Los Ranchos might put a cell tower at the heart of the village, and some residents aren't happy
When a T-Mobile cell phone tower disguised as a tree is erected in the woods, does it make a sound?
When a T-Mobile cell phone tower disguised as a tree is erected in the woods, does it make a sound?
Five or 10 years ago, film festivals in New Mexico were in short supply. The Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival made its mark throughout the ’90s, and the now-mothballed Alibi Short Film Fiesta gave local filmmakers a supportive outlet here in Albuquerque. Other than that, however, film lovers were obliged to make the trek to Telluride or Austin to get their hardcore indie film fix. Now, however, with the film scene in New Mexico exploding all over the map, film festivals--from the intimate to the extravagant--can be found in all corners of our state. A list of film festivals now would have to include: Rio Fest International Environmental Film Festival in Soccorro; White Sands Film Festival and Desert Light Film Competition in Alamogordo; Fiery Film Competition in Clovis; Gallup Intercultural Film Festival; Las Peliculas in Las Vegas; Taos Mountain Film Festival and The Taos Picture Show; Organ Mountain Film Festival in Las Cruces; Roswell Film Festival; Santa Fe Film Festival, Native Cinema Showcase and The Three-Minute Film Festival in Santa Fe; and finally, Local Shorts Film Festival, Duke City Shootout, Experiments in Cinema International Film Festival, Independent Indigenous Film Festival, Gorilla Tango Film Festival and Sin Fronteras Film Festival, all in Albuquerque.
Out of sight, out of mind. Physical separation forces those of us without direct links to Israel and Palestine to rely on mediated accounts for information about the troubled region. Filmmaker Elle Flanders knows Israel, as only one who's lived there can. Her grandparents played a role in the creation of the Jewish state, and with the discovery of images from the past, Flanders documented a story about Israel from inside its borders.
Set in Spain, Queens takes a comedic look at the nature of the relationships of three couples about to get married—not without bumps in the road, of course.
Another Gay Movie—9:30 p.m.
In the spirit of college-age comedies, four friends set out to lose their virginities and become men.
After killing numerous people in the hopes of quenching his bloodlust, Ajay and his friends travel to Las Vegas and meet up with two girls as the body count rises. A classic vampire movie with a queer twist.
Opening Night Party—9 p.m.
Al Gore Meet Our God--Religious leaders in Albuquerque are joining forces with people of faith in over 4,000 congregations across the country to bring attention to the threat of global warming. This follows a growing national trend in which nondenominational, nonpartisan ministries work together to counter certain fundamentalist beliefs that the Earth is a no-deposit, no-return prospect that might as well be denuded of resources and trashed just prior to Armageddon. (In fact, these folks are convinced the sooner we destroy it, the sooner Jesus will get here. Don’t believe me? Check out raptureready.com or apocalypsesoon.org.)
Stephen Potter was a British humorist who penned a series of mock “self help” books in the late ’40s and early ’50s. Potter’s books on Gamesmanship, Lifemanship and Oneupmanship purported to teach “ploys” for manipulating one’s associates, making them feel inferior and generally gaining the status of being “one-up” on them. In 1960, a comedy called School for Scoundrels or How to Win Without Actually Cheating! was filmed in England with actors Ian Carmichael, Alistair Sim, Terry-Thomas and Janet Scott. It was loosely based on Potter’s roguish philosophies, transferring them--quite logically--to the area of amour.
With the recent, seemingly endless migration of CGI cartoon animals (Madagascar, Curious George, The Wild, Hoodwinked, Over the Hedge, Barnyard, The Ant Bully) flooding out of Hollywood, it would seem the viewing public has grown weary and jaded. No longer are the capering antics of a computer-generated cow enough to send us stampeding to the theater.
