27 December 2007

SIGUR ROS



One of my favorite bands is Sigur Ros from Iceland. Their ethereal/ambient sound is simply amazing. Their last cd TAKK was very good but their new double cd HVARF/HEIM is AWESOME and highly recommended. If you are more the KISS FM or JACK/ED radio crowd this is probably not for you. [Dale...it goes GREAT with a Larry letter!!]
My fear is that a trendy CW show or Starbucks will try to capitalize on them and they will be pigeon-holed as a 'coffee house band' which would be terrible, they are much better then that.

You can listen to samples from Amazon, search their videos on YouTube...or check out their video HEIMA from their new dvd. Enjoy.




26 December 2007

The Lights of Christmas



A recent blog I read gave me a chuckle.

Here in New Mexico we have a tradtion that is centuries old. The lining of churches, driveways and business with 'little lights' called luminarias or as in northern New Mexico they are called 'farolitos'.

I have written about them in past posts including recently when I went to the River of Lights. The tradition has spread across the country and has reached a point where 'eastern' states are calling them 'their tradition'. ....snicker snicker....

In the Southwest, the terms “LUMINARIAS and FAROLITOS” have come to be used almost interchangeably.


In the 1800’s luminarias were small bonfires built along the roadside to commemorate Christ’s birth. They were used to guide people to Midnight Mass on the final night of LAS POSADAS, “lodging or inn”.

Later people used farolitos, small paper bags with sand in the bottom and a small candle inside to light the bag. This was a substitute for the more dangerous bonfires. Children in the southwest, reenacting the night of Las Posadas often carried the farolitos in their hands. Today they are used to line walkways, driveways and roof tops.


The night of Las Posadas is a festive celebration first introduced to the Mexican Indians by European missionaries reenacting the story of Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging in Bethlehem in a series of NOVENA, “nine days”, beginning December 16th.


Each night a group of carolers would go from house to house, carrying small lanterns made of a paper bag with a lit candle inside (farolitos). The carolers would sing a song pleading for food and shelter. Some homes would turn them away, but others would invite them in and offer food – posole, red and green chili stews, Christmas Eve tamales, biscoshitos, etc.


The tradition of luminarias and farolitos originated in Mexico, then celebrated in New Mexico for many years before spreading across the United States, Canada and Europe.
Here in the southwest, many of our homes have flat roofs. We place the luminarias along the outlines of our roofs. We also use them to light driveways, walkways and to outline different sections of our yards. Across the country you will see them used much the way that traditional outdoor lights are used. Just connect them in series and show off the sections of your lawn, sidewalks and driveways in traditional Southwest flare.



So, if you really want to see a great light show, come to Albuquerque or Santa Fe for Christmas Eve. There are caravans of cars driving around the more decorated parts of town and there are even tour buses [which always sell out!!]. Enjoy the lights, enjoy the food, enjoy the tradition that is New Mexico.

20 December 2007

RIVER OF LIGHTS PART DEUX






MY WORLD IN 360: The RIVER OF LIGHTS at the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens.


It was an old fashioned simple evening. Traditional New Mexico Christmas' are a bit different then say in New Jersey or WisconsIn or even Montana. While most people have turkey or ham [that's a Thanksgiving dinner!!!] Here in New Mexico it is very common to make Pasole [a sort of chili stew with hominy] and tamales and enchiladas. Dessert would include 'sweet rice' and biscochitos [a shortbread cookie with anise and cinnamon...mmmmm my sister's are GREAT!]




Tonight at the RIVER OF LIGHTS there was plenty of local food fare. It was a bit chilly but a great evening over all.





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...and to all a good night.

RIVER OF LIGHTS

Happy holidays everyone!! Every year at Christmas time the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens has a light presentation called RIVER OF LIGHTS. It's sort of an electrical light sculpture show, many with a Christmas theme. There are carolers and hot chocolate vendors and everyone is in a festive mood. I hope all of you are doing well this holiday season. Enjoy

First off we went to the National Hispanic Cultural Center. It was all decked out with luminarias aka farolitos. Luminarias are paper bags filled with sand and lit with a candle from the inside. Traditionally they are placed outside a home or church to light the way for the Christ child. Today however they are electrical and many business' decorate their buildings with them. It's quite beautiful yet simple. The city looks great this time of year.





Parking is free at the botanical gardens and the admission is only six dollars.


































NEXT UP: MY WORLD IN 360.

15 December 2007

COLD AS ICE

I went to gas up today and as I was doing so, I was going to wash my windows with the squee-gee you usually see next to the pump...lol.. this is what I found.

...yeah... its chilly here...hahahaha

14 December 2007

I Am NOT Legend

A friend and I went to see I AM LEGEND tonight with Wil Smith. This is the third theatrical remake of the Richard Matheson novel of the same name and which is now an all too familiar plotline: The last man on Earth is not alone.




The original film version LAST MAN ON EARTH with Vincent Price is definately dated but stuck close to the 'creatures' if you will turning into vampires as was the case in the original novel.

The second remake, OMEGA MAN , and the current I AM LEGEND make out the 'creatures' to be survivors of a deadly virus.



The first hour of I AM LEGEND is pretty good but the second half falls short and becomes just another 'zombie' movie. The dark humor and intelligence of the OMEGA MAN 'creatures' is missing from this current remake. I have to add, the best performance in the whole movie is by Wil Smith's dog, a german sheppard.



Seriously. The pooch shows humor, drama, fear....is great in action sequences and is even heroic!!! Traits that come across blandly in Wil Smith who basically plays Wil Smith....singing along to Bob Marley and quoting Shreck [...don-keeeey!!].

