Alibi Volume 19, Number 15
April 15, 2010
National Poetry Month, Albuquerque-style
Let’s be honest about this: Poetry scares people. It can be a challenge to understand and refers to French people a lot. School doesn’t help, since most of the time teenagers are forced to read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and count syllables in Robert Frost’s work. While I now, as a poet, enjoy both of those things (in terribly small, occasional doses), at 16 I would have rather read transcripts of “The Lawrence Welk Show” than study poetry.
How to get your poetry fix in Albuquerque
Here’s a sampling of what Burque offers the verse-addicted. For special events, see our Arts Calendar. Did we miss out on something? Get in on the discussion at alibi.com and let everyone know.
Salvation on Sunday, politics on Monday
Hundreds showed up at the Soul Rio Church to rock out in honor of the resurrection of Jesus. The church is tucked in a strip mall in southern Rio Rancho, and the pastor is Dan Lewis, Albuquerque’s Westside city councilor.
Abandoned cats cluster and form colonies in Albuquerque neighborhoods. The unfixed felines mate; the population grows exponentially. Without adequate food, they lead short, violent lives.
Dateline: Denmark—Warehouse staff at the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen staged a series of walkouts last week in protest of a new company policy limiting beer-drinking at work to just lunch breaks. Jens Bekke, a spokesperson for Carlsberg, told England’s Sky News, “We think times have changed and we need an alcohol policy that is accepted by society—93 percent of Danish companies have an alcohol policy.” Last Wednesday, beers were removed from all refrigerators at the brewery. “The only place you can get a beer in future,” said Bekke, “is in the canteen at lunch.” In response, 800 workers walked off the job. By Thursday, at least 250 remained off the job. The Confederation of Danish Industry and trade union 3F agreed the strike was illegal and would impose fines on workers. Although warehouse staff is now on the wagon, drivers for the brewery are still allowed “up to three” beers a day outside of lunch hours. According to Bekke, alcohol locks on Carlsberg’s delivery trucks prevent the drivers from drinking too much and getting behind the wheel.
Blue Cross customers battle price hikes against a backdrop of health reform
The national debate on health care hit home for 40,000 New Mexicans with individual coverage through Blue Cross. In February, customers received notice of premium increases as high as 30 percent. Some of them have contacted my office to say they’ve already been forced by earlier premium increases to switch to less generous coverage plans and higher deductibles. They have no options left and can’t afford more increases. The Public Regulation Commission directed Morris Chavez, the superintendent of insurance, to give the Blue Cross hikes a formal review. The increases were suspended pending a Monday, April 26 hearing that will be held at the PRC’s offices in Santa Fe.
The White Sands International Film Festival kicks off this Thursday, April 15, in Las Cruces. Among the local features screening are Justin Evans’ action thriller A Lonely Place For Dying and Rod McCall’s coming-of-age drama Becoming Eduardo. There’s also a wealth of New Mexico-shot shorts, like Luke Fitch’s sci-fi drama “Black Gold 2051,” Paul Porter’s postapocalyptic tale “Res Q” and Wes Studi’s horror comedy “Good Night, My Zombies.” In addition to the 18 features and 26 shorts being screened at the sixth annual festival, there are several panel discussions featuring filmmakers, actors and other industry professionals. For a complete schedule of screenings, workshops and parties, log on to wsiff.com.
Swing and a miss
Are inspirational sports dramas actually inspirational, or are they just a cheap and easy shortcut for lazy filmmakers to evoke an emotional response? Are they simply the Y chromosome equivalent of romantic dramas in which one of the two leads is dying of some incurable disease? (Love Story, I’m looking at you.)
Info tidbits from around the dial
Are They Trying to Kill Me?—In case you haven’t heard, Kate Gosselin (who still hasn’t managed to get kicked off “Dancing With the Stars” somehow) is getting handed not one but two new reality shows this year. First up is TLC’s “Twist of Kate,” a positively disastrous-sounding 12-part summer series in which the 35-year-old occasional mother of eight will answer fan mail and give “parenting advice” to her legions of worshippers. (Which is who, exactly?) Also on tap is a string of “Kate Plus 8” specials—a continuation of her previous TLC show with ex-husband Jon’s name scrubbed off the title. Sounds awesome—assuming Jon doesn’t succeed in his current bid to have her stripped of child custody. I truly wish these hateful, wretched people would go away, but they aren’t. So, I guess we’d better just get used to it.
The Week in Sloth
I didn’t go to the show when The Ettes played at a free bar Downtown early last year. The Nashville-based band wasn’t on my radar anyhow, so I felt no regret about missing it ... until a week later when I finally opened the 12-inch record that a friend, knowing I would like it, had bought for me at the show as a souvenir. Bright yellow in color, the LP—2008’s London-recorded Look At Life Again Soon—contained 11 distortion-heavy, ’70s glam-tinged tracks of female-fronted rock and roll. Since then, that record—now a prized possession—has received heavy rotation by me at home and in public drinking establishments.
Pianist Omar Sosa’s Afreecanos Quartet communes with the spirits
Cuban pianist, marimbist and composer Omar Sosa plays up and down the tree of music, sounding its deepest African roots and the greenest buds in its ever-spreading canopy. Every note summons listeners to a joyful ceremony of communion.
The psych-pop of UV Transmission
Have you ever walked into a bar intimidated by the row of hogs and Harleys parked out front? Wondered about the reception you’d get from the bikers partying down inside? It wasn’t quite that way with the dozen Vespa, Lambretta and Velocette knockoffs lining the sidewalk in front of the Fabulous Dingo Bar (now Burt’s Tiki Lounge) when UV Transmission was headlining. Rather than wielding chains and wearing leathers, these riders sported one-button blazers, Cuban heel boots and M65 parkas with the Royal Air Force insignia on the back. The crowd was there not to pogo or mosh (thankfully!) but to dance.
The scary little people hidden in the trees want to you know that Monday, April 19, sees performances of animal-sound music and different forms of drone by Infinite Body, EARN, Lab Rat and Postcommodity. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Thundermind Corrective, and for $5 you might find out what “intense loud doom drone” means. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Spring has ignited a reading renaissance in Albuquerque. Avail yourself of some of the many literary offerings happening this month.
The mad science of Fab Lab ABQ
Imagine: You’re a legendary archaeologist. You embark upon a dig that quickly becomes the most extraordinary of your career. As you stumble upon one singularly exceptional artifact after another, you leap about (very careful not to break anything), overcome by the remarkable knowledge you’re unearthing. Then you remember that you can’t keep any of it. You’re excavating an important spiritual site, and though you’ve been granted permission to explore, you have to return every found thing to the people who hold the land sacred. You understand—but you’re devastated at the informational, educational and historical records that will never exist. Until you realize that Fab Lab ABQ has a solution, and you resume your joyful leaping.
A Duke City food critic in the land of milk and butter
An Albuquerquean foodie visiting Paris for the first time could find himself justifiably intimidated by the city’s fabled cuisine. If that’s you, I suggest you begin with a visit to one of the many restaurants in Paris that belong to the chain called “Indiana Café.”
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Photons work hard to get from the heart of the sun to the surface. They can take up to 160,000 years to complete the 400,000-plus-mile journey. And yet once Earth-bound photons get topside, they travel the 93-million-mile distance to our planet in just over eight minutes. I foresee a metaphorically similar situation unfolding in your life in the coming weeks. A development that has been a long time in the making will accelerate tremendously in its last phase of ripening.