Barely two weeks into the new fall television season, and already the networks are distinguishing themselves with some rather daring narrative dramas. The success of shows like “Lost,” “24” and “Prison Break” has emboldened the networks, giving them an excuse to push the envelope. Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not audiences respond, viewing these shows in large enough numbers to justify their continued existence or simply retreating back to the numbskull comfort of sitcoms like “Two and a Half Men.”
Stayin' Alive--State Fair season is officially over, but the honors bestowed upon this year's homegrown competitors will live on, at the very least, until next September. In the midst of bake-offs and livestock auctions, the New Mexico Music Commission helped reaffirm music's rightful place as a state treasure with the Fair’s second annual talent showcase
The logical response to hearing about Albuquerque’s First Annual Bobbers and Choppers show is: What the hell is it? You hear the word “chopper,” and images of helicopters landing in the jungle, or possibly TC from Magnum PI, come to mind. You hear the word “bobber,” and you think of antiquated haircuts, or maybe apples in a water-filled bucket.
This concert poster was designed, screen printed (on Ingres-style paper!) and hand-delivered by Heath Dauberman at the Little Kiss Records print shop. You can see the band he drums for (Inner Parlors) open for The Drams (ex-Slobberbone), this Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Launchpad. Cost is $7. We should all aspire to be more like Heath. (LM)
You might remember the Barbie Liberation Organization, or BLO, who in the early ’90s purchased Teen Talk Barbie and talking G.I. Joe dolls, switched their voices and reshelved them. This produced hilarious and poignant results, with Barbie growling “vengeance is mine,” and G.I. Joe's bubbly “math is hard.” Sexism was not eradicated, but made fun of. Children were confused. It was funny. And as one BLO member put it, “The storekeeper makes money twice, we stimulate the economy, the consumer gets a better product and our message gets heard.”
How do you make music that's fresh, but still accessible?
I asked Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, an MC known for 16 years for his lyrical mastery and innovative production. Del, I said, how do you keep it challenging but still easy to get into?
"You can't be uninteresting and be accessible, you feel me?" he said. "You got to be interesting. You got to be entertaining. Otherwise, nobody's going to want to listen to you. I think it's hard to be interesting."
Damn. I had it all wrong. See, I thought of Del as this semi-underground figure, an alternative hip-hop hero who made appearances on all my favorite discs, even before his familiar voice could be found on tracks like the now-famous "Clint Eastwood" by the Gorillaz. I made a list of questions with that figure in mind, and, always, Del's answers defied my expectations. How has hip-hop changed since your first release in 1991? "It hasn't really." What would you change about the music industry? "I don't think nothing's wrong with it." What are you listening to? "Whatever I could get at Target is what I usually get."
Is it a curse? Harlow's on the Hill, a popular venue for local and touring acts, shut its doors after the state's Special Investigation Division (SID) arrested bar operator James Lambros on Sept. 13 and charged him with selling liquor without a license, according to a news release.
City councilors at the Sept. 18 meeting made final decisions on a couple of issues that require difficult balances between competing rights. Councilor Michael Cadigan's bill authorizing the city to purchase or condemn 56 mobile home lots at Del Rey Mobile Home Park passed unanimously. The bill, aimed at preserving affordable housing, will only go into effect if private negotiations fail.
Propaganda Wars--Five years ago, America experienced a disquieting amount of nationalistic fervor. There were flags on everything. People threw around patriotic rhetoric with abandon. Many were nauseated, but to most the propaganda was comforting.
Amy Goodman is tough. She’s smart. She’s precise. And she may very well be the busiest journalist alive. When I grabbed the attention of the “Democracy Now!” host last week over the phone, I asked her how her day was going. I received a two-minute response on the number of cities she’d been to since that morning, the number of lectures she’d presented and the order of bookstore signings she was soon to attend, including one in Albuquerque this Thursday, Sept. 28.
The biggest surprise so far in this year’s First Congressional District race between incumbent Heather Wilson and challenger Patricia Madrid has been the stumbling campaign mounted by Wilson. Wilson’s wobbles have helped Madrid gain traction for what many Democrats are starting to feel will be a huge upset in November.
