Alibi Volume 19, Number 06
February 11, 2010
The Alibi’s seventh annual Valentine’s Day Card Contest
Great artists are often misunderstood, and they tend to die unappreciated. Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting during his short life, and composer Franz Schubert lived to see only one of his works performed in public. The worlds that surrounded these artists were confused, frightened by the feelings this monumental art produced.
Artist goes big for February’s amorous holiday
It was a bad day to be broke. Then college student Lonnie Anderson didn't possess enough cash to gas up his car and get to work, so he called in sick. He found himself in his garage, staring at the few materials he did have. "A rolled-up green hose, a bag of yellow garbage bags, some duct tape and some old white poster board." It was Valentine’s Day.
They are not yet as eagerly anticipated as the swallows returning annually to Capistrano or the vultures’ flight back to Hinckley, Ohio, each spring. But the yearly arrival at the Roundhouse of the three prelates who make up the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken on the same predictability as those other seasonal gatherings.
The following story is a composite and does not depict an actual event. Rather, it was inspired by events that happened a long time ago in a land far, far away. If you think this story is about you, it isn’t. All possible identifying data has been removed and details have been changed. It’s also important to note that the following scenario is a rare exception to the rule of healthy childbirth.
Dateline: Scotland—George Johnstone, 58, told the High Court in Glasgow he firebombed a Lanarkshire house in broad daylight because the Devil told him to—plus, God’s objections had plenty of wiggle room. In testimony last week, Johnstone admitted the arson was the result of a theological debate. “The Devil made me do it,” Johnstone told police officers who responded to the Aug. 23 incident in which he set a woman’s car ablaze and then tossed “three or four” gasoline bombs into her living room. “The Devil told me to do it at 2 a.m. God told me not to,” explained Johnstone. “That’s why I did it during the day.” Johnstone, who obeyed the letter of God’s law if not the intent, pleaded guilty to willfully setting fire to the house and the car at 12:30 p.m. instead of 2 a.m. He was originally charged with attempted murder, but the Crown accepted his plea to the reduced charge. He will be sentenced in April.
Don’t forget: This Thursday, Feb. 11, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will screen the made-in-New-Mexico crime documentary Nightmare in Las Cruces starting at 9:15 p.m. The film’s writer-director Charlie Minn will be at the theater for a post-film Q&A. If you miss it, the film will also be playing at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque in Santa Fe, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13 and 14, at 11 a.m. For more information, including a trailer, log onto the film’s website bowlingmassacre.com.
Love is like a box of chocolates. ... Apparently.
For all the emotional panic that surrounds the holiday, Valentine’s Day is actually quite easy. About the laziest, least-thought-out thing you can do is buy a big, heart-shaped Whitman’s Sampler full of waxy chocolates or have a dozen pink roses from FTD delivered to your loved one’s office. And even then you’re in the clear. Millions of people do just that every year and are greeted with appreciative squeals of, “You’re so thoughtful!” The secret of Valentine’s Day, you see, is that it’s the one occasion on which you can’t be too mushy, too cheesy or too cliché.
The best and worst Super Bowl ads
Sunday’s Super Bowl had to have been the lamest in recent memory. ... Not the game itself, mind you, which was an exciting capper to the football season. No, it was the commercials that flopped. What the hell happened this year? This is the Super Bowl. It’s the Super Bowl of Advertising. And yet, many retailers stayed home. FedEx, GM and PepsiCo were among the big boys who bowed out. Many of those that did contribute showed a major lack of creativity and talent. For every memorable commercial there were a dozen instantly forgettable, mostly recycled ads.
The Week in Sloth
Few music festivals really thrill me: Coachella, Lollapalooza, SXSW, New Orleans’ Jazz Fest—despite excellent lineups, they tend to be hot, expensive, impersonal clusterfucks (on one hand, I am seeing the Pixies; on the other hand, I've got a wicked sunburn, just paid $8 for a thimble of beer and am about to be stepped on by an asshole with a fauxhawk). That said, it's more than exciting to tell you about MtyMx, a three-day, post- SXSW arts and music festival in Monterrey, Mexico—located in the northeast, it's the country's third-largest and reportedly safest city. On March 20, 21 and 22, acts such as Acid Mothers Temple, Hunx and His Punx, No Age, Neon Indian, Fucked Up, Thee Oh Sees, Dan Deacon and many others are scheduled to perform at Autocinema Las Torres, a mountainside drive-in movie theater. A third of the bands on the bill are Mexican—some of which rarely make it to the U.S. due to restrictive border controls. The festival is a collaborative effort between show promoters Yo Garage (enelgarage.com) and Todd P (toddpnyc.com). It’s an all-ages event and costs only 390 pesos for a three-day pass—that's $30, folks. For more on this fiesta, visit the aforementioned sites.
