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
By Christie Chisholm
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
By Amy Dalness
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.
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
By Devin D. O'Leary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Jennifer Wohletz
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.
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.
By now, the story has spread far and wide, taking on a life all its own. In September of last year, Laura Berg, a nurse at the local Veterans' Affairs (VA) hospital, wrote a letter to the Alibi criticizing the Bush administration for the war in Iraq and its handling of Hurricane Katrina. In her letter, which we printed, Berg advised that concerned citizens "act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit."
The Ban Got the Boot—As if we didn't already know, the Mayor Marty Chavez-backed proposal to ban alcohol sales at all-ages show was going down the second it was announced. The “Scene Killer” didn't kill much of anything. The new regulations adopted by the Alcohol and Gaming Division, which will go into effect in April, require that venues selling alcohol at all-ages shows must have a seprate drinking area where minors aren't allowed, something most venues do already. It took some legwork, it took some real scene-wide love, but it was worth every bit. The all-ages scene still lives.
The "One Man Big Band" who's definitely not a gimmick
By Simon McCormack
Kevin Kinane (aka Daddy Long Loin) spends his days playing and teaching music to kids at the Children's Psychiatric Center and working with youngsters at various schools around the city. By night, the Daddy's one-man performance comes complete with drums, harmonica, keyboard, live sampling and a bass/guitar combo instrument known as the Chapman Stick. The Frank Zappa- and Primus-inspired musician has released several albums with exclusively loin-oriented titles (such as Wrong Place, Loin Time), and his live performances, as he says, must be seen to be believed.
Thursday, March 9, Launchpad (21-and-over); $15: Imagine you're in high school (this may be harder for some than others) and your football team has just ended the first half down 35 to 3. As you sit in the stands wondering if you should cut your losses and go home, the marching band starts to play. At first, it seems like an ordinary halftime performance, but there seems to be some extra pep in the band's collective step. All of a sudden, the band steps onto the field and begins to play a New Orleans-style jazz romp complete with flugelhorn, tambourine and full-fledged hip swaying. By now you're thinking, “I wish this band could play all damn night long!”
Saturday, March 11, Route 66 Casino (all-ages): Where else can you hear “My Captain” and “Slow Ride” on the same night? I mean, besides the Buzzard, Arrow 102.5, 94 Rock and probably some AM stations somewhere along the dial. But the only place to hear these classic rock gems live on the same night is at the Route 66 Casino on Saturday. It appears that neither Grand Funk Railroad nor Foghat has updated their websites in the last half-decade or so, but the most recent photos and info seem to indicate that both bands have retained most of their original members who, aside from a little weight gain, seem able as ever to rock out with the best of them. (Them, of course, refers to the other casino-frequenting groups.) So, Saturday night, if you're feeling nostalgic or you just want to hear Buzzard-esque tunes without the gravelly voiced DJ making you increasingly irritated, come on down to Route 66 Casino and check out some rock legends (or what's left of them).
New Mexico Wine Takes Silver in San Francisco—This February, judges at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition were asked to "snift" through more than 3,300 wine selections from around the country in what has become the largest and most distinguished American wine competition in the world. California was heavily represented—and an easy favorite. Still, a little winery based out of Southern New Mexico managed to walk away with one of the competition's top honors. Willmon Vineyards garnered a silver medal in the "Bordeaux Blend—$30 and Over" class for their 2002 Willmon Vineyards Quatro. What's Quatro, you ask? Basically, it's a tasty red blend of Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon that's aged in French oak for about two years. This is the second internationally recognized award for the Willmon's Quatro. You can sample some for yourself at the vineyard's two retail tasting rooms in Ruidoso, the End of the Vine (www.endofthevine.com) and Viva New Mexico (www.viva-nm.com). Cheers!
Remember the restaurant family dinners of your childhood? You wanted soda, you got milk, your brother made weird noises, you got blamed. You got your choice of the kids' meal trifecta: pizza, chicken fingers, or macaroni and cheese. Auntie had a few glasses of wine, uncle smoked those fat, smelly cigars, and mom and dad were so busy talking that you could get away with kicking your brother under the table—the first two times, at least.