Dateline: Nigeria--A murder suspect accused of killing his brother with an ax has offered a unique defense. The man, whose name was not released, told police that he actually killed a goat, which only later magically transformed into his brother’s corpse. The incident occurred on a farm in Isseluku village in southern Nigeria. “He said the goats were on his farm and he tried to chase them away. When one wouldn’t move, he attacked it with an ax. He said it then turned into his brother,” Police Commissioner Udom Ekpoudom told the Associated Press. Black magic is routinely offered as a defense in Nigeria. In 2001, eight people were burned to death after one person in their group was accused of making a bystander’s penis magically disappear.
Desire Caught by the Tail—Have you ever heard of Pablo Picasso, the famous playwright? Yeah. Me neither. That's because almost no one knows that Picasso toyed with literature as well as visual art. His best known play, Desire Caught by the Tail, was scribed in 1942 in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Its first performance was directed by Albert Camus in a salon in front of a handful of literary stars like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simon de Beauvoir, Michel Leiris and Raymond Queneau.
In the final scene of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, an angel falls from the sky with a message for a dying man. The message is not of death, but of a path he must follow, a path to a new life. For the Albuquerque Little Theatre, the angel is the new path.
Over the past year, Genevieve Russell has photographed 24 jazz musicians connected to New Mexico to create a photo series for the KUNM show “Jazz of Enchantment.” Russell, through portrait and performance photographs, has captured the essence of each musician and the music they play. Based in Santa Fe as a freelance photographer, designer and teacher, Russell has a diverse portfolio ranging from in-depth documentary photo essays to multi-layered portraits. Her prints will be on exhibit at the Inpost Artspace (210 Yale SE) through most of October. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m., and the musicians featured in the show will have a jam session at a closing reception on Friday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. For details, call 268-0044 or visit www.outpostspace.org.
Close your eyes and imagine seven figures with bright costumes tracing tranquil complex patterns across the dance floor with precision footwork and turns. Or forget about all that imagination hooey, and just go see the real deal when dancers from New York-based Murray Spalding/Mandalas performs dance-meditations this Saturday, Sept. 30, at N4th Theatre (4904 Fourth Street NW) at 8 p.m. The company has created an appealing fusion of mindfulness and Eastern spiritual practices with Western dance traditions set to original music by resident composer Evren Celimli. Tickets are $10 and can be acquired at the door or by calling 345-2872. For more information about the show, visit www.murrayspalding.org or www.vsartsnm.org.
The Perfect Margarita, Only 300 Years in the Making—When was the last time you had a nice, frosty margarita on an Old Town patio? Here's a hint: You probably haven't. Not you, not I and not the tens of thousands of visitors who pass through the city's historic center each year have had one of those in recent memory. This is because, for a long, dry spell, some ancient liquor regulations have made open-air alcohol consumption in Old Town illegal. And they're not talking about walking the streets with an open can of Old Gold either. No, what's at stake is something as simple as dinner and a bottle of Negro Modelo on the patio of a restaurant that already—and legally--holds a liquor license. Inside's fine for drinking, say the laws, but if you're enjoying your fajitas on one of the many lovely patios found throughout Old Town, you're out of luck.
Looks like APS deserves a shiny red apple. This year, our schools are getting very good grades when it comes to student health.
People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the Land of the Dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul cannot rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right. And then, afterwards, everyone can share the Mediterranean scallop appetizer from Corrales’ Indigo Crow with a glass of Zinfandel and all wrongs will become right.
Mark Reid lost his girlfriend when he started body painting three years ago. "She didn't like the fact that I was painting another naked woman, and yadda yadda yadda," he says.
Courtship is very much like a fine piece of theater. It requires poise and wit, well-defined roles and a healthy dose of poetic inspiration. Tennessee Williams knew how to woo lovers of language and drama. And no group of performers has fallen deeper under his spell than our very own Fusion Theatre Company.
