks in at a mere eight minutes and 20 seconds, but don't rush to judgment. With an odd habit of attempting to add words and phrases to popular language ("The Bear Warp" and "Aural Liberation," for example) and an even odder habit of distilling four minutes of already-lunatic rock into 60 seconds of utter abandon, everything about these guys is designed to rescue pop culture from the ho-hum condition that it's in. One visit to see An Albatross will have you convinced they are succeeding. Eddie Gieda, lead singer and self-proclaimed "Psychedelevangelist" puts on an impulsive, athletic performance that will have you questioning reality. (And afterwards, he's likely to come and visit you in your booth to talk about music, love and what it's really like to be a Lazer Viking these days.)
Go on—be a part of An Albatross' cultural revolution. Tickets are available at Natural Sound and www.virtuous.com.
As a genre, doo-wop has been the least-mined for contemporary inspiration, overshadowed by the wealth of '50s R&B gold.
with Redgun Radar
Friday, March 17, Launchpad (21-and-over); $12: I should preface this by saying that the idea of individual entitlement by birth, whether it be money, fame or artistic talent, is somewhat nauseating. That said, pursuing a career in music as the spawn of a great musician must be a complex position to be in. Some obviously do use nepotistic avenues to gain commercial success (Lisa Marie Presley, Jakob Dylan). Some hide their parentage (Nora Jones, daughter of Ravi Shankar). Others are legitimately talented (Natalie Cole, Hank Williams Jr.). The latter is true of the son of outlaw country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, who after years of rocking in L.A. with his band Stargunn, decided to get back to his roots and become the outlaw he was born to be.
The Second Annual New Mexico Music Showcase at SXSW
Texas and New Mexico have what one could call a sibling rivalry. We New Mexicans give our Texan friends a hard time for being from the Lone Star state, and they jest back by asking us how we learned to speak English so well. Well, big-bro Texas, we really do love ya and that's why we're coming over to crash your party.
Artscrawl—You really won't have to get down on your hands and knees to fully appreciate the Downtown Artscrawl occurring this Friday, March 17, from 5 to 9 p.m. Actually, you'll probably enjoy the occasion a lot more if you remain bipedal throughout the evening. In addition to a slew of regular receptions, the Harwood Art Center will present an Open Studio Night, during which artists working at the center will allow the public to observe them in their creative habitats. The nearby MoRo Gallery will display an exhibit of Angus MacPherson's tree paintings. The relatively new Sumner & Dene Gallery offers a one-person show of landscapes by Greg Navratil. Artspace 116 also hosts a one-person show, a 20-year retrospective of colored pencil and ink drawings along with wood, plastic and found object assemblages and sculptures by Ken Saville. These are just a few of the groovy art events that will be happening that evening. For a full roster, log onto www.artscrawlabq.org.
Local artist seeks funding for a hot air balloon in the shape of an atomic bomb
What do you consider the ultimate symbols of New Mexico? Ristras? Coyotes? Adobe buildings? Drunk drivers?
South Broadway Cultural Center
New York City dancer Richard Move presents his acclaimed spoof of Martha Graham at a pair of performances this weekend. The show is both a satire and a tribute to the legendary mother of contemporary dance, and it's received rave reviews from critics and audiences all over the country. It's presented by Global DanceFest, with a special appearance by Joaquin Encinias from the National Institute of Flamenco. The performance will occur Saturday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 19, at 4 p.m. at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE). $20 general, $12 students/seniors. 848-1320.
Mixing original music, poetry and comedy together into a quick and smart show, Amy Steinberg has to be seen and heard to be believed. The powerhouse performer creates thoughtful live shows that promote tolerance, openness and diversity while also entertaining the pants off her astonished audiences. We're lucky she's stopping here in Albuquerque on her national tour with a performance this Saturday, March 18, at 8 p.m. at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW). For more info, call 280-5808.
Greetings, fellow foodies. I'm filling in for the beautiful, talented and much adored Laura Marrich while she's in South America. (Yes, I would like a raise.) Here are the latest culinary happenings in our fair city.
Keep Your Meat to Yourself—March 20 is the Great American Meatout, just in time for spring. The world's largest grassroots diet education campaign will take place with events, lectures and information disbursement in all 50 states. Huh? No meat? Yep. Supporters can follow their veggie-esque brothers and sisters in abstaining from flesh foods while simultaneously getting the lowdown on how to kick out the steaks and load up on the fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This year's theme is alternative fast foods, so demonstrations outside of fast food venues are encouraged. Heck, if you choose to sample out Boca Burgers outside a local KFC, P.E.T.A. will send you free literature to distribute. For more information on how to join the festivities, check out www.meatout.org.
Sauces with meatsa—sorry kids, no pizza
Being a grownup has its benefits. You no longer have a bedtime, you don't have to wear those itchy little jackets for pictures and, best of all, mac and cheese, chicken fingers and pizza are not your only choices of tummy filler.
I have to come clean about an obsession I've had for many years now: I am a cab lover. No, not the yellow kind: the yummy, red wine kind—Cabernet Sauvignon. As the backbone of all French Bordeaux and the grape upon which Napa Valley built its fame, what's not to love? It is so well known you can call it "cab" for short and sound like you know what you're talking about. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the oldest varietals on the block.