And talk about short...this film has a long set-up and just when you think things are gonna get interesting....IT ENDS!!! What the fu--!!??

I have a five point rating system for films:

5. Pay full price and worth wating in line on opening night!!!
4. See it the following Monday and avoid the lines yet before someone tells you the
ending.
3. Matinee!!!
2. Cable or dollar theatre!!
1. Network tv if its showing after a Simpsons re-run!!

This one gets a 4 and that is only because the dog is sooooo good and I support more film roles for canines!!!!

I'm out.

12 December 2007

LOST THEN FOUND 2

I found a few more video files from the ABQ International Balloon Fiesta held in October.

I've tried to get up to Santa Fe so I could do a blog post on The City Different but black ice and snow have made travel up to the city and points beyond a bit too dangerous for my blood. Our nights here are now dipping below the freezing mark and last night half of the city had snow...it was crystal clear at my end of town.

If you get the chance...I recommend the new documentary out called JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS NOT WRITTEN. Excellent documentary on the beginnings of the band THE CLASH and their rise and fall and ultimately Joe Strummers death.

I'm out.


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10 December 2007

SILENT SIGH

And now for the music portion of our program.



I'm out.

09 December 2007

WILD WILD WEST

Some of you know that I am a movie western nut. Maybe because I'm from the southwest I'm a bit biased. It's not every western ;however, but those with a certain theme, that being the changing of the west and how the 'cowboy' was displaced by the industrial age [MONTE WALSH, BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE and LONELY ARE THE BRAVE being excellent examples, not to forget JUNIOR BONNER a sort of modern day western about a rodeo cowboy at the end of his career.

One of the best is PAT GARRETT and BILLY THE KID set right here in Lincoln county, New Mexico. Keep in mind that there are two versions of the film: the theatrical version released by the studio and the 'director's cut' released on DVD. This might make some purists mad but I prefer the theatrical version because of one scene in particular.

As posted here, the music track with the scene is from the studio version. The director's cut version downplays the music track and for me takes away from the scene. Slim Pickens and Katy Jurardo are only on screen for a scant few minutes and yet you understand their characters from this scene alone, as if they have always been in this time and place and always will be. I highly recommend PAT GARRETT and BILLY THE KID.




I'm out.

08 December 2007

HUD [con't]

The film HUD was based on the Larry McMurtry novel HORSEMAN PASS BY and the story in the book did not actually focus on HUD but on Lonnie. There were several other major changes from book to film. The mother character was alive in the book and the 'housekeeper' that Hud is attracted to was actually black. Nonetheless, Patricia Neal gave an outstanding performance as the housekeeper Alma, as you can see from this clip [man I feel like a program director on UHF channel 78 with these clips. So much for a slow news week!]


06 December 2007

HUD

Slow week. Maybe I'll have something of interest to post this weekend. For now I'll leave you with my favorite scene from one of my favorite films: HUD with Paul Newman.





I'm out.

03 December 2007

LOST THEN FOUND

WOO-HOO!! I was going through some old flashdrives when I came across two lost videos I had taken. The first one is of the Berringer Meteor Crater from my IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE post. The second is the ice cave from my LAND OF FIRE AND ICE post. Enjoy.


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I'm out.

02 December 2007

UNTITLED POST No. 140

TRAMMIN' THE WESTERN SLOPE

Welcome back. After failing to reach the the peak from the eastern slope of the Sandia Mountains I took the tram up the western slope. Parking at the base of the tram is one buck. The roundtrip costs $15.


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At one point someone asked, "how far down is it" and the tram operator replied, "about 7 seconds...".


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The trip down was also pretty cool. The clouds looked like steam rising from the base of the mountain. My camera was pointed directly into the sun making it look more like a black dwarf star then the actual sun.


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Th th th that's all folks. I'm out.

NEXT UP: I have no idea.

01 December 2007

MOUNTAIN HIGH

After losing video from my trip to the 'peak' I was set on going again after the next snow. Last night here in town we had a doozy of a sleet/rain storm. The howl of the wind woke me up twice.

Today however, it was beautiful!!. There were high clouds but the sky was a brilliant blue and there was snow on the mountain...so of course I set out. This time however I decided to go up the back way on Route 14, The Turquoise Trail.

Tinkertown was closed for the season [see link at right] so I did not stop there. The roads started out great....but as you'll soon see that changed....


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The Sandia Mountains can be very deceiving. The western slope gets the most sun and is very much the southwest in appearance: dry, lots of rock and brush and very brown. The eastern slope however is very much forest land. Green, cooler and during monsoon season very lush.

In 2005 a friend of mine had come to visit and I thought I'd take him up to the peak from the eastern slope. From down below on the western side it was cloudy but very much a mild day. As we got to about the 7000 feet on the eastern side we hit a very strong rain storm. So strong that I felt uncomfortable and decided to turn back.

The same happened today. The western side was beautiful, high clouds and mild. The eastern slope started out that way but again, around the 7000 feet mark the roads iced over and snow and slush were everywhere....


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Needless to say I was getting nervous. I noticed a car that had slid off the road into a snow bank...gulp... and as I got further up I saw this van in the middle of the road and some other cars pulled off to the side. This made me rethink my plans and as soon as I could I turned around...started to spin out but took it slowly and soon was on my way back down.... I'll take the tram.... yikes. The last thing I want is to spin out and over some cliff and then have FOX make a bad tv movie about me with some bad unknown actor playing me.


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Yo Dale...how on earth do you live with these kind of conditions eight months out of the year...I'd go CRAZY!!.

Anyhoo -- next up I take the tram [again] up the western slope. Here's a peak [pun intended]:




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I'm out.