Go ahead. Make as much noise as you want.
When you’re parked in a railyard on the outskirts of the warehouse district, there’s no reason to keep it down. The neighborhood around First Street and Lomas is home to a family of storage units, light industrial complexes, a few banks and a legal office. By 5 p.m. each day, the place is as still as a cemetery--save for the rattle and hum of an occasional Santa Fe freight car.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your amplifiers.
“The Cell was born out of its surroundings,” says Cell Theatre proprietor Dennis Gromelski. “I don’t know if we could have done it elsewhere.”
Yes, this urban sanctuary would make for one hell of a punk rock club, but Gromelski is talking about a bona fide theater space--with velvet curtains and everything. There’s no booze, definitely no smoking and the carefully maintained sheen of the place is more appropriate for Death of a Salesman than a Dead Milkmen concert. It has a foyer, for crying out loud.
Whatever you do, please don't refer to the Fusion Theatre Company as “edgy.” They don't like being called “alternative” either—or “cutting-edge.” “Those are such tired terms,” says Jacqueline Reid, one of Fusion's founders. “They don't say anything.”
Suddenly Last Summer
Opens Thursday, Sept. 21, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 15. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for general admission, $17 for students and seniors. The Sunday, Sept. 24, performance is pay-what-you-wish and every Thursday except opening night will have student rush tickets available for $10.
Thomas Friedman’s now famous book The World is Flat laid out a gloomy future for American workers. According to Friedman, technology has leveled the playing field at both ends of the labor market. For high-tech, high-skill American workers, outsourcing to India will change their ideas of job security as engineering, computer programming and the like are moved to cheaper, equally skilled Indian workers. At the other end of the labor market, relatively low-skilled American manufacturing workers are being undercut by cheap Chinese workers.
The Bush Translator--President George Bush interrupted prime time last Monday. He had on his red “don’t f*#@ with me” tie and looked very dapper.
While Albuquerque frets about its dwindling aquifer, Terry McMains is trying to get the world, or at least the state, to listen to his solution: rainwater harvesting. McMains is not a rain farmer—he doesn’t plow through puddles, nor does he collect water in buckets. Instead, he installs high-tech rainwater harvesting systems with the company he founded, Aqua Harvest, Inc. The idea for the company was birthed when Rancho Viejo, Santa Fe’s first master-planned community with a rainwater harvesting system, was built in the late ’90s. McMains was a contractor for the project and thought he could create a company that could help alter the course of New Mexico’s water plight. Last week, he found some time to sit down with the Alibi for a chat.
In 1956, Albuquerque was outfitted with a new drainage system—one that has remained largely unchanged ever since.
Local mobile home park residents are, or at least should be, keeping an eye on developments at the Del Rey Mobile Home Park. Their future may depend on it.
I’m sitting in on the Robert Vigil trial. In a room full of blue suits and starched collars, the image that comes to mind is the glow of a colonoscopy monitor. Watching the tracks of dirty money in the guts of a corrupt state government isn’t much different from watching a barium enema work its way through the tail end of the human digestive system.
Dateline: England--A homeowner in the southwestern town of Treovis has been cited by local police for “placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment.” BBC News reports that Gordon MacKillop was woken just before midnight by two officers who warned him that the gnome was offensive to his neighbors. Apparently, MacKillop’s neighbor, former policeman John McLean, had complained that the statue is placed in an “annoying position” and is upsetting to potential buyers viewing his home. The statue in question is just under two feet tall and features a gnome dressed as a police officer, standing between a German shepherd and a flashlight-sized nightlight. Mr. MacKillop told the BBC he bought the lighted gnome to deter criminals after his motorcycle was stolen from his driveway. “I’m not having the police tell me what type of garden gnome I can have in my garden,” said MacKillop. “This is a standard gnome I bought from a retail store. If they are considered to be harassing, they should be withdrawn from sale.”