Author's spattering of neo-Mediterranean food proves Spain is at the tapa its game
By Eric D. Howerton
During a 2002 trip to the Mediterranean town of Granada, a Spanish history professor told me the fork wasn't widely used in Spain until the 18th century. This meant when Columbus was contracted to "discover" America, Ferdinand and Isabella were using little more than their manos to stuff their royal faces.
A new affordable housing project in Albuquerque aims at retaining local artists
By Christie Chisholm
The land is ripe for movement. And, if all goes according to the Sawmill Community Land Trust's (SCLT) plans, before long it will be bustling. With a combined 200 units of affordable housing, both to rent and own, offices, a child care center, a plaza, a community garden, a dog park, a playground, a market, a pub and retail spaces coming in over the next few years, all on the same 34 acres, there's sure to be some vibrant commotion moving into the neighborhood.
A recent Channel 13 “investigative” report circulates faulty information
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
I missed KRQE Channel 13's recent “investigative” report on so-called unqualified persons being hired to state jobs by Gov. Bill Richardson, but around the office water cooler it was a hot topic. I gather its thesis was that our governor has been found to have (who would have imagined it!) hired persons into state jobs primarily for their loyalty rather than their skills.
This country was built on the backs of immigrants—most of whom would have been considered illegal by today's standards
By Eric Griego
In times of growing mainstream xenophobic, anti-immigrant hyperbole, it takes leaders of courage to stand up for the American dream. Sadly, in our community and our country, they are as hard to find as American citizens willing to pick tomatoes.
Dateline: Romania—A Romanian soccer team is demanding a refund after the player it traded for 35 pounds worth of pork sausages quit. Defender Marius Cioara retired a day after the second division team UT Arad sold him to fourth division Regal Hornia for a pile of meat. After the deal was confirmed, a spokesperson for Regal Hornia told reporters, “We gave up the team's sausage allowance for a week to secure him, but we are confident it will be worth it.” But, a day after the deal was leaked to the national media, Cioara announced he was giving up soccer and leaving the country. “The sausage taunts all got too much,” he said. “They were joking I would have got more from the Germans and making sausage jokes. It was a huge insult. I have decided to go to Spain where I have got a job on a farm.”
Why We Discuss—Why We Fight, the Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, will begin screening this weekend at the CCA Cinematheque in Santa Fe. The documentary explores the economic underpinnings of the American military and the economic necessity of war. This Saturday, March 11, directly following the 7 p.m. screening, there will be a panel discussion featuring Col. Richard Rael (commander of the 515th Corps Support Battalion in Operation Iraqi Freedom II), William Morgan Stewart (Time magazine bureau chief in the Middle East), Zelie Pollon (cofounder of the Independent Press Association), David Bacon (Green Party 2002 gubernatorial candidate) and Alex Rubin (UNM assistant professor). Tickets for the screening, panel discussion and reception are $10. Donations will be accepted at the reception to benefit Veterans For Peace. The CCA Cinematheque is located at 1050 Old Pecos Trail. Tickets can be reserved by calling the CCA box office at (505) 982-1338.
Occasionally, moviegoers like to play a game called “What the hell is wrong with film critics?” In this game, they attempt to figure out what it is that makes film critics so different from ordinary folks. Clearly, people who review movies for a living are a pack of crusty old player-haters. How else to explain the fact that, say, that jerk from the Alibi hated Big Momma's House 2? Big Momma's House 2 was hilarious! It was the No. 1 movie in America! Obviously, the guy hates film and knows nothing about the tastes of the average American.
Depp's historical drama explores all the uses of the word “dirty”
By Devin D. O'Leary
The controversial new Johnny Depp-led historical drama The Libertine hews closely to England's long and proud tradition of Mud, Blood and Horse Crap-style realism. This school of thought believes that the more mud, blood and horse crap you show on the screen, the more historically accurate the film will seem. While The Libertine does look as dimly lit and disease-ridden as possible, it doesn't necessarily translate into a particularly pleasant moviegoing experience.