Eyedea & Abilities murder the mainstream
“Playing live is like a drug. It induces a manic state for me,” says hip-hop MC Eyedea. “Usually I vomit uncontrollably afterwards, cry or, if it’s really good, I pass out. I put everything into it. If you’re a musician and not giving it your all, what are you even doing?”
Well-engineered tunes support free, focused improvisation
Mark Weaver—tuba player, composer and founder of the UFO Ensemble—interlaces written and freely improvised elements to construct sturdy, expressive tunes capable of bearing the full weight of his collaborators’ imaginations. At turns bluesy, boppish, swinging, funky, concrete and organic, his compositions promote a focused but freewheeling conversation among the quartet’s musicians. The dialogue engages listeners even as it challenges the suppositions of some.
Exene Cervenka could care less about resting on laurels. She's fronted X for more than 30 years, stoking a dynamo of L.A. punk, poetry and American roots music alongside singer/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake. With such a robust career in music, Exene could easily cash in her chips and retire with plenty to be proud of. But she hasn't. And she won't. Far from holding steady, Exene has turned her attention to bands like The Original Sinners, The Knitters and Auntie Christ, playing with formats like country, rockabilly, folk, punk rock and glam. She's also acted in films, mounted visual art exhibitions and built a reputation as a spoken word artist.
Nani Chacon is responsible for this lovely Tex Avery-inspired flyer, filled with titillating information. On St. Valentine’s Sunday, Feb. 14, Speaker Waffle Breakfast Club presents the rock and noise of Brooklyn's Wild Yaks, as well as New Mexico's A Church is not a Hospital, Rocket Parlour, Bigawatt and Baby Shampoo. Early bird showgoers will also be presented with pancakes, bacon, eggs and orange juice. Breakfast happens at Club Oven (1016 Coal SW) at 10 a.m., music begins at 11 a.m. All-ages are welcome. Food or $5 dollar donations will be gladly received. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Generation Y? More like Generation Y Don't You Get a Job, right? With their texting and MyFace-ing and their classical music. ... Wait. So string quartet Brooklyn Rider is a foursome of young lads who play everything from Haydn to jazz to Philip Glass? I see. Well, I hope you've all learned a valuable lesson about stereotypes. See the pigeonhole-busting group perform Friday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. at Downtown's Hotel Andaluz Ballroom (125 Second Street NW), presented by Chamber Music Albuquerque. Get your $30 tickets and more info at cma-abq.org.
An interview with novelist Meg Mullins
Meg Mullins never thought she’d make her living as a novelist. For one thing, the native Albuquerquean wrote short stories, not books, and she never expected to make a living off those, either. But after leaving the state to go to college at Barnard and get her MFA at Columbia University—and after a large pile of rejection letters—Mullins got a break. One of her stories was printed in The Iowa Review and then picked up by The Best American Short Stories series in 2002. It was then that people began asking her if she was working on a novel. So she decided she’d better get started on one.
An interview with painter Angela Berkson
While exploring the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History’s Albuquerque Now or Inpost Artspace’s I Also Make Art this fall, you likely noticed the works of Angela Berkson. Whether in acrylic or encaustic (hot wax painting), Berkson’s compositions evolve from diligently layered surfaces. Her final forms rest on the balance between geometric precision and organic freeform—her work plays with the contrast of black to white here, the complement of mustard to celadon there. On a visit to Berkson’s Second Street studio, the Alibi learned how her creativity first took root and what now makes it bloom.
Q: A while ago you mentioned that you don't mind monosodium glutamate. Since I regard MSG to be nothing less than evil incarnate, please explain.
Just what you’re craving in Bernalillo
Antojo is Spanish for “craving”—one sense of the word actually specifies the craving of a pregnant woman. Antojitos, the diminutive plural form, would literally mean “little cravings,” but it actually means snacks or tapas that we eat to satisfy our little cravings. It’s ironic, then, how large the portions are at Bernalillo’s Antojitos Lupe.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Hate leaves ugly scars," wrote author Mignon McLaughlin, but "love leaves beautiful ones." If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, Aries, you're scheduled to receive at least one of the beautiful kind of scars in the coming months—maybe even two or three. In fact, I think they'll be such lovely booboos that they will markedly add to your overall attractiveness. Rarely if ever have you been privileged to hurt as good as you will in 2010—thanks to the benevolent jolts of love. Happy Valentine Daze!