General Hotdoggery—Yeah, you don't have to tell me twice: Hot dogs and sausage and all their meaty kin are a disturbing lot. If you really think about it (something I try to do as seldom as possible), they're little more than a matrix of pig lips and fannies, finely minced and mechanically extruded into faux intestinal casings. Sounds vile ... but, man, do they taste good. I'm sorry. And I know I'm burning in hell. But I know that at least some of you must be with me, because hot dogs are making a major comeback all across town.
We are admittedly, and decidedly, dessert deficient. Salt, hot peppers and garlic hold the key to our hearts. Those of you who dutifully read will note that since this column’s official inception back in early ’06 we’ve never—not once—dared pen a sugar script for your sweet tooth.
I think that we’ve all, at one time or another, had the “where will I be in 20 years?” conversation, either with ourselves or other people. I predict by then I will have gained 10 more pounds. I will also have mastered the art of growing corn (it is an art) and will still be paying off the interest on my student loans. I can also predict some amazing technological advances in the food industry, such as tricolored watermelons, diet doughnuts and nutritious gravy. Utilizing these same gastro-psychic abilities, I can say Huning Highland’s newest well-polished jewel, The Grove Café & Market, will still be a haven for those wishing to have a relaxing lunch in a soothing, almost organic environment.
The majority of film festivals, be they in the rarified air of Park City’s Sundance or the bustling business atmosphere of France’s Cannes, strive to bring dignity and respectability to the art of cinema. Silver screen legends like Catherine Deneuve and Liv Ullman are installed as judges, filmmakers like David Lynch and Wong Kar-wai are given awards, and distributors strike up bidding wars looking for their next international art house hit.
He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)--OK, so that unforgettable Alice Cooper tune was actually the theme song to Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives. Only a hardcore horror film afficionado would know that, of course. And if you’re one of those, you need to get out to the Cottonwood Starport Theater this week for a special presentation of the original Nightmare on Elm Street. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, and Thursday, Sept. 21, a brand-new, remastered cut of the film will screen in 124 select movie theaters across the country. The screening is a prerelease teaser for the spiffed-up special edition Infinifilm DVD version. In addition to the thrill of seeing this horror classic on the big screen in High-Definition and cinema surround sound, fans will also be treated to a new exclusive feature--“Freddy's Best Kills,” a montage of Freddy Krueger’s gruesome kills throughout the rest of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, including sequels 2 through 6, plus Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason--that can be seen only in theaters during this special event. Screenings start at 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets are available online at www.bigscreenboxoffice.com or at the box offices for $10.
Embroiled, as we are, in the midst of a thoroughly confusing and morally ambiguous war, it’s quaint and a bit reassuring to allow ourselves a flashback to a simpler time when men were men, wars were noble and killing foreigners was just the right thing to do. The producers of Flyboys may have taken this idea a bit too far, however.
Every fall, I await with a certain amount of dread the influx of new shows about doctors, lawyers, cops and forensic examiners. Since the success of serialized dramas like “24,” “Prison Break” and “Lost,” however, networks have started to think slightly outside the box. This season, for example, we’ll be seeing a whole host of hour-long shows in which people have careers beyond “the big four.” The shows (like NBC’s “Heroes” and ABC’s “The Nine”) seem intent on inventing unusual situations in which to place their cast of characters. That’s no guarantee of quality, of course, but it holds at least the promise of something fresh.
Yikes!--Their MySpace motto is "You don't need to have a good time to drink!" Apparently, you don't need a liquor license either, or .... do you? SID and New Mexico Department of Public Safety agents, along with the New Mexico State Police, have determined that Harlow's on the Hill has been up to no good. The Nob Hill bar and music venue cleared one year of operation in July, only to get busted last week for not having a liquor license. (But you have to wonder: Does it really take a year to figure something like that out?) Needless to say, the club is closed until further notice. Touring bands like Knoxville's Christabel & the Jons are now freaked and scrambling to find another place to play this weekend. But it's nothing a stiff drink won't cure.