Now that it's all said and done, let's put aside the minuscule controversies (Crash won! Rap songs are now guaranteed Oscar material!) and look at the actual show. How was the “78th Annual Academy Awards” telecast? In a word (OK, two): rather dull.
Stan Won't Dance—Well, actually, he will, but only if you ask him nicely. The London two-man dance troupe integrates original text with experimental choreography, design and video. Stan Won't Dance will be performing Sinner, a show loosely about the Soho Bomber, at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SW) this Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. This unique performance is sponsored by the folks from Global DanceFest. Tickets are $30 general, $15 students/seniors and can be reserved by calling 848-1320.
First Seen: Portraits of the World's Peoples (1840-1880) at the University Art Museum
By Steven Robert Allen
These days, it's easy to take armchair travel for granted. With 8,000 cable channels at our fingertips, nothing could be simpler than to kick back in our La-Z-Boys with our remote in one hand and a cup of hot cocoa in the other as we take in exotic sights and sounds from the furthest reaches of the globe.
Life Studies, Susan Vreeland's first short fiction collection, continues in the vein of the best-selling author's previous work, using art and artists as vehicles for storytelling. I recently caught up with Vreeland at the new Borders on Albuquerque's Westside on a recent sunny winter afternoon. Vreeland looks the schoolteacher she was for 30 years, but beneath this facade lies a passion for writing and art that she delights in sharing. We chatted over tea (and a late lunch for Vreeland, whose flight from Denver had been delayed).
If nothing else, this year's Oscars will provide months of vitriolic fuel for right-wing, Hollywood-hating pundits. The show is hosted by political comedian and “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, certainly no great fan of the Bush administration. And just look at the films that have been nominated for awards. There are films that utterly fail to condemn homosexuality (TransAmerica, Capote, Brokeback Mountain). There are films that insult the memory of patriotic, Republican Commie-hater Joe McCarthy (Good Night, and Good Luck). There are films that cast doubt on the unparalleled racial harmony we enjoy here in America (Crash, Hustle & Flow). There are films that assail the inherent correctness of America's corporate/capitalist power structure (The Constant Gardener, North Country, Syriana). There are even films that call into question our current war against freedom-hating terrorists (Munich, Paradise Now, Syriana again). Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and the like are going to have a field day.
“Although there are many Iraqis who hate us, who welcome and toast and celebrate our deaths, there are also those who would lay down their lives for us.”
By Alex E. Limkin
American poet Robert Frost once wrote, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall ... and makes gaps even two can pass abreast." Had he continued to respire into these troubled times, instead of succumbing to the humus in 1963, Frost might have written, "Something there is that doesn't love an occupying army ... and fashions improvised explosives with cigarettes dangling from mouths sans dentifrice."
At the Feb. 22 meeting, councilors unanimously approved a $300,000 contract with artist Michael Metcalf to provide sculptures for the I-40/Louisiana Blvd. interchange. The Metcalf project is described as two assemblages of 30-foot-high bronze and stainless steel spires rising from boulder bases. Councilors voted to fill two Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices seats vacated by Isabel Cabrera and Seth Heath. Councilor Michael Cadigan nominated retired lawyer and former EPC member Alan Schwartz. Councilor Craig Loy nominated air traffic controller Joe Maguire, a graduate of St. Pius High School and the U.S. Naval Academy. Councilor Brad Winter nominated pharmaceutical salesman and former Council candidate Sander Rue. Schwartz and Rue won the two places.
A new bill from our senior senator tackles immigration reform
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
From the vacuum created by the Bush administration's failure to put forward any kind of immigration reform initiative, a remarkable piece of legislation has emerged. It isn't sponsored by any of the Congressional Democrats (who seem just as chary of burning their fingers on this hot potato as the neo-cons are) but instead by (trumpet salute, please) New Mexico's own Sen. Pete Domenici.
