More Than Indie Rock

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I was browsing the Alibi and looked at your “Albuquerque for the Record” story, and though I applaud you for trying to highlight local indie record labels, I was disappointed—as a fellow journalist and musician—to see there was no mention of two labels in the area that probably consistently sell more records and garner bigger crowds than those mentioned in your story.

First off is This Blessing This Curse Recordings ( The label has released CDs by bands from all over, including Set Your Goals, One Dying Wish and Albuquerque’s own Noisear. In addition, I believe the owner of the label puts on quite a few all-ages shows with touring acts that attract pretty large crowds.

The other label is De Rok (, and it has released albums by now-defunct locals Abandon All Hope and Bullettrainmafia, as well as a compilation called Planting a Seed, featuring 68 bands—benefits of which went to the Parkinson’s Alliance.

There also may be a few local hip-hop labels, though I wouldn’t be the person to ask about such things. I think you could probably find the information by digging around a bit, something it seems like you guys neglected to do when writing the article. Though I think local bands appreciate the effort and coverage given by the Alibi to bands in this scene, I think it’s a mistake to assume the only thing going on musically in this town is indie rock. Thanks.

Time Of Year Again

I just picked the Aug. 25 edition and saw that it is that time of year again. A full page ad for AIDS Walk 2005, sponsored by NMAS and some of Albuquerque’s big businesses, shows silhouettes of men, women and children who I assume are generously giving their time and money to help continue services needed by us folks living with HIV and AIDS. With the number of people infected by HIV growing, in spite of the president’s call for abstinence (Gee, I wonder why that policy isn’t working?), the need, also, continues to grow.

Yet, I wonder if the people giving the big bucks know where their money goes. … I urge both private and business contributors to earmark their donations for specific programs. Alternative therapies (which were cut two years ago and, despite promises they would be refunded, still are not available), the PAWS program that provides vet services and pet food for clients who cannot afford it and the food bank are all services needed by clients.

As a person living with AIDS for over 20 years, I am always amazed at the great spirit and good will of the wonderful people that support my brothers and sisters. Still, what started as a grassroots effort to assist our friends has turned into a multimillion dollar business. So, like any charitable giving, know where your money goes. See how much of each dollar goes directly to client care and insist on changes if you think any nonprofit organization is unduly top-heavy or needs to account for their spending.

Thank you to all those people who give so generously to those in need. Albuquerque proves itself time and again in helping its citizens who have less. Keep up the good work!

Feeling Fatal

A recent letter said that running out of oil would at least lessen global warming. Maybe a little. But positive feedback loops already set in motion—such as melting permafrost releasing carbon dioxide—ensure that the climate will continue collapsing even if we could stop all releases of greenhouse gases.

I’m afraid we face a double catastrophe: Meltdown of both the world economy and climate. All the more reason for a tax on carbon to subsidize the rapid transition to solar, wind, hydrogen and biofuels. Even some Republicans are finally starting to wake up. But the recently signed energy bill subsidizes the oil industry of all things. We need to be moving much faster—and in the right direction—or our future will be a hell of a challenge.

Feeling More Fatal

Didn't Albuquerque just celebrate 300 years of culture this spring? What did Albuquerque celebrate? Topping its own homicide record? Rampant drug abuse? Bad air? The spent needles in the grass at Roosevelt Park? The locally filmed 101,000,000,000 Cockroaches? Gang initiation week? If so, perhaps blue autumn skies and this season's crop of chile will serve as panacea. Perhaps the thief who stole a $50 jersey (I play summer hardball) out of my car wore it while Ferris wheeling, cell phoning and elephant earing.

I've been wondering ever since Thursday night when I was sitting in my small courtyard with some neighbors listening to those 12 shots ring out less than a block away. Within minutes, sirens. Within the hour, our neighborhood cordoned off. When I ventured outside the gate, two cops recommended I return to my residence. When I loitered, they told me a second time, a bit more firmly. The radio mentioned the suspect was armed and dangerous. A frightened neighbor insisted we remove ourselves to the confines of my casita. She didn't understand when I told her that at least outside, we can hear someone approaching.

The two officers died. Two of my neighbors recognized the suspect the next day when they posted his face on the TV. They had seen him on his bike Thursday afternoon. They said his eyes were crazy. On Friday, Gov. Bill Richardson grabbed the camera and announced that mental illness was a priority, somewhere on the list alongside environmental concerns, cockfighting, and the 2008 ticket.

Several years ago while driving through southern Colorado I picked up a hitchhiker: a slightly crazed, free-basing Jicarilla Apache. He told me that the Apocalypse wasn't coming: it was already here. “Slow down your eyes, Jay, you can see it happening. Even though things move faster, time itself slows down during the end days.” He rolled a cigarette, tossing a pinch of tobacco out the truck window for his ancestors.

Letters should be sent with the writer's name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.

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