Jimbo Mathus, Southern blues-country-rocker, consummate gentleman and occasional hellraiser, is holding a cell phone in one hand and tending a grill with the other. He’s talking with me on the phone while watching his freshly caught fish cook, occasionally breaking away to chat with whomever else is at his afternoon cookout. Yet his propensity to multitask goes far beyond grilling and gabbing.
The sixth annual All Around Challenge brings eight downhill and trick skateboarding events to the Sandia Ski area, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23. Cap it off with a cross-town race and awards party at Kelly’s BYOB on Sept. 24. Free for spectators! Learn more at 474-0074 or www.timeshipracing.com. (LM)
Sunday, Sept. 24, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); free: The Deathray Davies are the best band in the world. Period. (I'd like to think that statement alone would be enough to put asses in seats, but I know better. So I'll try and elaborate for you.)
Thursday, Sept. 21, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: From Clarence Reid’s beginnings as a potty-mouthed child, to a ‘60s and ‘70s artist and producer of soul, to his current and most recognized status as Blowfly, the original purveyor of X-rated rhymes, the man seems to have been destined to have a perpetual, proverbial party in his pants.
What a difference a year makes. In 2005, the inaugural edition of ¡Globalquerque!, New Mexico’s celebration of world music and culture, took place on a Tuesday with a small but impressive lineup of musical acts from around the world. Planned and produced in just six months, the modestly successful event drew a few hundred attendees.
For a long time, Washington, D.C. was without a fictional chronicler—someone to tell the stories of its people, not just its politicians. Edward P. Jones made a bid at the role in his 1993 debut collection, Lost in the City, but he claims it outright in his latest book, All Aunt Hagar’s Children, a powerful group of stories about African-Americans adrift in the District of Columbia in the 20th century.
Takacs String Quartet, one of the world’s premier quartets, will return to Albuquerque this weekend. Takacs brings equal parts passion and intellect to their repertoire. The performance will take place at the Simms Center for the Performing Arts, on the campus of Albuquerque Academy (6400 Wyoming NE), on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m. with a free pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m. For tickets, call 268-1990, visit www.cma-abq.org or purchase your tickets at Chamber Music Albuquerque's office at the Symphony Center (4407 Menaul NE). Tickets are $19-$38 in advance or $21-$40 when purchased at the door. Students are half price.
Thirty-five photographs from one of America’s pioneers of modernist photography will go on display starting this weekend at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. In the summer, Paul Strand lived and worked in New Mexico from 1930 through 1932. During this time, he created these pieces depicting Southwest landscapes, portraits of Strand's wife, and ghost towns and abandoned haciendas. There will be a free opening for the public with live music and a cash bar on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission to the museum is $4 to $8. For more information, visit www.okeeffemuseum.org. The show will run through Jan. 14.
Read and Converse—The Lannan Foundation's annual Readings and Conversations series gets cooking this week with a heated dialog between legendary muckrakers Seymour Hersh and Amy Goodman. Ever since he uncovered the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam in the late '60s, Hersh has been pumping out some of the finest in-depth investigative pieces to be found anywhere. Due in part to his network of sources within the power structure of our federal government, he's been able to write some of the most informative (not to mention terrifying) investigative articles about our war in Iraq.
Voter fraud is an unavoidable evil in a democracy. You can mitigate it, but you can never get rid of it completely. Toughen laws, and at least some vote-thieves will still find a way around them.
I know what you're thinking: How is it possible that the Alibi is already hosting its 15 th Annual Haiku Contest? This is some kind of sham, right? No, ma'am. No sham.