Dateline: Germany—According to reports by German police, the small Bavarian village of Elsa was flooded by liquid pig manure last Wednesday after a tank containing the fertilizer burst. Sewage rose up to 20 inches in the courtyards and streets of Elsa after gushing from the 65,000-gallon tank. “The village was swamped with green-brown liquid and it was pig manure--the mother of all muck,” said Rainer Prediger, a police spokesperson in the nearby town of Coburg.
Rocksquawk Comes to the Golden West on Friday, March 3—Sample a variety of local music from Sin Serenade, Winterlock, Lower Than Dirt, Ants Have Voices and Ishen Tree for just $5. Doors open at 8 p.m. at Puccini's Golden West (Central at Seventh Street).
with Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Flatliners, The Phenomenauts and Made In Bangladesh AND Ska Brawl Tour 2006 with The Toasters, Westbound Train, CrazyFool, and Travisty and the Screw Ups
By Simon McCormack
Monday, March 6, and Tuesday, March 7, Launchpad (all-ages); $14: Whether you're into Metaliska, Latin-ska, old-school ska or local ska, you can find it all on Monday and Tuesday at the Launchpad. The Voodoo Glow Skulls kick things off as their West Coast tour swings through Albuquerque in support of their latest release, Adicción, Tradición, y Revolución. The new album stays true to the sound the band crafted back in 1988, which combines hardcore punk, traditional ska and metal to create what the band calls "California street music." If anything, the record rocks harder than the Glow Skulls ever have in their 18 years as a band. The seven-piece ensemble will be joined by The Flatliners, The Phenomenauts and local ska outfit, Made in Bangladesh.
And we're buying! "The World's Hottest DJ Goddess," DJ Lady Tribe, comes to Sauce/Liquid Lounge (21-and-over) on Thursday, March 2. Cost is $10, which includes sets by local DJ Twelve Tribe at Raw. Show up for the sweater puppets, but stay for the music. (LM).
Wednesday, March 8, Atomic Cantina, (21-and-over); free: The Acres' three singer/songwriters make for a local band whose music is definable only when broken down into three distinct categories. These styles range from a flamboyant Andy Williams-ish country western to a Belle and Sebastian-esque indie rock and some sort of Modest Mouse/Arcade Fire hybrid with highly tremoloed slide guitar. These genres aren't mashed together, but rather, kept separate and allowed to grow into themselves without being sullied by the others. The group seems a bit like three solo artists who are inexplicably drawn together, perhaps because there is more similarity between them than their diverse tracks let on.
At first glance, you may think it's the drums Christian Orellana plays that make you want to move; but as you get to know him, you realize it is his passion for music that truly sets you in motion. For one night at the club formerly known as R&B, you can grab an open spot on the dance floor where Christian Orellana's journey began, and see where it's taken him now.
Spanish Cinema—Beginning in March and continuing through May, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) will host the Spanish Civil War Film Series. The series kicks off Thursday, March 2, with Vacas, Julio Medem's drama about the rivalry between two Basque families between 1870 and 1932. The film nabbed Medem “Best New Director” honors at the 1992 Goya Awards (Spain's equivalent to the Oscars). Future films in the series include Fernando Trueba's Belle Epoque (March 23), Jose Luis Cuerda's La Lengua de las Mariposas (April 6) and Juan Antonio Bardem's Lorca: Muerte de una Poeta (April 20). All screenings begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC's Wells Fargo Auditorium. Films will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles and are free (entrada gratuita!) to the public.
Coming out at the time that it does, it's probably no wonder that the Palestinian film Paradise Now has been so controversial. The film has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category. Though the nation of Israel never raised any formal complaints, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences has received a number of “individual requests” to stop saying the film is from Palestine. (Israel does not recognize the sovereignty of the nation.) So far, the Academy has not budged. But, if you hear the presenter announce on Oscar night that the film originates from the “Palestinian Authority,” then you know the pressures got bigger.
Bruce plays cat-and-mouse with a convict and a mustache in tow
By Devin D. O'Leary
Bruce Willis has long been an advocate of the “hair style” of acting. That is the fine art of using one's chosen hairstyle to express character. Often--but not always--it works like this: Shaved-bald Bruce is an action star (see Armageddon, Tears of the Sun), hairpiece-wearing Bruce is a dramatic actor (see Bandits, The Sixth Sense). For his newest film, 16 Blocks, Bruce rocks a bad mustache and his natural receding hairline, indicating a character somewhere between Action Bruce and Dramatic Bruce.
Odds are pretty good that--no matter who takes home Oscar gold this year--the 78th Annual Academy Awards telecast will suffer a ratings dip. For starters, it's part of an overall trend. Oscar ratings have gone down steadily since runaway smash Titanic swept through the categories at the 1997 kudocast. Some blame it on the length of the show. Some blame it on the caliber of films chosen. (Almost as many people saw last year's Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby as saw all five Best Picture nominees this year.) But the bottom line is this: For true film fans, there is no night more exciting than Oscar night.
Pope in New Mexico—Performance artist William Pope knows how to get attention. He's eaten a Wall Street Journal while seated on an American flag. He's sold mayonnaise for $100 a dollop. He's tied himself to an ATM machine with sausage links while handing out cash to random strangers. He once crawled—yeah, crawled—a 22-mile stretch of Broadway in New York City to draw attention to the National Endowment for the Arts' failure to fund his work. Pope is coming to Santa Fe this week to present a series of talks, workshops and performances. If you're up north in the next few days, you won't want to miss this. For details, call Cyndi at (505) 982-1338 ext. 14 or go to www.ccasantafe.org.
Canadian artist Luke Painter presents his very first exhibit in the U.S. at our very own Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW). Painter's animations examine the process of gentrification and so-called urban renewal in neighborhoods in Montreal and Toronto. They incorporate painstaking research into the history and architecture of the neighborhoods and projects in question. Pipe Dreams will open Saturday, March 4, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. that will include food and live music. The show runs through March 26. 242-7504.
Slam Master Flash Don McIver has just released a new volume of poetry, appropriately titled The Noisy Pen. A book release party will be held this Wednesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at the Harwood Theatre (1114 Seventh Street NW). McIver is one of our more visible, not to mention audible, local poetry slam celebrities. He helped organize last year's National Poetry Slam here in Albuquerque, and he's a veteran of several Albuquerque slam teams. He's published widely and read all over the country. He's also the host of KUNM 89.9 FM's "Spoken Word Hour." Copies of McIver's book will be available for purchase at the event. 242-6367.
When the Gorilla Tango Theatre debuted just a little over a year ago, a huge void in Downtown Albuquerque finally got filled. Every real urban metropolis in the country has at least one improv theater—if not 30. Our beloved Downtown graduated into the big leagues when Dan Abbate and his parents moved from Chicago to get out of the cold. They saw the void, bought a run-down, half-burnt building and turned it into Albuquerque's only improv theater and training center. The Alibi recently sat down with Abbate to find out how the Duke City has received Gorilla Tango and what's in store for its hilarious future.
There are Two Enormous Food Shows this Weekend—The 18th Annual National Fiery Foods and BBQ show makes its debut appearance at the sparkling new facilities of Sandia Resort and Casino, March 3-5. Tickets are $10 per person, kids 12-and-under are free. Log onto www.fiery-foods.com/ffshow for hours. Also, if you haven't bought your $150-per-guest tickets for March 4's Chocolate Fantasy at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, you'd better get moving! The theme this year is "Through the Looking Glass: A Chocolate Wonderland," and as always, proceeds from the decadent gala benefit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Call 841-2801 or log onto www.nmnaturalhistory.com for ticket information.
So what exactly does “kosher” mean? For those of us non-Jewish foodies, here's a bit of history to help understand and appreciate our swine-eschewing brethren. In a nutshell, kosher is a classification of kashrut (keeping kosher) that refers to Jewish dietary laws for food purity. How these laws are significant really depends on who you ask, but Jewish philosophy and the Old Testament are generally in agreement about the basics: the separation of milk and meat, an absence of residual blood in meat and the prohibition of pork and some shellfish. Why do so many Jewish diners respect kosher laws? A few reasons might include symbolism, self-discipline, adherence to the tenets of their faith and hygiene.