In 1985, Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan starred in The Protector, his second attempt at cashing in on the American film market. It didn't work--partially because the film sucked and partially because Chan found himself teamed up with Danny Aiello. (Not to worry. Chan's next American outing, pairing with Chris Tucker in 1998's Rush Hour, proved a bit more profitable.) Now comes another martial arts action film titled The Protector. This one stars Thai jaw-dropper Tony Jaa (Ong-bak). It has nothing to do with Chan’s 1985 film. (Although, alert viewers will spot a historic passing-of-the-torch moment involving Jaa and what looks like a certain big-nosed kung fu fighter.)
Benefit for Irish Freedom--The Irish Freedom Committee has organized a benefit in honor of the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike at Long Kesh Prison. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the film Some Mother’s Son will show at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Screenings will take place at 4:30, 6:45 and 9:15 p.m. There will be a Q&A session following the 6:45 screening. The film, starring Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan and John Lynch, is based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in which IRA prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against the treatment of IRA prisoners. Proceeds from the $7 ticket sales will go directly to the families of Irish Republican POWs currently in prison. For more information, log on to www.irishfreedomcommittee.net.
Why is it films are always “based on the inspiring true story”? How come you never see “based on the disheartening true story” or “based on the totally depressing true story”? ... OK, so maybe it’s more of a rhetorical question. The point is simply that Hollywood loves inspirational, real-life stories. Any time a poor kid wins a national spelling bee or a tiny school wins a basketball championship, you can guarantee there will soon be a heartwarming movie made about it.
It wasn’t long after producers of “Survivor” announced plans for their 13th season that naysayers started organizing protest rallies and calling for network boycotts. What had reality show guru Mark Burnett done to so inflame the viewing public? As you probably know by now, he said he would separate this year’s contestants by race.
Our age isn't so very different from any other. Artists have always dabbled in the most technologically innovative media at their disposal. In many cases, they've actually played a central role in creating that newfangled media. This is as it should be. If it's easier to work with a digital medium to bring a particular artistic vision to fruition, then why not use it?
Robert Pirsig has a bone to pick with philosophers. As his era-defining memoir Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance levitated up the bestseller lists in 1974, all he heard from them was grumbling.
American Shakespeare Project—In our recent two-part theater guide, which we printed a couple weeks ago, we foolishly neglected to mention the American Shakespeare Project. Bad! Very bad! This Albuquerque-based operation run by David Nava specializes in producing Shakespeare at venues all over town, and they greatly deserve our support.
Harvest Moon—My dad is a chiropractor by day, but give him enough down-time and he becomes a Zen farmer. A very small-scale one. When the weather's right, my father loses himself in a walking meditation among the vines of his heirloom brandywine tomatoes, his lemon cukes and his purple, honey-sweet figs. On the other side of the yard sits my mother's plot, tumescent with flowers and a hedge of rose bushes that reaches up to the mountains. How fitting that my sister (an apprentice indoor landscaper) will be married in their backyard next spring, between those two patches.
Here’s one way to tell if you’re New Mexican, through and through. When Hatch flooded, did you have nightmares about chile dearth? Thought so.
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Every morning, I see people ingesting a superb variety of bizarre breakfast foods during their commute, from alien blue goop-filled toaster pastries to cold egg rolls and, in my case, the occasional bowl of leftover tofu helper. It’s a start. And so imagine my delight upon learning that the Calico Café, a hot breakfast nook (lunch and dinner, too), has relocated from far away Corrales to north Fourth Street. Anything “charming” needs a manly-man perspective, so I decided to bring my buddy Ike for some company and the occasional grunt or scratch.
The streets of Downtown are less crowded. The traffic hasn't slowed, but the number of open parking spaces along the streets has increased. In early July, the City of Albuquerque installed 14 parking meters along Central between First and Seventh Streets [RE: Newscity, "Both Sides of the Street," July 6-12], which convert the formerly two-hour free parking zone into pay-only.
A Week in the Life—It’s that time again. It seems we can only go a couple of months before we are forced (forced, I tell you) to do a little Albuquerque Journal critiquing. It’s just one of those things—like taking the car for a tune-up or buckling down and cleaning the house—when the essentials start to fall apart, you have to pay attention.
The payday loan industry in New Mexico remains nearly unregulated, but not for lack of trying on the part of Gov. Bill Richardson and Attorney General Patricia Madrid. In late June, the Regulation and Licensing Department ended the public comment period for proposed regulations designed to limit fees, end interest and give payback options to payday loan consumers [RE: Newscity, "Money in the Bank?" June 29-July 5].
At two different neighborhood association meetings this past week, I heard choruses of frustration over problems created in those communities by the large number of homeless people hanging out on street corners and in parks. For me it was déjà vu.
Every night, when the trains slip through Albuquerque, Jill Gatwood can hear their whistles from her North Valley home. She lives just a couple of blocks from the tracks, near Fourth Street and Griegos. For Gatwood, the tone is comforting, something that signifies stability—and Albuquerque. "It's the history of the city," she says. The railroad, she wrote in her June 15 letter to the Alibi, is largely responsible for the Duke City's existence. Her grandfather was a lobbyist for Southern Pacific Railroad in New Mexico, perhaps figuring into her affinity for the sounds associated with the rail. "A train whistle is a certain specific tone," Gatwood says. "It's always the same, and most people find it to be kind of romantic."
Dateline: Canada--A Swiss tourist caught for speeding through the Canadian countryside has blamed his crime on Canada’s distinct lack of goats. The driver was caught traveling 161 km/h (100 mph) on Canada’s busiest highway between Montreal and Toronto last Sunday. The posted speed limit is 100 km/h (60 mph). “An officer stopped the car for speeding along a straight stretch of road, and the driver told him he thought it would be all right to go fast because he wasn’t likely to hit a goat,” said Constable Joel Doiron. “I’ve never been to Switzerland, but I guess there must be a lot of goats there,” he said. Constable Doiron noted that in his 20 years as a police officer, “nobody’s ever used the lack of goats here as an excuse for speeding.” The Swiss speeder was issued a ticket for $C360 ($430).
The Sept. 6 Council meeting began with an adorable Pet Project dog peeing on the Council carpet and became even more entertaining when Lawrence Rael, executive director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments, presented the Council with a model Rail Runner. Rael said the commuter train was averaging 2,500 to 3,000 riders on weekdays and carried more than 15,000 passengers to the Bernalillo wine festival. Unfortunately, the model trains painted with our state bird are all sold out.
A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma—I've been driving by this place at Seventh Street and Mountain for months, scratching my head and muttering to myself, “What? ... The Curio?” It's a little shed-house with a sign that proclaims, you guessed it, “The Curio.” Sometimes there are hippies juggling in the front yard. I'm stumped.
Mantis Fist has been around this block—many times. An Albuquerque hip-hop staple, the Fist has brought it's undefinable breed of underground hip-hop to our stages since 2000. "We've performed over 100 shows here," says Keith Connell. "We've played with everybody."
Although I’m sure they’re perfectly nice people, the music of Zann is truly terrifying. The fact that all the lyrics are in German isn’t helping, either. Be unnerved in the unlikeliest of venues this Thursday, Sept. 14, at Winning Coffee (111 Harvard SE, all-ages). The Coma Recovery, Dear Oceana and The City Is the Tower open around 7 p.m. A $5 donation gets you in. (LM)
It’s no revelation to say Albuquerque’s radio landscape is lacking. Amidst the ho-hum mainstream formats provided by the likes of broadcasting behemoths Citadel and Clear Channel, which still, as far as I’m aware, each own eight stations in town, there are a few relatively inconsequential public stations, and then there is KUNM.
Magen White stole her sister's guitar. Well, not "stole" exactly. Her sis played it for a couple months, then kind of forgot about it and left the guitar to languish in their house. Five years ago, Magen picked it up and started fiddling. She cut her teeth on bands like Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids.